Rocky Mountain Summer Fun with Jessica Aspen
Summer’s drawing to a close. In Colorado we’re looking forward to Fall when the aspen’s gold cover the mountains and the evenings grow cold. And some of us are waiting for winter, when the snow flies and you can take to the slopes. Meanwhile there’s still time to squeeze in a little summer time mountain fun.
I set my Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series in the gorgeous Rocky Mountains because while they are my backyard, they also qualify as an exotic vacation destination. Who doesn’t want to spend a vacation in the mountains? Little Red Riding Wolf takes place in my imaginary small town of Radon, Colorado, while Snow and the Seventh Wolf (out in 2013) takes place outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. While very different what these two places have in common are the Rocky Mountains. And that means wide open vistas, lots of state and national parks, and plenty of activities.
Summer time in the Rockies begins with rafting season. The snow melt in June means that July rivers run high, that’s the best time to put on your life-vest and take to the rivers. By August the water levels have calmed, so if you’re a little nervous about zipping down the rapids, now’s the time. Or you could take a hike near timberline. That’s one of my heroine Red’s favorite things to do, although she’d prefer to run the trails in wolf form.
Have you acclimated to the altitude? Ready to take a backpacking trip and climb a fourteener? You might get close to the moon at fourteen thousand feet above sea level. By one calculation Colorado has over 53 fourteeners, while Wyoming has 34 thirteeners. Take your pick, the view is breathtaking.
My heroine Snow, from Snow and the Seventh Wolf is from LA, and she’s rarely seen the stars. Snow had no idea what they truly looked like or how many there really are until she stops running and looks. In Wyoming, far from the city lights and smog the late summer nights are cool at the higher elevations, but you can stay cozy with your sweetie in a sleeping bag under the sky. Look close and you might see more than one falling star. Just look out for bears.
One of the things I haven’t written about yet are the ranches. (Shh, this is a sneak peak at novella number three). On a modern day ranch trucks are the norm, but on vacation you want the romance of the old West. As a guest of a dude ranch you can experience life as a cowboy. Ride the ranch, rope the cattle and taste chuckwagon food. Not ready for the total immersion experience. Rent a horse for an hour or two and take to the trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. While you’re up there take in the snow covered peaks and wide vistas. Or head on up to Yellowstone in Wyoming.
Living in a tourist destination one tends to get spoiled and take the mountains for granted. Luckily writing books about Colorado has given me another reason to get out and try some new things. Hiking, rafting, camping under the stars, there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of the end of summer. And when summer ends, we run into fall and winter. Strap on those snowboards, the flakes are flying!
She rolled his name through her mind, resisted the desire to
taste the flavor of it on her tongue. Maybe if she wasn’t touching
him she could do this…carry on a normal conversation. She
struggled for something to say, something that would cover this
incredible desire to fuck a complete stranger.
“Welcome to Radon,” she managed to get out. “How do you
like it so far?” Inane. Moronic. But it was out now. She hoped he
couldn’t see the shaking that had started at his touch, or smell
the moisture between her legs. Lucky he was only human.
Calm down, Red! You can do this. You have to do this.
“It’s been interesting. It’s a pretty tight-knit little town.” His
smile had warmed, become friendly. And interested.
She knew what that appraising look meant. She’d received
it from all the available males her parents had invited to their
house in an effort to entice her to settle down. But that look
from the bachelor wolves had never made her feel like this. Feel
like her whole body was tuned in to his. Like she should get on
all fours and push her ass in the air, spread her legs, and beg.
Her palms were damp. She caught him checking her out and
was glad her hoodie was zipped up tight and covered her chest.
Her nipples had tightened so fast, so hard, they almost hurt.
“Town’s been a little tough on you, huh?” she asked. Poor
guy, he couldn’t have known what coming to this area would be
like. They hadn’t had a ranger in the area who wasn’t pack in
her lifetime. The county was up in arms.
“You could say that.” He shot her a conspiratorial smile that
warmed his eyes to molten chocolate. She had a sudden vivid
picture of a sheepskin rug and him lying naked in front of a
fire, her lips and tongue tracing the contoured lines of muscles
illuminated by the flames.
She dragged her mind back and forced it to focus on the
present. Focus on the words coming out from between his sexy
“You’re the friendliest person I’ve run into in this town.
Where have you been hiding?”
Wrong question ranger. The question was who had been
hiding him from her? Now her mother keeping her home from
work to make jam had begun to make sense. Maybe her mother
would never think she was an adult. Although maybe her
mother was right, given her lusty thoughts, maybe she should
“I normally work at the general store in town. I must have
just missed you.” Yeah right. Did that sound as lame to him as it
had to her? She lifted her chin. Her mother had been making up
excuses to keep her at the family’s house all week. Despite being
sent off to the boonies she had met the hot new guy in town.
Her mother’s plan had backfired.
“Is that Burdock’s? It’s the only general store I’ve seen.” One
long hand reached up, pushed his thatch of hair back off his
face in an unconscious slow sensual movement. The hair fell
forward back into place as soon as he released it, dark and thick.
“Yeah, I guess you’ve been in there.”
“Yeah. Is the black haired dude with the bad-ass attitude who
mans the counter related?” His eyes crinkled up at the corners
when he smiled. An urge to spread her thighs slid through her.
In an effort to control it, she clenched them tight.
What had he asked?
“Seth,” she said, relieved she knew what to say. “He’s one of
my brothers. He’s none too happy that you’re here.”
“Why is that?”
“Let’s just say that we’re a typical small town. Outsiders
aren’t really welcome.”
“You know, you’re the first woman I’ve met under thirty all
week. I was beginning to wonder where they all were.”
Dangerous territory here. She’d better be careful of what she
said. Obviously the alphas had the few available females under
lock and key.
“We have a surplus of men in this town. You probably just
missed the women.” She shouldn’t be talking to him. He made
her so nervous, she just knew she would slip and let something
out. Something that would alert him that all was not as it seemed
in small town Radon, Colorado. “Well it’s been nice chatting,
but I have to get going.”
She smiled and started to move off down the path again, but
he stepped in front of her, blocked her.
The back of her neck prickled.
She supposed he was eager to talk to the only friendly face in
town, but she wished he would back off. She was having enough
trouble controlling herself as it was. Her heightened senses told
her to take action. Now.
He’d moved too close. His spicy male scent filled her nostrils,
caressed her skin. Made her want to bury her face in the crook
of his neck and inhale, suck him in like oxygen before going
“Where are you off to?”
“My grandmother lives up the mountain. I’m just going to
check on her and stay a while.”
His face lost its easy smile, grew concerned. “You’re hiking
up the mountain by yourself? A woman like you shouldn’t be
out here alone.” She bristled at his statement. Just like her
brother! What was it with men and their bossy attitudes?
“A woman like me? Slow down buster! I’ve been hiking this
mountain since I could walk. You’re out here alone, why not
“But I’m a trained outdoorsman. You hardly look prepared
in those shorts if the weather changes. What do you have in that
pack?” He moved closer to her, and she backed up, suppressing
the desire to bare her teeth. With relief she channeled her
newfound sexuality into anger instead. This she understood.
Human or not, he was beginning to get her back up, just like
any other male.
“I’ll be at Grandma’s before dark. And it’s an incredible day.
No storm in sight. See ya.” She edged around him and moved
back onto the path, determined to put him and temptation,
“Wait, I’ll go with you. There are signs of hunters in the area,
you shouldn’t be hiking alone.” He picked up his oversize pack
with ease. Then scrambled, trying to buckle the waist straps and
keep up with her at the same time. She stepped up the pace.
She could feel him close behind, knew he was eye level with
her ass. Knew he watched her backside swish with each step.
Her tingling nerves began to send messages again. With him
nipping at her ankles, she felt like prey.
“No, thanks. You won’t be able to keep up.” She moved
faster, pumped her legs in a rapid rhythm on the familiar trail.
His legs might be longer than hers, but she had Were stamina
and a light pack. No way he could keep up with her for long.
“Hey, I’ve been through hell in the military. If I could keep
up in basic, then I can keep up with you little girl.”
She laughed, flashed a catch-ya-later look over her shoulder,
and put on a hair more speed. He’d find out soon enough
that she might be little, but she had more oomph in this little
package than most. And he could just watch her swish her tail
until she was out of sight.
Jessica Aspen writes paranormal romance near the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Her books are full of elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. She loves dark chocolate, walking the dog, hiking and is obsessed with her new lap-top. Jessica is also obsessed with writing and learning about writing. She is a member of RWA, CRW, FF&P and PRO. You can find Jessica the first Friday of the month at http://ParanormalFreebies.com and most days during the week at http://jessicaaspen.com
Follow Jessica on twitter @jessicaaspen and on Facebook.com/Jessica.Aspen