As I’m writing this, two wildfires are burning within an hour’s drive of where I live. Yes, this is what August in southern Oregon is often like, but that doesn’t make out-of-control fires in the surrounding mountains any easier to live with. The current fires are manmade which makes them even more abhorrent.
who put their lives on the line to control and contain the blazes. My youngest son spent several summers fighting fires throughout the Northwest and still answers the call when fires are close to home. Fortunately, he now handles the water truck instead of basic boots on the ground work.
When I sat down to write the third book in the Montana Lakeside series, I decided to give my heroine Echo Rose a background in firefighting as a way of highlighting the danger they face. Prior to the opening of His Montana Rescue, Echo nearly lost her life when a fire blew up around her and the crew she was on. Because her shattered ankle can no longer handle firefighting, she focuses on her job as a forest service ranger at Lake Serene. In the book, it is late summer and the forest around the lake is dangerously dry, prompting her to impose restrictions on contractor Rey Bowen’s crew. Needless to say, Rey isn’t happy with the restrictions, not because he doesn’t believe they’re necessary but because remodeling the Lake Serene resort is crucial to his determination to salvage his career. Rey was out of options when he was offered this job. He has to succeed.
Obviously, Echo and Rey have opposing agendas which is a necessary component to romance fiction. For fiction to succeed, there must be conflict. Otherwise, there’s no story, just a Happy Ever After on page one. Hopefully I gave Echo and Rey compelling reasons to stand their ground, to come in conflict with each other.
But His Montana Rescue is a romance so of course Echo and Rey are drawn to each other. Not just physically (a given) but emotionally as well. They ‘get’ the other person’s commitment to their respective careers. They’re aware of the emotional scars, the deep well of secrets, and the need of lonely hearts. The question is simple: does love have a chance or are they too different?
P.S. there’s a matter of some adorable chipmunks that have a way of showing up when Echo and Rey are together. Perhaps a sign?
Take it away,
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Vella Munn writes contemporary and historical romances to satisfy the insistent voices in her head. She’s convinced she has the best career in the world. Also thanks to those voices, she no longer has any other marketable skills. She’s had more than 50 books published and is beyond exited to have joined the Tule Publishing family with a contemporary romance series set at Lake Serene, Montana. The series draws on her love of the wilderness as backdrop for new beginnings and love. Vella lives in rural Oregon, is married, has two sons, and four grandchildren. She’s owned by two bossy dogs and is working on her master’s degree as a certified hermit.