June 25, 2017

Montana, NOT Big Cities and Malls but Beautiful Towns and Sky with Author, Constance Bretes

If you’re looking for big cities, lots of malls and large stores, Montana is NOT the state to go to. While you may find those in a few cities, Montana is made up of small sleepy towns, ghost towns, old mining towns, 85+ beautiful mountains and fresh air. This is why it’s called “Big Sky Country.”

Before we moved to Montana a few years ago, it was our vacation destination for ten years. Besides big wide open spaces, Montana has a wealth of history. My husband and I have three things we love to do. Visit old ghost towns, taking the back roads into the mountains, digging for sapphires or panning for gold.

Situated between Boulder and Basin Montana, Comet, Montana is one such ghost town, named after the Comet Mine, developed in 1883 and abandoned in 1941. The old building structures at the top of this mountain reverberates of life is the past. The drive up to Comet went alongside a fast flowing river. The old gold mine and river still sparkles with a hint that there is still gold to be found.

I live in Basin, Montana. The town has a school, post office, pizza place, and a restaurant/bar. Basin has a history steeped in mining gold. Established in the 1870s, at one time, they boast of a population of around 1500 people. The last census report for the town indicated there was now a population of 255. Basin has three closed mines, and an old rail tunnel. The rail tracks have long been removed, but you can still see the rail line and the No. 7 tunnel from interstate 15.

 If you don’t care for old mining and ghost towns, take a visit to Jefferson City, and visit the Tizer Botanic Gardens, opened May through September.
The gardens are a spectacular site with flowers blooming the whole season. Back when we were just visiting the state every summer, we went to Tizer Gardens and was walking along the path of the creek. I went to sit down on a little bench next to the river and my foot slipped on the rocks. I slid into the creek along with my husband, jumping in behind me to save me. When we got up in the creek, he gave me a push up the embankment, through the wood chips, and after I stood up, I had wood chips all over me from head to toe.

One of our favorite thigs to do is to take a leisure drive on the forest roads into the mountains and forests around us and one such drive led us into Elkhorn Mountains, and a little waterfall on Little Boulder Creek rarely seen by the public. The terrain is rough, and should be driven by either a four-wheel drive vehicle or an ATV.

One must never forget the Lewis and Clark Expeditions and take the Lewis and Clark Trail across Montana. There are hundreds of sites to visit, such as Gates of the Mountains, Pompeys Pilar, Yellowstone River and Missouri River and much much more. If you love mountains, Montana has the best, from Glacier Mountains, to the Rocky Mountains and the views are spectacular.

I love the state of Montana and almost all of my contemporary romances are set in the state from Jordan, to Colstrip, to Philipsburg. I have a new book out as of February 18, 2017, Blue As Sapphires. Inspiration for this book came from the old town of Philipsburg, Montana, Gem Mountains and Rock Creek River, located nearby.

Currently, I am working on several works in progress. Elkhorn In The Moonlight is based around the fictitious town of Mason. It includes a hike in the Elkhorn Mountains in the late Spring, and even a snow storm, which is not unheard of in Montana. Another story I’ve been working on is Rocky River Gold, a murder mystery in a small town in Montana.

In addition to my writing, I enjoy making jewelry, and basket weaving. Every month in my newsletter, I feature one to three authors and a giveaway of one of their books. I also feature something that I made, either a basket or jewelry, for one lucky winner. If you’d like to enter for a chance to win one of these, you can go to my website at http://www.constancebretes.com/news--things.html to enter the rafflecoptors, and while there, you can join my mailing list and each month receive my newsletters with lots of information of what is going on in my life as well as the giveaways.

Media Links:
Website: http://constancebretes.com
Blog: http://www.constancebretes.com/connies-blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Connie-Bretes-385409614906182/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConstanceBretes
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7737457.Constance_Bretes

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. 
After spending many years imagining stories, she began her writing about ten years ago at the encouragement of her husband. 
Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana.
She’s married to her best friend and resides in Montana with him and a houseful of cats. 
When she’s not writing and researching for her next book, she can be found basket weaving, reading, or just plain spending time with her husband.

I am giving away one handmade necklace to one lucky person; I’ll draw from the comments. Be sure to enter a form of contact so I can find you for delivery.
(all info supplied by author)


  1. I've friends who live in Montana and they sound just like you, a profound love for their state. I do enjoy the history and thank you for sharing what you know. Doris

  2. Your love for Montana is wonderful and the state sounds fascinating and very beautiful. No malls, etc. is just what I love. Simplicity, views, and scenic areas is what is real. Your books sound captivating. Thanks for this very interesting post about your life, state and writing. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  3. I am a sucker for any novel, especially a romance, with the word "Montana" in the title. Thanks for sharing about your state. The necklace is gorgeous, did you make it or a friend? robin bayne at yahoo dot com

  4. Some of my fondest memories with my husband and young son are the years we vacationed in Montana! Log cabins, fly fishing, amazing sunsets and being able to see for miles! Lucky, lucky you! How wonderful to chose such a special place to move to.

  5. I haven't visited Montana but it's definitely on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your love of the state as well as your many talents. maggie.king at yahoo dot com.

  6. You describe activities I enjoy as well. I fell in love with Missoula on a visit several years ago and have set several of my historicals in that area of Montana. Thanks for sharing about other wonderful spots.

  7. Loved your post, Connie. Your love of Montana really shows through. I've never been there but hope to someday. Best wishes on your new release.

  8. Informative, captivating and most interesting. Montana would be a place for me since I love wide, open spaces, limitless skies and horizon but cannot do winter nor cold due to health and RA problems. Your books would be greatly enjoyed. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. I've always wanted to visit Montana -- in the summer of course! Your town sounds soooo peaceful. I can't wait until I can move to a smaller place with less people.

  10. Marissa GarnerJune 25, 2017

    Great post! Brought back memories of a trip my DH and I took a couple years ago. It was our first visit to Yellowstone and Glacier. In fact, we drove all the way across Montana into Canada to stay at the Prince of Wales hotel overlooking the lake. Montana was just breathtaking. Being from SoCal, we were amazed at the wide open spaces, beautiful scenery, and lack of traffic. You're lucky to live in such an awesome place. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I understand your love for Montana. Change the name of the state to Arkansas and my husband's and my experiences closely parallel yours. Except Arkansas has a diamond field (no sapphires) for folks to prospect in,a ghost mining town next to closed zinc mines, hills and hollows making "mountains" in an eroded ancient uplift plateau. No real mountains. I think the one thing that would make either state even better would be an ocean coastline.

    Very interesting post and, I am sure, very interesting novels.


  12. Oh my goodness, I definitely want to visit Montana now. It sounds like a place that I would.

  13. AnonymousJune 25, 2017

    Hi Connie,
    Glad to see you here hanging out with Annette Snyder. We miss you at Mid-Michigan, but it looks like you're finding adventure out West.

    All the best, Annette Briggs

  14. Big Sky country. My son lives in Idaho, so I know how beautiful the northwest can be. Love ghost towns. We visited Silver City in Idaho, what fun. You are lucky you can live in such a great place.
    Keep writing, weaving baskets and creating gorgeous jewelry.

  15. Hi Constance, I grew up in Montana on a ranch near Jordan, went to college in Missoula and lived there for many years. I now live in AZ, which I love, but Montana will always be "home" to me!

  16. Connie, we miss you back here in Michigan, but it sounds like you found where you belong. I have two cousins who live in Montana. Who knows, one of these days I may head your way. Until then, keep writing.

  17. This is so pretty!! Thanks for the chance!!

  18. Thanks for this portrait of Montana. I lived in South Dakota for a year long ago and love the SD, Montana, Wyoming areas of this country. I have a fondness for ghost towns too.

  19. Montana is one of the places I wanted to go on a horseback camping trip. Sounds even more interesting now.

  20. I've wanted to go horseback camping in Montana. Sounds even more interesting now after reading your article.

  21. We visited Billings, MT back in 2003 and really enjoyed riding the carousel:) I even used that town as a small setting in one of my earlier books. Would love to return one day!


  22. I was lucky enough to be able to visit Montana on a family trip when I was young, I can still remember the breathtaking view and playing in a snowdrift in the middle of summer!

  23. I loved my visit to Montana, it is an amazing state. rc12d@yahoo.com

  24. Yellowstone is one of my favorite places in the US, and Glacier has been on my list for years. I'm just afraid of the bears. I've seen them in Yellowstone and I hear they are even more common in Glacier. :) Montana is a great setting for romances!


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