My husband and I have crisscrossed New Mexico on a motorcycle several times, and I fell in love with its harsh beauty. But it wasn’t until we did a bicycle tour across the state that I felt New Mexico. A bicycle is much slower, so you have hours and hours alone on the road to notice: the huge expressive sky that can change moods in minutes; the crumbling walls of rock with striations of color from off-white to ochre; the lonely wind, ruffling the grasses. The land spoke to me in ways no other has; it left marks on my soul.
Along the way, we learned of the rich history of The People—The Navajo. We rode our bicycles 75 to 100 miles a day, visiting ruins, missions and pueblos.
I even got to pet a wolf!
At night, we met the local tribe. Several shared a meal with us, danced and imparted some of their rich culture and history.
I came away with a deep respect for their wisdom, how they live, and how they view the world.
I wanted to honor them in some small way, and my July release, Home at Chestnut Creek, is my attempt at that.
It features a Navaho hero, Joseph ‘Fishing Eagle’ King, a man driven by his past to preserve his culture—who falls in love with a damaged white woman.
Our ‘Tour of the Nations’ bicycle ride is a memory now, but the land and people? They’re in my heart.
Home at Chestnut Creek is the second in the Chestnut Creek series, set in the fictional town of Unforgiven, New Mexico.
To enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of Home at Chestnut Creek (US only, please), just post a comment answering this question:
Would you take a bike tour? Where would you go?
Laura has always been a storyteller. It began on her front porch, telling ghost stories to the neighborhood kids. They ran screaming, but kept coming back for more. If she wasn’t telling a story, she had her nose in one, bumping into students in the halls on her way to classes.
Her settings are Western, but Laura grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit. Always tomboy, she’s always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into their Pintos and moved to California, sight unseen. There Laura met her husband, a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie, and her love affair with the West began. Discover more about Laura’s books on her website:https://www.lauradrakebooks.com/