December 10, 2017

Pamela Nowak, Awarded Author, Shares Wyoming’s Rich Variety

Wyoming brings to mind stunning vistas of high prairie grasslands with wild horses, majestic mountain ranges and spouting geysers.

As a child, I spent many family vacations at Yellowstone National Park waiting with the crowds to see Old Faithful erupt and viewing the Morning Glory Pool and the various “mud pots” with their distinctive sulfuric odors. As an adult, I moved to the state and spent seventeen years there. During that time, I learned the state had a tremendous variety of landscapes, a rich and varied history, and more places to visit and things to do than I had ever imagined.

In the northwestern part of Wyoming are Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons. Yellowstone is a study onto itself with thermal and water features, wildlife, and history. I’ve long had a story about the area percolating in the back of my mind. Native Americans inhabited the area for hundreds of years before white trappers explored it in the 1820s and 1830s. Their stories of the fantastic features there were confirmed when the Folsum Party explored the area in the summer of 1869; the Washburn Expedition followed in 1870, publishing widely about their discoveries. To get a real sense of the history and variety of the park, today’s visitors should book a night at the Old Faithful Inn, Lake Yellowstone Hotel, or the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Though the geyser basins are not to be missed, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls are also a must. Mammoth Hot Springs offers another must-see with its eerie travertine formations. If you have a chance for a trail ride or a tour on a vintage Yellowstone Bus, take it. Be sure to look for bear, moose, elk, bison, antelope, and bighorn sheep.

 
This corner of the state is also home to the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole. There is nothing that compares to the majestic rise of the Tetons, the peaks seemingly driven straight up from the ground. The drive through the park offers great views of mountains and lakes and the hiking is well worth it. Jackson Hole, near the town of Jackson, is home to herds of elk. The town itself is a fun venture with a western feel and stagecoach rides, great food, and interesting history. In the summer, raft trips are spectacular.

South of the park areas is a beautiful stretch with quiet cabins in Pinedale, famous ice cream at  the Farson Mercantile, and the rocky areas around Rock Springs. See wild horses, the White Mountain Petroglyphs, and the Flaming Gorge in the southwest. Drink in the history of the Chinese railroad laborers and Jim Bridger’s fort.

 
In the center of the state, visit the hot springs at Thermopolis and see the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, travel the gorgeous Wind River Canyon, and experience the culture of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho nations at powwows and cultural centers. Fish, camp, and hike. See historic pioneer trails, ghost towns, gold mines, and the gravesites of Chief Washakie and Sacajawea.


 In southeastern Wyoming, the high desert merges into the high plains. In you visit in July, experience Cheyenne’s Frontier Days. Near the must-see Fort Laramie National Historic Site, you can find ruts of the Oregon Trail. Visit Independence Rock north of Rawlins and see the carvings left by pioneers. Spend a night at the Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow or at the hot springs in Saratoga.


To the northeast is Devil’s Tower with its reach to the sky, the Vore Buffalo Jump, and the pretty town of Sundance. Move west again to find the green valleys around Buffalo and Sheridan at the edge of the Big Horn Basin. Cody sits foot of the eastern entrance to Yellowstone and offers western flavor, the memorable Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and outdoor adventures.

Among everything specifically mentioned are stunning rugged lands, hidden valleys, and history too varied to fit into this blog. In seventeen years there, I was unable to see it all. Wyoming is a state of great variety that will lure you in and never let go. See https://www.travelwyoming.com/ for a deeper glimpse.

Though I have still to complete my Wyoming-set stories (I think there are about five or six ideas rattling in my brain), I would like to share a copy of one of my other novels with one of you. Just leave a comment with your contact information to be eligible for a digital copy of CHANCES (WILLA Literary Award finalist, HOLT Medallion winner, and Booklist Top 10 Romance) which was written during my time in Wyoming.


Find me on my website/blog and Facebook at: www.pamelanowak.com or www.facebook.com/pamela.nowak.142.

You can find my books on Amazon.com Author Page- Pamela Nowak  or at your local bookstores.

(all info provided by author)

December 3, 2017

From the beautiful state of Wisconsin-Victoria Roder



WISCONSIN: where we enjoy activities in all four seasons. When you think of Wisconsin do you think beer, cheese and The Packers? I know you've all heard the stories and studies like the one issued from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that found, Wisconsin has the largest amount of binge drinkers in the country. I'm here to share with you activities we enjoy in Wisconsin other than drinking.

In the bright, snow covered winter, we enjoy skiing, tubing, and an annual snowshoe race. We also ride snowmobiles across trails that snake across homeowner's land and through the National Forest.

Perkinstown, Wisconsin is nestled in the Chequamegon National Forest and has a beautiful Winter Sports Area.

In the summer, among the green of the trees, don't miss the fun at the Perkinstown outhouse races! Teams of five racers. Four pushers and one sitter!

It seems as if every little town in Wisconsin holds a festival in the summer. A few are, the Aburndale Music Festival, Colby Cheese Days, Stratford Heritage Days and of course the Sheboygan Brat Days. My first paranormal romance, The Dream House Visions and Nightmares takes place in my birth place, Sheboygan Wisconsin. Snuggled on Lake Michigan and the brat capital of the world, there are so many activities to enjoy.

Swimming, boating, sailing, fishing, surfing and kiteboarding on the lake, or you can attend art and music festivals and the famous Sheboygan Brat days. And yes, we have a 'fryout' while the rest of the country is having a cookout. We also drink water from the bubbler and drink soda. See, in Wisconsin there is more to do than drink alcohol!  

Please feel free to visit my website at www.victoriaroder.com I write something for everyone. Mystery novels, ghost stories and children's books and puzzle books.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of my detective murder mystery, Bolt Action. My new release is a cozy mystery comedy, D.I.C.KS Case: One Holy Murder. 


https://www.amazon.com/D-I-C-K-s-Murder-Smyrna-Beach-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01IIQNZ0Y/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479588291&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=D.I.C.KS+Case+One%3A+Holy+Murder

November 26, 2017

Christy Award Nominated Author, Roseanna M. White in the Mountains of West Virginia

In one of the first bios I ever wrote for myself, I included the sentence: Roseanna M. White grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, the beauty of which inspired her to begin writing as soon as she learned to pair subject with verb.


Perhaps it might sound a little contrived…but it’s also very true. As a primary schooler, I would sit on our porch or in our bay window that looked out over the Potomac River, with the Appalachians surrounding me, and I’d sketch and write and daydream. I have always been so in love with the rolling mountains, the stretching forests, and the changing seasons of my home state. Though I lived for quite a few years in Maryland, my husband and I were eager to move back across that river again as soon as the opportunity arose—and were all the more grateful for the “wild, wonderful” state after over a decade away.


West Virginia is called “The Mountain State” for good reason—the Appalachian Mountains cover the entire state, providing not only breathtaking beauty but a bit of insulation for its culture. There are still places in rural WV without electricity and running water, though those are few and far between these days. And it’s said that the deep mountain accent is the most accurate preservation of Elizabethan English to be found today, having remained largely un-influenced from outside sources for hundreds of years after the first settlers claimed homesteads in the hollows and valleys.


My portion of West Virginia is surrounded by Maryland, a stone’s throw from Pennsylvania, and a reach in the other direction will show you Virginia. But though life in the Eastern Panhandle might be more like life in Maryland in some ways, we’re still fiercely proud of being West Virginians. We love the freedoms our state government protects, the history of how we seized the opportunity afforded by the Civil War to separate from Virginia, and the quirks that come with being a Mountaineer—the fact that hunting season is practically a holiday (complete with no school on the first day), you’re hard pressed to find a family without a pick-up truck (and possibly a four-wheeler), and you can’t drive down the road without seeing the blue and gold of the state university branded across practically everything.


Many know West Virginia thanks to New River Gorge Bridge, which is on our state quarter and is one of the most photographed locations in the state. It’s the longest steel span bridge in the western hemisphere, and it’s also the third tallest in the U.S. Once a year, the bridge is closed to vehicular traffic and open to pedestrians and extreme sports fans for Bridge Day—when BASE jumping and rappelling combine with music, food, and craft vendors for West Virginia’s biggest one-day festival.

If you’re a fan of natural beauty, there’s no shortage of state parks, trails, hiking, camping, and rafting to be found here. This summer, my family enjoyed climbing up to the peak of Seneca Rock; right down the road from Smoke Hole Caverns, where my little boy was sad to discover there were no bats ready to flap their way down to say hello (though his grandmother was greatly relieved).


Though most of my books are set on other continents, I did have great fun bringing the characters in one of my novels to my neck of the woods. In Circle of Spies, which takes place largely in Baltimore during the last two months of the Civil War, my secret confederate is scoping out a place to hide some gold and ammunition, and the railroad takes him to the West Virginia side near Cumberland, Maryland. My climax scenes take place here, where caves might just be hiding in the mountains…and where a few devious minds might just have stashed some gold. Who can say?

You can learn more about me and my bestselling Christian historical fiction at www.RoseannaMWhite.com ~ and I also have a store on my website for purchasing signed books. Feel free to swing by!
 
I’m offering a copy of my partially-West Virginia set Circle of Spies to one person with a U.S. address. Just leave a comment  to enter! (Please be sure to include a form of contact)

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.


(all info released and provided by author)


November 19, 2017

The Washington of H L Wegley



Washington State holds an incredible diversity of climate, flora and fauna that is not matched by any state in the union. Consider that the driest mid-latitude desert in the world—less than 7” of rain per year—lays in the lee of Rattlesnake Mountain outside of Richland, Washington, where a herd of elk roams the desert using hidden springs for water. Seattle, on the shore of Puget Sound, has a beauty few cities can match.


But my wife, Babe, and I have a favorite Washington location far to the west of Seattle. The waters of the Sound and the Olympic Mountain range force one to drive 250-miles to reach the outer Olympic Peninsula, making it a remote wonderland for nature lovers that only gets crowded occasionally on summer weekends. On the outer Peninsula, a little southeast of Forks, the outdoorsmen and women will find the wettest temperate rainforest on the planet, where moss blankets everything except the tall Sitka Spruce and Western Red Cedar. 


It takes 170 inches of rain per year to produce this profuse growth of moss. But when the sullen, grey skies (shown below)grey shore turn sunny, everything—the beaches the water, the trees and the trails—becomes part of a paradise. One glimpse of the sunlit ocean at Rialto Beach, near Forks, and all thoughts of gloomy days and vampires vanish in the light. And if she saw it, Stephenie Meyer would agree. 

 
I have used the outer Peninsula as all or part of the setting for 3 novels. The trail shown here played a role in these 3 stories.  This shot reminds me of Psalm 119:105 – “a light unto my path.”  

As a retired meteorologist, I can make weather forecasts and then plan our 250-mile drive to sunny beaches … well, most of the time I can correctly forecast sunny beaches. Before one such trip, I saw altocumulus from Southwestern monsoon moisture moving northward from Oregon.  I forecast it to arrive just before sunset, when it would provide an out-of-this-world display of color.
Babe and I jumped into our SUV and literally raced the clouds and the sun to a beach 220 miles away. When we arrived, we jumped out of the car, me with my camera in hand, and ran down the trail onto the beach. We had beaten sunset by 3 minutes. What we watched for the next 45 minutes stole our breath. The picture below will show you why.

In mid-summer it takes nearly a half-hour for the sun to disappear once the bottom edge touches the horizon. This phenomenon occurs because the northern latitude causes the sun to appear to move northwestward. This
ball of color skims the horizon for at least 20 minutes, providing prolonged sunsets with continually changing hues of vivid color that has delirious photographers shooting so many pictures they often run out of memory or battery charge. I may be a bit biased, but my wife, Babe, makes a nice silhouette, enhancing this colorful sunset.

This is the Washington Babe and I know and love. If only it weren’t 250 miles from home … Who knows? Maybe someday, it won’t be.

H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a forecaster and a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for 20 years before retiring near Seattle where he writes novels and where he and his wife enjoy their grandchildren. He is an award-winning, multi-published author with a 4-book inspirational thriller series, a 3-book political thriller series, 2 nonfiction books, and 2 more novels on the way.

H. L. Wegley’s books – nothing graphic, always inspirational, with a climate of suspense and a forecast of stormy weather.

A printed copy of the award-winning novel, Voice in the Wilderness, will be given away. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post. This story posits the question:

What if your blog could save the nation, but posting to it might cost your life?


As catastrophes drive the US into martial law, all eyes are on America, waiting to see what emerges. KC Banning, network specialist, discovers President Hannan’s tyrannical plans and is branded a terrorist, sending her fleeing the Beltway to find her childhood soulmate and protector, Brock Daniels. Brock, a writer and man of faith, gives CPR to a dying nation through his blog, which is read by military members still loyal to the Constitution. But starting a grassroots insurgency while reconciling KC’s and Brock’s broken relationship proves difficult. When Hannan sends Special Forces to kill Brock and KC, starting a war in the Central Oregon desert, reconciliation, like staying alive, might be impossible.
Two extraordinary people … born for a time such as this.
Set in Washington DC and near Crooked River Ranch in the Central Oregon desert, Voice in the Wilderness, Book 1 of the Against All Enemies Series, is a political thriller, with romance, about two people who must decide if they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to prevent the USA from becoming the Dystopian States of America.

Voice in the Wilderness Gold medal winner, Reader’s Favorite Awards:
Book trailer (includes the main characters’ backstory):

Book 2, Voice of Freedom, Silver Medal Winner, Reader’s Favorite Awards:

Connect with H L Wegley:
Facebook author’s page: https://www.facebook.com/HLWegley   
(all info author provided)