Laura Haley-McNeil

10/7/18, The Woods

Hello, Everyone!

Here we are in October, and the months are whipping by, but the cooler weather keeps me indoors and firmly planted in front of my laptop, which is a good thing. When I’m creating stories, I’m often thinking of places I’ve visited. One of my favorite places is near my father’s childhood home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We would ride horses through the woods, which have since been declared a wilderness area. It always seemed like wilderness to me. We would ride through the trees and around the ponds, see deer and chipmunks and gray jays, but wouldn’t see people for miles and there was no hum of nearby traffic to drown nature’s music.

One of our favorite places to ride was a grove of aspen called The Cathedral. The aspen were tall and slender and towering and would arch over the trail. It looked like a medieval cathedral had been built in France or England. The narrow trail would meander through the trees. We’d lean back in the saddle and stare at the sky and the arching tree branches that would cover the trail. In the fall, the trees were splendid with red and gold and orange. There were so many beautiful and secret places in the woods.

In my book, Imagine the Kiss, my heroine, Teagan Whitloch Munroe, flees her disastrous marriage to find peace at the Crystal Creek Ranch. Her life is complicated with her position with the Denver orchestra as concertmaster. She is a frequent guest performer with other orchestras throughout the world and she works with a record producer for her recordings. Whenever she can escape this rat race, she goes to Crystal Creek. This is the place where she can be with the family she loves and sort out the difficulties in her life.

As she rides through the woods, she is intrigued by the acoustics and comes to a place where the aspen arch over the trail forming a cathedral-like ceiling. Sound familiar? She plays her violin in the area and is impressed with the sound she can create. As a violinist, sound is her life. After corresponding with her record producer, she agrees to make recordings in the area so her producer can judge the sound quality for the upcoming recording. It’s there that she discovers she’s not alone, but the man hiking through the woods merely apologizes for disturbing her solitude and slips away. Now she must learn who is this man and what is he hiding, for though he spoke to her, he never revealed himself.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Imagine the Kiss yet, I hope you will. I’m very proud of this book, and I hope you love it!

Have a wonderful week filled with beautiful and wonderful things!