PHS columnist, Jenna Kernan, talks to us about researching her Apache Protector series in Sedona...
I was in Arizona to do research on my first romantic suspense series, Apache Protectors, from Harlequin Intrigue, which takes place in the White Mountains of Arizona.
The inspiration for the first book in my second Apache Protectors series, Turquoise Guardian, came from an unplanned side-trip to Bisbee, Arizona, a quirky former copper mining town turned weekend getaway destination. But by far the most beautiful stop on my trip was planned and it was Sedona.
Sedona is a destination on many people's travel lists and with good reason. The red sandstone rock formations are known throughout the world for their beauty. Metaphysical enthusiasts tout the power of the vortexes here. Add to this the dry climate and mild winters and you have a location well-worth visiting.
What is a Vortex?
A vortex is purported to be a site where the earth's energy is magnified. Sedona has four vortexes and I visited three - Cathedral Rock, Bell Tower and the Airport Vortex. I can report that I found all the vortex sites beautiful and very special.
5 Things to do in Sedona
1. Visit the Rock Formations - This is the main event. Visitors can drive, hike, mountain bike, rock climb or ride on horseback along the numerous trails in the extensive trail system. If you're not the outdoorsy sort you might prefer a guided jeep tour of the rock formations or a sunrise hot air balloon ride.
2. Shopping - The town of Sedona is full of interesting shops filled with gems and minerals plus all sorts of metaphysical paraphernalia. Need a singing bowl , crystal cluster or a bundle of sage? You've come to the right place. The town also as a wonderful array of restaurants, galleries and shops.
3. Forest & Park Service - Make sure to stop in one of the five visitor centers. The parks department has wonderful displays and free maps. Better still, they have a vast knowledge of the area and can help you get oriented.
4. Watch the Sunset - The sunsets in Sedona are epic. As the sun sinks and the golden light hits the rock-formations the colors blaze and change by the minute. It is hard to blink for fear you will miss something. I watched in awe as the sun sank below the horizon and the last rays crept up to the highest pinnacle of red rock.
5. Star-Gazing - One of my favorite evenings was sitting around a fire pit on the hotel patio observatory deck with other travelers, drinking wine while watching the sky grow dark and the stars emerge until they glittered above the dark silhouette of the rock formations.
There are several camping sites throughout the state park but best book early as both camping and hotels fill up and are especially busy on winter weekends.
I hope you get to experience Sedona first hand. Chances are you will come back home with wonderful memories and possibly a quartz crystal or two. There is a lot of great information to help you plan your trip online. Start here: http://visitsedona.com
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Jenna's latest release is Eagle Warrior, the second book in her Apache Protectors: Tribal Thunder series:
Could protecting her mean protecting the enemy?
As a former US Marine, Turquoise Guardian Ray Strong is no stranger to high-risk situations. But when he is assigned to protect Morgan Hookea single mother and daughter to the Apache who killed a mass gunmanRay suspects there is more to his mission than meets the eye. Is Morgan an innocent bystander, or the keeper of her father's secrets and blood money?
Despite his better instincts, Ray feels a powerful attraction to Morgan. Motivated by love and the loss of his own parents and best friend, Ray will do anything to keep her out of the hands of unseen enemies.
Jenna Kernan is the Publishers Weekly Bestselling author of riveting romantic suspense and natural redhead - keep out of direct sun. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.