Remembering on Memorial Day

I don't come from a military family. In four generations, just one of my close male relatives has been in battle. The rest were drafted so late in whatever war was on they were still training when it ended, or they got deferments of some kind, or they served in support positions. So, I only have one Memorial Day story to tell.
My mother's father was about twenty, well on his way to a successful career and already engaged to the woman who became my grandmother, when he was drafted into World War I. After basic training, the farm boy from Missouri found himself on the front lines in France. 
Some military logic linked his skill as a cornetist to communications, so he became a messenger, relaying information up and down the chain of command. This meant that, while most doughboys spent their days in trenches parallel to the enemy's, his job meant he traveled through the connecting trenches that ran at right angles to the battle line, open to enemy fire.
What he endured or did there, I don't know. He never spoke of it to anyone but possibly my grandmother and my father (they had no sons of their own). I do know he developed a massive case of ringworm and eventually spent a year in a military hospital recovering from the effects of mustard gas. After he was released, he played in the band that accompanied General Pershing on his "victory lap" though Europe and served as its Drum Major. 
He was lucky, in short. He made it home to Kansas City and picked up his life where he'd left off.
Except he brought back a full uniform with rifle and bayonet, but had lead poured down the barrel of the rifle so it could never be used again.
Except he gave up hunting and became an avid fisherman.
Except sometimes at night he would sit alone with a glass of whiskey and stare into the darkness.
He is the one I remember on Memorial Day -- a man who did his duty, shared a bit in the glory, and refused to ever fire a gun again.

Who do you think of most often on Memorial Day?

~~ Nancy Holland

Jake Carlyle, the hero of Owed: One Wedding Night, has a more personal trauma in his past, one he kept secret from his fiancée, Madison Ellsworth. When Madison comes back into his life three years after leaving him at the altar, Jake agrees to save her family business in exchange for the wedding night they never had, but he doesn't intend to tell Madison his secret -- or to fall in love with his wife.

During interviews, I've been asked numerous times who I'd like to spend time with if I could go back in time. . .

I could choose anyone. But every time I choose ...
This man. 
My father's father served in World War I.
He strung telegraph wire across the trenches in France and was wounded in battle.

Lovingly known to me as Poppie...he was the first of my grandparents to pass on. I was a junior in high school, working, busy...

He seemed a very private man. I never spent much one-on-one time with him, but heard lots of stories after he'd gone.

What a life he had!

I remember Saturday nights in front of his black and white television watching HEE HAW and WRESTLING. If it was Saturday...there wasn't anything else to watch. I remember bringing my Barbies over to play with my cousins (which I had plenty of) and waiting for my hand built couch and chair and table (11" sized for the Barbies). I still have my couch. And many years later when my grandmother passed, I was given a hand-made curio shelf. There are paint-stains close to the back that I can't bear to cover-up. It's part of their house and the memories.


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Are you Interested in Visiting the Aether with Kathryn Kohorst?

I'm thrilled to welcome Kathryn Kohorst, my critique partner to the blog!

Thanks for joining the crew today and talking about - MARIANNE AND THE MAD BARON, Book 1 in the Sheba Chronicles. Thanks for visiting the crew and talking about your debut!

Don't forget to comment below.  Kathryn is giving away is an eCopy of  her book to a lucky commenter! (And leave your email address!)


Kathryn has always loved to read. Growing up she could most often be found curled up with a book. She craved adventure, romance, and mystery. Each book transported her to a new world with new wonders to explore. Unhappy with the weak female characters she found in many of the stories she read, Kathryn started writing her own. At twelve, she was putting her heroines in danger and allowing them to save themselves.

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning a history degree and then a law degree from Hamline University School of Law.  After practicing law for several years and hating every minute of it she put down her law books and picked up her creative pen, this time to write a book she would publish. She's been scribbling every since. Kathryn currently lives in Minnesota with her husband, and a lovable but neurotic cat named Brooklyn.

Let's talk about your debut - MARIANNE AND THE MAD BARON, Book 1 in the Sheba Chronicles.

Marianne Lindstrom’s debutant life is over. Her father’s suicide following financial ruin has left her
orphaned and destitute. She must find work but with no skills, her future looks bleak. Without protection from family and friends, her ruin is imminent.

On the cruel London streets, Marianne is rescued by a monster more frightening than the thugs who attacked her. But after her initial shock at the man’s huge stature and mechanical parts, something about the stranger calls to her.

Arthur Tavish can’t leave the woman. The London streets would eat her alive in less than a day.  He offers her a job aboard the aethership, Queen of Sheba. As Tavish teaches Marianne what life on in the aether can offer, the two fall under each other’s spell.

But a dark force is after Marianne, set on killing her, or worse. As they travel the aether, collecting friends along the way, Tavish and Marianne must unravel the mystery of the demon chasing them and why it thinks Marianne must die.

Nan: I'm just starting to read the book-- and I love the new opening. Readers if you haven't guessed - this is steampunk romance!




NAN: How often do you get lost in a story?
KATHRYN: Almost every time. I will say that since I started writing, I’ve had a hard time with this. As I learn more of the craft, things jump out at me that never bothered me before. Things that I would gloss over as a reader now pull me out of the story, but in general, when I’m reading it’s hard to get my attention.

NAN: What was the first story you remember writing? 
KATHRYN:  I think I was about 10 or so and it involved a big earthquake that broke a portion of California off from the US. Apparently, in fourth grade I thought this was possible. Clearly, I didn’t understand geology. After the earthquake or during it, Dragons and Unicorns appeared in people’s homes. I’m not sure exactly since all I have is the middle of three notebooks. I lost the other two during various moves in my life. Shock of shocks, the Unicorns were good and the Dragons were evil. The dragons enslaved the people but with the help of the unicorns a small group of children saved the day. This was perhaps not the best book that I’ve ever written but it was a start.
Nan: Too funny! Glad the unicorns and children came through!
NAN: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
KATHRYN: Tea and how I take it depends on the tea. Most of the time I drink it straight with no sugar but I add milk to black tea. I blame Nan for this. If she hadn’t corrupted me with her Britishy ways, I would be happily drinking my tea black.
Nan: I do love to corrupt people. LOL

NAN: Benedict Cumberbatch or Chris Pine?
KATHRYN: Benedict Cumberbatch for certain. Christ Pine is very attractive but Benedict has the looks and a voice that reminds me of melting chocolate, rich and decadent with the promise of pleasure to come.
Nan: I knew you would choose Benedict.

NAN: High Heels or Hiking Boots?
KATHRYN: Depends on what I’m doing. I would never wear heels out walking but on a night out, heels all the way. I’m six feet tall and I love being even taller. As my daddy always said, you can reach just as short as short people but you can reach a whole heel of a lot higher. It was his way of telling us to be proud of who we were and to not try to be someone we aren’t.
Nan: Nice!

NAN'S GOTTA ASK:  What do you do to unwind and relax? 
KATHRYN'S GOTTA ANSWER: I play with yarn. I’ve crocheted since I was about five and took up knitting in law school so I could make socks. (Crocheted socks are not so nice.) I’ve had many crafty hobbies during my life, but yarn has stayed with me. It just makes me happy. My husband has at this point given up on my addiction. He just slowly shakes his head and walks away. I’m okay with this as he doesn’t stop me from getting more.
Nan: Her work is gorgeous!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathrynKohorst/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15104590.Kathryn_Kohorst
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathrynKohorst/

ANNABEL AND THE TROUBLED EARL, Sheba Chronicles Book Two -- coming Summer 2016
Nan: Such a fun cover!

KATHRYN WANTS TO KNOW: How do you relax?

A lucky commenter may win an eBook of MARIANnE AND THE MAD BARON. Don't forget to leave your email so we can contact you. Drawing will be open through Monday night!!

Thanks for spending the long holiday weekend with the crew, Kathryn. And everyone have a fabulous Memorial Weekend!


LINK up and GIVEAWAY with Maureen Miller!

Hi, everyone!  Please help me give a warm welcome to Maureen Miller!  Not only does she write books, but she's also the founder of the Just Romantic Suspense, Just Contemporary Romance, and Just Paranormal Romance websites!  I don't know how she does it all, but I'm so glad she took some time out of her day to stop by! :)

Maureen A. Miller:
Title: DUSK
Publisher: Maureen A. Miller


As a young girl, Amanda Newton witnessed the brutal murder of her parents. As an adult she is targeted by their murderer.

Beautiful. Reserved. Mysterious. Amanda Newton, the CEO of BLUE-LINK epitomizes control with her adept handling of the global company. But that control is threatened with a series of attacks against her.

Ray Gordon, a former Navy SEAL is looking to open his own security firm. One more contracting job with BLUE-LINK would complete the funding. When he is hired to protect Amanda Newton, the Ice Queen herself, he never bargained on falling for her.

Amanda has something her attacker wants, and he will destroy anyone close to her to get it.

...but he's met his match in Ray Gordon.


Amanda sat at her office desk with her arms crossed atop the mahogany surface. She glared at the oversized monitor facing her. A grid of six faces stared back, some diffident, some determined. In the upper right-hand corner, Claudia Eichmann from the Berlin office knit her copper eyebrows together as she spoke over the others. Her words were a split-second behind the movement of her lips due to the video conferencing software.
“You are the head of this company. The backbone. The heart. What if something were to happen to you?”
An imperceptible flaring of Amanda’s nostrils might disclose her heavy sigh. “Each of you is fully capable of running BLUE-LINK. You are directors. You are the heart and backbone of your branch. You are my panel of advisors, and I only surround myself with skilled personnel.”
“We appreciate that,” Claudia continued, “but I am sure I speak for the others here in saying that we’re certainly not your equal. None of us would have wanted to take on that Eclipse lawsuit. At the end of the day, it is your company, and you are the one personally vested.”
Several heads bobbed in agreement.
“You need personal security,” Benjamin Forsyth from Australia inserted. “Not a seventy-five year old man.”
Amanda bristled at the attack on George.
“There is nothing sinister behind the assault in the alley,” she countered. Or the attempted break-in. “It’s simply a consequence of being affluent.”
“You are indifferent to your power,” Gerald Williams from Los Angeles chided, “recklessly walking the streets−stopping at the pub on occasion.”
That the ebony-eyed man in the center panel was correct didn’t detract from her need for freedom. She walked a narrow line and she knew it.
One flick of the power switch to the monitor would eliminate their censure, but it would not fade the echoes of their points. She respected this panel. They wouldn’t be facing her right now if she didn’t.
“You recently used a security contractor with that Eclipse Line mess. He seemed very capable and very discreet,” Gerald from LA said. “We suggest that you bring him into the office for a consult. If you don’t speak to him directly, we just may−”
“You’ll call him in on my behalf,” Amanda quickly tested. Her cheeks burned, but her demeanor remained a practiced blend of glacial elegance.
Gerald’s shoulders came into view as he shrugged. “We have a vested interest in your well-being.”
Amanda drew in a long breath and stared down at the reflection of the sun off her diamond ring. It cast a thousand microscopic prisms skittering across the polished wood surface.
“I’ll take your suggestion under advisement. Allow me to confer with the police before I make any rash decisions.”
“Rash?” Claudia from Berlin hefted a burnished eyebrow. “This is not rash. This is something that should have been addressed long ago. To us you have always seemed larger than life.” The eyebrow fell. “But perhaps you are a tad human after all.”


USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller's first novel, WIDOW'S TALE earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. Working in the software industry for fifteen years in a job that required extensive travel, Maureen chose to write during those lengthy airport layovers. Escapism at its best. She is currently in the middle of a 3-book Romantic Suspense series featuring SHADOW, MIST and DUSK. Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with Beyond and the BEYOND Series. She is having fun keeping her head in the stars! When she's not writing, Maureen enjoys supporting other authors. She is the founder of www.JustRomanticSuspense.com, and its offspring, www.JustContemporaryRomance.com and www.JustParanormalRomance.com.

Lara: How often to you get lost in a story?
Maureen: Every time I pick up a book to read, or every time I sit down to write. Either way I’m easily immersed. We read for escape. Getting lost in a story is the ultimate goal!

Lara: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Maureen: Eat. Is there such a thing as “relief eating”? I think I’m tense and preoccupied while I’m writing. When I type THE END that tension washes away and I do all the things I postponed. (Like eating).  Of course, like any other writer, that down time is brief before we dive back into the next novel.

Lara: What is your hero’s “kryptonite” – in other words, what will bring him instantly to his knees?
Maureen: The hero in DUSK has a weakness for the movie, FROZEN. He had to take his niece to go see it, and now he’s addicted to LET IT GO. [Lara: That is awesome! :)]

Lara: What could we find in your heroine's purse?
Maureen: Amanda Newton would have a stack of business cards, three cell phones, several different currencies, and a passport.

Lara: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
Maureen: This past week I performed my civic duties. I served as a juror on a murder trial. First, I'll state that I am humbled by the diligent and thorough process of our law. Everyone in every role of the court system was professional and informative. Second, I'll state that there is no comparison to watching something on TV and experiencing it in person. I walked away from the week-long trial very saddened. I am sad for the victim. I am sad for the defendant. I am sad for all the families involved. I spent most of Friday crying. The sheer responsibility for twelve souls is overwhelming.

When we finally announced our verdict and returned to the sequester room, we were surprised by a visit from the judge himself. He wanted to thank us for our service, and to assure us that our verdict was the correct one based on the material presented to us. By taking a few minutes out of his busy day to set our minds at ease, that judge became my hero. [Lara: How nice to have that reassurance!]

Lara: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Maureen: JAWS. I could probably recite the entire dialogue for you right now. Which character most closely represents your personality? I am definitely Roy Scheider.

Don't miss the first two books in the BLUE-LINK series!

SHADOW is available for only $0.99 right now.

Where to find Maureen?
Contact      Website      Facebook
Twitter      Goodreads


In DUSK, Amanda Newton wears a blue diamond ring. That is the diamond you see on the covers of the BLUE-LINK books (SHADOW, MIST and DUSK).

As for me, I love opals.

Do you have a favorite gem or stone?

Leave a comment for your chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Thanks for stopping by today, Maureen!


Six Fun Secrets about EXILE FOR DREAMERS

The Get Lost Crew is ecstatic to have Kathleen Baldwin return to share about her newest release. 

Book Two of the Stranje House Series

In the Regency era, young ladies were expected to dress in soft pastels and purr politely like weak kittens.

Not Tess Aubreyson, the main character of EXILE FOR DREAMERS. She doesn’t do the expected. Every morning before the sun comes up, she runs.

Tess can also throw a dagger better than most men, and she can scale a wall if the need arises, because Tess is one of the extraordinary young ladies in A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS.

The Stranje House novels are about a handful of girls who didn’t fit into Regency England’s rigid high society – and a shrewd headmistress who is turning these gifted young ladies into spies in the war against Napoleon.

Kathleen Baldwin, spills Six Secrets about 

1.    1. Tess is fearless because she has to be. Her prophetic dreams would drive a weaker person to madness. Sadly, Tess doesn’t realize the depth of her inner strength. She’s afraid she’ll succumb to the same madness that took her mother’s life.

The book opens with Tess explaining why she runs:

“I run to escape my dreams. Dreams are my curse. Every night they haunt me, every morning I outrun them, and every evening they catch me again. One day they will devour my soul.
But not today.”

2. A fun secret about the Stranje House series as a whole is that producer, Ian Bryce, optioned it for film. He produced Saving Private Ryan, Spiderman, Transformers, Almost Famous, and many others. We are all thrilled and excited about that.

3. In my mind, Tess looks a lot like this actress, Ryan Newman, except Tess might look a little bit more rugged.

4. Tess communicates with animals using an old language that her mother taught her. That language is based on a version of almost forgotten ancient Welsh. I am part Welsh, but actually got the idea for this from an American Indian friend of mine, Kathy Redwing. Kathy and I worked on a dude ranch in Northern Arizona and she talked to our horses using her native language, which was Apache.

5. There are many dreams in the book, but several were edited out of the story. For instance, in an earlier version Tess and Napoleon share a dream sequence. In real life, Napoleon had a deep interest in dreams, and apparently had experienced meaningful dreams. He was obsessed with trying to decode their meanings. Supposedly, he had an ancient Egyptian oraculum that he consulted.

6. Obviously, dreams play prominently in the theme of EXILE FOR DREAMERS. Tess struggles with prophetic dreams. Sometimes they are literal, other times both she and the reader must work to decipher them. I created a new stamp to take with me to signings.

To celebrate the release of this latest book, I’ll be giving away a copy of EXILE FOR DREAMERS. Giveaway will end Monday, May 30th...so enter daily.

My Social links:
Website   Twitter @KatBaldwin   Facebook   Pinterest    Amazon   Google+ 
Sales links:
Amazon Hardback    Amazon eBook     Barnes& Noble     iBooks 

My Question for you is – have you ever had a dream that warned you of future events? Or one that helped you navigate some important aspect of your life? I’ll admit that I have.


E.E. Burke's Best of the West: One Man's Quest To Recreate A Vanished Era

Today, my Best of the West guest is award-winning photographer Matthew Malkiewicz, whose images of steam locomotives grace the covers of many of my books. 

Matthew's romance with steam railroads and his quest to recreate a vanished era through the lens of his camera has resulted in a collection of some of the most awe-inspiring photographs of steam trains I've ever seen. You don't just look at Matthew's photos. You feel them.
Train on a Snowy Day by Matthew Malkiewicz, 
"My passion gravitates to the machines of yesteryear, fire-breathing monsters that seem to be alive whether you have your hand against the polished steel or you are two bluffs away looking across acres of prairie grass."

Matthew's steam train images appear on the covers of two books in my Steam! Romance and Rails series: A Dangerous Passion and Fugitive Hearts, and will be on every book in my current series, The Bride Train

The blending of Matthew's visual storytelling and my books happened by serendipity. 

Both of my historical romance series are set during the era of America's railroad expansion westward. I really wanted cover backgrounds with authentic steam railroad images, and there were so few really good ones on stock sites. 

While doing research for my books, I came across Matthew's website. His magnificent images of the old steam trains captivated me. Incredibly, through modern-day photographs, he opened a door to the past...a past I needed to recreate. 
I consider myself fortunate to showcase his work on the covers of my books, and I wanted to share his unique brand of visual storytelling with GLIAS readers.

Meet Matthew

Matthew's fascination with trains started as an infant watching a toy train run around the Christmas tree. He’s been hooked ever since. 

Completely self taught, first with 35mm and medium format film and more recently digital cameras and Photoshop, creating timeless images is all just a passionate hobby. 

Born in New Jersey, he also lived in California and Colorado, which ignited the drive to travel and capture the country’s modern-day tourist steam train operations. Vacations are now planned around and spent photographing special railroad-related events, private train photo charters and historical places. Matthew won first place in the 2015 Center for Railroad Photography & Art competition, a 2016 Hasselblad Masters of Photography finalist, and has recently been featured on the CNN International, Weather Channel, DPReview and SLR Lounge websites, and published in Trains Magazine and Shutterbug Magazine. He is senior designer for an instrumentation/electrical/process-control engineering firm. 

You can see more of Matthew's work on his website: Lost Tracks of Time.

E.E.: How did you get started “shooting” trains?
Matthew: It was more an awakening than an idea, it all started at the age of 4 months. I have a photo of myself watching a toy train run around the Christmas tree as a baby, it must have hooked me well. As a kid I had a model train layout on a piece of plywood in the basement, and in my teens I received my first camera, which I aimed at every train I saw. After a long period in my life without cameras or trains, a job assignment in Colorado (a train mecca) during 2005 rekindled both hobbies, driving me to buy my first digital camera. At the same time I discovered the power of Photoshop, soon after I created my website to showcase my rapidly growing collection of photographs. It’s been a snowball effect ever since.

E.E.: How long have you been a photographer? What did you do before that?
My full-time career is in the engineering field. Photography is only a hobby. Something I'm very passionate about. What I most love about my hobby is that there is no pressure to make something that appeals to others or meet certain requirements.  Furthermore, I do not have to worry about looming deadlines.  I have the creative freedom to capture what interests me most and perfect my work at my leisure.

E.E.: What are some of your favorite locations or settings?
Matthew: I concentrate on vintage steam locomotives from all across the United States. Now they have second lives as tourist operations--the fortunate trains that survived scrapping after the fleet was retired in the middle of the last century. Modern day railroads, both passenger and freight revenue, are pulled by either diesel or electric engines. My passion gravitates to the machines of yesteryear, fire-breathing monsters that seem to be alive whether you have your hand against the polished steel or you are two bluffs away looking across acres of prairie grass. I envision how it must have been back in the day and try to create photographs as timeless as possible to depict what I consider a vibrantly better and sadly vanished time.

E.E.: Any photos that are particularly special, and why?

Matthew: This photo of a little boy watching the oncoming train is my favorite. A pure case of luck, being at the right place at the right time, ready with the proper equipment. This is from deep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I was on a photo excursion; our train was pulled onto a siding to let the regular scheduled tourist train pass by. I had my camera at my side, as I always do, preset and ready for anything to happen. Just lift it to my face and shoot. The child was the son of one of our train crew. The shot was completely unstaged and unrehearsed. He stepped in front of me and sat on the rail to watch the run by. The scene was created on its own; I did little more than set the focus point, shoot a test shot, and then capture the image. I feel it’s my best because of the spontaneity of it all. So many of my better shots come from either free styling or completely winging it, feeding off the adrenaline rush of thinking quick on my feet so I don't miss the opportunity.

E.E.: Why steam locomotives? 
2016 Hasselblad
Masters of Photography Finalist

Matthew: The allure of capturing images that stimulate one’s senses is what drew me to photograph steam-powered locomotives. I wanted to bring to life the smells of the coal fueling the engine, the sound of the steam hissing, and the earth rattling as these magnificent machines sit idling or are in motion. These machines of steam are alive. Each is unique, with its own personality, which changes from day to day. 

At a state of rest, the locomotive is groaning, sweating, simmering, creaking, spitting. At speed, it’s controlled madness - the ground shakes, the sound deafening.

E.E.: What’s the coolest train you’ve ever photographed and why?

Matthew: Halloween weekend 2011 at the East Broad Top Railroad in Pennsylvania started off as any other. I visited many times in the past and was prepared for a typical day of photo shooting. I had set out to photograph the local abandonments and the old right-of-ways from days past. I was looking forward to chasing an excursion train or two; including the evening trains also. My first day was uneventful and exactly what I hoped for. But, as fate would have it, all of that would change the next day thanks to Mother Nature. 

As a seasoned railfan, I’m used to and prepared for all weather conditions. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can keep me away from capturing that awe-inspiring shot of a majestic steam locomotive.  However, the Halloween nor'easter (also known as Snowtober) would certainly test my fortitude. 

The storm produced unusually early season snowfall across the northeastern United States, breaking records for total accumulations. In fact, in some cities Halloween was cancelled and kids were left with no treats. For me, the fun was about to begin. As the morning passed on, the snow intensified. By the time the train made its way out of town for its first run of the day, we had experienced near whiteout conditions and things got real quiet. 

With a typical steam train, you would expect to hear wheels clacking against the rails and steam puffing from the stack. But to my surprise, the snow seemed to envelop and muffle the familiar sounds of the locomotive. It was clear from the deserted train cars and streets that people had planned to spend a warm and cozy day indoors. But nature seemed less prepared for the storm. As the train bellowed down the snowy rails, it was visible that the pine trees struggled to support the weight of the fresh snow, and the cornfields became covered in a white blanket. The autumn-colored leaves indicated that perhaps the trees were also caught off-guard by the storm. 

An image from the day, aptly named “Train on a Snow Day” (See top photograph), placed second in the Center for Railroad Photography & Art’s 2014 Awards.

E.E.: Have you ever considered shooting romance cover models?

Matthew: A major theme that runs through my portfolio is the interaction of man and machine. It fascinates me to no end; I strive to capture him in his element without distracting or disturbing. The human element completes the story, and is the link that us rail fans live the dream through. I never envisioned anything from my portfolio being featured as part of a cover of a novel. If the opportunity presented itself for me to collaborate with a model for a romance cover I would certainly jump at the opportunity.

E.E.: What’s the best thing about “on location” shooting?

Matthew: My gallery of work requires me to be outdoors, where the weather oftentimes is
not in my favor.  The natural tendency for newcomers is to head indoors when the weather deteriorates.  I have found that my best images were taken during extreme conditions, and also before sunrise and after sunset.  Weather and light dramatically alter the mood of the images. Weather is my friend, adds so much atmosphere and character. 

Rain, snow, sleet, wind, fog, humidity; sunrises and sunsets. These are my best times, where the majority of my portfolio was created. Being an ambient and natural light photographer, I've learned to expect anything, and to adjust accordingly. I enjoy the quick thinking and adrenaline rush that comes with dealing with things out of my control, weather being one of them. Rarely do I set out with a vision in mind, I let the weather conditions, light, and time of day dictate how I react. Patience is key, as is persistence. The experience of being alone in nature is serene: you're there amongst the most beautiful scenery around, caught up in the landscape, these great machines pass by billowing smoke, it's surreal and magical.

E.E.: What are your favorite books, or type of book? Any favorite authors?

Matthew: Naturally, I would have to say my favorite books are photo books by the classic railroad photographers from back in the heyday of steam. My list includes David Plowden, Victor Hand, Jim Shaughnessy, Don Ball, O. Winston Link, Ted Benson, and Joel Jensen.

E.E.: Do you enjoy seeing your work interpreted on book covers? Is it how you might have imagined, or completely different?

Matthew: Yes I do. We all interpret a scene differently, it's what makes us individuals. I enjoy seeing how others, such as the graphic artist of a book cover, takes my photograph and add their own style, flair, and techniques to enhance. The final results have been beyond my expectations; very pleasantly surprised every time.

E.E.: What dreams have been realized as a result of your photography?

Matthew: Throughout life, we all seek our own way in the pursuit of happiness…to find something that’s going to set us apart from the pack, mold our life into something special, and discover the sense in it all.  We test different things to determine what will help us in our quest, push us beyond our own limits, and achieve our dreams. My galleries capture my travels and experiences across our countryside.  Some near home, others far away and remote, all uniquely memorable.  It’s a passion that has taken me to where I am in life today.  My hope is that someday my portfolio will be an inspiration to others interested in this hobby I truly love.  I’m confident that one day I will capture my most spectacular image.  Until then, each photo tells the story of lost time…remembered.

E.E.: What inspires you daily? 

Matthew: Looking at the works of my fellow photographers, both friends and strangers; the ones who are consistently stepping out of their comfort zone, pushing the outside of the envelope to freeze in time, with their camera, what their mind’s vision sees. Not afraid of failing while trying something different - creating the artwork of photography.

A question for our readers...

Which of Matthew's photographs are your favorite, and why?

I'm giving away a copy of two books that feature Matthew's photography: Fugitive Hearts, 2016 National Reader's Choice Awards finalist, and Valentine's Rose, Book 1 in The Bride Train series. 

Just leave a comment and enter the raffle. 

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