A hundred and fifty years ago a ship named the Gabriella left San Francisco filled with Gold Rush spoils and treasure hunters eager to return home. Halfway down the coast, the ship ran into a terrible storm and splintered apart. Twenty-four survivors made it to shore. They settled by the bay where some of their loved ones had perished. The town was named Angel's Bay in honor of those who had lost their lives.
After the wreck, rumors abounded as to what had transpired aboard the ship, with contradicting stories of both heroism and murder. Those legends continue to be passed down today, especially tales of angels and other spirits haunting the bay. The shipwreck has never been discovered and many believe that the ship sank into one of the cavernous canyons under the sea that are known to be present off the central coast.
As the series begins, angel sightings increase and odd items from the Gabriella wash ashore. Current residents find unexpected ties to the old wreck as the past and the present are inescapably intertwined.
Barbara: I had never done an ongoing series and I thought it would be a fun, creative challenge to create a place that was rich in legends and lore and would provide an intriguing backdrop to the current day stories.
Kim: What inspired Angel's Bay?
Barbara: I took a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in California with my husband, and it's a spectacular highway in places, twisting and turning steeply along the coastline with incredible views, especially along Big Sur. And I was reading about how there are underground canyons beneath the sea that are only revealed during certain tidal conditions. I thought it would be interesting to have a shipwreck in such an area where it might never be found. That was part of the back history of town which is founded by the survivors from the wreck who name the place Angel's Bay in honor of their lost loved ones. Then I created a memorial quilt that some of the female survivors made to tell their story. Quilting became an integral part of the community and these two events in the past tie into the contemporary story lines.
Kim: I am intrigued by the theme of connecting the past shipwreck with present day. Plus the hint of angels and other spirits. Can you share some of the items that are washing up on shore that bring the past to light?
Barbara: So far we've had the bell from the ship as well as some gold coins.
Kim: Do you have a guarding angel?
Barbara: I would love to think I have a guardian angel, but I haven't had any such encounters. But I do love playing around with the mystical elements in these books. Because that's really what love and faith are all about, believing in something intangible.
Kim: What's next for Barbara Freethy and/or Angel's Bay?
Barbara: There will be a book five, GARDEN OF SECRETS, released in September of 2011, which will probably tie up the series for a while. We'll see. I may occasionally go back to the bay every now and then for a new story.
Readers can find excerpts from all the Angel's Bay books on my website. The series can be read out of order. Each book features a new central storyline, but there are continuing characters who appear in the books. Thanks for having me! I hope you'll all check out Angel's Bay!
Mahalo, Barbara, for joining us at SOS Aloha! In honor of Barbara's visit, I am giving away the first two books from the Angel's Bay series,
- Suddenly One Summer
- On Shadow Beach
1. Leave a comment about Barbara, coastal drives, and beach treasure.
2. The giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, February 5, 10 pm in Hawaii to enter the giveaway.
Join us tomorrow as we welcome Pamela Schoenewaldt and WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS.
Kim in Hawaii