Welcome to Part 1 of my Friday series on “Behind-the-Book” for my debut novel from Anaiah Press. Every Friday from now till it releases December 4, 2018, I’ll be sharing some information with you that I hope will enrich your enjoyment of the story about Kira Summers and Lukas Tanner.

When I decided to write a romantic suspense novel set in Canada, I thought, “what’s more Canadian than polar bears?” Polar bears and igloos are some of our most iconic Canadian symbols. And because I live in Winnipeg which is Manitoba’s provincial capital and just 1,000 km (620 mi) south of Churchill, I researched this small town in northern Manitoba to see what mischief I could come up with for a story.

Churchill ( population 900) sits on the western shore of Hudson Bay 110 km (68 mi) from the Manitoba-Nunavut border. It’s northerly. It’s right on the 58th parallel north far above Canada’s most populated areas. To compare, Juneau, Alaska, and Inverness, Scotland, also sit on the 58th parallel north. And yet, Churchill is still 2807 km (1744 mi) south of Alert, Nunavut–or the North Pole–at the top of Canada, which gives you an idea of how vast Canada’s far north is in size.

Here’s a photo of Churchill taken from my husband’s military plane. There’s a railway into town and an airport. There’s no highway access. The “snow” you see at the top of the photo is really sea ice on Hudson Bay. Polar bears wait for that ice to form in November so they can go out far on the Bay to hunt seals all winter to survive. They’ll return in the spring to go inland to continue hunting when the ice breaks up.
This stone “sculpture” is called an “Inukshuk” pronounced “in-uck-shuck”. It’s free-stacked stones to represent a human figure and stands on the main beach of the town looking out towards Hudson Bay. I make reference to it in the book. The Inuit people have made these figures as ways to pointing towards where they’ve been to remember how to get back to places, point the way towards herds of caribou, etc. when they were traveling on completely flat tundra in the north. It’s on iconic Canadian tradition.
My husband beside an 800 lb male polar bear in the local museum. This young bear was killed after a human/bear encounter and donated to the museum. An average of 300 bears will go through the town and close surrounding area of Churchill during “bear season” from about the third week of October to the middle of November till all the sea ice is frozen solid. Conservation Officers and police officers work tirelessly to keep the bears away from town through using live bait traps and everyone carries guns with “cracker” shells that emit loud decibel sounds that scare the bears off without lethal force.

In NORTHERN DECEPTION: Heroes of the Tundra, heroine Kira Summers is a polar bear scientist doing research at the Arctic Science Research Centre in Churchill and my hero owns one of the Tour Guiding Companies. I’ve used all the proper sites in Churchill but changed the names of businesses because of trademarks. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the CEO of Frontiers North Company were generous with their time in answering my research questions.

 For example:

  • Canada is home to around 15,000 polar bears
  • There are twenty discrete populations known to exist and three of them frequent Hudson Bay, and much of our knowledge of polar bears comes from research done in Churchill from the past thirty years.
  • Males can weigh from 660 to 1760 lbs–females from 330 to 550 lbs.
  • Their paws can be 10”-12” across with claws up to 3”-5” long
  • Cubs stay with their mother for two to three years
  • To survive the extreme cold of the Arctic their fur is almost ten thousand hairs per square inch

Canada is much more than a “land of snow and ice”. Our country has Rocky Mountain ranges, vast prairie regions, the Great Lakes, and the beautiful Maritime provinces. But when I decided to set my reunion romance in a remote setting I chose Churchill, Manitoba because I wanted the unique cache of sled dogs, polar bears, and the small town camaraderie of the far north.

I hope when NORTHERN DECEPTION: Heroes of the Tundra, releases December 4, 2018 from Anaiah Press you’ll enjoy this tale two people who find themselves back together in different circumstances and thrust into danger through no fault of their own.


After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.
Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race – a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.

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