Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stories Set in the Hudson Valley

Every time I write a story, I have the location clearly in my mind even if it is not specified in the manuscript. Two of my novels, Courage of the Heart and Final Sin were both set in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York State. Both novels have vague references to the area.
COURAGE OF THE HEART shows us that sometimes love is the only cure for the very deepest of emotional wounds. The story of the two lovers takes a series of unexpected and fast paced turns where lives, sanity and love are put in jeopardy. Their commitment to one another results in a spirit that binds them together and helps them to overcome physical and emotional dangers
When I wrote Courage of the Heart I imagined areas in Rockland County as the living and work areas for Adam Sherman and Davie Prescott. I even had a strong mental picture of Rockland Community College as the place Davie went to for her college classes.
In Final Sin, Deputy Sherriff Commander Jake Carson has his hands full... investigation of a brutal multiple homicide, a troubled son and a vindictive ex-wife. He meets young, free-spirited paramedic Julie Jennings. When Julie becomes the subject of an obsession, it puts both of them in danger...
And when I penned Final Sin, I pictured the beautiful backdrop of Dutchess County for the area that Julie and Matt responded to emergencies and that Jake’s department helped to protect. In reality it was a genuine (although unrelated) crime scene that occurred in Rockland County that inspired the gruesome and frightening opening scene.
New York’s Hudson Valley is the area surrounding the majestic Hudson River and is generally considered the area just north of New York City up to the area of Albany. The area is not only a scenic wonderland, it is also extremely rich in both history and folklore.
Significant events took place in the Hudson Valley during the American Revolution.
The British used the river in order to split the opposition, the military fortress known as West Point was utilized by General George Washington to repel the British stronghold. A 150-ton iron chain was strung across the Hudson at the West Point outcrop to control river traffic. President Thomas Jefferson later signed legislation establishing the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1802.
A tale of treason that could easily have changed the history of the United States before they even began took place in the Hudson Valley. Revolutionary General Benedict Arnold was so disenfranchised with his treatment by the Continental Army that he made plans to surrender West Point to British forces. The plot failed and Arnold switched sides after that.
The British army was in control of an outpost called Stony Point on the river south of West Point. In 1779 Continental Army troops under the command of General "Mad Anthony" Wayne defeated British troops in a daring assault on their outpost. The Stony Point Battlefield is now a Historic Landmark.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is a thrilling ghost story that was set in Westchester County in the Lower Hudson Valley. Modern day ghost investigator and renowned author Linda Zimmerman has centered her eerie investigations in the Hudson Valley.
The controversial Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant is located in Buchanan, New York just south of Peekskill and on the east river bank of the Hudson. The Appalachian Trail, one of the three major hiking trails in the continental U.S., runs through part of the Hudson Valley. The area has also been home to famous personalities such as the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, Washington Irving, Helen Hayes, Edna St Vincent Millay, and many, many more.

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