Thursday, May 31, 2012


Please make welcome R. Ann Siracusa, she has a new release from Sapphire Blue Publishing, a Time-Travel Romance entitled "A Time for Melody".  Enjoy the blog she wrote showing the inspiration for this story as well as an excerpt of the book itself.  Ann is giving away a copy of "All for a Dead Man's Leg" a previous release by the same publisher, to the readers of this blog. All you have to do is leave a comment here or email her at and leave her a comment that way with the subject line of the email reading "e-book drawing".  You are going to want this book, I can honestly tell you that.
You can follow her on Twitter http/ or catch her on Facebook http/ Ann has a website, though at this point it is acting a little weird, http/
To buy her NEW Time-Travel Romance or any other of her awesome books, head on over to one of the following sites for different formats OR http/ For Kindle formats OR http/ for Nook versions.
  An Article written by Ann about the inspiration for her book can be read right here - RED MOUNTAIN – AN UNLIKELY INSPIRATION
A favorite question to ask authors is, “Where do you get your ideas?” The answer: everywhere. Everything you read, see, experience, hear about can serve as inspiration for a novel. Sometimes inspirations come from the most unlikely sources.
Red Mountain, located in the Mojave Desert in California, provided the setting for the fictional town of Red Gulch in A Time For Melody, a time travel novella. And if you look carefully, you’ll see a similarity between a photograph of that part of the Mojave Desert and the cover on the novella.

I love the desert—it has an ethereal not-of-this-earth quality about it—and this lonesome location fascinated me when we used to race motorcycles in the desert in the late 1970s. To me, Red Mountain seemed as if time and civilization had passed it by.
A little Red Mountain history
The background for the novella is based on the history of Red Mountain, originally named Osdick after one of the original miners, and its environs. Gold was discovered in the area on April 25, 1895 by C. A. Burcham, F. M. Mooers and John Singleton. Within a year, the mining area had a permanent population of 1,500 people (and probably countless jackrabbits). The first bank

Camp Rand, later called Yellow Aster Mine, was an active mining district and by January, 1900, the population of the adjacent communities of Randsburg, Osdick (Red Mountain), and Johannesburg had expanded to 3,500 residents. In 1900, three million dollars in gold was taken from the mine. Eleven years later, the take was six million dollars. Things were booming and the communities of Red Mountain and Randsburg continued to grow and prosper.
In 1915, David Bowman made a new gold discovery, but WWII took many people away from the mines and about the same time, there was a serious flu epidemic. The community began to decline. In 1918, silver was discovered in Red Mountain, stimulating another boom. During the 1930s, Red Mountain prospered. An active liquor area during prohibition, the community sported several well-known brothels. In 1942, all gold mining was stopped in the US by the government, and after that the town nearly died and never revived.

Apple’s Market – Red Mountain Santa Barbara Church

View of Red Mountain

Silver Dollar Cafe
In 1984, after I stopped coming to this area, gold mining was reestablished around Red Mountain. According to R. Vallerand, the Rand Mine was still digging up gold as late as 1998. I have no idea if the mines are still operational, but the town itself is reviving as a Ghost Town and now has a population of 130.
Blog-An Unlikely Inspiration – 06/20/2011

After several miles of silence, she scooted closer to him. "I never realized it would be so desolate."
Ah ha. I knew she wasn't from around here.
Her thigh brushed his, and the question on his lips died in a renewed surge of attraction. Or maybe pure unadulterated lust.
Without warning, the temperature in the cab soared. The lavender scent of her cologne tickled his nostrils. His damp hands could barely hold onto the steering wheel. His senses reeled. Unable to concentrate, he almost drove past the road to his property. At the last second, he spun the steering wheel and made a sharp left turn, throwing Melody against his side.
"Sorry. I wasn't paying attention. This is the road to my place." He swiped the beads of perspiration off his brow with his forearm as they bumped across the desert on the rugged dirt trail, the dust billowing out behind the truck like an impenetrable white wall.
"Is it all yours?" Her sweeping gesture took in the miles of desolation, ending with her hand coming to rest on his thigh.
Her touch discharged a jolt that left him trembling. No girl had ever come on to him that way, and he'd never felt a stronger attraction. He took one hand off the wheel and caressed the inside of her wrist, pushing the fabric of her blouse up a little and revealing a strange black watch with unusual markings.
Brandon's glance lingered on it with interest. He knew watches almost as well as he knew the desert-they'd been his father's second passion, after mining-and he'd never seen one like this. The strange hands and numerals were unusual for telling time.
"What kind of time piece is that?"
She jerked her arm away just as the truck hit one hell of a big dip in the dirt road. The pickup flew through the air and came down with a bone-wrenching crash, sending the bales of hay all over the bed. The pickup groaned, and the old museum piece came close to breaking in half right then and there.
"Sonovabitch!" He slammed on the brakes, stopping the vehicle in the middle of the trail, and clambered out to assess the damage.
After readjusting the load, he climbed into the truck. Melody moved closer to the passenger door and stared out the window.
"How long have you lived here, Brandon?"
When she rolled his name in her mouth as if tasting it and enjoying the flavor, Brandon's pulse accelerated a beat or two. He swiped his fingers through his short hair and steadied his voice.
"All my life. Born here." He shot a quick glance in her direction and caught a glimpse of her horrified expression. "Well, not out here in the desert. Actually, I was born in the hospital in Victorville. We lived in town until my mom died when I was eleven. After that, Pa insisted we move out to his claim in the desert. Been living on this dry patch of dirt ever since, except for the five years in college. How about you? Where were you born?"
She made a show of fanning her face with her hand. "Is it always this hot here?"
Irritated, he shot her a suspicious glance. He couldn't abide dishonesty, and her ignoring his question seemed deceitful. As quickly as it came, the annoyance dissipated, and he repressed a sigh over his unreasonable reaction. While he sensed her intent to divert his attention, her questions rang true. She apparently didn't know. What an enigma.
"Hotter for most of the summer and cold in the winter," he answered, trying not to sound antagonized by her games.
"Hmm. And what are those plants?"
"Barrel cactus. The tall ones are saguaros. Are you writing a book, or something?"
Melody flinched and pulled closer to the door. He focused his attention on the dirt road. He had no idea where she'd come from, but he didn't believe her story about ‘just down the road a piece.'
Otherwise, she'd have known about the desert. About the saguaro and the burrowing owl, about the subtle shading of the desert soils and the splendor of its solitude.
Finally, they came to some rotten fence posts draped with barbed wire.
"Here we are. This is my place." Pride sounded in his voice, although God knew there was little enough to be proud of. A few hundred feet beyond the fence stood a three-room cabin built of railroad ties. "Nothing fancy, but it's weather tight. My old man built it years ago. He put the screens on before he died last year."
He pulled the vehicle between the one lonely tree with scraggly foliage and a sagging barn, its weathered roof collapsing inward. The walls seemed to be held upright by a jumble of junk-half-rotten hulks of old vehicles and mining equipment rusting away in the brutal desert climate, bedsprings, plastic jugs. Whatever his old man believed might come in handy some day.
Melody didn't wait for him to help her, but scrambled out and into the bed of the truck before he could blink. "Let's get this stuff unloaded. What'd you say you use this for?"
"Animal feed. You don't need to help me." He tried to shoo her away. Judging from her pale complexion and smooth unblemished hands, her lifestyle hadn't accustomed her to this kind of physical labor.
"I know, but I want to. I'm much stronger than I look." She tied her hair back, and when she rolled up the sleeves of her shirt, he noticed she'd removed the watch.
Brandon compressed his lips and frowned. Since Pa died, he did things his own way. He didn't want help, or interference, particularly from a woman he didn't even know.
Already, the thermometer on the side of the barn registered ninety-five degrees. Too warm to argue and he wanted to complete the task before the smothering heat of the day descended on them like a heavy electric blanket.
And she seemed so determined to do her part. He found that irresistible. He found Melody irresistible.
"All right, but let me do the lifting. I don't want you hurting yourself."
They exchanged few words as they labored side by side, and to his surprise, he enjoyed her company. She helped him shove the hay over to the gate and balanced the cumbersome bales when he lowered them, one by one, to the ground. By the time the sun reached its zenith, they both dripped with sweat, and the hay sat in neat rows by the barn.
Blowing out a long puff of air, he stripped off his soaked shirt, sank down to the ground and leaned against the trunk of the tree.
"Thanks for the help." He patted the dirt. "Sit down and take a rest. I'm sorry it's not very soft, and there isn't much shade. It's the best I can offer right now. It's too hot to go inside." He indicated the cabin with the wave of a hand.
"That's okay." Smiling, she sat beside him with her shoulder touching his, triggering another jolt of desire as potent as an electric shock, and wiped the moisture from her forehead with the back of her hand. "This is fine. It's very hot here."
No way could she come from around there. Again, he wondered why she'd come to Red Gulch, and why, at that moment, she sat cross-legged on the ground beside him. His speculations left him with no words that seemed adequate and a deep sense of unrest despite their mutual attraction.
After they'd cooled down some, Melody blew out a long breath. "Let's go for a swim."
He straightened his spine and leaned forward to meet her gaze. "And just where do you think we could swim around here?"
She flashed a little smile, as though she already knew about his private swimming hole, the one below the entrance to his mining claim, where a mountain spring kept a deep pool filled year round. There, cottonwoods surrounded the pond, providing shade and seclusion.
Again, questions crowded into his mind, but he kept his thoughts to himself. Even after cooling down, Melody looked hot and uncomfortable in her no-longer-crisp shirt with damp stains under the arms. Crossing his arms, he sniffed surreptitiously to check if he could smell himself.
"A swim? Sure. I know just the place." He scrambled to his feet and pulled her up with him.
With renewed enthusiasm, they hopped into the truck and set out toward the hills. As the old Ford bounced along, she stared out the window, apparently fascinated by the creosote bushes and barrel cactus sprinkled across the flat expanse of yellow dirt like freckles on the landscape.
"See there?" He took one hand off the steering wheel and pointed at the smudge of green at the base of the foothills. "Those are the cottonwoods around my swimming hole."
Her gray eyes widened, and she shifted in the seat. "I see it, now. Yes, that's it." Excited.
Damn. This woman attracted him like an industrial-strength magnet but, at the same time, her odd behavior freaked him out. When he pulled into the grove, Melody opened the door and clambered out before he'd brought the pickup to a complete stop.
Definitely a woman full of surprises.
He compressed his lips and frowned. He'd already let both sexual attraction and curiosity get the better of his good sense, he admitted. He might as well go along for the ride and enjoy it.
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