Friday, February 24, 2012
Welcome Guest Author - Nancy Kay!
Steph: Thanks for visiting today, Nancy. I used to be stationed in upstate New York at Romulus in 1989 when I was in the military. It was about an hour south of Lake Ontario. What's your closest Great Lake?
Nancy: Glad to be here Steph. I live about one mile from Lake Erie. In the mid seventies my husbands work brought us here. I grew up about two hours away in a small western Pennsylvania town just north of Pittsburgh, but I have fond memories of vacations north to the Erie and Buffalo, New York area along the lake.
You mentioned being stationed at Romulus. I've discovered the Seneca Army depot was established in 1941 during World War 11 and phased out after the Gulf War in the 90's. The town was named after the mythical founder of Rome. You write paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romances, as well as children's stories, young adult stories, poetry and horror. Bet you could branch out and do some mythology with little effort!
STEPH: I chuckle because I'm reading Rick Riodan's "Percy Jackson" series with my 9 year old son. There's something about being close to water that I find soothing. What appeals to you about the Great Lakes?
Nancy: The way they change. We often go down to the lake and watch the sun set. Lake Erie sunsets are spectacular, and each day brings a something different. On stormy turbulent days the lake crashes and churns, beautiful grays and steely blues create a backdrop for mystery and mayhem. On clear sunny days, the bold orange and amber sky mesmerizes as the sun balances on the horizon before slipping into the lake. In winter, ice dunes form where the waves meet the shore and the sun often appears white against a backdrop of aquamarine. Whew! Now doesn't that make you think drama, suspense and most important...romance!
STEPH: Now that paints a very romantic picture. I grew up in New Hampshire about an hour away from the Atlantic. I love visiting lighthouses and exploring the shore where water meets land. I remember hunting for starfish and lobsters on the rocks at Hampton Beach. When I was stationed in New York in 1989, what impressed me when I visited Lake Ontario was how much the shore reminded me of the ocean. What Great Lakes have you been to?
Nancy: I've been to Lake Ontario, crossed the Mackinaw Bridge between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and visited the Keweenaw Peninsula which juts into Lake Superior. I've had the pleasure of crossing Lake Michigan on a large car ferry, the SS Badger from Michigan to Wisconsin. Quite an adventure!
Steph: Have you been able to work them into your stories?
Nancy: So far I've only written of sites close to Lake Erie. I concentrate on small towns, some real, some fictional. I love weaving the lure and beauty of this area into stories. The small towns and wonderful culture begs for their stories to be told. The area I've written about so far lies in the center of a triangle - Pittsburgh, Pa. to the south, Cleveland, OH. to the west, and Buffalo, NY to the east. Danger and Intrigue spill into the small towns and cities within this triangle. A fertile location for stories reflecting my ~sometimes bad things happen in small towns! ~ theme. After I conclude the Deadly Triad - book three comes out in September 2012, Deadly Encounter - I have another in mind for the area where I live. It's banging in my head and I've done some notes and loose outlines. Then, maybe I'll plan a getaway and check out another spot that might be of interest.
5. I understand there's some wine country up your way. Tell us about the PA/NY wine country. Do you have a favorite winery?
Nancy: What better back drop than rolling vineyards, and shared sparkling glasses of wine between lovers? Within a few miles of where I live are approximately ten wineries. My favorite is hard to pin down. Most of the local wines are of the sweeter variety because of the local grapes. However, in recent years new wineries have introduced dryer selections, providing something for everyone.
The wine belt stretches from eastern New York State, south of Buffalo, through Pennsylvania and into Ohio. Where I live in Pennsylvania the combination of climate and soil conditions are ideal for vineyards. In 1850 two insightful entrepreneurs planted the first vineyard near the community of North East. Their venture paid off in 1869 when South Shore Wine Co. was formed. Others followed, and today there are thousands of acres of vineyards and numerous wineries along the shores of Lake Erie.
STEPH: I love visiting California wine country in Napa and Sonoma counties, but we have closer counties to where I live. There's a lot of good wine that comes from the California Central Coast and Santa Barbara counties. In hindsight, I wish I would have explored the New York wine country. Have you been to gorge at Watkins Glen?
Nancy: I've only driven through the area. Why don't you tell me a little about the gorge? I'm always looking for a good spot for a suspense filled love story!
STEPH: The Gorge? My memory is rusty. There's a trickling brook, looks of greenery, rocks, hills, pleasant scents, its nature in its purest form and the gorge appeals to the explorer in me. Did you ever visit the Finger Lakes in upstate New York? I lived right next to Lake Seneca.
Nancy: Several years ago my husband and I spent a few days at Belhurst Castle located at the tip of Lake Seneca. It was very early spring and a little cool to explore the area, but we stayed at the Castle. My most vivid memory of our visit was a wine fountain in the Castle! Guests were welcome to use glasses provided in their rooms to help themselves. The accommodations were unique and in house dining provided a very cozy experience by a crackling fireplace sampling exotic and varied foods. But that's the only experience I've had in that particular area.
Steph: Now, why don't you tell us about your latest book, Deadly Revenge.
Nancy: Deadly Revenge is the second book of my Deadly Triad. Two of my favorite characters from Deadly Reflection, Ada and Rich, are in the spotlight in Deadly Revenge. Amidst suspense and danger two old friends rediscover one another. Here's an excerpt:
In silence, he helped her gather their after dinner wine glasses and followed her into the cottage. As she rinsed glasses, placing them in the dishwasher, Rich came to stand behind her. She leaned back when his arms encircled her, resting against him. "Are you surprised?" he asked.
She tilted her head, slanting a look over her shoulder. "No." His tawny gaze studied her. "No, I'm not. Things become locked inside a person over time. I've managed to build an emotional wall around myself. Tonight you shook that wall's foundation."
"Good." he smiled down at her. "Don't let guilt stop that wall from crumbling." His words held a wealth of understanding. "There are many ways to want a woman," he continued, pulling her close again. "It's been a while since my wants encompassed more than a physical itch."
His frank admission amused her, melting away some of the tension, pulling her thoughts back to center.
"You take my breath away, Ada. Sometimes I wonder how I overlooked you for so long. I'm not a shallow man, but something came alive in me when you showed up at Tom and Mary's looking totally different from the lady gardener I knew."
"You don't like my gardening attire?" she teased, shifting her weight.
"I actually kind of like you in your snug, red Ace T-shirt."
"Are you flirting with me, ma'am?"
"Hmmm. Maybe." Unless she was prepared to invite this man into her bed right now, she'd better stop. Stop and make sure this is what they both wanted.
Her eyes searched his face. She turned and, placing both hands on his chest, gently pushed him away. "I'm in danger of being swept off my feet," she admitted, and slapped her palm against him when he grinned and started to lean in again. "I need time to think about this, about us."
Rich tucked a wayward strand of her hair behind one ear, tracing his finger down her neck. "Don't look back. I've found it only complicates the road ahead. Good or bad, the past is just that, the past." He cupped her cheek and dropped a fast hard kiss on her lips. "How about we take things as they come and see where this goes?"
To conclude this foray into More Great Lakes Romance, I'd like to leave you with some interesting sites to visit.
Spend some time visiting some local wineries in Western Pennsylvania.