Today I'm very excited to be hosting Yolanda Renee
, author of Murder, Madness, & Love (available next week!) and Memories of Murder, which will be published in October. When I met Yolanda I was very interested to hear about her time in Alaska since that is the setting for my novel Polar Night
. So when I signed up to be part of her blog tour it was a no-brainer for me to ask her to share some of her Alaskan experiences here on my site.
Before I turn things over to Yolanda, I just want to say that I am also excited to be featured on her site today. You can read Yolanda's interview with me on her blog Defending the Pen
Now on to the Alaskan adventures!
AN ALASKAN ADVENTURE
Julie has agreed to host me on her blog today, and has asked
that I speak of my Alaskan Adventures, the inspiration for much of my writing.
Thank you Julie, I love nothing more than talking about Alaska and my
experiences, just don't tell my family or their eye rolls will make you all
I went to Alaska on vacation but fell in love, with the
state, and stayed for 4 years. The boyfriend I went there to visit, well, we
just didn't work as a couple. I knew the first few minutes after my arrival that
I never wanted to leave this amazing place, and if I have one regret, it's that
I did leave. Even though I moved to Washington State, a place that ran a close
second to Alaska for an adventure seeker, I still hope to return, and make Alaska
my writing home.
That first year I lived near Ester, just outside of
Fairbanks and close to the University of Alaska. I worked for a trucking
company as a payroll clerk and wrote weekly checks to drivers that equaled ¼ of
my paycheck for an entire year. I was mistaken for a prostitute on the plane
ride to Fairbanks and refused to wear a dress for almost two years because of
it. I worked as an Assistant Field Engineer on the pipeline corridor from
Prudhoe Bay to Valdez and eventually settled in downtown Anchorage where I
worked for the native Corporation that built the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel.
I hiked the Alaskan Range and the Brooks Range, and learned
all about survival in the wilderness and the cold despite being a cheechako (a
newcomer, unaware and totally unafraid). You learn fast when faced with a
crisis. I still suffer in the cold from frostbite to my fingers. Damage that
occurred when I had to splice the wires to my engine-heater at 50 below, but I
will always prefer the cold to the heat. I spent more money on bug-off, and
hiking boots, than perfume or high heels. That first summer I hitchhiked, safely
with a friend, until I could convince a bank I would not disappear after the
termination dust (snow) hit the foothills in September.
I've been stranded on a mountaintop at 30 below, shivered
through a night (alone) under a mountain of blankets after exposure to the cold
– hyperthermia. I learned that the water in a gas tank can freeze and clog not
only the gas line but also the carburetor, as well as how to repair it myself.
I've stood on ice bubbles ten feet tall and I've eaten grayling direct from
mountain stream to skillet and nothing since, has ever tasted that good. I've
helicoptered into to a mining camp and listened to the miner's stories of
survival while drinking coffee and eating sourdough bread. And in one evening I
saw 9 grizzlies, after a spring of hiking the range and not seeing anything but
tracks, thank god, I was in a pickup truck at the time of those sightings.
I've been truly blessed to have had such awesome experiences
and have drawn from that to create my suspenseful romance set in Alaska, and
Washington states. Murder, Madness & Love to be re-released this month, and Memories
of Murder to be released October 4, 2013. The first two books in the
Detective Quaid trilogy with a third, Obsession to Murder due out in 2014.
Thank you Julie, for
allowing me to visit your blog and talk of my Alaskan adventures and my books!
Learn more about Renee and her books by
following these links:
August 19, 2013
After a gritty detective
becomes involved with a beautiful widow suspected of murder, rumor and
obsession obstruct his quest for justice.
Sunlight blazes on an empty
Arctic winds gather snowflakes
on a frosty window ledge as a statuesque form appears. She moves past a table
littered with papers. Headlines splash news of murder, but it's the photo of
another young woman with features mirroring her own that draws her attention.
A different headline peeks from
underneath the Anchorage Times.
Wealthy Businessman Dies in Car Crash ... BLACK WIDOW
Graphic images swirl through
her head and a tear rolls down her cheek. She drifts toward an easel and a
trembling hand dips a sable brush into a palette of paint.
The Westminster doorbell
chimes. The brush slips and blood-red paint stains the floor.
Detective Steven Quaid waits.
His Tlingit, Indian features carved from granite, mask his Irish passion ...
Will he arrest her this time?
All fingers point to her guilt.
But, is she guilty of this
cunning plot? Or, just a victim of circumstantial evidence?
The door opens ...
His eyes lock on hers ...
His heart races ...
Hers skips a beat.
Memories of Murder
October 4, 2013
World damnation is a psychotic
man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way, greed and a dedicated
Decades ago, the seeds were
Today, dark, fathomless eyes
rake the image before him. One final task and the transformation is complete.
Steady fingers screw intricately carved horns on each side of a stiff brow, and
a gargoyle suitable for Notre Dame scowls from the smokey mirror in
A jagged smile rips through his
smooth, hairless face, and inked, reptilian scales caress his naked body.
A laugh of hideous resonance
emanates from his gut as the demons of hell welcome Lucifer into their fold.
In a dungeon-like chamber, his
Lilith awaits. The kidnapped daughter of a nun, groomed to fit the final piece
in the complex puzzle for world domination. Will Lucifer marry his bride, on
the summer solstice?
Only two things stand in his
His greed ...
Detective Steven Quaid.