Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Almost done!

Hi all! I'm almost done with "Once a Rebel"
...only had time for 1 revision, but I'm thinking I do my best work under pressure! LOL ...I guess time will tell, eh?

Last week, I metioned the heartbreak of the OT riders and found something I wanted to share. It's taken from an one OT boy's story:

The eldest of five, Ayler had a younger sister, three year-old brothers and an 18-month old brother. The younger girl, who suffered serious mental damage from successive bouts of whooping cough and diphtheria, was eventually returned to the mother.

"My nickname was Toots, but the twins, who couldn’t pronounce it, called me "Choo Choo"! They were taken to a boys home just around the corner from the Empire State Building along with the baby, while I was sent to the Goodhue Estate on Staten Island. I can still remember when they separated us, the boys crying and pleading, "Don’t go away, Choo Choo." It cuts like a knife, even after all these years."

--UGH! Pass the Kleenex!!

On a lighter note, 'Rebel' has become dear to my heart and I, too, am completely in love with my dashing hero! *heavy sigh*
...A sizzling dreamy hunk, a sultry spitfire temptress, romance, revenge, deceit, betrayal and murder...what could possibly make for better reading? ;)

Until next week...Have a Happy Halloween!

ONCE A REBEL by Angela Ashton, coming March 1, 2008

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The OT Riders

I have to confess, I seldon had a dry eye and a full box of Kleenex during my research for this project.

It's heartwrenching to read how many of these children were ripped away from their siblings.
Most thought there was something wrong with them and they had no idea they were part of the major migration to fill out the west.

The children were told never to try and contact their birth parents (if they had any), dressed up and made to stand in lines so farmers or other potential 'foster' parents could poke at them during their inspection as though they were in the market to buy a good strong horse...many children were mere slaves and weren't much better off than they were on the grueling streets on New York.

The OT movenment brought forth the onset of children's rights... I'll be doing a special article on this subject to go along with the series.

Until next time...

Once A Rebel, by Angela Ashton, coming March 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In my search for a bridge

So, I'm trying to wrap my head around the actual construction of the bridge. I'm not talking about the bridge design. I've found plenty of information on the Kingpost Truss bridges with regards to the design and there are lots and lots of wonderful pictures of the old covered bridges. (I'll list a few at the end of this post) I'm talking about the actual construction. How did they erect bridges across wide rivers in the 1870's?

I ordered a DVD on the topic and hope it will shed some light, but in the meantime, I've had some wonderful discussions with my DH. He's a very talented weekend carpenter who works with engineers during the day, so he's been talking me through the process. He thinks they probably strung a guideline across the river to help position boards onto the stone pilings. Notches would have been cut into the side rails for the trusses to slip into. The trusses were connected with a pin hinge. Well, okay, not to bore you, I found it all quite fascinating. Have you ever watched an episode of the New Yankee Woodshop? Try imagining building something this big with limited tools and resources. It's not like these builders could run to the local Lowes or Home Depot for more nails. LOL

Okay, so here's the DVD I bought: Spanning Time: America's Covered Bridges or here's one on covered bridges in Indiana.

I also spent time researching cast iron, wrought iron and steel bridges. I was very happy to discover that the first steel bridge in America was built in 1874 across the Mississippi, but this works perfectly into my story as the hero's goal is to develop his own engineering company building steel bridges. Yup, this story is shaping up nicely. :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Rebel & Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my all time fav stories. My O.T. story, too, involves the element of revenge, so I was thrilled to find out that the tale was being acted out in theaters during the novels time frame...you can bank on seeing it referenced in the book.! *BG*

I'm finally finished with the first draft. I usually like to go over a manuscrpit SEVERAL times to flesh it out before submitting, but it looks like I will only get 1,--maybe 2 (fingers crossed) chances to do this with the deadline just around the corner.

Not sure if there are any fans of history Channels "Digging for the Truth" out there, but it's my fav TV show and the previous host, Josh Bernstein, was the template for the hero in Rebel. Blame it on the hat (Henry) he wears...oh, and maybe his dashingly dark good looks! I've added a pic, so see for yourself! *Warning, drool bib needed!!*

Until next week...
"Kings to you!" & Happy drooling! lol ;)

Once a Rebel, by Angela Ashton coming March 1, 2008

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Research Journey

One of the pleasures of writing is delving into old books and searching the internet for information. Oh sure, you have to be careful not to believe everything you find on the internet, but for the most part, the information I've gleaned is pretty consistant.

My first bit of research happened at the campus library of UT at Arlington while I was at a summer institute. Stuck there for a week without much to do at night, I used the time to browse through their books. I spent most of my time trying to find information on covered bridges since I knew I wanted my hero to be an engineer working on a covered bridge project in Indiana. I didn't find as much there as I'd hoped. I did find three books on the Orphan Train, though, which pretty much mirrored most of the information I found on the internet.

However, one piece of information came to light that I'd like to share and that's the origin of the phrase, orphan train. In 1995, the PBS channel ran a program on the American Experience and referred to the practice of sending orphans on trains in search of new homes, the orphan train. The phrase "putting up for adoption" comes from the practice of placing children on boxes or platforms to display them for prospective families. These viewings would often occur at a central gathering place like an opera house or church.

In the coming weeks, I'll give you tidbits of information I've discovered that is pertinent to my particular story.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Introduction of Once A Vagabond

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this project. The Orphan Train series will be my first collaboration, and Once a Vagabond is the third book. I’m honored to be teamed up with five great Champagne authors. Over the last few months I’ve been doing the plotting and research for the book, and now I’m ready to dive into Abby and Ethan’s story.

Once A Vagabond is about Abigail McKee’s life after she loses her parents to a dock accident the day she and her family land at Castle Garden in New York City from Ireland. Although she is ten when she makes the pact with the other five girls on the orphan train, Abby’s story begins on her sixteenth birthday on the docks of San Francisco, California.

Here is a short working blurb –


2 vows 1 outcome

Abigail McKee vowed revenge. Ethan O’Conner not only lied to her and broke her ten-year-old heart, but also drugged her and then put her on a horrific orphan train. Since then, her life had been nothing but miserable and at times terrifying. Abby really wasn’t sure which had been worse - being a wagon train cook’s whipping boy, a saloon girl or a miner’s pack mule.

Ethan vowed to keep Abby safe after she lost her family in a dock accident. But never in his wildest dreams had he imagined the feisty lass, who stole his 14-year-old heart, literally falling into his arms years after he and Father Malone put her on the train heading out of New York City. And although he feared he would never see her again, he fought back the tears with the knowledge that he had kept his promise to Abby the only way he knew how.

Now ten years later, Abby is back in Ethan’s life, but only he knows their past. She only knows him as John Peacock, the Point Reyes Lighthouse keeper’s apprentice. Will Ethan risk losing Abby again with the truth? And if Abby learns the truth, will she have the courage to let go of her past and follow her heart?


I love to write about protagonists who are smart, quick tempered and who have sharp tongues; Abby is all that. But then you add to the mix a hot, and I do mean hot, hero, such as Ethan who gets Abby’s blood boiling in more ways than one. Well, you can practically see the steam roll of the pages. This story is going to be so much fun to write, I’m glad I finally get to start it today. The past few nights I’ve started dreaming about their story. This happens when I’m working on a book. So join me as I explore Abby and Ethan’s romance.

Until next time, happy reading. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I'm excited to have been included in this series. It's my first 'western' and I'm having a blast!
I'm almost finished with the first draft and I'm always surprised by the way my charachters take over the story.
Here's a brief blurb about the second book off the track...

Raped at 14, Galen Stewart awakens from a state of shock to find her foster father’s blood on her hands. Determined to stay two steps ahead of the man’s politician brother who’d rather see her dead than reveal his darkest secret, she’s forced to use the only gift Fate has seen fit to bestow upon her. Hiding beneath an array of identities, Galen accepts a station at whatever town saloon she may happen upon and works the oldest profession in the book. The mere thought of the carnal act launches horrid memories and leads her to concoct a laudanum-laced tonic that sends her ‘Johns’ into a slumberous stupor while she plunders their pockets. It seems like the perfect plan…until two of her patrons die of overdoses. To make matters worse, someone has gone to a lot of trouble to frame her for murders she didn’t commit, but who?

Six years later and still no leads, sheriff turned bounty-hunter Joshua Hassett takes matters into his own hands. Besides the fact that he's been hired by the farmer’s ambitious brother, Joshua has his own reasons for wanting to find the elusive waif. When a surprising clue sends him on the hunt for a raven-haired harlot, Joshua’s world is turned upside down by an auburn-haired angel working one of the saloons. When she’s accused of murder, he sets out to prove her innocence and soon finds himself entangled in her web of lies. Once Joshua discovers the truth, will he be able to choose between his heart and his oath to uphold the law?

Hope you enjoy!
Once A Rebel by Angela Ashton; coming March, 2008

Sunday, October 7, 2007

YEAH! Now I can officially blog!

Thanks Kim! My official day to blog is Tuesday, so I'll post a brief blurb about "Once a Rebel" then. TTYS, Angie

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Preview of Once Jilted

Wow, I've been working hard on this piece and I must say, I'm really, truly excited about it. I'm so in love with the hero I don't want the story to end. Whaaaaa. Okay, so - let's see if I can give you a preview of what to expect;


How many times will an orphan be cast aside before someone offers love?

Shauna Joyce has three weeks to find a husband or face watching a special little girl fall into the hands of loveless parents. An orphan herself, she knows the heartache of growing up without love. Armed with a need greater than her own, she finds a likely candidate in bridge-builder, Kane McKenna.

Kane McKenna has one goal; to finish the bridge he’s erecting so he can earn the capital needed to start a business of his own. A wife and child would drain his finances, so when Shauna Joyce proposes marriage, he balks at the idea. Will her determination be enough to build the bridge of trust needed to make him trade one dream for another?


Kane is a burly Irishman with a sexy accent and dimpled smile. He's quite the charmer and flirts outrageously with all the ladies. Something about the man tugs at Shauna's heart and her interest quickly turns to love, but Kane has ghosts to fight, and he's not easily led to the alter. Shauna has faced more rejection than a body has a right too, but she's strong and she knows what she wants. She wants Kane. Together, they learn the true meaning of trust.

I spent about two hours yesterday researching the exact location. Oh, I knew I wanted this story to take place in Indiana because of all the covered bridges, but I wasn't sure exactly where. At first, I had the story happening in Bridgeton, but I've since changed my mind. Why? Because I needed a small town that was near a river and close to a train depot. And -- I found it. I'm so excited. My story will take place in Nyesville, a small town not far from Rockville and very close to the Little Raccoon River. Too cool.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Internet hater

I finally got here after Google told me three times I wasn't jetoombs@earthlink.net. I felt like I'd lost my identity. This is the reason I don't blog. I can't endure this kind of stuff. But I will blog On Sat. here. Don't mean to use someone else's day on the blog, but wanted to thank Jami. Jane