Big Marietta Fair bookmark top half

In July, I’ll celebrate the release of my first Montana Born novella, BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY. It’s part of Tule Publishing Group’s Big Marietta Fair series. I’m so excited to be part of this project. Aren’t the covers wonderful? I’m in love with each and every one of them. Working with the five other talented authors (including our very own, Katherine Garbera) was such fun and it brought back all sorts of memories of times I spent at summer fairs.

 When I was a kid, instead of going away to camp, my little brother and I used to spend summers with my grandparents. We lived in Florida and my grandparents were in the Midwest. So, this annual trip was a very big deal.

My grandmother was so much fun and she took great pride in spoiling us rotten. One of the biggest treats was when we went to the fair. I loved the sights and sounds, the cotton candy and the snow cones.  Back then I had no fear of roller coasters…Well, that is until I met The Wild Mouse.

Sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? It was, believe me. To this day, hearing the words Wild Mouse strikes fear in my heart. Good thing we don’t hear those words used together very often.

At this particular fair, I was the only one of our clan who was brave enough to challenge The Wild Mouse. I was simply disgusted with everyone for being such chickens. I was going to show them how it was done. I marched my eight-year-old self up there and rode alone. Okay, maybe I was nine or twelve…I don’t remember…but I digress.

 My grand display of bravery was cut short right after the first ninety degree turn. In fact, I was nearly paralyzed with fear. I just knew I was going to die. The track seemed rickety. If it didn’t collapse, I swore the car I was riding in was going to go flying off the track.

It didn’t. Every time I talk about it, someone makes fun of me…Ooooh, that terrifying Wild Mouse that ruined you for all roller coasters.

Since no one believed me, I finally got smart and Googled it. And guess what? The Wild Mouse has its own Wikipedia page! Yes it does, thank you very much. And that’s not all. Wikipedia confirms that even though it’s a small, slow-ish ride, it is, indeed a scary coaster. The way the track was designed it did give the illusion that your car would miss the turn and sail right off the track and die. Then, when it turned, you wished it would’ve sailed off the end because then you feared you were going to fall out of the darn thing…and die.

It may have nearly scared me to death, and, yes, it ruined me for other roller coasters, but after all these years, it’s still a good memory. When I think back to the summers of my youth, our adventures at the fair are some of my best-loved times.

BEAUTY AND THE COWBOY, which will be available July 11, doesn’t feature a scary roller coaster, but it is a friends-to-lovers story set amidst the Big Marietta Fair. I’ll tell you more about Jesse and Charlotte’s love story as we get closer to the release date. The other Fair authors and I will be giving away some very fun prizes as each of the books launches. More on that, too, in the days to come.

Today, I want to treat one person who posts to a $10 gift card. Tell me your favorite fair memory. Did you go to the fair as a kid? Do you still go? Did you fall in love at the fair? Did you ever get stuck at the top of the Ferris wheel with someone special or have a terrifying experience on a ride? Oh! Did you ever brave The Wild Mouse?! I can’t wait to hear your fair stories.    

 Big Marietta Fair bookmark bottom hals




25 thoughts on “Coming Soon: The Big Marietta Fair

  1. Anita H. says:

    I love the fair but all I remember of it is that it rains (without fail!) every year. Once my dad won me a stuffie from one of the midway games but it got all wet by the time we got it back to the car. Ahh but it still was loads of fun 🙂

  2. Maureen says:

    When I was a kid I always wanted to win a prize which always took way too much money.

  3. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day.
    It will always be helpful to read through articles from other authors and use something from other sites.

  4. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    I remember going to Cedar Pointe when I was young and riding the Blue Steak. Recently, I took my daughter to Disneyworld. She loved the Barnstormer. She’s still talking about it.

  5. LauraL says:

    I also spent summers with my grandparents and the county fair at the end of the school break was a big treat for me and my cousins. Since then, I’ve been to many county and state fairs and my favorite thing is to visit the horse barns.

  6. Laney4 says:

    I remember being less than 12 and travelling to the big city (of Toronto) to visit my big sister (15 years my senior). We got on a big double ferris wheel – me with that sister, and my siblings ahead of us (10 and 5 years my senior). I was so scared. I have always hated heights, but I couldn’t be afraid in front of my sister! Well, she held my hand and spoke quietly to me, distracting me as much as possible. I was okay until people started to unload on the other wheel, as we were swaying back and forth way up in the air.
    When I was 13, I travelled by train (with above two siblings) to visit the same big sister in Calgary. We went to the Calgary Stampede, where they had giant swings. Didn’t look too bad until you were way up in the air, tilted for all you’re worth, whipping along. I screamed so much that they stopped the ride for me to get off.
    Funny the things you remember over 40 years later….

    1. Kate Person says:

      I am terrified of those swing rides. My best friend loved them so I would go, but the whole time I would hang on for dear life and try not to have a panic attack!

  7. eap says:

    went once to the county fair liked it.

  8. girlfromwva says:

    I love the county fair!!! Ours is awesome. We usually try to go when they have the truck/tractor pulls (ours is sanctioned) or the demolition derby. It only costs us $7.00 a person to get it and that includes all the rides. I always ride the ferris wheel with my youngest son & the super slide with all 4 kids. I always get a funnel cake & cotton candy to share with my daughter.

  9. Kate S says:

    There was the year that my older sister had been on several whrily rides and then went on the paratroop ride that went up & down and around…. I was with her…. she was getting sick & everytime we passed the attendent, I told him we needed to get off ’cause she was sick… well he did stop the ride after she got sick… in the karma of the sick rider and indifferent attendent.. she got him…

  10. catslady says:

    When young we use to go to a small, local fair. My parents put my sister and me on The Wild Mouse thinking it was a tame ride – not lol. But while I love roller coasters my older sister hates them. In her defense she does tend towards motion sickness so I can’t blame her.

  11. Judy Goodnight says:

    I remember going to a fair with my cousin when we were kids. We played a game where the prize was a big ol’ watermelon. We won four watermelons and had to figure out a way to carry those melons back to the car in the parking lot!

  12. Oh, I love fairs, Nancy! These books sound so fabulous! We have the Connecticut State Fair here in my very own hometown, and my favorite memory is sneaking around with my sister, the first time we were allowed to be without our parents. We knew all the back ways and little alleys created by the tents, and which games were easy to win, and when our parents would be manning the hot dog booth so we could hit them up for cash. We’d watch the horse pull when we were tired, and make sure we saw every single exhibit. It was the highlight of the year, for sure!

  13. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    The covers are absolutely wonderful, Nancy! They look like such fun. Growing up in Tampa, I went to the Florida State Fair every single year. In fact, between that and Gasparilla, our big pirate parade and festival, we kids had quite a season! I think we even got a day off from school to attend the fair! I remember being itchy with excitement, soooo frustrated with the grownups, who walked so slowly. The minute I saw the entry gates, smelled the food and heard the music from the rides, I was bubbling all over! Great memories!

  14. Thank you, Nancy. I remember going to the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962. But I can remember hardly anything about it.

    I think I saw a phone with a built-in TV, so that you and the person you’re calling could see each other. Sort of a precursor to Skype, I guess. Which obviously didn’t catch on.

    And my dad bought me a souvenir gold charm. Which, incredibly, I still have.

    Good luck with the release of “Beauty and the Cowboy”!

  15. Quilt Lady says:

    I have come to love the little town called Marietta, I really enjoy these book.

    I did go to the fair a few times as a child but don’t think much of them now. I don’t like to ride the rides any more. I can remember going to the state fair one time with my girl friend and her brother and we had a ball.

  16. Nancy, the books sound fabulous! I have to admit, there weren’t many summer fairs in the wilds of suburban New Jersey. I did go on roller coasters down the Jersey shore, though, and some darn scary ones at that. That last one I ever went on with some friends cured me of ever wanting to ride one again – as we pulled away from the platform, we realized our safety bar wasn’t locked. Ack! We just managed to click it in before we hit the first turn.

  17. Glenda says:

    We used to go to the Orange County fair in California when I was young. I remember eating a lot of hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy, but don’t remember much about any of the rides. 🙂 I haven’t been to a fair in ages!

  18. Ada says:

    I love going with my parents when I was younger and then with my friends when I was old enough! Some of the best times were hanging out in the midway and besting everyone in a race 🙂 One year we got soaked when we were in the middle of a ferris wheel ride. It was a sudden storm but I remember how both terrifying and exhilarating it was.

  19. Laurie G says:

    My hometown had a 4th of July 4 day carnival. I loved it. My favorite ride was The Bullet. I tried my luck at games of chance not very successfully. Ate cotton candy too. The House of Mirrors, The Merry Go Round, The Tilt O Whirl, The Roundup are the ones I remember.

    I never took my children to a fair.

    1. Kate Person says:

      Oh no, The Bullet. My mom tells the story of my dad taking me on that when I was a really little kid. Assuming its the same ride – mom describes it as a fitted cage dad stoof in, with me standing in front of him, he was just going to hold onto me. Apparently the bullet rockets up, turns and rockets back down. And I screamed the entire time, mom thought I was going to slip out and die.

      I don’t remember any of it at all, but I am weary of heights. Not sure if that contributed or not. I like rollercoasters as long as they don’t whiplash my already tender neck. 🙂

  20. Marcy Shuler says:

    There’s a local county youth fair that is a big deal here. It’s always fun to go and see the animals, the baked entries and ride a few rides. Not to mention the food. *sigh* The fair is known for their Elephant Ears – fried flat dough topped with cinnamon sugar. Yum!

  21. bn100 says:

    Haven’t been to one

  22. Hey, everyone! Thanks so much for your comments. I’m sorry I didn’t respond to everyone personally, like I usually do. I’m just finishing up a deadline. I read every post and I loved your memories and respect your reasons for being a big fan of fairs. For those who don’t care for them, I hope you’ll still give the Big Marietta Fair series a chance to win you over. I promise it will be a lot of fun. Please tune in Sunday when I post the winner of the Amazon gift card.

  23. Chelsea B. says:

    We went to the fair a few years ago and rode one of those rides that go up into the air and spin you around, but you also have the option of spinning your cart around, too. We’d just eaten (a buffet!) so of coooourse this was a good idea! 😉 My step dad started spinning the wheel and my uncle, with sheer force, stopped it all by himself. We were all pretty thankful for that, or the night would have been memorable for a completely different reason 😉

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