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Anniversary trip Part 2: Duncan’s Mills, Fort Ross,
Bodega Bay and Alfred Hitchcock.

(Note: I am so grateful for your prayers and good wishes for those impacted by the Kincade Fire. The blaze was extremely destructive, but I am so thankful the Armstrong Redwoods and the charming towns around Guerneville were spared.)

Our anniversary adventure continued the moment we left Guerneville and headed west to the Pacific. The drive along the Russian River was gorgeous with pockets of autumn glory bursting through the thick evergreens. We’d never been on this road before so every bend brought new “Oohs and ahhs.”

Our first stop was for coffee and the best apple fritter ever in: Duncan’s Mills.

This was a cute little spot—and as you can see in the photos, I was hard at work looking for chairs that my heroine, Amber, might have picked up if she’d been in Duncan’s Mills. Ooh…road trip? Um…sorry. Not this book. 😉

Back in the car, we headed west to Land’s End…which happens to be Jenner—a sweet little town nestled into the hills where the Russian River meets the ocean.


Highway 1 travels the length of the California coast, and as with a lot of highways in California, it’s a “work-in-progress.” The traffic stops were a great way to take in the cool breeze, chat with the locals (sea gulls) and view the interesting “sea stacks” along this stretch of ocean. Twelve miles later we pulled into Fort Ross.

If you’re a history buff, you might enjoy exploring this Russian outpost established in 1812 by the Russian-American Company. There’s a great history center that gives you some background before you check out the actual buildings—complete with cannons. Paul was fascinated by the fort’s construction and size of the timbers used.

With a 4 P.M. check-in at our next AirB&B, we headed back down Highway 1 to Bodega Bay. Once again we were pleasantly surprised by our accommodations, which included a private deck: Right. On. The. Water. Oh, yeah!

The next day, a small squall moved in, which happens, but when you’re on vacation, it pays to be flexible…as in “It’s raining. Let’s sleep in.” Eventually, we headed into the mist to track down locations used in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic: The Birds, starring Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren. Paul and I both remembered seeing the movie in our youth (in my case, my older sisters took my impressionable young self with them to a drive-in theater. Our mother wasn’t thrilled when I had nightmares for days. 😉

We returned to the Bay to take a hike on the ocean spit which creates the “bay.” Surprise! The small squall was even worse on the ocean side.


We quickly headed back to our comfy cabin, stopping at a Clam Chowder To-Go kiosk for two containers. Naturally, we hunkered down with our soup to watch…you guessed it: The Birds.

No nightmares this time. My only review: “What? You call that an ending, Mr. Hitchcock? I thought you were a genius. Humph.”

Since Saturday was our actual anniversary, we booked a table at a popular seafood restaurant within walking distance. We both agreed that Bodega Bay was a great place to celebrate a milestone, however big or small.

Here’s some fun NEWS I’m excited to share: I’m part of an 8-author holiday collection featuring stand-alone romance stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Lisa Mondello and Jean Brashear, USA Today bestseller Barbara McMahon, along with award-winning and bestselling authors Rogenna Brewer, Dee Davis, Annie Jones, Kay Lyons, and…me.

We each picked a holiday-themed book—with a hero we LOVE—from our individual series and put them together in HOLIDAY HEROES.

This collection will only be available through January, 15, 2020. After that, it will disappear from the online vendor shelves.


Pre-order HOLIDAY HEROES here!

Release Date: November 14, 2019

Last week’s Q&A was: Do you keep a diary or journal? Y or N? (Asking for a friend/character.) 😉

Many thanks for all the interesting answers. The NOs way outnumbered the YESs. I wish I were diligent about journaling, but you all have made me feel better knowing I’m not alone.

My two randomly selected winners this week are:

Beth Lechman – NO
Joy Isley – NO

(Beth and Joy congrats. Please email me your pick of either a $5 Starbucks or a $5 Amazon gift card.)


Last Sunday, Day Light Savings time ended. So many people are not fans of this bi-annual change (including me). This week’s Q&A question is: Should we keep Day Light Savings Time all year long – Y or N?

(Two winners will be chosen by random drawing to receive either a $5 Starbucks gift card or a $5 Amazon gift card. Please reply the usual ways: email or on my DebraSalonenAuthor Facebook page.)

Happy Reading!


Next week: I have TITLES and release dates for all 3 Property Sisters of Montana books—and you, my friends, will be the first to know! Plus, I plan to share two snippets from Holiday Heroes in each newsletter for the next 4 weeks—one from each author. First up: Lisa Mondello and Kay Lyons.



Copyright © 2019 Debra Salonen