Today, I turn my blog over to Rita Bay, blogger and author extraordinaire. A few weeks ago, when my latest release, Love Gumbo, came out, Rita featured me (specifically, my writing desk) on her blog. The post is here. Now that she has (another) new release, the least I can do is return the favor. So let me introduce you to an amazing author … Rita Bay!
Thank you to Tami for allowing me to visit and write about my favorite season. Fall is approaching and I’m amazed at the change of color in the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the Gulf Coast, we’re lucky to see an occasional popcorn tree change color. Over a weekend, green leaves clinging tenaciously to trees morph into fallen detritus scattered on the ground in desperate need of raking. Not so in Georgia.
The extent of my knowledge about Georgia was a state mostly covered in red clay. Not being a fan of red clay, I pretty much crossed the state off the list of places I would live, even temporarily. Then I discovered North Georgia. I never expected to find magnificent mountain vistas, orchards and farms, and year-round festivals celebrating mountain life.
While writing The Caretaker’s Lady, I needed a magical place for famous romance author Cathy Morrow to rediscover her muse. Where better than a mountain resort? So… In a luxurious resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia where the trees stand cloaked in fall colors, the apples and pumpkins are ripe for harvest, and pots of apple cider simmer beside the fireplace, a couple in the autumn of their lives surrender to lust and discover love.
Pass the grits and call me y’all. Jasmine Bloom, queen of the bodice rippers for three decades, never thought she would become a victim of writer’s block. When family stress causes Cathy Morrow, who writes as Jasmine Bloom, to miss a deadline, Blaylock Publishing accepts a mysterious invitation for Cathy to visit The Mountain Ridge Resort to revive her muse.
Divorced for two decades with three grown children and two grandsons living in her home, Cathy can’t find the inspiration she needs to write the sizzling-hot romances that gained her fame and fortune. At the resort, Cathy meets a hot maintenance worker who warms the cool nights. Will she be content to role-play his favorite scorching-hot love scenes from her novels then return home to her dull routine?
The caretaker’s job at the resort allows billionaire John Murdock to live the life he loves in the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep a centuries-old family vow. When Cathy Morrow arrives at the resort, she lights a fire he’d banked years ago. Will she look beyond his white hair and menial job to appreciate what he offers—passion with the prospect for love?
John stopped on the path. She halted beside him.
“Close your eyes for a moment while we step onto the overlook.”
She frowned. “That requires a bit of trust.”
He squeezed her hand. “You can always trust me, Cathy.”
“Okay.” She closed her eyes and took his arm as he guided her forward a few feet.
“Open your eyes now.” She heard the excitement in his voice. Then she saw why.
The Blue Ridge Mountains lay before them in their early autumn colors. In places, the clouds obscured the sunlight, creating a chiaroscuro patchwork of brilliant color and shadow in the valleys and on the mountainsides.
“Thank you for sharing this with me, John. It’s magnificent. Pristine, as though people have never walked these mountains.”
He laced his arms around her and pulled her close. “They seldom do. Several thousand acres belong to the resort. I prefer this to the manicured beauty of the areas surrounding the buildings. State and federal lands, which will never be developed, lie beyond.”
“Do you bring guests here often?”
“No. When we walked beyond the gate, we were in a private area. I never wear my uniform here. None of the staff would bring guests up here. It can be a dangerous hike, definitely not for someone unaccustomed to walking.”
She’d noticed his jeans and sweater when he entered her suite. He looked really good in the casual clothing, but she hadn’t realized the significance. “You brought me here. John, not the caretaker. It’s a date.”
“Exactly. Besides, you’re in great shape. I had no doubt you could manage the hike. You might be sore in the morning, here and there.”
John removed his backpack and set it beside them. “I have a surprise for you.”
Rita Bay happily writes sizzling contemporary stories, historical romance sagas, shapeshifter and vampire tales, and humorous mythology-based erotic romps. Her stories are set near her home in Atlanta, along the Gulf Coast, and in picturesque locales across Europe. Her webpage/blog (http://ritabay.com) offers more info about Rita and her stories, as well as risqué, macabre, and extraordinary posts about the history and culture of Western Europe and the United States.
Did you enjoy this post? There’ll be a new one next week. Be sure to check back again. And if you have a chance to read one of Rita’s books, please consider leaving a review wherever you purchased it. Thank you!