Thursday, August 23, 2012

Welcome Stacey Coverstone to Cowboy Kisses

 I'm personally happy to welcome Stacey to our blog today, and I'm so impressed with the pictures she provided to enhance her article.  Yep...I'm definitely going back to Alaska to take more pictures for my current historical WIP.  Welcome Stacey, and thanks for being here today.

Research, Up Close and Personal
By Stacey Coverstone

As an author of historical western romance novels, it’s essential for me to do research in order to describe the clothing, the personal habits, and the figure of speech used by my characters for that time period. It’s also very important to be able to describe the geographical setting accurately. In order to write my novel, Trail of Golden Dreams, I found myself traveling to New Mexico to learn about the Nambe Pueblo and the Tewa people. 

Nambe Pueblo is one of the Tewa Pueblos of the northern Rio Grande region in New Mexico. In the Tewa language, the word Nambe means “People of the Round Earth.” Prior to the arrival of Spanish explorers, Nambe Pueblo served as the primary cultural and religious center for the northern New Mexican pueblo communities. The pueblo is a registered National Historic Landmark and is a major tourist attraction. 

The pueblo sits at the base of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Sixteen miles north of the state capitol of Santa Fe, it encompasses 19,000 acres of land surrounded by national forest. Its terrain is scenic and striking, featuring waterfalls, lakes, and mountainous areas. 

Nambe Falls and Nambe Lake Recreation Area, located above the pueblo is a popular summertime location for camping, fishing, picnics, events and organizational gatherings. A 15-minute hike along the shaded cottonwood trails takes you to the base of Nambe Waterfalls, three of the most spectacular natural falls in the Southwest. A climb up the side of the canyon brings you to a birds-eye view of the falls. Sitting above the falls are the Nambe dam and lake, a 56-acre lake for recreational and sport fishing. The scenic Nambe Rock Formations are popular with tourists and filmmakers. Fourth of July and an October feast day are the times when the most popular festivals are held at the Nambe Pueblo, when dances and other ceremonies are performed above the Pueblo at the beautiful Nambe Falls.

Today, the Nambe Pueblo is largely Hispanicized, and is almost completely surrounded by non-Indian residents. However, there has been a recent renaissance of interest in the traditional rituals and crafts, and Nambe artists are making a comeback.  Weaving is being revived in the production of kilts and cotton belts. Pottery, too, is once again being made in black on black and white on red designs similar to the work of the Taos and Picuris Pueblo potters. 

In my novel, Trail of Golden Dreams, heroine Josie Hart is half-Tewa Indian, as her deceased mother was born and raised at the Nambe Pueblo. Josie and the hero of my story, Grey Paladin, ride 200 miles of dangerous New Mexico trail following a cryptic map in order to find gold nuggets hidden somewhere near the Nambe Falls by Josie’s outlaw father. To do research for this exciting adventure/romance, I traveled to New Mexico and spent time in Santa Fe, where some of my story takes place. I also drove to the Nambe Pueblo and climbed the side of the rugged canyon to the top where I gazed upon the same magnificent view of the Nambe waterfalls and the valley below that Josie and Grey see in my novel. In addition, I spent time at the river and hiking the surrounding area. The entire region is central to my story and the culmination of Josie and Grey’s journey, so I wanted to be able to describe historic Santa Fe, the Nambe Pueblo, and the canyon, the waterfalls, and the river with accuracy. Sometimes it’s not possible to travel to a destination for research. That’s when the internet comes in very handy. But as an author, if you can go on the road to do your research, I strongly encourage you to do so. In this case, I was glad I had the opportunity to be able to put myself into Josie and Grey’s shoes, literally. 

Excerpt from Trail of Golden Dreams:

The tall, dark stranger looked down into Josie's eyes. A muscle ticked along his jaw. After several long moments, she felt the release of pressure from the gun held at her temple. "Toss your gun on the ground," she commanded, while keeping her derringer pointed at his ribcage.

"I'll toss mine when you toss yours," he said.

Josie searched his face. "Are you crazy, or just stupid? You think I'm going to throw down my gun? Why should I trust you?"

"Because I've never killed a woman before, and I don't intend to start now."

After considering his words carefully, Josie removed the gun from his rib. "On the count of three, we'll both throw our guns onto the ground. Do I have your word as a gentleman?"

The man in black threw his head back and laughed. "Whatever gave you the idea I'm a gentleman?"

She rammed the derringer into his gut again and narrowed her eyes into pinpoints. The gun pressed into taut, rigid muscle. She had too much to lose to let him scare her out of a future she'd only dreamed about before now. "I'll kill you right now, mister, and take my map, and it won't bother me none."

The man grinned. "You're a tough little half-breed, aren't you?"

"Half-breed!" she shrieked, lunging. Josie pounded on his chest with her fists and clawed at his shirt. He grabbed her wrists, and both the revolver and the derringer flew out of their hands and clattered to the ground. The stranger pulled her close. She struggled under his grasp. "Let me go, you big ignorant brute!" She kicked at his shins, but he lifted her off the ground before her boots could do any real damage.

"Calm down, missy," he hollered. Keeping a firm grip around her waist, he danced the two of them around the cave, trying to avoid her bruising kicks. "I'm not ignorant. It was just a stupid joke. That's what Leroy always called you. His little half-breed."

Josie abruptly stopped fighting and glowered up at him. His arms still held her tight, squeezing her shoulders together. "What did you say?" she asked. "You knew my pa?" For the first time, she took a hard look at the cowboy. He was good looking for an outlaw. His mouth drew into a tight line, but his sun-soaked face was unshaven, his jaw was square like a chiseled piece of granite, and his brown eyes were so mesmerizing, she felt like climbing into them. She changed her mind about the mesmerizing eyes when he spit out his hateful answer.

"I knew your pa, all right," he growled. "He was a no-good, low-down, common thief who got what he deserved when they hung him."

Happy Reading!
Purchasing info and more of Stacey’s books can be found on her website:


Stacey said...

Thank you, Ginger, for having me on Cowboy Kisses today. Love the blog.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Stacey, I've got this book Kindled and can't wait to start it! We hope to get to New Mexico next summer, our first time. Best of luck with many sales! xoxox

Stacey said...

Thank you, Tanya. You'll love New Mexico. I've been there many many times to all parts of the state and we used to own land there. I hope you enjoy the story.

Unknown said...

Stacy, Sorry I missed your day, I was under the weather, but I did share on Google, FB, and you'll be tweeted plenty of times. Thank you so much for the interesting post, and I'll hope you'll want to come back again real soon.


Devon Matthews said...

Hi Stacey! Welcome to Cowboy Kisses! Really enjoyed your excerpt. I've only been to New Mexico one time, many years ago, but I remember it being a magical place. The desert vistas are just amazing.

Unknown said...

Terrific excerpt. Very compelling. Love your descriptions. On my TBB list. I wish you many sales.