The Story Behind the Story – Paint By Number

Paint by Number releases September 8 and I thought I would share with you the story behind this book.   I was visiting with Karen Rose and somehow we got on the subject of Alaska and I started talking.  My mother’s sister taught elementary school is Anchorage for over 20 years and lived there for over 40.  In that tine I got to visit her and it was something special.  The first time I was twelve years old and spent a month with her.  It was a real eye opening trip for me.  My first real chance to be away from my parents and a growing up moment.    One of the things my aunt had was a cabin on Willow Lake and we spent alot of time up there.  No television or phones.  Just peace, quiet, and friends.

I set Paint by Number at Willow because that place is just deep with memories for me.  Many of the places I used in the book are real, while others are made up to suit my story.  I will tell you that there are characters based on my aunt’s friends.  I may have only seen them a few times in my life, but they were friends forever for me too.  (They are gone now, but not forgotten)    This story contains my memories and impressions left by those trips.  In some cases they may be a little out of date, but they’re still mine and I hold each of them like precious jewels.

I really hope you enjoy Paint By Number.  Just writing the book made me want to take Dominic there to visit.



Can the Northern Lights and a second-chance romance return inspiration to a struggling artist?

When New York painter Devon Starr gives up his vices, his muses depart along with them. Devon needs a change, but when his father’s stroke brings him home to Alaska, the small town where he grew up isn’t what he remembers.

Enrique Salazar remembers Devon well, and he makes it his personal mission to open Devon’s eyes to the rugged beauty and possibilities all around them. The two men grow closer, and just as Devon begins to see what’s always been there for him, they’re called to stand against a mining company that threatens the very pristine nature that’s helping them fall in love. The fight only strengthens their bond, but as the desire to pick up a paintbrush returns, Devon also feels the pull of the city.

A man trapped between two worlds, Devon can only follow where his heart leads him.


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3 Responses to “The Story Behind the Story – Paint By Number”

  1. Ann Alaskan

    Thank you for setting one of your books in Alaska. I went there when I was 20 years old and was HOME! There is no explaining the power and pull of Alaska. My heart will Always be there. So glad you got to experience it too! Hope you get to revisit it soon!

    • Tracey Kugel

      You write with such vivid descriptions of the places in your stories . I can’t wait for my “trip” to Alaska. With the story behind your book adding depth to the characters and setting, and the vital subject of mining I really can’t wait. Thank you for this note.

  2. Andrew Grey

    Thank you so very much. This story is truly special.


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