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As you may know, my upcoming release, The Memory of You, takes place in Sonoma, California. As we count down to March 28th, we thought it might be fun to use “Throwback Thursdays” to share the origin of that story, and how the seed was planted back in 2010.

One of my bucket list trips has always been to travel to California. Growing up on a small island in the 70’s and 80’s, I immersed myself in pop culture. I dreamed of living in California, of partying with the television and movie stars who smiled down at me from the Tiger Beat posters tacked to my bedroom wall. California had an allure all its own and I knew one day I would get there. Now of course, years later, the glow of the screen has faded, and I’m not so attracted to the big bright lights. But when my husband started musing about a trip to California wine country to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, it only took a half second for me to jump all over the idea.

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And so, that October, we were off. I was beyond excited, and although I can be a bit of a nervous flyer,  I was okay on the long flight from Atlanta to San Francisco because I just couldn’t wait to see this place of my dreams. My husband had already done all kinds of research and pretty much planned out our entire trip. With the help of the concierge at our hotel, we were looking forward to ten days of touring, tasting and relaxation. He was all about the food and wine, and I couldn’t wait to see the scenery. We’d heard from friends who’d done wine country tours how beautiful it was, so I had pretty high expectations going in. And as we passed over the Golden Gate Bridge, (which is more of a rusty red by the way),  drove a little further along the highway and the first glimpse of red rolling hills lines with rows upon rows of vines, my heart jumped a little.

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‘As she crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, bright shards of light split the clouds and the California sun began to warm the car’s interior. Her smile broadened as the scenery changed. Rolling brown hills ran into rows upon rows of lush vines that hid clusters of purple and gold treasures under green foliage. The sight unwrapped feelings she thought she’d long put aside. The sweet smell of grapes permeated her senses, and the joy found in simply being here surprised her.’ The Memory of You

Our first stop was a delightful little restaurant called The Fig, and then it was on to our hotel, The Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.

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As I settled into the large, luxuriously soft king bed that night and sleep descended, I knew we’d landed in a special place. And I knew there was a story here, just waiting to be told.

Next week I’ll share more about my California dream trip and tell you about the first spark that resulted in The Memory of You!

Have you been on a special trip, traveled someplace you’d always wanted to go? I’d love to hear about it!  

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