A Guest Post by Mary Alford
Hello Inspy Friends. My name is Mary Alford and I’m thrilled to be your guest blogger today.
Have you ever gone to a place that just seemed to speak to you? Almost as if God were talking directly to you in a sunrise or in the ocean tide. Perhaps the alpine glow of mountains? We all have places where we feel closer to God. Sometimes, it can be in your own backyard.
For me it’s the mountains. I think I’ve been in love with them long before I visited the mountains for the first time. Probably since I was a child and I watched, The Sound Of Music and saw Julie Andrews spin around and sing, ‘the hills are alive with the sound of music.’
After I grew up and visited the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, well, I understood exactly what Julie was singing about. There’s just something romantic about them. The mountains have a way of taking hold of your heart and refusing to let it go.
For me, they hold such good memories. Whether it’s the time we spent there with our granddaughter, or simply sitting outside at night watching the stars, and feeling as if I could reach out in touch them, they’re so close. All good memories.
And it was on a particular trip to Pagosa Springs, CO, that I found out I’d sold my first Love Inspired Suspense.
About ten years ago, my husband and I bought a small cabin at the foothills of the Southern Rockies and we’ve had so much fun visiting there each year. Yet for someone from Texas who had never been near a mountain before, it was an education.
The mountains have a way of creating their own weather. Storms are just naturally drawn to them. We’ve had snowstorms in August. Hail that covered everything in sight and looked like it had snowed. We’ve even experience a lightening snowstorm. All part of the allure, though. And if you’ve ever stood on top of a fourteen footer, well, you can see God’s handiwork wherever you look.
That’s probably why I find myself drawn to using the mountains as a backdrop in so many of my books. There’s romance, drama, and God’s majesty everywhere you look. What more could you ask for in an Inspirational romance?
So when I set out to write my latest book, Grace And The Rancher, I knew I wanted to have the setting be in the mountains. Thus, the fictional town of Delaney Mountain was born. A tightknit community at the bottom of Delaney Mountain where everyone knows one another and loves each other in spite of their flaws. The perfect place for Grace Bradford to try to escape her troubled past and start over again. And in the end, Grace finds more than forgiveness for herself, she finds love.
So what about you? Where do you go when you need to feel God’s presence the most?
In honor of the upcoming release of Grace And The Rancher, I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of the story to one random person who comments by Saturday evening, February 18.
All the best…
I was inspired to become a writer after reading romantic suspense greats Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Soon creating characters and throwing them into dramatic situations that test their faith came naturally for me. In 2012, I entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call”. Writing is truly a dream come true for me.
Grace Bradford is living a lie. To the world she has the perfect life: A promising country music career and a husband who adores her. But her husband isn’t the man everyone believes him to be. When a car accident widows her and ends her career, Grace escapes to Delaney Mountain. But moving to the remote town doesn’t wipe away the ugly secret of her marriage. Kyle Delaney never intended to return to Delaney Mountain, but he promises his dying father that he’ll turn their land into a working cattle ranch. He uproots his life in Austin, sells his flourishing business as a music agent, and returns to the Colorado town of his childhood. Can a runaway singer and a makeshift rancher, thrust together by circumstance and held together by the common thread of loss and a love of music, find hope and a happily-ever-after under the stars of Delaney Mountain?
Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble/Nook.
Martha Peace says
Thanks for a chance to win,Im retired and I love to read
Martha, you are very welcome.
Will go and check out your books, thanks for sharing. I love the mountains, and the beach. The Bogong High Plains are a pretty special place, as are the Blue Mountains. Every time I am there, the remoteness calls me out of myself and reminds me of how great God is.
Wemble, that’s exactly how I feel.
Jill Weatherholt says
Great to see you, Mary! The mountains as well as the ocean are two places where I feel closest to God. Thanks for visiting today.
Thanks, Jill. I’m happy to be here today.
Narelle Atkins says
Hi Mary, Welcome to Inspy Romance :) I love living near mountains, and occasionally we’ll see a smattering of snow on the high peaks during winter. Congrats on your latest release!
Narelle, I’m jealous. One day my hubby and I plan to retire to the mountains. Until then, we get to visit.
Welcome to Inspy Romance and thanks for sharing! Read your romance Marry Me in Valentine Matchmaker Boxed Set. Lots of new authors to me in that boxed set.
To be close to God and reflect on His love and goodness, daily I make a stop at the beautiful southeast shores of Lake Michigan. Stopping at Glenlord Beach is a special morning tradition that I share with my grandchildren. Their elementary school is a block from the lake.
I also enjoy the mountains. My favorite in the USA are the Smokey Mountains, in Europe the Swiss Alps near Interlaken, and the Japanese Alps.
Renate, I’ve been to Lake Michigan. It’s beautiful. I haven’t been to the Smokey’s yet, but it is on my bucket list. That’s super great that you get to share your morning tradition with your grandkids. They’ll carry that with them for the rest of their lives.
Sally Shupe says
I love the Smokey Mountains too!
My son, his wife and granddaughter went there and loved it. I’m definitely going to have to make that trip someday.
Winnie Thomas says
Renate, my grandfather grew up in a little town near Interlaken, Switzerland. The name of the town is Wilderswil, and I was able to visit there a few years ago and see the house where he grew up. It is so beautiful there–one of my very favorite places. I’d love to go back again.
I love the mountains. I just happen to live on the other side of the country, so I get to see the Blue Ridge Mountains. Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is an excellent way to fathom God’s creativity and greatness.
Ginger, you are very blessed indeed.
Sally Shupe says
Love the mountains! Living in Southwest Virginia, the mountains are home. We drove out west last summer and seeing those mountains in the backdrop, made my mountains seem small in comparison! Now if I could just get a lot of snow…
Grace and the Rancher is a great story! You will love it!
We are actually headed to the mountains tomorrow. Our son, daughter and son in law rented a house in Gatlinburg, TN for the weekend that’s big enough for the whole family. So we are all meeting there. Some are skiing, some are just enjoying the scenery. Your book sounds like a fun read.
Autumn Macarthur says
Welcome, Mary! I miss the mountains, we live on the edge of the Fenlands, a part of England well known for being flat! Sounds like a wonderful story, you already have me wondering about Grace’s marriage! :)
Thanks, Autumn. There is a bit of a twist there in the story.
Tammy Francis says
I live in the valley between many mountains and it feels strange when I go somewhere without any mountains. The mountains that put me in awe of God’s handiwork are around Banff in Alberta. They take your breath away as you drive there. (Canada)
Tammy, I’ve never been there before. Sounds amazing, though. God has created so many beautiful places. If I can just see a fraction of them, I’ll be happy.
I know, Sally. Here it Texas, snow is a rarity, but I still would love to see it. I’m glad you liked Grace and the Rancher.
Beth Gillihan says
I love the mountains! I live in Montana, so I have mountains all around me. Sounds like a good book. Have a great day!
Thanks, Beth. My husband and I have been looking at Montana as a possible place to retire some day. From the photos I’ve seen I can tell the mountains are breathtaking there.
Margaret Nelson says
I live close to the ocean, so going there and walking along the beach is where I go most often to commune with God.
Margaret, I agree. There’s something about the beach that just helps to clear away the clutter. Definitely a good place to commune with God.
Valerie Comer says
Getting close to God means nature to me. I love the Pacific Ocean – the surf pounding on the rocks, the vastness of it – but we live too far away to visit often. We live in the mountains of BC, Canada, and my favorite thing in the summer is camping by a mountain lake or stream and soaking in the majesty.
Thanks so much for visiting Inspy Romance today, Mary!
Thank you, Valerie.
What a beautiful notion to see God’s handiwork wherever you look from the top of a mountain. My husband and I had a similar thought when going to one of the fire towers in the Adirondacks last September. We actually went up a few other mountains and prayed everyday about our first child, using our time up there to talk about how we’d name him. Once we finally decided, we were back home in upstate NY and ended up going to a hilltop in one of our favorite state parks to pray one last time before sharing the name with family and friends. (Sam’s 3 weeks old now and we’re happy his story started where our life together started—we have since moved close to family for support.)
Pricilla, Congrats on your baby boy and what a moving story. Thanks for sharing it.
Linda Hogue says
I absolutely feel the closest to God in the mountains. They are so fresh and clean and beautiful air is Heavenly there’s no more beautiful place then being surrounded by mountains and pine trees and being there by a lake is even better. By the way I also grew up loving Victoria Holt.
Linda, we are kindred spirits. Love Victoria Holt and I so agree about the mountains. God is everywhere.
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
I think I feel closest to God when I’m on the coast. The pounding surf reminds me of his majesty. I am surrounded by mountains where I live, but there is nothing like the Pacific Ocean.
Your book sounds great!
The beach is great. I enjoy the fresh sea air as well, Kimberly.
JoAnn Durgin says
Mary, you had my attention at the mention of Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. After I moved on from Nancy Drew, those were my two “go to” authors (although Whitney was my absolute favorite). Mary Stewart was the third author I enjoyed. The mountains are a great setting for a book. I’ve only written about the Helena, Montana area, but should perhaps set another one in a similar setting. Hmm… We live closest to the Smoky Mountains and try to get there once a year on average. Blessings to you, and congrats on your books and upcoming release! :)
Thanks, JoAnn. Mary Stewart was up there right along with Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. Love their stuff.
I always enjoy learning about new authors. Thanks for sharing your experience and favorite place to find God. I will definitely add you to my list of authors.
Thank you, Colleen.
Robin L Pugh says
Thank you for sharing your book, going on the to be read pile. I live surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont which are really beautiful. I also love the rugged beauty of Alaska- I lived there for almost two years and the scenery was breathtaking. But for me I find the majesty of God in the small things as much as the big. The clouds, the trees, the flowers and my berry bushes. I love to look at their small design and think of the creator so involved in every faucet of their creation.
Absolutely, Robin. Before we know it, it will be spring and the flowers will bloom. It’s a special gift from God.
Winnie Thomas says
I love the mountains! I live in northern Utah in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains–part of the Rocky Mountains. I can’t imagine living where there are no mountains. Some of my favorite places to visit are Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Glacier National Park, all of which have such gorgeous mountain scenery.
Winnie, what a great place to live. I love living in Texas and we live on a lot of acreage so it’s very peaceful, but the mountains are my second home.
DK Stevens says
One of our favorite vacation spots!
Gail Hollingsworth says
I loved to read Victoria Holt books when I was a teenager and young adult!
My place I love to go to feel closer to God is the ocean. It’s so big and never ending just like God. My husband and I go RV camping when we get a chance and there’s no better place to have a quiet time with the Lord.
Thanks for the giveaway, I’d be honored to be chosen.
Jessica B. (USA) says
Welcome! Your book sounds great.
Amanda Geaney says
I’m with you, I feel close to God when I’m out in His creation. I’ve experienced the power of Niagara Falls, stood on the cusp of the Grand Canyon, and flown near Denali. There is no denying His power or majesty when you are see what His words have spoken into being.
Are any of your books set in National Parks? I have a goodreads list going for Christian Fiction set in our parks.