#StrongRomanceHeroines, Avon, Guestpost, Reading, Writing

Guestpost – Codi Gary and The Men in Uniform Series

 

I’ve been a huge fan of Codi Gary’s Rock Canyon, Idaho series, (I mean, who wouldn’t love her #StrongRomanceHeroines?!) so I’m super excited about her new Men in Uniform series, set in north California.

I’m lucky enough to have Codi here today, talking about her inspiration for the setting…

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With my Rock Canyon, Idaho series, I pulled locales from the area I live in now, but for the first twenty-nine years of my life, I was a Nor Cal girl.

Growing up in little towns like Mt. Aukum and later, Latrobe, I spent my weekends walking the two miles down the road to the café and video store to grab lunch and a movie, stopping off at the general store for an ice cream on the way home. If we wanted to go to Costco, we had to drive an hour down to Sunrise Ave in Citrus Height, a part of Southeast Sacramento.

When I was a teenager, I was desperate to get my license because my friend’s parents hated driving out to the boonies and up a half a mile bumpy dirt road to get me. In my early to mid-twenties I found myself moving closer and closer to the city, from Folsom to Roseville and then Fair Oaks. For the last few years before our big move, we lived off Raley Blvd. One night, I heard gunshots while my husband was working late and I couldn’t shrug them off as deer season. That was when city life really lost its charm for me, but the Sacramento Area was the perfect setting for my series.

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After all, writing what you know is the author’s mantra, right? I get to write about some of my favorite places in the whole world, places I miss like crazy, especially certain times of year. Like Apple Hill, a twelve mile curvy road with farms and orchards all along it between Placerville and Pollock Pines. I plan on using this for a scene in book two, and letting my characters enjoy some of the apple donuts, and spiced cider that brings back so many warm memories for me. And seeing concerts in Discovery Park!

In One Lucky Hero, Dean Sparks and Violet Douglas meet there for the first time, and it was fun going back to my first concert, remembering the sights and sounds (not necessarily the smell though. In a hundred degree heat with a mass of people, you can get some interesting odors.)

The thing about this area is that in two hours you can be in a completely different terrain and find so many interesting places to explore. Folsom Lake, Grass Valley, Davis, Lockeford, Strawberry…even places only locals know about. And I look forward to helping you explore all of it while my characters find their happily ever after.

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The first book in the Men in Uniform series to explore Sacramento, I Need a Hero, is available now at  Amazon,    B & N, GooglePlay, iTunes and Kobo.

An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

To find out more about Codi , check out her website, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
#StrongRomanceHeroines, Guestpost, Harper Impulse

Guestpost – Jules Wake and a Question of Inspiration

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As a writer I’m often asked where I get my ideas from and is it difficult to come up with them.

I’m rather fortunate in that I always have lots of ideas but I have to admit the best ones come that moment of inspiration.  My favourite source of inspiration is the radio.  Because you’re listening to something without visual aid, what your hear on the radio often allows your imagination to fill in the gaps.

My latest book From Italy with Love was inspired when I was listening to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2.  It was during the annual drive and dine event, in which listeners bid for the chance to drive one of a collection of very expensive vintage cars.

I was driving to work and had stopped at the traffic lights, when I heard the throaty roar of one of a vintage Ferrari, the California Spyder GT250.  I know very little about cars but I was immediately taken with the thought of what it would be like to be a very ordinary person who owns an extraordinary car and the whole story was born.

 © Leerobin | Dreamstime.com Copyright Lee Robin Dreamstime.
© Leerobin | Dreamstime.com

From Italy with Love follows the story of Laurie Brown who’s lived her live in the shadows afraid to take any risks and as a result has started to accept second best.  When she inherits a vintage Ferrari and the challenge to drive it across Europe, it starts a chain of events leading to a journey of self-discovery.

I spent many a happy hour researching vintage cars and planning the journey across Europe.  Many of the stopping points on Laurie’s trip were inspired by some of my favourite places including Paris and parts of Italy.  I even included some very specific places such as the Musée Marmottan in Paris, which is one of my favourite museums and home to a magnificent collection of Monet paintings.

From Italy With Love

Although all of the settings are real towns and areas, I created the hotels and chateaus from my imagination, taking all the best bits from true life experiences I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy.   When I’m writing I have a very clear picture in my head and it’s rather like running my own personal film in my head which I then have to try and capture on paper, often easier said than done!

I’ve just finished the follow up novel based on the story of Laurie’s sister, From Paris With Love At Christmas, and once again I’m taking Paris as my inspiration for several scenes in the book.

With a recent trip to New York and the Hamptons fresh in my mind, I’m sure there’s plenty of inspiration there for a new story.

Word wrangler, jelly herder, fuelled on wine,  chocolate and marmite, Jules Wake shares her house with husband, teenagers and dust bunnies.  Allergic to cleaning, writing is therefore ideal displacement activity.

Connect online with her on her  WebsiteTwitterFacebook.