NORTHERN HEARTS released this week. Can you tell us what it’s about?
Sure! It’s about a rich young woman from the big city who’s trying to start up her own Dessert Bar and going against her father’s wishes in doing so. She gets an email that an aunt she never knew about has left her a mysterious inheritance in a small, sub-arctic town in northern Canada, so she goes up to see what she’s inherited and finds there’s more to the family secret than just an unknown aunt. She’s given some specific directions before she can inherit the Lodge and Restaurant, and she has to work alongside the very romantic hero, who’s been there for the past ten years. They have 30 days before Christmas to decide if they will sell the place, work together and keep it, or if she will sell him her share and return to the big city.
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
My inspiration for this novella was putting it in the same Christmas time that I skip over in my first book, NORTHERN DECEPTION. In that book, the story ends at the end of November, and then there’s an Epilogue in March of the following year. So, this novella takes place a week later after the end of NORTHERN DECEPTION and takes up the whole month of December that I skipped over in that book. It’s a different couple meeting and falling in love, although characters from the first book make an appearance in NORTHERN HEARTS.
You can read them out of order, but if you do, you should go back and read NORTHERN DECEPTION!
How did you get the idea for your book?
I got the idea from watching Master Chef Australia. My kids love watching Master Chef and we watch the US one, the Canadian one, and now have found the Australian show on the Gusto channel. And several of the contestants–including a young guy–have the goal of starting up their own Dessert Bar and serving these wild and outrageous “theme” desserts. So, I decided my heroine, who would be a “fish out of water” anyway by going from the big city up to a small northern arctic town, would also be determined to open her own Dessert Bar and have a trendy, baking career instead of going into the law, which is what her father wants her to do.
What’s your favorite scene from the book?
My favourite scene is where the hero, Jake Miller, kisses the heroine, Kali McIntyre, in his truck outside of the Lodge at the beginning of their shift. It’s one of my better kissing scenes and giving no spoilers, I think I nailed the conflict of a first kiss.
What’s more important: characters or plot?
Characters! Even though I write romantic suspense, which can be somewhat formulaic, if you don’t have well-rounded characters then the plot will fall flat. I, personally, hate reading a book that’s just an endless chain of action-chase scenes because the heroine is in jeopardy and the hero has to take her at least six places before the black moment. I want to meet *real* people who’re different from your standard romance characters. So, my heroine here is very short, although she’s beautiful in a Kristen Bell kind of way. And she suffers from hypoglycemia. I like to give my heroines something physical to be dealing with–in NORTHERN DECEPTION the heroine gets terrible migraines.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I have seven nieces and a daughter who all have beautiful and unusual names. I’m using their names for major characters in each book. I’m saving my daughter’s name for a recurring character in a series I’ve got on the back burner, because it’s my favourite name. For the guys, I’ve also got a couple of an unusual nephew’s names and my son’s name. He will be a hero soon in another book. And sometimes, if I’m really stuck, I’ll check the rosters of our local AHL hockey team or our ABL baseball team for guys names and mix up the first and last names to create something new.
Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me at:
Finally, tell us what’s next. What else are you working on?
I’m working on the next book in the Heroes of the Tundra series, NORTHERN PROTECTOR. It’s coming out in June 2020 and I’m excited about it because I’m tackling more deep issues which are close to my heart. It’s been a tough book to write and I’ve had to start it over from scratch when I had the “wrong” heroine matched with the hero, Constable Ben Koper, who was mauled by the polar bear in NORTHERN DECEPTION. It’s his story of recovery both physically, emotionally, and mentally from the ordeal, along with a murder mystery and of course, the love story between Ben and a nurse at the hospital, Joy Gallagher. I can’t wait for you all to read it!
Also by Laurie Wood: