Mysteries of the Desert

March 19, 2015

When I was promoting Playing Hard To Forget (looky…it’s on sale, too, for $5.24. Would you look at that), I talked about how the wolf has figured into my family history for a thousand years. On my father’s side, the history was bloody and my family became known as wolf-slayers in Scotland around the turn of the last millennium thanks to an ancestor who saved the King from an attacking wolf in the forest.


So when I began having dreams of being in the desert at night with an old man speaking to me in a language I understood at the time but never when awake, hidden among the bush as a wolf stood guard to protect me from the dangers outside the protective circle of the fire and plants, my mother became fascinated by them and was obsessed with finding its meaning. This was well before I learned of my father’s side’s history.


Many bottles of sunscreen later, I still don’t know what they meant. All I do know is that the desert was its own character in my dreams. There was danger outside the light of the fire and the desert had sent protection for me. The only thing anyone can agree on is that it was odd that I was dreaming of a wolf, an animal not seen in the desert for many, many years, and not a common coyote.


I’ve always held the desert in high regard since then.

I call this one “Agave Agave Everywhere…and not a drop (of Tequila) to drink)

But a few years ago, I saw something that left me, for lack a better term, completely freaked me out. And it was then that the seeds of Something To Die For were planted.


I still have trouble processing what I saw into words, which, as a writer, really says something about me that using my words is difficult.


What I will say is that writing Something To Die For was a way for me to come to terms with what I saw that night. Giving it some humanity and a happy ending was something I needed to do, whether it got published or not.


I needed my desert to be the place it once was–my protection, my safe place. I didn’t want to think of it in the context of that horrid night and turning the story into something I could control from start to finish was a form of therapy for me.


In Something To Die For, just like in my dreams, the desert is a secret main character. Josh needs his desert to ground him. It is a part of him and helps him to get to where he needs to be.


But beyond all that, it’s a love story. The love story of Josh and Adam. And a love story from me to my desert.

Something To Die For

Josh Tucker lives a blessed life—great job, great family, perfect husband, and two wonderful children—but a mysterious man named Adam who haunts his dreams and soon his waking life threatens everything when he stirs doubt as to whether any of it is real. Adam makes Josh question the world he’s taken for granted—as well as the origins of Adam himself.

Even if Adam’s claims are true, Josh has nothing to live for beyond his fabricated life—except the possibility of a real man out there somewhere who can love him. Josh is left with an impossible choice: stay in his delusion where he’s assured some happiness or take a great leap of faith for a chance to make a life with Adam.

(Cookie update—the dough is chilling in the fridge. I’ve eaten 4 spoonfuls now. Everything seems good from here. I must do further research, though)

4 Responses to “Mysteries of the Desert”

  1. JJ says:

    I’m glad that you were able to use your story as positive, healing therapy against that night for you.

    Where is this lovely photo from? A botanical garden?

  2. Piperdoone says:

    Yes it is! Sometimes you have to fake it when the shot you need won’t line itself up. The garden is located in the right climate/environment for those plants, at least, but it’s hard to find all of those plants growing together close enough to get them in one shot that looks good. Plus it was down the street from my office and sometimes I’m too lazy to go hiking.

  3. H.B. says:

    Glad to hear that writing this story served to be therapeutic for you.

  4. Piperdoone says:

    Someday I’ll be able to talk about what I saw that night, but I hope the gist of it comes through in the book.

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