Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Adding Irish Touches to My Story.

I need to apologize for not posting last week. Hubby was rushed to the hospital with a pulmonary embolism. Many prayers were said on his behalf and as a result he is home now and doing very well.

During all the worry last week, I received some good news about my new novel. I learned that the book launch for Deceived will be November 15th at the Fort Union Deseret Book Store from 1:00 to 3:00. They want me to do a reading from the book, and there will also be door prizes, so stop by and join in the fun.

Okay, now on with the blog . . .

Cliffs of Moher
Have you ever wanted to go to Ireland? 

Me, too. 

And since my new novel, Deceived, has a main character whose  grandfather was from the Emerald Island, I really wanted to experience the place for myself.

So a few years ago, my daughter, Tricia, and I went on a dream trip to Ireland. That trip gave me enough information for several books and all I could have wanted for Deceived

Let me tell you a little about my main character's Irish background.

Tara Kelly grew up hearing stories of the old country from her grandfather. His stories were so vivid that Tara captured many of them in the picture books she created.

 Some of the stories were about rural Ireland.

Some were about the wee folk.

And some were about castles.

But in Deceived you never read about these stories.

What you do read about are Tara's dreams of Ireland. 

About the Burren limestone . . .

 About the capstone at the dolmen at Poulnabrone and how she believes it is a portal to the Land of the Dead . . .

And about the ghost that haunts Tara.

Okay, so that might not be a ghost, but then again, maybe it is. I took the picture while on a haunted bus tour of Dublin. Below is our tour guide.

I think he had probably been in the Land of the Dead quite some time. He smelled like he had been. Come to think of it he was actually from the haunted castle below.

We had so much fun!!!

 Even though Deceived it not set in Ireland, it does play a major role in the story.

Traveling not only makes a lot of wonderful memories, but it also helps a writer add terrific back story to a novel. 

Where have you traveled lately? Did you gather wonderful memories?

Next time I'll post about the history of the other main character in Deceived, Joseph White Eagle. 


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bi-pap, Surgery, and Tender Mercies

Have you ever heard of a Bi-pap machine? 

I only learned of them recently. I knew about C-pap machines. Several years ago Hubby was diagnosed with sleep apnea so we got the C-pap machine, hoping that would help him sleep better.

However, it didn't help. Poor Hubby still suffered, so he gave up using the machine.

And his health continued to slide. Here he is about a year ago. We'd taken our grandson for a hike. Hubby struggled to keep up.

Last June we went to Washington and visited a cousin I hadn't seen for many years. After we'd been there a while my cousin took me aside and told me how concerned he was about my husband's health. I knew Hubby wasn't feeling well, but for someone else to point it out alarmed me. 

How could I not have seen how ill my husband was? I mean, I live with him . . . I live with him and that's why I hadn't noticed his steady decline.
So as soon as we returned home, I called the doctor. After meeting with our GP, we were sent to a couple of specialists (a sleep specialist and a spine doctor).

Boy, were my eyes opened about sleep apnea. Did you know that if apnea is left untreated a  person's body will start to shut down? Needless to say, Hubby went in for a sleep study. 

And then we waited for the results.

Meanwhile, the spine doctor did an MRI which showed that Hubby had a herniated disc and degeneration of the spine. The spine doctor sent us to a surgeon. After injections and all sorts of tests it was decided that Hubby needed to have several discs decompressed. Surgery was scheduled. 

This was going on at the same time as the sleep study and the results were coming to a head at the same time. Talk about jangled nerves and sleepless nights.

After many prayers, Hubby was able to get a Bi-pap machine, which goes a step further than the C-pap and helps him breath when he stops, plus this machine also allows for oxygen. We were able to pick up the machine the Friday night before his Monday morning surgery. A very close call. 

Pre-op and dreading surgery.
 Pre-op was interesting. I knew Hubby was anxious. But soon they came and took him up, and I was directed to the waiting room. I sent a text to our daughters and son. They wanted to know when the operation started. 

As the minutes turned to hours, I grew nervous. After a couple of hours, my son showed up. He couldn't stand the wait and took time off from work. Finally an exhausted doctor came and told us all went well, but there had been major damage to Hubby's herniated disc and the doctor had to remove most of it.

That was three days ago. 

Hubby is home now resting in bed. He has a long ways to go with six weeks of no bending, lifting, or twisting. He can't even drive a car until we go back to see the surgeon next month.

Through it all I could see God's tender mercies. I know there will be more challenges and tender mercies ahead, but I had to publicly acknowledge the help our family has had from a loving Heavenly Father. 

Has there been times in your life when you have felt God's tender mercies?

I know I promised last week to post about Ireland and what it has to do with my new novel, Deceived, but I just had to take a break and give you a slice of my life as I'm living it.

I promise to let you know how Ireland, the Nez Perce, and a cattle ranch in Idaho play major roles in my book.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An Apology, and More Adventures in Research

First let me apologize for missing last week. I fully intended to post, but Hubby has not been well. He put his back out and we have made many trips to many doctors. When a loved one is sick blogging takes a back seat. He now is scheduled to have his back operated on in the next few days, and we're very hopeful that will give him some relief. 

I promised to give you a feel for my new novel, Deceived. I had a blast doing research for it. My last post was about my sister teaching me to ride and our dealings with an angry bull. This week I thought I'd tell you a little about the setting for my book. 

Setting is so important, and I loved the setting for this story. Let's start at the beginning, which takes us to a small airport. 

This is the one I modeled the airport in my story after. Not exactly the hustle and bustle of a big city, is it? 

See Tara Kelly, the protagonist in my story, was an eye-witness to the murder of her aunt. She is sent to a small town in Idaho to hide. At the airport, she is met by Joseph White Eagle. (Yes, he is tall, dark and handsome.)

From the airport they traveled northeast over a road very much like this one.

Tara thinks they are going to the other side of nowhere. Looks pretty isolated, doesn't it? 

On the way to Joseph's ranch, they go through Little Lost River.

 This is one of those towns that if you blink or sneeze you'll miss it. It's a place where everyone knows everyone else and strangers are greeted with a wave and a smile. 

But this is not their destination. Joseph is taking Tara to his ranch. 

This is the pretty valley where I placed Joseph's fictional ranch. Isn't it beautiful? Now just imagine a lake and a big ranch house along with a barn and you have the White Eagle Appaloosa Ranch. 

What happens after they arrive? 

Tara is a loose end that the killer cannot ignore, so you can imagine things get a little complicated.

I can't tell you everything, but next week I'll give you some background on Tara Kelly. Her grandfather was from Ireland and do I have fun things to share about the research I did there.

Going to places where I set my stories help me get a feel for what my characters will go through and the emotions they might have.  

In the places you have traveled, did a story pop into your mind? How did you feel? Don't forget to take notes and lots of pictures. It can all be used as research.


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