It’s the time of week when the sponsors of the YA Indie Carnival post their version of the very same topic. I’m always shocked - in a very good way - by the unique twist two dozen people put on an identical subject. This week we are sharing our ‘best fan experience’.
This is the hardest blog I’ve written to date because it is almost impossible for me to isolate this wonderful journey, one filled with amazing people, down to one experience…one person. For the rest of my life, I will remember the first person who read Warriors of the Cross and the only other person to have read Guardians of the Cross: Pollie Martinez, a supportive woman unlike any other. My first fellow author virtual friend was Jayde Scott, a great Indie mentor, who helped me more than I can say after I published Warriors of the Cross. Then, there was one of my first five star (⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆) reviews. It was written by Jody, and with it, I knew she understood where I was going with The Warrior Series.
While all of those firsts, were unbelievable…amazing...inspiring, the Warriors of the Cross Tour embarked upon this last weekend by some wonderful fans will forever be among my most favorite memories. Below, I thought I would take each of you on a virtual tour of Galveston sites which are near and dear to Allison La Crosses's heart. Also, enjoy the Warriors of the Cross excerpt next to each picture.
The first stop on the tour was the Gleaves T. James Centennial Rose Garden where Brody and Allison fell in love over the Mr. Lincoln roses. ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
Today, Clark had an important lunch meeting, so I rushed outside and toward my backup lunch spot, The Rose Garden. There, I sat, enjoying a few coveted minutes of quieted peace.
I basked in the glorious golden sunshine and the fresh wind gusts coming from the ocean. As the salty, ocean breeze blew through the garden, it intermingled with and held hostage the heavenly mixed rose fragrances. The result was a unique but refreshing blend that would sell well if it were embedded in a candle. The atmosphere was a needed reprieve from the morning’s turmoil.
Startled out of my tiny world, I noticed Brody standing next to my bench.
⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆The second stop was The Facewall, a frightening place where Satan's Sect killed Brody's girlfriend four years earlier.
Several phenomena occurred the moment my feet hit the ground on the other side. First, the wind picked up enough to cause an immediate temperature drop. I reasoned it was more likely the result of the terror stinging my veins than an instant cyclone. With it, my unbound hair whipped around my face, stinging me with each painful lash. Second, there was a sulfur-infused aroma in the air so concentrated that I gagged. Finally, I had a sense of being in a forbidden area and an inexplicable urge to bolt. It was like I had a shock collar on and this was out of bounds for me.
The third stop was the The Mosquito Cafe, where Clark took Allison and Mallory after the terrifying visit to The Facewall. ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
“I knew we shouldn’t have gone there. Let me make it up to you and take you to dinner,” Clark said.
“No, thank you. You have already spent your entire afternoon entertaining us,” I said.
“Come on, Allie. I’m starved. We haven’t eaten all day,” Mallory said.
“Okay,” I agreed when I realized she was right. I had been so nervous I refused to eat breakfast and lunch. It was not until that minute that I realized she had not eaten either.
With my concession, Clark drove straight to the Mosquito Café. The cafe was an old home which had been transformed into a restaurant serving traditional food with an unconventional twist.
There was a visit to the wonderful seawall, a barrier between the gulf and the island and Allison's favorite place to walk with Clark. ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
After supper, we went for a walk on the seawall. It was still very dark outside. With Clark next to me and more than enough street lights, I enjoyed the relaxing tropical stroll. Getting my mind off everything else, I talked to Clark about the patient charge issues I had seen. He made it seem like he was interested in my description of the unfairness. I suspected he was actually just good at playing along with my need to think about anything other than the subjects really bothering me.
They appreciated the beauty of Galveston's glorious ocean view. Along these beaches, Allison strolled for hours with Brody. ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
In the midst of the endless waves traveling toward the sand packed beach, I watched the school of dolphins gracefully ascending out and descending into the water. Each following their leader’s path and mimicking his actions. I stumbled in my quest to get to the beach, wanting a closer look before they disappeared.
I jogged over the ramp extending from the deck to the beach. When I made it to the water-logged layer of beach, I took the flip-flops off. I walked holding them and enjoying the exhilaration of the periodic wave as it made its way up to the beach and onto my feet. I found myself torn between watching the dolphins, taking in the wonderful ocean view, and searching for beach scavenged treasures. In the end, Lita’s dolphins won out. At least, for a little while.
They spent time admiring the phenomenal beachfront houses, ones similar to The Sisters' sanctuary.
When we made it to the house, it was dark. The three-story house sat glowing like a lighthouse. Muted beams of light had been hidden within the trees, around bushes, and underneath the eaves. The illumination allowed me to appreciate the cottage’s warm shade of butter yellow along with its black shutters, silver tin roof, and white deck.
We climbed the flight of stairs leading to the back of the house. Making it to the deck, I turned toward where the ocean would have been. In its place was an unending blackness which was speckled with an entire constellation of oil rig lights. The breeze whistled in my ears and pushed my hair away from my face, soothing me in a way I would have thought to be impossible given the day’s events.
The one place they forgot to visit was Old Red. This is one of the most amazing buildings in Galveston, the first medical school in Texas...the building housing the cadavers which frighten Allison to the core. ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆
I wandered up the stairs and into the second floor double doors. As the frigid air escaped, my nose burned from the smell of formaldehyde and death. Left unhidden by the aroma was the fact that cadavers were housed somewhere within the halls of this building. The smell became more concentrated and offensive after the doors closed behind me. With my heart rate skipping and without making a conscious decision to do so, I turned toward the doors to leave. Exiting the building and meeting the beautiful sunny skies of the summer day, the trepidation engulfing me within the walls of Old Rouge evaporated like the morning dew in the afternoon sun.
♬ ANNOUNCEMENTS ♬
✦Courtney Cole released her Bloodstone Saga finale, My Tattered Bonds.
✦Check out The Paranormal Plumes Haunted Book Tour in Savannah Halloween Weekend!
✦30% of the royalties of Lexus Luke's Manitou The Sky People Saga go to the ASPCA.
✦For a limited time, Kimberly Kinrade is selling signed copies of her YA paranormal thriller/romance Forbidden Mind. As an All Hallow's Read bonus, she is also including some awesome gifts with each purchase... including a very special bonus to the first 5 lucky people who place an order. Get a copy for yourself and buy one for a friend in celebration of All Hallow's Read. For more details, visit her site.
Take a few minutes to visit the other carnival participant's and join them in reliving their favorite fan experience: