Big News!!!

IMG_3879

Pete and Moses are getting a baby brother. He is due to be born on January 11th, and we hope to pick him up in early March.

Oh, and there’s this book thing. Also a third of its kind: Book Three in the North of the Tension Line series. It’s still gestating. But it, too, is due in 2017.

Puppy might be cuter, but the book won’t require a bigger car.

Sunshine and Rain

img_2596

We went for a very long walk today, and I took these photos. These are the days I dream about all year.

img_2575img_2574

 

Now I am sitting outside to write because it is so perfectly splendid that it would be a waste to be indoors. The dogs, having had their multiple walks, are content to sit quietly on the grass (Moses) and at my feet (Pete). The sun is streaming from the west and casting a golden light through the leaves that still hang onto the birch and maple trees nearby. All is tranquil and warm, and lovely.

But it is raining. There must be one cloud drifting overhead in the crystalline deep blue sky, and the drops are hitting Moses on the head, making him flick his long ears with irritation. I am happy to sit on the porch with the roof protecting the computer–and me–and to be aware of the sunset while I write.

Meanwhile, in book three, Elisabeth is working on something new, and Fiona is chafing at all the public meetings she has to attend.  Peter Landry is being his usual enigmatic self, and that is causing some problems. Many new developments in the works. Stay tuned.

img_2602-1

Look carefully to discover dogs.

 

 

Autumn Island

autumn-sand-dunes-2

God willing, and if I get my work done this week, I leave for the Island on Friday. It will be such a busy week that I will be packing today.

These escapes are not technically vacations, since I usually work twelve to fourteen hours a day. It’s all writing and walking. But this time reconnects the pieces for me so that I can keep going. It’s a renewal.

We’re having an odd fall here in Wisconsin. October 2nd and the trees are still green, and I am a bit disappointed that the full autumn glory will be missing on the Island–that golden light that suffuses and saturates.  But we have to go now, before bow season, since I don’t want big dogs crashing through the underbrush with hunters about.

We will bring the essentials ( in no particular order): the computer; the brown paper bag plot map that hangs on my office wall; the particular black spiral notebooks I cannot live without; colored sharpies for plot lines; The World’s Best Thesaurus; several books of poetry; several pairs of glasses; food for the first few days so I don’t have to interrupt my solitude; coffee; wine; dog food; dog equipment; Essential Dog 1 (Pete); Essential Dog 2 (Moses).

We’ll also bring all the accoutrements for long all-weather walking.

I have a few friends on the Island, now, and toward the end of the week, I will hope to see them.   But for the first half, it will just be the Island, me, the words, and the essential dogs.

We’re heading north of the tension line.

Joy.

 

 

 

Delayed Gratification

 

Pete and Baby Moses

We are expecting a new puppy: a companion for Moses, and a respite–and new pupil–for Pete. My husband has misgivings about a third dog, and–although I generally keep it to myself–so do I. But, sadly, we won’t have three forever, and I want Pete, the elder statesman, to help train the puppy.

The puppy will be a special one, like Moses, carefully bred to be healthy, smart, even-tempered, gentle, and sweet. Also long-lived. These German Shepherds often live to be 13 or 14 years old, which is long for a big dog. Every day I check the breeder’s website, to see the current puppies, and look for news of the coming event. But today I found out it won’t be late fall, but early spring.

I am a little disappointed, but it gives me time to continue my ruminations on names. Leading contenders for now are Marcus Aurelius (guess why); St. Augustine (remember Augie Doggie?); Herodotus (I know); and George.

Official dog names are usually kind of pompous, with the kennel name in the possessive first, followed by the particular dog’s name.  Still, it’s always possible to have fun with the form. With Peter and Moses we have New Testament and Old Testament represented. But the truth is that Moses’ name, although he is officially Moses, Prince of Egypt, was actually the result of my watching The Ten Commandments too frequently in my youth. I wanted to be able to shake my head sorrowfully and say, “Moses, Moses, Moses.”

I’m kind of leaning toward George. But I am open to suggestions. Drop me a line if you have a perfect name for a big, beautiful, new German Shepherd puppy. Did I mention that he’s expected to be 150 pounds? He’ll need something he can grow into.

If I pick your suggestion, I’ll send you a copy of my latest book.

IMG_5144

Moses, left, and Pete on Washington Island.

 

Points of Interest

One of my readers, Laura Holmes, made a trip to the Island recently, and made a point of searching out the locations in the books. She was kind enough to send me some of the photos.

She had ice cream at the Albatross;

Laura at the Albatross

She lay on the rocks at School House Beach;

School house beach

and she sought out my friend, Captain Bill, who was one of my best resources for information while I was researching.

Laura and Captain Bill

Captain Bill is mentioned in both books, but would only be noticed by those of you who read authors’ notes and acknowledgments. (Confession: I generally do not.) I missed him at my recent book signing. He was working that day, and apparently got to the book shop just after I had left.

He’s one of my favorite people.

 

COMING SOON: The Audacity of Goats

BEAUFORT BOOKS

For Immediate Release

Contact: Felicia Minerva, Publicity Manager

Felicia@midpointtrade.com

THE AUDACITY OF GOATS

TAOG COVER

Book Two in the Award-winning North of the Tension Line Series.

[New York, NY] Second in the award-winning North of the Tension Line series, The Audacity of Goats (Beaufort Books, April 2016) is the continuing tale of Fiona Campbell, and her reluctant adventures among the pleasures, mysteries, and exasperations of life on a remote island.

J. F. Riordan has been called “a modern day Jane Austen” for her lyrical prose and rich characters. Her books are a tribute to small town life and the beauty of the ordinary. Peopled with sharply drawn characters whose experiences are by turns serious, mystical, and ridiculous, The Audacity of Goats brings into sharp focus the pitfalls and vicious politics that prevail in small towns everywhere.

In an age of celebrity, this series honors the well-lived life of the common man and woman. Its protagonist, city-bred Fiona Campbell, is a strong-willed, independent woman with an intellectual bent, and a sense of irony that comes in handy during her frequent lapses into public humiliation. Although she doesn’t quite fit into her adopted community, her resolute attempts are wryly observed—and endorsed—by her circle of vaguely eccentric friends.

Elisabeth and Roger are not yet back from their honeymoon when a series of unsettling nighttime incidents leave the islanders uncertain whether they are victims of an elaborate teenage prank, or whether there might be a malevolent stranger lurking on the island. Out-of-state owners of a new goat farm seem to consider themselves the self-proclaimed leaders of the island; Pali, the ferry captain, is troubled by his own unique version of writer’s block; and Ben, the captain’s ten year-old son, appears to be hiding something. But it is only when the imperturbable Lars Olafsen announces his retirement, and Stella announces her candidacy for his office that the islanders realize trouble is brewing. Fiona must decide whether it is time to leave the island for good, or to make another reckless gamble.

The Audacity of Goats is literary escapism that will appeal to both adults and young adults, in a return to characters who feel like old friends amidst the picturesque and mystical way of life North of the Tension Line.

###

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A transplanted Midwesterner, J. F. Riordan lives in exile from Washington Island with her husband and two and a half dogs. She blogs at http://northofthetensionline.net

The Audacity of Goats By J. F. Riordan $24.95, 5.50” x 8.25” Hardcover 9780825308260 E‐book 9780825307553 Available April 29, 2016 .For more information, a review copy, or to schedule an interview with J. F. Riordan, please contact: Felicia Minerva, (212) 727‐0222, Felicia@midpointtrade.com