Hi everyone –
I kicked off 2014 with a blog tour for BEG ME TO SLAY…
I’m happy to report that it’s been a really well received book so far! I’m thrilled people have been enjoying Tegan and Gabe’s story!
Beg Me to Slay is proof that from the darkness triumph rises… – Tea and Book Reviews
“Kessler’s characters are written so exquisitely that you can’t help but love each of them” – ILoveVampireNovels.com
5 Stars – Beg Me to Slay will suck you in from the very beginning and will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.- Read Your Writes Reviews
5 Stars – Aside from a good amount of violence and steamy sex, this is a story about survival, and never letting your past dictate your future. It’s about fighting for your life, your love and your world. – Kelly Smith Reviews
So right after the blog tour finished, I was on my way to Reno, Nevada!!!
It wasn’t just for fun… Nope! I was there to research for my Moon Series. For those who have read MOONLIGHT and HUNTER’S MOON, you already know the Wolf Pack lives in Reno and they shift during the full moon in the forest surrounding Lake Tahoe.
But I hadn’t visited Reno in years so I wanted to go back… Plus I had never seen Pyramid Lake which is going to involved in BLOOD MOON, so I needed to get back up there…
We flew into the Reno airport and I immediately found a new friend! LOL
But who knew that Yeti advertising the Mt. Rose Ski Resort would come back to haunt me…
The next day we set out for Lake Tahoe. It’s normally about 45 minutes from Reno. I wanted to see the lake and the forest surrounding it since that’s where the wolf pack goes up to run during the full moon.
So we started up the Mt. Rose highway in our little Nissan Sentra rent car. I was driving and excited, and Ken was navigating. It was sprinkling a little as we headed up, but all was well.
Until the sprinkles turned into snow!
I’m a San Diego native. I don’t do snow. But at first it’s pretty. I loved all the pine trees and the snow stuck in patches along the highway.
Gradually the incline grew, and so did the snow until I was trying to stay in the tire tracks on the highway. It reminded me of Autopia at Disneyland, only if I didn’t follow the tracks here I could skid into a ditch or off the side of the mountain… Yikes! My knuckles were getting white on the steering wheel and Ken (Who is an east coaster and snow veteran) kept calm and told me I was doing just fine.
We rounded a corner. There was a sign. Ken calmly encouraged me not to look at it. Too late. AVALANCHE AREA! Ack! By now my heart is racing and my rental car has a helpful dashboard light showing a skidding car to warn me that the tires have no traction.
I’m ready to turn around at this point, but there wasn’t anywhere to go on this two lane mountain highway. I was stuck. My mental mantra of “We’re almost there” began. We passed a sign reading 8,300 feet above sea level. The next sign was completely covered in snow. We rounded another corner and a Jeep 4X4 is in a ditch, stuck. My pulse rate kicks up a notch.
And remember those Autopia tracks for me to follow? Yeah those were all gone. Just me and white snow… Oh and the handy dashboard light!
We passed the Mt. Rose ski resort. The yeti was smiling at me. Yeesh!
Around the next corner the hazard lights are flashing on the “MUST HAVE SNOW CHAINS” sign. I’m pretty sure my finger dents will be in that steering wheel forever. I reminded myself we must be almost there, so I ask my navigator how much further. Ken is still completely calm and used his most soothing voice to tell me we still had NINE MORE MILES!!!!
I almost cried. And thankfully I found a place to turn around. When we got to the bottom of the mountain I almost jumped out of the car and kissed the ground! I don’t know how you all who live in snow drive in it! YIKES!!! You all have my respect… Scary!
But I wouldn’t let that ruin my day… We took off across the valley and up the mountains on the other side to get to Virginia City. I had to stop at a turn out and take a picture of the Blizzard that tried to kill me on the way to Lake Tahoe! LOL
Yep I was up in those angry clouds over there in a Nissan Sentra with no snow chains…
Such a San Diegan! LOL
Anyway, we made it up to Virginia City without any rain or snow, but there was some SUPER cold toto-we’re-not-in-San-Diego-anymore wind. Wow!
If you’ve never been to Virginia City, NV I highly recommend it! It’s like stepping back in time and all the people are SO warm and welcoming.
During the Comstock lode of silver and gold, over $400 million dollars came out of the mountains of Virginia City making it the richest city in the world!
It’s now a ghost town with a population of 1,000.
My favorite part of the city is the massive cemetery on a little knoll just outside town. You could spend a whole day there visiting with the past residents. It’s haunting and beautiful! I took a video and noticed a little dancing orb of light… Maybe a spirit happy that we visited? J
We also toured the Mark Twain museum! For 6 years he was the editor of the newspaper there. He came to town as Samuel Clemens and started using his Mark Twain pan name by the time he left. I got to stand two feet from his actual desk… How amazing is that???
We also visited the legendary Bucket of Blood Saloon! And inside we found a rip roaring old-time band and re-enactors! J
Once it got dark I had to go on a ghost tour, right? It was SUPER cold, but I braved it to search for restless spirits… This was the coolest picture I got that night. This was inside the haunted Silver Queen Saloon Hotel. A prostitute was murdered in this room and she still hangs out there. I took this picture in a pitch black room. There was no sky light and no reason for that light spot on the bed. Was it her? I have no idea, but no one else got this orb of light in their pics! I’m pretty sure she was letting me know she was around… J
So the next day was dedicated to researching Pyramid Lake! I’d never seen it before, but my online research was pretty exciting. The lake is on the Paiute Reservation and it turned out to be MUCH larger than I had pictured. It’s 350 feet deep and it’s salt water. My next hero in the Moon Series, Gareth, has history there as his mother was a member of the Paiute Tribe. I was really excited as I researched because the Lake has SO many stories and legends. The Stone Mother is the Paiute legend about the creation of Pyramid Lake.
This is her picture. She cried for her children for so long that she turned to stone and her salty tears created the lake.
It’s also the home of the largest natural pyramid. It’s made of Calcium Carbonite and the namesake of the lake. It’s actually taller than the great pyramids in Egypt!
So we drove out through the desert in search of this lake and when we came over the rise we were NOT disappointed! It was stunningly beautiful and teal colored! We kept saying it looked fake it was so gorgeous…
And that is SNOW on the mountaintops! So amazing to be in the desert and it’s SO cold there was snow! LOL
Although the water looked bright teal, it was actually SUPER clear!
Pyramid Lake also has a scary legend of the Water Babies who come in the night and drown campers and fishermen! Yikes! Search it on the internet… Creepy tales! LOL Luckily we didn’t run into any… Shew!
What we did find was WILD MUSTANGS!!!! How amazing is it that Reno still has wild horses roaming around? J
There was an adoption center for the mustangs that the government has rounded up. (I won’t go into my personal feelings on that! Leave the horses alone… *ahem* Anyway!)
The center was closed but I wanted a picture and there were three horses who were curious to meet me. I named them the Three Amigos and they ended up bringing the whole herd over to meet me! YAY!
Now you’re probably wondering… After being caught in a blizzard on the Mt. Rose highway, did I risk another trip up to Lake Tahoe?
You bet! It became a quest! LOL And I’m happy to report no blizzard on the second try… We got there just as the sun was setting… SOOOO beautiful!!!
And at the edge of the Lake I found someone had left a message laid out in pinecones…
2014 is going to ROCK! J
So there’s my latest Adventure in book research! Blood Moon and Harvest Moon and Ice Moon will have some of these places in them and I hope when you read it it’ll feel like you’re right there… J