Meet Red Hill

While I’m developing Book 3, and there isn’t much to share yet, here are some reference photos I thought  you might find interesting.

icebridge-incline

This photo, courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library, shows the incline on the American side that takes you down to the base of the American Falls. In the upper right, you can see part of the Horseshoe Falls. Some ice bridges freeze the surface all the way to the Horseshoe Falls. The 1912 ice bridge was a frozen strip from the incline across the river to the Canadian side. The huge mounds of snow at the base of the falls are actually formed from freezing mist. People used to ride sleds down those slopes!

Ice Bridge with Shanties.

Ice Bridge with Shanties.

Here is a better shot of the ice bridge. As you can see, the shanties are lined up from one shore to the other. The incline on the far shore is in the USA, next to the American Falls. So, how would you like to take a stroll with me out across the ice bridge to buy a snooker of whiskey or a photo of a stuntman? Haha, just kidding.

Red Hill and son

Red Hill and son

This is Red Hill, the guy on the left with all the medals. His son is to the right. Red is legendary as the Riverman. Kind of a River Whisperer, if you will. He and his family are responsible for countless rescues and body recoveries in the Niagara. Red was a dare devil, too. He shot the rapids in a barrel that took him down to the whirlpool, and survived.

Book 3 starts out with Red, as he prepares his souvenir shanty to be set out on the ice bridge. Burrell and Iggy are still on the train, just passing the Erie Station in North East, PA. and soon approaching Buffalo, NY.

Red Hill was quite a character, and I hope to capture that in both the text and the pictures, although it would take volumes to tell his whole story. I’d like this section of the book to be a small biopic of Red, who was also a hero at the ice bridge of 1912 and who really deserves a book of his own!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

To all my readers, I hope you had a marvelous and blessed holiday and that this new year holds many more blessings for all.

It was a long recovery, but I’m back on my feet after three weeks of fighting asthma and that darned coughing virus that is going around. What an inconvenient time to get sick! Thank you for your patience for the delay of Book Two. Here is a peek at the cover:

Jinx the Junket cover

Most people won’t notice, but I’ll give you heads up: the map on the back cover on this book is Cleveland, late 1800’s, with the Union Depot right at the water’s edge. Wondering now what was on the back of the first book?

I have but one tiny half page to finish inside… the very last page… the preview of the next book, actually. And then it’s off to the proof reader, and then to the printers.

You might be interested to know that I’ve made some MAJOR changes to Book Three. It may just be the final book of the series, so I suppose, technically, this could be a trilogy, not a series. Worry not your pretty little heads: sneak peeks will be trickling into your inbox. And if you are slated to be a character in the story, this is the one! Lot’s of cool characters will be introduced. Two cameo characters are in Book Two already. Well, enough of me giving away all my secrets.

Be at peace, my friends. Let’s make 2016 a year to remember.

~Leda

Niagara, Here We Come!

Next weekend Jay and I will be touring the Falls area with artist friends Rose and Jim Gauss and Patrick the Bootlegger: catching some awesome fireworks over the Falls in Victoria Park, tasting some wine (at more than one vineyard, I’m sure) and ending the trip with a stroll through the Grand Canadian Steam Punk Exposition! Patrick has some surprises in store for us, I hear. One of them is “sticking us on the Maid of the Mist” and a walk out onto the bridge where locals tried desperately to rescue Burrell Hecock. If I have the courage to look down, I’ll try to pry my fingers off the railing long enough to take some photos of the river below. Yes, I’m afraid of heights. (But my husband is afraid of widths, so we make a good team.) During the visit, I hope to run into Dan Hill, grandson of the renowned stuntman/riverman Red Hill. Should be a hoot!

In the mean time, take a gander at my latest (but not quite finished) character poster: Jules McLaughlin, Voice of the Falls. She will be my fictional newspaper reporter who just happens to be there to do a feature on Ice Bridge Fashion Wear. I think she finds out that Grappling Irons are the latest must-have accessory.

Jules poster

 

The Bootlegger Shanty

Patrick Sirianni is a bootlegger/ vendor on the Ice Bridge who peddles giggle water (alcoholic drinks), quilts (alcoholic drinks that warm you up) and a Jorum of Skee (shot of whiskey). He calls his shanty “Blotto on the Bridge”, which means to get drunk as a skunk on the frozen river.

(For those of you who are taking me seriously, Patrick is a great guy from Niagara who has been helping me find photos and historical facts, as well as outlets to sell the book. He has my sincerest gratitude, which I demonstrate by Steam Punking him!)

Don’t forget: if you would like to give “Hecock, The Last Hour” as a gift for Christmas, you can order it on the blog on the Books & Goods page, along with posters and pins.

Sirianni the Bootlegger

New Character Poster

Matthewposterweb

Meet Mr. Matthew Turman, a talented young man who sings your special delivery message, and even adds some fancy footwork! Dig that crazy harp guitar! He will briefly entertain the Hecock’s in the upcoming Book 2, Autonomy. Next in the New Character Line-up… my dear sweet Uncle Franny. He will be engineering the Midnight train to Niagara in Book 3, Steamed, which I hope is released by February 2016.

Good news for fans that missed out on the Kickstarter campaign but would like a digital copy of the book… in my spare time, (spare time?? what’s that?) I’m formatting the book for Kindle to sell on Amazon.com and it will only cost 99¢, a real steal! Wouldn’t want you to think me a slawterpooch! (I’ll send a set of bookmarks to the first person to comment on this post with the correct meaning of that one!)

 

 

 

 

60 Hours to Hecock!

This will be the last post campaigning for my Kickstarter project. I’m happy to report that more than $3000  were pledged! So, this is your last chance to be a part of it and get your name printed on a dedicated page in Book 1, and all kinds of rewards, including the books! With the extra money, I hope to pass on some extras in everyone’s envelope.

I’ve been having so much fun Steam Punking my Cast and Crew (the models and those key people who have researched for me.) Here is a sampling of a few. You will find an entire page of them in the book. If this tempts you, there are still eight pledges open for being Steam Punked… just click that link.)

Anke Arnold, Font Designer

Anke Arnold, Font Designer

CarolRogersheadshot

Carol Rogers, New York State Parks

PatrickSirianniheadshot

Patrick Sirianni, History Buff and Would-be Bootlegger