Road Trippin’ with Tyndale and Carla Laureano: Stop #1

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!

Some 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.)
  • 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.
  • The grand prize giveaway will begin with the word collected at this stop.
  • 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 happy to host Carla Laureano on my blog today as part of the Crazy4Fiction/Tyndale Scavenger Hunt. When Karen Watson, Tyndale’s fiction publisher, sent me a copy of Carla’s novel The Saturday Night Supper Club, I dove right in and thoroughly enjoyed the great pacing, characters, and story line. I told Karen to let Carla know she had another fan. Carla’s next book—Brunch at Bittersweet Café—will be out next spring. (Isn’t that a great title?) Welcome, Carla!

Finding Your Inner Foodie in the Mile High City

Carla Laureano, The Saturday Night Supper Club

The first time I came to Denver, I was thirteen, and I only saw the inside of the old Stapleton airport on the north side of the city. I was on my way to ballet camp, in the small mountain town of Snowmass Village above the larger resort town of Aspen.

Over the years, I skirted the edges of Colorado on summer road trips with family. Tiptoed over the edge at Four Corners. Skirted the mountains into Durango. Drove the Million Dollar Highway from Ouray to Silverton. But somehow Denver was never on the agenda. It was just another boring capital city, filled with old houses and factories and, yes, some pretty cool history if you know where to look. But to a family born and raised in crowded and smoggy Southern California, the last place we wanted to go on vacation was Colorado’s capital.

Fast-forward a decade or two, when my husband and I decided to leave California for a less-stressful life in a neighboring state. This time Denver was high on our list, not for the sights, but for its booming electronics industry. As the parents of a young son—and later his little brother—we lived our life in the suburbs where an exciting trip was to the nearby reservoir and we had more interest in the quality of school districts than the food or art scene.

It’s no surprise that it took us a while—getting out of the diaper phase of parenting, to be exact—to discover just how amazing a city Denver is. With one of the most walkable downtowns in the nation, it’s easy to get from the historic edifice of Denver’s Union Station to the US Mint to one of the many theater and music venues that populate lower downtown. Once the whole concept of date night was back on the table, my husband and I set about exploring everything the city had to offer.

Setting my newest book, The Saturday Night Supper Club, in Denver was something of an excuse, then—play under the guise of work. After all, the city expresses the best of western living: world-class art, theater, and food alongside a stunning view of the mountains. Miles of bike trails and open space connect the different neighborhoods. Even during winter, the frequent sunshine and short-lived snowstorms keep the city walkable and neighborhood residents active.

Denver really comes alive in summer, however, especially for foodies. No fewer than a dozen farmers’ markets dot the city, many featuring demonstrations and tastings by local chefs. Lines stretch for blocks at Little Man Ice Cream in the hip Highlands neighborhood—often while a local band plays the outside patio. In August, Larimer Street shuts down for a night to become a huge outside dining establishment—an urban block party surrounded by the city’s best restaurants. And in September, the Denver Food and Wine Festival takes over what seems like half the city: the Grand Tasting at the Pepsi Center (where the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche play); Rise and Dine, an outdoor brunch festival at the historic Dairy Block, where pajamas are strongly encouraged; and the pricey but awe-inspiring Dinner Under the Stars, a six-course al fresco meal curated by Denver’s hottest chefs and sommeliers.

I might have started out intending a career in fiction, but judging from all the readers who now want to plan a trip to Denver and walk in the shoes of my fictional characters, I may need to consider a job in tourism! My love for my adopted city overflowed onto every page. For those of you who can’t swing a physical vacation, though, I suggest you grab your favorite snack and a copy of The Saturday Night Supper Club—and enjoy a fictional foodie tour though the Mile High City.

Here’s the Stop #1 Important Information:

  • You can purchase Carla’s Book, The Saturday Night Supper Club, here.
  • Clue to write down: Take
  • Visit Stop #2, the next stop in the scavenger hunt, on Carla Laureano’s site!

Francine Rivers Road Trip Giveaway