Friday, May 22, 2015

Win a $30 Amazon/BN GC - The Writer's View: Heidi Loeb Hegerich


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Heidi Loeb Hegerich will be awarding $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View


I do my writing — always in daytime — on my kitchen table, since it is set in a sunlit corner of my house next to a window overlooking the broad valley known as the Truckee Meadows — home to Reno, Nevada, a high-desert burg with a river (the Truckee) running through it.

My house sits about 500 feet above the valley floor in south Reno. Like so much of northern Nevada, the Truckee Meadows is set in a “bowl”: surrounded by low mountains. That means the east-facing view from my writing chair is of the low, blue-brown Virginia Range defining the eastern side of the valley. Gazing out the window, my eyes track the expanse of the valley from fertile green agricultural acreage (much of it now dotted with housing subdivisions or business parks, rather than livestock herds). Panning north, I see the high-rise hotel-casinos beyond the river in downtown; panning south I imagine the tiny ghost town of Virginia City (still a town of inhabitants with a population of about 1,000; but not the 20,000-plus of its 1860s-70s silver-bonanza heyday as the richest city in the world), nestled in the Virginia Range beyond my eye’s reach.

On a clear, cloudless day, the greens, browns and blues of Reno paint “The Biggest Little City in the Word” in happy hues. Jet planes rising or descending from Reno-Tahoe International Airport swim in the powder-blue sky. On gray or overcast days, the mood cast in my kitchen is understandably introspective and even somber. The blanket of clouds hangs low and close to the roofs of the red-tiled houses below mine. My writing area can feel like a tiny ship on a great gray sea.

In any weather, the creative juices flow for me at my kitchen table. In my gated community set in the foothills of the Carson Range rising above the west side of the valley, a hush pervades — pierced only by the chirping or hooting of native birds such as mourning doves or quail, or disrupted by buffeting wind that only howls or whistles when the “Washoe Zephyrs” — powerful gusts — kick in, usually only in late autumn or winter. Sometimes, a writer craves utter quiescence in which to compose. Other times, a writer savors the serenade of birds, or the storm of wind and rain, or even the sonorous, river-like rush of distant traffic. In my kitchen nook, I must do without the noise of traffic; but the strains of nature always are music to my ears.

LOVE TARGET, my first book, is a novel set in the 1960s and ’70s, and none of it save for a couple short episodes takes place in Reno. But as for a physical location of a writing space, all a writer needs is a clean, well-lit place unmolested by intruders or sound pollution. Then the mind is undisturbed to voyage back in time into the memory banks. And so, from my kitchen table, I have traveled to Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York City and Los Angeles. LOVE TARGET’s sequel is set to a great degree in Reno or its sister city, Sparks. But — as with the first book — the story comes from memory banks as well as the sections of the brain that create scenes straight out from imagination.

When I need inspiration, I stare out the window . . . and allow my mind to wander until my memories are stirred and my imagination flies freely. The city and valley below are important not for being Reno and the Truckee Meadows — but for the mesmerizing patchwork of the painting they constitute, and the symphony of their sounds.

Teenager Ingrid Liebschreiber is devastated when her parents move the family from their native Munich to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. Homesick, she accepts a neighbor's offer to get her a job as a showgirl in Las Vegas.

Intent on earning enough money to return to Germany, she must grow up quickly in the neon jungle - where she is pursued by high rollers and headliners, including a vacationing Elvis.

Life's twists and turns land Ingrid in New York in the Swinging 1960s - where she is romanced by Armand: a strong, quiet, handsome businessman in "construction." Most girls dream of Mr. Right, and Ingrid's hard-won independence is challenged when she falls in love.

Will she find true romance - a man who can love her as much as she loves him? Or is "happily ever after" just a crazy fairytale?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Rascal, you sit yourself right down there.” Elvis motioned at the bed.

He picked up a shiny guitar. It was honey yellow, and the face had a rust-red design below the sound hole, decorated with golden orbs and stems like dandelions.

“Oh, it is beautiful, Elvis!”

He held it up proudly. “This is my Gibson. Ain’t she sweet?”

He sat on a chair cradling the expensive guitar. He delicately plucked the top string with his thumb and gently strummed the other strings with his fingers.

Soft strains filled the room.

“This little number is from my first movie.”

As he began singing, I recognized the melody.

“Love me tender . . .”

Elvis gazed at me as he serenaded, his eyes big, brilliantly blue, dreamy. His song sang straight into my heart. I tingled like I’d been caught in a breeze. Could he see my skin quivering? He could definitely see my cheeks reddening.

Elvis finished with a slow downward strum, thumbing each string individually, a sweet arpeggio. He let the last note ring and fade away.

He looked up and smiled.

“Don’t I sound like Bing Crosby?”

He didn’t wait for an answer. He leaned the guitar against the dresser and in the next instant was on the bed, an arm slung around my shoulder. His other hand grasped and turned my chin.

Elvis’ mouth was warm and gentle. Our tongues met. Just as quickly, his retreated.

Our mouths puckered again. Elvis’ lips worked softly against mine. They moved away and began pecking my face with slow, small kisses. My lower lip burned. Elvis had sunk his teeth in with a hard nip.

He released it just as quickly and turned away with a bashful look. It was like he was a nervous teenager. Was this all an act? Or was he just a giant flirt?

About the Author:
Heidi Loeb Hegerich has lived in places as varied as Munich, Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Squaw Valley and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits.

A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

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Read Robin Leach's book review in the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.

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5 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita said...

I enjoyed reading The Writers View. I was in Reno a couple of weeks ago. I love Virginia City and have been there many times.

patrick siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

amy bowens said...

Such a cute cover

Betty Woodrum said...

Terrific post~I especially enjoyed reading The Writer's View~it sounds lovely! Thank you for sharing!