By Laurie Wood
Release Day: December 6, 2019
BOOK LINK: AMAZON
Wealthy socialite Kali McIntyre dreams of opening her own dessert bar, Sassy Sweets, in downtown Winnipeg—until her father crushes that dream when he cuts her off financially. He’s determined to get her to use her law degree to join the family’s high-powered law firm. She’s determined to do anything but that. And when an unknown-to-her aunt dies in Churchill, Manitoba, leaving her an unbelievable inheritance, Kali’s on the next flight up north to make her dreams a reality.
Chef Jake Miller has lived in Churchill for the past ten years, working hard to keep The Great Northern Lodge afloat through some tough times. But then his business partner dies unexpectedly, without telling him that she’d changed her will or that she had a niece who is set to inherit everything. Now, Jake and Kali have thirty days to work together and decide–who will stay and who will go–before Christmas rolls around. Secrets, attempted murder, and a new menu all add up to a Christmas unlike any other.
Wild and dangerous and the town has nothing of significance…
With that ringing in her ears, she grabbed her soft-sided hot pink suitcase and hauled it upright beside her. The clock read 9:45 a.m., so she was right on time. Her ride should be here any minute. Gazing around the tiny, one-room airport, she noticed a twelve-foot high polar bear skin hung spread out in a wooden display case. The sheer height and width of it gave her pause.
“It’s nothing but snow, ice, and polar bears,” her dad had said. She rolled her luggage over to the huge case and checked out the five-inch claws on the paws of the polar bear skin. Its teeth were three inches, at least, bared permanently in a snarl. The entire fur from side to side had to be four feet wide.
She drew in a breath to calm her nerves and turned to read the huge blue and white sign on the wall.
“Welcome to Churchill, Manitoba–Polar Bear Country,” it read.
Go beyond a polar bear alert warning sign Approach or feed a bear for any reason
Walk at night after 10 p.m.
“Always be alert and aware of your surroundings,” said a deep voice from behind her left shoulder.
Adrenaline rippled through her veins. Kali gasped and jumped. “Excuse me?”
“Sorry.” The man who’d spoken loomed over her. His fur-lined green parka hood, which he shoved back out of the way, framed his brown hair and beard scruff. His brown, almost black, eyes didn’t look the least bit sorry. His thick, longish hair poked up in an unruly fashion and curled around his ears. He grinned, showing white, even teeth she couldn’t help but stare at for a second. Handsome. Unbelievably handsome.
“Sorry, that’s the next line on the sign—you are reading the sign, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I mean, I was… I just…” Kali stopped. Get a hold of yourself! You’re babbling.
“The most important thing to remember is that bears can be in town at any time of day or night,” he quoted from the sign. “I’m assuming you’re Miss Kali McIntyre?”
She drew herself up to her entire 5’ 1” height. “You can drop the Miss. And yes, I’m Kali McIntyre.” If this guy was her ride, she’d just hit the lottery.
He drew off his enormous fur-trimmed gauntlet and thrust his right-hand forwards to shake her hand. “Excellent. I’m Jake Miller, from The Great Northern Lodge.”
©Laurie Wood 2019
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thank you for hosting me today! I hope your readers are entertained by NORTHERN HEARTS because it’s a light, Christmas Hallmark-type romance. And I think there are a couple of messages in the story, of which the first is, follow your dreams but don’t leave God out of the equation. The heroine, Kali McIntyre thinks she has her plans set to open her own dessert bar and then is summoned to northern Canada to learn she’s inherited a thriving Lodge and Restaurant which are way out of her comfort zone.
She also tries to change everything to bring it back into her “comfort zone”, which fails miserably. And so often we do this in real life. We self-sabotage ourselves when trying new things because we don’t trust what God has for us. We may think we’re praying for God’s will for our lives, but it’s really *our* will we’re praying to have happen! And this was what I was trying to get across, humorously, with this love story. Most of the time, what we *think* we want isn’t what God has for us.
As we end another year, I hope we can all look back and see the places where we made those kinds of mistakes and learn from them. And hopefully, in 2020 we’ll be ready to let God do the leading.