Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Solitude Lake (Hidden Creek Romance #1) by Adele Darcy

"This was a beautifully written book. [...] The characters were well-developed and lovely. [...]
I loved reading how Susan moves past grief and betrayal to find peace and forgiveness. the emotions were real and genuine." Tara, Goodreads


Published: May 2022

Following the tragic death of her husband, Susan Dixon struggles with the realization that the love they shared was crippled by his legacy of secrets and betrayal. Hoping to rebuild her life, Susan moves back to her hometown of Hidden Creek Montana. Settling into her family's cabin on the peaceful shores of Solitude Lake, Susan searches for healing in the rugged scenery.

Taking a summer job at the neighboring Solitude Lake Lodge, Susan rekindles a romance with her old flame, Jake Arnett. As the couple fall in love under the Montana skies, a past of heartache and missed opportunities haunts them. Susan needs to heal from her husband's betrayal, while Jake is afraid of repeating past mistakes. Can these star-crossed lovers let go of regrets and fall into a happily ever after?

From Adele Lassiter to Adele Darcy

Art and books both capture the imagination - inspiring us to dream and get lost in a scene, finding ourselves as characters walking along the lily pads in a Monet painting or being transported to Narnia or tea with Jane Austen.

As an only child, I often enjoyed spending time in the library, reading books and imaging far away places. I started writing creative stories in elementary school…I often found inspiration for my stories touring our local art museum.

My grandmother would take me to the North Carolina Museum of Art to spend an afternoon looking at their collection, which includes Monet (paintings) and mummies. I’d imagine myself as a character in a painting and their colorful world of Impressionism.

Art, writing and music have always been my three passions and they are interconnected. Storytelling the heartbeat of creativity - whether I’m writing a novel, crafting a song or painting a landscape - it all tells a story.

The creative processes and skills differ, but storytelling and inspiring others to participate in the art is key.

My art journey…

I have always been involved in art classes and pursuing art on some level, but I usually prioritized my creative writing and music first. However in 2016/17 during a winter snow storm, I decided to attempt painting a landscape.

I am mostly self-taught, but began taking online classes on technique and learning about values from well known visual artists, including popular YouTube artists The Art Sherpa and Ginger Cook and Angela Anderson.

I started a creative art page last year as a hobby, but it has grown to over 800 members.

I usually paint landscapes, but as an art lover I love to try my hand at a variety of styles and master techniques.

Both writing and visual art require practice and patience to learn and grow. Even the best authors and artists never stop growing and improving because a profession in the arts is more about the journey than the final destination.

As an artist I often feel a landscape or scene ‘call’ to me - I want to capture the moment and emotions of the time and space of the painting. This is similar in creating a story…

Ex: I was inspired to write Solitude Lake after visiting real-life Holland Lake in Montana. I wasn’t actively plotting a book at the time, but the calm waters of Holland Lake and neighboring lodge beckoned my creative spirit to create a story in the Montana backcountry.

Writing and visual art are both great outlets for creativity.

  • Both writing and painting start with a spark - an idea to create something new
  • Whether I’m writing or painting I have to plot out my vision; with a painting I sketch the blueprint and start painting layer by layer from there. Similarly as an author, I outline the plot and characters, then start writing and editing…
  • In the middle of writing a novel or halfway through a painting sometimes things feel muddy and I wonder should I keep going…but I know that perseverance will lead to great results
  • Writing and painting require you to go with the flow…sometimes the initial vision doesn’t work, you don’t like a character’s development; you get writer’s block - or the paint isn’t sticking properly on the canvas…you have to be flexible and open to new ideas.
  • Writing and art are both hard to master, but writing a novel is a different kind of hard. I love to write, but given the pressure to create a plot and develop characters. Sometimes it gets overwhelming in the writing process. Writing is a marathon, you run in sprints with creativity, but have to continue to write even when it is stressful. Consistency is key.
  • I tend to be more critical of my writing because, whereas I can be a bit freer with my art.
  • Painting allows me to just let my thoughts wander as I play with colors and imagine my scene. It can help me to clear my ‘writer’s block’ to be open to new ideas. Painting helps open me up to more creativity.
Writing and art are both fun and challenging. They nurture the soul with creativity.

A goal of mine in 2023 is to paint a series of scenes inspired by my novel Solitude Lake - it’d be fun to bring my scenes and story to life.

I’d also love to write a children’s series inspired by my favorite painters - Cezanne, Monet and Matisse…Time spent in a bookstore or art gallery is never wasted.


“It is great to see you.” Susan spoke the truth. She hated that they had grown apart. Jake had always been her anchor.

He would always bear the distinction of “best friend,” even if they had barely spoken in the past fifteen years.

“You look radiant.” Jake had missed Susan. She hauntedhis thoughts daily. To Susan, Jake was a friend, but to him...she was the world. Jake had loved Susan since they were kids. Perhaps he was bitter that she chose Brad over him.

Seeing Susan again was a whirlwind. It unearthed suppressed feelings he wasn’t quite sure how to handle.

“You’re not looking too bad yourself.” Susan bit her lip. He looked as handsome as ever. “I appreciate the package you sent back in January. It meant a lot to me.” Jake had mailed a condolence letter to Susan with a box of pictures of Bradley, Jake, and Susan from their days working together.

“I know that Bradley’s death was hard on you...” Jake empathized. Through the grapevine, he’d been able to piece together the estate mess. Anger at the deceased burned like a fire within him. He hurt for Susan’s loss but cursed Bradley.

“I sold my house in Seattle. I’ve moved into the Lone Moose on a permanent basis.”

“That is news.” Jake had heard Susan might be coming back to town for a few weeks, but to learn she was in the area for good—it was almost too much to bear.

“I’m going to work at the high school in the fall. In the interim, I’m looking for summer work to keep me busy. That is, after I finish unpacking the horde, I lugged with me from Seattle.”

“I’d love to catch up over dinner.” The words slipped out. Jake wanted to share a meal with Susan, but a part of him knew that reconnecting with her could lead them both down a dangerous path. He had barely survived the first broken heart; he wouldn’t survive another.

“That would be fun...” Susan couldn’t refuse but also wondered if dinner was the best idea.

“I ran into Susan Blanchard at the grocery store.” Jake’s words cut the air like a rusted train racing off a bridge. “Oh?” Molly’s motherly instinct was on guard as she pressed her lips together apprehensively.

There was a time when Molly prayed that she might have the chance to call Susan her daughter-in-law. That was before Susan eloped with Bradley Dixon...breaking her son Jake’s heart. The fault was not entirely Susan’s. Jake allowed fear to hide his true feelings for Susan until it was too late. Molly feared Susan’s return could rupture sealed scars; her presence was salt in the wound for Jake.

“She’s moved back into the Lone Moose permanently...” Jake recognized his mother’s ambivalence. “She has a job lined up at the high school, starting in the fall.”

“That is news.” Molly raised her right brow to feign surprise. Beatrix Blanchard had phoned Molly weeks ago to clue her into Susan’s plight as a widow and her return to the lake.

“Susan was kind enough to invite me to dinner at her place on Wednesday. I accepted.”

“Is that a good idea?” Molly’s frown was accusatory.

“We’ve been best friends since we were toddlers. Why wouldn’t it be a good idea?” Jake shrugged.

“It’s your history that scares me.”

“She needs a friend right now.”

“Susan has plenty of friends in town to console her. I don’t want you tangled up in her web.”

“Web? Susan isn’t a black widow, ready to bite me with toxic venom.” Jake was infuriated by his mother’s reaction. “You know darn well that she is a strong and caring person. She doesn’t deserve animosity, but compassion in the wake of what that husband put her through.”

“You misjudge my respect for Susan Dixon. I think the world of her. What I don’t want is for you to latch on to her. She is vulnerable right now. If your relationship goes further than friendship, you’ll wind up with another broken heart. I don’t think the shattered pieces will be put back together this time.”

“In terms of love, I got over Susan a long time ago. What I don’t want to lose is our friendship.”

Molly sighed. She resigned herself to the fact that her son was stubborn as he was blind in love. It was a lesson he would have to learn the hard way.

You can listen to the playlist for Solitude Lake here on Spotify
About the author:
Adele Darcy is the alter-ego of creative artist and travel blogger Adele Lassiter.

Solitude Lake is inspired by Adele’s time living in western Montana, where she spent countless hours exploring Big Sky’s wide-open spaces from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone Country and beyond.

She currently resides in North Carolina, where she loves to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway and spend days relaxing at the Outer Banks

Author's Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Solitude Lake. Five winners will each win a paperback copy of Solitude Lake (US Only).

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1 comment:

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.