. . . 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, 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. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Casas de Antano -- Houses of Yesteryear

The state of New Mexico is celebrating it's centennial year of statehood throughout 2012.  Festivities that were held on January 6th -- the hundredth anniversary of the day the territory became a state -- were just the beginning.  We are being treated each month to awesome historical events.

This past weekend, Las Crucens had the opportunity to tour seven historic adobe homes and buildings that were standing in 1912.  Each of these properties has been well preserved and offered a glimpse in the living standards that existed before statehood occurred.

Since Lily's story continues from Tierra Red into the sequel, Illusions, it was a special treat for me to tour homes she might have visited or places in which special events were held.  The home above dates from the 1850s.

This was the home of Samuel F. Bean, a relative of the well-known historical figure Judge Roy Bean, and was built in the early 1890's.  It has been lovingly restored and is still recognizable from an 1892 photograph.

Perhaps the most astonishing example of early 1900 architecture in Las Cruces, the above 1907 photo is of the H. B. Holt House.  It was designed by Henry C. Trost, a contemporary architect of Frank Lloyd Wright.  The interior of this home is exactly the same as it was when built and has extraordinary architectural elements throughout.

This is the Frank Amador house which was built in 1905.  The eighteen-inch thick adobe walls, twelve-foot ceilings, original fir floors, and an ornate marble fireplace mantle are original features.  Hidden by the trees in this photo is a widow's walk on the roof.

All these homes,the Amador Hotel (which is being restored at the moment), and the Nestor Armijo House (which dates from 1877 and is also under restoration) were simply amazing to visit.  When I imagined the house that Lily Preston built on the edge of town in 1898, I envisioned spacious rooms with many large windows.  I was delighted to discover that all of these homes on tour had the same features.