Oh, Canada! Yup, today’s guest Vivian Arend is a Canadian. Viv lives out west though, which disappoints me because I’d love to sit down with her over a coffee and talk writing. Do you think Mr. Harper’s government would let me claim it as a writing expense? Probably not. But, heck, a girl can dream, right?

Anyway, according to her bio on the Samhain site, Viv’s “hiked, biked, canoed, kayaked and camped throughout Canada, seven European countries and twelve states, including Hawaii and Alaska. All these adventures have now become settings for her overactive muse to wander through. “

And you’ll be able to tell from her post, that her bio’s no exaggeration … So please help me welcome Vivian Arend.


If a picture is worth a thousand words…this is a long post.

I’ve got gypsy blood. From the time I was young, I remember traveling to new places as a regular occurrence with my family. Sometimes it was to the nearby Rocky Mountains outside of Calgary, Alberta. Occasionally to more exotic locations like Hawaii, Arizona or Vulcan. (Yes, Virginia, there really is a Vulcan.)

Now that I’ve begun to write, the memories of the beauty and majesty of what I’ve witnessed open doors to wonderful settings for my stories, and inspire scenes to leap onto the page. It’s not only the locations—how can you visit Michelangelo’s David in Florence and not feel awestruck?

The world is an amazing place. At times I feel like I’ve experienced such a small portion and I have the urge to pack everything up and wander for more—more of these:

Goldsides- Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon
Yes- my daughter is pointing to where we hiked up to. The other pictures are taken from the top toward the south and the Tombstone Range.

Kenai Penusula, Alaska

Canyonlands National Park- Utah

The Bugaboos, British Columbia

What does this have to do with inspiration? My family visited Granite Lake, Kluane National Park, in the Yukon, in February of 2006. My first book—inspired by the location—released in March, three years later.

She looked around her and drew a long, slow breath, crisp air chilling the back of her throat. Not a cloud in the sky to block the blue. The mountains around her tall and snow covered. Beautiful and overpowering at the same time. The lake spread out before her, its large bay at her feet and the longer length of it stretching snakelike to the south to disappear around the bend of the mountain. A sense of home spread throughout her body.

Turning in a circle she noticed the cabin facing the lake had been fixed up since the last time she’d been out. Someone had repaired the front-porch supports and added a series of hooks along the north wall. Snow shovels and axes that had been buried under a good four feet of snow last February hung in plain sight, easy to access.

Wolf Signs

When I decided to write a watershifter story I went looking through my pictures. Small towns on the water? Check:

Valdez Alaska

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

How about “Beautiful Ocean Sunsets?

Broken Islands, Pacific Coast BC

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Then I needed some ‘beach-like’ sensations.

All Broken Island Group- off the coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino.

Then I started on the toughest part. I looked for mermen, mermaids, sexy wet muscular men with tattoos…hey, if I’m going to do research, I’m going to be thorough. I wondered if my shifters could not only change into dolphins but also St Elmo’s fire? I hadn’t managed to take any pictures of merfolk in my travels –yet—but we have the solution. Google!

And Google blessed me with this:

The first scene of the story came quickly as I was thrown into the world of Jaffrey’s Cove and the merfolk that live there:

Alexia opened her eyes to find she lay on fluffy cushions set on a thick mat of sea grasses, the rough roof of a cave overhead. A few feet away down a sandy shore there was ocean water, the surface smooth and unbroken, the storm’s madness calmed by the shelter of the cave. Darting moonlight sparkled through the entrance, dancing lights changing the hanging stalactites from fearful objects to ones of beauty and peace. She tasted salt on her lips, the scent of something ripe and wonderful filled her nostrils, and she turned to follow it.

The back of the cave was a solid rock platform. A low wooden trunk was set like a table with a bowl of fruit and a flickering candle. Suddenly ravenous, Alexia picked a ripe strawberry from the offering and bit down, its flavor exploding in her mouth. She sat amidst the cushions and ate. Slowly, deliberately, each sensation peaking higher and higher on her taste buds. She watched the water lap at the shore.

It must be a dream. She’d seen this place so many times since she’d started to come to the coast. Ever since she’d fallen in love with the ocean, she’d had dreams involving this cave. Dreams of dolphins and blue lights and endless need that had her waking dazed, restless and aroused.

The cave filled with the brilliant blue glow she’d seen around the medallion earlier.
It swirled past the entrance and poured like liquid silver through the air, flowing throughout the cavern. It touched her in passing and paused, frozen in midair like a bit of the Milky Way torn from the sky and tossed into the small cave.

The light brushed her feet, swirled around her ankles and twisted its way up her legs.

Touching, caressing. A tingling sensation moved with the light as it floated over her skin, and Alexia froze as her body was momentarily enveloped before the light shot to the far back corner and bounced down to form into the solid body of a man.

His skin was smooth. Blond hair fell to his broad shoulders, muscles well defined in his arms and torso. Brilliant green eyes smiled at her and her heart leapt.


Tidal Wave

Inspiration? It’s all around us. In the hugs of our children, in the sounds of laughter exploding from the people sitting across from us. It’s hidden in the smiles and the eyes of people everywhere.

Be inspired!

Whew *fans self* That’s some inspiration to leave us with, Viv. If paranormals aren’t your style, Viv also has a really HOT cowboy/western, Rocky Mountain Heat, coming out with Liquid Silver Books in September and in October Samhain’s releasing Wolf Flight, the sequel to Wolf Signs. (Viv’s one VERY busy author right now.)

If you want to know more about Viv, you can find her either on her website or her blog. Oh, and Viv’s giving away an e-copy of winner’s choice of her books, including Tidal Wave which releases tomorrow!

Inspiration Strikes Vivian Arend
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45 thoughts on “Inspiration Strikes Vivian Arend

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Wow those are really nice inspiration pictures. Is there a contest for this post? Please count me in if there is.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:06 am

    Hi, Cindy

    Yes, there is a contest – it's on the very last line of the blog 😉 Viv's giving away an c-opy of the winner's choice of her books.

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:14 am

    Hi 🙂
    WOW. Those are amazing pictures.
    Vivian Arend's living a dream I cherish to travel around/throughout Canada, Europe and the US.
    TIDAL WAVE sounds pretty darn good and I love the name Alexia. 🙂
    Thanks for having her on your Blog.
    Love from Northern Ontario (boonies)
    PS – I just saw the ebook thingy, I'd love to be entered to.

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Hi Viv …. short little visit…. I do love the pics. My fam are the camping hiking peeps not me but I can't deny the beauty of the photos…. and the last one …. myyyyy my tooo yummy!!! I would love to win a book of yours….especially the one coming out tomrw thanks Shell

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Hey my fellow Canadians (Yes, Leah you too 🙂

    Everyone, Wolf Signs rocks! You must read it.

    I LOVE to travel and it's been a looong time since I was out west. I think kiddo would like to see Drumheller. Leah, we'll go together and make it a road trip!

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:30 am

    JK – Woot! Road trip. I call shotgun!

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Pictures galore…great post. The world is so much bigger than my backyard, I sometimes forget that. Oops, I don't have a backyard, I have to make do with balcony…well you get my drift *wink*

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Of course you get shotgun, Leah.

    Because I'm driving!!!

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Hi! Great pictures! What an amazing list of places you've travelled 🙂

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:57 am

    Morning ladies!

    Glad you're enjoying the pictures- I've got more now from this weekend. 3200 vertical feet into the Selkirk mountains.

    There's a lot more story inspirations waiting in my photo albums. JK and Leah- if you come out, I'll take you floating down the river for the afternoon. With organic coffees in our hands.


  • July 20, 2009 at 6:18 am

    wow those are some gorgeous pics. I am looking for another road trip out west maybe toward the north this time. Loving the except for this series. It's on my wish list. Please count me in for the drawing.

  • July 20, 2009 at 6:36 am

    Wow, Vivian, those pics are GORGEOUS. Thanks for sharing them!

  • July 20, 2009 at 7:11 am

    I love pictures! It's about the only way I get to travel on my ever dwindling budget anymore! I absolutely agree, Wolf signs was one fantastic book: I loved it and can't wait for the next. Would love to read Tidal Wave also.

  • July 20, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Love the photoes,i just got back from Nova Scotia,what a lovely place.
    The book sounds great.Love the hunk too 🙂


  • July 20, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Wow, beautiful pictures!! It's certainly humbling sometimes to look at the things our planet provides. Good luck on your new release!!

  • July 20, 2009 at 7:27 am

    HEY! If you are taking a road trip to visit Viv, I am so claiming back seat!! I can be your stalker! 😀
    I love the pics Viv! ALL of them, awesome inspiration.

  • July 20, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Thanks for all the beautiful pictures!! Would love to see many of those places…

    Your books sound very interesting, count me in!

  • July 20, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Very kool pictures! Thanks for sharing!

    Don't sign me in for e-copies i'm really not a fan at ready at my computer =(

  • July 20, 2009 at 9:46 am

    This is truly a fascinating post and the pictures are wonderful.

    Thanks for reminding us that we have so much inspiration around us. I especially loved that last pic…hehe!!


  • July 20, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Wow, the pictures were awesome. I loved the post. I will definately be checking your books out. They sound right up my alley and were all really interesting. congrats on all the releases coming.
    lexeetoste at sbcglobal.net

  • July 20, 2009 at 9:54 am

    You are quite the adventure woman, Viv, and you've got some totally gorgeous pictures here. Can anyone say road trip???

  • July 20, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Wow, those are gorgeous photos (every one ;))–thanks for sharing some of your inspiration, Viv! And congrats on Tidal Wave!

  • July 20, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Congrats on the new release. Beautiful pics.

  • July 20, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Thanks everyone!

    I've been very fortunate to be able to travel as much as I have. And even better, most of it has included my family.

    Yup- children in the wilderness from the time they were babes. My kids don't know how good they have it. You should see the picture of my son at 13 in 5 foot ocean swells in his kayak. ACK! That one was hard on my mother's heart.

    🙂 Road trip? You're welcome to join me anytime!

  • July 20, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Those are lovely vacation photos! I wish I were able to travel like that but it just never seems to work out. The new book sounds wonderful too!

  • July 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Hi Viv,Love the pictues,book cover,and your books!! have a GOOD Day

  • July 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I was just in Canyonlands in April. What an interesting place!

    No need to enter me, Leah. This is where you groan and send me chocolate… all posted at Win a Book.

  • July 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Great pictures!
    Tidal Wave sounds like a great read.

  • July 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Lovely pictures, and you looked like you were having such a great time! No wonder you were inspired for Tidal Wave. Thanks for sharing. Especially Mr. Yummy at the end … they didn't have one of those stickers when we were growing up, did they. But consider, what would it look like — this guy would work ;-). Hmmm, and where would we put them ….

    On that note, thanks for the contest!


  • July 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    The photographs look amazing. What an inspiration they are. Have a great day.

  • July 20, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing your pictures, Viv.

  • July 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    LOL Road trip…. hey you are not forgetting the HV on the trip…. 🙂

  • July 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Hmm, think we're going to have to trade up from a sedan to a van – so far we've got JK, Natasha, HV and me in the car – and we'd probably stop off along the way and pick up RK … yeah, definitely need a van.

    And I still call shotgun! (and I get to hold the GPS)

  • July 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Vivi,
    Yep, that is definitely some inspiration, and I'm not just talking about the yummy man pic. I know they say you should right what you know to give it authenticity, and it seems that this is true for you.

    Can't wait to read Tidal Wave, and will definitely look for your western Rocky Mountain Heat…sounds right up my alley 🙂
    Good Luck w/ your releases!!!

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    There have been a few people emailing me in the last couple days saying they're having problems commenting to the blog.

    I'm not sure why it's happening, but if you do get an error, email me at Leah @leahbraemel DOT com and I'll post your comment and make sure you're included in the draws.

  • July 20, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    This is from FCammer …

    The pictures are awesome Viv! Congrats on your release tomorrow! I can't wait to read Tidal Wave. I have it on my list! 🙂

    (Leah here, I read it today 😉 It's a fabulous read. Viv's done a great job with world building and her characters, Alexia, Anthony and Joshua – smokin' hot!)

  • July 20, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Love the photos…lots of adventuring. Always wanted the chance to visit Alaska & British Columbia such spectacular scenery.
    Enjoyed the scenery at the end to…some nice eye candy.

    Michelle B.

  • July 20, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Wow, you can always become a photographer if you want. Those pictures are incredible! I agree about inspiration. It's funny how sometimes the oddest things can strike you as amazing.

    Tidal Wave sounds great. Dolphins is really unique!

    lynda98662 at yahoo dot com

  • July 20, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing such awesome pictures! I would definitely be inspired after visiting those locations.

  • July 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Loved Wolf Signs and can't wait for the sequel. Have been waiting for the Tidal Wave and I will be on MBM to buy it in the morning.

    What I love about traveling is how the light changes. Never believed the Dutch masters until I visited the Netherlands and the sunlight and the clouds look just like the painting.

  • July 20, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the pictures… with digital I get more chances to take great photos!

    And lindseye, I had to pop in to agree with you that light makes a huge difference. Having lived in the Yukon and visited the Arctic circle at Summer Solstice- light takes on new meaning.

    As do the words "killer mosquitoes", but that's a separate post. 🙂

  • July 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Wow.. I'm envious of your travels, but glad we all get some of the benefits of them like your pictures. It also looks like one is the obvious enrichment of your stories. They sound great, and from checking your site I have more to add to the TBR list now/soon & when they are finished.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Congrats on the new release, I hope to get to read it pretty soon.
    Leah.. great work on the blog layout it looks too good.
    ioki_jo at hotmail dot com

  • July 21, 2009 at 7:25 am

    What an interview! I'm so impressed! And more than a touch jealous…

    I'd love a chance to read Wolf Signs!


  • July 21, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Count me inspired! Would love to read this!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  • July 21, 2009 at 7:32 am

    The winner for each day's post is drawn between 7:30 and 8 a.m. the next morning. The winner of one of Vivian's books was announced at 7:55 today. Congratulations to Natasha.

Comments are closed.