It's no secret, I'm interested in the Orphan Train Movement. From 1854 to 1929, more than 200,000 children, most of them from New York, rode "Orphan Trains" to points west to find new homes. I had never heard of such a thing, until, one day I discovered my mother and aunt were Orphan Trian Riders. That's when I got involved in genealogy, and I'm so happy I did. And, now, I'm happy to discover a lot of books about these children, most of them fictional, but also quite a few true stories.
But enough. Back to reading. The latest two Orphan Train stories I've read are ORPHAN TRAIN ESCAPE and ORPHAN TRAIN TRIALS, the first two books in a series by Rachel Wesson. They are fictional and I enjoyed them. I also have a stack of books about the trains that tell the good side of the story, and also the sometimes bad side. And, of course, you knew I wouldn't forget this one.
Fiction, but based on my mother's story of being an Orphan Train Rider. She never told me, but sometimes memories are too painful to remember. AMAZON
I'm also a member of NOTC, National Orphan Train Complex, an organization formed to keep alive the stories of these children and the agents who rode the train, as well. It's located in Concordia, KS
I'll be looking for more to read. I have a very good one about the man who started all this, Charles Loring Brace. THE DANGEROUS CLASSES OF NEW YORK, A TWENTY YEARS' WORK AMONG THEM
Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory?
(This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.)
This isn't an easy question to answer. I have so many fond memories of Christmas from the time I was a child to when I had children and grandchildren. One special Christmas comes to mind, however. The year our youngest son brought our new granddaughter to celebrate the holiday with us. She was only two months old, and they traveled from California to Texas for Christmas. She was adorable and still is beautiful as a teenager. She met her uncles and aunts, along with her grandpa and grandma. She was the star of the holiday. Santa didn't stand a chance. I treasure the pictures from all our Christmases. It's such fun to go back and look at them. Boy, have we changed. Oh, and her middle name is the same as mine. How about your Favorite Memory?
Now, we have a new book to look at.
New Picture Book Release from Elaine Kaye:
BLURB: On Christmas Eve, Gregory and Sammy get a special visitor—Santa Claus! Santa brings them on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world and to the North Pole. Bundle up and come along for the ride!
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. Remember, the question is optional!!!
November 6 question is What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?
Mm, interesting question.
I've searched my brain. Nothing's there. Can't think of a thing. So, I have no answer today.
I'm so excited to be part of Melanie Robertson-King's tour for her latest novel, IT HAPPENED IN GASTOWN. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy meeting the author and her characters.
Trainspotting meets Hot Pursuit...
Hilary Dunbar is a uniformed constable
with the Vancouver Police with an agenda to rid the streets of drugs,
especially the bad ones the notorious dealer, Carlos Navarra, is trafficking.
Heroin addict, Erik Layne, has lived on
the streets of Gastown for as long as he can remember, having left home and
Toronto as a rebellious teenage addict. His and Hilary’s paths cross when she
finds him unconscious in an alley after injecting a batch of the contaminated
drug. He must fight for his life to keep from dying, not only from the tainted
smack but also from the man who provided it.
A domestic disturbance call goes wrong,
and Hilary suffers life-changing injuries as a result. As luck would have it,
she and Erik are hospitalized in the same ward at Vancouver General Hospital.
When she sinks into a deep depression, it’s he who pulls her out of her
But will Hilary’s obsession with
bringing down Navarra and others like him destroy their relationship and, more
importantly, jeopardize their lives?
on routine patrol, Constables Hilary Dunbar and her partner Lukas
Stephanopoulos drove north on Cambie Street towards the Gastown Steam Clock. As
they passed the end of Blood Alley, she shouted, “Back up. Something’s down
imagination getting the better of you again?” He teased, but pulled over to the
curb and slowly reversed until they blocked the mouth of the narrow passage.
they called the lane Trounce Alley. Some maps still referred to the laneway as
that. Others labelled the back street Blood Alley. Given the appearance, Hilary
thought the latter more appropriate.
down, she trained the beam from the powerful spotlight mounted on the cruiser’s
mirror into the alleyway. “See, beyond those dumpsters.”
here; I’m going to take a closer look.”
exiting the car, she plucked a pair of nitrile gloves and the naloxone kit from
the glove compartment. Once out, she shoved them in the pockets of her
trousers. With the fingertips of her right hand brushing her gun holster and
gripping the barrel of the torch in her left, she sidled towards the object.
tags covered the walls of the buildings as well as the wooden hydro poles. The
farther into the confined space she crept, the hairs on the nape of her neck
bristled beneath the bun in which she styled her black hair. Whatever was down
there wasn’t rubbish, as Luke said. The pong of stale urine made her eyes
the second dumpster, the body of a young man leaned against the wall.
Dishevelled and filthy, his body odour was strong enough to make the foulest of
skunk spray seem mild. At first glance, he appeared dead. His skin had a bluish
tinge, and weeping sores dotted his face. Dark circles surrounded his eyes.
Inching forward, Hilary squatted beside him.
blood-filled syringe protruded from his left arm. Flashlight held under her
chin; she donned the synthetic rubber gloves she brought with her and felt his
neck for a pulse. The rhythmic throbbing beneath her fingertips, barely
naloxone. The kit had been made available to officers who wanted the
medication. Luke was against carrying the opioid blocker in the cruiser, but
Hilary persuaded him. Now was the time to use it. She took the package out of
her other trouser pocket, peeled the wrapper open and placed the nozzle in the
victim’s left nostril and pressed the plunger.
keyed the mic on her handset and started to speak. “Constable Dunbar.” As
though on cue, the nearby Steam Clock began whistling — no sense in trying to
outperform the contraption. Wait for the completion of its proclamation of the
top of the hour — Westminster chimes followed by singular whistle blasts
counting out the time. Soon relative quiet returned and Hilary tried again.
“Constable Dunbar. Badge 8652. I need an ambulance at Blood Alley and Cambie
Street. Suspected drug overdose. Have administered four milligrams of Narcan nasal
spray. No response as of yet.”
now, Luke had the cruiser’s roof lights on. Blue, red and white alternating
then running from the driver’s side to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
wail of the siren grew louder. In minutes, paramedics jumped out and trundled a
stretcher and medical equipment to the stricken person.
stood back, letting them do their jobs. “I gave him Narcan,” she said,
handing the spent plastic bottle to one of them.
alive ... just. You found him in time. We’ve bagged the needle so they can run
tests on the contents at the hospital. Figure out what he shot into his veins.”
All right. Now I want to know what it was.
And Here She Is!
Everything you wanted to
know about Melanie but were afraid to ask ...
A native of eastern Ontario, during her pre-school years,
Melanie Robertson-King lived in a winterized cottage on the shore of the St
Lawrence River. Before starting school, her family moved to Brockville, where
she received her education, including a post-secondary degree in Computer
Programming. Growing up as an only child, Melanie was an avid reader and
remains so to this day. She knew then one day she would be a writer. When she
wasn’t talking about her dream of becoming an author, she wrote stories and
began honing her skills at an early age. Melanie’s father was a Scottish national. He came to Canada
as a ‘Home Child’ through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland. She
promised herself that one day, her feet would touch the soil in her father’s
homeland. That first trip was in 1993, and she’s not looked back since, having
returned to the auld country many more times and is looking forward to her
next trip, possibly as soon as 2020. On one of her many trips to Scotland,
Melanie had the honour of meeting Princess Anne (The Princess Royal) at the
orphanage where her father was raised. Encouraged to study Highland Dancing, she competed locally.
Her final competition took place during the summer of 1969, a few short months
after her father’s death, at the 1000 Islands Highland Games. In that last
event, she won the Silver Medal in the Sword Dance. Melanie began her professional writing career in
non-fiction. One of her articles graced the cover of an international
publication. At the same time, she continued to develop her writing voice:
short stories (both fiction and non-fiction) as well as novel-length work. Since her debut novel was published in the summer of 2012,
Melanie has written seven more books (including two for children) and released the
second edition of her first. It Happened in Gastown is Melanie’s
ninth book, and the second in the “It Happened” series of sweet
romances set in picturesque locations across Canada. Her short story, Cole’s Notes, has been
re-edited and is available as a free read through her website and blog. When not sequestered in her cave writing, plotting or
editing, you’ll find her out and about. Favourite haunts (pardon the pun) are
cemeteries (the older, the better) since they have more character, and perhaps
a few more characters. She also loves travel and photography. Melanie and fellow authors, Wendy H. Jones and Chris
Longmuir, make up the infamous trio – the Princesses of Pandemonium.
Melanie is having a giveaway: an e copy (mobi, epub or pdf) of the first book in the series - It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. The draw will take place on Dec 1st. Everyone who comments on any of the blogs will have their name entered.