Many years ago, I began working on the stories for the Seasons of the Tallgrass, a contemporary romance series published by Zondervan. In writing this series, Iâ€™ve found that Iâ€™m most inspired when I travel deep into the heart of my story setting – the Kansas Flint Hills.
On one of my many road trips into the Flint Hills, my husband and I stayed at the Clover Cliff Ranch, a Bed & Breakfast owned by Jim & Joan Donahue. (Shown here at right).
This place became the basis for the McCray’s Lightning M Ranch, the heroâ€™s home in my first book, Snow Melts in Spring. (Valerie here: I reviewed Snow Melts in Spring here)
I like traveling to the Flint Hills in the various seasons covered in my books. Here are a few more pictures that inspired me:
For Seeds of Summer, which released the end of May, I needed to learn about the Miss Rodeo America competition because my main character, Natalie Adams is a former Miss Rodeo Kansas and first runner up Miss Rodeo America. The research for this also turned out to be very inspiring, as I interviewed and questioned the current MRA at that time, Miss Amy Wilson, Miss Rodeo America 2008.
The highlight of my work occurred when I met and visited Amy at her home in Colby, KS. Amy was a joy to work with and is such a lovely person. My visit to her home was an unexpected blessing, as she shared some special moments from her time as Miss Rodeo Kansas and then as Miss Rodeo America. To see more pictures from my time with Amy, please visit my blog post here.
I hope youâ€™ve enjoyed learning about the inspiration for my book series. Thanks, Valerie, for allowing me to write a guest post for your blog.
Seeds of Summer Book Blurb: When opposites attract, sparks fly–like an electrical malfunction. That’s what happens when former rodeo queen Natalie Adams meets the new pastor in Diamond Falls. A heart-warming contemporary romance set in the Flint Hills of Kansas where a former rodeo queen abandons her dreams in order to care for her deceased fatherâ€™s ranch and her two half-siblings, only to realize with the help of a young new pastor that God can turn even the most dire circumstances into seeds of hope. Spanning the Seasons of the Tallgrass, each story in this series reveals the struggle of the people who live there and the dreams they have for the land until they come full-circle in a never-ending cycle, just as man comes full-circle in his understanding of God.
Deborah Vogts and her husband have three daughters and make their home in Southeast Kansas where they raise and train American Quarter Horses. As a student at Emporia State University studying English and journalism, Deborah developed a love for the Flint Hills that has never faded. In writing this series, she hopes to share her passion for one of the last tallgrass prairie regions in the world, showing that Godâ€™s great beauty rests on the prairie and in the hearts of those who live there.
Visit Deborah at her web site: http://deborahvogts.com
Or her Country at Heart blog: http://deborahvogts.blogspot.com