Give a big howdy to former Filly, Vickie Bylin! We’re so happy she came to visit. AND she brought books to give away. Three in fact, so leave a comment!
Home . . . That word is one of the most evocative in the English language. It’s also a fitting theme for today’s blog, because Petticoats & Pistols was my home for over three years. Hello, Fillies! I miss hanging out with you and the P&P readers. I thoroughly enjoyed being a Filly during my time with Harlequin Historical and Love Inspired Historical.
Westerns will always be close to my heart. So will California with its beaches, mountains, valleys, and deserts. The state may not be the first one to pop in your mind when you think “traditional western,” not like Texas or Wyoming, but the history and culture have a western flavor.
I live in Lexington, Kentucky now, but I miss the Golden State. That’s why I started writing about it. If we took a road trip with the characters in my contemporary romances, we’d walk barefoot on Pismo Beach, see endangered California condors in the wild, and camp out on Anacapa Island.
The Pismo Beach scene is in my latest release, Someone Like You (Bethany House, May 2016). The story is set at a historic resort in central California and is about what happens when college sweethearts meet after six years. Back at UC Berkeley, Zeke Monroe was a strong Christian, and Julia Dare believed in living for the moment. Fast forward six years . . . Now Zeke is struggling with his faith and Julia is a new believer and a single mom with a four-year-old son.
To add some western flavor (and because I like country music), I made the owners of the resort a retired country music duo called the Travers Twins. Ginger Travers no longer performs, but George Travers (who looks and sounds a lot like Sam Elliot) is going strong and still a heartthrob for Julia’s widowed mother.
California condors played a big role in Until I Found You. Those birds are amazing! During the 1990s, when my family and I lived in the Los Padres National Forest a.k.a. “Condor Country,” we had the pleasure of seeing condors soar over our home. With their nine-foot wingspans, the birds look like glider planes. Writing about them brought back some great memories.
Going camping again on Anacapa Island is another secret dream. Anacapa (pronounced ANN-a-cap-a) is one of the Channel Islands off the Southern California coast. In Together With You. Kentucky girl Carly Jo Mason and Los Angeles ophthalmologist Dr. Ryan Tremaine make a trip to the island with his kids.
Ryan and Carly have quite the romance, but a little girl named Penny stole even more hearts—including mine. Penny has special needs and remains one of my favorite characters.
Thank you for taking a mini-trip home with me! When it comes to romance, California is the perfect setting for strong characters, dramatic plots, and stories that touch the heart.
To celebrate my home state, I’d like to give away three books—reader choice from the titles above. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the drawing!
A big thank you to the Fillies for inviting me to visit. As the saying goes, “East or West, Home is Best.”
You can contact Vickie at:
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