Tag Archives: hiking

#DeerbourneInn Presenting #author Jean Grant and Soul of the Storm

The next installment in the DEERBOURNE INN series, SOUL OF THE STORM   releases today!!! And I’ve got its author, Wild Rose Press sistah JEAN GRANT with me, discussing the book, why novellas are the hot thing to read and she’s even sharing some of the research she did while writing the book. Sit back and join me in sharing how this great new addition to the series came to be.

Why read a novella in a series?

  1. You can read it in a sitting or two.
  2. You can read more than one in the series.
  3. Sometimes it’s “just enough” when our TBR pile is gigantic.
  4. Fewer characters to remember.
  5. Without committing to a larger novel, you can get a taste for that author’s voice.
  6. There is still a compelling plot and characters with goals, motivations, and conflict. Like Goldilocks, it can be “just enough.” Not too much, not too little.
  7. Less subplots and timelines to juggle. The story gets straight to the chase.
  8. You can get to the HEA (Happy Every After) faster.
  9. They tend to be less verbose.
  10. They are just fun.

Fun.

Really. I have soft spot for reading novellas. I adore Diana Gabaldon’s big tomes, but I must admit that some of my favorites are her “bulges” as she calls them. Sweet, shorter side stories that flesh out the Outlander world.

Stories are meant to pull us in, make us think, provide entertainment, nurture whatever needs to be nurtured. So why not give the Deerbourne Inn books a whirl? I know I’ve already read a few beside my own and plan to read a few more…

What did I learn while writing Soul of the Storm?

  1. Vermont is a LONG (tall?) state (I took a trip to the Mad River Valley for “research” and fun; it was my second visit there).
  2. It really is a green state.
  3. Mud season exists. And you better be careful on those hiking trails in the spring!
  4. The river water is still icy cold at the end of May.

5. A gleaned a lot of fascinating information about civil air patrol, search and rescue procedures, search and rescue dogs/canine units, and Vermont State Police jurisdiction and procedures. I spoke to authorities in all these areas to get my facts straight. Imagine those emails to VSP: Hey, I’m an author and I have some questions…

6. Ohh… I learned lots of cool New Zealand slang words. And a few corrected Maori phrases. (A big thank you to the New Zealanders and sensitivity readers for helping me with this!)

(Jean in Queenstown, New Zealand)

7. Patagonia, Chile has moved up higher on my must hike/see list.

8. Novellas are amazingly fun to write AND read. I’m enjoying all the books in the Deerbourne Inn series.

9. Cabot Creamery is THE place to go if you adore cheese the way I do. Ben and Jerry’s has delish ice cream.

10. I learned about a new hike: the Long Trail, that spans 273 miles and runs north-south through the State. The part we hiked was muddy and fun with a fantastic view of the valley.

SOUL OF THE STORM (Deerbourne Inn)

Will love help her summit one more peak?

Charlotte MacGregor lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Still guilt-ridden, Charlotte heads for a vacation to rustic Vermont with a friend—where she’s surrounded by reminders of her devastating loss and plagued with unanswered questions.

Matiu Christiansen is an outdoors buff. He works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He’s never quite felt at home in the United States and he yearns for his Maori roots, but his attraction to Charlotte puts a kink in his plans to move home later this year.

Thrown together by coincidence, Charlotte and Matiu form a kindred bond through their shared love of the outdoors. Can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? And can Matiu help Charlotte heal from the pain of the past?

Excerpt

Charlotte sat on the top porch step instead of in a rocker. Her breath puffed in a misty cloud before her as she waited. Again, the scent of a fire from the back pit infused the air. She traced the knots in the planks of the porch with the toe of her shoe, ignoring her thudding pulse. Matiu shuffled through the side door. She rose to help him with the cups.

“Hi.”

“Kia ora,” he said, smile deep and teeth bright beneath the lamps. “It’s colder tonight.”

“You need a jacket,” she said with a nod to his thinner long-sleeved top that clung nicely to his muscles.

“I’ll sit closer to you. Nice quilt.”

“I’m always cold. I won’t have much heat to share.”

“Logging in my assessment file.” He tapped his temple.

She shivered from nerves as he settled beside her on the top step.

“Ya know, we could have tea inside,” he suggested.

“What about consorting? Besides, I like the clear sky and fresh air. Night is my time.”

He nodded. “Ah, clear skies are amazing. I prefer morning. Not sure about tomorrow. Neil’s sick with the flu, and so is Kelly. They work on the search and rescue team, and Kelly also does mucking with us for the US Forest Service. Seems like the germs haven’t left for the season.”

“Nor the cold temps. Both tend to bite us in the ass in April.”

“I was serious. You going to share that quilt with me?” He inched closer.

“Nope. Get your own.”

He pressed a hand to his heart. “Shot down!” Tea splashed as his laugh vibrated.

Her pulse quickened with the idea of sharing warmth with him.

He said, “I’m knackered. That paddle got me sore. Bit more wind today than I’d expected.”

“You’re not the only one.”

He was so close. She subtly inhaled his natural scent. She couldn’t place it. Probably his shampoo… combined with sweat and cooking oils. They sat quietly, unsure what to say next. His nearness upset her equilibrium. She drank the tea.

You can get your copy of SOUL OF THE STORM here:

Amazon // B&N // Apple // Kobo // Googleplay

A little about JEAN GRANT

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

You can follow Jean here”

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author Page ~ The Wild Rose Press

 

And please enjoy the other books in the DEERBOURNE INN series that have already been released ( with more to come in 2019 and 2020!)

By Reservation Only   Hope’s Dream  Freedom’s Path     Lyrical Embrace    Spirited Quest

      

     

YOu can read my review of SOUL OF THE STORM here.

 

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So…Iceland

Last week I promised I’d share some memories of my recent Iceland trip and I’ve finally gotten a moment to sit down and put something together. This was a trip orchestrated by my daughter and which included myself, hubby, darling daughter and one of my fabulous nieces. This is us at the start of the trip. Notice the excellent and wicked expensive hiking boots we all have on. Necessary for walking, hiking, and basically existing in Iceland.

On my last blog I shared the things I liked and didn’t like so much about the tiny island. One of the things I had trouble with is the weather. I rained everyday. Every. Single. Day. All day. So we spent a great deal of time in the car, traveling to sites. One of my favorite places was to a waterfall, about 50 miles from downtown Reykjavik. Touring a waterfall on a warm, sunny day would have been bliss. On an already 45 degree, raining and windy day it….wasn’t. But it was fun! We actually got to climb up the perimeter of the waterfall and go behind it. I filmed a few seconds of our time as we stood behind the powerful rush and took a bunch of photos.

After the waterfall we drove to a LavaRock Tunnel. Think Carlsbad Caverns, but in Iceland. We went down into the bowels of Iceland about 60 meters ( 180 feet for you Americans, like me!!). I have to tell you, I was scared. Of so many things, but the biggest thing was the fear of being trapped underground should the lava shift and fall in on us.

You can see from this picture that this is the start of the “tour.” There is a huge whole in the ground where snow routinely falls into all year long. Notice the black rock we maneuvered over – that’s lava rock. 1,000,000 year old lava rock. Okay I’m not sure that’s how old it is, but you get the idea. It didn’t form last week. Not even last century! And yes, those are hard hats with lights attached to our heads. Second biggest fear? The lights would burn out and we’d been in total and complete darkness and unable to find our way back to the beginning of the cave. Told you I was scared!

On the last day of the trip we spent the day sightseeing in Reykjavik. Since it was yet another cold, rainy, and windy day, we figured we’d museum hop. 

I was able to take one picture before my daughter silently pointed to a sign that said “photography prohibited” in eight languages. Ooops. One cool thing about the city: tucked into sidestreets and painted along the sides of buildings and random houses, are dozens of street art painting. This one was my favorite:

It covered the complete side of an office building, so to get some perspective on it, the entire mural was about ten feet wide by 30 feet tall. Impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the food and some other places we went. Here’s a hint: it was rainy and cold. (Heehee)

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