July 31, 2011

The Romance of New Mexico with Jeannine Van Eperen

New Mexico, daughter of Spain, your enchantment remains is the first line in a song my sister, Shirley Jansson, wrote to describe her feelings for our state. Years later, when I decided to write an adventure romance story about the early Spanish settlers, and particularly those who settled in and around Santa Fe in the early sixteen hundreds, the words and the beautiful melody filled my head. Daughter of Spain remains one of my favorite books. It was a joy to research and to write about that period in the history of New Mexico.

New Mexico is filled with high mountains and deep verdant valleys, as well as deserts and mesas. I believe it has the best weather in the nation, but that doesn’t mean that it never gets cold or rainy, but the cold season is short, and most often the inhabitants pray for an occasional rain. The wind can blow. Dust storms do occur, but the bright cloudless blue skies are most prevalent. New Mexico is filled with interesting places to visit besides Santa Fe where one can soak up a lot of history. The country’s oldest residence is located in Santa Fe as are several historical and mystical churches and the legendary La Fonda Hotel.

As nice and romantic as the Santa Fe Old Town Plaza is, I’ve always preferred that of Albuquerque, the state’s largest city. The Old Town Plaza of Albuquerque is bordered by Central Avenue (Route 66) and Rio Grande Blvd. A lot of the buildings as well as the church have been there forever, it seems. I never tire of strolling around the plaza and taking in the stores that sell souvenirs, clothing, paintings, jewelry and so forth. There are many restaurants, most of which feature authentic New Mexican specialties. On the east side of Albuquerque you’ll find the Sandia Mountains where one can ride up to the peak via a tram. Atop the mountain is a wonderful restaurant where you can dine while overlooking the city, an especially beautiful sight as the sun sets and the city lights glimmer. My general fiction novels Albuquerque and You Can Bank on It are set in the 1950s with characters that work at the Duke City National Bank. Albuquerque was named after Spain’s Duke of Alburquerque. Highway to Love, is the romance of a female truck driver living just outside the city limits. Rose of the Rio Grande is a romance set in a fictional Pueblo village in New Mexico during the 1930s. Interlude and No Escape from Love are contemporary romances also set in small mountains villages. Gunfight at Whiskey Creek, an Amazon short, is a historical western set in Las Vegas, New Mexico. In my paranormal romance Golden-Rod I took on the task of describing the Carlsbad Caverns and what happens when an earthquake hits and a young woman finds herself sealed off alone with a mysterious male. All my books are on amazon.com and can be found on my publishers’ sites www.wings-press.com, www.whiskeycreekpress.com, http://www.awe-struck.net/.

I’ve published twenty-nine novels, some short stories and articles. My husband and I traveled a lot and I love to use places where I’ve been, such as France, Portugal, England and Puerto Rico. My latest book Gigolo takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Hollywood, California area; and Dubuque, Iowa. A complete listing and information on my work is on my web site http://www.vaneperenwriter.com/  I hope you’ll visit the website and also grow to love New Mexico as much as I when you read one of my books. It is a lovely setting. Adios for now, Jeannine


Carole Ann Moleti said...

What a coincidence! I just got back from Taos Toolbox, an intensive writers workshop. Unfortunately, I couldn't spend enough time in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but am going back just to sight see very soon. How could any self respecting SF writer not visit Roswell?

The vistas are incredible, the sunsets that bathe the landscape in a golden glow breathtaking and the people are so friendly.

Thanks for helping me revisit my childhood love of anything Western.

skystne said...

My favorite city in New Mexico is Taos. Santa Fe comes in a close second. We have traveled and camped in New Mexico and it is beautiful, mysterious and inspires the imagination. Thank you for a great article.

Palmaltas said...

Great article, Jeannine! I love visiting New Mexico. I have lived in Portugal, England and Puerto Rico also. Your novels have wonderful settings.

Nora LeDuc said...

I'd love to visit New Mexico. Santa Fe is a place I've heard about all my life. Congratulations on all the books!

Debby said...

I have not seen much of New Mexico but it is on my list to explore more. Thanks for the post. debby236 at gmail dot com

jrlindermuth said...

New Mexico is a top contender if I ever decide to leave Pennsylvania. Thanks for telling us more about your state.

Fran Orenstein said...

Thank you for that wonderful blog about a beautiful state. It was a close toss-up to move to New Mexico or Arizona. AZ won because I had family there. I'll have to check out your books.

Jeannine said...

Thanks so all who read and wrote about my beautiful New Mexico. Yes, Taos is a great place. You can also check out Madrid and Golden, both are an easy drive from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and while doing that drive to Sandia Peak. You'll love it.


Jeannine said...

Thanks to all of you who commented on my article and state. Yes, Taos is a wonderful place to visit as is Red River near there. If you happen to be in Albuquerque or Santa Fe take a car ride to Madrid (now an artist colony but was a company mining town), and while doing that you might want to drive up to Santa Fe Peak and also take in Tinker Town on the way. Roswell and Carlsbad and great places to visit, too.
Thanks again and Happy Reading,