Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giveaway, Guest Post, and Review of Unsafe Haven by Char Chaffin

Hi everyone, Char Chaffin present and accounted for at Close Encounters of the Night!
I’ve stopped by to chat about my recently-released second novel, Unsafe Haven, a kind of written celebration of the years I lived in Alaska with my family. We moved there in 1988, when our daughter Sue Ann was still in grade school, “just for a few years.” Well, “a few years” stretched into sixteen years and during our time there, I discovered I liked to write. Then I realized I wanted to write, needed to write. I also made a decision: that someday I’d write about Alaska, maybe more than once.
Having finally done so, I’ll have to set a few more novels in The Last Frontier. Alaska is one of those places so much larger than life, it would be impossible not to find plenty of inspirational story fodder.
I based Unsafe Haven in one of the most remote regions of Alaska: Southwest. If you look on a map of Alaska, the entire western area of the state is desolate and daunting. Mountains, rivers, lakes, tundra, all conspire against such “trivial” civilization necessities as roads. If you can’t drive there, you can’t live there, right? Well, not exactly. You just have to be inventive and clever. Or live in a tiny Native Alaskan village where the hardships are balanced out by the sheer beauty of your surroundings, and Mother Nature happily offers up her bounty. It also helps to know how to live off the land.
Contrarily, each year more and more tourism pours into some of the remote regions of Alaska, changing its dynamic, allowing for things like cell phones, Internet, maybe a few more roads here and there for places that in the past were completely cut off. Visitors to Alaska still want to see Anchorage and Fairbanks, Skagway, Sitka, and Juneau, the glaciers, Prince William Sound. But they’ll also come to the villages if they can find a way to get there. My fictional village of Staamat is such a place: a cross between modern and traditional, predominantly Native Alaskan but with other ethnicities settling and experiencing the wonders as well as the difficulties of life in the Arctic.
My heroine, Kendall, uses Alaska as a way to escape her own personal nightmare, but finds herself renewed when settling in Staamat nets her the attention of Denn Nulo, the Chief of Stammat’s tiny yet effective police force. Native Alaskan and all man, Denn falls for Kendall instantly, but here is a woman whose past flares up in the form of nightmares and flashbacks. She wants Denn but she’s very, very leery. Until she feels completely safe in her new home, romance might just have to take a back seat. But Denn is as persuasive as he is charming, and Kendall allows herself to love him, just as the monster from her previous life finds out where she’s been hiding.
Often considered the last bastion of true freedom in America, Alaska affords its residents the opportunity to live their own lives unfettered by some of society’s more restrictive customs. You’ll find some real characters thriving there, and a few of them found their way into my story. Characters like Bear and Old Man Fake are patterned after real folks I met while living in Alaska.
I never did meet anyone exactly like Denn Nulo while I was in Fairbanks. But I saw bits of him, here and there, during those sixteen years I called Alaska my home. A smile, a turn of the head, the light in a pair of amber eyes, a brush of dense black, shoulder-length hair over broad shoulders. The nobility and pride that comes with understanding and embracing a rich heritage, a willingness to move forward . . . I saw that, too. Intelligence, fortitude, determination, love of family and fellow man. All of it I drew on when I sat down at my keyboard and fleshed out my hero.
I also enjoyed crafting Conroy Herington, my handsome but nasty villain. And I discovered, as I wrote him, how much fun sociopaths can be to write. You can have them do anything, get away with untold horrors, and not suffer a moments’ guilt over it.
In Kendall, I wanted a damaged young woman strong enough to escape and start anew, who finds out along the way she’s a lot braver than she ever thought she could be. Her survival instinct is so much a part of who she is, and her reluctant attraction to, and love for Denn is what helps her fight for the life she sees within reach. Hers is a journey I think many of us can relate to.
Maybe I could have set a story like this anywhere in America, but in my heart I know only Alaska could do it justice.
Unsafe Haven is now available from Soul Mate Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I hope you’ll read Kendall’s and Denn’s story, and when you do, that you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
For Kendall Martin, a small, remote village in Southwest Alaska seems like a good place to start over. On the run from an abusive relationship, she leaves everything familiar behind and begins a new life as owner of a small souvenir and sportsman trading post in picturesque Staamat.

Denn Nulo knows everyone in town: he’s the Chief of Police in Staamat. He’s lived there all his life, except for his college years, spent in Anchorage. Originally planning on practicing criminal law and living in Anchorage permanently, Denn is forced to change his plans when he receives word that his widowed mother has passed away, leaving his young sister, Luna, alone. Denn comes back to Staamat to care for Luna.

When Kendall meets Denn, she begins to believe there are truly good men in the world. Denn is everything she wants: strong, loving, dedicated to family, protective. . .and patient. There is instant attraction between them, but Kendall is leery of men, and Denn craves a serious relationship that includes marriage and children. Their courtship is a conflicting mix of hesitancy and passion, with Luna, desperately needing a mother figure in her life, cheering them on.

As Kendall learns how to trust again and her romance with Denn grows more intense, a local woman who’s had her eye on Denn for years releases a torrent of damaging jealousy. . .and the nightmare from Kendall’s past discovers where she’s hidden herself.

It is very obvious that the author not only lived in Alaska, but loved it.  The vivid and well sculpted descriptions paint a beautiful picture as each scene unfolds.  It makes you want to visit!!
Our story begins with Kendall escaping an abusive ex-fiancee and starting over again in the wilds of Alaska.  I think the author does a really good job depicting an abuse victim.  Her emotions are well displayed and heart-felt.  She meets the town hero, who also happens to be the sheriff, and feels an instant attraction to him.  Denn is probably most girls dream guy, and Kendall proves to be no exception. Unfortunately, she isn't the only one in town that wants Denn, and serious problems occur because of an extremely jealous woman.  Between that and her x popping back into the scene, you pretty much stay on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next.  I really enjoyed this read, and the romance inside was healing.  I think they both needed it.  I will definitely be reading another book from this author!!!
I’m giving away an ebook copy of  Unsafe Haven to one lucky commenter! Please leave your email address in the body of your comment if you’d like to be included in the drawing -
My links:
Book Trailer for Unsafe Haven:


Char said...

Nikki, thank you so much for your gracious hosting and the wonderful review! You've been a lifesaver on this final leg of my book tour. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Lynn Cahoon said...

Char - congrats on coming to the end of your blog tour! I love your descriptions of Alaska. My dh found out it's a great place to retire, so he's dropping hints. Good luck with Unsafe Haven.

Unknown said...

Char, you got me I'm hooked. Having lived in Barrow I can relate to the village. This brought back good memories for me.

J.J. Devine said...

Another fantastic blog, Char!!!

Unknown said...

Terrific post. Unsafe Haven is one of my favorites. I recommend it for everyone to read.

Unknown said...

This book is going on to my wishlist! I love stories of people re-making their lives in small towns and finding love.

susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

Lisa Cox said...

I love the blurb. This book sounds great. I've always wanted to visit Alaska, but have never had the chance. So reading about it is the next best thing.

Callie said...

Hi Char (she waves). As you know I LOVED Unsafe Haven. Best of luck with it. Waiting (im)patiently for the next one ::ahem::

rubyswan said...


erin said...

Sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!


Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Thank you Nikki for the invitation, and thank you Char for sharing your love of Alaska...*S*
It's wonderful to read authors who have lived in Alaska, and especially awesome when they create stories around the Last Frontier.
My DH and I just moved back tot he Washington state in June after living in Alaska for the last 12 years. We've lived in Eagle River, Ketchikan and lastly Fairbanks for the last 5+ years.
the frigid cold in the interior was a bit after the last few years, and we sold our 10 acres & home to be clooser to family in the lower 48.
Your book sounds just up my alley, and I've put it on my gotta have list....*S*
The beauty of Alaska and its diversity is a wonderful experience, and my life is so much richer for it...*S*
thank you for sharing, and wishing you all the best & continued success!


Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Sorry for the mis spelled words as my cat decided that my laptop and my lap is her bed...*S*
Thanks again!


Unknown said...

Thanks for the review and giveaway! I added this to my TBR :-)

Unknown said...

Oops, I forgot my email!

kelleynutrition at gmail dot com


TiDubb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TiDubb said...

I love stories that are set in Alaska. This book sounds like a good read.

Kelly said...

I love the quiet out of the way spots where love blooms. You can't really run away now can you!
delivery.RN at gmail dot com

divavixenqueen said...

Book sounds really good.

Linda said...

Love this and can´t wait for my chance to read, =) i´ve already added it to my TBR pile.
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!

C.S. Maxwell said...

This sounds very interesting--whether I win or not--I will be adding this one to my TBR pile.
Great post!

Dustykatt said...

This looks great. Thanks.
Miranda W
dustykattc at hotmail dot com

ShonaL said...

thanks for the opportunity to win this fab book.

Unknown said...

you always have great giveaways! thanks for that!

sabrinabeilharz at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

THis book sounds great!!!

Gale Nelson said...

loved the trailer and the cover. Thanks for the giveaway. Gale

Unknown said...

The books sounds amazing!

vhubler77 at gmail dot com

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