Last July, my husband and I flew up to Churchill, Manitoba so I could research my second main book in my Heroes of the Tundra series. I wanted to see what the town and surrounding area were like in the summertime, as well as interview the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police, because book 2’s hero is an RCMP officer.

Churchill is a small town of 900 people and sits on the shores of Hudson Bay, that cut-out of water in the centre of Canada leading to the Arctic ocean. It’s out best deep-water port to the arctic and during the wintertime and polar bear season, it swells to thousands of tourists.

I wrote the Christmas novella, NORTHERN HEARTS, as a “fill-in” story between Book 1 and Book 2. Northern Deception, Book 1, ends in November with an Epilogue the following March. NORTHERN HEARTS is set during that Christmas immediately following the November ending of Northern Deception.

Its tone is more Hallmark than edgy suspense, but it still has a mystery and a lot of romance. It’s going to be FREE to download from July 17 to 20, 2020 on at

Here is a quick excerpt from Chapter 1 of NORTHERN HEARTS:

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

Get your FREE e-book copy here: Starting Friday July 17 to Monday July 20, 2020.