The Settler (all is not as it seems)

I was invited to Settler, OR by M. Pax to celebrate the launch of her Rifters Series. I've learned much about the beautiful and unusual town of Settler since my initial visit and will learn even more now that I've downloaded The Rifters for FREE onto my Kindle, but on my first visit, I was a little,,,eh...let's say, naive. Here's what happened...

The helicopter spins a whirl of dust all around me as it takes off. Grinding the granules between my teeth and spitting out what I can, I take a look around at where the whirlybird has brought me. It's pretty here---gorgeous mountain peaks all around, lots of serene nature. Lot's and lots and lots of nature, as a matter of fact. But no bachelor in sight. Oh, excuse me, no "settler" in sight.

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by M. Pax---great name for a Hollywood producer, right? She asked if I'd be interested in coming to Settler. I'd naturally presumed it was a twist on The Bachelor. You know, because the guy's ready to "settle" down, but as I look around, I wonder...do you think it might be a cross between The Bachelor and Survivor?

I see a rocky road just ahead and follow it. Along the way, I pass a place called Settler RV Park with rows of dented and dusty trailer homes. Huh, that's probably where the crew stays. I must be getting closer. I don't spy any cameras around at the moment, so I go ahead and slip off my chunky wedge sandals. Someone could'a warned me there'd be a long hike to the mansion.

I morph my scowl into a shiny, though somewhat gritty, smile. You never know when the Chris-Harrison-wannabe host or The Settler himself will appear from behind one of these pine trees---and I want that first-impression rose. Though in this case, it might be a first-impression thistle. This guy better be worth it.

Aha! I see a building just ahead marked Settler Outfitters. That must be where I get to pick out fabulous outfits to wear on all the amazing dates I'll be going on. And yes! That sign points to Gold Lake Lodge. I like the sound of that. Throw in a diamond, and me & Mr. Settler will be all set.

The sun slips beneath the mountain peaks just as I arrive at a row of small buildings. Strange lights ripple across the darkened sky before fading so completely that I wonder if I actually saw them. Pretty creepy. No! Not creepy. Romantic is what it is. The rushed tinkling of bells makes me jump, and a guy sticks his head out the doorway of a studio for some show called The Chemist. "What are ya doin' out there all alone? Do you want to be phantom bait?" he asks.

Phantom bait? Oh, I get it---he's not a fan of reality dating shows and thinks I'm making a huge mistake. Well, he can just go back to his Bill Nyesque programming and not worry his pretty little head about me. Phantom. Pssht.


How gorgeous are those covers? 

Book 1, The Rifters, is FREE on AmazonB&NiTunes & More.  

Book 2,The Initiate, is available for pre-order for only 99 cents at

A junction erupts between the worlds. 

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves forty years off his age, forty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done. 

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. On top of it all, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust. 

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe the Phantom is the bachelor?
Congratulations, Mary!

Liz Blocker said...

LOL! This is a great post :) Thanks for bringing us along on your trip, but I think I'd rather enjoy Settler from afar. Like in the comfort of my own home. Where there are no phantoms. ;)

Congratulations, Mary!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I just downloaded the book. Might be reading it on the plane tomorrow.

M Pax said...

lol, Nicki. I loved this. Maybe I'll have to have a spin off called, The Settler. Fabulous! Thank you for your participation.

At the end of the week, I'll put your commenters names in a hat and draw who wins an ebook of The Initiate. :)


Janie Junebug said...

I don't want to ride in a helicopter and get dumped in a strange place, but it's nice that you shared the experience with us so we know what not to do.


Suze said...

Mary inspires me because a lot of us *think* about tackling epic-sized forays into the challenging realms of Sci-Fi while M's already gone and charged forward, kickin' up dust!

(The Bachelor. :))

Julie Flanders said...

This was so clever. You cracked me up about you & Mr. Settler. I am reading The Rifters now and it's just great. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

You crack me up Nicki. LOL The covers are gorgeous and the description even more so.

Retta said...

I wanna read Part II. This had me grinning, and imagining what happened to you next...

Hubby and I went up to Settler in the last weekend of August, and we stayed at Blacke's Resort and Spa. So I know those odd lights of which you speak... I'd go with creepy, ha ha.

Loni Townsend said...

Hahaha, that was great! Mr. Settler. :) *elbow nudge* Hubba-hubba. *wink*

Paty Jager said...

Fun post! Sounds like a place I wouldn't want to walk into alone.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hopefully any romance here will last longer than the ones on The Bachelor!

M Pax said...

The winner of a set of ebooks is Janie!