Joy of Romance, Sierra Style

Lucky me, I'm part of Read A Romance Month 2015. This year's theme is The Joy of Romance. Yeah, I thought that sounded fun, too. You'll find links to other contributing posts at the bottom. AND THERE'S A GIVEAWAY! So read on!

Here's we go:

As soon as our youngest daughter was out the door headed for college, my husband and I hightailed to Yosemite Valley where the John Muir Trail begins.  This 18-day backpacking trip was quite the undertaking: 220 miles long, eight vertical miles of climbing, and only two places along it offering showers and food we didn't schlep on our backs. Not your idea of a good time? How do I convince you it was not only fun, but romantic?

To me, romance is the expression of love. It's showing someone how much you cherish them, how life would be less thrilling, less interesting, and smaller, without them. What better way than to be alone together, in the wilderness, away from devices and televisions and jobs and traffic and children and his family and your family get the idea. 

Without distractions, we were free to be ourselves. All day we walked. Sometimes we talked. Sometimes we were silent, because the deep silence of the wilderness is one of its pleasures. We told each other stories and sang songs (well, I did) and splashed in rivers. We carried everything we needed on our backs, making a new home each night. In the evenings, we sat shoulder-to-shoulder on a rock ledge over looking a lake, or a rushing stream, and felt immeasurably lucky to be there, and to be there together. 

We said goodnight to the stars, crawled into our tent, exhausted and footsore, and slept for eleven hours in our nylon haven. One night, on the rim of a vast lake,  gale force winds buffeted the tent, disrupting our sleep, but we were secure, and unafraid, and we greeted the bright morning, eager to walk again, just the two of us.

My second novel, MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE, is set along the John Muir Trail. I couldn't guess when I began writing it, however, that it would become a love story. Looking back, I guess I should've known. 

Here are five questions all the contributing authors are answering.

1. Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy. 

At the summit of Mount Whitney, where the John Muir Trail ends, of course! I was joyful, all right--I made it!--and also exhilarated and relieved. And cold! The wind at the top was tremendous, discouraging us from lingering, despite the spectacular views. This photo is not from Whitney, but Post Peak Pass in Yosemite, but captured the feeling better than one of me bundled up and shivering.

2. Tell us about a sound that brings you joy (or a memory attached to sound — music, laughter, wind chimes… ?)

The chorus of birdsong on a spring morning at our home in Virginia. It’s wonderful to wake up to, and fills the day with hope.

3. What book have you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it? Why?

Winnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne. I first read it as an adult. It’s filled with wisdom, compassion and humor. Piglet is my guru.

4. Pick your Chris! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock, Chris Evans or Christopher Plummer (circ. 1964 aka Capt. Von Trapp?) 

Except for Rock and Plummer, I had to look these boys up! Tough job. I’ll go with Hemsworth--just about anywhere.

5. Just for fun--your joy of choice!

I can't decide between cooking and gardening. How about cooking with vegetables from my garden? Yeah, I really like that. 


Comment below for a chance to win an advance copy of Middle of Somewhere!

 US only (sorry--publisher's rules). Ends 8/12.


Want to read more about the Joy of Romance? Try posts by these fabulous authors Tall Poppy Writers: Amy Impellizziri, Marin ThomasAmy Reichert, Anita Hughes and Cathy Lamb