Charlie, forester for Macallister Outdoors' corporate wilderness retreat takes Ian Macallister, the owner and her boss, to inspect a newly purchased tract of forest with a tiny lake in the center that fascinates Ian because of the legend of a spirit that resides in the lake. While there, they see strange lights and hear unearthly music but, before they can investigate further, a storm strands them and destroys the beaver dam that created the lake. Ian insists they stay and repair the dam, even though the corporate center also suffered damage, to save the spirit long enough for him to discover what it is. In their enforced closeness, Charlie fights her attraction to Ian because she refuses to become half of a workplace affair. After repairing the dam and leaving, they talk often about their experience and eventually return. During the return trip, Charlie's attraction to Ian grows still stronger. At the lake, they discover the spirit is real and is the only thing that can save Ian when he is scuba diving and becomes trapped beneath a submerged log.
PRAISE FOR "Spirit Legend"
THIS WILL STAY WITH YOU
I really like this book. I am at a loss as to what genre it fits in because it crosses over so many and so beautifully. Maybe that's why it's impossible to pinpoint. If you love nature, if you love romance, if you love sci-fi, I could go on. It's simply a wonderful story of two people who enounter something unexplicable - the something of which legends have been made. The something has an intelligence and an endearing quality that you won't soon forget and I would be remiss if I didn't say I love a happy outcome. Enjoy it. It's well worth read and your time!"
- Dianne Harman. March 1, 2013
SHORT STORY: This is a story that Florence told us regarding one storm that happens in her book, I couldn't leave this out!
A reader wished she knew more of the huge storm that isolated Ian and Charlie in the wilderness in my latest book Spirit Legend. So here it is and, yes, there was such a storm. It happened on July 4, 1999 and was the largest blow-down ever recorded in North America. It devastated a large part of northern Minnesota, only lasting about 20 minutes but with winds in excess of 90 miles an hour. We were in the house that day. We happened to look out and saw the darkest, lowest-hanging clouds we'd ever seen. Then, in the blink of an eye, it looked like the earth was being lifted into the sky. We ran for the basement. We were fine, the storm passed a mile or so north of us, but the damage it did to the forest will be felt for generations.
Our daughter was on a train soon after the blow-down and later described miles and miles of trees laid flat and all in one direction, as if a giant comb had been run through the woods. She spoke of seeing that scene for hours and hours as she looked out the window of the train.
We thought the forest would never be the same. We were wrong. The forest is fine now but we still see occasional small remnants of that storm. So now you know what inspired the storm in Spirit Legend and what it did to the North Woods.
Veteran romance writer Florence Witkop was born in the city and has lived in the suburbs, the country and the wilderness where she still lives and writer contemporary, sci/fi and fantasy romances that have a gothic feel and are romantic without being erotic. At various times she's been a confession writer, a copywriter, a ghost writer and an editor. She writes short stories novellas and novels.
For people who haven’t heard of
Spirit Legend, make a brief description.
In this story, Small Town Romance meets Sweet
Paranormal Romance. Charlie guides Ian
Macallister, her boss and the owner of an outdoor clothing business, to inspect
a recently purchased tract of wilderness the company owns that contains a tiny
lake reputed to be home to a spirit. A
terrible storm strands them beside the lake and they soon learn the spirit is
very real but about to die because the storm destroyed the beaver dam that
created the lake. They must decide
whether to hike out to safety or stay and repair the dam so as to save the
spirit. And they must decide what to do
about the growing attraction between them that, if it's consummated, can create
the kind of employer-employee problem that destroys careers and companies.
When did you decided to become
When I lived in the wildeness and drove 40
miles each way to a teaching job and decided it would be much, much better to
work in my own home doing something I loved and watching the snow fall and the
wind blow without worrying about getting to work in one piece.
What does your family think of
They love the fact that I'm a writer. Great conversational gambit. They aren't always so sure about my subjects,
which have occasionally included them.
Do you have specific habits
when you write?
Just to remember to plunk the seat of my pants into the seat of a chair
often enough to get something completed.
Are you an early bird or night
Definitely. My husband, on the
other hand, is a night owl. Makes for an
Where do you get your inspiration?
I live in the wilderness and that creeps in so much that my work has
been described as eco-fiction, a genre that I didn't even know existed until I
read it in regard to my stories.
Which of your characters is
your favorite and why?
The current one. I like that the supernatural characters in my
stories don't have to obey the rules of normal behaviour.
If you could have coffee with
any character of any book, who would it be and why?
Guess I'd like to curl up with a cup of coffee
and any of Shakespeare's characters. I know that sounds pretentious but I love
Shakespeare. Started reading him when I
was a kid. Nine years old, perhaps. (My folks had an extensive library and we
lived in the country so I had a lot of time on my hands.) One day I suddenly figured out that it was
poetry, didn't matter that it didn't rhyme like I thought all poetry had to
do. Then I wondered if anyone else had
ever noticed. I felt very smart and
superior that I'd figured it out. I
laughed out loud many years later when I learned that everyone knows
Shakespeare wrote in poetry.
If you could meet any person in
the world who would it be and why?
Someone who'd walked on the moon. Anyone who'd walked on the moon. Because they walked on the moon.
Name a book you wish you had
Too many to name. Any book that,
like Shakespeare, is written with a lyric feel, as if the writing borders on
poetry. (And yes, I won a literary award
once a long time ago and my writing was described as 'lyric' so I guess it's ingrained
Would you like your book turned
into a movie? Do you have any actors in mind?
I'd love to see it become a movie. Especially because the spirit sings and
becomes all the colors of a rainbow and more.
I like Stockard Channing and she kind of looks like I visualize Charlie,
so maybe her if she's still acting.
What do you do, besides
I make hand-made baskets to come down from
writing. I go for walks in the woods.
(Always take a dog since I learned cougars live there.) And I read, read, read.
Do you have any hobbies?
See number 12.
I make baskets. They are called
coiled baskets because you make them by taking a rope (or making a rope from
grass, which I do sometimes) and start coiling them and sewing the coils
together until you have a basket.
Chocolate!!!! And my daughter and grandson just
started a business making and selling gourmet fudge. How awful is that!!!!
What are you reading right now?
I finished my last book and downloaded another one but can't remember
what it is.
Name your favorite books.
Anything by Dean Koontz or Michael Crichton.
Is there something you want the
readers to know about you?
That I write cross-genre stories because the
story is more important than fitting it into any genre.
Tell us about something crazy
Ask my family, they'll tell you I've never done anything crazy. Nothing!
Wouldn't know how.
Best reward as a writer?
The chance to write sitting in my own home at a
lovely library table I salvaged from my husband's house when we cleaned it out
after she retired. She used to work at a
school so I wish I knew the story.
Biggest trouble you faced as a
One I'm still facing. Marketing, marketing, marketing.
How do you react to a bad
Then, over time, I realize it's only one person's opinion so I come back
Do you review others’ books? Are
you nice or are you mean?
I've reviewed a few books. If I can't give a decent review, I don't give
any at all.
Do you like singing or dancing?
Does music inspire you?
I started out to be a ballet dancer but it was too much work. Way too much.
I love music in all its forms. I
can't play music when I write as some writers do because I end up listening to
it instead of writing.
What are your favorite TV
Star Trek reruns. Any sci-fi that
includes a romance and isn't an excuse for makeup people to turn every
character into some ridiculous, gory monster.
Favorite food? Do you cook?
Like anyone who lives in the wilderness, I
cook. No Pizza Hut nearby. I love anything that can be cooked a long
time, like spaghetti or any crock pot meal.
Doesn't matter if I forget the time because I'm writing, we can still
What thing you wish you could
stop doing and you can’t?
Do you have a nice relationship
with your fans?
Actually, I do have some and they are wonderful people. A bit crazy, of course. I mean, they must be because they think I'm
nice. Or maybe I just have a lot of
If someone made a movie of your life,
which event MUST be included?
Me chasing a coyote away from a colt in the
corral in the middle of winter when the snow was so deep that all the horses
could do was move along paths they'd made in the snow. I tripped, fell in a path, and the horses
came thundering towards me. And right
over me. Just like in the movies. And when I got up, the coyote was gone. Guess the adult horses chased it away without
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