Orion’s Gift, a captivating novel by Anneli Purchase

Today we’re talking about Anneli Purchase’s latest novel and finding out what inspired this amazing story …

“In our travels to Baja California, my husband and I spent several months camping in primitive conditions. Dry camping can be challenging—no electricity, no water, and no grocery store—but by planning ahead, bringing the needed supplies, and being resourceful, it is quite possible to live comfortably in these conditions.

We had some unforgettable experiences there. In our skiff we drifted very close to large schools of dolphins. Their singing and whistling was an eerie choir piece as they wove along the surface of the waters of Conception Bay like so many needles doing a running stitching on a quilt.

The skies were dramatic in the early morning and at sunset, but at night an indigo dome overhead was lit up brightly by more stars than I’ve ever seen. Orion slowly crossed the sky above us every evening. By looking out our trailer window at night, I could roughly judge the time by Orion’s progress. Orion, the hunter, marked the hours for us as he stalked across the sky each night.

Before visiting Baja, I thought desert meant a vast expanse of boring sand. How wrong I was. In spite of the harsh conditions it presents, the desert is alive with a variety of flora and fauna. I fell in love with it and knew that someday I would write about it.

The idea for the story of Orion’s Gift came from an experience on the beach where our friend, Pablo presided.

Pablo was friendly and gentlemanly, but not aggressive at all. When an older woman came to park her van on his beach but refused to pay him the very reasonable rate of $5.00 a night, Pablo asked if I would speak to her about it. He spoke no English, and she pretended to have no Spanish. With San Diego plates, it was unlikely that she didn’t understand enough Spanish to pay her beach rent.

I asked the woman to pay Pablo and she showed me that she only had large bills. I took one of them and said that was no problem. I could make change for her. So Pablo got paid. But the interaction had me wondering about the woman. She never got out of her van, that I saw, but sat in the driver’s seat day after day, chain smoking cigarettes with the windows rolled up, listening to audio tapes. All around her was the beautiful beach, desert trails to walk, and friendly people to have Happy Hour with, yet she chose to cut herself off from everyone. She did not look happy. It was as if she hated the world and was trying to smoke herself to death.

I wondered then, what would make a woman drive such a long way from beautiful San Diego, just to sit in a smoky van on the beach. What was her story? What if I made up a character who was young and pretty and arrived all alone in her van? What might she be running away from? What adventures might she have? Whom might she chance to meet? Where might that meeting lead?

And so, Orion’s Gift was written.

While camping in the exotic landscape of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Kevin and Sylvia, both on the run from abusive relationships, meet and fall in love. Two things stand in the way of their happiness. One—the secrets they keep from each other. Two—their abusers hunting them down. Will fear drive them apart or will passion and trust surmount the violence and hostility they have endured?”

To find out more about Anneli and her books:-

loveahappyending.com Author Page

Anneli’s blog
Anneli’s webpage
Twitter Account @anneli33
Facebook page

Buy Orion’s Gift on Amazon.com

Also by Anneli Purchase: The Wind Weeps on Amazon.com


(Harvey, a kind-hearted private investigator has tracked down Sylvia. He catches up to her as she tries to make a run for it, and pulls her over. He suggests they turn back and pull off the road at a safer place to talk.)

I waited till Harvey got in his car and started his engine. Then, with my keys in my pocket, I jumped out and scrambled down into the ditch and up the embankment on the other side. I knew it was a crazy move, but I was desperate. The sharp rocks dug into my ankles and cactus spines speared my legs right through my jeans. I shut out the pain. Once I was out of sight, under cover of the semi-darkness, I’d wait till Harvey lost patience and left, and then I’d go back to the van and drive on to Loreto.

A beam of light flashed across the hillside and rested on me. I tried to outrun the light, scrambling between boulders, clawing and scrabbling through the clutter of rocks, gravel, and prickly vegetation. I tripped into a mess of cactus spines, dragged myself up and screeched obscenities as I climbed higher. And yet, I was determined to get away. I would make it. I could outrun Harvey. Wasn’t I a runner? I could zig-zag and lose the light. But there were so many rocks, and the cactus spines were brutal.

“Sylvia! Stop!” Harvey’s voice seemed to shoot along the beam of his flashlight. “There could be rattlers up there.”

“Uh! Rattlers!?” That was all I needed to stop me in my tracks, but Harvey had to go and put the icing on the cake.

“And scorpions! And tarantulas!”

“Oh-h!” I wailed. “Oh, dammit all anyway.” I wanted to sit down and sob but I didn’t dare—not with rattlers, scorpions, and tarantulas lurking. I had to get back to the safety of my van. “Oh, shit!” I skittered back down the hill.

I felt Harvey’s big hand on my elbow. With an effortless gentle yank, he pulled me up from the ditch. I was utterly defeated. I tried to stifle my sobs. Harvey put his arm around my back and pulled me close.

Please leave a comment

  1. Janice Says:

    What a captivating story. I’m facinated by you living in a desert for months and photos are just amazing. Then there’s the book to come out of it, Orion’s Gift, which has got to be my next read. Thanks Annelli!

  2. Nicky Wells Says:

    Congratulations on your launch of Orion’s Gift, Anneli! The photos are mesmerizing and your story is inriguing. I love how the idea for Orion’s Gift came to you, and stand in awe of you going out there to experience it all for yourself. Hope your launch day goes really well, best of luck and huge hugs!

  3. anneli Says:

    It really was a wonderful trip, even with the odd mishap which we were later able to look back on and laugh. Very relaxing living. You don’t need a 5-star hotel to have a nice time, especially if you like being in control of how you want to spend your time. The boating was especially fun. Lots to see and do. Plenty of time to relax and read as well.

  4. Ali B Says:

    Hi Anneli
    Congrats on what sounds like a great book. these photos are totally awesone and the whoel wilderness theme really appeals.

  5. Stephanie Keyes Says:

    Wishing you all the best on your launch, Anneli!

  6. Sue Fortin Says:

    Love the photos. Can’t wait to read this book Anneli – good luck with it.

  7. anneli Says:

    Thanks to all the blog visitors. I hope you have a chance to download Orion’s Gift. It should take you on an interesting trip around the Baja peninsula.

  8. Darlene Jones Says:

    Anneli manages to paint just a clear pictures as these in her story. A great read.

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