This past weekend, I traveled to Wallowa County, the area where my character Gabriel Hawke lives and works. It is also where I grew up. I spent Friday night with my brother and sister-in-law. We caught up on things, watched two of their grandchildren while their son played with his band at an open mic night at Terminal Gravity brewery.
My SIL and I woke up Saturday morning and headed toward Clarkston, WA, where the book signing was to take place. The north highway, which is mentioned a lot in Hawke’s books because he uses it a lot to get to places to check on hunters, was not as much fun to drive. We were barely out of Enterprise, and it started snowing and blowing. We crept along at 35 MPH. A couple times it was a whiteout. I couldn’t see the sides of the road, but thankfully there was little traffic. (I think we were the only crazy people out driving.) I drove in the middle of the unplowed road.
We had left early and made it to the bookstore in Clarkston with about twenty minutes to spare. Carmen Peone, the other author at the event showed up just after we did. After setting up and putting out our goodies- I brought cookies and Carmen brought veggies and fruit- we started catching up.
Readers came and went during our time at the store. We enjoyed visiting with each of them and giving advice to an aspiring writer. Carmen had a family member show up and a friend. I had a reader the bookstore owner had turned onto my books. She was fun to talk to at the age of 90. She was full of life and had interesting stories.
Carmen also told me about a Choctaw woman, Sarah Sawyer, who writes books and teaches writers, like me who is non-native, how to write respectfully. I started listening to her modules on the subject and am feeling much better about my books and how I convey my characters. I have more to listen to and will be following her blog and books. I also ordered one of her books.
On the drive home it was uneventful other than seeing a herd of elk on the side of the canyon going south on Rattlesnake Grade out of Washington.
Back at my brother’s we settled in to a quite night of wine and conversation. Sunday I headed home. And just before Wallowa there was another herd of elk in a field alongside the highway. It was my trip for seeing elk. I wonder if that was a sign to have the work elk in my next Hawke book??
Speaking of books, today is the release of The Squeeze, book 4 in my Spotted Pony Casino mystery series.
Lies, deceit, blackmail.
Murder ends it all.
Or does it?
When an employee at the Spotted Pony Casino is caught leaving early, Dela Alvaro, head of security confronts the woman. The lies the woman tells only piques Dela’s curiosity. After witnessing the employee threatening a man, she is found murdered in her car parked in the driveway of her home.
Upon learning the woman used her job at the casino to blackmail men, Dela feels compelled to solve the woman’s murder and teams up with Tribal Officer Heath Seaver. Not only does the duo have a death to solve, but there is also a mystery behind Dela’s dead father. Not to mention, her mom just announced she’s marrying a man Dela has never met.
Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/u/4X0WY9
My narrator and I are getting things squared away to begin the production of this in audiobook.
That’s all the excitement here in SE Oregon at the moment. It is cold and windy. We could really use some warm weather.