Wednesday, August 28, 2019

From Sea to Shining Sea, by Carol J. Post


I am currently plotting a new series. One of the things I love about starting a new book or series is visiting and researching the setting. There are so many intriguing and beautiful places across the US. I live in Florida but also spend a lot of time at my sister’s place in North Carolina, so until now, all of my stories have taken place in one of those two states.

Last April, my sister and I flew out to North Bend, Washington and visited friends. On our way back to the Seattle airport, I got a call from my agent who said that Love Inspired wanted me to write a story for the Baby Protectors series. When she finished telling me all the requirements, she said, “They also want the story set in a western state…kind of like where you are right now!” I said if I could use North Bend, Washington for my setting, I would do it. Of course, that was going to involve another trip out west since we were already en route home.

When I got back to Florida, I set to work with Google and the zillions of pictures I had taken. One place that just had to make it into my story was the summit at Snoqualmie Pass.
Selfie against a background of snow
Me, my friend Nicole and my sister Kim

Even though it was April, our friend Nicole was keeping an eye on the weather and telling us how dangerous Snoqualmie Pass gets when snow comes in, which happens even that late in the year. After determining it was safe, we made the trip up to the west summit where we drove through a resort area with street names like Ober Strasse and Unterstrasse, and Swiss-style homes jutting up through a deep blanket of snow.
Home partially hidden by six-foot tall snow banks
Fortunately, the plow had come through, making the streets drivable. Besides being breathtakingly beautiful, it was the perfect location to have my hero and heroine and little niece snowed in and trapped when the bad guys come to get them!

 




Gazebo at Railroad Community Park, Snoqualmie

Another site I wanted to use was the Railroad Community Park in downtown Snoqualmie, which is one of the stops on the scenic train ride. The gazebo there seemed like a romantic place for a marriage proposal. Although I loved the park, we didn’t have time for the train ride on the first trip, so that was going to be a must-do for our follow-up trip.

By the time my sister and I returned in September, I had Dangerous Relations mostly written. Then it was time to revisit places I’d been in April to make sure I had all the details right, besides deciding on other things, like the perfect location for my heroine’s diner, the path the hero takes when trying to chase down the villain, and the hero’s housing accommodations near Naval Base Kitsap, where he’s stationed. (My sister’s military ID got us onto the base.)

Sis with her goodies
When we stopped at Vanity Fair, where the hero and heroine stop to pick up some things on their way out of town, we had to hit the clearance racks! 





During our September trip, we made time for the North Bend/Snoqualmie train excursion, which stopped at an interesting railway museum with exhibits and dozens of old railroad cars. The route made a loop, starting and ending at the Railroad Community Park we had visited in April. 


100-year-old passenger coach

Apples growing wild along the tracks

Looking down over Snoqualmie River Valley from the train

The series I’m working on now is set near Pensacola, Florida. I don’t have mountains, waterfalls and snow to work with, but beaches, rivers and bayous have their own beauty. And danger, especially if I throw in a hurricane, gators and a couple of bad guys!

What are some places you think would make a good setting for a Love Inspired Suspense novel or series? Any places you've been that you've fallen in love with?


Dangerous Relations is releasing September 1. You can check it out here:

Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Harlequin

He’ll do anything to save his niece…

In this The Baby Protectors novel

When her sister’s murdered, navy man Ryan McConnell insists on protecting Shelby Adair and their niece—especially after someone tries to kidnap little Chloe. But can Shelby trust the child’s uncle? After all, she’s convinced his family’s behind the attacks. But the longer Ryan shields them, the more Shelby wonders if becoming a forever family is their only shot at survival.





Carol J. Post splits her time between sunshiny Central Florida and beautiful Murphy, North Carolina. She writes fun and fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Her books have won two Royal Palm Literary Awards and been nominated for two RITA® awards and an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award. Besides writing, she works alongside her music minister husband singing and playing the piano. She also enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of two sassy black cats.

5 comments:

  1. WOW, Carol. Your travels in the name of research are so fascinating. And I love how your sister went with you! That's wonderful. I think the 100-year old train is so beautiful. I love trains. I've never heard of Snoqualmie Pass but is really sounds intriguing and beautiful. I'm glad you were able to safely conduct your research there. I really love how you do so much extensive research in order to write your books. And the gazebo setting for a proposal is very romantic. With regards to LIS settings I think Seattle or New Orleans would be great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Belle. My sister has helped me with research several times. She has so much better sense of direction than I do, so it's always great having her along. She helps me with plotting, too. I agree, New Orleans would be a cool setting.

      Delete
  2. That is a beautiful area of Washington. The train sounds exciting. I haven't done that. Your trip sounds lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Terri. Last April was my first time to the Pacific Northwest, and I was in awe of the scenery. I'm used to the Smoky Mountains, but what you guys have out there is so different.

      Delete
  3. Carol, lovely post! I so enjoyed the photos and learned about a new-to-me area of the world...one that I now want to visit!

    Can't wait to read DANGEROUS RELATIONS. It sounds intriguing!

    ReplyDelete