Author Carla Neggers talks about the chilling suspense and frigid weather in the “Cold” stories of her Black Falls series. And don’t miss the GIVEAWAY at the end of the post.
Ah, winter in northern New England. The cold, the snow, the quiet, cozy evenings by the fire. We have a fire crackling in the woodstove right now at our Vermont hilltop home! I love the openness of the winter landscape and the stunning beauty of the snow-covered mountains. It's a beautiful time of year…but with nor'easters, frostbite, hypothermia, icy falls and icy roads, it can also be dangerous. The perfect backdrop for my stories.
In my Black Falls novels, set in a fictional Vermont town, the humans create the drama, but the weather ratchets up the stakes. In Cold Dawn, the latest book in the series, Rose Cameron and her search dog, Ranger, get to warm up by the big stone fireplace at her family's lodge, but the dangers of winter are never far away. The murderous serial arsonist that she and Nick Martini are after would be frightening anytime of year, but the ever-present perils of the Vermont winter add to the tension.
Cold Pursuit, the first Black Falls novel, begins with the threat of the season’s first snowstorm looming just as two teenagers go missing on a remote mountain. Even without the killers on the loose around them, the frigid cold and uncertain footing of the mountain pathways make a treacherous combination.
My second Black Falls novel, Cold River, is set during the absolute dead of winter—when the days are short and the nights are dark, long and bitter cold. The pristine beauty of mid-winter masks the danger of a ruthless killer still lurking in Black Falls.
When Cold Dawn begins, the days are lengthening, and while snowstorms and cold weather are still upon Vermont, so is the promise of spring. It’s the season for tapping maple trees and readying sugar houses, but that juxtaposition with Rose and Nick’s mission adds to the sense of urgency.
I joke that research for the Black Falls series has been easy because I wrote all three during the winter and just had to look out my window for inspiration. But that's only half the story. I also drew on my own experience getting out to snowshoe, cross-country ski, haul wood, throw a ball for our golden retriever and just enjoy the beauty of winter. One of my Vermont characters says he gets outside if the temperature's above zero. Me, too!
But I respect nature and take sensible precautions when I spend time outside, leaving the dangers the Camerons face in Black Falls to my imagination. When I’m not creating, I don’t want to miss walking along the frozen river on a still, chilly afternoon, or snowshoeing on our hill as the sun rises.
- Carla Neggers
GIVEAWAY ALERT: Three lucky winners will receive a copy of Negger’s latest Black Falls novel, Cold Dawn. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post about why you love chilling romantic suspenses or e-mail here with your comment, mailing address and the subject line "Carla Negger’s Cold Dawn Giveaway.” One entry per person. The contest winners will be revealed on November 8th.
BLOG UPDATE 11/8/2010: And the winners are ... Lisajo85, TJ B. and Victoria Z.