Welcome to Tyndale Fiction’s Road Trip Scavenger Hunt! We’re so happy you are here. To participate, collect the key words through all 13 stops in order, so you can enter to win our Grand Prize Giveaway
A few details:
- The adventure begins on Wednesday, August 1. You’ll have two weeks to make your way through all the stops (giveaways will close on Tuesday, August 14).
- While you do not have to start at Stop #1, keep in mind that the grand prize giveaway phrase will begin with the word you collect at that first stop.
- To complete your submission for the grand prize giveaway, be sure to collect the key word within each author’s blog post, submitting the final, completed phrase in the form hosted on this page
- Also, be sure to enter the giveaways these authors are hosting on their blogs!
Enjoy the journey—we hope you’ll discover new books along the way as you hear from Tyndale Fiction authors about road trips, the settings of their novels, and more!
Happy road tripping!
I’m so excited to welcome Amy Sorrells to my blog today. In her new novel, Before I Saw You, Amy introduces us to Jaycee, a pregnant mother surrounded by opioid addiction, and the tough choices she must make for herself and her baby’s future. This is a very timely story about the opioid crisis and the people who are caught up in that tragedy. But it’s it also dives deeper into the complexities of what we ask and assume about someone who gives a child up for adoption. To quote the book’s starred Publishers Weekly review: “Readers will appreciate the uneasy marriage of tough reality and life-giving grace, and lose themselves in Sorrells’s understated but lyrical prose.”
Please welcome Amy!
Forty minutes after we started, the traffic finally thinned. Hard, tall lines of the city receded into vast stretches of bright green corn and soybean fields, and my oldest son and I were on our way. With each passing mile, I felt the weight of my busy city life slough off to the near-rhythmic ebb and flow of small towns and farmland, small towns and farmland, along the two-lane ribbon of highway.
Our road trip consisted of approximately 102 small-town, farm-laden miles as we traveled from our hometown of Indianapolis—in the center of Indiana—to the southeast-border town of Madison, Indiana, and a pristine, 1,416-acre state park called Clifty Falls. This area is the setting of my novel, Before I Saw You, and I’d studied it extensively via the internet. But other than driving through it with my family a couple of years earlier, I’d never actually spent time there, and I was thrilled to be able to take a day to go and soak it all in.
When my son and I reached Clifty Falls State Park, the first thing I noticed was the pristine beauty of the place. The grandeur is hardly reflected in the photos. The forest was so dense that the calls of cardinals, mourning doves, and woodpeckers echoed off the trees, lending an almost eerie sense to the place, even at midday. Few folks realize such unique topography exists in Indiana, which is arguably mostly flat to those just passing through. But nestled along the Ohio River, Clifty Falls is unique because the glaciers of the Ice Age stopped just shy of the area, leaving intact the breathtaking valleys and mountainous layers of limestone and sandstone chiseled into countless craggy cliffs and vistas. We saw some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state, reaching heights of over eighty feet.
The most intriguing part of our hike was through the cave-like tunnel called Brough’s Folly. Over 600 feet long, the tunnel was a failed attempt at creating a railroad passage through the area in the 1850s. While the passage failed, the tunnel remains, and my son and I were lucky enough to get up close and personal with a little brown bat clinging to the ceiling. The cave is home to so many bats that visitors are prohibited from November through April to protect the creatures from diseases threatening their species.
For those who don’t enjoy brown bats and rugged hikes, Clifty Falls is right next to the beautiful town of Madison, Indiana, the inspiration for my novel’s fictional town of Riverton. The quaint boutiques, antiques shops, and restaurants that line Main Street are simply precious and offer enough to keep any shopper busy. Parks and sidewalks line the riverside and tugboats nudging barges along are a common and thrilling sight. Madison is also home to Hanover College, the inspiration behind my fictional Riverton College. White-trimmed brick buildings make up the campus of the quintessential, traditional, historical college campus, alma mater to high-profile alumni such as Woody Harrelson and Vice-President Mike Pence. From the spot on campus known as “The Point,” visitors can view three bends in the Ohio River, the only place where that is possible.
But my heart felt most at ease while immersed in the forest and along the creekside trails of Clifty Falls. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I adored the transcendentalists in my college literature classes, since I, too, find a peace and contentment when the world is reduced to the greatness of creation. I really do go to the woods, as Thoreau wrote, because I wish to live deliberately, “to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
More than that, immersing myself in God’s creation helps me realize all over again how all of nature testifies to the intricate, endless imagination and brilliance of our Creator. No wonder Jesus said in Luke 19:40 that if people keep silent about His glory, the rocks will cry out with praise! No wonder heading to the woods has a way of bringing peace to a weary soul.
If you ever visit southern Indiana, be sure to bring a copy of Before I Saw You along for the ride. You’ll notice many nods and references to the sights and sounds of this area within its pages.
And you can visit MY post on Melanie’s blog to hear about my fun road trip experience. 🙂
I’m also having a super fun giveaway!
I’m giving away both Just Look Up and Just Let Go (both novels in my Harbor Pointe series) as well as a cute book lover’s art print!
To enter, just leave me a comment on this post to let me know you’re here!! That’s it!! And thanks for road trippin’ with us today!! 🙂