Shannon here: Inspirational Author, Janalyn Voigt shares a romantic destination that didn’t quite go as planned. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for a copy of Hills of Nevermore (Montana Gold, book 1). Deadline: Feb 10th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Janalyn:
Virginia City, Montana or The Anniversary Disaster by Janalyn Voigt:
“Sorry, but we’re closed for the season” is not the kind of reply you want from the owner of a bed and breakfast, and especially not on your wedding anniversary. The pink home dripping with gingerbread in shades of blue surrounded by a manicured lawn, a neat garden and a white picket fence with entrance arbors would have seemed well-maintained anywhere. Its presence in a town containing more than a few dilapidated buildings listing at alarming angles seemed a miracle.
Not fully understanding the isolation of Virginia City, an inhabited ghost town in the Rocky Mountains where I needed to research Montana Gold, a western historical romance series, we had failed to plan ahead. We’d left Missoula in the morning with high spirits and the wind at our heels. Now, with the chill of encroaching night breathing down our necks, spontaneity no longer seemed carefree.
I smiled without guile at the nice woman standing in the entryway. “Oh, too bad! I really wanted to see the inside of your home. It looks so beautiful from outside.”
She hesitated. “Would you like to look around before you go?”
“That would be wonderful, if it wouldn’t put you out.”
She hastened to assure me that interrupting her day to allow a complete stranger to ogle her house was just what she wanted to do. Well, all right. She didn’t use those exact words. “It’s the least I can do for turning you away,” she added, convincing me at last.
My admiration was apparently token enough to admit me to all the rooms, which boasted wallpaper, quilts, lots of fluffy pillows, and antique furniture. I sighed. Spending our anniversary night in the comfort of the Gingerbread House Bed & Breakfast would have been wonderful. Suddenly remembering my husband, I realized I’d left him waiting all this time in the car and hastily pulled away from our conversation about the history of the house and its renovation.
Karen Fisher, as the owner had introduced herself, wondered if my husband would like to see the house too.
“Thank you.” I beamed at her, more than a little glad to postpone the inevitable moment when we would have to figure out where to spend the night. “I’m sure he would.”
John came in and we went through the rooms all over again. My husband was as extravagant in his praise as I had been. The time came at last to say farewell, and concerns about our situation crowded in. We would probably have to drive for an hour of more to find a hotel, then come right back in the morning to research my novels. It didn’t sound appealing. Karen saw us to the door, and I turned back to her. “Do you know of any other place to stay around here?” I knew what she would probably say but couldn’t help hoping.
She shook her head. “All the bed and breakfasts in town are closed for the winter. I’ve moved back into the house myself or I’d let you stay here.”
I nodded, feeling like a small child who didn’t get picked for the team.
Karen gave me a bolstering smile. “Would you like to spend the night in one of the cabins?”
I looked at my husband in an ages-old communication every husband and wife knows. He jumped on the offer. John and I drove back to the town of Alder Gulch for dinner to give our hostess time to prepare the cabin (and because that was the location of the closest restaurant). I can still remember the lovely steak dinner we enjoyed together and, as the weather turned frosty, the relief of knowing we had a place to shelter.
The cabin was made all the warmer for the welcome we received. Karen let us in and stayed for a short chat. She’d named the cabin for a former slave who had risen to local prominence. Sarah Blair had lost her parents when they were sold as slaves during the War Between the States. She never saw them again. Freed at age fifteen, Sarah moved in with her aunt, then received free transportation to Virginia City in exchange for babysitting. She went into service as a chambermaid at Virginia City’s Madison House Hotel. She married and gave birth to three children but lost her husband and sons to diptheria and her daughter to pneumonia. Sarah’s subsequent remarriage to Stephen Bickford resulted in four children. After Stephen’s death from pneumonia in 1900, Sarah took over the water company in Virginia City and became celebrated for her rise from slavery.
We spent a cozy night in the most unusual place we’ve spent an anniversary, then went out to explore Virginia City.
About Janalyn: Janalyn Voigt gained a love of literature in her at an early age when her father read chapters from classics as bedtime stories. When Janalyn grew older, she put herself to sleep with tales “written” in her head.
Today Janalyn is a storyteller who writes in multiple genres. The same elements–romance, mystery, adventure, history, and whimsy–appear in all her novels in proportions dictated by their genre.
Learn more about Janalyn Voigt and the books she writes at http://janalynvoigt.com.
About the book – Cheyenne Sunrise (Montana Gold, book 2):
Can a woman with no faith in men learn to trust the half-Cheyenne trail guide determined to protect her?
Young Irish widow Bry Brennan doesn’t want another husband to break her spirit. When she and her brother Con join a wagon train headed to Montana Territory, Bry ignores her fascination with Nick Laramie, the handsome trail guide.
Nick lives in an uneasy truce between the settlers and his mother’s tribe without fully fitting in among either. With no intention of dragging a woman into his troubles, he stifles his yearning for Bry.
The perilous journey throws the two together, leaving Bry no choice but to trust Nick with her life. Can she also trust him with her heart? Answering that riddle forces Bry to confront her unresolved questions about God’s love.
Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, Cheyenne Sunrise explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: Cheyenne Sunrise – Amazon
Question for Readers: Have you ever made a mistake that led you into an adventure or misadventure?