Book Releases

Holding On (Colorado High Country #6) —
The Colorado High Country series returns with Conrad and Kenzie's story.

A hero barely holding on…

Harrison Conrad returned to Scarlet Springs from Nepal, the sole survivor of a freak accident on Mt. Everest. Shattered and grieving for his friends, he vows never to climb again and retreats into a bottle of whiskey—until Kenzie Morgan shows up at his door with a tiny puppy asking for his help. He’s the last person in the world she should ask to foster this little furball. He’s barely capable of managing his own life right now, let alone caring for a helpless, adorable, fluffy puppy. But Conrad has always had a thing for Kenzie with her bright smile and sweet curves. One look into her pleading blue eyes, and he can’t say no.

The woman who won’t let him fall…

Kenzie Morgan’s life went to the dogs years ago. A successful search dog trainer and kennel owner, she gets her fill of adventure volunteering for the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. The only thing missing from her busy life is love. It’s not easy finding Mr. Right in a small mountain town, especially when she’s unwilling to date climbers. She long ago swore never again to fall for a guy who might one day leave her for a rock. When Conrad returns from a climbing trip haunted by the catastrophe that killed his best friend, Kenzie can see he’s hurting and wants to help. She just might have the perfect way to bring him back to the world of the living. But friendship quickly turns into something more—and now she’s risking her heart to heal his.

In ebook and soon in print!

About Me

My photo
I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.


Seductive Musings

Thursday, June 28, 2018

HOLDING ON is out!

Holding On (Colorado High Country #6) is out in ebook today on! Watch for Kenzie and Conrad’s story in print next week.

Here are the links:

Kindle US
Kindle UK
Kindle AU
Kindle CA
Print: Coming next week!

A hero barely holding on…

Harrison Conrad returned to Scarlet Springs from Nepal, the sole survivor of a freak accident on Mt. Everest. Shattered and grieving for his friends, he vows never to climb again and retreats into a bottle of whiskey—until Kenzie Morgan shows up at his door with a tiny puppy asking for his help. He’s the last person in the world she should ask to foster this little furball. He’s barely capable of managing his own life right now, let alone caring for a helpless, adorable, fluffy puppy. But Conrad has always had a thing for Kenzie with her bright smile and sweet curves. One look into her pleading blue eyes, and he can’t say no.

The woman who won’t let him fall…

Kenzie Morgan’s life went to the dogs years ago. A successful search dog trainer and kennel owner, she gets her fill of adventure volunteering for the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. The only thing missing from her busy life is love. It’s not easy finding Mr. Right in a small mountain town, especially when she’s unwilling to date climbers. She long ago swore never again to fall for a guy who might one day leave her for a rock. When Conrad returns from a climbing trip haunted by the catastrophe that killed his best friend, Kenzie can see he’s hurting and wants to help. She just might have the perfect way to bring him back to the world of the living. But friendship quickly turns into something more—and now she’s risking her heart to heal his.

Visit my website for an excerpt, or read the excerpt in my last blog post.

I hope you enjoy Kenzie and Conrad’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was especially fun to write about a search-and-rescue dog trainer because PUPPY!

As always, thanks for sharing and for caring!
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Cover Reveal and EXCERPT for HOLDING ON (Colorado High Country #6)

It’s written and being proofread right now. By Thursday at the latest, Holding On (Colorado High Country #6) should be available at ebook retails, with the print release following in about a week.

Yes, the book will be out THIS WEEK — just in time for your Fourth of July weekend.

Holding On tells the story of Harrison Conrad, the elite alpinist whose climbing team was killed on his last expedition to Mt. Everest. He left Scarlet Springs in Falling Hard (book 3) and hasn't come back. Haunted by what happened on the mountain, he holes up in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal looking for peace.

The story opens as he makes the decision to come home.

Conrad's love interest is search dog trainer Kenzie Morgan. He shuts himself away when he gets back to Scarlet, but Kenzie cares deeply about her friend and comes up with an idea to bring him back to the world of the living. It weighs about eight pounds, has creamy fur, and needs constant attention. Oh, yes, and it isn't housebroken.

Gabby, the little golden retriever puppy Kenzie asks Conrad to foster, is a shaft of light in the darkness of his life. But brighter still is the attraction he feels toward Kenzie.

All the locals from Scarlet Springs are back in this story of puppies, love, and redemption.

Here’s an excerpt...

From Holding On 

Conrad was asleep when the knock came at his door. Who the hell would bother him so early in the morning? He raised his head, looked at the clock. 

It was almost noon. “Shit.”

He shoved the blankets aside, stepped into the pair of jeans that lay on the floor, and strode out to the living room to open the door. “Kenzie.”

“Hey.” She stood on his porch looking beautiful in a peach V-neck T-shirt and jeans that made the most of her curves, her long hair drawn back in a ponytail. In her arms was a tiny, squirming puppy. “I hope I’m not bothering you.” 

“Not at all. I was just … uh… ” He ran a hand through the tangled mess of hair on his head, wondering when he’d last had a shower and hoping he didn’t stink. “I was just about to jump in the shower. Come in.”

He glanced around at the mess—pizza boxes, beer bottles, piles of unopened mail from his PO box. “Sorry. I need to clean this place up.”

She stepped inside, set the puppy on the floor. It bounded over to a pizza box and sniffed. “I came to ask you a really big favor.”

It was then Conrad noticed the worry on her face. He gestured toward the sofa. “Have a seat. What’s wrong?”

Kenzie sat on the sofa. “It’s the puppy. Her name is Gabby.”

Conrad glanced down at the little thing. “Hey, Gabby.”

The puppy pawed at the pizza box, her little tail wagging.

“Gizmo is six now—that’s about forty-two in golden retriever years. He’s still healthy, but it takes a while to train a dog for SAR work. So I got little Gabby here. She’s ten weeks old—the perfect age to start training—but Gizmo doesn’t want her around. She’s got so much energy. She’s always hopping on him and trying to play with him. She gets on his nerves.”

Gizmo had always seemed like a friendly dog to Conrad, one that got along well with dogs and people. But what did Conrad know?

Kenzie went on. “I think he’ll have an easier time dealing with her when she’s a little older. I was really hoping you could foster her for me—just for a month or so. It’s essential that she begins her training now if she’s going to get certified, but the situation with Gizmo is making that hard for me. He’s jealous.”

Conrad must have misunderstood. “You want me to foster the puppy?”

“Yes, please. Just for a little while. I’ll tell you everything you need to know. She’s a really good little girl.”

“Isn’t there someone else?” The last thing Conrad needed in his life right now was some little creature depending on him. 

Hadn’t he vowed never to take responsibility for another life again?

Kenzie shook her head. “Most of the people I know work all day or have new babies or dogs. There really isn’t anyone else I would trust with her.”

Well, shit. 

“I don’t know how my landlord would feel about my having a pet. She might pee on the carpet or something. He’s trying to sell the place.”

Kenzie glanced down at the worn green shag carpeting. “Anyone who buys this house is going to want to replace this carpet before they move in anyway.”

Yeah, that was probably true.

Conrad was running out of excuses.

“Besides,” Kenzie added, “there are ways to prevent accidents. Puppies aren’t rocket science.”

“I’m not really in a great space now.” He hated having to admit that. 

“Neither is Gabby.”


The puppy had wandered over to Conrad’s feet. She sniffed, looked up at him through big, brown eyes, a creamy ball of complete innocence.


He was screwed.

He bent down, picked up the furball, and held her. She was small enough that he could hold her in one hand. 

She licked his face, her little tail wagging.

Kenzie smiled. “I think she likes you.”

“She probably likes everyone.” Conrad reluctantly set her down again. “I’d like to help, but I have to find a job.”

“How’s the job search going?”

What could he say? It wasn’t going. He hadn’t filled out a single application.

“I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do.”

Kenzie nodded as if this made sense. “How about this? If you have a job interview, you can always drop her by the kennel.”

He supposed that would work. “What about training her? I don’t want her to be a search-and-rescue dropout because of me.”

Kenzie laughed. “Training a puppy this age isn’t very involved, and Gabby is super smart. I’ll help.”

Conrad watched the puppy bound around his living room, stumbling over a pile of mail and sending letters scattering around the floor. 

“Please, Conrad. It would be such a huge help to me.” 

Conrad met Kenzie’s gaze, about to tell her that he wasn’t the man for this job, but the pleading look in those blue eyes stopped him. “Okay, but don’t hold it against me if she flunks out of rescue school.”

Kenzie jumped up, threw her arms around his neck, and kissed his cheek. “Thanks so much, Harrison! You’re a life-saver.”

No. No, he wasn’t. But he could at least help Kenzie with this.

“Can you help me carry her stuff inside?”

“Yeah, okay.” How much stuff could a little puppy have?

 ~ ~ ~

Kenzie hated lying to Harrison. Not that this was a bad lie. She was trying to help him. Still, what she’d told him wasn’t true. 

She carried a box of puppy toys and the bag of puppy food inside and set them down in the kitchen. Then she went out to grab the bag of groceries she’d bought for him and put the salad veggies, meat, seafood, cheese, milk, and eggs in the prehistoric mint-green fridge. “Does this thing even work?”

Harrison saw what she was doing. He glanced into the bag from Food Mart, a frown on his face.  “What’s all this?”

“It’s called ‘food.’ Most people keep it around.”

“You didn’t need to do that.” 

“I can’t have you eating Gabby’s kibble.”

“Funny.” Harrison glanced around, the sight of him without a shirt almost enough to make Kenzie drool. “I had no idea a puppy needed so many things.” 

Those hairless pecs. That six-pack. His shoulders and biceps. Silky, tanned skin.

She swallowed. “You think that’s a lot?”

There wasn’t that much—just Gabby’s crate, her car carrier, her training harnesses and leads, her grooming supplies, her food and water bowls, her toys, her treats, her puppy food, her favorite blanket.

He grinned. “You don’t?”

It was the first real smile she’d gotten from him since he’d come back, and it put a flutter in her belly. “I guess I’m used to it.”

She’d written down instructions for Gabby’s care—everything from feeding and crate training to basic obedience and SAR training. She pulled the pages out of the bag of puppy food and was about to go over them with Harrison when he decided it was time to gather up the pizza boxes and take them out to his recycling bin. He disappeared outside, a stack of pizza boxes in his arms, returning a minute later. 

“That’s better.” He scooped Gabby up and sat at the table with her on his lap. “Okay, go ahead.”

But Kenzie was in the middle of a hormonal meltdown, the sight of little Gabby against Harrison’s bare chest making her ovaries squeal. 

How was she supposed to get through this?

She forced her gaze onto the page and read the sections about feeding and crate training first, fighting to stay focused. “Give her a treat every time she goes into the crate. She’ll sleep there at night. She might cry a bit, but she’s okay. Don’t take her out and put her in your bed. That will only make the problem worse.” 

“Got it.”

“When you let her out of her crate, always take her straight outside to go potty. That way, she’ll come to associate leaving the crate with going outside to do her thing.”

“Won’t she just go potty in the crate?”

Kenzie shook her head. “She’ll try very hard not to. That’s why you have to pay attention. Little puppies can’t hold it very long. I’ve been taking her out right before I go to bed at night and then putting her in her crate with a treat and her toy afterward. She usually wakes me up at about four in the morning, needing to go out again, and then she lets me sleep until about six or seven.”

“Six or seven? So she’s your alarm clock.”

 Kenzie laughed. “A furry clock that doesn’t come with a snooze button.”
Harrison gave a slight frown, clearly not certain how to feel about the fact that he’d be getting up early for the foreseeable future.

“It’s important never to use the crate to punish her. Also, no hitting or kicking her or… ” She stopped at the horrified look on Harrison’s face. “You would never do that anyway, I know.”

“Never.” He kissed the top of Gabby’s head. 

This time it was Kenzie’s heart that squealed. She had a soft spot for men who loved animals. “Do you want to learn how to train her to follow?”
“Sure.” Harrison set the puppy down.

Kenzie took hold of Gabby’s leash and grabbed a few treats. “I hold her leash in one hand, and I hold a treat in the other and bend down like this so that I’m keeping the treat at her face-level next to my leg while I walk. She wants the treat, so she goes right where I want her. Use the command ‘Follow.’ It’s a little awkward to walk like this, but they learn quickly.” Kenzie took a few steps. “Gabby, follow.”

Gabby trotted along at her heel, taking the treat from her fingers.

“Then you praise her.” Kenzie knelt. “You’re a good girl, Gabby. Yes, you’re just so smart.”

“How often do you want me to do that?”

“I’d say a few times a day. She already knows how to sit.” Kenzie grabbed another treat. “Gabby, sit.”

Gabby looked up at her, then plopped her little bottom onto the floor.

Kenzie gave her the treat. “Make sure to praise her. Good puppy! What a good puppy you are!”

“I thought dog trainers use those clicker things.”

“I’ve taught clicker training in classes, but I don’t any longer. Whether you use a clicker or not, it’s all about rewarding desired behavior. If I’m consistent, my pups will learn to be consistent.”

“So be consistent. Got it.”

He looked so serious that Kenzie had to smile. “Exactly. I wrote it all down in case you forget something.”

She glanced at her watch, saw that it was just before noon. “The last thing I should show you is puppy runaways. That’s the first step in training her for SAR work.”

“Puppy runaways? You want her to run away?”

“No, I want you to run away.”

“Me?” A dark eyebrow arched.

Kenzie knew she was taking a chance here, but things had already gone far better than she’d imagined. She gave Gabby credit for that. Harrison had always been fond of Gizmo, and it was clear that he’d fallen in love with the puppy at first sight. Kenzie couldn’t blame him. So had she. “Why don’t we put her in her car carrier and drive to that new park near the library?”

“Scarlet Springs has a library?”

Oh, God. He didn’t know.

“Joe Moffat built a library and donated Silas Moffat’s journals and a bunch of historic photographs. The town had a big book drive. Now we have our own library. They built it on the site of the old schoolhouse. The school became part of the library, and the playground became a pocket park.”

“Cool. Okay.” He glanced down at his bare chest. “I guess I’d better get dressed.”


Well, all good things must come to an end.

~ ~ ~

Watch for the story on ebook retailers later this week! 

(c) Copyright Pamela Clare, 2018
Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Lots of news from Casa Clare

Sorry to have been MIA again for so long. I have a good excuse this time.

Much has happened here at Casa Clare since my last blog post. We're deep into the gardening season with lots of landscape projects. I had emergency gallbladder surgery. Barely Breathing (Colorado High Country #1) got a brand new sexy cover that brings it into alignment with the rest of the series. And Conrad and Kenzie’s story (Colorado High Country #6) is in progress and due for release late this month.

Life on the Urban Farm

As some of you know, I love to garden and have completed some of the coursework toward a master gardener certification. We have a large rose garden that is a few days away from being in full bloom. We have lots of wildflowers for bees, along with herbs and lavender for sensory enjoyment. Last year, we put in an orchard of eight fruit trees.

We had a beautiful and unusually rainy spring. The trees—apart from the Honeycrisp apple and peach tree which wore themselves out fruiting last year—flowered and began to set fruit. Then we had a bad hail storm that tore most of the pears from one of our pear trees and took off a lot of leaves. We thought we'd gotten off okay — still lots of pears, still some apples, some plums, and lots of cherries— when we noticed that the Fireside apple tree and Bartlett pear tree had fireblight.

Heartbreak! Lamentation!

The wet spring and the hail damage combined to help the bacteria that causes this deadly tree disease to flourish. We've trimmed diseased branches off both trees, caring to dip the pruners in bleach between cuts, and more twigs die off. First the fruit withers and dies, and then the leaves die. I'm not at all certain we'll be able to save either tree.

Unless we want to break out toxic chemicals we're not really equipped to use, we really have no options besides doing our best to give the tree what it needs and hoping it fights off the disease.

Our strawberries got nicked by hail, but we've had our first few bowls for breakfast. There's nothing like homegrown strawberries. Our raspberries are thriving, too. So there are lots of things to be grateful for.

We planted a lot of potatoes, and those didn't seem to notice the hail. I expect a record spud harvest late this summer.

New cover for Barely Breathing

I’m sure Colorado High Country/Scarlet Springs fans noticed that the series changed its look between the first book (Barely Breathing, Lexi and Austin) and the second book (Slow Burn, Hawke and Victoria). Between those two releases, I’d done some research that showed that solo hero covers sell much better than couples. I made the change for the second book, but that left the first looking like it wasn't really part of the series.

I finally had time to do something about it, and I love the new look.

Conrad and Kenzie get their story

The last we heard about Harrison Conrad, the alpinist on the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team, he had almost died in a catastrophe while attempting to summit Mt. Everest for the third time. His team, including his best buddy, were killed. He was the only one to survive. Rather than coming back to Scarlet, we heard that he was in Nepal.

Well, Megs has had enough of this, and she goes after him, finding him at a Buddhist monastery.

In Barely Breathing, you got the hint that Conrad and Kenzie, the search-and-rescue dog trainer, liked each other. It’s Kenzie — and a sweet little golden retriever puppy named Gabby — that help Conrad pull his life back together in the wake of tragedy.

Watch for an excerpt soon!

Take my gallbladder — please

In early April, I had what I thought was a terrible bout of heartburn. It was agony for more than two hours — and then it stopped. I stopped taking NSAIDs for my arthritis (misery) and tried to eat better. My doc at Kaiser ordered an ultrasound to check for gallbladder trouble, and it came back normal.

Then on May 17, it happened again. Agony.

This time I went to the ER. I was there at 6 a.m., and they could tell from blood work and my blood pressure (which was sky high) that something was wrong and that I was in a serious amount of pain. An ultrasound showed that my gallbladder was full of gallstones, even impacted gallstones, and was distended, i.e., not too far from rupturing. I was in the OR by noon. The post-op pain wasn't as bad as the gallbladder attack itself.

Side note: I wanted to see the gallstones, but they wouldn't save them for me. Not very nice.

I'm doing fine now and am very grateful that the ER radiologist was better than the guy at Kaiser, who clearly misread the original ultrasound.

Enough medical drama!

Many thanks to my sons, Alec and Benjamin, who stayed by my side at the hospital, and to my parents who welcomed me into their home for a couple of days where I could recuperate without cats trying to jump on my abdomen.

Needless to say, work on Conrad’s book came to a screeching halt for a couple of weeks.

What’s next in fiction? 

Conrad and Kenzie’s book — still no title! — will be out at the end of this month.

Then, in August, I’m bringing the I-Team heroes and the Scarlet Springs heroes together for an action-packed novella in the vein of every I-Team fan's favorite novella Dead by Midnight (which still has a 5-star rating on Amazon after 2.5 years). This time, the enemy will be wildland fire, not terrorists. Expect the heroes you love and the women they love to have to give their all to survive and save others.

Stay tuned for Conrad and Kenzie’s excerpt! Or join the I-Team or Scarlet Springs readers groups on Facebook and get excerpts and news before anyone else.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Yes, I am she — and now DEADLY INTENT is finally out in print

I had hoped Deadly Intent would be out in paperback within a week of the ebook release, but that didn't happen. It is finally out as of this afternoon and available on Amazon.

So what happened?

I had to prove to Amazon that I am Pamela Clare and that I wrote this book and that I have the right to publish it.

I'd heard of this happening to other authors. Amazon suppresses a release until they are satisfied that the book hasn't been stolen and that the author is who she says she is. I had gotten my documentation together — the registration I file with the Colorado Secretary of State to use my name as a business and the signed document proving that I had terminated my contract with Penguin Books.

And that's where the efficiency ended.

I was told in an email that it would take three to five business days for Amazon to review my documentation and reach a decision. When I asked whether they would keep my materials on file under my account so that I wouldn't have to do this again, they told me they would not. Which is just stooopid! A company as tech-saving and cutting edge as Amazon ought to have a system for retaining this information and attaching it to our author accounts so that we don't have to lose momentum on a book release.

Finally, about an hour after cc-ing Jeff Bezos on my reply email, I got a message from Executive Customer Service telling me that my documentation was good and that the book would go through content review (again!). That took about 24 hours. Then I clicked the button to make the book go live.

So, rest easy, readers of the world. I am Pamela Clare, and I wrote this book. And now — finally! — it's out in paperback, as well as ebook. (I'm not planning an audiobook this year.)

Here are the links:

Amazon print:

Thank you to those of you who helped to spread the word, posting reviews and sharing tweets and Facebook posts. I'm grateful for your support. It’s unbelievably gratifying to see how very much you love the I-Team characters. 

What's next, you ask?

I've started working on an outline for Conrad’s story (Colorado High Country #6). We know he gets together with the search-and-rescue dog trainer, Kenzie Morgan. But first I have to bring him home from the Buddhist monastery in Nepal where he has been holed up since every member of his climbing team was killed in an accident on Everest. 

Last week, I met with a deputy who trains S&R dogs. SHE answered my many questions and has invited me to watch a training this Sunday, where the dogs will be practicing their skill at finding human remains. 

“What do you use for the human remains?” I asked.
“Human remains,” she said.


An image of people dragging a severed head out of vehicle and hiding it in the bushes popped into my head. Instead, they take a vial that has a small amount of decomposing human flesh in it — donated by a deceased person for the training of S&R dogs — and hide that. No body parts in bags. 

I will do my best not to smell this vial, I assure you. I'll leave sniffing to the dogs. It ought to be interesting to watch. 

Stay tuned for more I-Team and Scarlet Springs news!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DEADLY INTENT (I-Team #8) is OUT! Author Q&A

Deadly Intent (I-Team #8), the first I-Team full-length I-Team story since Seduction Game in 2015, is out! It tells the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning I-Team photographer Joaquin Ramirez and former US Army Captain Mia Starr, whose paths cross one night at a crime scene, changing their lives forever.

Here’s the blurb:

Secrets buried in the sand…

Former US Army Captain Mia Starr has built a new life for herself in Denver, far away from camel spiders and sand—and the terrible secrets of her first deployment to Iraq. She isn’t looking for a relationship, especially not with an intrusive photojournalist. Joaquin Ramirez might be sexy, but in her experience, photojournalists only want to make a buck off other people’s suffering. Still, the universe must have a sick sense of humor because it keeps throwing her together with Joaquin, making the desire she feels for him harder and harder to resist.

An undeniable attraction…

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning news photographer, Joaquin has everything a single straight guy could want—except the right woman. When he meets Mia while shooting a crime scene, he immediately sees beyond her cold exterior to the vulnerable woman beneath. Though the police consider her a suspect, he’s sure she’s innocent. Someone is killing soldiers—and trying to pin the blame on her. Unable to resist the pull between them, Joaquin stands by her only to find himself snared in the killer’s net as well. 

A twisted soul hungry for revenge…

Mia can’t help it when the heat between her and Joaquin melts away her preconceptions. As their passion explodes, danger draws ever closer. When it becomes clear that Mia is the killer’s true target, she must trust Joaquin with a secret that could ruin her … or risk losing the love of a lifetime.

The story is available at all major ebook retailers. It will be out in print next week. At this time, I have no plans in motion for an audiobook.

Q: I thought you said Dead By Midnight was the I-Team finale. 

A: At the time, I thought it was. I was unable to write romantic suspense because of contractual limitations. I terminated my contract last year, leaving me free to write romantic suspense again. Joaquin's story hadn't been told, and there were so many I-Team fans who wanted him to get his HEA that I knew I had to give him a story. 

Q: Does that mean the I-Team series is going to continue?

A: Yes, though I'm not sure how many more books there will be. I have several novellas in my head, and then there's Matt Harker. He needs a story. Alex Carmichael, too. And now there's a new I-Team member, introduced in this story, Anna Hughes, who will need an HEA as well.

I will be launching a spinoff series this year focused on Cobra International Solutions, Javier Corbray (Striking Distance, I-Team #6) and Derek Tower’s security and black ops business. Derek will get his story first. We'll see beloved I-Team characters in that series. Holly and Nick (Seduction Game) work there now. There is a major shake-up coming in the life of one I-Team hero, and he might end up there, too.

Q: Oh, a new romantic suspense series!

A: Yes! I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.

Q: What can you tell us about Joaquin’s story?

A: Joaquin has changed tremendously from the first book. By the time we get to Breaking Point (I-Team #5), he's already starting to go through some big transitions. The Joaquin we meet in Deadly Intent is the Joaquin who survived the cartel attack and the hostage crisis in Dead By Midnight. In real life, you don't go through violent, traumatic events without changing. He is not the kid brother kind of character any longer. Also, we learn things about him we didn’t know before.

Qualities he has always had — the ability to see deeper into people, empathy, etc. — become clearer in this story. We know where they come from.

He is the perfect man for Mia, who doesn't like him at first. She has a hard-earned grudge against photojournalists from her time serving in Iraq.

Q: Are characters from the other I-Team stories in the book?

A: Yes. We see everyone, even if some of the appearances are more like cameos. It's hard with such a big cast of characters to have everyone play a meaningful role in every story. I try to make the connections realistic. We are not in touch with all of our good friends or family every day. We move in circles that overlap. Today, we're in this circle. Tomorrow, we shift to that circle. I try very hard to make any appearance by a character from a previous book meaningful, and not just “fan service.” 

The couple known as Marcangelo have prominent roles in the story, as does Holly, and the entire West clan at the Cimarron. (If you don’t know what the Cimarron is, you've missed the I-Team After Hours novellas — Skin Deep and Soul Deep — and need to catch up!)

Q: Can this book be read out of order?

A: Yes, this can be read as a stand-alone. But I highly recommend you read Seduction Game and Dead By Midnight first. There are events and characters in this story whose lives are deeply impacted by those two books. If you haven't read them, Deadly Intent will be full of spoilers.

Q: What about your straight contemporary series — the Colorado High Country series?

A: I’m going to keep writing that series. There are so many characters whose stories we haven’t heard. I can’t just drop them and leave them behind. Writing straight contemporary has been a challenge for me. My heart is more romantic suspense. But there are some suspense elements that leak into these stories. (I can't seem to help it.) So we'll be back in Scarlet Springs soon! 

In fact, I have a novella planned for this year that will bring some of our favorite I-Team heroes together with the Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue Team crew and Hawke’s crew of firefighters. That's going to be a very high-octane story.

Q: That sounds exciting! So, what's next?

A: I'll be starting the next Colorado High Country story next. I need to bring poor Conrad home from Nepal, where he lost his climbing partners in a summit bid for Mt. Everest. Megs is going after him. He will connect with search-dog trainer Kenzie Morgan, who will wisely give him a puppy to train. That puppy, and Kenzie's love, will ultimately save our hero from his crushing grief.

After that, probably the novella, and then Derek’s book in the new Cobra series.

Q: That's a busy year you have planned for yourself.

A: Yes, it is, but also exciting. I love these characters as much or more than my readers do. 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add about Deadly Intent?

A: I think Joaquin will surprise you. He is one of my most sensual heroes. Anyone who thinks he isn’t really hero material is in for a shock.

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Favorite Writing Quotes

"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale