Tuesday, June 30, 2015

5 unromantic things about being stuck in a remote cabin in the wilderness.

Tawna Fenske shares 5 unromantic things about being stuck in a remote cabin in the wilderness...

Hello, and thanks for having me here at Just Contemporary Romance. I promise to wipe my feet at the door and not piddle on the rug.

It’s release week for Protector for Hire, my new romantic comedy about a fashion-loving city girl forced to hide out in a remote Montana cabin under the protection of a sexy, reclusive ex-soldier with a dark past.

Here’s where I admit the idea was spawned partly by my own experience living in a secluded mountain cabin in the Montana wilderness right after college.

This is also where I admit it’s not nearly as romantic as my book makes it sound. Why? Well, here are a few reasons:

The moose scene is funny, but moose are no joke!

There’s a scene in Protector for Hire where my heroine, Janelle, gets charged by a moose. She ends up scrambling into a tree wearing nothing but the hero’s old sweatshirt and a pair of boots. Naturally, Schwartz comes to the rescue, helping her out of the tree and (hubba-hubba) applying a bit of salve to all those scratches on her knees. And her thighs. And her....is it hot in here?

In reality, the moose situation can be pretty serious. When I first arrived in Montana, someone told me moose are considered more dangerous than bears. That was the first thought I had one morning when I walked out of the cabin to discover a massive moose napping between me and my car.

Suffice it to say I walked back into the house and called in sick to work that day.

Forgot the milk? Whoops! That’s two more hours of driving!

The cabin I lived in was an hour’s drive from the nearest town, and half the driving was on gravel roads. Running to town for groceries was a major endeavor, especially if a blizzard kicked up. (No joke, I once got my car stuck in a snowbank, and was pretty sure I’d die out there in the middle of nowhere. As it turned out, a nice gentleman came along within 15 minutes and rescued my car while his sweet wife gave me cocoa and a perplexing array of white supremacist literature).

But snowbanks and skinheads aside, nothing compares to the sinking feeling of getting home after two round-trip hours of white-knuckle driving, only to realize you forgot something important at the store. Like milk. Or bread. Or KY Jelly. You know, the necessities.

Borrowing a cup of sugar requires a three mile hike

There were no neighbors within shouting distance of the cabin I lived in, so if I did happen to forget something at the store, borrowing it from a neighbor was a bit more complicated than flouncing over to the home of the sexy, brooding mountain man next door.

In fact, I soon realized there might be good reasons some of my fellow mountain-dwellers chose to remove themselves from civilization. I was once invited to dinner at the home of a ski lift operator who lived in another cabin several miles away. After showing me his collection of taxidermied animal heads, he served up a delicious elk stew and then proceeded to drink so much beer that he passed out face down in his own bowl. I wasn’t sure whether to nudge him awake or set one of the animal heads in the chair beside him so he’d have company when he woke up.

“Nightlife” means something different out there

As you might imagine, there aren’t a lot of hip eateries and trendy bars to frequent when you live in the middle of nowhere. If you’re a broke new college grad without the cash to afford things like internet, cable TV, or new books, your options for entertainment are a bit limited.
That means you end up going to bed at around 8:00 every night. And since you’re also too broke to afford to really heat the place, you find yourself snuggling up tight to any warm body that happens to share your living space.

Wait. On second thought, maybe this is exactly as romantic as I made it in my book.


Keeping her safe is crucial. Guarding his heart is impossible.

Haunted by his time in Iraq, former soldier Schwartz Patton goes off the grid, retreating deep into Montana’s untamed wilderness. Now, ten years into his self-imposed solitude, his brother tracks him down and asks for a favor. A woman is in danger, and she needs help…and Schwartz is the only one who can protect her.

Designer-loving city girls like Janelle Keebler don’t belong in the wilderness. Unless, of course, they’re witnesses to a murder by their psycho drug-trafficking ex-husbands. Still, Janelle can’t help the immediate physical response she has to her sexy-as-sin protector that leaves her wanting more than she could have ever imagined. Even if he does make terrible coffee…

Every word, every touch, every kiss ignites a need Schwartz thought he’d lost forever. He can’t stop the desperate attraction simmering between him and Janelle, even if he wanted to. Even if it means it could get them both killed.

twitter @tawnafenske

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