Dear Grieving Reader

Dear Rosina,

I have just finished your book The Endless Forest. I must admit it was with considerable trepidation I began to read the epilogue and could quickly see the direction we were headed. I had suspected such an ending was coming but I am devastated all the same. Please, I beg you, tell me you will be starting a new series along the same tenor as the Bonner series!  I have enjoyed this family so
much and your storytelling I am hoping this is not the end of this genre o writing for you.

Yours truly,
A grieving fan

Dear Deanna:

I hate to think of you grieving, but on the other hand I am glad to know that the Wilderness series means so much to you. I can tell you that the novel I’m working on is about some of the Bonner grandchildren The first novel in what I hope is a trilogy is set in Manhattan in 1883. Its tentative title is The Gilded Hour.

If you are really interested in following along as a couple of Nathaniel’s and Elizabeth’s grandchildren make their way, please leave a comment. I  welcome your thoughts and appreciate your support.

the brooklyn bridge, sans elephants

City Hall Park, ca 1910. The Brooklyn Bridge entrance to the far right.

The Brooklyn Bridge was an engineering feat of huge proportions, one that came to fruition in May, 1883 with a grand opening celebration. Barnum (the original Barnum & Bailey edition) offered to walk his elephants across the bridge (never missed an opportunity to advertise, astute business man that he was). The city turned him down, but he convinced them in the end and walked the elephants across the next year. You’ll note in the photo that the entrance to the bridge is nothing like it is today, and that’s because you couldn’t drive onto it (because really, most transportation was horse-drawn at that point). You paid your money and took a seat on a cable car.

the gilded hour, or, yes, there is a novel in the works

Julius-Munkwitz,-Design 1883

It has been a while since the sixth and last volume in the Wilderness series came out,  but I still get email almost every day from readers who have very specific questions. At the top of the list is: you haven’t stopped writing, have you?!?

So here I am to say that I am working on a novel, and making some progress. This is not a prequel to the Wilderness series, and while I understand there is great interest in such a thing, I have no plans to write one.  I hope that people won’t be too disappointed by this, especially as I have an alternative to offer. Specifically,  I’m working on a novel which has the tentative title of The Gilded Hour.

Savard Family Tree
click for a larger image

This novel is set in 1883, primary in Manhattan, and the main characters include two young women whose names will be familiar to readers of the Wilderness series: Anna  and Sophie Savard, who are distant cousins. The family tree below provides better background on exactly who they are and how they are related.

I’ll be posting now and then about the novel as it progresses, but let me anticipate a question: it may take me as much as a year to finish it, and then the whole technical/business end of things gets started. So please don’t hold your breath.


Lillie Langtry
Lillie Langtry

I love timelines. I like being able to see events in relation to each other. I’d like it even better if there were three dimensions to a timeline, but I’m satisfied with two.

As I was organizing a lot of the material I’ve gathered (and you gathered) about 1883, it occured to me that there might be an easier way to put together a timeline, and I did a search which brought me to the wondrous XTimeline.  I prompty spent an hour inputting about half of what I have, and now I’m all woozy headed in my enthusiasm.  Here’s my 1883 Manhattan-centric timeline. Note that the timeline moves horizontally (the slider is at the bottom of the timeline and not at the right hand side, as usual). You can look at it in two different formats (buttons at upper right).

If you have any interest in adding bits and pieces, you just have to register (no cost) and let me know, and I’ll give you access. If you participated in the giveaway a few weeks ago (you can see that here), you know what I’m looking for.  What would be especially great would be events relating to women’s history, birth control (advances, court cases, etc), social events, and public health. I need to start putting in what I have about epidemics and illness and medical training.  Any suggestions very welcome.