Thursday, September 25, 2014

Watch for 99¢ one-day sale on Amazon of the brand new novel A Star to Steer By by AnnaLee Conti

A Star to Steer By, the exciting sequel to Till the Storm Passes By, and the second book in the Alaskan Waters series, goes back a generation to tell the love story of the Norwegian parents Evie never knew.

Tales of the booming fishing industry and big money to be made in faraway Alaska in 1920 lure 19-year-old Norman Pedersen, a Norwegian fisherman, to immigrate to Alaska to make his fortune. He plans to return to Norway to marry his fiancee, Kristina Michelsen, whom he calls his "star to steer by." She promises to wait for him, even if it takes years. 

In Alaska, charmed by the beautiful but conniving Cecilia, Norman becomes trapped in a "prison" of his own making and lets down everyone he loves.

Will Norman ever find his true "star to steer by"?

For 24 hours next Thursday, my publisher, Ambassador International, is offering my brand new fiction title, A Star to Steer By, for just 99¢ for Kindle on Amazon!  After Thursday, the price will go up to $2.99 through the weekend, and then it will return to the regular Kindle price of $5.99.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Star to Steer By (Alaskan Waters Series Book Two) Live on Kindle

A Star to Steer By, Alaskan Waters Series Book Two

“Oh, Kristina, what have I done? No matter what you hear about me, you’re the one I love.”

Norman Pedersen hunches his body into the biting wind as he stands at the bow of the seiner. Even that discomfort does not distract him from the relentless, crushing pain in his heart.

Full of hope and ambition, he had come to Alaska to make his fortune and return to Norway to marry Kristina Michelsen, the love of his life. The future had looked so promising. 

Charmed by the beautiful but conniving Cecilia, he now feels like a man condemned to a life sentence. He's let down everyone he loves.

Will Norman ever find his true "star to steer by" in this exciting sequel to Till the Storm Passes By?

A Star to Steer By, published by Ambassador International, is now live on Amazon for Kindle and for pre-order paperbacks to be shipped October 24. It will also be available soon for Nook at Barnes & Noble and at iTunes, as well as all other e-readers and in bookstores.

A Star to Steer By link to Amazon:

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Star to Steer By

Now at the publishers and coming very soon is A Star to Steer By, the second novel in my Alaskan Waters series. Just as my stories are based on true events, my titles are inspired by experiences in my life.

My earliest memory is a fragment from my family's trip to Alaska on my uncle's mission boat when I was two-and-a-half years old. We hit rough seas in the Inside Passage. I remember the cabin cruiser being tossed about wildly, and my mother putting me to bed in an upper bunk, which to my childish mind was a huge drawer. Years later, I asked her about that incident, and she verified it.

Growing up in Alaska, we always lived by the sea--in Southeast Alaska on channels and inlets off the Inside Passage and later on Resurrection Bay in Seward. I spent many wonderful hours sailing on my uncle's mission boat, a week on a trolling boat, summers rowing a dinghy around Lizianski Inlet in the tiny fishing town of Pelican, and many trips on the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway from Haines to Prince Rupert.

In seventh grade, my teacher, Mrs. Yates, introduced us to classical American and British poetry. Since my grandmother was a poet, my ears perked up. I already enjoyed poetry. In class, we read Poe and Dickinson and Longfellow and Burns and Kipling, to name a few, but the poem I fell in love with was John Masefield's "Sea Fever." He expressed my feelings about the sea. When our assignment was to memorize one of the poems, that is the one I chose. I can still quote it:

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the the sky
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sails shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's life a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

My first book in the Alaskan series, Till the Storm Passes By, begins in Jamestown, Rhode Island, near Beavertail Lighthouse. My husband and I were stationed near there when our son was born in 1970, and we discovered that southern tip of Conanicut Island where the Atlantic Ocean crashes into it on three sides. Since then, we spend the day there whenever we can. As we sit on the rocks, watching the waves roll in and spray up against the boulders, disperse into tidal pools, then ebb away, we feel our cares being carried away too. It was there that Evie's story was nurtured in my mind until it took shape on paper.

In A Star to Steer By, Norman Pedersen is a fisherman, a man of the sea. My many experiences in the waters of Southeast Alaska--on calm, sunny days as well as in violent storms--informed the writing of this novel too. And the echoes of "Sea Fever" inspired not only the title, but Norman as well. He calls Kristina his "star to steer by." But is she really the one he should steer his life by?  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Don't Block the Son!

The summer I graduated from high school, my home town of Seward, Alaska, was in the direct path of a total solar eclipse. July 30, 1963, dawned bright and sunny with a gentle breeze blowing. The mountains had lost most of their snow, and their craggy peaks stood out in bold relief against the blue sky. Resurrection Bay sparkled like a many-faceted gemstone. The magenta fireweed were in full bloom, and the birds were singing.

The path of the total solar eclipse on July 30, 1963
That afternoon, while the four children I was babysitting were napping, I sat on the porch of their log home to observe the eclipse through a piece of undeveloped film. My most vivid memory of that event was not the eclipse itself, but how that bright and beautiful day suddenly turned cold and dark and windy. The birds stopped singing. The silence was eerie.

I knew scientifically that the sun hadn't stopped shining. Something had just gotten in the way and was blocking the sun.

How often does that happen in our spiritual lives? Jesus is the Light of the World (Matthew 5:14), but we can cause a state of total eclipse spiritually by blocking the Son, instead of reflecting His light. If we allow sin, the cares of this life, unforgiveness, or even grouchiness to block the love and joy and light and warmth that should be seen in us, we plunge ourselves as well as others into cold darkness.

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to "shine like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." How can we do this? By living "clean, innocent lives as children of God (Philippians 2:15b). First Peter 3:15-16 tells us to worship "Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain a gentle and responsible way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ" (NLT).

I want to reflect, not block, the Light of Christ, don't you?