Jennifer's Journal


Thursday, November 01, 2007

November Newsletter

Hello to all:

Here we are, with Thanksgiving just down the road and all the stores decked out in brown orange and purple – those that don't have Christmas decoration up already.  Hate it when they leap-frog over other holidays, don't you?  This will be my second Thanksgiving this year.  My husband, Jerry, and I were in Canada for their Thanksgiving which fell the first weekend in October.  Harvest time comes earlier at that latitude, therefore the earlier celebration.  The lovely thing was that the timing appeared to be the only difference.  As on the U.S. side, turkey and trimmings, family, friends and gratitude for life's bounty were the order of the day.

We were in Canada because of the Great Rail Journey I mentioned last month.  Jerry and I left October 1 from Marshall, TX, the Amtrak station closest to where we live.  After an overnight run to Chicago on the "Texas Eagle", we boarded the "Empire Builder" for its 3 day, 2 night trip to Seattle, WA.  At Seattle, we crossed the border by shuttle bus to Vancouver, BC where we spent a few lovely fall days, walking in Stanley Park, exploring Robson St.(main shopping street where our hotel was located), also hopping on and off the red, double-decker "London" buses for various sights, including a gorgeous Chinese garden.  From Vancouver, we took the historic "Silver & Blue" train across the Canada to Toronto then traveled on down to Niagara Falls, ON.  After admiring the great waterworks for three days there – where the view of the falls is actually more impressive than from the American side -- we crossed back into the States at Niagara Falls, NY.  There, we caught Amtrak again for Chicago, transferring at Union Station for Marshall, TX and so back home again.

What a grand adventure!  We reserved sleeping car rooms all the way, so watched the world slide past our windows in comfort and privacy, enjoying snow-capped mountain views, deep valleys, tumbling waterfalls, aspens like gold lace against darker evergreens; maples so bright they appeared on fire; slanting rain and whipping snow.  Of course, we also saw the underbelly of the North American continent as the train slid through the older parts of cities and towns, past derelict mills and warehouses and the junkyards of two nations.  Even that was interesting, however, as the nostalgic reminder of past wealth, past labor, past hopes.  It doesn't take much to entertain me, you see.  And we relaxed, big time, Jerry and I, reading over a dozen books between us and jettisoning them along the way.  I also knitted most of an Elizabeth Zimmerman circular shawl large enough to use as a throw.

Now ask me if I'm glad to be home after almost three weeks away!Yes, indeed.  But this was something we'd talked about for years, taking Amtrak for a long trip, riding the trans-Canada train.  It's a great way to travel, without the stress of watching traffic or the security hassles of flying.  I'd go again in a NY second.  And it's lovely to be able to mark the experience off my life list of things to do.  You have one of those, don't you?  A list of wishes, dreams and future plans?  Everyone should.  If you don't dream, you'll never do anything.

Have you had a chance to check out the new book video for GUARDED HEART?  It's up on the website now at:  From the front page, go to the link below the book's cover art.  The visuals really capture the essence of the story, I think.  I particularly like the edgy music, a violin piece by Vivaldi that reflects the emotions of the characters.  Let me know your impressions?

For other happenings, ROGUE'S SALUTE was published in Germany this month as SCHWERTER DER LIEBE.  Somehow, I don't think that title says the same thing.:-/  Also, I received my copy of the contract licensing the first three books of the Masters at Arms series for publication in Rumania.  The ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) for GUARDED HEART were shipped last month, which means the reviews for it should start showing up before long.  And the book is posted now on  No cover art is available on the Amazon website just yet, but you can place an advance order, if you like.  This is probably the fastest way to receive a copy.  For a direct link to the GUARDED HEART order page, you can click through from the Book List page on my website.

Finally, the writing in progress: I'm back at work again, piling up pages (in a manner of speaking, since they're on computer) on TRIUMPH IN ARMS, book 6 of the Masters at Arms series.  The story begins with a prologue, a departure for me.  Whether it will remain a part of the manuscript is up for grabs.  I don't usually care for prologues since they are such an artificial means of creating interest in a story.  They do have their uses; there are certain times when the reader needs to know something which can't be included any other way.  But if I can find a good place to slip my back story information into the chronological progress of the tale, you'll never read this particular prologue.  If it doesn't make it into print, maybe I'll post it on the web site in my journal.  You'll be able to check out the difference for yourself.

Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to book 5 in the series—if GUARDED HEART is book 4 and TRIUMPH IN ARMS is #6—it's on my editor's desk, destined for publication in 2009 with the title of GALLANT MATCH.  This is the story of the Kentucky sword master, Kerr Wallace.

The winner of this month's autographed book is:

If this is your email address, please send a message from it to:  In the subject line, type "Book Winner" and include your name and USPS address in the body of the message.  Good luck!

With warmest wishes for a grand holiday month with lots of things for which to be thankful,


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