Monday, February 3, 2014

Top 10 Reasons: #1

This is it.

This is your last day to grab The Mountains Bow Down for $2.99.

Tomorrow the price shoots up 81%. (Don't blame me. I can't set these prices).

I've been posting my Top 10 Reasons for writing this Raleigh Harmon mystery, the fourth book in this series. And now we've reached (...drumroll, maestro...) Reason #1:


In my last post, I mentioned my family's Alaska roots that reach back to 1885. Most pioneer families didn't manage to stay four generation because, frankly, Alaska's a tough place to survive. Winter sunlight hours can be counted on one hand; summer lasts about 70 days. 

But yesterday, after the Seattle Seahawks won their first Superbowl (just had to get that somewhere), quarterback Russell Wilson said the team's guiding philosophy all season long was: "Why not us?"

I knew exactly what Wilson meant. Not because of football. But because I grew up among this country's tallest peaks, in the only rain forest in North America, eating the biggest fish, the hugest crabs, in the coldest temperatures, with the most colorful human characters. 

Alaska owns the patent on superlatives. And that landscape inspires writers to push farther, aim higher, go beyond all limits. From John Muir to Robert Service to Jack London--even your humble mystery writer--we chose to write about this place because it's like nowhere else on earth. It must be told.

The Mountains Bow Down. 

It's why I chose to open the novel with a favorite poem:

        "There's a land where the mountains are nameless,
        And the rivers all run God knows where;
        There are lives that are erring and aimless,
        And deaths that just hang by a hair;
        There are hardships that nobody reckons;
        There are valleys unpeopled and still;
        There's a land--oh, it beckons and beckons,
        And I want to go back--and I will."
                                                    -- from "The Spell of the Yukon" by Robert Service

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