Winter Blogfest: Why I Like Winter by Andrea Downing

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of LOVELAND (US only)–(ebook available for other countries for an international winner).

WHY I LIKE WINTER

I’m a winter person. I like the purity of white snow, the silence it brings, the muffled quiet of a winter night. I like the blast of cold air as I open a door, the brisk chill that hits my face, and the sense that everything has been refreshed.

I was born in April and by rights should love spring—the season of renewal, flowers bursting into bud, birds and animals returning to bring new life into the world. But no—for me, it’s winter.

snowy day
One of my earliest memories is of playing in my parents’ backyard in the snow, thickly encased in one of those padded children’s snowsuits, head wrapped in a warm woolen cap, watching the lights go on in nearby houses, peeking in at my mother through the kitchen windows and waiting for the blue twilight to descend into late afternoon winter darkness. The snow sparkled like crushed stars and crunched underfoot. And then there was my mother’s call to come in, the removal of now-dripping boots, the lengthy unraveling of outer clothes, and the warmth of the kitchen.

Sometimes I wonder if my intense love for the northwest, for Wyoming in particular, doesn’t center on the fact that the mountains there are snow capped about eight months a year. I love the way the snow picks out the crags and crannies of the Tetons, the way it reflects in calm waters, and gives a sense of mystery. Something is hidden by fresh snow; it blankets the scars and lacerations of the year coming to an end.

But even in the city, where I live most of the year, snow is welcome. It’s not easy to walk on, makes driving treacherous, and ends up in grey piles showing its dirty side and blocking paths. Yet, for a while, it underlines the designs on railings and indicates where others have walked. It makes patterns on rooftops and hushes the clamor of a place where millions live. Back in the country, nothing is lovelier than seeing the tiny claw prints of birds in fresh snow and the hoof prints of deer, trees laden with a burden of white and icicles hanging like Christmas decorations from rooftops or tree branches.

And finally, winter heralds a season of merrymaking and parties, holidays and fun. I hope you all enjoy this festive season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

loveland_w6692_300 copyWhen Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society –and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life…

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?

About the Author: Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born, instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK. She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit. Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC. She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 25 ranches throughout the west. Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. It has just been re-released by Amazon Encore. Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards. Dearest Darling, a novella, part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, came out Oct. 8th 2014 and won Favorite Hero as well as several honorable mentions in the Maple Leaf Awards. It has also won the Golden Quill Award for Best Novella. Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, came out Feb. 2015.

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Buy the book at The Wild Rose Publishing”

Comments

  1. Happy Holidays to Everyone, and thanks to LASR for having me here today.

  2. I like your reasons for liking winter. Sounds nice but right now I’m freezing so I’ll stick to being a summer person. lol

  3. I love winter as long as I can stay inside and not have to drive, especially on the highways! Today is a beautiful winter day, bright and sunny, the snow crisp and white, but very cold. But as pretty as it is, I think I’ll call myself a summer person!

  4. Ha, Andrea. I am the same way! I love cold weather, snow, rain… I was born July 1, but I dislike summer a great deal. 🙂 Enjoyed your blog post!

  5. I like winter as long as the roads are clear when I have to drive, but I love spring when everything starts to bloom again. Enjoyed your blog.

    • I admit driving and walking on icey streets are a pain. Going down the steps from my house if they haven’t yet been cleared is particularly treacherous, but YakTrax help a lot (no advert intended!;-))

  6. Love winter, miss the snow, don’t have a lot of snow where I live now

    • Well, here in NYC at the moment it’s been unseasonably warm. We had the warmest Xmas on record at 73 degrees!! I really cannot wait for snow now and am jealous of all the photos my western friends are posting.

  7. I’m an April baby also, and must admit spring revs me up. But I also like the quiet stillness of winter. Thanks for the descriptive post!

    • Spring certainly revs up my hair–with all the rain and increased humidity I become a curlytop. But, yes, flowers bursting into bloom and leaves appearing are entrancing, though I often find I’m counting the days until winter once more.

  8. Because I’m a beach person, I have to say I love spring and summer. I was also born in a warm climate, so maybe that has something to do with it. When I was younger, I loved autumn because of the colors of the leaves.

    • Well, believe it or not Hebby, I was born and lived my early life just 3 blocks from the Atlantic. That does mean, however, that I’ve seen what it can do, so no love affair there. Roll on winter!

  9. Hi Andrea, Excellent post! I have fond memories of growing up in Northern Ontario. While winter temperatures often plummeted well below zero, I did love the cold, crisp air. And I miss the cross-country skiing. Not enough snow in Southern Ontario. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for 2016.

    • I can’t imagine you don’t get enough snow in southern Ontario–after all, it’s still Canada! Jackson, WY, gets an average of 450 inches per year and that’s south of you, so…isn’t that “enough”?

  10. Kathy Heare Watts says:

    I enjoyed your thoughts on winter and there was a time as a kid I enjoyed being in the snow. But now as an adult, I don’t like getting out in the snow, I definitely will not drive in it and I prefer to stay in my warm house. If we have snow, I won’t risk going outside because I have osteoporosis and can’t take a chance of falling. But the air does have a brisk and clean feel with the cold. Smelling a wood fire, watching the birds in the snow. I’m just not a fan of the cold.

    • I admit that as I get older, winter gets a bit more scary. I, too, am afraid of falling as it was complications resulting from a fall that resulted in my mother’s passing. And I’ve been in enough slides and skids to make winter driving pretty much a no-no. But it doesn’t seem to stop me from loving the season anyway.

  11. This books sounds like a very good story to read.

  12. Linda Romer says:

    Loveland sounds great ♡ I would love to read this book. Thank you

  13. kim amundsen says:

    I like winter because of snow I love snow!

  14. What lovely memories! No wonder you love winter. May this remaining winter and all of 2016 bring you joy as well.

  15. martha lawson says:

    I don’t care for winter! The winter is too crazy here in the South.

    • I wonder where in the south you are? Texas is considered the south in part and they’re certainly getting crazy weather at the moment. But wherever you are, I’m sorry you don’t experience a proper winter season!

  16. fun memories

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  17. Andrea I’m with you. I love winter, the snow, ice crystals sparkling in the frosty air. So beautiful. Quiet. Great post. Added your book Loveland to m read list. Happy New Year to you.

    • Tena, I only wish we were getting some of what you describe here in NYC now. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter so far and I’m very jealous of everyone further out west. Hope you’ll enjoy LOVELAND.

  18. After 30+ years in the northeast, I moved to the south when I married. I thought I didn’t like snow or cold weather, but now I find I miss it.

  19. I’m with you, Andrea, I love the snow. Every year I wish for a white Christmas, even though we have to travel half an hour by car to get to my horses to feed them and give them their Christmas treats. Usually though it doesn’t snow until about February in this country, and the reality of Christmas in the UK is often grey and wet. I’ll settle for a dry frosty day though, there is something almost as magical as snow in the golden sunshine filtering through the frosty air.

    • Well, Lyn, as you know I lived in Wales–albeit by the coast. The closest I remember getting to a good snow storm was a wind storm that brought the spume in off the sea making it look like snow–could even see the tire tracks through it. Though those Cambrian Mountains were certainly picturesque when they had some flurries on them.

  20. Thanks to everyone who left a comment and participated in the Winter Blogfest. The winner of a signed copy of LOVELAND is Kathy Heare Watts.

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