Sunday, April 05, 2015

Weekend Wildcard - An Author's Stay-cation


We're delighted to welcome Harlequin Heartwarming author, Karen Rock, to the Pink Heart Society as she talks about rediscovering her love for her hometown.  Plus she's offering a #GIVEAWAY!
 
Who doesn’t love a road trip? Especially authors? No question that it’s tons of fun to visit exotic places while researching settings. Yet, there’s something really awesome, too, about staying home and taking a closer look at your own backyard when contemplating a novel’s location. In fact, it can be deeply inspiring.

For example, I live in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York. While I’ve hiked its high peaks, canoed on its rivers, boated on it lakes, explored its caverns and ambled through its forests, I never fully appreciated just how rich and glorious this wilderness was until I began examining it critically before writing my April Harlequin Heartwarming novel, Raising the Stakes
My main character, Vivie, isn’t local. Experiencing this natural landmark through her eyes made me appreciate my hometown all over again. Even better, as she’s helping an orphaned bear cub return to the wild, I even imagined it from an animal’s point of view. Amazing.

Here are some things I fell in love with, all over again, about my hometown during my stay-cation:
1)  Every year we have a woodsmen’s festival in Tupper Lake, deep in the Adirondack forest. It celebrates our logging heritage and attracts nationally acclaimed chainsaw woodcarvers, lumberjacks who compete in contests like log throwing, staying aboard floating, rolling logs, and climbing greased ones, a parade featuring terrific local and visiting bands, logging’s big rigs and heavy machinery and fantastic food concessions selling local specialties. It’s a hugely fun day and it definitely found a place in Raising the Stakes. 

2)  There are forty six high peaks in the Adirondacks, the tallest being Mount Marcy at 5,343 feet. Visitors come from around the world to hike our mountains and those that scale all of the grandest, can ultimately proclaim themselves “46ers”. My hero, a forest ranger, is close to being a “46er” and it was exhilarating for me to climb the mountains he and my heroine climb for him to accomplish that final goal. Looking down at the gorgeous world below, I realized how lucky I was to live is such a glorious place and hopefully captured that euphoric feeling in my novel.
3)  Our woods are filled with wild animals. While exploring places I planned to have Vivie take Button (the orphaned bear), like meadows filled with berry patches, rivers used in national fishing derbies because of their ample supply of trout and salmon, and off-road wilderness area so pristine I felt sacrilegious for setting foot in them, I realized how important it was for these forests to stay “Forever Wild”…. the Adirondack Park’s motto.
4)  Atop one of the high peaks, Whiteface Mountain, stands a replica of a full-scale medieval castle built with natural stone. It’s a breathtaking spot to view the sunset, the majestic surrounding mountains, and shop and even dine. My husband and I had one of our most romantic dates there, ever, and of course, it is featured in a moving love scene between my hero and heroine.

My stay-cation opened my eyes to not only a rich, wonderful setting for Raising the Stakes, but to just how lucky I am to calling this spot home. 
What do you love about your hometown? Are there any places you could use for scenes in a romance novel? 

 Karen will be giving away a copy of the book to one person who answers her question!!

Karen Rock's love-letter to her hometown, Raising the Stakes, is available now: 
 

Hiding from the world…

Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is turned upside down!

Suddenly two forces are drawing her out—Button, the cub who needs her help, and Liam, the man who's dead set against her rehabilitating the bear. If she can just win Liam's support, Vivie knows she can give Button a good life. And maybe find the courage to embrace a future with Liam… 

Learn more about Karen, an Adult and Young Adult Contemporary Romance author publishing with Harlequin Enterprises, and her current and upcoming books as well as contests and giveaways on her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

9 comments:

  1. Terrific post, Karen. I'm tempted to suggest an excursion to your hometown while we're at RWA 2015. I'll buy the wine.

    Congratulations on your release and the very positive reviews it's already getting!

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  2. the local Amory which was used in WWII now a dinner theather

    alysap AT yahoo DOT com.

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  3. The town I was born in is in the mountains and was a former coal mining town. In the summer you can visit an old mine.

    The place I've lived the longest in is Calgary Alberta and it's famous for it's Stampede. However within a couple of hours drive is Banff National Park and there are many things that are staycation worthy. Hiking , visiting the hot springs, canoeing, dining out and one of my favorite pastimes watching and listening to all the tourists from around the world. When I was young one of my family's favorite things to do was to look for out of province license plates. My mom would list all 10 provinces and all 48 to 50 states and we would watch out for them. I remember being so excited when we did see a plate from Alaska one year.

    Another couple of hours in a easterly direction, across the prairies, and you come to Drumheller and the badlands and the Tyrel Museum of paleontology. Lots of fun for the dinosaur hunters there.

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  4. The town I was born in is in the mountains and was a former coal mining town. In the summer you can visit an old mine.

    The place I've lived the longest in is Calgary Alberta and it's famous for it's Stampede. However within a couple of hours drive is Banff National Park and there are many things that are staycation worthy. Hiking , visiting the hot springs, canoeing, dining out and one of my favorite pastimes watching and listening to all the tourists from around the world. When I was young one of my family's favorite things to do was to look for out of province license plates. My mom would list all 10 provinces and all 48 to 50 states and we would watch out for them. I remember being so excited when we did see a plate from Alaska one year.

    Another couple of hours in a easterly direction, across the prairies, and you come to Drumheller and the badlands and the Tyrel Museum of paleontology. Lots of fun for the dinosaur hunters there.

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    1. That sounds amazing! I'd love to visit and especially see the Tyrel museum as I'm fascinated by dinosaurs :)

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  5. My hometown is South Bend, Indiana. I like that it is only 20 minutes from Michigan, and only 30 minutes from our family lake cottage. There are a bunch of little lakes in this area on Michigan. This area is also pretty in the fall when the leaves change. Also, we are only 1 1/2 hours from Chicago, where I lived for 8 years and still enjoy visiting. I have lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin for the last 10 years. I love that Kenosha is right on Lake Michigan.
    Congrats on your new release. It looks like a great read.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    jen.frederick@yahoo.com

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    1. You have lived in such great places Jen and you've won my giveaway! Congratulations and I'll be emailing you shortly :-)

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