If you love me, then like me! Win this cute cap or tote bag!

GOOD MORNING ALL!

For those of you who have read and loved PESCADERO CREEK, and are anxiously awaiting the release of UNDERCOVER, this if for you! Even if you haven’t had the chance to read PC yet (shame on you!) this is for you too!

Just go to Facebook and find the new PESCADERO CREEK SERIES page and Like it! Simple huh? Your name will go into a drawing and the first name drawn will get to choose from either the tote or the cap! The second name drawn will get the other! I may even throw in a signed copy of PC!

I will hold one drawing after I receive 100 likes. Then when I reach 200, I will hold another drawing! Come on, you know you love me! So like me! and while you’re at it, like my blog too! please and thank you!

Lost in the Woods or Inn of the Seven Clans

In honor of my good friend Amber Marshall, who has just completed the Appalachian Trail, I decided to go for a short hike this morning all by myself. Now by short , I mean three miles. Amber’s hike was a little longer. Okay, it was a lot longer. She started in Georgia and ended up in Maine six months later. I began my walk this morning around nine and finished at noon.

So if you are paying attention you just read that it took me three hours to hike three miles. Here’s what happened:

I started out like any other morning in the state park near my house. I parked at the ranger station where my Ford Explorer will be easily spotted, you know, just in case something should happen to me on the trail. I headed across the road to  Byrd Lake and jumped on the short trail. This is a holiday week and many families are camping in the park and there are folks running on the trails and biking and fishing. . .  I finish the short trail which is probably just shy of a mile. I met up with several families along the way and we talked and said our “good mornings” and “beautiful days” and everyone is in a great mood because they are all on vacation. I am in a good mood because I live here and I can walk this trail every day if I want to!

At the end of the short trail, which is the Byrd Creek Trail, I come to the entrance of the longer Pioneer Lake Trail. Being in such a great mood and feeling confident about being alone I jumped right on that Pioneer Lake Trail which is two miles long. Usually I am very cautious but today I was totally unafraid of taking the trail by myself because of all the people present.

I’ve got my camera and I’m taking pictures of the beautiful park and the leaves and waving at people across the lake and just enjoying the hell out of my day. By this time I have worked up a good sweat and my muscles are all warmed up and I am trucking through those woods without a care. All of a sudden this story begins to form in my head. This is the story that I came up with driving back and forth between North Carolina and Tennessee. You see I used to work  near Charlotte in a nuclear power plant and I would commute back and forth on the weekends.

The story is about a woman who runs away from home and hides in Cherokee, North Carolina, where she finds herself, literally, and someone very special. Of course there is more to the plot than that, but you will have to read it! As I am walking I am writing the first chapter of the book, which may be called Inn of the Seven Clans, if I get permission to use it. I have a great respect for the Native American culture, having come from that line myself, and I want to make sure I don’t take anything away from them that isn’t offered. I can see the first page and the chapter heading and the paragraph and I begin.

Annie carefully backed her Ford Explorer out of the garage that chilly October morning . It was  early and seasonably cool with a light frost on the ground. The bright yellow mums and orange pumpkins lined neatly along the front steps leading to her home shone brightly in the morning sun.

She caught a glimpse of her face in the rearview mirror. The make up she had carefully applied had done its job in concealing the bruised blue skin under her eye. The swelling in her lip would be minimal by the time she reached Cherokee later that day and a little lip gloss would hide the small tear on her lower lip. . .

I was pretty involved in mentally writing this story when I realized I didn’t hear anything. Everything was quiet. I was alone in the woods and I was not on the trail anymore. At least not on the right trail; the trail I had started off on. Reality starts to hit me, I haven’t been paying attention to where I am going. I immediately turn around and retrace my steps until something looks familiar. I come to a swinging bridge. Hah! I know where I am! At least I thought I knew where I was. I didn’t. Well, I knew where I was, I just didn’t know where I was going. Or I should say I knew where I wanted to go, I just didn’t know which path would get me there. By process of elimination, I used the bridge as my starting point which was a good mile and a half into the trail, to find my way back. I crossed the bridge and turned right. About a mile down that trail I knew it wasn’t the correct one. Back to the bridge I went.

Now keep in mind this is a park I have walked in for a good twenty years. I know that park like the back of my hand. At least I thought I did. Time and weather can really change a place.  Familiar things that I normally used to mark my path were gone and I didn’t recognize my surroundings. I crossed the bridge and turned left which put me in the same direction I had just come from which after another mile or so I figured was the wrong direction again. Back to the bridge and across the bridge and the choice I made there, turned out to be the right choice. Whew! I had been going in circles!

I live on the Cumberland Plateau and there are wild animals here. Wild boar, bobcats, mountain lions, deer, foxes, bear, and coyotes. This I know because I have seen all of these. Some were alive and some dead, but they all lived here. I’ll be the first to admit the fact that I am a chicken. A big chicken. I carry protection with me when I walk. At least protection enough to scare off a wild animal or a would be attacker. I am not going down without a fight and since I can’t run very fast (if at all) I have to carry something.

The things that go through your mind when you’re lost are kind of strange. What if there is a psychopath out here and he rapes me and strangles me and throws me in the creek? (Sound familiar?) What if a mountain lion attacks me from a tree and I don’t see him? What if it gets dark before I get back and I freeze to death out here? But when I began to hear the voices of the happy families again and hear the cars on the road I relaxed and thought about my story some more. It wasn’t like I was going to die out there or anything like that. There is a golf course that runs parallel to one side of the park. I could have run out on the green and begged a golfer for water.  By the way I won’t be making fun of all the “nerdy” hikers who carry water in packs on their belts anymore!

You know what this means don’t you? I guess you will all be reading about Annie’s adventure when she gets lost in the Great Smokey Mountains and then rescued by a handsome Native American! Wish I’d run into one of those today. I may have never come out of the woods! Picture Daniel Day-Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. (Drool!) The things that go through your mind when you’re lost!

My next road trip will be to Cherokee to visit the Inn of the Seven Clans and meet some people who hopefully will be able to help me tell Annie’s story. Keep reading and I’ll keep bringing it back. . . one novel at a time.

How about a little UNDERCOVER action?

Happy fall everyone! I know it has been a while since I have had anything to tell you. Actually it’s more like not taking the time to blog that I’m guilty of and I apologize. But I have been busy trying to finish UNDERCOVER!

For those of you who write, you know all the work that goes into promoting a book and I am constantly talking to someone about my writing. Last week when I was in Verizon trying to get my phone un-hacked, the tech who was helping me noticed the background on my Droid which is my book cover for PESCADERO CREEK. Well that sparked a whole conversation with him about a book he is writing and what mine is about and when the next one is coming out and where he could get a copy…then everyone around us who heard us talking wanted information on where they could get it locally and how much it cost…an hour later I had my phone fixed and had sold half a dozen books! I am amazed at the number of people who are writing a book right now or wish they were writing one. I realize I am extremely blessed to be able to do this.

This morning I spoke with a woman in Manila who works for Charter Communications. She was trying to help me with my internet connection and when I told her my email address is vickeywrites@gmail.com, she said, “OH! You are a writer!” and immediately started asking me what I write about and how many books  I have out and where can she get a copy and just went on and on about how much she admired what I was doing. I have to admit by the time I had finished with the electronic voice on the support line, I was not in a good mood when I started speaking to a real live person. As a matter of fact, I was pretty aggravated at that point and I had to really change my attitude and answer her questions calmly and politely because she was totally sweet. She had a degree in journalism and was telling me  how she used to be a reporter for a local newspaper and how she had worked with the police department. This girl kept me on the line and asked the name of the book again and how to spell it, where she could get it and if I had used my real name when I wrote PC. I could tell she was truly a writer because of her questions. Anyway, she calmed me down and got my internet back up and she is going to order a copy of PESCADERO CREEK after work today! So PC will now be in The Philippines!

 I am  now working with my editor Bridget Rongner on the final editing stages of UNDERCOVER! I know right? Very exciting. Hopefully it will be released by late November. UNDERCOVER is the second book in what has now become THE PESCADERO CREEK SERIES and picks up right where PC left you; on the honeymoon. So for those of you who have read PC, you know what you are in for. Anyway,I have been promising you an excerpt. Here it is:

“What’s wrong, baby?” Rob asked, picking up on her strange behavior. He had not seen her like this since that first night she had spent with him in the beach house back in Pacifica. “Are you nervous?” he asked.

She looked confused for a minute. “No! Well . . . yes,” she stammered. “I guess I am.” She laughed.

“Why? We’ve already consummated our marriage, Magdalena,” Rob said as he smiled at her.

Morgan laughed at him for calling her that. “I don’t know. I guess I just want everything to be perfect.” She blushed. “You know, that was a real wedding we had today.”

“Oh, baby, everything is perfect,” Rob said as he pulled her close. “It has stopped raining, and the stars are out. Let’s go for a swim. I need to cool off.”  

“Okay,” Morgan whispered, feeling better.

“Let me get my trunks on,” Rob said.

“I’ll get my suit,” she said, grinning.

Morgan put on a red two-piece bathing suit. It was very tiny and didn’t cover much, especially on the top. When she walked out of the sliding glass door to the patio, Rob stopped with his beer midway to his mouth. He sat motionless as he watched her come toward him. She took the bottle that he held and set it on the table. He abruptly got to his feet, forcing the chair he was sitting in to scrape loudly against the floor of the patio. “Sam was right; I am a lucky son of a bitch.”

Morgan laughed and wrapped her arms around his muscular body. “I am the one who is lucky; you are everything I have ever wanted. I love you, Rob,” she said as she looked deeply into his blue-green eyes.

“I love you, Mags. No one will ever love you like I do. I want you to remember that,” he said as he held her lovely face in his hands and kissed her tenderly.

She let out a long breath. “Let’s get wet,” she said as she started backing him toward the pool. When he was at the edge, she held him there. He put his arms around her and held on.

She smiled at him, and he knew she was up to no good. He tried to brace himself on the edge of the pool. Morgan looked at him sweetly and with one push sent him backward into the water. However, she had not counted on him having a good grip on her top—with one tug, it went along with him into the pool. She screamed as she stood topless teetering on the side of the pool. At that moment, Maria came out to check on them one last time before she left for the evening.

Morgan had no choice but to jump in with Rob. He laughed as he held the bathing suit top out of her reach as she tried to get it away from him. She finally grabbed onto him and hid behind his back as Maria came closer. Morgan wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his middle. While she was talking to Maria, he was busy untying the strings to her bottoms as his hands worked under the water out of the housekeeper’s view.

Morgan tried to push his hands away and hang on to him at the same time, but she found it impossible to do without exposing herself to Maria. She gave in and let Rob remove the rest of her suit. They told Maria goodnight, and as soon as the housekeeper was back inside, she tightened her grip on him. “You are in so much trouble, McAllister,” she said into his ear. He dove under the water with her, but she escaped, swimming to the other end of the pool.

She lost sight of him for a moment and then she felt him come up behind her. He held out his trunks in one hand and flung them over to the side. She giggled as he pinned her in a corner of the pool.

Let me know what you think! Please leave me a comment and check out my new PESCADERO CREEK SERIES page on Facebook and hit the like button! I really appreciate your time in doing so! As always, keep reading and I’ll keep bringing a little romance into your life- one novel at a time!