When I started my blog three years ago today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wrote my inaugural post about bees, then subsequent posts about great-horned owlets, desert chopper rides, prairie dogs and a host of other desert experiences, feeling inspired by my natural surroundings and buoyed creatively. As the theme of my blog implies, I can and do find writing lessons from what I see in my rural corner of the desert. Still.
Never did I expect the sense of community that this little blog – with the help of Twitter – would foster. I’ve met writers, readers, bakers and candlestick makers (okay – maybe not the latter) – people who share my interests, fears, dreams, hopes and who pass along new thoughts and ideas daily.
One of those people is author, Erika Marks, whose third novel – The Guest House – just happens to be releasing today, the very day of my three-year blogaversary.
We met on Twitter back in 2010 when we were both new to the social media scene, soon discovering a shared interest in all-things nature, hiking, biology (her hubby’s a science teacher) and birds (we are among a bird-nerd group incessantly Tweeting photos of our sightings).
What better blogaversary giveaway than an author-signed copy of The Guest House? I’m excited to read this latest gem, because this book draws from Erika’s past as a carpenter. She’s also been a cake decorator, art director, culinary creator … wait … candlestick maker, perchance?
Before you get the full scoop about this family saga set in a coastal Cape Cod town (a tale of combative families and hidden declarations of love),enjoy this sneak-peek passage that illustrates Erika’s appreciation of the natural world:
The hours of dusk had always been her favorite in the house, watching the evening sun slip lower through the windows, feathering the floors with shades of lilac and silver, bringing with it the gentle breeze of coming night and the luscious smells of earth and sea settling into sleep. It was a sexy time, full of secrets and promise. She’d always thought so. Now, here with Cooper, she felt the stirrings of that promise again. Somehow she suspected dinner with him, their table basking in the lavender glow of sunset, would be a deeply romantic experience.
Ooo la la. Earthy and steamy! Erika’s additional passions – for legend and lore, history, and the power of love – will be apparent to readers of The Guest House. (Did I mention how much I loved Erika’s Little Gale Gumbo and The Mermaid Collector, as well?)
To Win a Signed Copy: Between June 4 and June 9 (midnight EST), just answer one (or more, if you’re so inclined) of the following questions. The winner will be selected using random.org and announced June 10.
- In what ways has social media surprised you – good or bad? Any stories of lasting connections, friendships, fun or freakiness?
- In what ways does nature inspire your creativity? I would love to hear personal anecdotes.
- Why do you want to read The Guest House?