The Top of the Mark ~ Snow Melts in Spring

A while back I shared a favorite opening scene from Snow Melts in Spring with you. Another favorite scene occurs midway through the book when my hero, Gil McCray, returns to San Francisco for his retirement party.

My favorite part of that scene is when Mattie appears at the party at the Top of the Mark. Gil asked her to attend, but they'd gotten into a fight about it--you know, silly stuff. Then her best friend, Clara, convinces her to fly out there, knowing how much it will mean to Gil to share this moment with Mattie. She even borrows a fancy black dress from Clara. 

She surprises him at the party, they have a romantic moment on the trolley car, and the next day Gil shows her the estate he intends to buy in Sonoma County. Can we say "rich?" Things don't go quite the way Gil hopes in this scene, but I love it just the same.

My research for San Francisco was a lot of fun, and with the Internet, it was easy to find information I needed for these scenes. The retirement party was held at the Top of the Mark, so I researched the Mark Hopkins Hotel, asked questions about the restaurant, and also learned about the nearby trolley cars. Researching homes for sale near Healdsburg was also great fun! I actually used one of the floor plans as my guide when Gil and Mattie toured the home.

So, if you've read Snow Melts in Spring, what was your favorite scene from California? Do you have a favorite scene from the book that you'd like to know more about? I'd love to share with you here.