Saddle up for some Fun with Research on my Next Release!
If you’ve heard me talk about research in the past, you know I consider it a necessary evil for writing.
The problem started in high school. Yeah, I know, you don’t want to go there. Neither do I, but that’s where it started. Remember those dreaded research/term papers? You had to make outlines, notecards, quote
s, bibliographies, works cited pages and the list goes on. The two worst parts for me were the outlines (I still get nauseous thinking about outlining) and research for the notecards. I honestly didn’t mind reading the books for information, but having to make note cards to PROVE that I did was really annoying. It wasn’t so much I had to prove I did the research as the fact that I wasn’t going to use those cards to write the paper. Once I handed them in for the ‘pre-work’ grade, I doubt I looked at them again.
HOWEVER, over the past few years I’ve come to realize I can have fun with research. Hallelujah!
Nowadays my research is much more hands on. I wrote another post about this subject almost two years ago as a guest on Jessica Aspen’s Blog. I wanted to give you an update on my latest research experience – Guest Ranches.
My current WIP (work in progress) will be the first of the new Masters Men series, Master Security. It features Chance Dugan who was introduced in Her Master Match, and Marley Jasper, owner of the Jasper Ranch. (If you need to brush up on the Masters Men, feel free to click here for information on the first Masters Men Series.) I figured if I was going to feature a guest ranch in my book, I should probably know what running one entailed. Cue research.
Okay, so I had to do a little, very little, searching on Google to get started. It didn’t take many keystrokes to find a place to contact. I sent an email to the General Manager of C Lazy U Ranch. It wasn’t long before he responded and we arranged for a call. I sent him some questions ahead of time. His answers were very helpful, but he suggested I really needed to see things for myself and invited me to visit. My niece went with me so when I ran out of questions or forgot to take pictures she could pick up the slack.
So, we went to the ranch and it was amazing. The C Lazy U is a premier guest ranch in the U.S. located in Granby, Colorado. Our cabin was unbelievably comfortable and had fireplaces in both rooms. We went ho
rseback riding and snowshoeing. We joined others in the community area of the main building for lunch, dinner, and breakfast. All the meals were good, but the dinner was definitely outstanding. All of the employees were friendly and welcoming. There must be a requirement that the cowboys are good looking, because they would all look great on a book cover. Also, the female wrangler (that’s her in the picture at the top of the post) who led our trail ride grew up on a dairy farm. If you remember Chance from his cameo appearance in Her Master Match, he grew up on a dairy farm, too. So, now I have a contact to find out more about how a small dairy farm works. Bonus!
The only issue was the C Lazy U is so much more than my heroine could handle as a family guest ranch. It turned out, that wasn’t a problem either, because David Craig, C Lazy U’s General Manager, also arranged for us to visit a nearby family-owned and run guest ranch, the Drowsy Water Ranch. C Lazy U is huge and open year round while Drowsy Water is open from June through mid-September. That is much more likely what my heroine would be able to deal with as a family-owned guest ranch. Even though Drowsy Water wasn’t open right now, Justin Fosha, one of the owners gave us a tour through the knee high snow as well as giving us a better feel of what a family-owned and run guest ranch would entail.
So, if you want to see what all this FUN RESEARCH results in late this spring, you’ll keep an eye out for the first installment of the Master Security series. While I don’t have a final title yet, the working title is WRANGLING DUGAN. If you’d like a little teaser, keep reading. If you like that title, or have a suggestion for a different one, leave a comment.
Chance waited in silence for Marley to continue.
“Early this morning someone broke into the main house.”
The pencil he’d been tapping snapped in two. He stared at her. “The main house as in the one you and your parents live in?”
She shrugged. “It’s just me. My parents moved to Arizona when dad sold the ranch to me. I guess Colorado wasn’t dry enough for them.”
Chance ignored her attempt to break the sudden tension. “They actually got inside? Your security system didn’t go off?”
“Oh, it went off. As soon as they stepped one foot in the kitchen, I pulled the trigger on my father’s old shotgun.”
“You shot them?” He knew his eyes were wide as saucers, but he hadn’t expected that.
“Maybe, I’m not sure if any of the buckshot hit him or not. I aimed at the door’s frame. It’s a ranch. Shotguns are the security system.”
He rubbed his temple again while he tried to come to terms with the image of her facing off with a would-be attacker in her kitchen with a shotgun.
Until next time,