Guest Blog By Anna Del Mar
Top Five Things I Love About Alaska
Anna del Mar
You’d think that hours of bush-whacking up steep Alaskan slopes would have solidly cemented my craving for world class cities and warm Caribbean beaches. But as my boots parked on the cushioned tundra of a windswept ridge, I discovered a wilderness of fierce mountains and endless forests. Add to those views the rich, intricate storytelling of the Native cultures and the fascinating folks who live in Alaska and it was a done deal. I was hooked.
From my personal, life-transforming travels through Alaska, comes my latest romantic suspense, The Stranger. The Stranger is the second book of my Wounded Warrior Series, following on the heels of the Amazon bestseller, The Asset. One fun fact about the series is that you don’t have to read the books in any particular order. Each novel stands on its own.
The Stranger features Summer Silva and Seth Erickson, fire and ice, a most unlikely pair. 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 Erickson, a wounded warrior who is also a powerful Alaskan tycoon with a quarreling family as complicated as her own and no time for a lady in distress—let alone one with a secret that will get her into great trouble—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 may imagine, I had a lot of fun researching The Stranger. It involved several trips and each one entailed a longer, deeper and more satisfying stay. I’ve always drawn inspiration from my travels and Alaska delivered. It is, without a doubt, one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever visited. There are so many amazing features that make Alaska unique and spectacular. Here are my top five:
The Landscapes Every view is vast and extensive. Every breath recharges the body and cleanses the mind. Every sight challenges the eye and fires the imagination. Think Denali. The Mountain just had to make a cameo in The Stranger.
- The Wildlife Viewing
The fauna of Alaska is breathtaking. Whether you’re watching the skies, the land, the water, the animals are watching you, even if you may not know it. The animals of Alaska are everywhere in The Stranger. My personal encounters with brown bears fueled one of my favorite scenes in The Stranger and Summer’s first sight of a bear evokes some of my own, not-so-cool-headed reactions. ☺
- The Native Cultures
The quiet, unassuming timeless wisdom of the Athabaskans is humbling, inspiring and fascinating. Their connection to the land is real but also mystical and profound. Their legends and beliefs are the dreams of the most accomplished storytellers.
- The People
The rugged folks who make Alaska their home are a diverse, self-reliant, spirited people. In a world where most people are trying to fit in, Alaskans refuse to conform. On the contrary, they revel in their differences, uniqueness and quirkiness. Most Alaskans I met had a story to tell and those stories were rich, intriguing and captivating.
- The Daring
Alaska itself is a dare. Life is an ongoing chore, something I tried to convey in The Stranger. Self-reliance is a must. Small mistakes can lead to danger and even the proverbial walk in the park entails a measure of risk. Alaska is a dare that transforms dreamers into doers and doers into dreamers.
Here’s a first review of The Stranger. And it’s an awesome one!
A Wounded Warrior Novel
Anna del Mar
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary romance, SEAL romance, Military Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: August 22, 2016
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.
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.
Short Book Description:
When her sister runs away with a guy she met on the internet, 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, a wounded warrior who is also Alaskan tycoon with a quarreling family as complicated as her own and no time for a lady in distress—let alone one who walks on her sleep—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, together, in majestic Alaska.
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.”
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.
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