To my friends in the Women’s Fiction Writers Association…

Welcome to my blog. Please download a FREE (until June 15) Kindle copy of The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge (click on the title).

This is my first novel, featuring Angus and Amanda. It is the prequel to The King’s Puzzle, some of which I shared during our workshop with Don Maass in February.

If you wouldn’t mind, kindly share the news with your friends and followers on your blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thank you in advance!

 

Angus arrives at the Smythewood mansion

In front of the Smythewood mansion, Angus got out of the truck with Amanda. Two eyes beneath a red and black Elmer Fudd cap gazed at them from a nearby field. They belonged to man wearing a jacket that matched his hat, plus a green reflective vest. He plodded across the parking area toward them. Angus felt Amanda’s fingers clamp onto his wrist. The man had a rifle crooked over one arm. He had a vacant look in his eyes. Angus frowned. Was he one of Wayne Osler’s security crew? The man nodded his grizzled face toward them, then turned toward the idling truck.

Angus stood with Amanda, watching the stranger. Big Jim rolled his window down and introduced himself. Angus couldn’t make out the man’s reply. His voice came from somewhere up in the roof of his mouth, perhaps the nasal cavity. He spoke no faster than he walked. Big Jim repeated almost everything he said over the sound of the engine. Angus gathered that his name was Bud Edwards and that he was the Smythewood groundskeeper.

Angus took Amanda’s hand. “May as well go inside. They’ll probably talk for hours about hunting.”

“I don’t like that guy.”

“Because of the gun?”

“No. I’m used to guns. He’s leering at me.”

Angus shrugged and led Amanda toward the mansion. Before they reached the top of the steps, Sharol emerged from the front door. She smiled at Angus and he smiled back. He stood there for a few seconds, Amanda’s hand in his, looking at Sharol. She wore black slacks and a purple turtleneck sweater. Her blonde hair gleamed in the sunlight. She looked more beautiful than the other day, when the late-afternoon sunlight streamed into her office. She had on glistening pink lipstick. She was luminous. Angus had never seen a girl—a woman—with such a visible field of light surrounding her.

“Hello Amanda, Angus.”

They shook hands with Sharol and stepped inside.

Sharol looked out at the truck and waved. “Don’t be shy, Jim. Come in for a minute.”

“Righto.” Angus heard the truck engine shut down and the door slam shut.

“Erin’s getting our horses ready.” Sharol pointed to a green building a quarter mile away down a winding road. “We’ll go down to the stables in a few minutes.”

Angus and Amanda slipped off their boots. Big Jim came in behind them and closed the door.

“Welcome to the Smythewood residence.” Sharol curtsied and effected a gentrified British accent. “It’s a little big to be called a house, but too small to be a mansion.” She laughed. Angus felt her fingers touch his shoulder. She pointed to a doorway off the front hall to the right. “I want to show you Colonel Smythe’s billiards room. It was his favourite part of the house and has never been modernized.”

Angus took Amanda’s hand and followed Sharol into the room. Sunlight cast a grid pattern of shadows from multi-pane windows onto the hardwood floor. The aroma of varnished wood panels permeated the air. Amanda’s fingers slipped away when Angus stopped by a coal fireplace—what else, in Sharol’s house? He felt enveloped by its warmth. A wall clock to his left ticked the seconds away. He read the gold leaf lettering emblazoned across its glass: Standard Time. Grand Trunk Railway. In its day, the clock’s regularity had reinforced the notion that all was right in the world. On the other hand, it had signified adventure, partings, and journeys to places unknown.

New WordPress blog

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Over the past few days, I’ve been consolidating my previous blogs into one (this one!). I’m going to add the bookstore soon. I’m finishing the final rewrite of The King’s Puzzle. By the way, the picture shows this Mother-of-All-Winters in Ontario from the vantage point of our front porch.

eBooks coming soon for out-of print titles

Every week we field inquiries about three of Ian Wilson’s books which are now out of print: To Stratford Under Steam, Steam Through London, and Steam in Northern Ontario.  Because of the prohibitive printing cost, you won’t see these hardcover volumes reissued. However, it is our intention to release each of them as an eBook in the coming months. For a fraction of the hardcover price, you will be able to purchase a digital copy which can be perused on your eReader, computer, or even your big screen TV.  Each book will contain many new images in addition to all the original text and photos, making them attractive even to those who already own the hardcover versions. Steam in Northern Ontario will be the first eBook released. Watch our blog and website for details in the new year.

5 new book reviews!

The Secret of the Old Swing Bridge was recently reviewed for Homeschool Horizons, a brand-new Canadian magazine. Five homeschooling families took the time to read the book over the summer, and their reviews are posted on the Homeschool Horizons website. Here is an excerpt from a review by Heidi Shaw:

“Ian Wilson’s first foray into novel writing is a fun adventure with lots of twists and turns. Written primarily for the late elementary through middle school aged student, my kids found it entertaining and interesting, as did I. Without giving away too many surprises, I can tell you that if your and your children have any interest in Canadian locales, the fun situations 12 year olds can get themselves into, trains, mysteries, etc etc etc. you will find something to enjoy in this book. Young Angus Wolfe loves to explore, loves history and loves his family. His is a good, wholesome character, well rounded and developed (and home educated!), and the story as a whole reads well. The characters Angus and his brother meet are interesting and made me want to find out more of their history as we read.”

You can read all five complete reviews here:
http://www.homeschoolhorizons.ca/2011/09/review-the-old-swing-bridge/