IMG_2604It’s been just over a year since the release

of In The Woods – Murder In The North East Kingdom. Talking about the book is long overdue, and I’ll begin with how the story evolved.

There was a reason I wrote the story, and it began years ago with a few blog posts, back when I was journaling a storyboard on my blogger site. I had the idea of a woman Forest Ranger finding a dead body and involved in solving the murder . . . Though I (and my alpha-reader husband) liked the story, I never finished plotting it out but put it aside. (Of course, I never deleted it just in case!)

Mary Lou and LisaYears passed, and the story was forgotten, until . . .

My cousin, who lives in New Hampshire, sent some information about the Brunswick Springs curse. She knows how I like a good curse and so she shared the information with me about a real one.

Read about the curse HERE at and HERE at Obscure Vermont

I did some research on the curse and the area and then decided it was the perfect location for my Forest Ranger to stumble across a body.

I made a trip to Vermont with my son, we walked the woods, visited Maidstone Lake, even visited the town over the border, Stratford New Hampshire.

IMG_2153We crossed the bridge—The Janice Peaslee Bridge connects Stratford to Maidstone, Vermont. I was so excited about the location, I took photographs and  I shared the information with some of my writing group friends at She Writes™

The setting gave the story a new spark, and the character bloomed not only as a woman Ranger but as a Native American who had lost her identity.

IMG_2275A major breakthrough happened for the character, Sam. Now Samantha not only was a strong woman protagonist, but she also became a seeker . . . Looking for part of herself to feel whole again. I dug in and researched the local tribes of Vermont and New Hampshire, and the various groups within the Abenaki Nation. The information was difficult to obtain, for generations the tribe kept things to themselves for survival. I was pleased to learn that today, the members are nurturing the old beliefs and breathing life back into their culture. Read more about the Abenaki HERE.

CommonLoong14-12-001_l_1The woods also became a significant part of the story, setting up the isolation, the natural beauty, and a spiritual quality to the ‘coming of age’ part of the story. I enjoyed researching the wildlife, especially the loons. Find out more about loons HERE.

Listen to the eerie loon yodel cry HERE

I thank my cousin, who knows me so well, for leading me to the setting of my novel.

In real life, small tidbits, little nuggets of life, flow into our stories and make the difference. People who know us, love us, hate us, they are all part of our story and inevitably spill into our characters as well.InTheWoods

Since the holidays are arriving fast, I want to remind you that all my paperbacks are under $15 and make great gifts.

If you purchase a paperback of

In The Woods – Murder In The North East Kingdom

You can also grab a free match copy eBook of the story. Win-Win, one for a gift and one for you!

Keep Reading!

A video I shot during my visit – the book is released!

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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