What became the Seasons Heartbeat series started the fall afternoon a dear friend and I were watching a fierce storm head our way. Fueled by a glass of wine and the wind whipping the evergreens while the sky became dark purple, I started thinking about how much I'm impacted by the wilderness. In only a few minutes I had the series' basic concept in mind. I wrote four books with each one taking place during a different season plus a novella that covers a single day. Hopefully I've created flawed and complex people who allow their peaceful mountain surroundings to free them from their pasts and open them to love.
by Vella Munn
Seasons Heartbeat Series
Alisha Hearne must decide whether to sell the family's mountain cabin or stay and tackle the necessary repairs and face painful memories. The nearby resort represents one thing to Nate Quaid—where he earns a living. Nothing means more to him than freedom and forgetting his past.
Despite their reservations, loneliness and need bring them together but are they capable of revealing their deepest secrets and exposing their vulnerabilities?
Do they dare risk falling in love?
Amazon: Seasons Heartbeat: Spring is romance at its best. Ms Munn's vivid descriptions of Lake Serene and her family's mountain cabin made me feel as though I was right there in that beautiful setting.
Amazon: The author's love of nature comes through so clearly in this book that I can almost imagine myself at Lake Serene. She has made the environment another character in the story and the book is richer for it.
Taking her cue from the older man who’d already started toward the shore, she trailed behind him. Doc was right. The crazy boat driver appeared to be checking out the fifty-some small docks belonging to private cabin owners. At least he’d slowed to trolling speed. At the rate he was going, he’d reach her dock in a couple of minutes so she planted herself as close to the listing structure as she dared. She didn’t care what he thought of her dock. She just wanted to give him a piece of her mind about his disregard for what this high mountain lake stood for. As she waited, she studied Mount Steens across the lake. The top was still buried under snow and thus intimidating to her. By late summer the sharp edges would show. She'd never climbed it, but when she was growing up, she used to tell herself she could tackle it no problem. She just wasn't sure whether she'd have to carry a sleeping bag and plan on having to stay the night.
Night alone near the top of the area's most imposing mountain. Away from all responsibility.
The motor’s high growl triggered something inside that she didn’t want to examine. She’d been under a lot of tension lately and didn’t need this idiot adding to it. She wanted him gone and the quiet back. Not just quiet. She needed to smell what was left of the snow, the water, pine and dirt. To be renewed.
Now that he was close, she realized this wasn’t one of the nearly-derelict boats she remembered the resort renting out. At least twenty-feet long, it had both a trolling motor and an outboard she figured was least ninety horsepower. Judging by the shiny sides and immaculate pedestal fishing seat, the craft was new. Envy nibbled at her. Being in control of the craft would be a ball.
As it eased around partly-submerged trees and closed in on her dock, she forced herself to stop imagining she was putting it through its paces and concentrated on the man with his hand on the steering wheel. It was hard to be certain, but she guessed him to be in his early thirties. The wind had been having its way with his longish dark brown hair while his slightly canted nose and cheeks were wind-chapped. He had a square jaw, deep-set eyes shielded by shaggy brows, and a serious slant to his mouth that made her wonder if there might be more to him than a hell-raiser after all.
Over a blue T-shirt sporting a motorcycle logo he wore an unsnapped grey windbreaker that speed had pushed away from a chest made for physical labor. This was no indulged teenager, not this man with his broad shoulders and big, strong, tanned hands. Because he was sitting low in the boat, she couldn’t see his lower half.
“Where’s your life vest?” Doc called out.
When the man didn’t immediately respond, she wondered if he was debating answering. If he gave Doc a hard time, she’d give him a piece of her mind.
He shifted into neutral and indicated behind him.
“Crazy as you’ve been driving, I’m surprised you thought of safety,” Doc grumbled. “There’s a speed limit here.”
The man shrugged. She wanted to examine his expression, but now that the wind was in charge, the boat had started to turn away from the shore. It swayed with the waves it had created. She imagined him a drifter, a lost soul without any idea how to put his life on course. He spent one week here, another week there, never planning beyond following impulse.
Then he put the motor back into gear and came alongside the dock, making her decide he had some sense of direction after all. He stood and reached out so he could grab the one remaining cleat. He wrapped a tie rope around it and sat back down.
“This yours?” he asked Doc, indicating the listing dock.
“No,” she said. “It’s mine.”
The understatement almost made her laugh. “Thanks for pointing that out. Winter’s been a little rough on it.”
He’d turned his attention to her while she was talking, surely time enough for her to get used to the intensity in his eyes. There was something arresting about him, something on the wild side perhaps. She half expected him to jump out of the boat and take off at a dead run because that was his way of dealing with the energy boiling inside him. This wasn’t a man for sitting and contemplating his navel. Just sitting inside a motionless boat was testing the limits of his self-restraint.
ABOUT Vella Munn
Vella Munn has been writing ever since she created a comic book with a horse as the hero. She has had over 60 books published and can't imagine doing anything else. She lives in rural Oregon with her family and two rescue dogs.
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