by Vella Munn
GENRE: romantic suspense
Winter Barstow knows nothing of her past or ethnic heritage. Everything changes when Doc, her mentor, sends her an authentic ceremonial wolf mask from Olympic National Forest.
Then Doc disappears. Winter goes to the mysterious forest where she’s confronted by Native American ranger Jay Raven, who has no love for Doc.
Still, Jay can’t walk away from Winter. Not only has a spirit wolf reached out to her, but he also suspects she’s in terrible danger…and his growing feelings for her are too strong to ignore.
She started to reach for the mask but wound up unbuttoning the top two buttons on her blouse and pulling it away from her chest. Still staring at her reflection, she lightly stroked the small tattoo over her heart. It wasn’t particularly remarkable—just the outline of a wolf’s head with red eyes. It represented her reverence for a childhood obsession.
“Coincidence,” she muttered. “Don’t put anything into it.”
Hesitant, she picked up the mask, lifted it over her head and settled it into place. Immediately she plunged into a world of weight and darkness and wood scent.
Claustrophobia washed through her, causing her heart to slam against her chest, but she fought her way past the fear. All these years on her own had taught her to face life squarely. No way would she let a little darkness get the better of her. If some superstitious Hoh could wear it for hours, she could put up with a few minutes. Then when she got a hold of Doc she could tell him—tell him what?
The question faded along with her awareness of where she was. She was no longer hot and thirsty. Instead, she swore she was breathing cool, damp air that smelled of vegetation both growing and decaying.
Two holes had been drilled into the base of the muzzle, allowing her to catch a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She saw nothing of Winter Barstow. That woman had been replaced by fierce ancient symbolism.
A howl echoed throughout the small room.
Vella Munn: Why I write the kinds of books I do
Explaining why I write the kinds of books I do isn’t easy since what I create has evolved over the years, and I expect that to continue. To be honest, from the beginning, my goal was to be able to make a living making up stuff so I wouldn’t have to return to the day job.
I’d quit said day job a week before the birth of my first child and by the time my second and last was heading for school, my work skills were rusty. Also, I’d started selling short stories which gave me hope I knew what I was doing. The more I wrote, the more characters crowded my mind. There was no chance they’d let go which could prove dangerous in the ‘real’ world.
Romances have always appealed to me, not so much because I’m a romantic, but because the genre hangs on the complexity of human nature. It’s also the most popular genre which both makes romances easy to sell and difficult to stand out. My major was in sociology, the minor in psychology. Obviously I’m fascinated by the human condition. What makes us strong and/or vulnerable? What will we fight for and will we compromise on? What makes each of us unique? How do we approach the great gift and risk of falling in love?
That sounds lofty, doesn’t it? Reality is, most of the time I don’t know much about my characters when I start a book. I have to spend weeks and sometimes months with them before they reveal their complexities to me. That’s fascinating. It’s the whole business of peeling the onion. Fictional or real, we’re all made up of layers. I hope what I write takes readers on the same journey I travel and that they care about the characters who in essence evolve from my experiences or those of people I care about.
As example: years ago when I was writing category romances for Harlequin, my agent asked if I realized that the majority of my heroines were dealing with parental issues, mostly father/daughter relationships. I hadn’t, but once she’d pointed that out to me, I thought, “Of course.” My own father walked out of my life when I was a little girl. In one way or another, I’ve spent most of my life dealing with that. There was no happy reunion for me in the real world, but I can give my characters peace. Most importantly, I can give them the love of another human being.
As I mentioned, romances deal with human nature. Saying someone is a certain personality type is simplistic. Human beings are complex, each of us unique. Changing over time. Impacted by the others in our lives. Adapting to circumstances. Reacting to and working to resolve issues. Growing stronger.
What I believe I’m saying is, I don’t see myself ever leaving the broad umbrella known as ROMANCE. There are too many possibilities, too many options, too many adventures, too many hearts with stories needing to be told.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Vella Munn freely admits to being a dedicated and sometimes demented fiction writer. She has always been drawn to nature and those who feel at home in it. A career writer, she has had way over 60 books published, most of them romances both past and present. As far as personal statistics go, she has one husband, two sons, four grandchildren, and is owned by two rescue dogs. Home is southern Oregon within a two hour drive of Crater Lake. She frequently visits Montana in her mind and heart.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Vella Munn will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.