“I didn’t want this story to end….beautifully written. The dialogue between the main characters was so realistic and believable. Having grown up on the edge of Appalachia, I found Christopher’s struggle concerning his self worth to be very believable. 5 STARS to Ms. Blake!”
I didn’t actually have to watch this video myself in order to write about Gatlinburg since I’ve been there many times over the course of my life. In fact, my folks used to take my brother and I up there as kids for little day trips on random weekends. I actually wrote about 50% of Smoky Mountain Dreams during a week’s stay in Gatlinburg in June of 2014 and went to Puckers and a few other places to make sure I got the descriptions right in the book. (By the way, there is a lingering shot of the Puckers sign at the end of this video.)
I wouldn’t say this is the best video of Gatlinburg. For one thing there is that unfortunate red truck blocking the view of a lot of it. I much prefer the video I posted earlier this month. I think it gives a better feel for the place. But I do think this gives one an idea of the landscape and the crowds and the way the traffic flows through there (and why Christopher is always taking shortcuts). It’s a busy little place akin to, say, Daytona Beach in the mountains in terms of quality of shopping experience and type of crowds. It might even be described as trashy. I’m okay with that. 🙂
So here you go! Complete with a Dolly Parton song! 😀
When I went on up to Gatlinburg to work on Smoky Mountain Dreams last June, I took some pictures of the town and my little rented condo. Not all the pics are awesome, but they’re all being shared here. 😀
Driving toward Parkway, there was this view of the mountains through my car windshield.
Driving up the mountain to Gatlinburg.
The little condo.
Oy, this is a bad pic. But I wrote most of the book on that sofa with my feet on that ottoman.
The view out the window.
Now on to Gatlinburg itself!
The taffy stretcher and piecer.
This is a thing that exists. For real.
The chair lift over the creek before it ascends up the mountain.
Because OF COURSE.
The shady drive to my condo.
So, I think what we learned from this is that I’m a shoddy photographer. 😛 And that Gatlinburg is weird. 😀
This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the most hilarious videos I watched while looking for ways to show readers Gatlinburg in order to add to their experience of reading Smoky Mountain Dreams. Someone made a very lovely video of only the very choicest shopping centers in this tacky little town and put it up like it was a walk in Gatlinburg at night. Hahahaha! No, my sweet readers, this is a walk through one rather quaint shopping center. The rest of Gatlinburg is a hilarious, tacky, flapjack fueled mess. 😀 (That I happen to love very much.)
I lost so many hours the other day watching random stranger’s vidoes of Gatlinburg on YouTube. I don’t even know why. Heh. I mean, I am doing it to make these blog posts but I know no one is even gonna watch these videos. Still, here’s a favorite. See, we don’t get snow in this area and this is considered insane–snow on Halloween! Highlights of this video: THE ACCENT. I don’t speak like this, but these are examples of how many people in this area sound, including Gareth and others in the book. And the views. ❤ Love it.
A decent YouTube video that accurately portrays the Gatlinburg experience. Bonus! It’s clearly filmed in November or December, the same months Smoky Mountain Dreams is set, so you can see what the characters experienced. I don’t know that you need to watch it second by second, but if you skip through it then you’ll see a lot.
“Leta Blake continues to be an author who both surprises and delights, and is not afraid to take risks in her storytelling. This book tackles controversial topics with ease, and this is what makes it stand out from others in the genre. Quite frankly, Smoky Mountain Dreams is a must-read for romance fans everywhere.”
“Brilliant! The love I have for this story is gigantic. Right from the start I was pulled in. Christopher broke my heart. Tore it to shreds, then dipped it into lemon juice. Then he met broken Jesse. They pulled through all the darkness because they had each other. They experienced loss and they are true fighters. I loved how Leta Blake took all these avenues and placed them perfectly so when they met it was a smooth road in the end. There are always battles, whether it be not only falling in love with someone but falling in love with their kids, or realizing the road to forever is paved in shards of glass only true love can heal. I am just amazed by this book.”