. . . 428 pages of mystery, adventure, and romance at a thrilling roller-coaster ride pace.

Set against the backdrop of territorial days in New Mexico, a Gibson Girl heroine and an unforgettable cast of characters sift through clues on two continents in their search for truth, justice, and love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Rigby Muse

(mid-November, 1997 -- August 17, 2012)

Little did we know on a chilly February afternoon in 1998 how much our lives would change with the addition of one fluffy ball of fur.  He was a barnyard kitten, albeit a most glamorous one covered with the thickest, longest coat of butterscoth and white hair.  And he was most persistent in letting us know that he had no intention of being left behind.  He followed our daughter, Mandy, all over the farm as I selected items for an upcoming event.  Ninety minutes later, he settled nicely in my minivan heading for a new home.

Our dearly-loved seventeen-year-old cat, Stubby, had exhausted nearly all of the "nine lives" attributed to his kind and we knew he would not be with us much longer.  And our handsome, silky-haired ten-year-old cat, Sassy, would be pretty lonesome without another cat in the house.  So, Mr. Rigby in all his fluffy glory entered our household and promptly set about annoying the heck out of the two older cats!

By the time I began to write Tierra Red late in the summer of 1999, Mr. Rigby and the Sassy Cat had eased into a sort of tolerant coexistence.  I do believe they also had a secret pact regarding which one would interrupt me at the most inopportune times as well as the frequency of those interruptions.  We lost our beloved Sassy Cat in 2006 at the age of nineteen.  Mr. Rigby honored his passing by doubling up the need for attention.  In spite of all those interruptions, the novel was written, went through five drafts and countless edits, and was published in 2009.

While I was in the midst of writing the sequel to Tierra Red, our Mr. Rigby continued the fine tradition he and the Sassy Cat had established with renewed gusto until the early summer of 2012.  After several months of numerous visits to our vet and several lengthy camp-outs at the vet's office, it became obvious that our Mr. Rigby was failing fast.  He joined the Sassy Cat in one of our garden beds on August 17, 2012.

When our Cinnamon Dog passed away, we were never able to replace her with another dog -- she was just so very special to all of us.  We still are not sure we will ever be able to replace Mr. Rigby, either.

Although we had raised six children along with their menagerie of cats, dogs, lizards, guinea pigs, and fish, the loss of Mr. Rigby profoundly affected us.  The absence of the Rigby Muse has greatly influenced the progress of the sequel to Tierra Red -- it was ever so difficult to write without interruption for many weeks and months.  The writing is back on track this month but I still find myself waiting for yet another interruption . . . .

As a footnote to this tribute to Mr. Rigby, I want to thank our children for bringing all those furry members of our family to us.  The Cinnamon Dog and the Stubby Cat belonged to our David primarily, then to our youngest daughters as they grew up.  The Sassy Cat belonged to those youngest daughters, Melissa and Mandy, and also to our grandson, Marcus.  Mr. Rigby was Mandy's cat until she left for graduate school and Marcus filled in for her for a time as well.  But to the end, my husband, Jim, was Mr. Rigby's buddy.

He was a most well-loved critter and he will be forever missed . . . .

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1907 Dashcam Footage

As an author writing about this time period, I was thrilled to find this movie footage. Although it's location is two-thousand miles away from the Territory of New Mexico, it still provides much inspiration for my current WIP . . . .

Vancouver street life in 1907 as seen in early streetcar dash cam vid - screencap


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The New Western: A touch of class

Review by Wendy Bertsch, Author of historical fiction and humour:

Historical fiction fans are ready for a more sophisticated western, and Tierra Red fills the bill.

It offers the high suspense we want, from start to end, but with rare sensitivity and finesse.  The author's love for the southwest gives the book universal appeal, and the characters she presents are unusually complex and appealing.  (I admit to a particular fondness for the intuitive, generous-hearted Serena.)

Set at the turn of the last century, Tierra Red lands Lily Preston smack in the middle of a dangerous, high-stakes conspiracy that has been building for decades.  The plotters are ruthless and powerful, and Lily is in the way.  Where will it end?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Time and time again . . . .

Been living in two time periods simultaneously for months now.  Research for both the early 1900s and the present day has been fascinating from so many vantage points.  We often think we know so much about the time we live in but there are many surprises to be found.

The sequel -- Illusions -- has not only required research and writing in the two aforementioned eras but has found me digging around in prehistoric New Mexico, too.  My home state has a fascinating geological history coupled with amazing anthropology issues.

Writing in both these periods can leave a body wondering where the heck they are sometimes!  So much so, that I have forgotten to post to this blog many wonderful reader comments that Tierra Red has received in the past six months.  I will be updating the sidebar with all of these reader comments but I thought I would share each of them individually over the course of the next few weeks.

My dear readers and fans -- you will never know how much your reviews and comments for Tierra Red mean to me.  Your words make my heart sing!

June 8, 2012     Review by Line Bender

With "Tierra Red", author Kathy Vorenberg has created a novel that for many reasons might well stand above many better known period novels of the Old West.  She dramatically weaves and paints with authentic historical detail and intrigue, taking the reader along on a thrilling adventure into a period of history and romance in New Mexico when it was an open territory for both European and American interests.  She has brought diametrically opposed characters to life in a very creditable way and appealingly the more so, from the perspective of a woman.  Vorenberg knows her turf.  This novel will take the reader along on a rollercoaster ride of suspense and mystery not experienced since Dan Brown wrote "The DaVinci Code".  Similarly, Vorenberg's "Tierra Red"  seems already written for adaptation to a movie script.  But, at least for now, I'll take the book version!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

"The Lady of White Sands"

Several years ago, I wrote a post about White Sands National Monument which you can read here .  Since White Sands Desert is a prominent location in the first part of Tierra Red, I was thrilled to discover an old Indian legend connected to it.

Today, S. Derrickson Moore of the Las Cruces Sun-News wrote an article announcing the premier performance of "The Lady of White Sands", an original ballet based on the same legend -- Pavla Blanca -- which will be performed in Alamogordo, New Mexico on Saturday, June 30th.  Las Cruces will be treated to another performance on August 4th, then El Paso will be the site on August 10th.

My first impression upon reading about this legend was one of pure delight.  I am equally delighted that it has inspired yet another art form!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A dose of high country research . . . .

We traveled 818 miles this weekend and had the opportunity to visit with many dear friends.  Last week we experienced three days with temperatures in the mid-90s here in southern New Mexico.  This past weekend up in northern New Mexico we wore sweaters and jackets and even experienced a full night of rainfall.  Rain?  We had almost forgotten what that form of precipitation was like as we have had less than a half-inch of rain since January 1st here in Las Cruces.

Saturday afternoon one of our friends told me something that would gladden any author's heart.  She was traveling through the Phoenix airport one weekend and while waiting for her flight took a seat in the passenger area.  Across the aisle a young woman was reading Tierra Red.  This occurrence not only put a grin on my friend's face but made my heart sing!

Yes, we were in Tierra Red country over the weekend.  Did some rather important research up in the mountains at about 8,000 feet in elevation.  We drove through a ranch with open cattle grazing which meant the cows and their calves were meandering across the road in search of greener grass.  The sky was overcast, the air was chilly, and the wind was rustling through the pine trees -- it could have been a day in 1900 or a day in 2011 during which the sequel takes place.

And, yes, the sequel is progressing nicely . . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Awesome Indies lists Tierra Red

Gosh, what a pleasant surprise today!  Tierra Red is now sharing some wonderful company with its historical fiction listing on the Awesome Indies web site as well as on the Awesome Indies Facebook page.  Be sure to check it out and while you are there scout out all the other wonderful books, too.