A Train Station with a Story

Kansas City’s Union Station

Kansas City is the home to a majestic building that is called Union Station. In 1945, more than 678,000 people passed through those doors and onto passenger trains that took mostly members of America’s Armed Forces all over the country. In its 100 plus years of existence, it has seen tears of joy, tears of sadness, and even blood and tears. Its history inspired me to use a fictitious version of it in book two of the Fellowship Dystopia, If I Should Die. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

The First Kansas City Train Station

The West Bottoms district is one of the oldest areas of Kansas City. It sits near the junction of the Missouri River and the Kansas River. Originally called the French Bottoms, it was an area of trade for Native Americans and French trappers. After Kansas City’s stockyards opened in 1871, the railroads came.  

Union Depot opened on April 7, 1878 in Kansas City, Missouri’s West Bottoms district. The grand building stood on Union Street (hence the name) filled with the passengers boarding trains for distant cities. 

In 1903, Kansas City’s great flood destroyed many of the businesses in the area. Rail executives decided to build a new station on higher, more centrally located ground.

The New Union Station

By 1906, twelve railroad companies combined to form The Kansas City Terminal Railroad. They chose Chicago architect Jarvis Hunt to design the new station.

Construction of the massive beaux arts architectural style building began in 1910.

November 1, 1914, Union Passenger Station of Kansas City opens its doors to a massive crowd. The construction cost close to six million dollars. 

Rail traffic peaked during WWI-with 79,368 trains passing through the Station, including 271 trains in one day.


Union Station Massacre

On June 17, 1933, a team of FBI agents and police officers escorted convicted mobster Frank Nash to the station. Nash and four law enforcement officers died in a shootout outside the building. Many myths about that crime persist today. Many claim that marks on the building are from the bullets that flew that day even though modern Kansas City Police disproved that. Mystery surrounds which other mobster committed the crime. They convicted Adam Richetti of the crime and died in the gas chamber on October 7, 1938.

A Long History

Almost the noon hour at the Union Station in Kansas City, MO.

After 100 years, Union Station has a long history, a colorful history. With that colorful history and the beauty of the building inside and out, how could I not use it as a location in If I Should Die? Of course, to fit the alternate timeline of the Fellowship Dystopia, I had to change enough part of the Station’s story to make it part of Miranda’s story. But the clock in the Grand Hall of the station becomes an important location. A location of hope and disaster that will change Miranda’s life. 

Inspired by history,If I Should Die, The Fellowship Dystopia, Book Two goes on sale tomorrow. It’s available on all your favorite online bookseller sites. 

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Universal Link

Which historic location do you think the third book of the Fellowship Dystopia should include? Why?

Image Credits

New Year and A New Look

Welcome to my New Year and A New Look review and reveal. To say 2021 was difficult is an understatement. But there were surprising, positive moments, too. I’ll be posting my review of 2021 soon as well as my goals for this new year. But 2022 is a new year and I’m starting out with a new attitude and new looks for my website and my books.

Large numbers spell out 2022 in shades of teal, purple and pink with the words new year under them, all on a black background, the first image in Lynette M. Burrow's post New Year and a New Look

New Look

Have you visited my home page lately? I took the last week of 2021 to make some changes. Take a look. Scroll down the page a bit and you’ll see that my books also are wearing new covers. Please, feel free check it all out. Tell me what you think.

Unfortunately, the transformation is incomplete. So, if you would please, be my second pair of eyes and let me know if you find “debris” from the old website, typos, or other errors. Leave a comment or use my contact form.

New Covers and a Reveal!

It's a new year and a new look for Lynette's books, too. The Image shows three soft bound books sitting on a shelf, a copy of Fellowship, a copy of My Soul to Keep, and a copy of If I Should Die, all by Lynette M. Burrows.

There are new covers for My Soul to Keep and Fellowship, but the big news is the reveal for If I Should Die

The custom covers are by MiBlart.com. They are a team of designers located in the Ukraine. They were easy to communicate with despite the time difference. They were also incredibly fast and good.

The ebooks should be available in all online stores. Let me know if you have a problem with a particular store. The paperbacks are available on Amazon but taking a little longer to get processed on the other stores. Please be patient a little longer. They are coming. I’ll let you know when they are ready.

If I Should Die

The cover of If I Should Die. Background is dark green. The Fellowship shield is in a purplish-mauve. Over the top third of the shield is the Statue of Liberty in a soft green. Her base extends downward in a sword point shape that ends where the shield ends. The silhouette of a woman carrying a pistol, marches toward the camera. The book title, If I Should Die, is below the image in a modern font and the same soft green. The author name in the same font and color, Lynette M Burrows is above the image.
A choice between sister or brother, life or death, war or peace. Prayers won’t help her now.

Many of you have been patiently awaiting the next book in the series. I’m happy to report book two of the Fellowship Dystopia is moving forward. Beta readers have given me helpful feedback and I’m smoothing out the rough spots. I’m working on a tight deadline so I am able to get it to my editor when she’s available. 

I have a basic page for the book on my website now. Over the next month or so, I’ll add more information to it.

By the end of this month I should have an idea of when it will be ready for publication and I’ll put up a preorder.

Happy New Year!

You presence here, your comments and good wishes over the past year, have meant more than you can know. Yes, that’s a cliché, but that doesn’t make it less true. And I’m looking forward to new challenges and experiences. It’s a new year. Time to write new stories.

What are you looking forward to in 2022?

Image credits:

Top Image Dung Tran from Pixabay  

Last Image by Daniel Roberts from Pixabay 

I’m Done Eating Turkey

November has been a month of turkey for me. And I’m not talking about the Thanksgiving kind of turkey. As an introvert, I thought the isolation of self-quarantine wouldn’t bother me. I was wrong. It has. And like one gets after eating turkey, I’ve been lethargic. But now, I’m done eating turkey.

I"m done eating turkey even if the table in this photograph is of a Thanksgiving table with serving dishes of cranberry sauce, salad, turkey, dressing, potations and other sides. But I'm done eating turkey.

It started in October. My focus wasn’t there. Everything took twice as long as usual. And after a while, I wasn’t giving my work, my world, the time it needed. I didn’t have the energy or the desire to work hard.

The siamese cat in this photo is laying down, half-asleep with it's tongue hanging out--I'm done eating turkey and being half-asleep.


If I Should Die is still in revision. I’m making progress, but only reached half of my goal. Read the blurb and more about this novel. Or watch me read a chapter on YouTube.

The special project got put on a back burner through inaction.

Beyond that, not much has happened in the Making department.


Welp. This area fell by the wayside, too. I failed to put out an October newsletter. I’m not sure why the newsletter is the thing I keep “forgetting.” I’m working on getting better about that.


With a lot of help from my son and his family, we raked leaves out of my gigantic yard. I am very grateful for their help.

I made a Thanksgiving dinner for two. And the two of us enjoyed our quiet day.

And I received a video of my youngest grandson taking his first steps. Wish I could have been there, but the video helped make the day.

Photo of smiling one year old boy holding a teething toy--I'm done eating turkey and ready to visit my grandchildren as soon as the pandemic is under control

And after too long a time, I got both my Yorkies groomed. At least the first trim. They still need baths and a clean up trim. 

Going Forward

Image of a camera lens through which you can see a perfectly focused swan swimming--I'm done eating turkey and I sure want eat swan but I'm swimming to catch up

I am done eating turkey and getting bupkis done. The pandemic will go on for months more. Not functioning well during the next six months or longer isn’t an option. 

Sleep. I had been getting little sleep each night because I woke at every single little noise. I invested in earplugs. And that has been key to me getting more sleep. And my focus back. 

Yup. I’m done eating turkey. The list of things I need to catch up on is formidable. But so am I. 

If I Should Die, a Sneak Peek at a Revision-in-Progress

A sneak peek is a portion of a story in progress. It’s an early draft which means there are grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and probably some story errors, too. So why post a sneak peek? It’s a tease of what’s coming. It’s a test—does this work? And it’s a peek into the writing process many readers enjoy. This snippet is from the revision draft and is part of a new chapter. So, without further ado, I present this sneak peek-revision draft, If I should Die, book two in the Fellowship Dystopia Series.

Image of a Monk class wooden yacht, the model for the boat in this sneak peek revision draft if I Should Die, book two of the Fellowship Series
a 58′ Monk class, luxury yacht–courtesy of YachtLife–a model similar to The Lady Angelfish

If I Should Die 

By Lynette M. Burrows

Day 2

The aroma of warm pancakes and syrup and the rumble of her stomach woke Miranda before her sleep shift had finished. She needed coffee, but the galley already held two people. David stood at the stove flipping pancakes. 

“Morning, Captain.” Wanda offered her a mug full of hot, black coffee. “Beryl’s piloting. David’s cooking. Mind if I go forward?”

Miranda took the mug. Lifted it and inhaled the fragrance of fresh coffee. “Go ahead.” Someone should get some extra sleep. She sat at the lower helm, sipped coffee, and watched the remaining fog roll off the river.

“Peace offering,” David said behind her.

She faced him. “You and I are not at war.”

He stood, braced in the hatch to the galley against the motion of the boat. Held a plate with a lopsided tower of pancakes.

Her smile broadened at the size of the stack. “That could feed an army.”

“Not after I get my serving.” His mouth twisted, rueful and hopeful at the same time. “Should I take some up to Beryl?”

“No, she’s already had breakfast and will eat again in a couple of hours when I relieve her..” Miranda peered down the passageway behind him. “Where’s Leslie?”

“Coming,” a lilting voice called. Typical landlubber, she lurched down the passageway toward the galley. Her strawberry blonde ponytail bounced behind her. And somehow the borrowed gingham dress fit better today.

Soon all three of them sat at the table and dug into breakfast.

When they’d had their fill, Miranda rose to take the dirty dishes to the galley.

“I’ll take care of those,” Leslie said and took the dishes. Duct tape made an extra seam down the back of her dress.

“I need to say something. Try not to get mad and just listen. Can you do that?” David asked once Leslie had slid the galley hatch door closed.

Miranda folded her arms on the tabletop, leaned forward. “Say what you must, but I won’t change my mind.”

“Even if you don’t believe that the Azrael are being grown again—think about what Leslie told us. There are Fellowship labs hidden in former mines hundreds of feet beneath the surface. That alone is cause for alarm. The Fellowship is up to something. If they’re not growing an army of assassins, maybe they’re making munitions, or a poisonous gas, or prisons for folk like us.”

“And that’s what you should focus on when you talk to Monkshood.”

He tilted his head, studied her.

The thrum of The Lady’s engines and the slap of water on her hull filled the silence between them.

“You still don’t see that you and Beryl should take precautions?” His voice held disbelief and a tinge of anger.

“They aren’t doing that just for Beryl and I.”

“No. They’re doing it for you and your refugees.”

The idea of an underground Redemption seized her in a tight, icy grip. She swallowed. Wiped her sweaty palms on her culottes. “All right. You’re right. Monkshood needs to know this. We’ll make sure you and Leslie get to that meeting.” She leaned forward. “But this doesn’t mean that my mission has changed. It means the Freedom Waterway is more important than ever.”

David set his mouth, then nodded. “Get us to Waverly. Maybe Monkshood will convince you that this means you have a new mission.”

She almost laughed. We’ll see who out stubborns who.

Want More?

Sneak peeks of the rough draft are available on this blog. See the first installment of chapters one through six.

Book One

Cover of My Soul to Keep shows a blue Fellowship shield in the background with a yellow and orange Washington monument atop that ending in the shield's point and in front of that is the silhouette of a young woman coming toward you.

Miranda lived a charmed life…until she broke the rules.

Now, she’ll fight the tyrants, even if they’re family. Even if it costs her freedom—or her life.

Available at all your favorite online retailers, My Soul to Keep, is book one in the Fellowship Dystopia Series.

Thank You for Reading

Revision is a process of refinement, expansion, and surgical excisions. As a result, chapters from the rough draft disappear or appear in different locations or from a different viewpoint. Kind of like putting a puzzle together, it’s a process I love. But I am not a fast writer. I hope to publish If I Should Die late spring or early summer of 2021. Did you enjoy this sneak peek-revision draft, If I Should Die, book two of the Fellowship Dystopia?

Sneak Peek: If I Should Die Chapter 4

It’s time for sneak peek: If I Should Die Chapter 4. This is from book 2 in The Fellowship Dystopia Series (formerly called the My Soul to Keep series.) It’s the continuation of Miranda’s story, of her battle against oppression.

My Soul to Keep is Book One of the Fellowship Dystopia series.

Miranda has built a successful Safe Harbor rescue system across the inland waters of the United States. Refugees from the religious oppression of the Fellowship find safety and freedom aboard the Safe Harbor boats. But now her brother needs rescued in order to complete his mission. She’s committed to helping him but she’s a peace-loving woman. Will she resort to violence and save lives or stick to her principles and sacrifice many?


Chapter One: Miranda pilots her yacht, the Lady Angelfish, up the Missouri River to rescue her brother, but the U.S. Coast Guard and a Second Sphere agent stop her for a “routine” inspection.

Chapter Two: Irene, Miranda’s sister, can’t believe she’s the wife of the newly appointed Prophet. Nor can she believe she’s at the White House sitting with President Joseph Kennedy Jr. But there are drawbacks to being the Prophet’s wife. When she’s offered a role in a new “secret” project, she’s more than intrigued.

Chapter Three: As a nighttime thunderstorm rages, Beryl tries to persuade Miranda to wait. But Miranda insists she must go ashore to find her brother. And since Beryl has sworn to protect Miranda, she must go too. But when they are attacked, Beryl’s hesitation to shoot endangers them.

image for a sneak peek: if I should die chapter four--of raindrops on a window looking out onto a foggy, tree lined river

Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Four

By Lynette M. Burrows © 2020

Gusty wind snapped Miranda’s yellow rain slicker. She dropped the Lady’s bow anchors, then shut down the idling engine. Every muscle in her body protested. The fight against the storm had drained her.

The extra hour’s travel upstream had only taken the Lady six miles further northwest. The  many rock jetties and snags made the Missouri’s normally strong current risky. Added debris from the storm filled the river with difficult-to-see mini-torpedos. It was unsafe to go further. At least during this stormy night.

She moved sternward, ready to climb into her cabin and sleep. She slid her hand on the cool, wet, safety rail along the top of the cabin. Another strong gust drove biting rain against her and the boat. Made her grateful for the safety rail. The rain-drenched walkway was slippery, even for deck shoes. She readjusted her hold on the safety rail and worked her way to the Lady’s galley doors.

Another gust blew the galley door open quicker than she expected. She stepped inside and shouldered the door shut, latched it against the wind. The ship pitched but her sea legs carried her to the passageway without a problem. Hung her slicker in the locker then returned to the galley stove.

The mouthwatering aroma of beef stew filled the galley. Wanda must have reheated it for David and his refugee. Miranda grinned. She’d hired her newest crew member for her mechanical skills, unaware of her other talent.

A steaming kettle sat on the back burner. Bless you, Wanda.

Tea bag steeping in her mugful of hot water, Miranda entered the crowded salon. It seemed that no one wanted to sleep after the events of the day.

Beryl sat on the salon’s velvet-cushioned settee on the starboard side of the salon against the aft wall. Across the aisle, Wanda perched on the captain’s chair at the lower helm’s console. They looked as tired as the ache in Miranda’s bones said she was.

David and his refugee, Leslie, sat at the gleaming Brazilian Rosewood table. Their backs to the closed pass-through to the galley. They looked up at her from their bowls of stew.

David stood, scooted around the table, and wrapped her in a bear hug. He had cleaned up, dried and combed his hair. His borrowed jeans and blue plaid shirt deepened the blue of his gray-blue eyes. Not clothes her brother would have worn as the son of a Counselor, but the kind of clothes refugees and rebels wore. Jaw covered with stubble, his once pleasantly filled-out face had new lines and edges since she’d last seen him. That had been nearly a year ago.

“It’s good to see you, David.” Miranda said, deep inside longing for better days ached.

“I’m glad to see you, too.” His voice, his face, and his eyes held more than a trace of weariness.

Miranda’s throat tightened. “Sit back down. Finish your stew.” The Fellowship, the violence—its shadow—took a heavy toll on everyone. Now it lived in her little brother’s eyes.

He released her, smiled, then slid back to his place at the table. Spoons clanked and scraped the sides of the bowls in accompaniment to the drum of rain on the windows.

A Work-in-Progress

Sneak Peek, If I Should Die, Chapter Four is a portion of my latest work-in-progress, meaning it’s an early draft. It has not had the final edits and polish that the published version will have. Some things may end up on the “editing floor” and not appear in the book at all. Here on my website, these sneak peeks are brief. If you missed the earlier sneak peeks, you can catch up. Check out the book page.

If you have the time, you might prefer to watch and listen to me read the entire chapter. The video of Chapter One is twenty-three minutes long and Chapter Two is about sixteen minutes in duration.

Stay Tuned

I hope you enjoyed this Sneak Peek: If I Should Die, Chapter Four. Videos of Chapters Three and Four are still in production–I’m getting on top of the learning curve, but it’s a process. lol Fingers-crossed, I’ll have the videos caught up by the end of next week, but don’t hold your breath! I hope your travels through this pandemic life we have going on are as smooth and as healthy as can be. And that you’ll join me next Friday, when I post Chapter Five on this website.