While many are bemoaning the cold snap we're getting in Montana, I couldn't be more pleased. I read somewhere that it's the coldest winter in 28 years. I haven't looked at all the data from the last 28 years, but research for my books in the 1800s revealed that winter could be far worse. Imagine the kind of cold we've had so far this year—fairly mild compared to some winters I've experienced—and consider making it through without central heating systems and automobiles that take you from point A to B much faster than a horse, wagon, or train could manage.
As much as I talk about how much I would like to travel back in time, I'm grateful for hot running water, pipes that don't freeze, and central heating. Of course, given the chance, I'd probably still trade it in for life with the Gallaghers at Hawk's Peak.
I walked outside with my pup at 5:30 this morning to check the temperature. When someone asks me if it's cold outside, I tell them to step and out and then they'll know, and I find it more accurate than just looking it up online. It was cold, to be sure, but invigorating. I was bundled up in a couple of layers beneath my heavy shearling coat and braced myself against a wind that happened to blow through. On the front porch, I stomped the snow off my boots before removing them and stepping back inside. The warm air hit me and I basked in it as I removed the layers and listened to the soft music I turned on before heading out. As I tugged on my house slippers, I realized I had a big smile on my face.
There's something comforting about winter for me. Autumn is and always will be my favorite season, but winter gives me a kind of joy I can't quite put into words. I can't say the Gallaghers of Hawk's Peak or the townsfolk of Briarwood would agree with me considering winter life for them was much more difficult. Then again, I like to think that the same "feeling" I get when I'm walking through the snow and facing down the elements, is the same "feeling" they had. I could be wrong, but since it's my imagination, I'll let myself think what I want.
Of course there's nothing so wonderful as curling up by the fire with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. It's my ultimate winter pastime. What's yours?
What's Coming Next?
I've had a few emails from readers asking what books are coming out in 2017. I haven't gone into a lot of detail on my Coming Next page because I have a lot of projects in the works and I don't have release dates for any of them yet. I can tell you that I'm currently focused on the next Gallagher book and a novella for a new Highlander series I'm writing with another author. I have a few other works I'm currently writing, including another British Agent installment and Crooked Creek book, but I don't want to get ahead of myself by sharing too much too soon.