Journey to Churchill
By guest Laurie Wood
People have asked me if Northern Deception is the “book of my heart” and it is in the sense that since I began writing for the CBA market, I’ve felt a calling to write books set in Canada. This was the hardest book I’ve ever written up till now. It’s also the first book I’ve written for the CBA market, and I’m sure that's why it was so hard to write.
The idea for Northern Deception came in stages. I didn’t want to make my first hero the “standard” Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer–or “Mountie”–even if the red-serge uniform is a Canadian icon. I kept joking to my husband that when people think of Canadian men, they think of RCMP officers on horseback or lumberjacks in red flannel shirts!
One weekend we took our kids to the local Zoo and their favorite part is the extensive polar bear exhibit. We have six rescued polar bears from Churchill, Manitoba which is 1000 kilometers north of Winnipeg. These bears were orphaned, or they came into a human/bear interaction and then didn’t stay away from town after being flown further up north by helicopter, so our Zoo brought them down. And as we were enjoying watching the bears, it hit me: what’s another famous Canadian icon? Our frozen Arctic with our polar bears! And my hero who owns a wilderness guiding tour company in Churchill, Manitoba stepped into my mind, full blown and ready to tell his story.
So, I had a hero who owned a wilderness touring company and a heroine who was a polar bear scientist - now the problem was what to do with them? Churchill is home to an international science center where scientists come from around the world, along with university and high school students, to study the arctic ecosystem, and do various research projects. It took a while for me to figure out what to do with this rich location because science is NOT my strong suit! Eventually with research I developed a suspense story based on what could go wrong with a pristine environment that’s already under stress from climate change.
Churchill, Manitoba is just on the edge of the parallel where the sub-arctic turns into the arctic in Canada so I’m hoping people will enjoy learning about Canada. It sits on the same parallel as Juneau, Alaska and Inverness, Scotland, and yet we still have another 2,794 kilometres of partially inhabited Arctic north of it that reaches to the North Pole.
For my love story, I did a reunion storyline because it’s one of my favorite romance tropes.I think people with some baggage deserve a second chance at working things out! I also wanted to cover a serious issue in a Christian book in a way that a non-Christian might pick it up and read it and say, “I didn’t think Christians thought that way”, or “I didn’t realize things like that happened to Christians”. And I was fortunate that Anaiah Press agreed with my take on the issue and let me run with it.
And the hero also has an adorable three-year-old toddler who has special needs. She’s based on my own daughter at that age. So, if you know of anyone who’s got family or friends with someone with special needs, you’ll love little Sophie. It was a joy to include a character with a disability.
Weaving all the romance, suspense, back story, and faith threads together was challenging because my other novels were secular. They flowed out of me with ease, and yet none of them sold. I felt as though every word had to be ground out of granite with this book. And yet, I’m humbled by the positive response it’s gotten. The hard work and heartaches have paid off and I hope people will enjoy the suspense and love story and the takeaway of forgiveness for yourself and others. And I hope readers will gain an appreciation for my home country of Canada!
Laurie will be giving away a PDF copy of her book today! In the comments, please let us know you'd like to be entered. Now let's celebrate Laurie's debut!
Reunions can be deadly.
After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.
Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.
About the Author:
Laurie Wood is a military wife who’s lived across Canada and visited six of its ten provinces. She and her husband have raised two wonderful children with Down Syndrome to adulthood, and their son and daughter are a wonderful blessing to their lives. Over the years, Laurie’s books have finaled in prestigious contests such as the Daphne du Maurier (twice), the TARA, the Jasmine, and the Genesis. Her family lives in central Canada with a menagerie of rescue dogs and cats. If the house were bigger, no doubt they’d have more.