Today I am so pleased to welcome Annabeth Albert to Joyfully Jay. Annabeth has come to talk to us about her latest release, Arctic Sun (Frozen Hearts 1). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I am so thrilled to be here at Joyfully Jay celebrating the release of Arctic Sun, the first book in my Alaska set series Frozen Hearts. This opposites-attract, hurt/comfort romance is really close to my heart, and I’m so excited to share it with readers. Starting a new series is an amazing opportunity as a writer because it opens up a whole new universe to explore. And it’s building that universe that I wanted to share with you all here today, sort of a behind-the-scenes tour of the series, and this book in particular.
First, I knew that I wanted the scenery in Alaska to play a huge part in each of the three books. I wanted my characters out in nature, seeing iconic sights, visiting cool places, and getting once-in-a-lifetime chances. As I did my research, I accumulated a list of sights and experiences I wanted my characters to have. I did endless hours of researching real Alaskan tours, like the one that River goes on in Arctic Sun, planning an itinerary of my own that would let River and his fellow tourists get as much real Alaskan flavor as possible.
Second, I knew that those secondary characters—the other tourists along with assorted family and friends were going to play a huge role in this series. In my Out of Uniform series, I had the military as a backdrop—teammates, commanding officers, fellow enlisted persons, etc. It provided a certain structure to the series. But here, I was starting from scratch again, and I had more room to decide who would be important and why.
I knew that family was going to be hugely important to Griffin, my gruff mountain man tour guide, and I could quickly tell that his mother was going to be one of my favorite characters. Strong secondary characters were important to me throughout this series, and Griffin’s family really set the tone for me. Loving, supportive, dynamic, and with their own goals and concerns, they were a true joy to spend time with. Likewise, the tourists with whom River and Griffin must spend time became real to me, and unlike a SEAL team filled with single guys for spin-off fodder, it was really fun to have more female and more partnered up secondary characters popping up over the course of the series.
But of course some spin-off fodder is fun! I knew going into it that these were going to be three stand-alone books with only very minor cameos of other characters, but you do meet one of book 2’s heroes very briefly in book 1, and his appearance there really started the wheels churning for his book, Arctic Wild, out in June.
As I set all these secondary characters in motion with Alaska as the setting, I turned back to that list of experiences I wanted for them—camping, rustic lodges, exploring glaciers and national parks, seeing wildlife, eating local foods, and I tried work as much of that into the plot as I could without taking away from River and Griffin’s journey.
It’s a journey that I’m really proud of, and one that I’m excited to take with readers. Because even with this brand new universe to explore, it’s still one of my books—deep emotions, sexy connections, roller coaster feelings, real challenges—and I didn’t want the new setting to detract from the core story I wanted to tell about two men who deeply need each other. All the world-building was fun, but at the end of the day, it’s still a love story, one that I really hope resonates with you as much as it did with me.
Now, be sure and check out the giveaway! And in the comments, feel free to tell me about favorite secondary characters you love! Thank you so much for having me!
He’s built a quiet life for himself in Alaska. But it doesn’t stand a chance against the unrelenting pull of a man who’s everything he shouldn’t want.
Ex-military mountain man Griffin Barrett likes his solitude. It keeps him from falling back into old habits. Bad habits. He’s fought too hard for his sobriety to lose control now. However, his gig as a wildlife guide presents a new kind of temptation in superhot supermodel River Vale. Nothing the Alaskan wilderness has to offer has ever called to Griffin so badly. And that can only lead to trouble…
River has his own methods for coping. Chasing adventure means always moving forward. Nobody’s ever made him want to stand still—until Griffin. The rugged bush pilot is the very best kind of distraction, but the emotions he stirs up in River feel anything but casual, and he’s in no position to stay put.
With temptation lurking in close quarters, keeping even a shred of distance is a challenge neither’s willing to meet. And the closer Griffin gets to River, the easier it is to ignore every last reason he should run.
Enter to win 1 of 2 paperback copies of Arctic Sun + a fun-filled swag pack! Must be 18 to enter and win, open internationally. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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