Thea and Viv’s Big Adventure: Day 4, Desert

Posted June 4, 2012 by Shari in Book Tour, Guest Post / 45 Comments

Whee, Thea here—can you believe it?  It’s Day 4 on Thea and Viv’s Big Adventure, and already it’s been so much fun!  Thanks so much to Delighted Reader for having us!

Today’s travel theme is the desert, and I gotta say, I was looking forward to this one!  A couple of years ago, when I signed my first three book Elder Races contract with Berkley, I was invited to stay with family in California while I worked to meet an aggressive publishing schedule.

So that’s what I did:  I cleared out my possessions, packed up my car and took my two little dogs on an adventure.  We drove across country, and I must say, Nevada’s been very good to me.  The sweeping imagery combined with quiet thinking time in the car gave me lots of ideas that eventually turned into NATURAL EVIL (novella #2, published by Samhain).  When it came time for me to move to Colorado the same thing happened—I drove east, and Nevada gave me more.  Those ideas turned into DEVIL’S GATE.

That all began when I passed a highway sign for a turn off to a real life place called Devil’s Gate.  When I got to my hotel, I hooked up to the internet and did some research.  Turns out Devil’s Gate has a bit of a story to it.  Turns out it was part of the gold rush era, and a good spot for robbers to hit on unwary travelers.  Turns out… there wasn’t a whole lot to read about Devil’s Gate that could be found easily.  It’s a quiet, out of the way place, with hardly anybody around and not much documented.  For a writer looking to do some paranormal world-building, it was peeeerrrrfect.  And voila! my Elder Races third novella was born.

Now I’m passing this blog post over to Viv.  Can’t wait to read what she’s got to say about deserts!

Hi! I love how Thea mentioned that locations can really hit a writer and just, well, scream to have a story told there. That’s how the entire Granite Lake Wolves series started, with a trip to the real Granite Lake in the remote Yukon. But today, we’re talking about deserts, not lakes, so I get to share something very cool with you.

Did you know there’s a desert in the Yukon? Yup, a real sand and dunes desert—the Yukon can get cold, but it’s not always the frozen wasteland some people imagine it to be. This Canadian desert is the smallest in the world, the sand all that remains of a giant inland lake that evaporated after the last ice age.

When we lived up north we’d drive from Whitehorse to the coastal town of Skagway for weekend camping trips, and with children onboard, a stop at the Carcross Desert would keep squirmy little people happy.

In terms of being inspired by real locations, WOLF LINE takes place on a cruise ship—one of the big ships that travel back and forth around the northern passage. Day excursions from the port in Skagway, Alaska take visitors to sections of the old gold rush trail, up White Pass, and yes, you can even take a trip to the Yukon desert.

What a wonderful world we live in, with so many beautiful and unique things to see and experience!

THEA AND VIV’S BIG ADVENTURE is brought to you by Thea Harrison and Vivian ArendNew York Times and USA Today bestselling authors with a love for both travel and writing. They have joined together for the nefarious purpose of celebrating their next Samhain Publishing ebooks.

Thea’s DEVIL’S GATE releases June 5. The novella returns readers to the world of The Elder Races.
Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Samhain Publishing

WOLF LINE, #5 in Viv’s bestselling Granite Lake Wolves, is available June 12.
Available at: Amazon | Barne’s & Noble | Samhain Publishing


Comment for your chance to win:

Grand Prizes: To one commenter will be winner’s choice of a Kindle or Nook.  Two additional winners will receive a Relaxing Getaway Swag Pack: Homemade soap by Thea, hand-woven back scrubber imported from Ecuador by Viv, Thea and Viv’s first books, DRAGON BOUND and UNDER THE NORTHERN LIGHTS, and various other treats.

DAILY PRIZES: One commenter at each blog on the tour will win their choice of one of Thea or Viv’s Samhain ebooks from either the Elder Races or Granite Lake Wolves series. If the winner has them all, the prize can be gifted to a friend!

Winners from comments at all the tour stops will be announced Viv’s and Thea’s blogs on JUNE 13.

Question for today: 

What scenery feeds your imagination?


The following two tabs change content below.
Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

Latest posts by Shari (see all)

Tags: , , , ,

  • Smileygirl3090

    The Coast, especially the Cornish/Devonshire Coast (I’m English and lived most of my life in Devon) because the sea has so many moods and the wind carries the briny scent of the sea but it otherwise fresh and playful and you just feel so close to nature, buffeted by the wind, watching this vast expanse of constantly moving changing water, full of life… Can you tell that I miss the sea now that I’m living inland?

  • MichelleKCanada (@AnotherLookBook)

    Hi Ladies!
    Great posts with excellent pictures included. I had no idea there was a desert in the Yukon. I find that fascinating.

    Scenery is a powerful motivater. I am not a writer so a lot of my imagery comes from the wonderful books I read. I especially love books where the setting is a character all on it’s own. I think that is one of the reasons I am so drawn to Highland type books. Usually the authors are very descriptive of the setting.

    Best to you on your books. I have not read either author so I must check them out.

    Michelle Kelly
    another_look_book_reviews@hotmail dot ca

  • Aurore

    Some sceneries are truly impressive and can make you dream.
    I’ve visited Croatia a few years ago and it’s a wonderful country. The most wonderful scenery I’ve seen there was at the Plitvice Lakes National Park. There are sixteen huge lakes there which are bluer than any lake I’ve ever seen. I felt like a dream!

  • Joanne B

    Congrats ladies on both your new releases!
    I did not know there was a desert in the Yukon. The shore, especially the New Jersey shore, feeds my imagination. I could sit and stare at the the coastline and the waves for hours and think of nothing or everything.
    Thanks for the great blog tour.


  • Laura

    I think the place that most feeds my imagination is the coast. I’m talking the Pacific Northwest or Maine, not a Cali vibe. There is something about the sea air and the lush green forests that just gets me in the mood to both read and write stories.

    Unfortunately I don’t live in either of those locations so I have to make due with the occassional visit.

  • Jeannie S.

    I am enjoying reading about your big adventure.

    I thing the scenery when I went to London many years ago fed my imagination. The buildings and castles were so old and contained so much history. it was very humbling to walk the path so many others in history had also walked. It was an amazing experience.

  • Hannah

    I grew up on a desert island (well, archipelago really) and I find now that I’m living in England it’s forests and the old architecture that wow me. And underwater. I went diving off the coast of Spain and it was amazing! I could hardly think of anything else for days!

    I guess ALL scenery feeds my imagination, it just depends on what I’m doing at the time.

  • Cindy

    The scenery feeds that my imagination is the Beach.

  • Meg

    I love the “wilds” of upstate New York. Lakes, meadows with trees climbing up the hills behind them. They bring me peace and also inspiration.

  • Elizabeth H.

    Thanks for hosting!! What scenery feeds my imagination is always somewhere outside where the only noise you hear are the birds singing and many trees with shade and flowers in bloom. It’s always so peaceful and when I am at peace, my imagination can run wild.

  • Melissa B

    Ooh, Alaska! The mountains, the snow, the cold…and the SEA! And I just love the thought of days that are filled with dark! I dream of one day living there.

    I’m loving this Adventure…and so neat to hear how you guys were inspired!

  • Julie

    Forests are most pleasing to me. They can be very quiet and still, but there’s always something going on–if you stop and listen and watch, you’ll be able to experience it. I love that it almost forces you to stand still and drop your multitasking.

  • Thea Harrison

    Hi everybody!

    How wonderful to hear from all of you. I love reading about all the scenery that inspires you. I adore the ocean as well, and the quiet of a large forest, especially the massive redwoods in Muir Wood. Right now I have the mountains of Colorado to use as inspiration.

    Good luck with the contest, and happy reading!

  • Cathy M

    For me it is the Grand Canyon. The formations, and the wind whistling through it all, is inspiring.

  • Laurie

    I live near the water, so I love the beach/water/palm trees. But when I went to Yosemite, I was blown away, loved the waterfalls, sequoias, and mountains, it’s amazing!

  • Jane

    For it’s the hills of San Francisco.

  • Amanda Grinstead

    Thanks for the giveaway! The scenery that I find most inspiring for my imagination would likely be a winter forest scene at night. Growing up in Northwestern Ontario, there’s forest aplenty and I always found it enchanting and haunting to be in the woods at night in winter. The bare branches and snow cover and bright stars are very inspiring. Cheers!

  • Susan E.

    After living on the flat side of South Dakota most of my life, my trip to Colorado last summer was a wonderful change of place. The Rockies are such an amazing range, I want to see more of them!

  • Anne

    Any place that has a lot of plants growing, a garden or the forest.

    Macchu Pichu was great. Lots of green, mountains, morning fog. Very atmospheric. Almost inspired me enough to take up the pen and I’m definitely a reader, not a writer.

  • cait045

    The rainforest with all the lush wildlife and animals. It is one place on earth I want to visit and discover all its wonders.

  • JenM

    I get inspired by all kinds of scenery. I love to travel and I love it when there are different, or underused settings in the fiction I read. If I’ve been there, I love picturing it, and if I haven’t, I love dreaming about it.

  • Glittergirl

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your series Thea! I have eaten up each and every book and was luck enough to stumble on it with the first book. Of course with a dragon as a main character I was sure to love it :-) and Dragos didn’t disappoint.

    What scenery feeds my imagination? Living in the Pacific Northwest I have fabulous scenery to feed on. I love all our green, lakes and rivers EVERYWHERE with soaring snow capped mountains and the Pacific Ocean near by! It is truly a glorious place and my imagination is filled with Big Foot, werewolves, werecats and all manner of magical beings. I see elves and fae and all sorts of magical green little creatures. If you look really closely you might even see a old wise talking tree 😉

  • April Alvey

    My Place Would Be In An Ireland Country Side Where There Is No One Around. With The Mountains And A Lovely Spring. butterfli262002(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Sophia Rose

    I have learned to appreciate the beauty of the desert since my parents moved to Utah. I already loved the ruggedness of mountains and lakes along with craggy ocean coastline in Northern California where I lived. But I do not find any one place aspiring as that these places are all over and waiting for me to find.

    I would love to see the Yukon someday.

    Thanks for your posts ladies!

  • Vanessa N.

    The scenery that feeding my imagination would be a tropical island withe gorgeous beaches and cystal clear blue waters.

  • Vivian Arend

    You guys are awesome! Love the settings you’re describing. I think I need to plan a few more trips!

  • Shelley Bagby

    I just got back from Mexico,so I have to say white beaches and turquoise water.

  • Julianne

    The Egyptian Pyramids. I’d love to be able to travel there and see all the sites. The valley of the kings the old cities. I think that would just be so awesome. It could inspire great love stories of a long time ago.
    Thanks for sharing thoughts on deserts.

  • Lisa Garrett

    The Gulf Coat. There is nothing more peaceful for the creative mind. Especially Pensacola Beach.

  • elaing8

    I’m Canadian and I didn’t even know there was a desert in the Yukon.You learn something new everyday :)
    Scenery that feeds my imagination..Places with lush greenery,quiet but for the sounds of nature.Just to sit and listen to the wildlife and listen to the wind blow through the trees.

  • bn100

    Paris, France

  • DebP

    I love places with water, the beach ,a lake or water falls.

  • taina pfenninger

    I’d say that the senery that best makes my imagination run wild is right in my back yard i’ve got the mountains, and the lakes which give my love of using my imagination a chance to run free and for me to be myself.

  • Lindsey E

    Seeing the mountains in the Rockies is always awe-inspiring so I try to look up when running errands to remind myself there is more to world than concrete.

  • Jen B.

    Everything! It doesn’t matter where I am if I can disconnect from the “reality” I can see a story in anything.

  • kitkat9000

    Moving water. Any type. As long as I can hear it running/moving it doesn’t matter whether it’s the ocean surf, a babbling brook, waterfalls, swift moving river or a water feature in a pond. Water sounds relax me and my mind travels anywhere it wishes. My only regret is that I don’t actually live near any. Hence my plan to install a pond with waterfall in my backyard. Instant nirvana!

  • Pamk

    ocean landscapes especially like the coast of orengon. Gorgeous or maybe hawaii or the carribean.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  • Fedora

    Like a lot of other commenters, I love watching water :) Nothing like the almost hypnotic lure of the waves going out and in… I also love mountains–it’s amazing to see God’s sculptures against the sky :)

  • Nancy Gilliland

    My favorite scenic spot is someplace not too far from home. I love visiting Lake of the Ozarks-it is beautiful, and every time I have gone there, I come back rested and recharged. I wish I could go more often.

  • Wendy/books4me

    Castles and log cabins feeds my imagination…both are places that I love!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  • Artemis

    A safari on South Africa. It is one of my dreams, my problem is i am not very adventurous person but this trip really feeds my imagination. I love nature and animals. I think it is a magical world and I would love to figure out why these beasts are known as the kings of the jungle?

  • Evie

    Ireland :) I’ve never been there but it’s such a beautiful place!

  • Raonaid Luckwell

    Mostly when I walk near heavily wooded areas my brain sparks with ideas with elves but then elves are always on my brain.

  • donnas

    Its the mountains. I only see them once or twice a year, but I can just imagine a cabin up there and a town in the mountains with more in the backdrop would be an awesome place to visit. I can just look at them all day. They look so majestic and peaceful.

  • Tracey D

    Bodies of water. I always wonder what secrets are beneath it. Is there a long lost city or civilization?

    booklover0226 at gmail dot com