By Laura Marie Altom
I love Christmas and I really love snow. Alas, here in Oklahoma, those two things rarely go together. In my new book, The Cowboy SEAL’s Christmas Baby, Gideon and Jane are lucky enough to share a whole lot of both! LOL!
I grew up on the east coast of Lake Michigan that’s famous for epic “lake effect” snows. One winter—I think I was in fourth grade? It snowed so much that our cars were buried deep enough that there was still three or four feet over the roofs. The neighbor kids and I built snow tunnels through the backyard and I don’t think we had school for a week.
In sixth grade, my family dragged me to Arkansas. I thought I would hate it, but turns out I learned to love the people and place. They do get some snow, but what I remember most are ice storms. Picture the entire world coated in ice. Without tire chains, give up trying to get anywhere by car. We had to put socks over out boots to keep from sliding on the way to the chicken coop. When the sun shone on the forest surrounding our house, I felt as if I lived in a world made of sparkling diamonds. It was mesmerizing. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned how dangerous ice storms can truly be.
In 2007, Tulsa and the surrounding area suffered an ice storm that blew my mind. That night still haunts me. Wind drove ice so hard against our windows that it sounded like nails being driven against the glass. Massive branches and entire trees cracked throughout the night. The snaps sounded like gunshots. Our power went out, so the entire family huddled around our gas-log fireplace with the dogs and cats. We tried to sleep, but it was a long night.
We woke to an apocalyptic sight. Our neighborhood that we’d fallen in love with for its majestic oaks and maples looked as if a tornado had passed in the night. Century-old trees had fallen across houses and the road. The sky was gray and wind calm, but the temperature was brutally cold. Oddly enough, I don’t recall ice being on the streets so much as up to three inches clung to trees, powerlines and homes.
We were fortunate enough to find a hotel with power and ended up staying there for a week. $780 million in damage was done and 29 lives were lost. 600,000 homes were without power statewide. It was a winter storm I will never forget.
Oddly enough, there was a personal silver lining. Back then, I was a full-time teacher. We got a week’s worth of snow days, which meant I had plenty of time cooped up in a hotel to complete my latest book. Without that break, I never would’ve met my deadline in time!
Back to my newest release, Gideon and Jane also experience a catastrophic snowstorm. The night is not only deadly, but reveals shocking secrets . . .
Fingers crossed that for this winter season, we all get lots of pretty snow—but not enough to cause any bigger emergency than an urgent need for cuddling in front of a crackling fire and topping off steaming mugs of cocoa!
Thanks to tulsaworld.com for sharing storm statistics.
HIS UNEXPECTED CHRISTMAS SURPRISE…
A baby’s cry was the last thing former SEAL Gideon Snow expected to hear on an Arizona mountain trail. Nor was he prepared for the sight of the young mother suffering from memory loss. Gideon has plenty of reasons for avoiding people—and his painful past—but two fragile people now depend on him to survive. Can he just fall for the lovely Jane Doe?
Jane doesn’t deny the pull of the gruff-yet-sweet cowboy who saved her and her baby. He’s more than a cowboy hero—Gideon’s given them a chance at a new life and love. But Jane knows that any day, her memory might come back. And the woman Gideon is falling in love with might disappear forever…