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

 

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!)

 

 

 

 

Private Diaries

You won’t believe what good fortune fell upon me! I came across the personal diaries of the Hecock and Zeller families! So while chapter 3 progresses through the drawing stage, let’s take a gander at the private thoughts of Burrell, Ed, Hattie, Belle, Mother Hannah, and Iggy during the days leading up to February 4, 1912. Don’t look for any writings of Harry Hecock… he was a lawyer and knew better than to put secrets and private opinions in writing!

Shock and Awe

"Did she really say that??"
“Did she really say that??”

Aren’t you curious as to what all the kerfuffle is about? Stick around… I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and chapter 2 is coming along nicely.

While you wait anxiously, meet a few more characters: from top to bottom, left to right, we have Belle Hecock, Mother Hannah (Belle’s mother), Harry Hecock (Burrell’s father), Burrell Hecock, Baby Myrle (Burrell’s cousin), Hattie Zeller (Belle’s sister), Annette Hecock (Harry’s sister) and Edward Zeller (Hattie’s husband.)