Nostalgic Inspirations w/ Avon Gale + Giveaway

January 4, 2017

 Nostalgic Inspirations with Avon Gale

 

Hello! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here to talk about my new release, Whiskey Business.

I had a really fun time writing this novella for Dreamspinner’s States of Love series, especially because I’m from Kentucky! I don’t live there currently, but it’s always been home for me. There’s a lot of family-related stuff in the book, from town names to characters, but the town of Gallows Grove is, unfortunately, fictional.

However, I did base a lot of it on a real-life town, where a lot of my family live and where I’ve spent countless summers, Christmases, etc. The town is called Augusta, and it’s located on the banks of the Ohio river in Northern Kentucky. It’s a quaint little town that is known mainly for antique shops and being George Clooney’s hometown (my aunt lives across the street from his parents), and is a popular day-trip destination. It’s also a place where my family keeps retiring to, meaning when I went for a run over Christmas I was probably related to half the people who waved at me when they drove by. Which was everyone who drove by, because it’s a small town. Really small. As in, no stoplight kind of small. There are less than 1200 people that live there. It was my inspiration for Gallows Grove in a lot of ways, with real-life buildings serving as a basis for the landmarks in the book, even though Gallows Grove is located in a totally different part of the state.

So, since I was lucky enough to be in my old Kentucky home for the holidays, I thought I’d share some pictures. If you’re ever able to visit Augusta, you should. It’s lovely, and while there’s no distillery and I don’t think George comes home that often, it’s still a fun place to visit!

Ever After Funeral Home

This is the funeral home as I envisioned it when writing Whiskey Business, where Adam stays when he first comes to town.  I imagine his bedroom is the one at the top with the three windows.

My grandmother used to live next door, and would sometimes go over and sit in that big front room (directly beneath Adam’s bedroom) to “man the phones” (though I’m not sure why, because I mean, it’s not a small town in a Stephen King novel so they weren’t that busy). But I would go with her because they had HBO (what?), and I remember that the Parkers kept ice-cold bottles of Coke (real Coca-Cola, which was a forbidden delight in my house) in the fridge. I was always afraid to go get them, though, and my granny would laugh at me because she was like, “They keep the dead people in the basement, not the kitchen,” which is not what you should tell a freaked out eleven year old. Thanks Granny.  Obviously my sense of humor came from somewhere.

 

Creepy Doll House

This house is across from the funeral home, and when I was a kid, I think I was related to the person who lived there (it is also across from my grandma’s house, if you’re keeping up on your mental geography). Anyway, one time we went over there and the woman who lived in the house made life-sized dolls. I remember being absolutely terrified especially because she made me take one home. I have no idea what happened to the doll.

(It’s right behind me, isn’t it.)

That’s what inspired me to put a room full of creepy dolls in the funeral home, in case you’re wondering what in the hell is wrong with me.

 

The Trapdoor/Ryder’s Apartment

This is the Augusta Pub, which was the inspiration for the Trapdoor in Whiskey Business. Just like in the book, there are apartments that have been renovated above it, so that’s my idea of what Ryder’s apartment looks like from the outside.

(I tried to get a picture of the small house that I decided belonged to Ryder’s mom and where Ryder grew up, but uh, the people who live there were outside and I’m not sure that wouldn’t have been extremely creepy, regardless if we were related or not.)

 

Main Street/Kentucky Fanatics

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My inspiration for downtown Gallows Grove. This was taken on Christmas Day, and true story, when I went to take this picture I didn’t notice a car coming down the street behind me. Apparently I’m the only person who can get hit by a car on Christmas in a totally deserted town. Luckily, the driver was nice and just waved and smiled.

 

And as you see, the UK love is strong ;)

 

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Believe me, I could have taken a LOT of pictures featuring some kind of UK Wildcat fan paraphernalia affixed to a building. Including my Mom’s house, my aunt’s house, my cousin’s…you get it.

 

So there you have it! I had a lovely Christmas, and I hope you did, too! One of my favorite things about being in Augusta was that, having spent so many Christmases there, I have this lovely memory of being with my cousins on Christmas Eve, and hearing the whistle of a train that always went by as I fell asleep. I heard the same train when I was there this year, (I mean, not the same one, unless it’s some kind of ghost train, which omg, amazing) and it was a lovely memory.

What’s your favorite Christmas memory? Share and I’ll choose one random commenter to win a copy of any book on my backlist.

Thanks, and happy new year to all!

 

Check out Whiskey Business today!

 

Whiskey Business by Avon Gale

Blurb:

Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder aims ultimately to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers, who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder are to his taste.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

 

About Avon:

Avon Gale was once the mayor of Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon, and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal Midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing, you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories—either real or made up in her head.

Website: www.avongalewrites.com
E-mail: avongalewrites@gmail.com
Twitter: @avongalewrites
Facebook: www.facebook.com/avongalewrites
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/avongalewrites

6 Responses to “Nostalgic Inspirations w/ Avon Gale + Giveaway”

  1. H.B. says:

    Congrats on the release of your new book :-)

    I think my favorite Christmas memory is the first Christmas we celebrated. My parents and oldest brother are 1st generation so growing up we didn’t celebrate. When the older kids got old enough (college age) they decided it was time to start celebrating. So they got a tree, presents, etc. and surprised us younger kids.

  2. Susan says:

    When I was four and my brother three I decided after some sleep it was Christmas morning even though it was still dark outside. I got my brother up and we went into the living room and started opening presents. Eventually we made enough noise my parents came out to see what was going on. It was about 4 AM and they told us it was not morning and to go back to bed. They would let us know when we could get up and finish opening presents.

  3. Nancy says:

    My favorite Christmas memory was the first (and only) year we put a tree up. It was one of those small plastic trees but my brother and I decorated the heck out of that tree lol. Congratulations on Whiskey Business and Happy New year!

  4. susana says:

    Congratulations on the new release, Avon! My favourite Christmas memory is related to decorating the house and tree with my mum and my sister… Now it is my nephew and niece who do it, and they let me help them (mostly doing what they tell me to do) but it is not the same now that I am a boring adult…

  5. Andrea says:

    Hi! Happy new year!
    My favorite memory is of the huge Christmas tree we used to have every year when I was little. We had it up for several weeks and we were allowed to help decorate it. The lights would be turned on when it got dark every day. And on Christmas Eve the presents would be under the tree and we would be allowed in in the early evening to open them.

  6. Trix says:

    In 2006, I remember sitting with my (then) little nieces, telling them about Steve Martin in THE JERK while wearing the Scott Hannan Sharks jersey I’d just gotten. We were laughing hysterically. I saw my brother peek in the doorway, get a little misty, smile, and duck out…

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