Alaska! The Last Frontier

by Heather Graham, author of Deadly Fate

Alaska! The last frontier. Of course, it’s part of the United States, but there’s that little matter of just how far north it is. Not to mention our wonderful neighbor, Canada, stretching between Alaska and the rest of the continental states. Thanks to condensed maps, there are even those who believe that Alaska and Hawaii both sit in the Pacific Ocean, right off the coast of California! (Sadly true of some high school students these days…)

But, whatever, however, Alaska is fabulous—and because of William Seward and his “Folly,” this great wilderness is ours!

The name Alaska comes from an Aleutian word, alaxsxaq, which means mainland or, to be more poetic, the land toward which the water flows. Considering Alaska’s location, it makes sense that the Russians explored it early on. Then the Spanish became involved. After the discovery of gold, the British moved in and then Russians again…and, finally, the Americans. In 1867, William Seward was Secretary of State and under his management we purchased Alaska for a little more than seven million dollars. Hey, I’m not sure that would buy a Kardashian house, these days, but back then, it was a bundle. People knocked poor Seward, calling Alaska “Seward’s Folly” and sometimes “Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden.” The Civil War had barely ended; money was tight.

But, fortunately, we did wind up with this magnificent state.

And there’s nothing in the world like a cruise to Alaska! The great glaciers roar as chunks of ice fall into the water, and the water seems to explode as if it’s a geyser whenever a whale surfaces for air. On land, the wildlife is as impressive as the magical towns and cities, from Anchorage and Seward to Nome and Juneau and Kodiak and Fairbanks and beyond.

My main characters in Deadly Fate come at Alaska from two different directions. For Thor Erikson, it’s home. For Clara Avery, it’s an escape. He’s law enforcement; she’s entertainment. Clara has arrived to board a cruise ship, the Fate, to perform. Meanwhile, Thor is on the hunt for a serial killer. Years ago, he arrested this murderer—who has now escaped and is apparently attacking the host, crew and guests of a reality show—and the memories still haunt him. His hunt now takes him to a historic hotel on the mainland and a tiny private island a short boat ride away. Thing is, once you’re on the island, you’re very much alone…or not. You may just be alone with a vicious killer.

I hope Deadly Fate is full of suspense and twists and turns. I also hope it pays homage to our fantastic “Folly.” And, as I said, there’s nothing like a cruise—or, in fact, any kind of vacation—in Alaska. My final hope is that you, too, will have a chance to explore our beautiful “last frontier”!

About Deadly Fate:

0816-9780778319450-bigwWhen Clara Avery, an entertainer working on the Fate, an Alaska cruise ship, goes to nearby Bear Island, she comes across a scene of bloody mayhem. She also meets Thor Erikson, soon to be a member of the FBI’s elite paranormal unit, the Krewe of Hunters.

Thor’s been sent from the Alaska field office to investigate several grotesque killings, with the dead posed to resemble the victims of notorious murderers. The prime suspect is a serial killer Thor once put behind bars. The man escaped from a prison in the Midwest, and all the evidence says he was headed to Alaska…

Thor and Clara share an unusual skill: the ability to communicate with the dead. Their growing love—and their contact with the ghosts of the victims—brings them together to solve the case…and prevent a deadly fate of their own!

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