<![CDATA[Tanya Stowe - Tanya\'s Travel Topics]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 16:41:49 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Beijing]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 13:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/beijingBy Karen Whiting
I travelled to Beijing, China and a few provinces nearby Beijing. A Chinese company flew me there with four other Christians who are part of ACCTS (association of Christian counseling and teaching services) that is part of Officers’ Christian Fellowship. We went there on an Imagination Tour to inspire creativity in children and share ideas with educators and parents.
Beijing is one of the largest cities in the world. Skyscraper apartment buildings cover much of the city with small shows on the street level. It’s very busy and yet people smile and seem friendly.

​​I loved getting to meet the people and work with the children. They were excited to speak with Americans and enjoyed the activities we planned for them. I also enjoyed going to a home and learning to make dumplings. It’s great to get to know people from another culture.
​It seemed sad to hear so few birds in the areas of cities where I stayed. They didn’t have enough trees and plants for birds to thrive and are still recovering from a difficult time where the people had little food and hate to eat many of the birds. Outside the cities I saw and heard birds. Beijing’s air was much cleaner than I expected and if they start having plants on the balconies it will be even cleaner.
Beijing appears to have more freedom for Chinese people who want to attend Christian churches. They must limit their home churches to 200 people, but seem to be able to divide and form new ones easily. Southern provinces have less religious freedom.  Many of the Christians I met are first generation Christians and very interested in learning how to raise children to follow God. They would love to have my book 52 Devotions for Busy Families in C=Mandarin.
Also, I spent time in Weifang province, the kite capital of the world and saw many beautiful kites (and bought several.)
​I visited the WW2 internment camp where Japanese imprisoned many missionaries. It is now a museum and a park.  It’s very impressive.
I write nonfiction and did not write a book on this location. Instead, because of my books for children and families, the company Soaring in Beijing wanted me to come and share some of my creative ideas and my puppetry (I have a new puppet book).  They want me to return next year.
You can find Karen's book here:


<![CDATA[POLAND]]>Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/polandBy ​Bethany Kaczmarek
I only spent three and a half years in Poland, though it feels as much home to me as America. Since my family moved back to the States from the mission field—I’ve constantly longed for my favorite bits of life over there. For the pace, the time to spend with people.

To sit awhile at a sidewalk café and chat with bright wildflowers as our backdrop. To wander into old town squares and marvel at the architecture, the stained glass in the cathedrals. To traipse down cobblestone streets and over bridges that date back a thousand years. To get to know the local shop owners where I buy my daily bread, veggies, and meat—and ask for recipes.

​The sense of rich history and tradition infuses everything, everyone. Like a great flood, history has both rushed over and raised up the people of Poland. It has carved out hiding places, smoothed rough stones, taught the people to dig deep and hold fast, and carried in new ideas.

When I first arrived in Poland, the drab gray of the sky and the solemn white blanket of winter covered everything. I stared out my window and felt a great sadness, not for what I’d left in America, but for the people who had struggled so long under the occupation of the Soviet Union. But bursts of vibrant color began to catch my eye. Graffiti on the trains and boundary walls, a bright spiral painted on the façade of a new building, a red façade, a green tiled roof, bright scarves at bus stops. 
As if the people were saying, We are still here. And we’re stronger than you think.

To me, one of their greatest strengths is the emphasis their culture places on friendships and family.

Above all, Poles value people. Hot tea, hearty meals, and loveliness around a table. We felt like a king and queen when we visited neighbors and new friends. Once, we took a train from Częstachowa to Kraków, and then hopped on a bus up into the mountains. In Zakopane, we rented a room from a local family and stayed in their farmhouse. Each morning, we woke to the sound of their rooster, and they brought us breakfast before we went out hiking and exploring. Even with these strangers, we were made to feel welcome and cared for.

But real relationships—as they do everywhere in the world—took work. It took months to get from warm, polite dialogue to deep, honest conversation, but we knew we’d earned trust then, and that was worth the wait. Our new friends became extended family.

And I poured my love for them out on the pages of my novel. Strains of Silence releases on July 21st (August 1st for the paperback), and the main character comes from a family of Polish-American immigrants. I hope you’ll love Kasia [KOSH-A] and her family as much as I do. 

Bethany Kaczmarek loves to share her own journey of healing and redemption with anyone who needs it. Back from the Polish mission field where she and her husband worked with college students for six years, their home is often filled with twenty-somethings who come over for a listening ear (though she’s willing to admit it could also be for the board games and food). Other job titles: Wielder of Red Pens, Grammar Ninja, Wiper of Tears and Milk, Indie Music Connoisseur, and Friend.

Bethany writes about places where grit meets Grace. Find out more about her at www.bethanykaczmarek.com 
Thanks to Kris Duda and Craig Wyzik for the images. I didn’t change them.

<![CDATA[England]]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/england
​The lovely thing about the part of England I live in, is you don't have to travel far to find a park. Last week, hubby and I went on a tour of Woodley and found about six or seven parks right on our doorstep. And I'm not talking small kids play areas either. Large parks where you can walk around a lake, picnic under the trees, or let the kids run up the hill and down the other side under the shade of huge willow trees. Feed the ducks, run away from the geese and then sit and eat ice cream. 
Or in my case sit and write a chunk of the next novel. Part of All that Glitters was written in a park like this. And made its way into the book as well. Headley Cross where the book is based is my home town - under a different name of course. So the church and so on really exist. 
We do have one treasure here. Tucked away on the edge of Dinton Pastures, next to a field of grazing cows, is the Berkshire Museum of Aviation. The plane in the photo is the Queen's plane. Now retired, this was the plane she flew to Kenya on in 1952 as a princess, and returned on as Queen. 
Clare is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology.
<![CDATA[Rio de Janeiro]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 21:41:50 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/rio-de-janeiroBy Theresa Lynn Hall
​One of the perks of being a fiction writer is that you can visit places in your mind without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. The downside to that is you can only learn so much though pictures and articles. Luckily, my husband travels a lot for business. I’m not able to go with him since I’m a teacher, but he does take pictures for me and he loves to tell me about his trips when he returns. In 2013, he was in Rio de Janeiro for two weeks. It just so happened to fall during the Easter holiday. On Easter Sunday, he took a trip to see Christ the Redeemer. He took some amazing pictures, which he says do not do it justice. The trip alone was exhausting, since he had to climb many flights of stairs to get to the top. 
While in Brazil he also stayed in Sao Paolo for a little over a week, riding to his job site with a native Brazilian. He was scared for his life every time he got into the car. Apparently, the infrastructure is lacking monitored highways and the speed limit is just however fast you can go that day.

The language spoken in Rio is Portuguese, which might sound a little like Spanish, but it’s definitely not the same. Most of the time, the hotel desk clerks do not speak English. Just trying to get in touch with him at the hotel was a fiasco for me. During his stay there, one of the things he noticed was how dramatically different the economy changed from one section of the cities to the next. The countryside was dotted with small wooden houses, the pristine beaches were lined with hotels and condos, but just minutes from the bustling tourist attractions were rows and rows of shanty towns, or favelas, that seemed stacked into the hillsides. The natives told him not to venture too far from the city because of the crime in those poverty- stricken areas. 

Right after my husband returned from his trip, Pelican Book Group opened a new series called Passport to Romance. One of the cities listed was Rio. The ideas began to churn and Ransom in Rio was born. Lexi’s family business began in Rio with her grandfather before moving it to the United States. At her father’s wishes, she travels back to Rio where she discovers family secrets she never knew existed.  In Ransom in Rio, I wanted to show the diversity of the Brazilian economy, and the familial ties of the people and their culture. I hope you enjoy the trip to Rio with Lexi and Brayden as much as I did. 

You can follow Theresa here:


A native Texan, Theresa loves to write suspenseful stories that happen in small Texas towns with old fashioned Southern values.  She’s an elementary teacher and mom to two boys—the oldest being in law enforcement, which comes in handy when she’s researching. When she’s not teaching kids or writing, she loves to cook, read a good suspense, and binge-watch episodes of Dateline. She is a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She actively promotes fellow Christian Fiction authors on her blog. She also loves to hear from readers who enjoy Christian Fiction and can be found at www.theresalynnhall.com and @theresalynnhall.  


Beth McDonald has a secret– a secret that is costing a lot of people their lives. With no where to turn, she leaves her dream job in the city behind and heads for small, town Texas to a place where no one will find her. Tired of running, she turns to the sheriff for help and soon finds herself fighting for more than just her life.

​Sheriff Clint Fisher has his life just where he wants it–peaceful and happy. But when the beautiful D.A. walks into his office, his world is turned upside down. The confident sheriff is pretty sure he can keep her alive…but can he keep her forever?

Buy it Here:




Private Investigator, Braden McCoy wants nothing more than to finish out the week doing a little fishing from his boat.  The ex-special ops vet enjoys his peaceful life and loves his new career.  He’s learned to put his past behind him and enjoy his blessings.  Until a mourning redhead walks into his office and changes his plans.  
Lexi Ramos always knew her family was dysfunctional.  Until the sudden death of her brother, she never knew exactly how much.  Consumed with questions surrounding his accident, she seeks the help of a private investigator.  What starts out as a murder investigation in Cozumel, quickly crosses borders and escalates into a race against time to save them both from Brazilian kidnappers, who somehow know more about her family secrets than she does.  Lexi soon realizes that life comes with a price. 

Buy it Here:


<![CDATA[A Jurassic-era Park in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains]]>Mon, 01 May 2017 21:08:34 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/a-jurassic-era-park-in-colorados-rocky-mountains​By Davalynn Spencer
​If you’re looking to break out of the confines of time, and travel back in history, then plan a trip to Cañon City, Colorado, and the nearby Garden Park area.
You won’t be the first to notice the colorful bluffs and unusual land forms that have harbored prehistoric secrets for thousands of years.
Settled in the early 1860s, Cañon City nearly foundered as men left for the Civil War. But war’s end and the Westward Expansion sent many families hunting brighter futures, and people returned to the fertile land along the Arkansas River. Cañon City served as the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, where the mighty Arkansas roared through an unforgiving granite canyon known today as the Royal Gorge.
Fossil discoveries of the 1870s and 1880s in the Garden Park area north of town led to the famous “Bone Wars” between rival paleontologists, O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope. Local rancher, Marshall P. Felch, spent years working and mapping the dig sites on behalf of Marsh for Yale University.
In 1886, Garden Park gave up its first magnificent stegosaurus skeleton, and the area continued to provide some of the most well-preserved Jurassic period remains.
However, long before university professors began sparring over the finds, local Ute tribes and early settlers had already come across the prehistoric bones. A few early merchandisers even sold fossils as souvenirs and oddities in curio shops.
I mention a curio shop in one of my three Cañon City historical novels, Romancing the Widow, set in 1888 during the height of the Bone Wars. Young widow Martha Stanton compares her life to the dusty fossil remains found in Garden Park, and even participates in some of the digs.
In reality roughly fifty years later, another fossilized stegosaurus was discovered in 1937 by local high school teacher and Geology Club officer, Carl Kessler. That 23-foot long treasure stands today in Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science. Kessler’s find later inspired a student-driven campaign that resulted in the declaration of the stegosaurus as the Colorado State Fossil in 1982.
Ten years later, that declaration was further solidified when the world’s most complete stegosaurus skeleton was excavated from the Garden Park area, skull included, and air-lifted via Chinook helicopter for further study and preservation.

Marsh-Felch Quarry from the hiking trail in Garden Park.

​Today tourists can visit the real site where my fictional heroine, Martha, explored. The Marsh-Felch Quarry is located off Garden Park Road (Red Canyon Road) and can be accessed via a self-guided, well-marked, quarter-mile hiking trail with informative exhibits along the way.
Skyline Drive west of Cañon City also offers not only a breathtaking vista of the surrounding area, but dinosaur footprints embedded in the jutting rock.
Colorado Jeep Tours http://coloradojeeptours.com/ offers guided tours of the Cañon City area, and a few miles up U.S. Highway 50, visitors can enjoy a stop at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience with kid-friendly activities and spectacular exhibits. https://www.facebook.com/RGDinoXP/

A convex trail of dinosaur footprints along the uplift of Skyline Drive west of Cañon City, CO.

Romancing the Widow
by Davalynn Spencer

*Winner of Will Rogers Gold Medallion for inspirational Western fiction.

Martha Stanton Isn't Looking for Love 
The light went out of Martha's soul when her husband fell to a bullet in St. Louis. Now, back in her hometown of Cañon City, she's convinced she'll never know happiness again. Until she crosses paths with a darkly mysterious Colorado Ranger. 

Haskell Jacobs has a mission. And the beautiful, flame-haired widow sure isn't it. But Martha is somehow mixed up in the crime that brought Haskell to the rough-and-tumble town…and soon, she's entangled in the lawman's heart. But the danger that lurks around them is all too real. Can they find strength and love in each other before it's too late?

You can find Davalynn here:
<![CDATA[Boston]]>Fri, 07 Apr 2017 02:45:15 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/boston​By Sarah Sundin 
​There’s something about Boston. Maybe it’s because I grew up in California with its dearth of historical sites. Maybe it’s my New England ancestral roots. Maybe it’s because the Bicentennial fell in my formative years. My fascination with the city has been fueled by several visits.
When I began planning my Waves of Freedom series with its focus on the Battle of the Atlantic, I needed an East Coast city with a naval presence. Boston fit. In 2014, I was blessed to be able to take a research trip, and I was struck by how Boston’s revolutionary roots highlighted the upheaval and mystery in my series.
The first book, Through Waters Deep, is set in 1941, when Americans debated going to war. Like in 1775. In both years, Americans faced a decision—do we continue life as before, or do we fight for freedom? In both years, America was bitterly divided—Patriots vs. Tories in 1775, isolationists vs. interventionists in 1941.
The second book, Anchor in the Storm, is set in early 1942, when German U-boats ravaged Allied shipping along the East Coast. The situation seemed as dire as in the early days of the Revolutionary War. The characters in the novel are encouraged by how the Minutemen fought despite overwhelming odds and probable defeat.
The third book, When Tides Turn, is set in late 1942 and early 1943, when the battle climaxed and turned in the Allies’ favor, just as the Revolutionary War turned into one of history’s most surprising victories.
In the series, I enjoyed featuring bits of Bostonian history during the 1940s. Did you know . . . ?
In 1942, the golden dome of the Massachusetts State House was painted black as an air raid precaution!
On November 28, 1942, the infamous Cocoanut Grove Fire killed 492 people in the second-largest fire in US history. The tragedy plays a role in When Tides Turn.
Important technological research was performed at the Navy’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston and the civilian Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—research that helped defeat the U-boats and created half the radar systems used by the US in World War II.
At the Boston Navy Yard (currently the Charlestown Navy Yard), six thousand ships were constructed, repaired, or outfitted from 1939-1945. At the start of the war, women worked only as telephone operators or in clerical positions (the heroine in Through Waters Deep works there as a secretary—and solves a mystery). As the war progressed, women were hired for more types of jobs. At the peak in 1943, the Boston Navy Yard employed 50,000 people, 20 percent of whom were women. The ladies of the Navy’s WAVES program played an important role there too—which is featured in When Tides Turn.
From its revolutionary roots to its vital impact during World War II, Boston has continued to play an important role in American history.

Plus, Boston cream pie.

Sarah Sundin is the author of nine historical novels, including When Tides Turn. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award, won the INSPY Award, and was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.

​Please visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com.

​When Quintessa Beaumont learns the US Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, eager to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. Lt. Dan Avery employs his skills in antisubmarine warfare to fight U-boats at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, but the last thing he wants to see on his radar is fun-loving Tess. As Dan and Tess work together in Boston, the changes in Tess challenge his notions—and his heart.

<![CDATA[The Philippines]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 04:00:45 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/the-philippinesBy Jan Elder
I heard from a writer friend that Pelican Book Group was looking for novellas for their Passport to Romance series (http://pelicanbookgroup.com/). One of the countries I could choose from was the Philippines. A perfect fit, because my brother has lived in a suburb of Manila for over thirty years.

He’s a missionary/seminary professor and I was privileged to visit him a few years ago. He’s always talked about how difficult it is for a busy missionary man to find a good woman. Wouldn’t it be a great deal easier to just send out an application and choose a mate without all that fuss, muss, and emotional business? 

He was kidding of course (I think), but hey, what if he wasn’t? What if there was a man out there who had the audacity to advertise for a wife in this day and age? What started out as a joke made for a good book premise.

Manila and vicinity is a bizarre and striking mix of wealth and splendor existing side by side with extreme poverty. Mansions next to shacks. Lush tropical growth adjacent to dusty streets. A country of contrasts. What I loved the best, by far, was the unreserved graciousness of the Filipino people. So friendly, so generous, so welcoming!

Connect with Jan Elder:
Manila Marriage App

It all began as a lark. Shay Callahan’s life was just fine, thank you, but when the seemingly misogynistic missionary, Timothy Flynn, places an advertisement for a wife in a Christian magazine, she decides to give it a whirl and sends in the five-page application. Why not? After all, she’s not currently seeing anyone, and this man truly needs to be taught a lesson.

Finding out she’s Dr. Flynn’s pick of the litter, Shay hops on a plane and flies to The Philippines. The strategy is to jet in, enjoy an exciting two-week vacation, and jet out again, all at his expense. Instead, her plan backfires. The handsome missionary man is not what he seems, and the foreign land has far more to offer than she could imagine.

Embark on a tropical adventure with Shay that challenges everything she believes.

<![CDATA[ Thoughts on Visiting Israel]]>Fri, 03 Feb 2017 03:43:53 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/-thoughts-on-visiting-israelBy Hope Dougherty
Last March, my husband and I, along with one son and thirty one other people from Texas and New Mexico, toured Israel, the Holy land. Although we normally like finding our own way when we travel, we decided joining a tour this time showed wisdom and caution.

Many people warned us that we began too late because we started seriously making plans the previous fall. Unfortunately, that’s how we roll, but by researching Israel tours on-line, my husband found one from Houston with open spots.

Our tour guide Tali, a Messianic Jew, showed us her homeland and shared insights, personal stories, and history lessons from her perspective.

We had a great trip in a lot of respects. We met wonderful people who love Jesus, have quick senses of humor, and are great conversationalists.

I spent nine days focusing on one son, a rare treat for this mother of four.

We saw beautiful sights, sailed on the Sea of Galilee, rode a camel, floated in the Dead Sea, and ate delicious food. I ate pounds of hummus, an easy feat since it’s served even at breakfast.
​Looking at Tiberias from the Sea of Galilee

My camel buddy and new friend, Kelly.

​My camel driver’s license with my name in Hebrew.

​The Dead Sea.

Our meal with Abraham. See him standing in the white robe?

A double rainbow over the Promised Land after the meal in Abraham's tent.
Beautiful and breathtaking,
and not photo-shopped. (Not included in my skills set.)

After our Israel trip, we tagged on three days in Jordan and observed our other son haggling—in Arabic—with taxi drivers. We met his friends—Muslims and Christians—over there. We ate in his favorite family-owned diner.

We toured Petra and experienced the state of the world now, moving through two security checkpoints, including a pat-down search just to enter our hotel.
​The treasury at Petra.

Yes, we had a fabulous trip, and I’m grateful for it.
But I know the people who ask me, “Didn’t you love being there? Wasn’t it wonderful?” are really asking a different question. They want to know, “Didn’t you experience Jesus in a real way? Couldn’t you feel His presence like never before?”
My answer is, not exactly.

I tingle while visiting the beautiful, traditionally-accepted spot of the Sermon on the Mount. Goosebumps didn’t pop at the traditionally-accepted place Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.

I had special experiences with our new friends, but they could have happened anywhere in the world. I kept thinking about what the angel told the women at the empty tomb on the third day, “He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” Matthew 28:6

His footprints marked Israel thousands of years ago, but His fingerprints linger everywhere today.

Praise God we can experience Him anytime, anywhere.

Hope Toler Dougherty holds a Master's degree in English and taught at East Carolina University as well as York Technical College. A member of ACFW, RWA and SinC, she writes for AlmostAnAuthor.com.  She cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, ACC basketball, and Army West Point Football. Hope and her husband, Kevin, live in North Carolina and chat with their two daughters and twin sons through ooVoo. Her third novel, a romantic suspense, is scheduled to be published with Mantle Rock Publishing in September.

Visit Hope's website:
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<![CDATA[Happy New Year in Across-the-Pond Style]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2017 05:40:21 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/happy-new-year-in-across-the-pond-style​by Marilyn Leach
Wassail, wassail all over the town!
Our toast it is white, and our ale it is brown,
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.
The Gloucestershire Wassail
This song, including its verses that wished prosperity and good health on the household, was first sung on New Year’s Eve in 1864 when greeters lifted their voices  door to door in a small English village.  Their festive bowl was dressed with ribbons, waiting for a tip of ale from those inside the home.  Sounds like a festive time.

But how is the English New Year celebrated in 2016?  I can tell you how my English friends and I celebrated it not long ago.
We decided on a quiet New Year’s Eve, eating finger foods, answering phone calls from well-wishers, (rather than village singers at the door), watching glorious London fireworks, and ringing in the New Year with a toast and hugs all round.  On New Year’s Day we visited St. Alban’s Cathedral in Hertfordshire and took in the holiday splendor.  There was hot soup to be had in the church café, a delight on a cold day.  And that evening, we had a celebratory roast pork dinner, including a yummy English truffle pudding for afters, with near-by family dropping in to join the fun. 

In England, Christmas and New Years are not a couple of especially noted days; rather, it’s an entire season that lasts for weeks.  And New Years is not the end of it.  There’s the Celebration of the Epiphany on January sixth, too.  

From the singing greeters of old, to the revelers of present day, shared wishes were bestowed toward one another for a prosperous and healthy New Year.  And, may the blessings of God’s goodness come to you, as well, in 2017.

Pray God send our master a Happy New Year,
And a happy New Year as e’er he did see.

Marilyn Leach is a dyed-in-the-wool British enthusiast who lives lakeside near the Colorado foothills.  She enjoys viewing and reading mysteries that originate across the pond.  From the Scottish Boarders to Devon, city buzz to rural church bells, she enjoys excursions throughout the beautiful isle that inspire her writing.  Her dear friends, who have become like family, live in Reading, England. 

Find Marilyn here:  marilynleachteaandbooks.com

In the English village of Aidan Kirkwood, no divine gifts are going spare when Berdie Elliott flames into action and demystifies the enigma of fire.

​Are you an Agatha Christie fan?  Does the thought of an English village make you long to grab your passport and head across the pond?  Are cozy mysteries your cup of tea?  If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you won’t want to miss Marilyn Leach’s newest release, Enigma of Fire
Intrepid heroine Berdie Elliott, a vicar’s wife whose sleuthing skills were honed as an investigative reporter, faces her most challenging mystery yet when her husband’s former military comrades come to the sleepy village of Aiden Kirkwood for a sculling regatta.  From its riveting prologue to the final resolution, this story showcases Leach at her best. 
Amanda Cabot, CBA and ECPA bestselling author

Purchase Enigma of Fire here: Amazon.com

<![CDATA[Teton wagon train]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:47:06 GMThttp://tanyastowe.com/tanyas-travel-topics/teton-wagon-trainBy Tanya Hanson
A few years ago, I and my hubby, brother-in-law, and sis had the experience of a lifetime, taking a wagon train around the Tetons with an amazing group, headed by wagonmaster Jeff Warburton out of Jackson, Wyoming. He’s a true cowboy and a gentleman
Yep. We spent four days circling the Tetons through the Caribou-Targhee National Forest bordering Yellowstone bear country. We didn’t see any bear despite everybody’s secret longing.   Likely the thundering horses and our noisy group skeered ’em away.

​First stop on the bus taking us to the wagons were photo-ops of the Grand lady herself..followed by her neighbor Mount Moran reflected perfectly in a oxbow lake.
After a delicious lunch—there’s nothing quite like chuck wagon cooking in the open mountain air—Jeff called, “let the wagons roll” and we were off to our camp for the night.
​Pulling the wagons were magnificent draft horses, Percherons and Belgians. They are named in teams, such as Lady and Tramp, Gun and Smoke, Sandy and Sage, Jack and Jill. The first name is always the horse on the left. These glorious beasts are capable of pulling up to 4,000 pounds as a team, and they love to work. In winter, they lead sleighs to the elk refuge outside Jackson.
While the wagons do have rubber tires and padded benches, the gravel roads are nothing like a modern freeway.  Most times our route was called the “cowboy rollercoaster.” 
​Our tents were comfy—all sleeping essentials are provided–, and there was nothing so fine as a cup of Arbuckle’s to warm us up on a chilly morning. One of the nicest parts of the meals was Jeff leading us in a blessing first. Nobody had to join in…but seems like everybody did.
Everywhere surrounding us, the Wyoming landscape was full of lakes, greenery and blooming wildflowers.  Nights after the camp quieted down were almost beyond description: the stars are endless, multi-layered, sparkling on forever and ever amen. What a sight.
Me and mine, well, we had the time of our life.  And this trip helped inspire my Hearts Crossing Ranch series at Pelican Book Group.
As Jeff said when we left, “There’s always be a campfire burnin’ for ya here in Wyomin.”
Yep. I’m feeling the warmth right now.
Find Tanya Hanson at: