Perfect settings

August 21, 2012

When I first started doing research for my newest novel, Something in the Wine, I decided to set it in Paso Robles, California. Once I decided on the location, I looked for a place within driving distance where one of the romantic key scenes could take place.

When I stumbled across a website of Moonstone Beach, I knew I had found the perfect location. Two of my beta readers have visited Moonstone Beach and sent me photos (Thank you to RJ and Erin for letting me use a few of the photos for this blog post).

Here’s a description of Moonstone Beach that is taken from Something in the Wine:

Side by side, they strolled along the wooden boardwalk that ran the length of the cliff above the beach. An elderly couple sat on one of the benches, and a woman had taken an easel down to the beach, but otherwise, they were alone. Seabirds flew daring maneuvers around them.

Drew watched Annie take it all in. A sense of awe made Annie’s usually controlled face glow. Drew smiled, glad she hadn’t just taken her to a restaurant. Moonstone Beach was one of her favorite places, and she was happy she could share it with Annie. “Come on.” She stood and led the way to the stairs. The wind picked up as they descended to the ocean.

Instead of sand, tiny, colorful pebbles covered the beach. They strolled along the shore, stepping over driftwood or stopping to pick up shells every once in a while. Waves crashed against rocks jutting into the ocean, and in the distance, seals soaked up the last rays of sunshine.

God, this is ridiculously romantic. A few times, Drew barely resisted the urge to take Annie’s hand. Maybe bringing her here wasn’t such a good idea after all.

One glance at Annie made her change her mind. With her golden hair blowing in the wind and her cheeks reddened by the breeze, Annie looked more carefree than she ever had. She walked with her head held high, not slouching as she often did.

Moonstone Beach is named for the stones that can be found there.

There are actually two types of moonstones.

There’s a gem-quality stone that is a type of feldspar. These are white, bluish, or peach-colored stones that seem to be emanating light like an opal (an effect known as adularescence).

The moonstones found on Moonstone Beach are chalcedony, a microcrystalline quartz.

Here’s a picture of the moonstone my best friend gave me as a gift.

In many cultures, moonstones were regarded as magical stones. The Romans thought they were created by frozen moonbeams. The Greeks wore them as talismans and believed that moonstones could help you find your true love. Moonstone is the stone of love and new beginnings—and that’s what fit my novel so perfectly.

One of my main characters, Annie Prideaux, has decided that love is not for her. Instead, she focuses on books, her cat, and her work as an accountant. When she meets Drew Corbin, she not only falls in love but starts to change her whole outlook on life.

Have you ever stumbled across a setting that just seemed perfect for one of the scenes in a novel?



  1. this writing is terribly schmaltzy.

    • Thank you for this excerpt from your newest novel.
      I Can’t wait to read it!

  2. Wow, I can’t wait for your new novel. I can feel the love in that scene. When will it come out?

    • Thanks for your comment, Shailene. Something in the Wine will be published in November.

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