Thursday, September 1, 2016

Researching The Stranger by Anna del Mar

How an essentially tropical gal like me ends up writing a novel set in Alaska is a story in itself. I hate the cold. I love the beach. My definition of an adventure is going to the zoo. 

How then did I muster the mojo—not to mention the confidence—to get hooked on Alaska?

I blame my children for starting all of this. They were the ones who insisted we travel to Alaska. They are the same pair who dragged me out to raft the Colorado River and forced me to learn how to ski, an inexplicably adventuresome duo, given that, my husband and I are rather sedate travelers.

To be fair, I’d been to Alaska before. We’d been on a comfortable, lovely cruise, where the park rangers announced the sights over the ship’s loudspeaker, narrating the passage. “On the port side, you’ll see a group of seals basking on the ice. On the starboard side, there’s a pod of whales bubble-net feeding in the sound.” It was wonderful, posh and relaxing and I my motto during that first cruise was see Alaska from your bed.

Fast-forward a few years, and all of the sudden my daughter was a park ranger herself and my son was volunteering at the Denali Kennels, caring for dogs as big as horses and as powerful as motorcycles. He lived in a nice, new tidy cabin with a dry sink. Hint. That means no running water. You fill in the blanks.

By then, we had learned that Alaska had a lot to offer. This tropical gal had acquired a few extra items of gear that made the rigors of the weather bearable. The fall had become my favorite season in Alaska, when the tourists are gone, the mosquitoes disappear, and Denali begins to peek out of the clouds that envelop the mountain through most of the summer. 

Most importantly, I’d been dazzled, surprised and seduced by the wildlife and the vast landscape that challenged my eyes, opened my mind and dared my imagination. Yeah. I was hooked.

Sure, I read, researched, googled and interviewed. But the truth about Alaska is that the place cannot be properly understood without the experience. It’s all about the feel. So off we went, to experience the magic, the most important research of all.

Traveling in Alaska is an education in itself. The main form of transportation away from the cities entails tiny single engine planes, mechanical mavericks that land wherever, however. 

For a woman who hates flying, those little planes? Terror.

But I learned to appreciate a place where there are no roads to your destination, no schedules but those you carve out of the weather by relying on the skills of strangers. And then it hit. I was a writer. I mean, really. How can a writer fall in love with Alaska and not write about the affair?

From my personal, life-transforming travels through Alaska, my latest romantic suspense, The Stranger, was born. The Stranger is the second book of my Wounded Warrior Series, following on the heels of my Amazon bestseller, The Asset. The Stranger features Summer Silva and Seth Erickson, fire and ice, a most unlikely pair. I like to say that fiery Summer’s character benefited from all of my Alaskan misadventures—believe me, there were plenty of those and they weren’t always pretty or dignified—while icy Seth is Alaska in the flesh.
The story goes something like this: When her sister runs away with a guy she met on the internet, Summer, a warmth-loving Miami architect chases her reckless sibling to Alaska and finds her life in danger from more than the elements. Only a stranger, Seth, a wounded warrior who is also a powerful Alaskan tycoon with a quarreling family as complicated as Summer’s and no time for a lady in distress can save her from disaster. Together, two strangers from different worlds and opposite spectrums of the thermometer must unravel the intrigues that threaten their lives to chase after a new dream, in majestic Alaska.

As you can probably tell, I had a lot of fun researching The Stranger. It all made it into the story. So come along in the journey. I’m happy to share. You can visit Alaska from the comfort of your reader and laugh, cry and feel along with Summer and Seth as they fight their demons and turn their lust into forever love. And if you fall in love with Alaska, well, believe me. I understand.

Here’s a first review of The Stranger. And it’s an awesome one!

The Stranger
A Wounded Warrior Novel
Book Two
Anna del Mar

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary romance, SEAL romance, Military Romance

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: August 22, 2016

eISBN: 9781459294301

Number of pages: 323 pages
Word Count: 110,000 words approx.

Cover Artist: Carina Press


Ex-military pilot Seth Erickson is fighting his own demons, but when he finds Summer Silva, a beautiful, warmth-loving, Miami woman stranded in the frozen wilderness, he’ll do everything in his power to keep her safe from murder, treason, and the ruthless Alaskan winter.

Book Description:

When a mysterious stranger is your only hope...

The scars of the past have left their mark, both physical and emotional, on former military pilot Seth Erickson. Off-grid in the far reaches of the bitter Alaskan wilderness, he wants only to be left alone with his ghosts. But he can’t ignore a woman in need—beautiful, stranded and nearly frozen with fear.

Summer Silva never imagined that the search for her missing sister would leave her abandoned on a wintry back road, barely escaping with her life from a cold-blooded killer for hire. Now, hiding out in the isolated cabin of the secretive wounded warrior who saved her, Summer knows she must do what she fears most. Putting her trust in a stranger is all she has left.

All defenses are down

After a fiery first night together, Seth and Summer are bound by a need as powerful as a Bering Sea superstorm—and vulnerable to enemies just as fierce. For Seth, reawakened by desire, there is no sacrifice too great, no memory too dark, to keep Summer safe. But murder and treason lurk everywhere and Summer may not survive Alaska’s ruthless winter.

Amazon    Carina Press    BN    Kobo     Google Play

Short Excerpt/First Kiss:

“I think we’d be better off accepting what’s happening here.”
“And that is...?”
“That I want to kiss you.” I hit the point of no return. “And that you want me to kiss you.”
Her voice was a hoarse whisper. “It’s not true.”
“It’s true and you know it.” I ran my thumb over the soft expanse of her cheek. “So I propose that I kiss you now and get it out of the way. One kiss. Then we go to sleep and I mean just that, sleep, together, on my bed.” I held my breath. “What do you think? Is it too much to ask?”
She opened her mouth and closed it. A storm brewed in her eyes. She wasn’t sure. I knew it was a long shot, but I wasn’t one to hold back for fear of failure. Her nostrils widened, taking in my scent as if sniffing for danger. The seconds ticked by, minutes, hours, centuries. And then...surprise. She nodded ever so slightly.
I didn’t wait for her to change her mind. I kissed her, a connection that my body celebrated with fireworks. I put my arms around her waist and tasted her lips, her tongue, her breath. Glory. My body resonated with the memories of our night together.
I kissed her, as I’d wanted to do for two days, and the kiss confirmed that the connection that tugged on my senses was real. I held her face between my hands and kissed her some more until we were both out of breath and I hovered at the edge of no return. I made a huge effort to climb out of a very steep drop before I screwed everything up.
“Christ,” I rasped when I finally managed to tear my lips from hers.
Her breath came in short gasps, her eyes sparkled and her face flushed as if she had overexerted herself.
“Hell, I could kiss you all night.” I tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before letting go. “But this little taste of you is going to last me ’til morning.” Body screaming in protest, I took a step back. “Now go in there, get in bed, and don’t be scared. Okay? I’ll be along shortly.”
Her lips wavered, then a new smile birthed in her eyes and spread to her face, a mischievous grin that turned those luscious lips up at the corners and warned of all kinds of trouble.
She leaned into my space and, approaching me slowly, delivered her own kiss to my lips. The kiss was like an arctic wallop, but scalding; like a blow to the senses, but soft. Her tongue swiped a little taste of me. I gasped when she cut me off without warning, leaving me reeling, rock hard and without a trace of oxygen flowing to my lungs.
“Erickson?” she said before she sauntered off. “I don’t think you understand.”
“Understand what?”

She halted at the threshold and looked over her shoulder. “I’m not scared of you anymore,” she said. “I’m scared of me when I’m with you.”

About the Author:

Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.







a Rafflecopter giveaway
Post a Comment