Lynn Viehl – a guest post and 3 signed copies of NIGHTBRED to be won

Today I’m thrilled to welcome bestselling novelist and lovely person Lynn Viehl, who will send a signed copy of her forthcoming novel NIGHTBRED to three lucky commenters on this post. Lynn will ship the books to the three winners, wherever you are in the world, so this offer is open to everyone.


 

WINTER TRAVELS

I grew up in South Florida, which is like living in a tropical paradise that is regularly invaded by mobs of very pale people who quickly become very sunburned people, hordes of college kids who dislike sobriety and dry T-shirts, and entire busloads of retirees who will buy twenty cases of toilet paper if it’s on sale, but haggle viciously over the price of a single avocado (which they then return to the market the next day because it didn’t ripen instantly.)

Despite all the snowbirds that regularly descended on my corner of the country I liked living there.  I never had to work on my tan, I could wear flip-flops year-round and spend every holiday, including the ones in winter, at the beach.  My childhood in paradise did nothing, however, to prepare me for visiting less tropical climes.

The first time I had to travel north during the winter was in November for a sales conference being held in Chicago.  Naturally I packed all my long-sleeved T-shirts, workout leggings and the only coat I owned, which was really for rain but had a nice cotton liner in it.  I didn’t realize how woefully underdressed I was until I stepped out of the terminal at O’Hare airport and got slapped in the face by wind so cold it numbed my teeth.  I might have frozen over into a block of ice if not for a passing bus that doused me with some sort of wet, ice-cold sludge.

“What is this stuff?” I asked a lady standing next to me.

She pulled back the fur-lined hood of her arctic parka to have a look.  “It’s slush.”

“You people dump your Slushies on the ground?”  I saw it filling all the gutters.  “What flavor is gray?”

She gave me a funny look.  “You must be from Florida.”

The cab that whisked me off to my hotel did not have heat, so I sat and shivered violently for the entire twenty-minute ride.  Once we arrived at the hotel I saw the entire building was encircled by long lengths of rope hooked in place about four feet off the ground.

“What are the ropes for?” I asked my driver through my chattering teeth.

“That’s so you don’t get blown off your feet by the lake wind,” he told me.

I frowned.  We had lakes in Florida and, occasionally, hurricanes, so I thought I understood his meaning.  “Okay.”  I paid him and climbed out.

The wind that knocked me back against the cab was gale-force, relentless, and as frigid as if it were coming from a blast-freezer spewing liquid nitrogen into the air.  I had to walk at a forty-five degree angle to make it to the nearest rope, which I hung onto for dear life as I pulled myself hand-over-hand into the hotel.  Which was when I discovered static electricity, how much I apparently attracted it, and how many things in a hotel are made of metal.  By the time I got to the reception desk my fingers were singed and my hair was standing on end.  I was also gasping for air.

“Are you okay, ma’am?” the desk clerk asked.

“The wind,” I panted.  “I think it froze my lungs.  Where’s the nearest hospital?  I need medical attention.”

She gave me a skeptical look.  “You must be from Florida.”

I didn’t go to the hospital that night.  I went up to my room, turned the heat on high, and defrosted in a tub of hot water.  When I looked in the mirror I was horrified; my lips were chapped, my skin was flaking and my hair looked like it was about to sprout snakes and turn to stone anyone who looked at me.  Luckily the hotel gift shop had Chapstick and Vaseline Intensive Care lotion, as well as a long rack of books.

“Got anything good in paperback?” I asked the shop clerk.

“Ice by  Linda Howard is good,” she told me.  “A storm traps this cute couple on a mountain with some drugged-out killers.  Or there’s Ice:  Stories of Survival from Polar Exploration.  In that one this guy trying to find the North Pole walks through snow for so long the bottom of his feet come off.   I really liked Storm of the Century by Stephen King, though.”

I gulped.  “Does it have ice and killers and feet coming off in it?”

“All the feet stay on, but there’s hurricane-force winds, and five feet of snow,” she said eagerly.  “See, these people all get stranded in this town by this monster nor’easter, and then this really creepy guy tells them they can give him what he wants and he’ll go away, but if they don’t, he’ll kill everyone.  It was so cool.”

“Really.”  I tried to smile.  “Can I just get a copy of Reader’s Digest, please?”

The next morning my hair was still standing on end.  Fortunately everyone in Chicago had big hair, so I just spritzed it with hair spray, dressed in all the clothes I’d brought with me and headed out for my sales conference.

The wind had actually gotten worse, but I was ready for that.  I didn’t know what to make of the piles of white stuff the doorman was shoveling aside from the door.  Some of it fell from the overhead canopy and landed on my head.  It was wet, cold, and white; otherwise it felt just like the Slushie stuff at the airport — and it was everywhere:  on the cars, on the road, clumped on the trees, even dusting the shoulders and hoods of the arctic parkas everyone was wearing.

I wasn’t entirely clueless; I’d watched all the holiday specials on TV.  “Is that snow?”

“You must be from Florida,” the doorman said.  He stopped shoveling and glanced around.  “This isn’t too bad.  “It’ll probably melt before the blizzard gets here tomorrow.”

“Blizzard?” I echoed weakly.  “What blizzard?”

“Gonna be a bad one,” he advised.  “They’re forecasting twenty below and eighteen inch drifts, but they always try to make sound better than it is.  They’ll probably have to shut down the airport by noon.”  He glanced at me.  “You okay, lady?”

I didn’t like my job that much, I was already wearing everything I’d packed, and I could always buy new suitcases.  “Could you get me a cab to O’Hare, please?”

 

Since her debut in 2000 NY Times bestselling author Lynn Viehl has published 47 novels in 8 genres, and is the host of Paperback Writer, a popular publishing industry weblog featuring writing advice, market info and free resources for writers.

 

Now get those comments coming to win one of three signed copies of NIGHTBRED! :)

EDIT: This offer will end at 9am GMT tomorrow, Tuesday 20th November.

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66 Responses to Lynn Viehl – a guest post and 3 signed copies of NIGHTBRED to be won

  1. Jian Romano says:

    Anywhere in the world, ey? Sounds like fun.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I should mention that I can’t ship to alternative realities, hidden realms or quantum mirrors of this world if you happen to live in one of them. I’ve tried before, but Fed Ex couldn’t find the exact address, and then I think something huge and monstrous tried to eat their driver.

  2. I live in the Deep South, and we get a sprinkling of snow once every five years or so. That’s plenty. I love to watch snow fall, but there’s comfort in knowing it won’t stick. ;)

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Back in 1974 it actually did snow in South Florida for about ten minutes. At the time I was in school and the principal dismissed us early so we could go out and see it. :)

  3. Maddy Barone says:

    That was hilarious, Lynn! I’m in North Dakota, so I can really relate. I started reading your books when I picked up If Angels Burn at the local bookstore. I would love to win Nightbred. Jamys has always fascinated me. And that cover… Hoo!

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Thanks for investing in my novels, Maddy. Just thinking the words “North Dakota” makes me reach for a jacket. :) I really like the cover art of Nightbred, too — I was hoping for a good match to how I envision Jamys, and I think they came pretty close.

  4. Alt says:

    Wait, I suspect after reading that, that you must be from Florida. :) Thanks for the amusing friday read.

  5. Fran K says:

    Oh Lynn I can really relate to that story but in the other direction. I left a freezing cold UK in the grip of a Siberian cold front to head out to Lima, Peru. Our plane landed just before midnight and when they opened the doors and we stepped out, it was like walking into a sauna. I couldn’t breathe! I was wearing thick cord trousers, and I’d layered up with camisole, t-shirt and sweatshirt, and had my coat slung over my arm. To say I was hot is an understatement. It took some getting used to but we lived there for 2 years and when we left (again January) I was much more prepared. On the whole though, I think I’m more Alaska than Hawaii …

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Wow, Fran, you’re a real adventurer. I’ve visited South America a few times and the humidity seems particularly brutal at almost any time of year. I always used it as an excuse to go immediately to the nearest beach or pool. :)

  6. Michelle k says:

    Having lived in both Florida and Chicago, I can totally sympathize!! I LOVE the Darkyn and Kyndred books!!

  7. Tina Green says:

    Being from Canada, snow and blizzards are nothing new. We just bundle up and go about our day. Though we have had some snowfall already, it hasn’t been cold enough to stay, but it’s coming… *sigh* maybe I should move to Florida.

    Congratulations on your newest release.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Thanks, Tina. I should warn you that Florida has hurricanes, tornados, constant flooding during the rainy season plus we always try to mess up the Presidential election. On the other hand in winter I can walk outside and pick my breakfast grapefruit off a tree in the backyard. :)

  8. Reminds me of the look of betrayal on my college roommate’s face. She was from Singapore and was ecstatic about experiencing her first snowfall here in Michigan… for the first few minutes until the cold hit.
    I loaned her my gloves.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Lol. I think we tropical-region residents have unrealistic expectations of snow. For example, it looks so pretty on television — soft and dry, like powdered sugar — but the real thing is wet, crunchy and coooooooooold.

  9. Kelly says:

    I love the snow….at least until January….Then it can go away. I can’t wait to read this book…..

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      For my daughter’s next birthday she asked if we’d take her to see snow (she’s always lived in Florida.) I’m trying to be a good sport about it, but I didn’t want to see snow again. Ever!

  10. Jessica T says:

    Ha ha, that was hilarious :). Put me in for the chance to win the book, thanks!

  11. Olympia says:

    Oh, I grew up in FL too! Funny how Mother used to bundle us up in wool coats with fur cuffs and collars whenever the weather dipped below 65F, which we hated. Then we moved to SE Colorado … 20F below 0 in THEIR winters! Western WA is temperate year around with easy humidity and winters (though wet!). Can hardly wait for Nightbred!

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Colorado must have been a huge shock for you after Florida (and my mom did the same thing — the minute the thermometer dropped below 70F she hauled out the heavy jackets and insisted we wear knit caps. Meanwhile, the snowbirds were walking around in shorts.) I’ve never been to WA but have family in Oregon, and while they have nice summers they’re constantly snowed in during winter.

  12. Lea Griffith says:

    Having just set foot back in Georgia from the wintry climes of Boston I was feeling your pain until I realized winter had visited my home and left us with 40 degree temps!

    Also, I thoroughly enjoy reading you.

    I’ll take winter FTW please.

  13. Ezinwanyi (Chinyere) says:

    HAHAHA, I love Chi-town, but I sure hate the cold.

    I am so excited that the book is almost here. I have waited for this book for months. I am excited to read Jamys book because I remember him as Theirry’s little boy

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Chicago does have some of the best restaurants in the country; I remember this little bistro-type place near the Sears Tower where we had dinner one night, and how shocked my boss was when the waiter brought out an entire head of roasted garlic to spread on the bread (this was long before everyone else was roasting it.) The pizza in Chicago is pretty awesome, too, although they put so much stuff on it one slice makes an entire meal.

  14. cindy clark says:

    i live in northern utah… snow here every year… I wish i lived in a place without snow.

  15. Tami from Jacksonville says:

    Lynn,
    Yep, I can completely relate! My mother (bless her) moved me at the age of 16 from Winter Haven, Florida in November (we were wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops to school still) to the beautiful (please insert sarcasm) city of Wabash, Indiana (with no winter clothes). The first 3 days there I asked, “Does the sun even shine here?” Nothing but grey cloudy slush filled skies and dead cornfields. Total culture shock! Now that you’ve heard my horror story, put me in for the book please!
    Tami
    Jacksonville

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I was shocked the first time I left the state, too (for Texas) and discovered that our gorgeous skies don’t travel with us. Moving to Indiana with no winter clothes must have been awful. I’m glad you got out of there. :)

  16. Christian Abresch says:

    I had some Australians over two years ago, one of them asked me in October if it’s going to stay that cold for much longer. I lied.

  17. J.A. Marlow says:

    In Alaska we would say, “You must be from California.” And if their comment also included, “Well, that should be against the zoning laws!” we would then tell them to “Go back to California and stay there!” Hehe.

    Is it bad that I’m now in Arizona and I still have all my Alaska gear? You know, just in case it’s needed… :D

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I won’t mention I used to live in northern California, then. And I was stationed (briefly) in Alaska. Beautiful country, but very muddy roads. I think it was summer for about ten seconds. And those wildly pastoral herds of caribou? No one tells you about the bugs swarming around them.

  18. Shizuka says:

    I had a heartbroken friend from Tokyo escape to my apartment in New York. In February. I warned her about the wind and the sleet and the general depressingness, but she really wanted to get away. NY was so cold it made her forget about being dumped and focus on staying warm/alive. Her visit involved a lot of staying in, tea, and watching TV that she couldn’t understand (she speaks very little English). Every time I mention that trip, she visible shivers.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of NY weather curing a broken heart — usually it breaks mine. :) But what a great friend you are, to open up your home like that for someone needing to get away. I hope your friend appreciates you.

  19. Diane G. says:

    My heart belongs to Chicago and its winters. :) This made me smile so hard.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      When it wasn’t winter I really enjoyed the city, especially walking down Michigan Avenue and checking out all the neat shops. There was one candy place over near the Tribune building that had the best fudge I’d ever tasted in my life — must have come straight off the ferry from Mackinaw Island.

  20. romsfuulynn says:

    I once had a tech support guy who was coming in January, and we were expecting a particularly cold snap (projected overnight lows of -20F projected highs of 0 to 5F. He was originally from India, but had been living in North Carolina for about 10 years. He assured me he had a winter coat. When he arrived at the office, having walked the two blocks from the hotel we discovered he had a coat (not what I’d call a winter coat) but no hat, scarf or gloves. And a long sleeved shirt and suit jacket. We sent out a mission to get him gloves, hat and scarf and scrambled up a sweatshirt and sweater to go under the coat and jacket. But a number of times over the three days he said “I can’t believe people actually live here.”

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I can just imagine how the poor man felt. I think when you’re accustomed to a tropical climate you not only have no practical reference for what the reality of a nothern winter will be, you also subconsciously expect the weather to change to something better in two or three days (because that’s what happens in the tropics.) I was rather horrified to discover people had to live in all that cold and snow for months at a time.

  21. Margaret C. Zorsky says:

    I used to run away from home (New Jersey) every January for the Florida Keys (Big Pine Key) but haven’t been there for @10 years. After Sandy, I am home sick for the palm trees, warmth and sneezing seniors!
    Congratulations on the new book

  22. Lynn – I’m from Myrtle Beach which actually does have seasons – it gets cold (for us)! I never lived in S Florida but did live in Orlando for a while. When the temps plummeted to 60 they drug out long sleeves and coats and swore a lot. My son went swimming on Halloween — he may have still been swimming over Thanksgiving….

    Although we get more cold in Myrtle than S Florida – I’d be just as lost in a blizzard! Here, if snow flurries are forecast everything closes and our “imports” from Ohio smile as locals clear the grocery stores of bread and milk…

    Great piece – it made me smile and boy, did I need a smile today!

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I’m glad I gave you a grin, Mary Anne. Your comment made me remember my visit to Brookgreen during their night of a thousand candles. That was one of the most beautiful nights I spent in SC. :)

  23. Danni T says:

    So funny! I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and we get some pretty bad snow sometimes. A couple years ago we had a really bad ice storm. The trees were completely frozen. Big trees that had a big layer of ice added to them. The tops became so heavy, that all the branches started drooping to the ground. While everything looked really cool and pretty, it was also extremely dangerous.
    I absolutely love your books. There is two books I especially love. I have probably probably read both Evermore and Twilight Fall more than ten times. I have a huge crush on both Byrne and Valentin.

    danni0113@gmail.com

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I’ve only read about ice storms, Danni (Linda Howard’s novel Ice was one, and it scared the daylights out of me) but I can imagine how nerve-wracking they are. Thanks for the kind words for my Darkyn novels, too. In Nightbound, the third book in this trilogy, I revisit the setting of Knights Realm from Evermore. Byrne will also be part of the story in that one, so keep an eye out for it next May. :)

  24. June M. says:

    That would definitely be hard to get used to cold, snow, and cold winds if you had lived someplace so warm your whole life. I think it would be hard for me to move to even the northern parts of the US or Canada even though I have lived in a state that does have snow, sometimes pretty heavy amounts, and ice storms. (Kentucky) I can’t imagine how hard it would be for the first time. I actually think I could love being someplace warm (like Florida) during winters.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      June, come and visit! We have really beautiful winters in Florida, with very mild weather most of the time. If you want more of the change of seasons, from the center of the state north to the Georgia line there is more of a shift to cooler temps during the winter season.

  25. Miranda O. says:

    I live in Buffalo, NY and am no stranger to snow – especially lake effect snow.

    My favorite Darkyn book is “Evermore”. I love how Michael & Alex’s relationship grows over the course of the books. I also love Alex being such a strong character.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      I have a writer friend who lives near Buffalo, Miranda, and from the pictures he’s sent me I know you all get plenty of snow. I sometimes wonder if that part of NY somehow strays over into the arctic circle. :)

      Thanks for the lovely praise for my books. I really enjoyed developing Michael & Alex’s relationship over the course of the original series. While most romances focus on new love, which is always fun, I also like to know what happens after everything is “settled.”

  26. Lisa says:

    My son in law grew up in Mississippi, so he is delighted with the snow in Omaha. A couple of years ago we had record breaking snowfall with my backyard buried in 6 ft drifts. He actually jumped off of our deck to land in the snow 6 feet below him. Yes, we know snow here in Nebraska.

    • Lynn Viehl says:

      Six feet of snow? Lisa, that’s a foot over my head. I’m sitting here looking at my ceiling; it would be more than halfway there. Since I’m such a shrimp I think I will pass on visiting Nebraska someday — at least, not during winter!

  27. Lynn Viehl says:

    David, thanks for hosting me here at your blog — you are a terrific friend, and I really enjoyed chatting with your visitors. Goodnight everyone, and keep warm!

  28. donnas says:

    Chicago in winter is definitely an experience. I lived there for a number of years. And as I do miss the city, I do not miss the winter, wind and slush.

  29. Kate (boogie) says:

    The description of Chicago is hilarious – I’ve never been there (in fact I’ve never been to America at all) but I can vividly imagine it now. Some of the dialogue reminds me a bit of Bill Bryson’s travel writing – he always seems to end up having the same conversation with three or four unhelpful people wherever he goes…

  30. Anne V. says:

    I used to live in Grand Rapids MI, 3 hours from there. Pretty darn accurate descriptions! I laughed really hard the whole way through and kept thinking that you never heard about the joys of “lake effect” weather! That’s always good for several feet of snow and misery.

  31. Pamk says:

    that was hilarious. I live in the south and if we get more than an inch folks go nuts lol. I can’t imagine having a lot of snow. Most I remember we had 24 inches at our house and we were snowed in for a week. My hubby actually plowed our driveway and went to get the guy who owned our local store so he open up and we could get some keroscene and other needed supplies.

  32. Sela Carsen says:

    I routed here for two reasons. 1) David’s vlog with his adorable grandson, Sebastian! What a cutie! and 2) I’ve been reading Lynn’s books faithfully since the first Darkyn novel came out.
    I live near St Louis. Brutal heat and humidity in the summer, vicious ice storms in the winter. I cannot win at this.

  33. Jessica says:

    David rocks. Sebastian is so cute..wish my little guys were that lil’ again. Have the whole Darkyn/kyndred/and Lords series. Would be an Awesome Christmas gift. My hubby is getting laid off atthe end of the month. So here’s hoping. FINGERS CROSSED. :D Happy Thanksgiving Everybody

  34. Kate Pearce says:

    I grew up in the UK and was born in a snowstorm at home and barely made it to the hospital alive. I hate being cold to this day, which is why I was quite happy to move to California 15 years ago. I haven’t worn my thick coat since I got here but struggle when I go home to Blighty terribly!!
    Big fan of your books and a big fan of Dave. :)

  35. Tammy says:

    Hahaha, I love snow! I knew a friend how moved from florida up north and was looking forward to her first snowball fight. I, on the otherhand, am still waiting for that armadillo she promised me and my friends…

  36. Emily H says:

    That was hilarious. I can relate a bit-I’m an Arizona girl born and bred, and anything below 50 is freeeeezing. Haha. A couple of years ago I was in the Smoky Mountains in December visiting in-laws and it got down to 13. For a desert rat it was actually painful. I wanted a ski mask bad enough to hold up a bank robber for one. I was warm enough because I had good advice, but my face!!! There’s not much you can do for frozen face.

  37. David Bridger says:

    And our lucky winners are:

    Maddy Barone
    Danni T
    Sela Carsen

    Congratulations, you three! :)

  38. Margaret says:

    I missed this when it posted, but went back to see what you would post for a guest post, Lynn, and it was totally worth it :). We used to visit my cousins in upstate Michigan in the winter to get the real snow experience. You could actually build snow forts, and after playing in the fluffy white stuff until we were soaked to the bone, we would hang out in our pajamas until our clothes dried again :).

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