Shannon here: Annette M. Irby gives us a tour of Bainbridge Island, the setting for her latest Contemporary Romance, Love in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated April 24 – 27 to enter the drawing for a PDF e-copy of book one in the series, Finding Love in Friday Harbor, Washington. Deadline: May 5th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Annette:
Bainbridge Island—A Gorgeous Setting for a Novel by Annette M. Irby
I was a teen when I first traveled to Washington’s Puget Sound. I’d seen the Great Lakes, but there was something about the saltwater and the Cascade and Olympic mountains that inspired me. I moved to the area the following year. For years, I was drawn to visit the beaches, smell the salty air. Later, as a writer, inspiration struck when I’d visit those locations. This is true of the setting for the second book in my Washington Island Romance series, set on Bainbridge Island.
I think it was about 2009 or so when my family first stayed on Hedley Spit on Bainbridge. The location was an instant hit for our family. This “finger” of land crooks out over a saltwater cove, of sorts, with a river-like inlet. On one side of the narrow road, a peaceful bay, on the other side, untamed Puget Sound.
Here’s the link for a visual of the finger of land: Hedley Spit Google Map
The best times to visit are July and August. Oftentimes in the Seattle area, we have spring rains into the first few days of July, then we clear off for a sunny season. For my story, I renamed the name of the spit and the road leading out there so I could adapt it to my story. I knew, once we’d stayed there, that I’d love to use the setting for a novel. Fast-forward almost ten years, and we had another opportunity to stay in a cute beach house. The house in my book is similar to that cabin, and my characters have glorious views.
Readers often tell me they love the settings of my novels and that the narrative makes them want to
visit. I love that feedback because I want the settings to feel like additional characters—moody or warm or beautifully distracting.
While my family visited last year, we walked the beach and saw a carcass. I know, not very romantic. But fascinating. There’s so much mystery in the sea, so analyzing the shape of a creature on the sand at low tide intrigues the scientific part of my mind. Turns out, it was a ray. I knew by that long tale, that we were dealing with something interesting.
One of my favorite activities during beach walks is collecting sea glass. I have (ahem) several containers of it in my writing office. Very inspiring on those days when I can’t get to the beach. 😉
I’m a die-hard beach visitor. We’ve visited during every month of the year, even Christmas day. Sure, you have bundle up against the winds, but it’s worth it. You might see a Dall’s porpoise, or hear a whale or seal. See what I mean about saltwater? Love it!
I’ll be back soon with the second part of this topic—the heart of the story in this setting.
About Annette: Annette M. Irby has been writing since her teen years when she sat pounding out
stories on a vintage typewriter just for fun. Since then, she’s joined Christian writing groups and launched blogs so she could share the joy of writing. She likes to say she’s addicted to color as flowers and seascapes inspire her. In her off hours, she enjoys gardening, photography, and music. She lives with her husband and family in the Pacific Northwest.
About the Book – Finding Love on Bainbridge Island, Washington:
Neither of them is ready for a relationship, but love may not give them an out.
Jenna-Shea Brown considers herself a broken therapist. Years ago, she witnessed something that caused PTSD. She can’t let her boss or her patients know about her battle. Who would want to trust her to help them, when she can’t help herself? She’s finally able to find a fresh start in her family’s beach cabin, but the renovations aren’t complete. Her parents have hired her ex-boyfriend to finalize them, but his negligence led to her being in the wrong place at the wrong time all those years ago.
Liam Barrett is trying to prove he’s nothing like his deadbeat dad. He’s working hard, yet still failing. Adrenaline and adventure offer him a diversion, but maybe he can’t escape his genes. He’d like to make things right with Shea, but he’s unsure if she’ll forgive him. Meanwhile, he’s challenged to forgive his father. He’s also worried about Shea and all these episodes she won’t explain. Now that they’re back in close proximity, he’s falling for her again. But can anything heal the past?
Question for Readers: How about you? Do you like beaches? What inspires you?
Come back April 27th for part two with Annette plus a romantic excerpt!