Take it away, Shelley :-)
The Love Train to Middlemarch
Writing is like cooking. The author takes a pinch of this, a pinch of that, stirs and mixes and a plot pops out the other end.
My Middlemarch series (paranormal shapeshifter) emerged like that. I gathered together interesting snippets and spun them into a plot. First there were the mysterious alien black cat sightings in the Canterbury area of New Zealand and then came the Middlemarch Singles Dance—a real event to attract women to the small country town of Middlemarch. They even have a special train that goes from Dunedin through the Taieri Gorge laden with single women who hope to find love with a Middlemarch farmer.
Excellent, I thought. I can use that in my series.
The third part of the plot equation was my interest in leopards and feline shapeshifters. Mix, stir and voila!
I’ve visited the real town of Middlemarch a couple of times, but I’d never had a chance to do the train trip through the Taieri Gorge until this year.
Building started on the railway in 1879, but lack of money meant that the first part of the line didn’t open until 1889. The tracks follow the Taieri River as it twists and turns through rocky valleys and past towering hillsides. The scenery is stunning. In 1990 it was decided to close the Otago railway line, but a private company purchased the railway and since then it has become a popular tourist route.
The carriages are all original, but they come from different eras so they are not identical. The carriage we rode in was the oldest with wooden seats and tables and lots of windows to appreciate the scenery. There was a volunteer hostess in each carriage and they came through with drinks and food and answered questions. We made a couple of stops and disembarked to better appreciate the views and stretch our legs. I was a little disappointed that our particular train didn’t go all the way to Middlemarch, but we still enjoyed the trip.
So, if anyone is searching for a husband, come to New Zealand at Easter and ride the special Taieri Gorge train—dubbed the Love Train—all the way to Middlemarch to attend the Singles Ball. You never know what might happen!
Here are some photos of our trip on the Taieri Gorge train:
Getting ready to board the train at Dunedin.
Inside our carriage.
Another interior shot of one of the original carriages.
View out the window as the train approaches the Taieri Gorge.
An arty shot from the door of our carriage.
The gorge and the river below. You can see a viaduct in the distance.
And here’s an earlier photo taken in Middlemarch during an earlier holiday as the train pulls into the station.
The Middlemarch Mates series consists of twelve books about the Mitchell family and their friends. The series started with Scarlet Woman. Lightning Strikes Twice is a free read and it takes place at the same time as Scarlet Woman. To learn more about this series http://www.shelleymunro.com/series-guide/
*Now, here comes some extra fun*
CONTEST: Leave a comment, ask a question or just say hello, enter the rafflecopter and go into a draw to win an Amazon gift certificate.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Munro/e/B001JOWGNK
PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/ShelleyMunroTWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyMunro