Posts Tagged ‘Tribal Thunder’

APACHE PROTECTOR: Tribal Thunder Origin Story – Mayberry on Acid

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
Bisbee, Arizona. Mining town turned tourist town

Bisbee, Arizona. Mining town turned tourist town

A Gal Walks into a Bar…

I was sitting at the bar of an overcrowded well-recommended restaurant in Tucson, Arizona when the guy in the next stool asked me where I was from.  Well, he was a local and I was traveling.  He told me there was a cute mountain town, Bisbee, just south of Tucson in the cool mountains just 8 miles from the Mexican border and, after dinner, off I went.

Little did I know that Bisbee would provide the inspiration for my new romantic suspense series, APACHE PROTECTORS: TRIBAL THUNDER, beginning in January 2017.

Tombstone, AZ was on the way.  We stopped, but I wasn’t inspired by the tourist town.  The real Tombstone mostly burned down just after the OK Corral.  The graveyard there is wonderful and I highly recommend that.  No inspiration struck me there, so back in the car and heading south.

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There’s a nearly deserted main street beside the Lavender Pit south of Bisbee

Bisbee – “Mayberry on Acid”

I never heard of Bisbee but they have t-shirts for sale in the shops there that say “Mayberry on Acid.”  It’s a strange and wonderful place and, for me, an inspirational one.  This town was founded on copper, mining company town, running shifts 24/7.  Cave-ins.  Strikes and Union-busting–The whole shebang.  The buildings all perch on the mountain with the firm but precarious hold of a mountain goat. The place is steeped in history and emerging as a resort town because it is higher, cooler and has cleaner air than Tucson and Phoenix.

The Copper Queen Hotel - is said to be haunted by three ghosts

The Copper Queen Hotel – is said to be haunted by three ghosts

The Copper Queen Hotel

We visited the mining museum, did a walkabout and checked in to the Copper Queen, a really interesting hotel that resides across the street from the original entrance to the Copper Queen Mine. This hotel is purported to have three resident spirits and is a popular destinations for paranormal enthusiasts.

The Lavender Pit -the fenced remains of an open pit copper mine

The Lavender Pit -the fenced remains of an open pit copper mine

The Lavender Pit

The first mine, The Copper Queen, was underground.  It was closed as unprofitable to be replaced by The Lavender Mine nearby.  This open-pit mine closed in 1974, so it is basically just a huge 900 foot deep hole in the earth.  A mountain that has been moved, uprooted and the tailings spread over miles.  The entire thing is fenced with much signage to Keep Out and No Trespassing, punctuated with threats to prosecute and garnished with razor wire.

I was reminded of the not-so-familiar verse in Woody Guthrie’s popular song; This Land is Your Land.

    As I went walking I saw a sign there

And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”

But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,

That side was made for you and me.

The Lavender Pit Offices on the edge of the cliff

The Lavender Pit Offices on the edge of the cliff

 

The Ah-Ha Moment!

It was here, standing on the lip of a huge empty hole, humming “This Land is Your Land”, that inspiration struck!

What an eyesore!  Also what an environmental catastrophe.  And, do I see turquoise just inside the fence?  And where did they keep the blasting cord and canisters they used to shake the rock loose from the walls of this pit?

The bartender at the Copper Queen told me that some migrating geese landed in the standing yellow water at the very bottom of the pit and died instantly.

Yeah – this mine that was the livelihood of the town, did so at great cost to the landscape.  Was it a violation of the earth or an industry providing the country necessary raw materials?

 

The Unanswerable Question

And there is the crux of my series.  We need to protect the environment but at what cost?  When is it right to defend the earth and at what point does this become radical extremism? Most of us recycle, but would you attack a whaling boat?

I see developments eating farms in Pennsylvania.  I see our coast lines gobbled up by rising condominiums.  But I live in a condo and I like the proximity of the beach.  I didn’t like that hole in the earth.  It felt wrong.  But I like my copper pipes in my condo.

I love a problem where both sides have a winning argument–where neither is all right or all wrong.  I tackled illegal immigration with a book (Shadow Wolf #1 in the Apache Protector series).  In Apache Protectors: Tribal Thunder, I explore man’s need for raw materials, energy and land versus man’s duty to protect the earth.  It’s a whopper of a problem.

I wonder what Woody Guthrie would think.  And more importantly, I wonder what my readers will think.

I’m a long time contributor to many charities, environmental rights being one.  I’m also a gold prospector and love nothing better than digging a hole in the ground to find precious metals, crystals and other treasures.  I walk the beach to search for hatching sea turtles and guard them from birds as they run for the sea.  Then I go back to my air-conditioned apartment to congratulate myself on a job well done.  They hypocrisy of this does not escape me.

If you’d like to order a copy of one or all of the Apache Protectors: Tribal Thunder series, I’ve provided the links I have as of this writing:

Turquoise Guardian #1 January 2017

Eagle Warrior #2            February 2017

Firewolf #3                     May 2017

The Warrior’s Way #4    June 2017



New Home – The Sunshine State

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

I’m trying to adjust to a slower speed. This is challenging for a NY girl.

I’ve moved from my long-time home in New York’s Hudson Valley to the coast of Florida.  My driver’s license makes it official.  In the heat of July, I am enjoying writing indoors and find myself developing new routines.

You can't beat the sunsets here.

You can’t beat the sunsets here.

I’ve been swimming first thing in the morning and then getting to my office to write.  In the evenings, I walk the beach.  The Skimmer birds and the Terns are raising their young near the sea grass and I enjoy the raucousness of their parenting.  Those babies are always hungry.

I think the climate agrees with me.  I got my proposal in early for book #3 in the Harlequin Intrigue series APACHE PROTECTORS: TRIBAL THUNDER.  And I’m hoping to have the draft for that story completed this week.

The copy edits for book #2 EAGLE DANCER are done and so are the final edits for book #1 TURQUOISE GUARDIANS.  Those stories arrive in January and February 2017.

I’m turning my attention to my September release, a Western historical, THE WARRIOR’S CAPTIVE BRIDE.  My editor is encouraging me to enter this one in the Rita Awards from Romance Writers of America. That’s good feedback.  I’m looking forward to the September 1 release and hearing from my readers if they agree.



February Research Trip to Arizona

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
Author Jenna Kernan

Jenna Kernan research trip for new mini-series: APACHE PROTECTORS: Tribal Thunder

Lucky me!  I got out of cold, damp, snowy New York in February this year.  I’ve never been south of the Grand Canyon before and this time I nearly made it to Mexico.

Author Jenna Kernan

Cactus give terrible directions!

I was doing some research for an upcoming series I am writing for Harlequin Intrigue.

I’m really pleased to announce that my APACHE PROTECTOR series, that finishes up in June 2016, will be followed by a new mini-series called APACHE PROTECTORS: TRIBAL THUNDER.

Author Jenna Kernan

Jenna Kernan takes a wrong turn on a hike to cliff dwelling.

In preparation, I got myself out to Arizona in February to see and touch and smell.  All these experiences help me make my writing more vivid and evocative–help me get it right, when describing a place.  There is no substitute for experiencing something.

I’ll be sharing more of this trip in my blog, including the mining town, ghost town and Apache reservations that I visited.  I hope you will stop back.