Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author J. Leigh Bailey joining us to talk about her new release “Stalking Buffalo Bill, part of Dreamspinners Dreamspun Beyond series.
J.Leigh talks about her favorite places in Wyoming , shares an excerpt and brought with her a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome J. Leigh 🙂
Before I get started, I wanted to say a big “thank you” to Dani and Love Bytes Reviews for letting me stop by today and celebrate the upcoming release of STALKING BUFFALO BILL. I had so much fun writing this book, and I’m thrilled to be a part of Dreamspinner Press’s new line, Dreamspun Beyond.
Top 5 Favorite Places to Visit in Wyoming…
One of the things I am most excited about with Stalking Buffalo Bill is that I was able to set it in Wyoming. I’ve been waiting for a chance to showcase aspects of a state and, honestly, culture I love. Until I was ten, I lived in Wyoming, and though it’s been more years than I care to share since I moved away, I still have family there who I visit. Wyoming really is a different kind of world from Chicago (where I live now), and I can’t wait to get back to the slower pace and cowboy atmosphere periodically. One of the coolest things about Wyoming is the diversity of geography and terrain. There are mountains, lakes, plains, almost-deserts, pretty much anything you can think of that can exist in a land-locked state. That, the amazing variety of animals, and the rustic, old-world charm, makes Wyoming an amazing place to play tourist.
So today, in celebration of me finally being able to set a book in my “growing up” state, I’m going to share some of my favorite places to visit Wyoming.
- Yellowstone National Park (https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm )–You cannot visit Wyoming for any length of time without stopping at Yellowstone (and yes, I know Yellowstone is part of other states as well, but it’s one of Wyoming’s biggest attractions). Even if you only have a couple of hours, you can get a lot out of it. You can drive through and watch wildlife (believe me when I say, and elk is one of the most majestic animals in the US, and they are way bigger than you can imagine), take a gander at the mineral springs (but, by all that’s holy, DO NOT take a dip—it’s deadly), admire great views of the mountains, and the gorges. All can be done reasonably in a few hours. Or, you can spend days hiking, fishing, and camping surrounded by some of America’s most beautiful scenery.
- Grand Teton National Park (https://www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm )—Not too far from Yellowstone, this is one of my favorite places to visit. In the summer you can drive through and gaze at the country’s largest herd of free-roaming buffalo (William—don’t call me Bill—would approve!). In the winter, you can take a sleigh ride through the valley and hang out with the elk (did I mention how majestic elk are?). Also, if you visit the Grand Tetons, you can share with your friends the unusual name. French trappers named the mountains Les Trois Tetons, which roughly translates into “the Three Breasts.” And the Grand Teton, the tallest of the peaks, is basically named the Big Boob.
- Hot Springs State Park (http://thermopolis.com/attractions/hot-springs-state-park/ ), in Thermopolis, WY—The town of Thermopolis isn’t too far from where I grew up as a kid, so we’d made a few treks to the Hot Springs State Park. It gets its name, unsurprisingly, from the steamy mineral water spring that is channeled into indoor and outdoor bathhouses and pools that are kept at a toasty 104 degrees F. where visitors can soak in comfort all year long. There are also fun hiking trails and some truly cool petroglyphs.
- The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (https://centerofthewest.org/ )—I would be totally remiss to have a book called Stalking Buffalo Bill and not recommend a visit to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a collection of museums explore the life of Buffalo Bill Cody, a large collection of fire arms from around the world, Wyoming wildlife and geology, and the culture of the Plains Indians. It makes for a fun and educational few hours. And if history isn’t enough, it also hosts a lovely gallery of western art. And, to make it even cooler, the Center of the West is celebrating its centennial! It’s been around from 1917-2017. 100 years of western history, culture, geography, and art.
- Devil’s Tower National Monument (https://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm )–When I was a kid, 90% of all my art projects featured Devil’s Tower. Maybe because I was never a gifted artist and a rock tower full of lines was easy to draw. Or, just as likely, I was fascinated by the mythology surrounding it. Each Native American tribe in the area had its own story as to the origin of what appears to be a random rock tower with scratch marks along the side. Go here: https://www.nps.gov/deto/learn/historyculture/first-stories.htm to see the different versions. Either way, it’s pretty cool. Another fun piece of naming trivia—the monument got the name Devil’s Tower in 1875 during an expedition by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge’s interpreter supposedly misinterpreted the Native American name of the tower as “Bad God’s Tower.”
Stalking Buffalo Bill—A Shifter U Tale
A smitten coyote isn’t the only one stalking Buffalo Bill.
A buffalo walks into a cafe. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but for coyote shifter Donnie Granger, it’s the beginning of an obsession. Donnie is a little hyperactive and a lot distractible, except when it comes to William. He finally works up the nerve to approach William but is interrupted by a couple of violent humans.
While William—don’t call me Bill—is currently a professor, he once worked undercover against an international weapons-trafficking ring. Before he can settle into obscurity, he must find out who leaked his location and eliminate the thugs. He tries keeping his distance to protect Donnie, but the wily coyote won’t stay away.
It’ll take both Donnie’s skills as a stalker—er, hunter—and William’s super-spy expertise to neutralize the threat so they can discover if an excitable coyote and a placid-until-pissed buffalo have a future together.
By the time William’s bulky form stood in the entrance of the closet, I was human and 100 percent naked, though I didn’t have time to worry about it. There was a creep out there after my manly man.
“Not real quick with the nonverbals, are you?” I propped my hands on my hips.
He copied the gesture. I had to admit, his version was much more intimidating. And not just because he was actually wearing clothes. “You want to tell me what that was all about?”
I rolled my eyes. “Obviously I needed to get you alone.”
His eyes trailed down my body, from the top of my sandy-brown hair to the tips of my toes. Heat prickled along every inch his eyes touched. Flustered, I snapped, “Not for that.”
Did he really—no, now wasn’t the time for that.
“Look, a couple of freaks are looking for you. They had your picture and everything.”
The slight smirk he wore slipped off his face. “What?”
“Yeah, these guys—who gave me chills, by the way—stopped into the café and wanted to know if we’d seen you. They were evil. I mean, to the core. And they definitely weren’t from around here.”
He reached out and gripped my shoulder. “What did they look like?”
“Like a couple of thugs in an amateur production of Oklahoma.”
At his blank look, I gave him a more specific description of the weirdos. Then I told him what I’d seen. “So, Mafia Hit Man is out there right now, looking for you. And you stood there, a hulking target, just begging to be caught.”
“Sorry, I don’t speak coyote.”
**GIVEAWAY** I’ll be giving away a signed copy of my gay YA novel DO-GOODER which also explores some unique terrain, though in Cameroon, Africa (US only) or a digital copy of any book in my backlist (open internationally) to a random commenter who tells me: If you’ve been to Wyoming, what was your favorite place to visit? If you’re from Wyoming, where do you suggest people visit? Or, just in general, where is your favorite vacation destination and what do you do there?
J. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. For upcoming releases and appearances information, sign up for her newsletter at https://t.co/FfL9gFVJLQ.
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