Let’s see. What has happened since my last blog post?
Barely Breathing received a lot of accolades from people who made the transition with me from romantic suspense to contemporary. That was exciting and a lot of fun. So many of you shared messages and posts about Lexi and Austin’s story and the people of Scarlet.
In fact, we have a Scarlet Springs Readers Group on Facebook because so many people wanted to talk about the story and the series when they’d finished reading it. They’ve gotten the inside scoop on the series, along with photos of the area.
My revamped website debuted. I love it. Check it out!
In the meantime, Willy, our male American long hair, turned one and got his first lion shave. Happy Birthday, Willy Kitty!
The 22 rosebushes in my garden exploded in an unbelievable profusion of blooms—or best high bloom yet. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve gotten to see the photos. None of them really do the amazing beauty of it justice. Cars slow down when they drive by. People stop and tell us how beautiful the flowers are.
After 18 years of cramming stuff, I cleaned out my closet, a heroic effort taking many days. I filled our recycling bin and the trash. And I donated a ton of clothes. I also cleaned my office, a no less heroic undertaking though it took only one day.
My older grandkids finished school and started summer vacation. They’ve been swimming, gone horseback riding, been to the zoo, and had an art day here at my house. Oliver, the baby, turned 10 months old.
Benjamin went back to work as a park ranger after his time away in France. He saw a rattlesnake on a trail for the first time, while my brother saw pronghorn antalope, bison, and coyotes. My other brother went with his younger son to Europe for a quick tour of places in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
We started getting fresh organic produce from the CSA farm up the road where we have a share this year. The strawberries are unbelievably delicious!
And for almost all of that time, I had bronchitis. Go me!
I got sick the day Barely Breathing came out, and that’s how I spent the next month—barely breathing. I will not be using any titles about hearts stopping any time soon, I promise you that.
BUT I am finally well again. Hurray!
I am now at work on the research for the next book in the Colorado High Country series, which I’ll be starting very soon. It will tell Eric Hawke and Vic’s story. Hawke jumped off the page in Barely Breathing both for me as the author and for many readers. His adventures with Vic should be fun — and very hot. (Good thing he’s a firefighter.)
What you see in the photo below is the real Scarlet Springs, a small mountain town above my hometown of Boulder called Nederland. I basically took over the town, renamed it, and put it in my book. You can see the snow-covered Indian Peaks in the background, though their summits are hidden by clouds. The lake is actually Barker Reservoir, not a lake.
For Barely Breathing, I had to research search and rescue operations. I knew a lot about climbing already, of course, because I grew up with a dad who taught both rock climbing and mountaineering (alpine climbing). Weekends involved hiking in the mountains, watching my father practice rappelling or bouldering, and climbing over piles of gear in the living room. I grew up knowing a piton from a carabiner from a cam. But as familiar with climbing as I am, I had no idea how you’d go about rescuing a fallen climber who was still on belay, for example.
For Hawke’s book, I need to research how small, rural fire stations work. He is, after all, the chief of Scarlet’s fire department. Fortunately, the chief of Nederland’s fire department has been extremely open to talking with me and spent the better part of a day discussing the unique position his station occupies in the spectrum of firefighting.
Yes, I spent a day with firemen. Oh, the sacrifices I make!
I think I left the station with 20 pages of single-spaced hand-written notes on college ruled paper. The chief also gave me a couple of big textbooks to read that are all about fighting fire in wildlands and in structures. As to how I accidentally walked through the locker room area when the firefighters were changing into their turnout gear, or bunker gear as they call it — well, that’s another story. Let’s just say I got lost and leave it at that.
I hope to have Eric and VicTORIA’s book out to you by the end of August or early September at the latest. I don’t have a title yet. But it will not involve metaphors involving major biofunctions. I can assure you of that.
If you haven’t yet read Barely Breathing, you can find it in ebook for Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords as well as in print through Amazon or by order from your local bookstore. We’re hoping to get it out in audiobook by the fall. (Fingers crossed that Dead By Midnight, the I-Team grand finale, will be out in audiobook by Christmas!)
I hope everyone is keeping cool and having a safe and fun summer. I know there’s dangerous heat in the West, along with wildfires. We’ve got a lot of smoke in the air here, and temps today are supposed to hit 97. (This is why I prefer snow.)
Watch here or on Facebook for details on Eric and Vic’s story and audiobook news. Also, stay tuned for a makeover of this blog.