Posted on June 26, 2015

Gold Nuggets Cover Reveal!

Gold Nuggets, my last Gold Rush novel, will be released on July 3rd, just around the corner! So it’s time to give you…

(drum roll please)

 

the cover reveal!

Gold Nuggets by Lynn Lovegreen print cover

Gold Nuggets by Lynn Lovegreen print cover

 

Joan Alley of Prism Book Group designed this cover, as she did for all my Gold Rush books. We knew we wanted a view of Denali (Mount McKinley) in the background, because the mountain pays an important part in the book. (And isn’t it gorgeous?!) Joan had a harder time finding the heroine in the foreground. There aren’t a lot of photos of young ladies circa 1916, so she had to look for a while. But that book in hand makes her a great Charlotte!

Here’s the blurb:

In the shadow of Denali, she has a home, and he finds adventure. Charlotte Cooper wants to stay near her parents’ home in Alaska. But her dreams of being a writer call her away to college or work, and she has to choose her own path in life.

 

Henry Reeves is a wealthy New Yorker seeking a summer adventure when he travels to Kantishna near the proposed Mt. McKinley National Park. He discovers two passions, one for Charlotte, and the other for keeping Alaska wildlife from being wiped out like the buffalo.

 

Charlotte and Henry find an attraction they can’t deny, but can they build a new life together between the wilderness and high society?

 

If you read ebooks, please preorder your copy now at:

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Nuggets-Lynn-Lovegreen-ebook/dp/B00ZAKAXE8

 

You’ll be able to buy a print or ebook copy at several online venues starting July 3. Learn more at the Prism Book Group page:

 

Join me for the Facebook party on Tuesday, July 7 at 5-8 pm EST at:

 https://www.facebook.com/events/1456657697983103/

 

Or stay tuned here for news on guest posts and author appearances in the next few weeks!

Posted on June 19, 2015

Meet Charlotte and Henry

Meet Charlotte and Henry

 

I’d like you to meet two friends of mine, Charlotte and Henry. They happen to be fictional, but when you’re a reader and writer, that doesn’t matter very much. Some of my best friends live in books.

 

Charlotte lives in Kantishna, Alaska. It’s basically a Gold Rush ghost town, where there used to be lots of people but now her neighbors are a handful of gold miners. She works on a boat with her daddy, but she loves words. Here’s a snapshot from when she’s out on the river:

Charlotte looked up at the puffy clouds in the sky. What shade of blue would that sky be? Azure, cerulean, baby blue, cornflower blue? No, forget-me-not blue. Alder bushes and poplar trees lined the banks of the Bearpaw, and a trail led deep into the forest.

Henry is a wealthy Easterner who comes to Alaska to see the proposed Mt. McKinley National Park, and prove his manliness at the same time, one of those two-birds-with-one-stone deals. He is full of life, and a bit cocky too. Here’s how Charlotte sees him:

So far, Henry was presumptuous and chatty. But he had an inquiring mind, and it amused her to see him try to converse with Stinky.

They don’t seem to have much in common right away:

His hazel eyes dashed this way and that, taking in the scene. He was as pretty as a magpie, and just as annoying when he opened his mouth.

But they find they have a lot in common by the end of the book!

 

They are my main characters in Gold Nuggets, the last novel of my Gold Rush series, to be released on July 3rd. If you’d like to learn more, keep an eye on this website or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Pinterest. Or you can subscribe to my  e-newsletter at

http://tinyurl.com/qc4fxyk

 

Do you enjoy Facebook parties? Join my Gold Nuggets Release party on Tuesday, July 7!

http://tinyurl.com/pokgtdv

 

Thanks for sharing my writing journey with me,

Lynn

Posted on June 12, 2015

History of Denali and Kantishna

My last Gold Rush novel, Gold Nuggets, will be released on July 3rd, four weeks from today! To whet your whistle, here’s an encore of a blog post that I wrote shortly after my research trip for that book.

Denali was the name of the tallest mountain in North America long before it was part of the United States. It is an Athabascan Indian name, usually translated as “The High One.” Most Alaskans I know call it Denali, McKinley, or The Mountain, as in “Did you see The Mountain?”  It was named Mt. McKinley in 1896 by prospector W. A. Dickey who named it for the future president and leader of the gold standard. The current name of the park is Denali National Park and Preserve.

I went to Denali to research the history of Kantishna, the setting of my current work in progress. It started as the Kantishna Mining District. When the Wickersham expedition went through the area on their way to climb Denali in 1903, they noticed it might be a good place to prospect for gold.  The gold strike and boom years for Kantishna were 1905-6, but mining continued for many years afterward.  Kantishna is in the northwest corner of the current park, which expanded in size in 1980.

At the time of my novel in 1916, a handful of hardy miners lived in the area. For example, Joe and Fannie Quigley had several claims in Kantishna, and Fannie was famous for being a consummate Alaskan woman. She could hunt, butcher, and cook any animal, and trapped for furs in the winter. She had a huge garden that provided vegetables and rhubarb, collected berries and preserved them all to provide food throughout the winter. She was also quite good at embroidery. You get the idea she could do anything she put her mind to. Joe was a self-educated geologist and one of the best miners in the area. He was a tough long-distance hiker and dog musher as well. Together they made quite a team. And other miners also had colorful personalities and accomplishments. It would have been marvelous to live in Kantishna back then. Charles Sheldon, Belmore Browne, and others have written about their experiences passing through the area, and many of the stories are shared in Tom Walker’s excellent book Kantishna: Mushers, Miners, and Mountaineers. A great book about Fannie is Searching for Fannie Quigley by Jane Haigh.

While mining was fading in the area, market hunters to the east were killing large numbers of Dall sheep and caribou in order to feed the crews building the Alaska Railroad. Charles Sheldon, Belmore Browne and other conservationists wanted to create a game preserve before these animals would be wiped out as the buffalo had been in the Lower 48 states. This was one of the major incentives for creating the national park. Together with James Wickersham, who was now the Alaska delegate to Congress, they supported a bill that would leave the Kantishna Mining District outside the park boundaries and allow the miners to susistence hunt as needed to survive. After much debate and negotiation, it was passed and Mt. McKinley National Park was created in 1917.

Thanks to the following who helped me with research connected to the trip: Jenna and Simon Hamm and staff at Camp Denali; Mary at Kantishna Roadhouse; Kantishna residents Mike & Carol Conlin; Marianne Jakob at Deneki Lakes B & B; Jane Bryant, Kirk Dietz, and Kim Arthur from NPS.

Posted on June 5, 2015

Judge James Wickersham

Judge James Wickersham was the Renaissance man of Alaska. Not only was he an author, judge, and territorial delegate to Congress, but he also enjoyed dog sled travel and mountain climbing.

 

He came to Alaska by appointment to the 3rd Judicial Division. The territory needed “cleaning up” after Judge Noyes was embroiled in the Nome claim jumpers’ conspiracy. Wickersham was the perfect person for the job, and he energetically traveled throughout the district putting things in order. He was a firm believer in justice for all, including Alaska Natives, which at the time was not a sentiment shared by some who migrated there.

 

Dog mushing across Alaska gave him a taste for the outdoors. He did not shy away from the hard life, and participated in the first recorded expedition to Denali (Mt. McKinley) in 1903. That attempt to summit led to the mountain’s Wickersham Wall being named after him. Nearby Mount Deborah is named after his wife. His book Old Yukon: Tales, Trails, Trials describes some of his travels and adventures during his time as judge.

 

He also worked with E. T. Barnette to promote the town of Fairbanks as a hub for the interior of Alaska, and was instrumental in getting federal help to rebuild the town after the 1906 fire. That’s how he came to have a cameo role in my book Golden Days. The photo here is of his Fairbanks home, moved to Pioneer Park. His house in Juneau is also preserved for posterity.

 

Wickersham is mentioned in my upcoming book, Gold Nuggets, because of his role in establishing Mount McKinley National Park (now called Denali National Park and Preserve). As Alaska’s delegate to Congress, he introduced the bill and encouraged the measure for years until it passed in 1917. He also  persuaded his fellow congressmen to pass the Home Rule Act, and the creation of the Alaska Railroad and what is now the University of Alaska.

 

Judge Wickersham was a remarkable man in a remarkable time. His name is still revered by many Alaskans. He enjoyed Alaska’s people and natural wonders, and did his best to make it a better place.

Posted on May 29, 2015

It All Counts As Writing

It All Counts As Writing

 

At our Alaska chapter of Romance Writers of America, we always end our business meetings with a Round Robin, a time for each of us to say what’s been happening in our lives, especially our writing lives. One member said she hadn’t done any writing and told us about her activities But when prodded, she admitted she had noticed some things she might write about later, and and taken a few notes. She was greeted by a chorus of, “That’s writing. That counts.”

 

Sometimes we forget that there’s more to writing than writing or revising a draft. In my case, I do a lot of historical research—the photo is of my current pile of books I am reading or using as reference. That’s part of my writing process. So is talking about writing to a friend, taking a few notes I might use later, or thinking about a character or scene. I also count reading, when I’m thinking about the details while I read. (Yes, I often notice how someone is described or how the writer makes me want to turn the page. I try not to do it so much it destroys the story, but I am aware of it.)

 

Another thing that isn’t “technically” writing that is part of the writing process is taking a break, what I call refilling the well. If I do nothing but writing 24/7, I will burn out. So sometimes I deliberately step away from the keyboard to take a walk, go to yoga class, or do a little gardening. I find that I have more ideas when I return to writing. My brain has used the break to refill the well, or let the ideas percolate to the surface. (Does that metaphor work for people too young to know coffee percolators? Maybe they can find a reference online! :-) )

 

For all your aspiring writers out there, I do recommend you put in as many hours reading and writing as you can. But don’t despair if you can’t actually write every day. Thinking about writing, and all the things I mentioned above, counts as writing, too. It’s all part of the process.

Posted on May 22, 2015

Beautiful Whittier, AK

Welcome to beautiful downtown Whittier, Alaska!

 

Whittier has a special place in my heart. When I was growing up, my dad had a boat based at the small boat harbor and a condo in Whittier, and I spent many happy hours there. That part of Prince William Sound is still my favorite place in the world. Dad sold the boat many years ago (that old adage about a boat being a hole in the water into which you pour money) but he kept the condo, and now my generation owns it. I still go out there as often as I can.

 

One day I’ll have to write a book about the history of Whittier. To summarize briefly, it was a portage area for millennia, a deep-water port, and the tunnel to it was one of the engineering feats accomplished during World War II.  It remained a military base during the Cold War. Now it’s a fishing and tourism hub.

 

I went out to Whittier this week, and hit town on one of those golden sunny days when you can’t imagine why anyone would live anywhere else. You’ll see what I mean when you see these photos. The town itself is a little ugly (unless you like Cold War-era concrete buildings). But the setting—well, those mountains and the bay are amazingly beautiful. Hope you enjoy these!

 

 

Here are some shots from the east side of town:

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These last couple shots are from the west near the tunnel:

 

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Whittier, photo by Lynn Lovegreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wherever you live, I hope your favorite place is beautiful this time of year.

Posted on May 14, 2015

The Fourth Avenue Theatre

The Fourth Avenue Theatre: the neon sign is a landmark, and the building is an icon in Anchorage, Alaska. It is listed in the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey (where I found these photos and more at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Photograph:%20ak0096&fi=number&op=PHRASE&va=exact&co%20=hh&st=gallery&sg%20=%20true) and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

 

Cap Lathrop, a prominent Alaskan, started construction of the movie theater in 1941, but war postponed the project, and it was completed in 1947. It is also known as the Lathrop Building, in his honor. Designed in Art Deco style by B.Marcus Priteca in association with architect A. A. Porreca, it was the most opulent building in town. The theater lobby featured a gold leaf mural of Denali, and inside the theater, silver and gold murals celebrated Alaska history. Twinkling lights in the shape of the Big Dipper adorned the ceiling.

 

I was lucky enough to go to several movies at the Fourth Avenue Theatre. It was always a treat. I would arrive early to look around the building before the movie started. Even if the film wasn’t very good, I could look up at the the Big Dipper. My husband and I had our first date there (The World According to Garp).

 

I was sad to see the Theatre close, and even more now to see the sad state it’s in. Anchorage is now considering the next chapter for the building, and I hope some history fans and sentimental Alaskans will pull together to save this special place. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the Facebook group Save the 4th Avenue Theatre at https://www.facebook.com/Savethe4thavenuetheatre?fref=ts.

4th Avenue Theatre, Library of Congress

4th Avenue Theatre, Library of Congress

4th Avenue Theatre, Library of Congress

4th Avenue Theatre, Library of Congress

Posted on May 8, 2015

Spring Has Sprung in Alaska!

It’s been a mild winter for most of Alaska. but we didn’t really get spring until this week. It’s great to feel warm sun on my face and hear robins sing.

 

It’s break up in the Arctic. The birds are migrating to their summer breeding grounds. Cordova and Homer are having their bird festivals now, and the sandhill cranes are coming back to Fairbanks.

 

Now here in Southcentral Alaska, temperatures are in the 40s and 50s (F) and things are greening up. It’s time to take a big breath of fresh air and enjoy the warmth. Summer will be here before we know it.

 

Here are a few photos I took yesterday. Enjoy spring, wherever you are! :-)

photo by Lynn Lovegreen

photo by Lynn Lovegreen

photo by Lynn Lovegreen

photo by Lynn Lovegreen

photo by Lynn Lovegreen

photo by Lynn Lovegreen

Posted on May 1, 2015

Fellowship of Romance Writers

Last weekend, I attended the Writers Touch conference hosted by WisRWA, the Wisconsin chapter of Romance Writers of America. I had a wonderful time with my fellow writers.

 

Writers tend to be a nice bunch of people. We share resources and celebrate our friends’ book release dates. We give workshops and conferences to help each other in our writing. I have found romance writers to be some of the most generous writers around.

 

Midwesterners, in my experience, tend to be friendly and down to earth, and this group was completely so. At the conference, everyone was helpful and made sure I had everything I needed. They gave me a warm welcome, and by the end of the weekend I had a new set of friends.

 

Thanks to WisRWA and everyone there who made it such a fun, inspiring weekend. There’s nothing like a writers’ conference to get the mind whirring and the soul refreshed. I had a great time, and I’m ready to take on the next chapter of my writing career.

 

Wishing you inspiration of your own! :-)

Posted on April 23, 2015

Happy Shakespeare’s birthday!

Happy Shakespeare’s Birthday!

 

I was introduced to Shakespeare by my mother (who was an English major) at a young age. I’ve always enjoyed his work, and he’s still in my top 5 list of favorite writers. There are a lot of Shakespeare posts out there, from the academic to the humorous. To honor his birthday, here are a few links.

 

NCTE gives teachers some ideas of how to teach Shakespeare:

http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2015/04/working-with-shakespeare/

 

Here’s an old Book List post of wise lines from Shakespeare’s fools:

http://bookriot.com/2012/03/30/8-wisest-lines-from-shakespeares-fools/

 

Author Ian Doescher has a page devoted to his William Shakespeare’s Star Wars books:

http://www.iandoescher.com/william-shakespeares-star-wars/

 

And in case that’s not silly enough for you, here’s some clips of the Reduced Shakespeare Company parodies, appearing as a category on Jeopardy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOWC5zf8YMw

 

Enjoy, and have a great weekend celebrating all things Will Shakespeare! :-)