Guest Author: Carol Cox
19TH CENTURY MERCANTILES
Some of my earliest memories involve shopping trips with my mother, back in the . . . well, let’s just say it was a few decades ago. She’d make a list of all the places we had to go—the hardware store for the screws and bolts my dad needed for a project; the paint store for pink paint to touch up the wall in my bedroom; the drugstore, where we’d pick up a prescription for my grandmother—and maybe have time to cool off with an ice cream float at the soda fountain before heading on to the grocery store.
El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon
The porch rockers at the El Tovar–our favorite place to be after standing at the rim to gawk.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it, for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.”
“Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken, my salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge” Psalm 62:6,7
My Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek populate Colorado, but I make my home in Arizona. Central Arizona boasts a lot of family-friendly attractions and historic destinations. I thought it’d be fun to give you a peek at a few of them. If you’re heat-sensitive, I’d recommend you plan your Arizona family vacation or getaway for the more temperate months—mid-October to mid-May.
Oak Creek Canyon
1. Oak Creek Canyon: Hwy 89A, the most scenic route between Flagstaff and Sedona. While you’re driving the canyon, you may want to stop for a visit to Slide Rock State Park and cool off on the natural waterslide.
2. Sedona: Known for its majestic red rock formations, and the internationally famous site of many John Wayne movies.
3. Montezuma’s Castle and Montezuma’s Well: Amazing Anasazi Indian dwellings and an astounding natural spring in the center of ancient ruins.
4. Out of Africa Wildlife Park: Bring your family to see hundreds of animals from all over the world.
5. Verde Canyon Railroad: A wilderness train ride that takes you back in time.
6. Jerome: Billion Dollar Copper Mine. While you’re there, be sure to visit Jerome State Historic Park—The Douglas Mansion, a monument to Jerome’s mining boom days.
7. Blazin’ M Ranch: Talk about family fun—Old West setting, cowboy grub, and a western show full of music and laughter.
8. Fort Verde State Historic Park: Indian war era cavalry fort.
9. Prescott Rodeo: World’s Oldest Rodeo.
10. Red Rock Fantasy: A Christmas season spectacular! An entire community lit up for the season.
I’m curious…have you been to Arizona? If so, what did you see? If not, where in Arizona would you want to go first?
“Have you lived in Colorado?”
“Then how did you end up writing stories set in Colorado?”
Many readers of The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series assume I live in Cripple Creek or at least in Colorado. When they learn I live in Arizona, they invariably have questions.
In Arizona, I live at the base of Mingus Mountain, home to the most vertical town in the United States—Jerome. More than twenty years ago, when I first visited the Jerome State Historic Park, the Douglas Mansion, I became fascinated with the historic copper mining camp’s history and the romantic appeal of the late 1890’s. Soon thereafter, I entertained the idea of writing a historical novel set in Jerome during its boom town years in the late 1890s.
ACFW Conference, 2008
In 2008, I sent the first twenty pages of that endeavor to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) as an entry in their Genesis contest for unpublished novelists. Later that year, my writing sample was awarded First Place in the Historical Fiction category at the annual ACFW conference.March 31, 2009 my agent called and asked if I was sitting down. She’d shown the proposal for the Jerome novel to several editors, and had heard back from one who was interested in publishing me.
In an out-of-the-ordinary situation, the editor, the brilliant Shannon Hill Marchese at WaterBrook Press, asked if I’d be willing to adapt my story premise and move it to Cripple Creek, Colorado. Still set in the late 1890’s. Still taking place in a mining camp, but gold instead of copper. Obviously, I said yes. And as they say, the rest is history. In the form of historical fiction.
When Shannon suggested a series that included four sisters coming west, she didn’t know, and neither did my agent, that I was one of four sisters. I leapt at the chance to write that story, incorporating a few of the characters and plot points from the Jerome novel. Dr. Morgan Cutshaw, Lewis P. Whibley, and a devastating fire all found their way into Two Brides Too Many, Book One in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.
My debut novel
October 2nd, we launched Twice a Bride, the fourth and final book in the series. And… we have another series in the works. I’ll tell you more about that in a future post. So stay tuned!
Do you have a favorite destiniation in colorado?
Have you been to Cripple Creek?
All four Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels, now available!