Sunday, February 06, 2011
Susan Page Davis is an award-winning author with more than thirty novels published. A Maine native, she now lives in Kentucky with her husband Jim, who is an editor, and the youngest two of their six children. She’s the grandmother of six. Susan loves reading, history, travel, and animals.
So happy to have you back here, Susan. Have you ever been to Alaska?
Yes, I have. It’s a magnificent place, and one you can’t possibly see more than a small fraction of in a single visit. While there I stayed with friends in Anchorage and drove down to Homer, where one of the Coast Guard bases in Alaska is located. My brother was a career Coast Guard officer and had been stationed there and in Kodiak. He put me in touch with some of his friends. Homer is a gorgeous town on a volcano-ringed bay. My friend and I were given a guided tour of the Coast Guard buoy tender docked there and met my brother’s retired captain. After we returned to Anchorage, I drove north to visit Wasilla, home of the Iditarod headquarters, and other sites for my research.
That sounds wonderful. Wish I could have gone with you. How was the setting chosen for this series?
My editor invited me to submit a proposal for a series of books set in Alaska. I was a bit intimidated, but overjoyed to be asked.
What do you like most about this collection?
I love the setting and the characters. The animals are a bonus.
What book are you currently writing?
I’m actually working on two historicals. Lady Anne’s Quest is set in Oregon in 1855. An English lady had gone West to find her missing uncle. That will be part of my Prairie Dreams series from Barbour. Captive Trail is about a stagecoach driver who finds a white woman dressed like a Comanche lying unconscious in the road. It’s book 2 of the Texas Trails series from Moody, which I’m writing with Darlene Franklin (Lone Star Trail) and Vickie McDonough (The Long Trail Home).
Since all three of you are my friends, I'm very excited about that Moody series, as well as the Prairie Dreams series. What’s coming up next in your writing life?
Tell us about the stories in Alaska Weddings.
In Always Ready, Caddie has followed her late father’s footsteps by becoming a Coast Guard officer. She serves in the Gulf of Alaska, where conditions are harsh. She is attracted to Aven, an officer on another ship home ported in Kodiak, but they discover a secret in the past that links them—and may keep them apart.
In Fire & Ice, Robyn (Aven’s sister) operates a kennel in Wasilla, where she raises and trains sled dogs. Six valuable dogs are stolen from her pens, and she turns to neighboring veterinarian Rick for help in finding them. Will they find romance, too?
In Polar Opposites, Aven and Robyn’s widowed mom, Cheryl is working in Rick’s veterinary clinic when she meets the new animal doctor, Oz Thormond. Cheryl thinks they are too different to ever “click,” but when Oz invites her to go to the North Slope with him and study polar bears, she begins to wonder.
Please give us the first page.
Here’s the first page of Always Ready (the first story in the collection):
Caddie Lyle stood on the bridge of the ship, watching out the windows ahead as the farthest Aleutian Islands came into view. The crew of her ship, the U.S. Coast Guard’s buoy tender Wintergreen, was carrying out its early summer assignment to check their most remote navigational aids and deliver supplies to a few isolated Native Alaskan villages. Volcanic mountains formed an eerily beautiful backdrop to the frothing seascape that stretched before them into infinity. The 225-foot ship seemed a tiny bit of flotsam.
The Bering Sea writhed all around the ship, tossing it up and down in nauseating plunges. Caddie braced her feet as a particularly violent lurch hit them. She focused on a large map hanging on the wall across the room. Seasickness rarely overtook her, but she’d struggled the past forty-eight hours in the inhospitable waters of the North.
The skipper paused beside her and looked forward out the big windows, at the barely visible land in the distance. “In a few hours, we’ll be at the western end of the U.S.A.”
Caddie nodded and pulled in deep breath. Her stomach settled down as the deck found a more level plane. “Can’t believe I’m really out here.”
“You can believe it. We’ll put in at Attu soon. When our errand there’s completed, we’ll head on home.”
Home and family seemed worlds away. Of all the people Caddie loved, only her father had seen these waters. Like her, he had come years ago with supplies for the Coast Guard station at Attu, the last in the chain of Aleutian islands. She stared out the side windows, where nothing but waves and sky existed. This wild setting reduced the massive Wintergreen to a fragile bark. But God was still above, keeping them afloat. She smiled at the thought.
“Sir,” Lindsey Rockwell, their operations specialist, called to the captain from her post at the radio desk. “I’m getting a distress signal.”
I love it already. Where can the readers find you on the Internet?
Come see my website at: http://www.susanpagedavis.com/
Thanks for coming by my blog today, Susan.
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