Every skier knows that anything can happen when trails merge.
After a devastating ultimatum from her lover, Campbell Carson returns to her childhood home, Bear Run Ski Resort, seeking her family’s unconditional solace and support. Parker Riley escapes to the mountain after the high-powered world of Chicago’s political machine leaves her questioning her judgment in both life and love. Despite their initial wariness, the women find their budding friendship snowballing toward romance. The idyllic mountain resort is the perfect setting for them to learn to rebuild trust, and perhaps to find a second chance at love. However, when Parker’s past resurfaces, Campbell is forced to face her own hard truths. As barely healed wounds reopen, the unexpected obstacles in their path threaten any hope for a future together.
Pub Date: Dec, 2008
Is a book that’s near and dear to me for so many reasons, one of which is its setting. The book takes place at a small, family-run ski resort, and one of the main characters is a ski instructor, which meant I got to do a lot of skiing and write it off as research. Here are some ski-related extras for you to enjoy.
This is the cabin (behind me and Niki) where I first started writing Trails Merge. It is also a loose inspiration for Campbell and Sammy’s cabin in the book.
This is the picture I kept in mind while writing Trails Merge. It is my wife and me at Big Powderhorn, but in my mind it became Parker and Campbell looking over Bear Run.
Here is the original shot of the “Trails Merge” sign you see on the cover of the book. It was taken by my “baby daddy,” Will Banks, on one of our ski trips to Peek’n Peak in Western New York.
Once I was writing Trails Merge, I realized that I needed to be able to tap back into the frustration of a beginner skier. At that point I was already a solidly intermediate skier but had never been on a snowboard before. I decided to take a lesson for “research.” I also videotaped some of the lesson thinking it would add to my coolness factor come promo time. Not so much.
As the day went on, I did get some good instruction, much of which shows up in the part of the book where Campbell gives Parker her ski lessons. By afternoon I had made some drastic improvements and even had an awesome run.
And then I got a concussion 😦
When the book was released I started to get a lot of questions from non-skiers who didn’t know what some of the equipment looked like. Many of my readers from other countries had never heard of a “stocking cap” or a “camel back,” so I shot a video of me getting suited up to ski to help reader visualize the process.
I ended up shooting a lot of ski video throughout the “research” process, and if you are interested in seeing me make a fool of myself you can check them out on Youtube.
Trails Merge was nominated for a Golden Crown Literary Award in the category of Traditional Contemporary Romance, and I was so very honored to have my book in the same list as so many great books by some writers that I admire so very much. That being said, I didn’t expect to win, and no one was more shocked than I was when I saw this flash on the screen.
I was a bumbling mess when I finally made it to the podium, and I am still in disbelief, but all you have to do is look at this picture to see how happy I was to be holding that Goldie in my hand.
This was a great end to a truly enjoyable writing process.
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