Across the States in 50 Books

Last summer, I had a good time going around the world in 80 plus books. I visited many unusual countries, and expanded my Goodreads book shelf immensely. I have wanted to do the same for the states, as that’s my home country. And the few books I used are not nearly enough to cover the lay of the land. So over the next 5 posts (except for the 25th, as the last Sunday will cover health-related topics) I will visit 10 states through books, romances for a preference, but let’s see what turns up. Ready? Get in the truck and fasten your seat-belt.

1. Hawaii. Beautiful scenery is the perfect setting for romance, right? Even if the main characters stay inside a lot. This novel centers on an actor just out of rehab and seriously trying to stay clean. No, not that actor, it’s fiction. And who should walk into her life but the perfect Australian surfer hired to teach her all about the waves and the ocean and riding a board. A woman choosing between an old love who is really bad for her and a new man who wants her to be strong is a plot to peak my interest. Tidal by Emily Snow.

2. Alaska. Jumping from the beaches of Hawaii to the glaciers of Alaska may only seem natural to me, but here we are. And I am glad to be back. I stopped here in my Around the World tour, choosing the first book in the Naked Werewolf series by Molly Harper. How to Flirt with A Naked Werewolf certainly sounds like fun, so the second book, The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, offers a second helping of paranormal romance fun.

3. Washington. No, we are not going to highlight 50 Shades of anything. Luckily last time through the state, I highlighted the first book in the With Me in Seattle series by Kristen Proby. Well, the second book, Fight With Me, also has a steamy cover and an Alpha male who won’t make things easy for the working girl he wants in his bed.

4. Oregon. My niece recently lost her beloved husband, and is facing a new life raising her two daughters alone. I think of them so often, and when I spotted this book on the list for the great state of Oregon, I knew I had to highlight it. Good Grief by Lolly Winston.

5. California. Not to brag about my home state, but there are so many classics to choose from. Works from John Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, to name a few. Our history includes Spanish colonization, Gold Rush days, Civil Rights struggles, and Hollywood. I know the name Octivia Butler. I can’t think right now of what other books of hers I have read, but Kindred‘s synopsis gives me chills. How can a modern African-American woman survive when suddenly whisked away to an Antebellum slave plantation? I have a feeling that Outlander fans will enjoy this one.

6. Arizona. This state has some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. The Grand Canyon, the dunes, and mountains rising out of the flattest land around. It’s hot, most of the time and in most of the state. So let’s take a look at a sizzling book. Threesomes are becoming very popular in Romances. I mean, why should a woman settle for one man if the men in question don’t have an issue, and maybe even go for each other as well? If the men are law enforcement types, and the woman is in need of protection, we have an excellent opening for a story. Shayla Black’s Dangerous Boys and Their Toys will keep up the heat.

7. Nevada. Hunter S. Thompson wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Dean Koontz wrote Strangers. James Patterson wrote a Young Adult series called Maximum Ride. Stephen King wrote Desperation. Jane Rule wrote Desert of the Heart. These all take place in Nevada. And each would be an excellent read to get the feel of this silver-rich state. But I am more of a romance person, not that some of these do not fall into that category, but they are known for other reasons. Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell had the classic elements of a big city policeman and a local girl working together to solve a murder. And of course, Nevada is another hot state.

8. Idaho. This timeless state has so much beauty and wilderness to share that progress should be a dirty word there. This book steps back to the turn of the 20th century with a look at Women’s Rights in a romantic setting. A career in Journalism had just started to open up to women, but censorship still held the day. Catching Katie by Robin Lee Hatcher shows that somehow love will find a way.

9. Montana. Big Sky Country apparently is the perfect place to hide all kinds of paranormal beings. A Vampire Academy turns no heads. And werewolves roam with ease. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs is the first in a series called Alpha & Omega. This novel has won awards and is rated pretty highly by my friends on Goodreads. What better story trope than to think you are the lowest of the low, and discovering there is special magic in that placement?

10. Wyoming. Many times in my younger years I thought it would have been wonderful to live on a horse ranch and grow up knowing these beautiful animals as well as I knew cats and dogs. So I read just about any book about horses. My favorites were the Black Stallion series, but I had a soft spot for My Friend Flicka. Mary O’Hara created a great example of why I wanted to have a horse in my life. One of the comments on Goodreads states that she also paints the scenery of Wyoming so true to life that the person was able to recognize landmarks from her words.

We’ll settle here by the camp fire and pass around the coffee and cornbread. Have a good week, I’ll be back on Thursday.


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