I want to thank Susabelle Kelmer, my guest today, for her post on the history of place. It’s an enjoyable read and, surprisingly, describes my hometown here in Canada.
The History of Place
I’m so excited to be hanging out on Marlow’s blog today! We share the same publisher (The Wild Rose Press) and have had some great conversations over the past couple of months about the whole process of publishing and getting the word out about our novels. My debut novel, Fairest of the Faire, with The Wild Rose Press, came out this month (more on that later).
Are there times when you walk into or through places that whisper their history to you? It’s kind of like a tap on the shoulder, a “psst” in your ear, a tug on your shirt sleeve, making you stop and take notice. I get that feeling in old cemeteries, or churches, abandoned farmhouses, or even in my own back yard. I’m kind of an old-fashioned girl; I grow my own vegetables, cook hearty, healthy meals from scratch, and hang my wash outside to dry on sunny days. So history is probably more of a state of mind for me than it might be for others.
I live in a place that is full of history, too. I live in a small city just a few short miles from the Colorado Rockies in northern Colorado. My little city, once a little town, still has a historic main street full of old brick buildings and classic storefronts. You can buy candy, get an ice cream cone, purchase a hand-knit wool sweater, try on some shoes, have lunch in a café that smells like chicken fried steak, and enjoy a latte at the coffee shop that is also a bookstore.
Agricultural ditches, something I’d not know anything about before moving here, lace the landscape at the edges of town, and are visible by the verdant winding paths of grasses in the middle of otherwise brown or golden fields. These ditches were dug more than 150 years ago to water farmer’s fields with the runoff from mountain snow melt.
Small clapboard church buildings, painted bright white, exist neatly among residential housing in our Old Town area, having been built more than 100 years ago. And as a nod to our long, cold winters, many of the century-old Victorian-style homes are painted in bright greens, pinks, and purples, and boast gardens thick with heirloom perennial flowers.
And just walking through one of our 34 city parks, many of which were originally agricultural fields, can remind me that we still owe ourselves to the land This land sustained so many before me, and will sustain many after me. The history cannot be ignored. The paths I walk were once traveled by cattle and wagons and families heading west in the search for prosperity. Some of them stopped here. And because of them, I get to enjoy my little city and all its history.
Do you walk in history, as well? What historical places are you visiting when you are in your own town or city? What history calls to you? Leave your answers in the comments!
Fairest of the Faire
The renaissance fair is filled with characters and romance, but will it end in storybook love?
Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law's Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.
Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie's don't-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.
When she is threatened by her late husband's bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.
“Who said anything about a relationship?” he said, standing up so he could tower over her again. “I’m just trying to have a little fun. You know, fun?”
If he’d been an animal, she was sure he’d have had hair raised on the back of his neck, he seemed so angry, and it struck her painfully. She hadn’t wanted to anger him or hurt him. She turned away from him and closed her eyes to tamp down the tears she knew would come if she let them. She crossed her arms over her chest, to hold in the pain. Being tired made her much too vulnerable.
“Yes,” she finally said. “I know about fun. Life isn’t always fun, though.”
“Princess.” His voice was soft, tender. “I won’t hurt you. It’s not in my plan.”
Despite herself, she felt the shivers of desire race down from her shoulders, down her arms and legs, and back up to that secret, soft place at her core. She bowed her head and gritted her teeth, hoping for the feeling to go away.
“And what is your plan, Gage?”
“It’s a simple plan. I want you to feel good. I want to feel good, too.”
Susabelle Kelmer is a wife and mother living at the base of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. She believes in romance, second chances, and the magic of moonlight. When she isn't writing, she works with students with disabilities in the college environment. http://www.susabelle.com
Susabelle’s tagline: Love is Everything.
Website – http://www.susabelle.com
Blog – http://journal.celestialchicken.com