As a writer, finding inspiration can come in many shapes and forms. For myself, it’s usually in the form of photographs, images which evoke a visceral response and spark the voices in my head.
These photos, of Bodie, California are those type of images for me. Looking at those old, ramshackle buildings from a bygone era, still upright and standing despite the passing of decades evoke such emotional responses I can’t help but find myself trying to find a way of getting them into a new story.
Bodie (/ˈboʊdiː/ BOH-dee) is a ghost town in the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Mono County, California, United States, about 75 miles (121 km) southeast of Lake Tahoe. It became a boom town in 1876 and following years, after the discovery of a profitable line of gold, and suddenly attracted several thousand residents. It is located 12 mi (19 km) east-southeast of Bridgeport, at an elevation of 8379 feet (2554 m). The U.S. Department of the Interior recognizes the designated Bodie Historic District as a National Historic Landmark.
Also registered as a California Historical Landmark, the ghost town officially was established as Bodie State Historic Park in 1962. It receives about 200,000 visitors yearly. Since 2012, Bodie has been administered by the Bodie Foundation, which uses the tagline Protecting Bodie’s Future by Preserving Its Past.
(Courtesy of the Wikipedia website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodie,_California )
There’s something special about these buildings, as though their inhabitants and their memories are still making their presence known, even now in modern times. I’ve never visited Bodie myself, but it’s certainly one of the places on my bucket list of things to see.
What about you? What strikes a flame to the wick of your imagination?
LOYAL & TRUE
Hearts of Caledonia, Book 1
by Laura Strickland
Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
In defiance of her father, Caledonian tribeswoman Barta leads a daring raid against invading enemy warriors. But the fight goes badly, and her beloved war hound, Loyal, is killed. Unable to imagine existing without her dearest companion, she nevertheless must return home and accept blame for her terrible blunder.
For the first time in his life, Loyal is unable to rise and follow his mistress. When he appeals to the Goddess for mercy, she grants him leave to return on one condition: it must be in the form of a man. And only if Barta recognizes him for who he truly is will he be permitted to stay.
Loyal never suspects that, as a man, his connection with Barta will deepen, becoming passionate enough to transcend nearly any change. Will Barta recognize him before he’s lost to her forever?
Life is good for globe-trotting supernatural agent Alyse Winters until she finds herself on the wrong end of a burn notice. Cuffed and cut off from her magic, Alyse is dumped in Philadelphia where her past is only too eager to catch up with her. Add a few supernatural murders to the mix with Alyse as the prime suspect and she’s ready to do anything to get her powers back…if she can survive being human long enough to clear her name.
This is the first book I’ve read by A. Blythe, and I enjoyed it very much. The main character was a kick ass, gung-ho heroine, who finds herself in an extremely difficult position when her magical powers are snuffed out for some as yet unknown reason. This is the makings of the start of a series, in which A. Blythe has created some genuinely interesting characters, and in the main protagonist’s situation, some unique issue for her to overcome. I thoroughly enjoyed the storytelling, and A. Blythe’s first person writing style with a touch of snark was most entertaining. There were a couple of points during the story where I felt some pieces of information were being repeated unnecessarily, and where the pacing felt a little bit off, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the reading experience. I will definitely move onto the second book in the Magic Bullet series. Highly recommended.
SIRENS & SCALES
Genre: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
From the darkest skies to the deepest seas, dive into a breathtaking collision of mermaids, dragons, sirens, and more in SIRENS & SCALES, a unique Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Collection!
Your travels through these stories of dazzling ocean tides and the dizzying reaches of the heavens will leave you breathless. Join dragon shifters and mer-creatures for an experience of salty seafaring adventures and magnificent airborne enterprises where sky meets sea, love meets its match, and imagination has no end.
With 26 full-length stories of enchanting fiction, you’ll learn the secrets of Atlantis, soar to uncharted peaks, and discover creatures of wing and fin and those who love them.
Ready to set sail and catch the tide before your chance for adventure is lost forever? Then order this collection of BRAND NEW and EXCLUSIVE material from your favorite USA Today and award-winning authors before it’s gone for good!
The Love Brothers, Book 1
by Liz Crowe
Genre: Contemporary Family Saga Romantic Comedy
MESSAGE FROM LIZ: This series is chock full of humor and heat … and REAL LIFE. It truly is not a typical, fantasy, fairy-tale romance but to me, that makes the HEAs that much sweeter. Please do NOT go into any Liz Crowe reading experience seeking billionaires, rescue-able heroines or cookie-cutter characters. These books are not for everyone but if you really groove on realistic situations, people behaving badly at times, and being redeemed by the love of family, friends, and spouses this IS the series for you!
Tired of Cookie Cutter Fiction?
Meet The Love Brothers!
WARNING: Do NOT read if you prefer your romance predictable and/or conventional.
Love Garage is open for business! In Book 1 of this compelling family saga-style romance series meet the Love family and see how oldest brother Antony deals with getting his girlfriend stolen by the baby brother Aiden. Hint: Not very well.
Set in horse country near Lexington, Kentucky, The Love Brothers Series is a saga of family devotion that runs as wide and deep as the Ohio River–except on Sundays when brothers Antony, Kieran, Dominic and Aiden work out their frustrations on the basketball court, Love brother style.
The Love Brothers: A family saga with humor, heat and heart…Not to mention beer, bourbon and basketball.
Meet the family:
A King Security Novel, Book 2
by Anni Fife
Genre: Steamy Romantic Suspense
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Zoey Morgan seems to have it all as a successful surgeon in Boston. However, perfection lies only on the surface. Plagued by nightmares and amnesia from a tragedy that ripped her family from her fourteen years ago, she finds the courage to reach out to the only man who can make her feel safe. She’s buried the memory of their love, but her heart—and her body—responds to the ex-marine in ways that are all too familiar.
Grayson “Gray” Walker’s heart shattered when Zoey chose another man over him. Since then, he’s built an impenetrable wall around his emotions. But from the moment she implodes back into his life, her vulnerability breaches his defenses. His skills as an elite member of the King Security team cannot shield him from the devastation of learning he might have left Zoey high and dry when she needed him most. Now, Gray must navigate the tripwire of helping her heal while protecting himself from being hurt again.
As the embers of their potent love reignite, an old threat awakens, leading to greater danger than ever before.
PLAYING IT COOL
A Men of Steele Novella
by Zoë Mullins
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publication: January 9, 2018
When Spencer’s old college roommate offers him a job at Steele Construction, he doesn’t hesitate. Not only does he get to be closer to his sister and her family, he may finally have the chance to repair the rift between himself and his parents.
His parents live only three hours away but it may as well be on Mars as a blizzard moving up the coast has him seeking refuge at The Red Gate Inn. Spencer prides himself on playing it cool, but something about the raven-haired innkeeper has him overheated.
As a single working mom, Gina didn’t get much time to herself. With her mom and daughter off to Florida for a week, and the inn she owns closed for the holidays, she is looking forward to some me time. Then it started to snow. In good conscience she couldn’t turn away her brother’s newest employee when he needed shelter from the storm, but her guest has her feeling anything but professional.
It may be cold outside but things are heating up at the Inn.