The Long Summer Comes To An End.
This weekend we finally picked up the irrigation pipe after our first snow of the season. On Red Canyon Ranch the ritual of picking up the pipe puts the exclamation mark on summer’s finale. Ordinarily, we would have picked up pipe a month ago, but the autumn has been so warm there was no reason to, so we continued watering. The bison have been delighted to have green grass in November, which is definitely a rarity in this part of the country.
The bison are doing well, having produced twenty fine and healthy calves. We had great rain this year. Haven’t seen grass like this since 1996! Needless to say, the buffalo are fat and sassy. The other good news is that nobody—namely Michael—got run over by a buffalo this year. And we lost no calves to wolves, mountain lions, or bears! Though we’ve seen plenty of tracks around…
It’s been busy a year. Our 2015 vacation consisted of riding the Moto Guzzi to the top of the Big Horn Mountains one afternoon while the Dodge pickup was in the shop in Worland being fixed. We managed a whole 189 miles! A far cry from the days when we rode ten thousand miles a summer on the bikes. The BMW never even got out of the garage this year.
So what have we accomplished?
First, many of you will have recognized that our social media platform has expanded. For the last year we’ve been working in conjunction with Tor Books to see if we could reconnect with the tens of thousands of readers who bought our books at grocery stores, drug store spinners, airports, and the other outlets that thrived before the recession and the collapse of book distribution in 2009. If you haven’t, please check out our Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn pages. We would love to have you join us in the discussions about archaeology, bison and books!
The big news is that our publisher is doing a major overhaul of the covers of the “First North Americans” series. We’re very happy about this! As a result, though, some of the titles are currently “out of stock” and unavailable in print additions. Tor expects to reissue the series with new covers sometime late next summer.
Additionally, on the Book Front, the paperback of PEOPLE OF THE SONGTRAIL is scheduled for September of 2016, and MORNING STAR: SUN BORN, the sequel to PEOPLE OF THE MORNING STAR, is scheduled for October of 2016! So, don’t worry, Clan Keeper Blue Heron, Night Shadow Star, Seven Skull Shield and Fire Cat will be back! In their next adventure Night Shadow Star is promised in marriage to a Maya lord sent by Chichen Itza’s ruling council to investigate rumors of the great city of Cahokia. While Night Shadow Star will follow Morning Star’s orders that she marry the foreign noble, it brings consternation to all of Cahokia. Along with foreign intrigue, murder, and mayhem, the Tortoise Bundle reappears, and to Blue Heron’s disgust, Seven Skull Shield adopts a mongrel dog. In the end, survival will depend on Fire Cat and his prowess in chunkey...assuming he doesn’t self- destruct in the process.
For our Western historical fans, Michael has also completed another of his epic historical novels. The working title is TOUCH OF SANITY (The Tor marketing department will undoubtedly change the title to something better). This time Michael deals with a western Arkansas family caught in the Civil War. While brothers Doc and Butler barely survive the fighting in Tennessee, Sister Sarah and little brother Billy find themselves surrounded by the savagery of the border war and merciless bands of guerillas. With nothing left but ruins, they make their way west, for a not-so-familial reunion in early Denver where not all will survive. Kathleen thinks this is the best thing Michael has ever written. TOUCH OF SANITY is scheduled for release in hardback and ebook in May of 2017.
Nor has Kathleen been idle. She is busy putting the finishing touches on a Young Adult novel, LIONS OF THE ICE, about the early migration of a clan of Ice Age refugees following the British Columbia coastline south at the height of the Pleistocene glaciation 20,000 years ago. Pursued by enemies, and stuck in a love triangle, Lynx, Quiller, and RabbitEar find themselves in a desperate struggle for survival in this tense, but charming, coming-of-age story. LIONS OF THE ICE will be on the agent’s desk by the first of December, and looking for a publisher. We’ll keep you apprised of its progress.
Next on the list of projects to tackle, we’re starting on the third MORNING STAR book, and should deliver it sometime next spring. So, yes, it’s coming. Seven Skull Shield, Blue Heron, and the rest of the cast will be back, facing new disasters, and being manipulated by the cunning Morning Star. Expect the third book to have a pub date in late 2017.
With the holiday season upon us, we wish you all a happy, healthy, season’s greetings. May you enjoy good food, fine drink, and hale companionship.From here at Red Canyon Ranch, we wish you all the best.