I am very excited to be promoting the release (today!) of my fourth book in my romantic comedy series—Liar, Liar, Hearts On Fire. The previous books have taken place solely in Bozeman, Montana and I used the time I lived there as my research. In Liar, Liar, Hearts On Fire, Violet and Mike go on a little trip—to Alaska. Which meant I had to go there and do 'research.'
For all you non-writers out there, you can imagine the sacrifice I made for my craft to go with my family on an Alaskan vacation in July. Like my book, it was a family reunion. We did go on the beautiful train ride to Seward. We did fish in Hope. We did go to the Alaska Zoo and see the gorgeous Siberian Tiger. All in the name of research.
But what about Mike's Uncle Bob? He's a Civil War buff in the book and his character's quirks had to be researched too. So I did. Every year, we go back East to visit family and I drag my boys to every Civil War reenactment that's out there. One year we did Gettysburg (hotter than anything I can remember). We've done many an encampment (a reenactment of a camp of soldiers on their march from one battle to another, usually held at a historic homesite) which are much better. Usually there's a tree or two for shade!
This past summer, we went to Rose Hill Manor in Hagerstown, Maryland for their annual reenactment. Here's a little video of the 2012 experience—made by someone who knows their way around a video camera—which means not me! (http://vimeo.com/45845476) With all of our outings, the one Civil War person who I 'met' the most was Jubal Early. I loved his name, loved seeing him over and over at different reenactments (played by different men) and found him intriguing. So I made Uncle Bob be Jubal Early.
To prove I researched this long dead soldier, here's a photo of me with 'Jubal Early' at the Rose Hill Manor reenactment in 2013.
If you were going to 'research' something for a book, what—or where—would it be?
Liar, Liar, Hearts On Fire Blurb:
Violet Miller is a teacher savoring her summer break until she's been called in as emergency reinforcements—of the dating kind. She volunteers to help an old flame by pretending to be his girlfriend. In Alaska. At a family reunion. Since the guy is a handsome, lumberjack-sized doctor she's never quite forgotten, faking a relationship won't be hard work.
Mike Ostranski is a desperate man on vacation. His mother wants grandchildren and sees a crazy Alaskan woman as a candidate for daughter-in-law. Mike needs Violet by his side to deflect the lady's advances.
A week in Alaska as boyfriend and girlfriend should be easy for them. They grew up together, even had a brief fling. What could go wrong?
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