Hi y’all. Like the other Sweetheart writers you’ve met, I’m thrilled to be a member of this extraordinary group. I write contemporary romantic suspense set in some of the western states where I’ve lived. If you’ve visited my website www.sandracrowley.com or my blog www.driven2danger.blogspot.com , you know my husband, kids and grandkids are 5+ generation Texans and understand why Texas has received the lion’s share of settings in the books I’ve written so far. However, that doesn’t lessen my love for my current home--Colorado’s mountains. Their peace and beauty feed my soul and creativity. So, you can see why deciding what to post first was a struggle until a chance meeting at a fall celebration neatly entwined Colorado and Texas as they are in my life.
|Grand Mesa lies between the Colorado |
and Gunnison Rivers east of Grand
Colorado promotes Grand Mesa as the world’s largest flat top mountain. However, it isn’t flat like a table. Its uneven surface resembles the bumps and dips of a giant cinnamon roll. Every year as nighttime temperatures drop at higher elevations, the aspens’ fall leaf color flows downward as if the yellow already prevalent on top were melted butter spilling over Grand Mesa’s edges. Gullies brighten first to create fingers of yellow and gold, and then the earthbound sunshine spreads across the slopes and onto ridges. Each dawn reveals fresh progress that highlights the sunrise with the promise of another glorious day.
|Raber Cow Camp, built in the 1930's, is now an Historic Site.|
These are the days when local ranchers transport their cattle herds to lower fields, leaving behind rich mountain meadows via the trails, OHV roads, and CO HWY 65 unavailable to the cattle operations of the 1930s and 40s when stock was driven down the west side of the mesa at Kannah Creek and over to a valley railroad connection.
Highway 65 provides a smooth, curving drive up from the valley floor for thousands of visitors on Color Sunday--Grand Mesa’s fall foliage celebration. Hosted the 4th Sunday in September every year, this event is the major fund raising opportunity for communities and attractions situated along the road. Mesa, a small town on the north side of Grand Mesa, has continuously sponsored a dinner since the 1940’s when the women of the Methodist Church cooked the food in their homes. Now, the 4-H heads the fundraiser with the help of Job Corp and local residents. This year, they served the largest number of attendees for a total of 810 meals. My husband and I stopped at Mesa’s community center and filled our plates with turkey and all the trimmings. We had no sooner stuffed our mouths with bites of tender, juicy white meat than an elderly couple sat beside us. A few pleasantries later, the gentleman mentioned they retired in Cedaredge, on the south side of the mesa, after having lived in Bartonville, Texas. Back in 1970, my first boyfriend lived in Bartonville; I lived in Argyle. The towns were situated about 7 miles apart and were the size Mesa is now.
What are the odds that after almost 40 years and dozens of homes in numerous places, my husband and I take a day trip and meet a lovely couple at a turkey dinner who were from my first boyfriend’s hometown in Texas, over 1000 miles away? The only thing more bizarre would have been running into him, or getting caught up in a situation like the characters in my romantic suspense novel which will be released in January. In CAUGHT BY A CLOWN, a spontaneous freelance journalist on a mission of mercy finds herself entangled with a methodical undercover agent out to settle a score.
I hope you’ll stop into Sweethearts of the West often--you’ll find us and our books fun, exciting, sweet, passionate, informative and, maybe, addictive.