Monday, December 13, 2010

“Rocky Mountain Hero” Sings a Love Song to the Majesty, Wonder and Beauty of Colorado!

A Captivating Debut Novel & Love Story!

If a writer’s voice could be heard, Audra Harders debut novel might sound like Enya! It’s unique, spiritual and haunting. Her tone is lyrical, descriptions riveting and the Rocky Mountain setting always awe-inspiring.

I’ve never read an author who so obviously loves this rugged mountain country as much!

Most of “Rocky Mountain Hero” takes place outdoors. Even when the characters move indoors, they can’t wait to go back out for a walk or to enjoy the view from the porch.

As I read and watched the heroine, Melanie Hunter, react to seeing the panoramic beauty of the view from the hero’s ranch, it occurred to me: “She’s having a ‘peak experience’"No pun intended! Maslow came up with the term ‘peak experience’ to describe experiences which were similar to experiencing the world from the peak of a mountain for the first time.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“Peak experience is a term used to describe certain transpersonal and ecstatic states, particularly ones tinged with themes of euphoria, harmonization and interconnectedness.”
What makes reading “Rocky Mountain Hero” so vivid is seeing this emotional reaction through the eyes of the heroine. While she is experiencing this beauty for the first time, the effect is compounded by having the hero, Gabe Davidson, (who has lived on the high mountain ranch all his life) watch her in wonder himself. Sharing in Melanie's experience allows Gabe to re-live the same exhilarating joy for the first time in many years.

I’m not talking just about descriptive words. The true force of the writing comes form the emotional reaction the heroine has to the wonder she is experiencing.  This is wonderful writing!

About the story.

“Rocky Mountain Hero” is a ‘damsel in distress’ theme romance. The heroine is a single mother. When she got pregnant, the father left and her own parents more or less told her to get rid of the baby -- preferably by adoption. Instead she cuts off relations with her parents to raise the child by herself.

As the story opens, Melanie, is seeking a new life in a small town where she can still have a good paying job and her son can enjoy a healthy environment. She is a very interesting character because she is an expert on bugs and plants. This works nicely  into the story. Since there are very few jobs in her field, she really needs a good job interview to win this one.

While going over the mountains her truck slips off the road and needs repairs. The hero's ranch is nearby and Gabe offers to help her get her truck fixed.

Gabe Davidson, is the ‘good’ son who stayed on the family ranch to help his father run the place. His two brothers have had a very interesting life away from the ranch. Gabe envies their 'freedom'. Gabe has been too busy running the ranch to have had time to court a wife. He also has trust issues with women which gives him something in common with the heroine.

“Rocky Mountain Hero” unfolds naturally. It reads like real life. There is no 'artificial hook at the start of every chapter nor a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter'. Rather, the beauty of the writing and the awe inspiring location  holds and captivates the reader’s interest. Gabe and Melanie are very sympathetic and worthy people. You just want to read more. I wanted the book to be longer.

I feel like I was there.

I must say, I was in the same location this summer at the Crested Butte Writers Conference. I felt the same ‘peak experiences’ that Melanie undergoes. This writing is the real thing. I loved it and since the hero has two single brothers, I’m looking forward to at least two more books!

Audra Herders

Making Romance
 a “Peak Experience”!


  1. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your kind words, Vince! Your interpretation of the story and the characters' experiences make me want to read my book through new eyes.

    Thank you for the uplifting and encouraging review of my debut novel. I pray my future books never disappoint you!

  2. Vince, rocks. And I can't wait to delve into Audra's book. 5 more Christmas boxes to wrap and mail and I am FREE!!! Yippee. Rocky Mountain Hero here I come.

  3. Hi Audra:

    You caught the right reviewer and the right time. I was there in Crested Butte last summer and I felt the same way as the heroine. For a flatlander like me, those mountains are truly amazing. And the air is so clear and fresh.

    You did a great job of showing how Annie felt but since you have lived there so long, it might be hard for you to fully share in the excitement. But it’s there!


  4. Tina:

    I know you live in Colorado but you spent a lot of time in the flatlands. I hope you have the same heighten experience! Good reading.


  5. Hi Aurda:

    I meant Melanie above. I was in the process of writing a review of "The Rancher's Reunion" when I wrote that comment. I get Gade and Will mixed up too. I hope my reviews are ok. :)