Category Archives: Ramblings & Musings

Caught in the Smex Beam

I think it is fair to say that in PNR/UF novels, there are a few things that are expected and accepted:

  1. The hero will be gorgeous and well hung.
  2. The heroine will be attractive, smart, perhaps funny, but most of all likeable and relatable to the reader.
  3. The story will have elements that drag us in, besides the two pretty people it centers on, and transport us to another reality.
  4. The hero and heroine will be irrevocably caught in the Smex Beam.

“What exactly is a Smex Beam, Captain?” you ask.  Ha ha, fear not reader.  Your Captain is here to offer guidance and instruction.

The Smex Beam is the magic that exists the first time our fated lovers meet and never lets go.  They may be engaged in a fight to the death (perhaps with each other), they may be walking down the street contemplating quantum physics, they could even be falling out of a dressing room while trying on too tight jeans.  The point, young paduan, is that when it hits, the Smex Beam obliterates everything else.

Suddenly, there is no one else on the planet that holds any interest for our couple. No matter how much they may fight it, no matter the obstacles, which can include and are not limited to: zombies, vampires, werewolves, assorted fey creatures, car accidents, gun battles, psychic attack, old lovers, fear of commitment, fear of her mother, fear of his mother, paralysis, demons, magic spells gone wrong, angry gods/goddesses, being sucked into another dimension, differences in species, ancient prophecies…….

It. just.doesn’t. matter.  The Smex Beam conquers all.

When you are in its sights, there is no escape. Cupid wishes his arrows worked this well.   Star Trek’s tractor beam? Heh! Old news, old tech.  Captain Kirk wishes he could have had this on the Enterprise. (As if the guy wasn’t already busy enough with all those hot alien chicks.  Just sayin’.)

We readers love it. Every tension-filled scintillating moment, every hungry look and heat-filled glance at our hero’s amazing pack – ahem- pecs,  every time one or the other tries to escape its clutches, we come screaming back for more.  It helps drive the story and plot arc, keeps us turning pages at a break neck pace, reading until our eyes burn and our chin is resting on our chests.  We have to know, will they make it out together?  Will our couple realize their amazing gift of love and unending lust as bestowed by the Smex Beam?

But of course!  This is romance, silly!  The Smex Beam doesn’t make mistakes, and while occasionally we may think someone has managed to slip its sticky tentacles and go running down the side of a ravine, they are always dragged back, lamenting their own stupidity.

What, you want evidence?  Examples, you say, of these lusty lovers caught in the inescapable clutches of true love and exceedingly good sex?  No problem, here’s a little list of my favorites:

1) Edward and Bella, the Twilight Saga.   Sure, he’s a hundred something year old vampire who reads minds, eats mountain lions, and is condemned to high school hell for eternity.  She’s the clumsy, too perfect daughter of the town sheriff with blood that smells so delectable Edward can’t stop obsessing over how he’s NOT going to eat her.  He runs off to Italy to try to save her soul, she jumps off a cliff and hangs with his sworn enemies, a bunch of stinky dog smelling  shape shifters.  His skin may be freezing cold, but that doesn’t stop them from gettin’ down and dirty in the ocean off a little island named after Edward’s pseudo-mom.  With marriage comes a baby who doesn’t need a carriage but an iron crib and a newly transformed wife who won’t ever die and doesn’t need sleep.  What do they do with all that free time at night?  Hmm, let me think…..

2) Cat and Bones, the Night Huntress Series.  Cat’s an uber hot red head born to a mom convinced her half breed daughter is mostly evil.  Bones is a two hundred plus year old vamp that spent his human years earning his keep on top of, under, next to, well, just inside a bunch of aristocratic British bitches before he got shipped to a penal colony for putting his hands where they didn’t belong.  Add some silver knives, sexual tension you can’t cut with a Sawz-All, a smokin’ hot hero who is incredibly open with his feelings, a sexually repressed heroine you just love to root for, witty banter and action sequences so slick and tight your heart beats almost as hard as during the sex scenes, and it just can’t be denied that these two are definitely in the direct path of the S.B.

3) Clay and Elena, Women of the Otherworld.  Clay is the Enforcer of the North American Pack, Elena is his lady love, mate and wife.  These two had such a strange and rocky start to their story with Elena taking off and Clayton quietly stalking her from afar (the issues are heavy and myriad, both had difficult childhoods – actually that may underplay it, but you’ll have to read the books if you want to know) that the angst was almost unbearable.  Clay is no angel, and a reader can’t help but understand his lady love’s anger and bad attitude, but his single minded determination and focus are in the end some of his best qualities. Well, that and his unswerving devotion to tough as nails Elena.  Clay is so physically attractive as to be almost unbelievable, but he has eyes only for Elena, no slouch in the looks department herself.  Last I checked in with these two, they were living the PNR/UF dream with minimal death threats, a healthy pack and great sex life.

4) Mercy Thompson and Adam Hauptman, Mercy Thompson Series.  This series is more urban fantasy that paranormal romance, but I beg you to give it a look-see.  There is sex, yes, but it is not graphic and the romance is not the main arc of the plot, but it is so well written and paced that you’re rooting for these two from book one.  Mercy is a shape shifting coyote, Adam is the super powerful and incredibly sexy alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack.  These two engage is some really funny contests of wills that involve, among other things, a cat named Medea, a broken down Volkswagen Rabbit, and pancakes.  Mercy tries to consciously run from Adam while her subconscious is just pulling her in closer all the time courtesy of the Smex Beam.  She may be dodging rogue spells cast by angry Fey, trying not be a vampire snack and confused (at first) by her feelings for her first love Sam, but she is inevitably and quite happily conquered by the unstoppable force of the Beam and the drowning chocolate brown of a certain alpha werewolf’s eyes. (The bod attached to those eyes is certainly a bonus….)

5) The hellren and shellans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  A series that is running strong nine (or is it ten?) books in, a girl can’t stop rooting for these couples.  The danger, the sex, the passion of a mated male, the sex, the unswerving devotion in the face of danger, the sex, the shit kicker boots and leather, the sex……

These guys and gals overcome bodily injury and constant peril to be together.  They battle their sworn enemies the lessers, train endlessly, fight personal demons, and fight obstacles that seem insurmountable to be together.  What other explanation could there be than the Smex Beam?  Who would go through the nonsense that the universe throws at these people for nothing but a good lay?  No, there is more at work here to cause the levels of love, devotion, respect, and downright horniness these people feel for each other.

“But Captain”, you ask, “just where did the Smex Beam come from? Who, in all their infinite wisdom and intelligence invented the Smex Beam?”

That, dear reader is a topic for another post.  I will however, give you her initials.

G.O.E.

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Shame On You!

Are you ashamed of what you read?

One day in a bookstore, I overheard a man berating his wife for browsing through the Paranormal Romances. She apologized and promised not to read such “filth”, and of course she knew vampires weren’t real. I started to wonder how many readers of Paranormal Romance novels faced the same sort of criticism from family and friends.

By paying closer attention to what people said when discussing books, I learned that many regard PNR as either “Fluff” or “Trash”. Fluff apparently refers to books that show only idealized events and characters. The unbelievably romantic vampire with the tortured soul who hates what he is but suddenly his existence is given meaning when he meets the innocent and perfect heroine. The Trash label seems to be assigned to the grittier PNRs with their truly evil villains, heroes that don’t mind getting a little blood on their hands, and heroines who are perfectly capable of, and willing to, kick ass – and the hero and heroine enjoy an active and inventive sex life.

I found few people willing to admit to reading PNR, and those who did sort of laughed it off, giving the impression they were either embarrassed about it, or didn’t read it seriously. The covers often seem to cause discomfort in readers, too, even though many are gorgeous. But people have a certain expectation from a book with a man’s beautifully sculpted pecs and washboard abs enhanced by a mysterious tattoo – good literature isn’t it.

Almost all Romance, including all the sub-genres, takes more than its fair share of belittlement. But Paranormal seems to receive an extra helping of negativity. I’ve talked with many readers who hide what they read – a cover to conceal the cover, an e-reader, reading only when there’s no chance of anyone seeing what their book is, and on and on. Many authors, myself included, use pen names – you wouldn’t want your teen-age son taking flak from everyone at school because his mother writes about vampires having sex either.

It took me a long time to get past being ashamed of some of my choices in reading material. I only recently admitted to extended family and friends what I write. I don’t care what strangers think, and if my friends and family can’t accept the work I love doing, then they might not care for me as much as I thought.

The truth is, I have nothing to be ashamed of – at least in relation to my reading and writing.<G> And neither do you.

Of course we know vampires and werewolves, and those other creatures aren’t real. Neither are space aliens or elves or zombies, and on and on. They’re fiction, meant to entertain, no matter the genre. Good Paranormal Romance is as well written as any other genre. Good writing is good writing, no matter the subject matter. As for the accusation of having no plot, much to the contrary, Paranormal Romance plots are often intricate, full of twists and turns, and many are more complex than those from any other genre. That’s what happens when you combine two or more genres into one book, and do it well.

Those sex scenes – nothing to be ashamed of. Mainstream fiction, literary, and other genres have sex scenes as well. Granted, not as many, or as well written, but they’re there. And maybe that’s the problem. Romance writers in general have made an art and a science of writing sex scenes, but the sex in Paranormal Romance is often… more. The very nature of our paranormal beings turns ordinary sex into something exceptional. Perhaps the detractors are jealous, either of the ability to have that incredible sex all the time, or of the ability to write it in such a way that the reader almost experiences it.

Because I have immediate family members who could be negatively impacted by the public perception of the genre I choose to write, I will continue to use my pen name. I wouldn’t want them to be hurt by the comments of those who consider Paranormal Romance to be porn with vampires. But hell will freeze over before I hide what I read again.

Do other peoples’ opinions about your choice of reading material cause you discomfort or shame? What do you do about it? Is there a way for you to “take back your books”, even in a small way?


GT Preview: New GraveTells writers and Q&A with author Lisa Kessler

This week will be a ground-breaking week for GraveTells, so hang on to your hats, because we’re debuting two new GT team members and have a Q&A with Night Walker author Lisa Kessler!

New team members, you say?  Why does GT need a “team”?  I’ve been developing a new, dedicated site for GraveTells, with a community forum for PNR/UF fans.  It’s nearly finished and I hope to launch it in September!  With all that yummy new content, wouldn’t it be great if you had more than just me to listen to?  *grin*  You’re in for a definite treat with this week’s debut posts by Kenra Daniels and The Captain.  Both are Paranormal Romance authors with appealing style, modern and edgy.  Kenra brings compelling perspective and thought-provoking dissertation, while The Captain treats us to her provocative signature blend of wit and irreverence.  Here’s a sneak peek of this week’s treats!

From Kenra’s Shame On You!, scheduled for tomorrow’s feed…

Are you ashamed of what you read?

One day in a bookstore, I overheard a man berating his wife for browsing through the Paranormal Romances. She apologized and promised not to read such “filth”, and of course she knew vampires weren’t real. I started to wonder how many readers of Paranormal Romance novels faced the same sort of criticism from family and friends.

From The Captain’s Caught in the Smex Beam, scheduled for Wednesday’s feed…

I think it is fair to say that in PNR/UF novels, there are a few things that are expected and accepted:

  1. The hero will be gorgeous and well hung.
  2. The heroine will be attractive, smart, perhaps funny, but most of all likeable and relatable to the reader.
  3. The story will have elements that drag us in, besides the two pretty people it centers on, and transport us to another reality.
  4. The hero and heroine will be irrevocably caught in the Smex Beam.

“What exactly is a Smex Beam, Captain?” you ask.  Ha ha, fear not reader.  Your Captain is here to offer guidance and instruction.

Finally, to end the week in grand style, Night Walker author Lisa Kessler has graciously agreed to get up close and personal with GT, answering some of our burning questions about her new book and series.  Ms. Kessler’s interview is a GraveTells first and we’re proud to be able to post a Q&A with such a great new up-and-coming PNR author!  Here’s a sneak peek…

GT: Where did you get your inspiration for creating the Night series?
LK: It all started with wanting to write a novel with immortals, but set it on the west coast. Since the Mission de Alcala is the oldest building in San Diego, it seemed like the perfect place to start.  While researching, I discovered the peaceful Kumeyaay tribes actually attacked the Mission in the 1700’s, burned it to the ground and beat the head priest so badly he could only be identified by the rings on his hand.  All we have are theories as to what could have provoked such a vicious attack from a peaceful group. I made up my own theory that a young native girl was murdered. Once I had that worked out, I knew she had to be reincarnated in order for me to tell the story in contemporary times.
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GT: When you find yourself in a plot hole or with writers block, how do you work out of it?
LK: I’ve never had writer’s block, and plot holes aren’t usually an issue.  However when I get to the middle of the book and the pacing starts to feel a little slow it’s usually time to “up the body count”.  Nothing like a dead character to bring up the tension! 🙂

A huge thanks to Kenra Daniels & The Captain for lending their time and pen to GT, and to Lisa Kessler for sharing her thoughts and time in the middle of her very busy post-release schedule!

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Fangtastic Friday: Twilight-inspired artwork & comic by Mangled Stare

This month, Austin comic artist Will Rodriguez celebrates the 10-year anniversary of his quirky web comic Mangled Stare, a dedicated accomplishment in today’s fickle entertainment market.  The Mighty Mangler may be the brain and brush behind MS, but he’s quick to give credit to his family for the handy supply of situational humor and for the occasional coloring assistance of his junior-graphic-artists-in-training.  When asked about awards and honors earned by Mangled Stare, Will said…

Aside from the praise and admiration of my family, no other awards really carry the same priority or worth. ^_^ (Though, I don’t mind mentioning that I have held the Chipotle Chowdown Champion title at each convention I’ve attended in the last 6 years.)

Aww.  And, congratulations… I think?  *wink*  Earlier this month, MS published a comic that Twilight fans everywhere, especially the significant others of TwiFans, will appreciate…

Psst – click to make it bigger and open in a new window!

Q&A with the Mighty Mangler!

From the comic, it’s clear that your honey is staunchly Team Jacob.  How do you feel about all the Twilight hype?

You’d never know if not for  her “Team Jacob” tshirt, keychain, posters, or bumper stickers, huh? Yes, my wife is extremely Team Jacob. I think Stephanie Meyers took a genre and turned it on its ear. She spun a story that built a very strong and dedicated fan-base and I applaud her for that.

So you visited Forks on your Spring Break… how exactly did she talk you into that? (hopeful TwiFans everywhere are holding their breath…)

She smiled and asked me in her sweetest girlie voice. >_< We were planning a road-trip and since I’d never seen the Pacific Ocean, I agreed that a drive to the west coast would be fun for the whole family. Besides, my wife supports my artistic endeavors and other geeky obsessions so it’s only fair that I support hers.

Did you enjoy the trip?  What did you like best about it?

Well, we all had a fantastic time. The drive from Texas to Washington is a beautiful one. Utah was just breath-taking and the Quileute Reservation was humbling to visit. The best part of the trip, though, was when we surprised my wife by telling her that we were staying in the “Jacob Cabin” right on the treaty line, from the books. The entire cabin was Twilight-themed and each of the rooms was named after a member of the Black clan. We had the entire cabin to ourselves and made use of that fact with all of our children.

Do you have any advice for fellow TwiFan significant others?

Unless you have a significant other who enjoys a battle, fake it! Even if you think vampires should be fanged, stone-cold murderers, pretend to like it or, if nothing else, don’t bad-mouth a Twihard or their stories. Play your cards right and you’ll reap all the benefits of his or her Twilight addiction. ^_-

Can we look forward to any other Twilight-inspired comics in the near future?  (Breaking Dawn is coming!  *nudge nudge*)

My wife is counting down the minutes until the first part of Breaking Dawn releases! If she has any say in the matter (and she nearly always does), I can guarantee plenty more Twilight humor from Mangled Stare.

How did you get started in comics and what have you done to keep yourself motivated all these years?

When my wife told me she was pregnant with our first child, I knew that my childhood dream of becoming a cartoonist had no better springboard than the milestone of parenthood. I wanted to be able to leave a legacy for my children and show them that any of their dreams were achievable. Their praise and the continued support of my wife and readers, in addition to my love of cartooning and making folks laugh, make motivation easy. Ten years-easy, as a matter of fact!

Do you have any goals or plans (besides world domination, of course) for Mangled Stare that you’re excited about?

World domination comes with WAY too much responsibility! Keeping my three kiddos in line is enough for me, thanks. I am working on a graphic novel with a great friend of mine which will serve as a sort of precursor to Mangled Stare. I’m also working on some other stories I’ve been dying to tell since high school through animated cartoons as well as future graphic novels.

What advice would you give to young artists just starting out in the industry?

Be true to your craft. Never “settle” or compromise your passions for creativity in the attempt to “succeed.” Hone your craft and never stop learning. Art is organic and dynamic, so you should never stagnate your style. Draw something every day; anything! Just keep drawing. Accept constructive critisism and avoid being defensive; art is subjective.

And finally (no, you can’t skip this one!), declare your Twilight “Team”!

Well, if I have to choose, I guess I’m team Alice, though I’ve always had an affinity for werewolves over vampires, just because shapeshifting is cooler than drinking blood…

Pfft, blasphemy (from the GT Team Edward corner)!  Thanks to Will Rodriguez from Mangled Stare for allowing GT to pepper him with Twilight fangirl-type questions and feature his work.  =)  Best of luck and we hope to see many future Twilight-inspired MS comic strips!

Related links:

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QwoW, August 2011: “How are you today?”

This month’s Quileute Word of the Month on Wednesday is…

Quileute Word of the Month on Wednesdays

To get the Quileute Word on Wednesdays mailed directly to your inbox, subscribe here.  For more information on the Twilight Tours in Forks tour company, check out their website.  To see my GraveTells writeup about my Twilight Tours experience, go here!

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QwoW: Quileute Word of the Month on Wednesdays starts next week!

Twilight fans everywhere should recognize this documentary-friendly tour company logo from a little town called Forks.  One of my favorite parts of the Twilight in Forks tour was the Quileute language lessons, led by Travis while the bus travelled around La Push.  Travis is making an effort to learn the Quileute language and customs, and publishes one Quileute word each Wednesday through the Twilight Tours in Forks newsletter.  There are multiple types of subscriptions you can choose from (Quileute Words only, Newsletter only, Words + Newsletter, etc), and Twilight Tours donates 1/4 of their profits from each subscription to the Quileute Nation.

During my tour, I asked Travis if he minded if I shared one of the Words each month with my blog readers, and he replied that the purpose of the Words publication was to spread knowledge and understanding of the Quileute Nation and language, so it would be selfish not to take the chance to help spread the word (literally).  So as not to take advantage of Travis and Twilight Tours’ generosity, I’m only publishing one Word each month, on the first Wednesday.  If you want to get a weekly Word, subscribe here directly with Twilight Tours in Forks!  The first GraveTells Quileute Word of the Month on Wednesdays starts next week, so look for it in your reader!

For more information on the Twilight Tours in Forks tour company, check out their website.  To see my GraveTells writeup about my Twilight Tours experience, go here!

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Forks Week: Feed your soul at the Misty Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast

As The Twilight Saga: Eclipse dominated the MTV Movie Awards, demolishing competitors with its mega-fan power, I was relaxing at my local Forks, WA B&B, recovering from a two week vacation binge that culminated in the sleepy little town where it all started.  Relaxing in the quaint and homey Misty Valley Inn’s media room, I felt fortunate to be able to watch Eclipse win the award for Best Movie and to see the world premiere of the new Breaking Dawn trailer while actually in Forks.  As you can imagine, that was a pretty surreal experience.  By now, the MTV Movie Awards are old news, but I will always treasure the time I spent at the Misty Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast.

   

The Rooms

The Misty Valley Inn offers a selection of 4 rooms, each with its own private bath and at least a queen-sized bed: The Dutch Room, The Irish Room, The French Room, and the English Room.  All of the rooms are immaculately kept and are beautifully decorated for your arrival, including an elegant spread of faux rose petals and glass rocks on the bed, and a covered presentation dish offering 2 petite bon bons to snack on.
(Click on any picture to open it full-size in a new window)
We stayed in the Dutch Room, the only one that offers a rear-view of the yard (wiith a semi-private porch, allowing direct access to the outdoor breakfast area) and a king-sized bed.  This room will cost you a little extra, but it is well worth it!

The Breakfast

Upon arrival, as soon as you’ve set your bags in your room, one of the inn’s genial hosts gives you the tour and then takes your wake-up call and breakfast orders.  The list of wake-up tray beverages is impressive, featuring a delicious raspberry hot chocolate and a vast selection of tea, and the breakfast offerings are even more enticing, including pastry delicacies such as soufflés and crepes.  Your wake-up tray is left at the door with a stout knock (alarm clocks are discouraged at this B&B), allowing you to enjoy your morning beverage of choice at your leisure.  Be sure to read your daily weather forecast, presented on handsome, handmade, scrapbook-worthy cards.

Then, once you’ve woken up and it’s time for breakfast, you head out to the dining area.  On nice days, as we were fortunate enough to enjoy during our stay, you can choose to sit outside on the deck facing the beautiful meadow out back or you can sit at the elegant table set in front of a large panoramic window showcasing the view from the dining room.  The inn offers a selection of desserts 24 hours a day, available on a side board in the dining room, but try not to get too distracted by the chocolate raspberry cake, key lime bars, and chocolate chip brownies, because the biggest, most scrumptious breakfast event of your life is about to take place!

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Breakfast starts with an appetizer (yes, seriously) of a spiced fruit and a pastry of some sort.  The first morning we had spiced peaches with cream and a scone with jam, and the second we enjoyed spiced pears and fall-apart triple-berry muffins, with your choice of juices, coffee, tea, water, or chocolate… all served on elegant china with stemware.  Again, make an effort to restrain yourself (because all of this is truly delicious) as your real meal hasn’t yet arrived!  For breakfast, here are the dishes they were offering during our stay…
  • Irish Waffles: Pecan or walnut waffles with whipped cream and hot orange syrup
  • Northwest Apple Soufflé: Shaved Granny Smith apples and whipped eggs with nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, served with spiced apple syrup
  • Old Fashioned French Toast: Dried French bread soaked in custard and baked until puffy, served with hot maple syrup
  • Logger Pancakes: Blueberry, Triple Berry, Oatmeal, Walnut, Pecan, or any combination, served with hot apple, orange, or maple syrup
  • Fresh Strawberry Crepe: Hand-sliced strawberries and whipped cream in an ultra-thin crepe
  • Moroccan Omelet: Thin sliced mushrooms sauteed with butter, onions, and 7 Arabic spices (that are “tasty, not hot”), placed on a very thin egg case with white cheddar cheese, and topped with béchamel sauce

So how did it taste?  Well, first let me say that it looked heavenly, and tasted divine!  The first morning, we selected the french toast and waffles and were both very pleased with our food.  The second morning, we chose the soufflé and crepe.  These portions are LARGE!  We could have shared a plate and still had food left over!  The presentation was wonderful, with the china and doilies and cloth napkins and traditional teapot, and the view was breath-taking.

To complete this amazing breakfast experience, the inn also fosters a menagerie of wildlife that is tame enough to come within several feet of guests.  The chipmunks squeek and feed while the hummingbirds zoom from feeder to feeder and the bluejays flit from railing to roof.  If you’re lucky, you might even see some elk in the meadow.

The Hospitality

The hospitality at the Misty Valley Inn is impeccable.  We came in very late (after midnight) and I felt terrible because I knew that even though a B&B is a business, it’s also someone’s home.  When I called ahead to check what time was too late for arrival, the owner was very friendly and encouraged me to continue with my plans and enjoy my time in the area.  She even recommended a few things we could do while we were waiting for our Bella Italia reservation slot.  When we arrived at nearly midnight, there was still one other couple expected that evening, and the man who greeted us (the other owner) was incredibly welcoming and unassuming.  They will help you with pretty much anything you need, whether it’s deciding where to eat or getting directions, or meeting a personal need such as a pitcher of water in your room at night… all you need to do is ask!

The Grounds

The Misty Valley Inn is located literally just off the  highway, about 2 miles outside of Forks.  Cozily hidden behind a small thatch of trees that shelter it from highway noise and visual pollution, the inn’s real charm is its backyard view.  We toured many places in the Pacific Northwest during our two week trip, but this location remains my absolute favorite (even over a Gold Crown resort we stayed at in Blaine!).  The house itself is two levels, with the top (and best views) being dedicated solely to the B&B and the bottom floor functioning as living quarters for the staff.  The deck runs the entire length of the back of the house and wraps around one side and across the front all the way to the double-doored entry.  If you read the description of the Cullen house on page 86 of The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, the description narrated by Bella of the location and appearance of the Cullen House is more appropriate to the Misty Valley Inn than to the bed and breakfast that was chosen as the “official” Cullen house in Forks.

A colorful and well-kept garden decorates the center of the back lawn and a tranquility water garden adorns the area just below the Dutch Room’s private deck, allowing visitors in that corner of the house to enjoy the peaceful sound of running water all night long.  The lawn itself spills into the adjacent meadow, which resembles a lush, mature Christmas tree farm.  I hear there are elk that play and graze in the meadow, but we never had the chance to see them.  One of my favorite features is the hot tub, located under the back deck, that looks out over the meadow.  With such long summer days, I was able to relax in the steaming water until nearly 10pm before retiring for the evening.  My sweetie was craving some puppy-love after 2 weeks away from his little guys, so he enjoyed playing with the inn’s 2 dogs, Mya and Mo.

The Bottom Line

The cost of the stay at the Misty Valley Inn may be restrictive for some travellers, but it is not overly expensive considering all the amenities and courtesies it offers.  In fact, many of the standard motels inside Forks charge nearly as much and offer much much less in return.  If I ever return to the Forks area, this is where I will stay, bar none.  Even if I stay for a week!  I honestly did not want to leave, and trust me when I say that Forks itself is not entertaining enough for me to normally consider spending a week in.  *wink*

Misty Valley Inn: (877) 374-9389

If you are planning a trip to Forks or are just looking for a relaxing, scenic getaway, GO NOW and book your room at the Misty Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast!  Having won numerous awards from BedandBreakfast.com and  ranked #1 in Forks on TripAdvisor, you can’t go wrong with a stay at this charming little home-away-from-home.  Check out their website below the awards photo above.  You can check availability and make reservations online or via phone.

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