Thanks to those of you who have contacted me over the past year to inquire about the fifth novel in the Highway Mysteries series. I wish I could tell you that it’s ready for release, but unfortunately it’s not. The book was already behind schedule and it’s been a crazy summer, thanks in part to the burning Elephant.
The Elephant Hill wildfire started near the town of Ashcroft, BC, on July 6th, 2017. It roared northwards for over two months to cover a 75-mile distance and almost 750 square miles. For a period of time it closed two major highways in the central Interior of British Columbia and it has destroyed 130 homes. It is still burning, albeit with less intensity, within a few miles of our ranch in Lone Butte.
We have been on evacuation alert here since July 9th when an earlier wildfire near 100 Mile House was burning out of control. At that time, we evacuated our horses to a safe place where they still remain over two months later. On two occasions in July and August, we evacuated ourselves and our dogs when the smoke hung heavy in the air while ash and burnt pine needles rained from the sky, telling us the out-of-control fires were getting too close for comfort. We were ordered evacuated a third time on August 31st, and were finally able to return home two days ago. Thanks to some recent rain and colder temperatures, we can hope we’re home for good this time. We are grateful that our house is still standing, and have great sympathy for those who weren’t so lucky during this summer of fire and flood.
I generally don’t share much of a personal nature on this site, but felt that I owed fans of the Highway Mysteries series an explanation for the delay, since I’ve told many of you in private correspondence that the next novel in the series — Yellowhead Blues — would be out this summer. I’m hoping to get back to work now without further interruptions, but I doubt very much that I can get it ready for publication before 2017 comes to a close.
Thank you for your patience, and thank you for following the series. Wishing for the best possible outcome for those reading this who may be dealing with any kind of “wildfire” in their own lives.