Guest Author: Ruthie Knox On How Strangers On a Train Came To Be (Giveaway)

Strangers on a Train is an anthology of stories by five different authors featuring train themed stories. All five books are available separately today. Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome author Ruthie Knox. She wrote Big Boy, one of my favorite stories in the series. Check out FV reviews of Big Boy by Ruthie Knox and Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire.

Take it away Ruthie..

Stangers on a Train Tour

Maybe He’s Waiting For You

So imagine that you have this job in the city.

Every day, you commute to work on the train. Every day, you people-watch – new people, regular commuters – ugly people, average people, and occasionally beautiful people.

Imagine there’s this guy. This guy who is so lovely, you can’t help staring. Just seeing him there brightens your day. You kind of want to know what he smells like. You kind of want to know his name.

This stranger – this gorgeous man – is imbued with so much possibility. He is probably intelligent and kind. Maybe he has a dog. Maybe he has three sisters who love him and tease him ruthlessly about how difficult it is for him to meet the right woman.

Maybe he’s waiting for you.

But he’s a stranger, and you’re getting off at the next stop. What do you do? Nothing. You do nothing, because you don’t know him, and you don’t have time.

Or maybe you take his picture.


One day, I was poking around on Twitter, which I do a lot, and someone posted a link to a Tumblr called Hot Guys on the Train. It is exactly what it sounds like: an anonymous camerawoman (or cameraman?) taking pictures of hot guys during her daily commute and posting them on the Internet.

I was fascinated. The pictures and the very act of their being taken seemed to me to be so productive of stories. Who are these men? Who is this woman with the camera? How many intersections are possible here?

I started chatting with some of my Twitter romance-writing friends about the Tumblr – Samantha Hunter, Meg Maguire, Serena Bell, Donna Cummings – and before I knew quite how it had happened, we were planning an anthology of stories with a Strangers on a Train theme. Twenty thousand words per story, contemporary erotic romance, sky’s the limit.

A few months later, it was done.

Nearly everything about this project was joyful – the burst of inspiration, the collaborative planning, the shared drafts and revisions stage. But the best part of all is the way the stories came out, because they are so much like fingerprints. The closer you peer, the more obvious it is that five people can’t write the same story, even when they begin with the same idea. Each one is rich with its author’s personality, each train fantasy distinct.

And yet the theme that connects them – the question, What happens if this woman, this man, meet this way? – gives the collection the same atmosphere as that online album of cell phone snapshots. We don’t know how each story will go from page one, but we know this feeling of possibility.

We know this excitement of spotting the strange man at the other end of the car and thinking Him.



Do you have a stranger-on-a-train story to share? Or a favorite train-themed movie, book, or TV scene? Even if you don’t, you can still enter. Tell us what you want to read this series. What about it appeals to you?

Answer in the comments for a shot at a set of all five Strangers on a Train stories in the digital format of your choice. (Ebooks only.)

Open to all (where allowed). You have until end of day April 5 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.

This giveaway is sponsored by: The Strangers on a Train authors

No purchase necessary to win. You must be 18 or over to enter, void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement, they forfeit their prize(s). Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.

About the Stories

Maybe He’s Waiting For You


Strangers on a Train, available April 2, 2013, from Samhain Publishing

Tight Quarters by Samantha Hunter

Reid isn’t happy about the mix-up that saddles him with a claustrophobic roommate on his New York train tour. Then his weekend with Brenna progresses to a weekend fling, and so much more.

Ticket Home by Serena Bell

Encountering her workaholic ex on her commuter train is the surprise of Amy’s life. Especially since Jeff seems hell-bent on winning her back.

Thank You for Riding by Meg Maguire

At the end of Caitlin’s commute, her extended flirtation with a handsome stranger finds them facing a frigid winter night locked in an unheated subway station.

Back on Track by Donna Cummings

A wine tour isn’t enough to take Matt’s mind off his baseball slump—until sexy, funny Allie plops into the adjacent seat and tells him three things about herself. One of them, she says, is a lie. Then Allie lets slip one truth too many…

Big Boy by Ruthie Knox

Mandy doesn’t want romance, but monthly role-playing dates with her stranger on a train—each to a different time period—become the erotic escape she desperately needs. And a soul connection she never expected.

Buy the Strangers on a Train stories at Samhain | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Ruthie Knox | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Serena Bell | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Samantha Hunter | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Donna Cummings | website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Meg Maguire | website | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. says

    I love hearing the backstory behind this anthology and I’m very excited to read it. A favorite train sequence of mine is the one in CATCHING FIRE where Katniss and Peeta are being forced to tour the districts on their “victory tour.” Also Holly Black’s VALIANT, in which the main characters live in the bowels of the NYC subway system.

  2. Rebe says

    I can’t think of many train scenes in my reading, other than Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, which would put any of us off trains, right? I did love the Hitchcock movie Strangers on a Train, especially that opening sequence when we only see the feet of the protagonists (and of the director).

  3. Melanie J says

    Wow! The book (s) sounds amazing. I cannot wait to read them. I cannot think of strangers on a train scenario….. But I do have a real life expierence. It’s not a romantic one, but a few years ago, I was on the eurostar (from London to Paris) and sat next to a guy. Now, don’t get me wrong – He was pretty cute, but with someone. We talked in the 2 hours and then parted ways. On the way back, I saw him again. We ended up exchanging emails and we kept in touch since.

  4. Shenita says

    While there is nothing sexy about Unstoppable that has to be my favorite train movie :). I honestly really love Ruthie Knox as an author so I try and read everything she writes. All of the stories in this series seems like they will be fun reads.

  5. Texas Book Lover says

    The first train scene that comes to mind is Cath people watching in About Last Night and how she named everyone including City!

  6. kp says

    dont have a personal train story but do enjoy reading them in stories…loved Cath and Nevs story in About Last Night!!!

  7. Sandypo says

    I can’t think of a favorite “train” story at the moment but I love the idea of being able to get together with someone for one guilt-free hour or night or whatever with the knowledge that you never have to see this person again. You don’t have to know their name or their story or their family. It’s just the two of you for a limited amount of time but no other limits…

  8. Helen says

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I lived in England for a year in my twenties and I loved taking the train and watching the beautiful English countryside through the windows.

  9. Sue G. says

    No strangers on a train story but we did take the kids on a train ride through the smoky mountains. It was so pretty. I’d love to take a trip on a train. I think that would be fun.

  10. Lori Meehan says

    I have no train stories. The only thing I remember reading that has trains in it is the Harry Potter series. Lol
    I’d like to read this because I love romance and the book sounds good.

  11. erinf1 says

    WOW! What a fun post! Like someone has already mentioned, finding out the back story to this anthology makes me want to read it more! I was originally drawn to it b/c I’m a big Ruthie fan and I’d buy and read her grocery list… ahem…

    I live in the Midwest where they don’t believe in mass transit b/c why would you when everyone can have their *own* car! I hate it and wish we had a commuter train system of sorts. I’d totally use it, b/c I hate driving and it would be more reading time :)

  12. kare_bear83 says

    No hot-guy train-spotting here because I live in the burbs (have plans to move to the city, when the train-spotting shall commence). But I love Meg Maguire and Ruthie Knox, so I really want to read this. Plus, it will fee good practice for the future hot-guy encounters.

  13. JenM says

    Whenever I think of train scenes, I always think of Risky Business – Tom Cruise and Rebecca de Mornay getting down and dirty on the subway in the middle of the night. Definitely one of the hottest train scenes ever.

  14. Pamela says

    Loved About Last Night by Ruthie Knox. Loved how Cath made up names and stories about the people she rode with.

  15. Cassi Carver says

    I wish I had sexy real-life train stories to share–but I’ll have to read yours instead! 😉 Great post, Sophia and Ruthie!

  16. Mary Preston says

    Agatha Christie had at least two books set mostly on trains. I loved those. Great scenes on trains.

  17. Linda says

    I met my college boyfriend on a train. We became friends due to long conversations during our daily commute to and from campus. From there, sparks flew :-)