My aunt owns a cabin in the Sierra Nevada woods. Every summer my family goes up for few days. We bring our hiking boots, bikes, bathing suits and floatation devices. Sometimes we float on the river for hours, yelling for the kids to come rescue us when our river rafts go too far down stream–why paddle when you have children for that?
There’s a place called the Frosty that we go to get burgers, fries and soft ice cream cones dipped in chocolate. Every year we ride our bikes to a historical one-room cabin where the first trapper in the area set up shop. There’s a railroad museum and lots of Gold Rush exhibits, too.
One year we went horseback riding with a guide who showed us the original route of the Western Pacific Railroad. He kept talking about his gelding in the third person, things like, “Red bought this ranch you’re riding on,” “Yep, we owe it all to Red.” We had no idea who Red was, but eventually learned that he was a famous rodeo horse that earned a lot of prize money in his heyday. When we asked our tour guide why our horses’ tails were tied with ribbons, he answered, “So we won’t get shot by hunters.” Great. He was definitely an odd duck, but we got to see some magnificent out-of-the-way places.
What we didn’t get to see was a bear. Every year we hope for a sighting only to be disappointed. Usually the suckers show up after we’ve left to drink the leftover beer and scrape the tri-tip bits out of the barbeque. We’ve gotten to see plenty of deer, though. And fish, jumping in the river. The place is pretty magical for us. So magical that I had to make it the setting for GOING HOME, the first book in my Nugget romance series. Nugget is purely fictional, but is based largely on a number of the towns in the area. Those mountains have not only given my family a good respite from our everyday lives, but they’ve been the perfect muse for my writing.
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About GOING HOME
The small mountain town of Nugget, California, has a strange way of giving people unexpected reasons to start over—and find the most irresistible chances to fall in love…
Maddy Breyer needs to prove she can make her own life after betrayal blew up her previous happily-ever-after. Staying totally focused on renovating a decrepit mansion into a bed-and-breakfast might help her—and this recession-hit town—finally turn things around. But the mysterious new sheriff is the kind of lawbreaking temptation that’s an even bigger challenge to resist…
Detective Rhys Shepard is only back in Nugget long enough to care for his ailing father. He’s got a big-city promotion far away from this place that never accepted him. He does not need a sudden crime wave to solve. Or one leggy case of heartbreak stirring up all kinds of trouble and challenging his rules. Which might explain why he’s suddenly finding it hard to leave…
About Stacy Finz
Stacy Finz is an award-winning former San Francisco Chronicle reporter. After more than twenty years covering notorious serial killers, naked-tractor-driving farmers, fanatical foodies, aging rock stars and weird Western towns, she figured she finally had enough material to launch a career writing fiction. In 2012 she won the Daphne du Maurier Award for unpublished single-title mystery/suspense. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband. Visit her website for more information.