January 18, 2015

Kelley Heckart’s Arizona Desert Home



I have lived in Arizona since 2001 after living in Southern California for most of my life. I never thought much about the desert, dismissing it as barren, dusty. I was surprised to find abundant wildlife in a place that possessed such stark beauty with brown sand, green cactus and Palo Verde trees and flowering desert plants, the colors vibrant against a blue sky, the blueness of the sky deepened by the sunlit desert hues. And for us here in Lake Havasu City, in northwest Arizona, where the sun shines 300 days a year, the desert beauty is dazzling against the turquoise lake that is part of the Colorado River. In fact, the meaning of Havasu, a Native American (Havasupai) word, means blue-green water.

Lake Havasu City is known as the home of the London Bridge, purchased in 1968 for $2,460,000 by Robert P. McCulloch, but there is so much more to love about this city and the desert that surrounds us. I
don’t even have to leave my yard to enjoy the beauty and wildlife of our city. Mountains surround us, capturing the sunrises and sunsets in brilliant shades of red/gold. We have the most gorgeous sunsets and stunning cactus blooms. I’ve had encounters with an injured hawk and an injured vulture on my patio; I’ve been startled by bats and owls in my backyard, had a roadrunner tapping on my sliding glass door; I’ve watched hummingbirds mate, had baby quails trapped in my yard (they made it safely out) and have a desert iguana named Godzilla living in a den near my back patio with his entire family.
 
We have some fierce but awesome monsoon storms in the summer where the setting sun turns the
thunderstorm clouds an eerily beautiful pink. Nature’s artwork. It doesn’t get any better than that and I get to see all of this each day in my own yard. All of this natural beauty is an inspiration for me. I never know what I will find when I step outside, whether it’s a huge lizard sunbathing on the wall or a breathtaking sunrise or sunset.

 
There are two seasons here: summer for the younger boating crowd and winter for the older snowbirds that flock to our city in their RVs to escape the snow. The summers are too hot for anything except swimming in a pool or boating on the lake. The best time to enjoy the outdoors here in Lake Havasu City is from October to April. People can hike and ride off-road vehicles in the surrounding desert and there are a lot of fun winter events. In October the city hosts Drag Boat and Jet Ski Races. In December is the Boat Parade of Lights. In January is the popular Balloon Festival and Fair. In February is Winterfest with numerous vendors lining Main Street to sell their wares.

There is also a fun off-road trip to a bar in the middle of the desert near Parker (30 miles from Lake Havasu). The Nellie E Saloon (Desert Bar) is only open weekends and holidays from October to March and closes by nightfall. This is a popular destination at Thanksgiving. The ride to the bar on a dirt rode takes about 30 minutes and can be done in a 2-wheel drive vehicle. Kids are welcome too. In addition to the bar, there is food, hiking and a live band. These are some of the most popular winter events, but there is so much to do here in Lake Havasu City and most of it is free. All you have to do is open your eyes and take a look around to find natural beauty and wildlife. http://www.thedesertbar.com/    http://www.golakehavasu.com/


I will be giving away a Kindle version or PDF copy of my new release, The Bear Goddess, a retelling of the Greek myth about Callisto, the nymph who betrayed Artemis. Here is a short blurb:
Forbidden love… Broken vows… Betrayal…
A nymph. A centaur. Enemies in love.
On the run, danger and betrayal follow Callisto and Kasin. To survive they must evade those who want to keep them apart and no place is safe.
Will their love for each other be enough to save them?
Please comment here for your chance to win!

Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband, dog and a number of http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
backyard “pets,” including Godzilla the desert iguana. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. When not writing, she works as an editor/proofreader and practices target archery. She can be found online at

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
Captivating...Sensual...Otherworldly
(all info provided by author)

10 comments:

Fran Orenstein said...

Beautiful description of the desert and desert life. I live down in Scottsdale and even thought it's the city, it's still a little piece of desert paradise. Love that you write about strong warrior women; wishing you lots of luck with your writing career.

Glenda Fralin said...

Kelly, I love your description of the desert around Lake Havansu City. It sounds like a wonderful place (in the winter) for someone like me with COPD.

Linda Swift said...

I loved your description of the desert. I've traveled in your state and found it beautiful. The flat desert and the distant mountians, clearly visible so many miles away. The stillness and sense of tranquility are imprinted on my mind forever. Thanks for the tour today.

jrlindermuth said...

Envy your good weather and the desert. Not a fan of off-road vehicles (or snowmobiles for that matter)--environmentally destructive.
Best wishes for success in your writing.

Susan Whitfield said...

Arizona is on my Bucket List even more so now. Congratulations on your success!

Kelley Heckart said...

Annette, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my home with your readers.

Hi Susan, jrlindermuth, Linda, Glenda and Fran, Thank you for taking the time to read my post about my home in AZ. It really was a surprise when I discovered the rare beauty and life existing in the desert. Best wishes! Kelley

Jackie Wisherd said...

I grew up in AZ and have been to Lk Havasu City several times. I can also say that I have traveled over the London Bridge both in your town and when it was still in London in the early sixties. I like that part of AZ very much.

Kelley Heckart said...

Jackie, Some people have reported seeing ghosts on the London Bridge, men and women dressed in early 19th century clothing.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and commment.

Kelley

Fiona McGier said...

I love your descriptions of the natural beauty that surrounds you. I'm adding Arizona to the list of states I want to visit and camp in sometime in the future. Especially fun to dream about, now, when it's barely in the 20s at night, and it feels balmy when it's in the upper 30s during the day. Ah, the Midwest in the winter.

Nicole said...

Love this series Annette! Kelley, I would really like to read your new book. Sounds like a great read!! Thanks for the chance to win