Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Author, author... Wildwood Spring by Allison Merritt

Please welcome a guest post from Allison Merritt!!

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Top 5 Favorite Things About Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs is where the book is set and it's one of my favorite places to visit, so I thought anyone who hasn't had the opportunity might like to learn a little about what makes it such a unique and interesting place.


1. The 1886 Crescent Hotel is known as America's most haunted hotel. It sure feel spooky when you step inside and see the Victorian inspired design. Once used as a cancer hospital, Norman Baker actually performed horrible experiments on his unsuspecting subjects. For all the sadness the building holds, it was also later used as girl's college. The grounds are beautiful and relaxing.


2. The Victorian houses scattered along the historic loop are the largest collection of such homes in America. They do a parade of homes at Christmas, showcasing several grand Victorians. You can feel the history as you winding along the streets, looking at some of the fantastic artwork local artists do as well.

3. The trolleys! In the 19th and early 20th centuries, they had actual trolleys with tracks embedded in the streets. Today they're more bus-like, but they run downtown and along the highway, taking tourists from hotels to shops. It's a great way to get around and see the town.

4. Visiting the area's natural springs is a great way to see the town as well. There are roughly 121 springs and seeps in the area, and 19 are maintained by the Parks and Recreation Commission. They're usually lovely little sights will pull-offs so you can park and picnic. Basin Spring is one of the largest park sites and I added a scene in Wildwood Spring where the characters visit. It's worth checking out because they often have entertaining street performers in the spring and summer.

5. Blue Springs is a botanical garden and historic site where Native Americans considered sacred as they passed through the area on their way to Indian Territory in the 1830s. There are around 33 acres to walk, but the trail to see the flowers and gardens only takes about ¾ of an hour to walk.


 If you ever have the chance to visit Eureka, jump on it! There are a ton of other things to do there including visiting Beaver Lake, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Thorncrown Chapel, riding the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway, exploring the shops downtown, and seeing Christ of the Ozarks.

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Wildwood Spring
Allison Merritt

When they face their fears, they'll find the path to love.


No one goes to Wildwood Manor—a hulking stone house on a hill outside town. Legend has it crazy old man Wildwood owes his life to the magical water of the spring at the back of the property. Celia Landry needs that water to save her mother, and she'll brave anything to get it.


Turner Wildwood, the son of the house's eccentric builder, is growing as reclusive as his father. When Celia turns up at his door, he's drawn by her beauty and bravery. Wary of strangers, he doesn't reveal his identity, but agrees to her request. When she returns to Wildwood in wake of personal tragedy, he's waiting there with a stunning change in his heart. He knows he should tell her the truth, but he doesn't want to ruin their budding friendship.


Celia's curiosity leads her to part of the frightening answers hidden behind Wildwood's doors, but her own troubled past may lead Turner into danger neither of them suspected.

Buy link:     Breathless Press -


"Would you like to dance?" Mischief sparkled in his blue eyes. "This is one of my favorite songs. Despite my almost solitary upbringing, dance was part of my education."


She felt heat scorch her cheeks. "Not part of mine, I'm afraid."


"I'll teach you." He faced her, putting one hand on her waist and taking her hand in his. "Do the opposite of what I do. I'll count."


He counted in fours, moving in time with the music. Celia stumbled, but after a few moments, she caught on. Turner led her around the room as they spun in circles. She laughed, forgetting her worries. It wasn't a ball and they were both in their nightclothes, but it was as elegant a dance as she could hope for.


Turner grinned as he pulled her a little closer. Their bodies came together, fitting perfectly. He dropped her hand, wrapping both arms around her waist. They stopped moving, standing in the shadow of the mastodon. Dark blond hair fell over his forehead, but it didn't hide the desire on his face.




"Yes, Celia."


Her name was a delicate breath of air, and he clung to her as though afraid she was a dream. She was too wide awake to believe that. Her senses seemed sharper than ever. He smelled of the lemony soap Mrs. Southard used for washing the sheets and the coffee he'd had at supper. Even in the muted firelight, she saw him clearly, his golden hair bright as sunbeams, his blue eyes the color of the sky after a storm.


She'd never been a romantic, knowing all too well she'd either be a spinster or a housewife too busy with chores and children to consider stolen kisses. She'd never imagined a man would want to show her stars, or dance with her around the skeleton of an ancient beast. These were moments she could cherish forever, think of when her world came back into focus.


It all had to end.


He lifted his hand to her face, pushing a strand of hair over her ear. "You look upset."


"I'm grateful." She forced the words out. "It's not every day I get escorted around a ballroom."


"You mean it might never happen again." He looked somber. "You'll return to the kind of life you led before we met. One where you're often hungry, alone, and overworked."


She glanced away, hating the truth of his words. "It isn't that bad."


"Somehow I don't believe you."


He wouldn't, not after the way she'd reacted to everything he'd shown her in his life. They were from different places and he could never understand how she'd lived before. She couldn't explain it without risking his pity.


"You could always stay. I'll find something for you to do in the manor. Official book reader. In the evenings you could recount all my favorites and the new ones I don't have time for."


His breath stirred the hair near her ear, tickling her skin.


"I think I prefer the title of cookie sampler. Who wouldn't want to sit in Finny's kitchen all day tasting the items he draws out of the oven." She pressed her cheek against his velvet lapel and closed her eyes. "You should have taken me back to town when you found me at the spring."


"I couldn't do that." There was the slightest hitch in his voice, as though the idea caused him pain.


"I'll be ruined for life outside of Wildwood."


"Good. Then you'll have to come back."


Author bio:

A love of reading turned Allison Merritt into an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She graduated college with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.


She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

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