Magnolia Robbins is here.
She’s giving away 3 e-copies of Wildsky to 3 lucky winners.
Please welcome Magnolia Robbins.
Into the Wild
I’ve always loved the outdoors. As a kid, I lived in the suburbs of a small town on the outskirts of a small city. Even still, you’d find me most weeknights pretending I was an adventurer with my friends out in the woods that lined our property. We’d fish for minnows, make forts out of sticks and leaves and climb any number of trees.
On the weekends I’d go forty miles outside of town to stay at my grandpa’s farm. He had me doing everything from milking cows and gathering chicken eggs, to bailing hay, fishing for bluegill, and helping to manage a multi-acre garden.
Every month my dad and I would go camping at a new place. He taught us how to track animal footprints, build a tent and a fire, and climb up mountains and through forests. You name it. I never needed girl scouts with the amount of knowledge I’d learned from my family growing up.
Even still, nothing would prepare me for my first trip to the Canadian wilderness. The first trip I ever made, three months of a summer during my high school, was the inspiration for my latest novel Wildsky.
I was a teenager then, going through a bout of severe depression that I couldn’t shake. My dad had just remarried and I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t the least bit happy about it when it happened. I barely knew this woman, who was adamant about wanting to be my step-mom. Then suddenly I was scooped up at the end of a school year and told I’d be spending the summer in the middle of nowhere in British Columbia. With a family of nearly fifty people I’d never met, in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.
The argument I had with my dad about it still fresh in my mind. But I’m glad I lost the fight, because that summer changed my life.
Traveling to Canada from the East Coast is an all-day affair. I’d never been out of the country before and it was only the second time I’d flown alone. I traveled to three different airports, flew on my first propeller plane, and ended up in a tiny town called Grand Prairie, in Alberta. From there, it was a three hour drive to the small town I’d spend the next few months in.
Chetwynd, British Columbia, is a city nestled between mountains and rolling hills of forests, in a small valley. It houses just a few thousand people. When I first visited, there was one stoplight in the center of town. Now, nearly two decades later, there is a grand total of two. Outside of a small grocery and a few mom-and-pop convenience stores, there’s not a lot there. I remember arriving and thinking, what the hell did I get myself into?
It only took a couple days before I realized it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The first night I slept in a tent, after not having been in one since I was a kid. There’s hardly any light pollution in northern Canada and once it got completely dark out, I could see the Northern Lights for the first time in my life. I didn’t sleep that night.
When I met my relatives over the next few days, I was in awe. I’d always thought I was such an “adventure girl” growing up, getting to do all these things. My cousins and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews were an entirely different story. They’d built nearly everything they had themselves. They knew how to fish and hunt and trap and track. Some of them had faced bears and coyotes and other animals and lived to tell the tale. Everything they ate was things they’d grown or caught.
It was about a week into my trip when I first met the next door neighbor who would become my inspiration for the character Shiloh in Wildsky. Sam was a young woman, just a few years older than me, who worked as a carpenter in town. The first time I met her, she was repairing the roof on her log cabin. A cabin she’d built nearly all by herself over the course of a few months. I was fascinated by everything about her. She taught me so much in three months. Things I would have never learned without her. I still believe to this day that my friendship with her was a big reason I was able to get over the depression that had plagued me.
Unlike Shiloh and Grace, my characters in Wildsky, no relationship bloomed from my friendship with Sam. I still am grateful for meeting her and that she’s a part of my life. Every summer, we still meet up to go fly-fishing and camping together. I still make that three hour journey to that tiny town in Canada and it is almost always one of the best parts of my year.
My new novel Wildsky was my attempt to bring the adventure of being in the middle of the wildlands in Canada and a life-changing friendship-to-romance together. Much of the setting and many of the events that happened in the book were based on true things. I’m really excited to share the story with you.
Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: April 5, 2018
Grace Allen had always been a big fish growing up in a very small pond. Of course, just about any place was bigger than her tiny town of Chetwynd, nestled in the wildlands of northern Canada. So when she left to attend college in the states six years ago, she thought she’d never look back. That was until a terrifying breakdown brought her overly ambitious life crumbling down around her.
Shiloh Pierce had always embraced her small town in Canada, with no intention of ever leaving. A quiet cabin and living off the land was all she really needed. Except six years ago her best friend and the love of her life moved thousands of miles away, leaving a gaping hole that she was unable to fill and throwing her entire world off of its axis.
When a damaged and broken Grace finds herself back in Canada over a half decade later, she too finds herself face-to-face with a friendship and a love story that had never quite finished. As Grace begins to reacquaint herself with Chetwynd, she too begins to rebuild her tarnished relationship with Shiloh. Together, the two begin to discover what they’ve really been missing in their lives, and that maybe they can help each other overcome their complicated pasts after all.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Magnolia Robbins is a thirty-something who lives with her partner-in-crime on the west coast of the US. Maggie enjoys writing about all sorts of fun and interesting women. When she’s not off on adventures in crazy worlds she makes up in her mind, there is almost always a cup of coffee or a book in her hands. Sometimes both.
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