My guest blogger today wears so many hats, I can’t count them. Besides being an author in multiple genres (Urban Fantasy, erotica, paranormal, young adult) she is a mother of three, a college professor, and an officer of my local RWA chapter. I have no idea how she gets it all done! Please welcome Tessa Adams, whose latest book SOULBOUND takes place in my home city of Austin, Texas.
In my dark new Urban Fantasy, Soulbound, I tell the story of Xandra Morgan, a witch with an unfortunate power. She sees dead people—not ghosts, but the actual bodies of people who died violently. Even worse, she has a compulsion to seek these bodies out, and to help find their killers. So when a serial killer strikes Austin, Texas (her home town and mine as well) and starts marking his kills with the symbol of Isis—the same symbol that has marked Xandra since the day she was born—her life takes a very dangerous twist, one that threatens not just her magic, but her very existence.
Though this book is dark, I found that I really enjoyed writing it. Though I’ve set a couple other books in Austin, this was the first one where I really got to explore the city and show my readers what it is I love about the place I’ve called home the last few years. I set a lot of the book at iconic sites in Austin—some of the places were body dumps but other places were simply important to my hero and heroine. So I thought I’d take the opportunity presented by this blog to take you on a walking—okay, reading—tour of my current hometown.
The Paramount Theater, a movie theater and performance venue downtown in the tradition of old Hollywood movie houses. There’s one big theater, lots of gold/gilt trim, pictures on the ceiling and red velvet seats. Link: http://www.austintheatre.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Home
Town Lake/Lady Bird Lake, which is next to/under the Congress Street bridge, a place Austin is famous for because at twilight hundreds and thousands of bats swarm out from underneath it and take to the night sky. Link: http://www.texasoutside.com/townlake.htm
The Capitol Grounds: Austin is the capital of Texas and our capitol building rotunda stands taller than any other in the country—including the one in DC. This was done purposefully, as the Texas government wanted to make sure that theirs was the most intimidating, beautiful capital in the country. http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/CVC/home/home.html
Austin Farmers Market, Downtown: This is one of my favorite places to take the kids on a Saturday morning. We pick up tea and breakfast pastries from one of the booths, then eat them while we wander around buying vegetables for the week and looking at all the cool foods and funky art that is available. Link: http://www.sfcfarmersmarket.org
6th Street: These days, most of 6th Street is a little too crazy for me, but I do occasionally enjoy sitting down at one of the piano bars or live music venues and catching some tunes. As much a part of Austin’s culture as UT and our music festivals, 6th Street has to be experienced to be understood. http://www.6street.com/
The Continental Club: One of the hottest live music venues in Austin, this place embodies the city’s Keep Austin Weird motto. It’s the first place I went to hear live music when I moved here and it’s still one of my favorites. Funky, fun and with a rich history, it’s a great place to kick back and have a good time. http://www.continentalclub.com/Austin.html
The UT Tower, which was made famous by Charles Whitman in 1966 when he shot and killed 14 people from the top of it. The observation deck was closed for years, but it has since been reopened. It offers one of the best views of Austin. Link: http://www.utexas.edu/universityunions/texas-union/scene/tower-tours
Kerby Lane Café: The best place for pancakes in Austin, bar none. A funky little café that embodies the Keep Austin Weird vibe, Kerby Lane is my favorite place to eat breakfast in town. Most weekends they have a street musician playing music on the sidewalk near the front door to keep the hordes of starving Austinites calm J Link: http://www.kerbeylanecafe.com/
Thanks so much for having me today!