Today I’m welcoming debut author Katherine Robles sharing about her love for Appalachia and her series of stories set in state parks. Take it away, Katherine!Sarah’s books make me want to travel to Appalachia. I drove through West Virginia once on my way to Kentucky for a wedding. I remember being impressed by the beauty of the region and wishing we had time to stop.

My husband and I love to travel and hike with our four boys. Anywhere we go we seek out beautiful trails, interesting rocks, and any kind of water. A few years ago we visited Ohiopyle State Park on our way to Pittsburgh, PA. Ohiopyle offers a variety of entertainment but since it was a steamy July afternoon, we opted to play on the natural water slide.

Meadow Run’s streambed is formed entirely of wide swathes of dark gray shale and the stream has carved a path through the shale. If you sit in the few inches of ice-cold water at the top of the shale incline, the stream will lift and carry you faster than you think possible downhill, bumping your bottom along the stone bed, and eventually dump you over a two-foot waterfall into a pool below. It’s terrifying, exhilarating, and refreshing.

We spent hours not only riding the natural slide but playing in the series of pools and mini waterfalls downstream. We climbed boulders, followed fish, and let the falling water massage our shoulders. It was so fabulous that it made me want to tell others about the fun we had.

My favorite thing about my Romance in the Park series is that I get to share fun places and experiences with readers. The first book, Whitewater Wishes, is set in Ohiopyle. When I was deciding where the soon-to-be happy couple should go on their first date, I chose the natural water slide. It has it all: beauty, adventure…slippery rocks that make you grab for the hand of the one you’re with!

I hope that readers can visit Ohiopyle in person someday, but until then, I hope they delight in the park through the character’s eyes and enjoy their sweet summer love story.

Katherine enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband and four sons. She teaches Agriculture at a school for children with special needs and volunteers with the children’s ministry at her church. She is awed by the grandeur of God’s creation and intrigued by the science that holds that creation together. She also loves a good story.