A big welcome to Kim Fielding as she celebrates the release of The Little Library.
Hi! I’m Kim Fielding and I’m very excited to announce the release of my newest novel, The Little Library! Set in California’s Central Valley, this story stars a guy with a slightly obsession with books. What’s not love about that, right?
Elliott, the main character in The Little Library, is a historian. Some bad choices and a manipulative ex-lover just about ruined his career, and now he’s trying to find his way out of the ashes. Along the way he meets Simon, a sexy ex-cop.
Neither of the guys has much experience with dating, and their first attempt at it is slightly disastrous. But as they’re getting to know each other, they spend some time exploring the relics of the California gold rush. They visit Old Sacramento, where there’s a Gold Rush Museum, and they spend a day in an almost–ghost town, Columbia.
I love Columbia. It’s not far from my house, so I visit often. It’s in the Sierra foothills and was briefly California’s second-biggest city. Then the gold mostly played out and people moved on. Today a few people still live there, but it’s also a state park. The old buildings on Main Street have been preserved, and a visitor can dip candles, eat old-fashioned candy, bowl in an alley built in the mid–19th century, or pan for gold. You can drink locally brewed sarsaparilla (or something stronger) at a saloon that’s been there for over 150 years. You can see the old schoolhouse or go on a ghost tour. You can climb all over the boulders left over from the hydraulic mining that washed away a good portion of the town.
My favorite thing about Columbia is that as you wander, you can get a real sense of what life was like during the gold rush. True, the original miners probably didn’t enjoy ice cream cones or high tea, both of which today’s visitors can do. In fact, life in Columbia was hard. Civilization was far away, violence and sickness were common, and few people really struck it rich. When I walk through Columbia, I feel almost as if the spirits of those long-gone men and women are whispering to me, telling me how their lives were.
Possibly my favorite part of the town is the cemetery. It was founded during the gold rush and is still in active use. The gravestones tell stories about people who came to Columbia from across the country—and across the world—and often died young from accidents, violence, or disease. The gravestones raise questions too. There are two young men buried next to each other. One of them was murdered. His headstone contains a statement saying it was erected by the man who was later buried next to him. Were they friends? Business partners? Lovers?
Another really cool thing about Columbia is that you can spend the night; there are two historic hotels to choose from. Two years ago, my younger daughter and I stayed at the Columbia City Hotel. Our room was very comfortable. And also, my daughter insists, haunted. I don’t know about that, but I can tell you that twice my iPad started playing music all by itself. Wooooo! At night we had the town almost to ourselves, so when we stood in the middle of Main Street and enacted an old-fashioned shoot-out, there was nobody around to give us funny looks.
For Elliott and Simon, Columbia ends up being one step in building their relationship. They have many more steps to go, but it’s a good start!
Is there a historic location you enjoy visiting? Please tell us about it in the comments!
Elliott Thompson was once a historian with a promising academic future, but his involvement in a scandal meant a lost job, public shame, and a ruined love life. He took shelter in his rural California hometown, where he teaches online classes, hoards books, and despairs of his future.
Simon Odisho has lost a job as well—to a bullet that sidelined his career in law enforcement. While his shattered knee recovers, he rethinks his job prospects and searches for the courage to come out to his close-knit but conservative extended family.
In an attempt to manage his overflowing book collection, Elliott builds a miniature neighborhood library in his front yard. The project puts him in touch with his neighbors—for better and worse—and introduces him to handsome, charming Simon. While romance blooms quickly between them, Elliott’s not willing to live in the closet, and his best career prospects might take him far away. His books have plenty to tell him about history, but they give him no clues about a future with Simon.
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
A complete list of Kim’s books