JK Coi: Everyone welcome my guest today! Vivien's first book from Samhain Publishing is doing awesome!...and well it should, it's a fabulous story that I can highly recommend!
Writing stories—not for the timid of heart.
I’m not sure what kind of research I thought was involved. When I heard authors mention that phrase I always pictured them sitting by the Thames sipping tea. Strolling along the Champs Elysees, following a breakfast at a quaint little French bakery. All the while taking notes about what the sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower looked like and how tasty the crumpets were. Perhaps other authors do get to have those kinds of research experiences, but not me. No sir. Instead of ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous,’ I’ve gone the ‘Grizzly Adams takes a holiday’ route.
Over the past twenty-five years my husband and I have hiked up mountainsides and skied down them, occasionally on the same day. We’ve camped across North America, through Hawaii, and several European countries. We’ve paddled the Pacific Ocean in kayaks, floated down the Yukon river in canoes, and explored a remote wilderness lake for ten days. Many of these trips have included our children, and let me explain there is nothing tougher than trying to get a child to go to sleep so you can get a little one-on-one time with your sweetie when there’s a campfire blazing and stars twinkling overhead …
But all this research has now come to the forefront as I’ve begun to write. Wolf Signs, set in the Granite Lake area of the Yukon, was released three years after we made the trek with the family. Yes, there is a cabin set 16K back in the bush off the Alaskan Highway, just south of Haines Junction. There is a sauna, there is a pass you can ski to. There are lake trout in the lake. Only the hand cracked ice auger isn’t there, and here’s the reason why.
Granite Lake cabin is a ‘leave it better than you found it’ place. We got to stay for free, and so decided to splurge and take a helicopter in. Instead of slogging, I mean, enjoying a five hour ski, we would arrive at the cabin in under fifteen minutes. There was room for the four of us, and up to a certain amount of weight. We went wild. We brought in loaves of French bread and Brie. Fresh fruit and bottles of wine. Chocolate ice cream bars! And then it happened, my hubby realized there was fish in the lake…and the ice auger joined the list of contents flown in that day.
The holiday week was fabulous. Fresh fish, nightly saunas, endless hands of cards with the kids, who were at the time ten and thirteen. When it came time to leave my daughter and I packed up our bags and headed out at nine am, leaving the boys to clean up the cabin, giving us slower skiers a head start. Three hours later, when they finally caught up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Strapped to the outside of my son’s pack was the ice auger.
“He refused to leave it,” my hubby said. “So I told him the only way it was coming out was if he carried it.”
Thirteen years old and stubborn as a mule, that boy skied 16K with a full backpack and an ice auger on his back. I knew then that the unfaltering spirit of the north had not died out with the end of the Gold Rush. It lives on.
Vivian Arend’s first book, Wolf Signs is available from Samhain Publishing. And she's just sold book two in the Granite Lake Wolves series--Wolf Flight--And it should be released from Samhain in the fall.
Robyn Maxwell doesn’t care that her brother has to cancel out on their backcountry ski trip. She can do it alone. The fact she’s deaf doesn’t make her survival skills any weaker. The chance to get away from it all and relax in the Yukon wilderness is just what she’s been craving.
Meeting wilderness guide Keil at the cabin starts cravings of another kind. Keil’s one hot hunk of ripped, tasty male. Now she has to deal with raging hormones as well as strange questions about wolves and mates and challenges to the death.
Keil was trying for a nice reflective retreat before challenging for the Alpha position of his Alaskan pack. He wasn’t planning on meeting the woman destined to be his mate, or finding out she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf.
Between dealing with his accident-prone younger brother, a deaf mate with an attitude and an impending duel to the death, his week—and his bed—is suddenly full.
Far from the relaxing getaway any of them had in mind…
Warning: Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'talking with your hands.' Includes dangerous use of sarcasm and hot nookie in a remote wilderness sauna.