Thank you to Delilah for hosting me today.
Do you prefer mountains or the beach? I enjoy both, but I love mountains most. I find them inspiring. I remember one trip, for instance, to Estes Park, Colorado several years ago. This magical trip occurred on the first weekend in October.
While we were there for a conference in which my husband participated, we stayed in a lovely hotel. Our room had a huge plate glass window view of the mountain. I had taken my laptop with the intention of writing while my husband was busy. This beautiful, slow snow came with giant snowflakes that stuck to the pine trees.
How can anyone be expected to work in those conditions? I confess that for the most part, I watched the snow fall. Where we live in the Fort Worth area of North Central Texas, we don’t get much snow—some years none. You can understand how fascinated I was with this lovely sight.
The conference featured a tour for spouses on Saturday afternoon. One of the sites we toured was the Stanley House Hotel, which Steven King supposedly used in THE SHINING. It’s a lovely hotel and not at all frightening. While we were walking through, a Regency reenactment group was holding a dance that looked entertaining.
Our tour guide said she lived in a haunted house that had had a poltergeist when she and her husband first moved there. She reported the poltergeist swept dishes off shelves and was a destructive nuisance . I’ll bet even Stephen King would find that frightening. I certainly would.
One evening, my husband and I strolled to the center of town. The elk that came up to feed and drink are protected and have right of way. I couldn’t help laughing at them as they wandered on and off the street and caused drivers to stop. This was the first time I’d seen an elk that wasn’t in a zoo.
I’ve been to Colorado several times, but this was the most memorable visit. I’ve written numerous books that take place in a mountain setting at different seasons. When I’ve done so, I recall the wonder of that trip. Perhaps to people who are used to a lot of snow, such scenes are annoying instead of awesome. To me, if was wonderful and unforgettable.
I relied on these memories for my latest release, GARNET, book 9 in the sweet western historical series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Though GARNET is set in Utah, I picture the Wildcat Ridge Mountains resembling those on the Colorado trip I so enjoyed. In GARNET, a terrible mining tragedy has left many widows in town.
Here’s the book’s description:
Garnet Chandler is fighting to hold onto her café, her niece and nephew, and her sanity after the deaths of her husband, his brother, and his sister-in-law. A persistent prowler and the threat of losing custody of her niece and nephew spur her to action. She doesn’t need another man, but she needs a husband long enough to convince the children’s grandparents she can offer them a stable home.
Bounty hunter Adam Bennett was ready to settle down when his friend was killed by a horse thief. He set out to capture the man who had also killed a guard when escaping prison. Adam must have let down his defenses because the man he followed and two cohorts waylaid Adam, beating him and stealing all his possessions before kicking him down a steep ravine. Adam is determined to capture the three as soon as he heals from their encounter.
Garnet and Adam join forces to achieve both their goals but will that be enough?
The buy link is http://getbook.at/garnetWOWR . GARNET is available in e-book and will soon be available in print. Of course, it’s free in KU.
Here’s an excerpt…
A loud rap at the back door startled her. She kept the curtains closed unless they were serving food and couldn’t see who had knocked.
Joey grabbed his stick. “Don’t answer it. Might be the robber there.”
She wiped her hands on her apron. “Or a friend who needs something.” Joey didn’t know the Colt .45 was in her apron pocket. After taking a deep, bracing breath, she opened the door.
The dirtiest man she’d ever seen stood there. His beard was as dirty as his clothes. Fresh cuts showed through the mud on his face. He was tall and broad-shouldered but looked as if he could barely stand.
“Ma’am, my name is Adam Bennett. Please don’t be put off by my appearance. I was robbed up the mountain a ways and lost all my gear. I’m mighty hungry. If you need anything done, I like to work for a meal.”
Joey was by her side. “He isn’t the one from last night.” All the same, her nephew kept his pick handle in his hand.
“We’re the Chandlers. Come in and sit down. Wait, wash your hands and face at the sink first. You can’t handle food while you’re that filthy.”
While the man washed his hands, she filled a plate from leftovers and poured a cup of coffee. “Joey, please get my medicine box from upstairs.”
He leaned close. “I don’t think I should leave you alone while he’s here.”
Joey took being man of the family seriously. “Oh, all right. Hyacinth, would you get the medicine box for me?”
“How come he doesn’t have to and I do?” Usually sweet, Hyacinth was a bit spoiled and definitely jealous of her brother.”
“Because Mr. Bennett is injured and needs our help. Please hurry.”
Her niece stomped up the stairs while muttering under her breath, her golden curls bouncing with each step.
When Garnet glanced at the man, she saw he’d wolfed down his food. “I’ll get you more. How long since you’ve eaten?”
“Not sure how long I was in and out of consciousness up there. They attacked me on Saturday morning. What day is this?”
“Monday. No wonder you’re hungry.” She set another plate of food in front of him and refilled his cup.
I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of GARNET to two people who comment today. Tell me your most memorable vacation in a comment to enter.