Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance,
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner,
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" -

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day Two, Part Two: Christy Mystery Goes to Trees of Mystery

Introduction:  I recently passed a milestone birthday, one of those numbers that as a child seems so impossibly large that you never expect to get there.  It came at the end of two years of personal disaster (see this post for an explanation, if you haven't already read it), and at a time when I desperately needed something good in my life.  I tossed around a lot of ideas of how to celebrate surviving the last year (lots of hospital time was involved) and making it to my birthday.  Finally, my husband and I decided to go see the Redwoods.  We had driven through several times, but always on the way to somewhere else.  This time, we would just head south and see what we could see.  We did some searching, settled on a few (very few!) priorities, and started making plans.  Somewhere along the way, we discovered a cool resort south and east of the big trees, where every "room" was a converted caboose, and decided that would be fun and unusual, exactly what we were looking for.  

These posts are my daily reports of our trip: the things we saw, the places we went, and the people we met as we drove approximately 1,500 miles in the course of six days, and had an adventure.  I tried to write down my impressions each night before bed, or over my first cup of coffee in the morning.  I wanted the memories to be fresh, undiluted by another day or days of travel and experiences.  I can only hope you enjoy reading them a fraction as much as I enjoyed living them.  (If you missed Part One, click here. And Day Two, Part One is here.)

Steve participating in one of the popular vacation activities: Photography!

Taking pictures seems to be one of the main recreational activities along Highway 101.  It quickly became a running joke as we passed vehicles stopped by the side of the road with their occupants deploying their tripods.  "Look, photography is happening!"  We laughed every time, as the word "Photography!" became a shorthand - but we were just as guilty.

And more photography.  Of course.
And even MORE photography!!  This man is addicted to cameras!!

One of the other main activities, one that frankly terrified me a good portion of the drive, was bicycling.  Intellectually, I have no problem with people cycling.  I know that it's good exercise, a great way to see the scenery, environmentally friendly, non-polluting - I've heard all the arguments in favor of cycling, and I agree with them.  Just not on this particular highway.  In many, many places the road is two lanes wide - two narrow lanes.  Traffic, especially in the summer, is heavy.  Drivers, as well as cyclists, are distracted by the views, the attractions, the sheer overwhelming beauty of the coast.  Cyclists, even the most conscientious and considerate, can sometimes stray - sometimes by necessity - into the traffic lane.  The bike lanes can be too narrow for actual riding, or broken pavement that a car or truck could tolerate will be too much for the narrow tires and delicate balance of a bicycle.  Which makes sharing the road with a bicycle nerve-wracking.  There isn't a good solution, cyclists have the right to be there, but it still can put a scare into you when you find one in your lane as you round a curve at the speed limit.  I applaud their dedication, but it still scares me.

Hard to miss this!  The tower is easily seen from the highway.
One place we wanted to see in Eureka was the Carson Mansion.  Sure, it's photogenic and all, but we had a more unusual reason.  Several years ago, I don't remember how, we obtained a large framed picture we believed was created to demonstrate the then-new "gee whiz" technology of computer plotter.  It is a rendering of the Carson Mansion done as a complex line drawing, and we wanted to see the real thing, and get a photo to display alongside the rendering.  We figured we'd be able to find the mansion easily, but we didn't know how easy!  As we approached Eureka, I suddenly spotted the tower atop the mansion.  Using it as a beacon, we were able to drive directly to the Mansion, home of a private club, and take lots of pictures from the street in front.
The Carson Mansion is a rare West Coast example of Gilded Age architecture and design

Close-up detail of the tower.
 We took lots of pictures of the Mansion, and of various architectural details, including the ornate fence and fence posts in front, and the beautiful house - now used as an office - across the street.
Another beautiful building, just a wee bit smaller

Close up of the ornate fence posts
and a view of the fence.

By the time we left Trees of Mystery and headed south, I knew we would be pushing it to get to our B&B before their desk closed at seven.  After our detour to the Carson Mansion, we stopped in Eureka to eat a very late lunch about 4, and called Featherbed Railroad, our intended destination.  The gal who answered said to take our time, they would just leave our key in our room and the door unlocked.

We had already resigned ourselves to the prospect of having to backtrack rather a long way to see the Avenue of the Giants, but with the deadline of 7 pm removed, we decided to drive through on our way and save the added driving.

The drive itself was about 25 miles, and it took over two hours.  We stopped again and again to marvel at one thing or another, and to stare up at trees that may have been standing during the Crusades.  At one point traffic jammed up in front of us and we slowed way down.  We quickly discovered the reason: a herd of elk, nearly in the road.

Here are some of the pictures we took while driving the Avenue of the Giants.  We actually cut back to the highway a little before the end of the road, because it was getting dark.  Amazingly, when we got out of the deep forest, it suddenly wasn't so dark!

These two pictures should give you some idea what it was really like to see these giants.  A tree had partially uprooted, and leaned against its neighbors.  Steve took several shots of the trees, impressed by their sheer size.  Then he asked me to stand in front of them, to give the shots a sense of scale.  Now I realize that I am not a tall person (5'1" if I stand up real straight), but you're going to have to look hard at that second shot if you want to find me.  (Hint:  I'm wearing a pink T-shirt.)

A leaning redwood...

... and a scale reference.  

And who could resist the opportunity to have their picture taken in a hollow tree?  Of course there wasn't really enough room for Steve to stand up, he is 6'6" after all, but there was still plenty of head room for him to sit quite comfortably.

Me, standing in a hollow log.
And Steve sitting, because it wasn't quite tall enough inside.

Welcome to Miranda, California, along the Avenue of the Giants.

By the time we got through it was past seven, and we still had 100-plus miles to our destination.  Fortunately, a good portion of that was on high-speed highway and freeway, and we made good time to Featherbed Railroad, our home for the next three days.  True to their word, our room was open and a key was inside.

Of course, this being us, this wasn't your usual B&B.  Steve's too much of an introvert for the communal nature of a traditional B&B, and I don't deal well with people I like first thing in the morning, much less strangers.  My co-workers know it's best to let me work alone in the morning until I've had several cups of coffee; the idea of sharing a hallway, much less a breakfast table, with strangers does not appeal to either of us.  (Yes, we understand that some people love that kind of stuff, and we applaud them for it.  It's just not for us, okay?)  But a private caboose?!?  How could you not love that?
Our first view of the cupola, after dark.

 Turns out you can't.  We unloaded the car in the dark, and hauled our bags up into the caboose.  We found a real featherbed, a jetted two-person tub, and a cupola.  A cupola, for heaven's sake!!  We got settled a bit, then drove off to find a late dinner.  By that time it was 10:30 on a Monday, so most things were closed.  But we managed to find a Jack In the Box (gourmet fare, I know!) and grabbed a quick bite.
Our first look at our caboose, looking at the tub from the door.
Looking the other direction, from the tub toward the door.

Back in the caboose (it makes me giggle just to type that!) we settled in for the night.  I soaked in the giant tub, we read a little while, and finally turned the lights out and slept in our cushy bed in a caboose.

This little guy was waiting for us on the edge of the tub.  He looks almost as happy as we were to be there.

Tomorrow: another adventure awaits!!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome sightseeing day, everything you posted sounds so beautiful! And I'm totally in love with the rubber duck!