Sit Down Saturday Alaska Hideaway with Beth Carpenter

I love to travel via books. I’ve traveled vicariously everywhere from Scotland, Bermuda, and China to Antarctica and Mars. And when I travel for real, one of my favorite things is to read books set in the place I’m going. I love to go sightseeing and find “the fountain where they discovered the clue” or “the beach where they shared their first kiss.” It makes both the travel and the story more fun.

I’ve found it works in reverse when I write. My Northern Lights Novels take place in my home state of Alaska. Sometimes I want to include places here I’ve heard of but never visited, so I’m inspired to get up from my writing chair and go. A Gift for Santa sent me to the reindeer farm in Palmer, and Alaskan Hideaway inspired a winter trip to Fairbanks.

In Alaskan Hideaway, Ursula, Mac, and Rory ride the train to Fairbanks to see the northern lights and tour the World Ice Art Championships. The cover is based on the scene in the book where Ursula and Mac kiss under the northern lights. In our trip to Fairbanks, we missed the lights, but we did experience the train and the ice art.

I’ve already shared about the train portion of our visit on another blog post, but I thought I’d show you some photos of the amazing ice sculptures we saw in Fairbanks. The ice comes from a nearby pond, and one sculptor told us that ice is particularly clear and hard. The ice park included both single block sculptures and multi-block creations, plus a children’s play area with peak-a-boo poses, a maze, slides, climbing structures, and spinning cups, all made of ice.

We were greeted on arrival by this fellow and an ice bench where I put on my no-slip devices.



There are two classes of competition. The single carvers get one 5x8 block of ice to work with. They can either use it whole or cut it apart and stack it. (See the seam in the nautilus?)






The other sculptures involves heavy machinery and many stacked blocks. These are cabin-sized structures.




The rest of the park was the playground, and the children there seemed to be having a great time. Ice slides, as you can imagine, are really fast.

  




So that was my visit to Fairbanks. Where was the setting for the last book you read?

***



Alaskan Hideaway is currently on tour. You can find snippets from all the blog stops at Prism Book Tours, and enter to win one of two prizes. Hurry; the giveaway ends soon.


He traveled 3,800 miles to be alone

…but is it what he really wants? 

Relocating to Alaska after a family tragedy seemed an ideal way for author R.D. “Mac” Macleod to grieve in peace. But solitude feels overrated when Mac’s around B&B owner Ursula Anderson and her orphaned goddaughter, Rory, who’s already bonding with his dog. Worse, he’s imagining a future with Ursula and Rory. Is it time to finally forgive himself?


Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, Beth. Those sculptures are AMAZING! I want to go see them in person! And your story sounds just as amazing :)!

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    1. They were incredible. The artists are so talented.

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  2. That must have been a wonderful trip, Beth, and the sculptures are awesome. I love the cover of “Alaskan Hideaway” and have just finished chapter one. Loving it!

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  3. The pictures are amazing, but I finished ALASKAN HIDEAWAY last night and they're no more amazing than it is. I LOVED it!

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  4. Those ice sculptures look mighty fine from hot, sticky Tucson right now. The book was a great story, too. Love to visit Alaska through your books.

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    1. I saw it was supposed to get to 99 in Denver one day next week, so I imagine I'll be thinking about ice as well during RWA. Hope you're getting some good rains. On June 1st when we were driving to Phoenix, the saguaros were looking skinny. Thanks, Roz.

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  5. On my TBR pile...last book I read was set in Eastern Tennessee, a place I haven't been.

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    1. I've been to Kentucky but not Tennesee. Sounds interesting.

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  6. Thanks for those photos! Inspiring. I agree about the cover of ALASKAN HIDEAWAY. It's spectacular. Those sculptures are an incredible example of creativity! What a wonderful trip.

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    1. They were amazing artists, and I agree whoever took the photo for the cover was an amazing artist, too. Thanks, Virginia.

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  7. Loved seeing your pics, Beth, and looking forward to reading your book. It'll be a new experience for me, reading one set in Alaska :)

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    1. Armchair travels. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you in Colorado in a few days. I'm excited.

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  8. I love those sculptures. So much detail and I take from the lights that they are set to glow in the dark. I just read yet another book set in New York. My third this year, more by coincidence than design. Time to change up my setting...to Alaska, right?

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    1. I've never been to New York, so I enjoy reading stories set there, too. Yes, the sculptures are lit with colored lights at night. We meant to go back, but honestly were cold and tired by dark and didn't make it. From the photos, though, they look spectacular at night.

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  9. i love the sculptures and loved you book , I just finished Rescue Operations by Lenora Worth it is in Texas. I have never been there, or Alaska but love visiting in you books

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I grew up in Texas, so I have a soft spot. I'll have to check out that book.

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  10. I was just in Montana. Well, that was the setting of the last book I read. I would love to go to Montana for real.
    Those sculptures are amazing. Thank you for sharing them.
    And I loved Mac, Ursula, and Rory!

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    1. I'm so glad, Marcie. Yes, Montana is beautiful and you should go for real if you get the chance. Go to Yellowstone in Wyoming, too, while you're in the area.

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  11. Love the cover of your book. And the ice sculpture photos are amazing.

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  12. I love the sculptures. I want to visit Alaska so badly. One most recent book I finished took me to Bath, England.

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    1. Oo, I've always wanted to go to Bath.

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  13. Okay, I've got a 13 year old skateboard in my family, so you know which one my favorite was.

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