Tuesday, April 21, 2015

One year later




One year ago today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I’d felt a lump several months earlier and had gone to my doctor for no fewer than three breast exams, only to be told that the lump felt like normal fibro-cystic tissue to her. I felt safe. I shouldn't have.

When I got the call that they had some concerns about my annual mammogram, I got a knot in my stomach that wouldn't go away. It has never gone away.

Everyone tried to be encouraging. I tried to encourage myself. It’s probably nothing, we all said.

On April 21, I went in for a series of diagnostic mammograms. The radiologist showed me an outline of several white dots in the shape of a C. They could be calcifications, he said, but they could also be cancer. Several more films were taken, and then I was led to another room for an ultrasound with a glum-faced woman who could tell me nothing.

The radiologist walked in, pushed the curtain aside and said, “It looks like you have a small, early breast cancer."

And my life changed.

~ ~ ~ 

As it turned out, I had stage 1C estrogen positive/progesterone positive breast cancer that was Herc2 negative. But I didn’t get to learn the nature of what I was facing until 45 days after my diagnosis, when I finally had surgery.

 The wait was agonizing and was made more agonizing by idiots. The “patient coordinator,” an RN, told me she thought I was probably looking at Stage 2. (Apparently, she has a crystal ball.) I looked at survival rates and prayed that it wouldn't be worse than that. I tried to remind myself that the only person who’d seen the tumor was the radiologist, and he’d actually used the term Stage 1 during our conversation.

I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy despite the huge loss it would cause to my sexual self and my sense of femininity because I never, ever wanted to go through the whole mammogram routine again. I never wanted to wait and wonder. I never wanted to give this disease another chance at me.

The mastectomy revealed that there was a 1mm micro-metastases in a single lymph node. In the past, they didn't used to catch these. Now they do. What micro-metastases mean medically, no one knows. Now the question became chemo or no chemo.

It was an agonizing question, one that hung largely on the outcome of the OncoDX score of my tumor. This genetic test has become a guiding tool for oncologists. It is helpful in determining a patient's risk for recurrence. Patients with tumors with a score under 19 statistically speaking don't get much benefit from chemotherapy and tend to do just as well with Tamoxifen only. My OncoDX was 12.

But there was that micro-met to consider. And no one on my medical team knew what to say about that.

Ultimately, it was my decision. It sucked that there really was so little guidance. There simply hasn't been enough research on micro-mets to determine what they mean. They are significantly different from full-on macro-metastases. That much everyone knows. But what it means in terms of recurrence risk... There just isn't enough research.

I opted for chemo and radiation, feeling that I had this one chance to eradicate this illness and move forward with my life cancer free.

Chemo was tough. Losing my hair was even more painful than losing my breasts.

Radiation was less uncomfortable than chemo, at least until the end, but it was intensely dehumanizing, an experience made worse by an asshat of a radiologist who has apparently used up his lifetime allotment of medical compassion.

Treatment made it impossible to write. I watched a lot of Netflix and slept. I spent most of 2014 simply trying to get through cancer treatment.

My last day of radiation was Dec. 9. I ended up with painful blisters and needed morphine to control the pain.

My body is still healing.

~ ~ ~ 

So how did my life change?

It changed entirely for the worse. Unlike the occasional happy celebrity who goes on TV to talk about how cancer was a hidden blessing, I’m here to say it sucked. 

I used to have breasts. Now I have enormous scars. The scars tingle and hurt sometimes — phantom nerve pain from what is truly an amputation. I've permanently lost all sexual sensitivity together with the beauty of breasts. I might be able to get some kind of breast-shaped blobs through fat transplants and such sometime later this year, but they won't be breasts. They will have little to no feeling, and what feeling they do have won't be sexual —  that super sexy tug in the deep belly that sensitive nipples can give a woman.

Now I get to write about it, but I will never, ever feel it again.

I have short hair. Most people blow this off. But I'd had long hair most of my adult life and do not care for short hair at all. To lose my breasts and my hair — it made me feel like a thing, my femininity completely stripped away.

I grieve still. I grieve for the permanent loss of my breasts and that precious element of my sexuality. I grieve for the very long hair that will take years to regrow. I grieve for the more carefree version of myself, the one who hadn’t yet heard the words, “It looks like you have breast cancer.” I grieve for he version of myself that could think about the future without wondering, “Will I make it that long?"

My writing career was put on hold at a time when I suddenly needed money more than ever. Despite having good health insurance, I spent more than $10,000 out of pocket on treatment last year. So, hey, it helped me get rid of some extra cash, too. Now, I'm playing catchup with my own career.

The life I have now seems completely different than the one that I lived before April 21, 2014. I am different. I won’t ever be the same. My life will never be the same.

And yet I am deeply grateful to be alive. But more on that in a minute. I'm getting ahead of myself.

~ ~ ~

I think of 2014 as a year of shit. I would never want to relive it. I'm glad it’s over.

During treatment, I wrestled with a range of emotions from rage to fear to overwhelming sadness. Of course, the world has difficulty with honest feelings about anything, especially something as frightening to most people as cancer. A great many people reached out to support me. For that, I will always be grateful.

But there were also people who offered unsolicited advice — people who didn’t have cancer but who felt they ought to tell me how to deal with it. Some thumped bibles in my face. To them I said, no, cancer was not God’s will for me, nor was it part of any divine plan for my life. Others suggested unproven treatments and nutty cures. The most common bit of irritating advice was, “Stay positive.” YOU stay positive when you get cancer. I'll feel what I feel if that’s alright with you.

(Hint: Don't give advice to people who are enduring something you yourself haven’t had to face.)

Allow me to summarize: Fuck, no, cancer was not God’s will for my life. I find that idea extremely offensive and disgusting. It wasn't a blessing, nor is it part of any divine plan. And screw being positive.

When life gets real, people, it is all right to have real feelings.


~ ~ ~

Yes, I am deeply grateful to be alive.

I’m glad the tumor was found during that mammogram. Had I failed to get screened last year, my prognosis this year would be much worse. I have a 90 percent chance of having beat this disease, and I’m grateful for that, as well.

I’m grateful for the help my mother, sister and son Benjamin gave me in dealing with the day-to-day struggles of coping with treatment. They were champions for me.

I'm grateful for my fellow authors, readers, and friends who helped put together the Good Food Fund — thank you Thea Harrison — and those who contributed to the expense of my medical costs.

I am grateful for my medical oncologist and the other medical staff who helped save my life.

I am grateful for the hundreds of cards I received from readers from around the world and the amazing and sweet gifts that so many people sent to try to cheer me and bring me some comfort. I read every single one.

So, yes, amid the grief, I do feel gratitude as well.

~ ~ ~

I came away from the physical misery of treatment and the fear that comes with living with cancer feeling an intense desire to put last year behind me and do the best I could to live a rich and full life.

I'm less grumpy about day-to-day challenges than I was before. A normal, boring day is fine with me. I’ve gained an appreciation for the small moments in life—and an acute awareness that life will end for most of us sooner than we wish it would.

I’m starting an oil painting class next Monday — part of a promise I made to myself.

Most of all, I am writing again. It hasn't all been easy. I cried my eyes out when I came to the first sex scene and wrote about the hero licking and kissing the heroine’s nipples. That has proven to be very, very hard and may eventually mean that I quit writing romantic fiction. (Yes, I'm serious.)

I’m six months out of chemo, and I’ve written most of a novel, lost the chemo pounds, gotten fit enough to walk 3.5 miles an hour (which I haven't been doing daily despite a real need to do so), and am making a point of spending more time with my family, even when I’m in the middle of a novel.

I hope to get reconstruction sometime this year. There’s an issue of timing and then there’s the expense — an estimated $6,000 with insurance coverage. But, hey, that’s American health care for you.

I am living my life again despite the grief, and that’s the best way I can think of to say “Fuck you!" to cancer. My heart, like my body, will never be whole again. But I am living.

If that’s not the positive, inspiring message you were hoping for, then think of it as a glimpse into how terrible breast cancer really is.

We need a cure.









Sunday, March 29, 2015

UK I-Team giveaway


To celebrate the release of the I-Team series in the UK, I will be giving away three SIGNED sets of the first three I-Team books — Extreme Exposure, Hard Evidence, and Unlawful Contact — to three lucky winners from the UK.

All you have to do to enter is to comment below *with your contact information* and tell me why you’re looking forward to reading the I-Team stories. For an extra chance to win, follow @Pamela_Clare on Twitter and retweet my link to this post with the #UKGiveaway hashtag.

Three winners will be chosen by contest randomizer on Friday, April 3.

The contest is open to UK residents only. That’s nice for a change, isn’t it?

It’s been wonderful to watch readers’ excitement over the stories, and it continues this week. The fourth, fifth and sixth books in the series —Naked Edge, Breaking Point, and Striking Distance — will be out on April 2, with my historicals slated for release in May.

I’ve been working very hard on Nick and Holly’s story — Book 7 in the series — and hope to turn it in to New York by the end of April.

Good luck to you all!

Coming soon:
Kenleigh-Blakewell Family Saga audiobook giveaway
A smexy excerpt from Nick & Holly’s story




Monday, March 23, 2015

First Glimpse at Nick and Holly

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I thought it was time to give you a glimpse of Nick and Holly’s book. I’m about halfway done at this point and anticipate turning it in to New York at the end of April.

In my mind, Holly has always looked something like Scarlett Johannson. I promised myself my next hero would look like the amazingly sexy David Gandy. And guess what? They did a super-sexy Dolce & Gabbana shoot together, which I took as a sign. 

If those images don’t work for you, feel free to imagine the blond woman and dark hunk of your choice. What you do in your imagination is none of my business.

The book doesn’t have a fully official title yet, so... Without further ado, I introduce Nick and Holly. 

Holly honestly has no idea what she’s in for, but then again, neither does Nick.


 From Chapter One...


Trust no one.

What the hell did Kramer mean by that?

Nikolai Andris rubbed his closed eyes with the heels of his hands, then looked up at the clock. 

Almost midnight.

Shit.

This was a waste of time. 

For almost three weeks, he’d been keeping Holly Elise Bradshaw under round-the-clock surveillance. He’d turned her life inside out but had found nothing. He’d tapped both of her phones, sifted through her laptop, searched her condo, memorized the details of her childhood, learned about her friends, pored over her financial records, scrutinized her posts on social media for hints of tradecraft, and tracked every move she’d made via GPS. He’d found nothing remotely suspicious. 

He’d even gone behind Bauer’s back and contacted Rich Lagerman, an old buddy from Delta Force who was now working for the FBI, and asked whether Bradshaw was one of theirs. Every federal agency in the country now had undercover officers, and it wouldn’t be the first time operatives from different agencies had tripped over one another while pursuing the same suspect.

“Nope. Not one of ours,” Rich had said. “But if you need any help with her, maybe some late-night, under-the-covers work, let me know.”

“Right.”

Nick now knew more about this woman than she knew about herself. If Holly Bradshaw was some kind of underworld operative, a foreign agent, a traitor who sold US secrets, then he was Elvis fucking Presley.  

Someone at Langley had screwed up. 

Nick had been recalled from assignment in Tbilisi amid whispers that a handful of officers were missing or dead and that the Agency was conducting an shake-up and internal investigation of its Special Activities Division, or SAD, the top-secret branch of the CIA that had recruited Nick out of Delta Force nine years ago. He’d never been assigned to operate within US borders, so he’d arrived in Langley expecting to find himself in the middle of an inquisition. 

Instead, Bauer had given him a file with the latest intel on Sasha Dudayev, aka Sachino Dudaev, the Georgian arms smuggler who’d killed the only woman Nick had ever loved. 

“He killed an officer and stole a flash drive containing classified information vital to US operations outside the homeland,” Bauer had said. “Keep Bradshaw under surveillance, recover the data, and neutralize them both using any force necessary.”

As a rule, the Agency left affairs within the homeland to the NSA and FBI, but they sometimes broke that rule when it came to high-value international targets and US citizens who’d crossed the line to work with those targets. It was unusual for Nick to run surveillance on a fellow American in her home, but apart from that element of his current mission, Bauer had given him exactly what he’d wanted for two long years now—a chance to make Dudaev pay.

Dudaev had played the Agency and brought the Chechen op down on their heads. Nick had been there that night. He’d watched, wounded and pinned down by AK fire, as the son of a bitch had emptied his Makarov into Dani’s chest, then made off with the cache of arms the Agency had wrested away from Chechen terrorists.  Nick had crawled over to her and held her body afterward, held her until he’d passed out from blood loss. 

His sole task that night had been to protect her, and he’d failed.

But now things were about to come full circle. 

There was only one problem. 

The suits at Langley had clearly made a mistake when they’d fingered Ms. Bradshaw as Dudaev’s contact. Okay, so it was an understandable mistake. The bastard’s last lover had been an Italian journalist who’d acted as his mole and messenger—until he’d had her killed. Analysts must have assumed he’d recruited Ms. Bradshaw when she’d interviewed him about his new art gallery and then begun dating him.

As understandable as the error might be, nothing changed the fact that Nick had now wasted three weeks discovering that Holly Bradshaw was exactly what she seemed to be—an entertainment writer, a smart but shallow blonde, a woman who loved sex, expensive clothes, and good times with her friends. He’d explained all of this to Langley, sharing every bit of intel he’d gathered on her. If Dudaev was about to sell the flash drive, the deal would go down without Bradshaw’s knowledge or participation. 

Bauer had shrugged. “Stick with her. The analysts swear she’s the one.”

Some people just hated to be wrong.

Nick’s time would be better spent trailing Dudaev and hunting down the real contact—or sorting truth from rumor on the internal investigation and the missing and dead officers. 

Trust no one.

Kramer had contacted him this afternoon insisting they speak face to face. He’d told Nick when and where to meet him. Nick hadn’t needed to ask what was on Kramer’s mind. It wasn’t unusual for an officer to be killed in the line of duty, but it was strange that Nick and Kramer had worked with all of them. Then Kramer had ended the call with those three words—and Nick’s imagination had taken over.

“They’re ombré crystal pumps in royal blue with four-inch heels.” 

Nick took another swig of cold coffee. In his earpiece, Bradshaw and her friend Kara McMillan were still talking. 

“I love them,” Bradshaw said, “but my shoe budget is blown for the next ten years.”

Nick doubted that. Bradshaw’s daddy was a retired brigadier general who had served with US Army Intelligence—another reason analysts believed Dudaev had chosen her—and Daddy had created a nice little trust fund for his baby girl. 

“How much do a pair of Christian Louboutins cost?” McMillan asked.

Nick ran through the key facts on her, more to help himself stay awake than because he’d forgotten anything. 

McMillan, Kara. 40. Journalist, author, journalism instructor at Metro State University. Wife of Sheridan, Reece, lieutenant governor of the state of Colorado. No arrests. No suspected criminal associations. Three children. Formerly employed by the Denver Independent on its Investigative Team, aka, the I-Team. Met Bradshaw through work. Close personal friend. 

“Well, it depends on where you buy them, whether they’re on sale, which shoe you choose—that sort of thing.” 

“Holly,” McMillan said in a stern voice. “How much?”

Bradshaw hesitated. “These were just over three thousand.”

Nick had just taken another swig of coffee and nearly choked.

Three thousand dollars? For a fucking pair of shoes?

“Wow!” McMillan laughed. “Reece would divorce me.”

Damn straight!

“Did you get them for your big date with Sasha tomorrow?”

“I needed something to go with my new dress.”

Nick rolled his eyes. The woman’s closet was full of shoes. The last thing she needed was one more pair—especially one that cost three fucking grand.

“I read in the paper that he’s a billionaire—gas and oil money,” McMillan said.

Nick felt his jaw clench.

Dudaev’s fortune had been built on human lives, including Dani’s. Murdering her had been nothing more than a business transaction to him. He could change his name, wear designer suits, and open a dozen art galleries trying to make himself seem respectable, but nothing could wash the blood off his hands. 

“You should see the sapphire necklace he gave me last week. The chain isn’t actually a chain. It’s a strand of diamonds.”

Nick already knew from another conversation—this time with Sophie Alton-Hunter, another friend from the newspaper—that Bradshaw had bought the dress to match the necklace. Now she’d gotten the shoes to go with the dress. And at last Nick understood what a woman like Holly Bradshaw would see in Dudaev. 

Well, greed was blind. 

She had no idea what kind of man he truly was. If she wasn’t careful, he’d strangle her with that necklace.

“Sophie told me. It sounds like he’s serious about you. Do you think this will be it—the big night?”

Nick frowned. 

What did McMillan mean by that?

“I don’t know. I mean, he’s good looking enough.”

“Good looking enough?” McMillan laughed. “He’s a lot better looking than that banker you went out with last year. Where was he from?”

“South Africa.”

“He’s better looking than that Saudi prince, too, whatever his name was. In the news photos, he looks a lot like George Clooney but with a more aristocratic nose and a mustache. Sure, he’s got some gray, but I’ll bet he’s fully functional.”

They were talking about Ms. Bradshaw’s love life.

Nick glanced for a moment at the photos of her he’d pinned to the wall above his desk. He could see why men were eager to sleep with her. She was hot. 

Okay, she was incredibly hot. Platinum blond hair. A delicate heart-shaped face. Big brown eyes. A full mouth, and a body that…

Get your mind off her body.

What good were looks if they got you into trouble? There were men who preyed on beautiful women, and Dudaev was one of them.

“Yeah, but he’s… I don’t know… self-absorbed. He’s probably the kind of man who rams into you for five minutes and then acts like he’s just done you a big favor, the kind who makes you wish you had a magazine to read when you’re in bed with him.”

McMillan was laughing now.

But Bradshaw hadn’t finished. “A lot of guys are like that—oblivious to what women want. ‘Don’t worry about getting me off, babe. I just want to go down on you all night long’—said no man ever.”

Nick shook his head. Is that what she truly expected? 

A dude would have to have a motorized tongue to pull that off.

Did all women talk like this about sex? Nick couldn’t imagine his sister sharing details about her sex life with her friends or using this kind of language. His mother, a devout Georgian Orthodox Christian, would have had a coronary if she’d caught her daughter or even one of her five sons talking like this.

Not that it offended Nick. He found it kind of sexy, actually. But then, given the things he’d seen and the things he’d had to do, a conversation about oral sex was pretty damned tame.

“Not all men are selfish.” 

You tell her, McMillan.

“No, I suppose not. But lots of them are. It makes me want to take out a full-page ad in the paper just to help out womankind. ‘It’s the clit, stupid.’”

Nick let out a laugh—then caught himself.

Keep your shit together, Andris.

# # #



Holly Bradshaw glanced over her shoulder at her living room wall. “Mr. Creeper must be watching something funny on TV. I just heard him laugh. I never hear him.”

“You still haven’t met him?” Kara asked through a yawn.

“He’s lived there for almost a month now and hasn’t once come over to say hello. He stays indoors and keeps the shades drawn. I’ve seen him outside once. He was taking out the trash, but he was wearing a hoodie. I couldn’t see his face.”

Kara’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Maybe he’s a serial killer.”

“You’re not helping.” 

“Who cares about him anyway? If I were you, I’d be so excited about tomorrow night. You lead such a glamorous life. I’m so jealous.”

But Holly knew that wasn’t true. “You and Sophie and the others—you spend every evening with your kids and a man who loves you while I watch TV by myself or go out to the clubs. I think you’re the lucky ones.”

Like the rest of Holly’s friends, Kara was happily married to a man who cherished her. Reece was one of the kindest, most decent, and sexiest men Holly had ever met—which was really strange, given that he was a politician. He’d bent over backward to prove to Kara that he loved her. Now, they had three kids and lived what seemed to Holly to be a perfect life. 

The fact that all of her friends were now married and most had children had changed her life, too. She spent a lot less time out on the town with them and a lot more time alone while they took on new roles and responsibilities. As much as she craved excitement and enjoyed the city’s nightlife, some secret part of her had begun to long for what they had, and that longing seemed to grow sharper all the time. 

But Kara didn’t seem to believe her.  “Are you saying you’d be willing to trade places with me?”
“And sleep with Reece?” Holly stretched out on her sofa and felt herself smile.

“That’s not exactly what I meant.”

But the question, however intended, had Holly’s imagination going.

Reece was sexy with dark blond hair, blue eyes and muscles he hid beneath tailored suits. How fun it would be to peel one of those suits away from his skin. 

Tessa was married to Julian Darcangelo, the city’s top vice cop and a former FBI agent who’d worked deep cover. Tall with shoulder-length dark hair, a ripped body, and a strikingly handsome face, he was sex on a stick—and crazy in love with his wife. 

Then again, Marc Hunter, Sophie’s husband, had served six years in prison and had that badass vibe Holly loved. A former Special Forces sniper, he was also a devoted family man—and sexier than any man had a right to be. 

Gabe Rossiter, Kat James’s husband, had a rock climber’s lean, muscular build and had all but given his life for the woman he loved. Kat was a lucky woman. 

Zach McBride, a former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient, had saved Natalie from being murdered by the leader of a Mexican drug cartel. All lean muscle and confidence, he had the hard look of a man who was used to taking action.

Nate West, Megan’s husband, had been badly burned in combat, his face and much of his body disfigured. The part of him that wasn’t scarred was extremely handsome—and he had a cowboy charm that brought the song “Save a Horse, (Ride a Cowboy)” to Holly’s mind.

Javier Corbray had rescued his wife, Laura Nilsson, from captivity in a terrorist stronghold in Pakistan, sacrificing his career as a SEAL. With a sexy Puerto Rican accent, dreamy, dark eyes and a mouth that—

“Are you fantasizing about my husband?” Kara’s accusing voice jerked Holly out of her reverie.

“No, of course not. Not really. Okay, a little,” Holly confessed. “I was just deciding which one of you I’d most like to trade places with.”

It was just a game. Holly had never so much as flirted with a married man. She didn’t poach on other women’s territory. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t fantasize.

“Holly!” Kara laughed. “I’m sorry I phrased it the way I did. Let me try again.” 

Tessa, Holly decided. 

She’d trade places with Tessa. She’d always had a secret crush on Julian.

But Kara went on. “If you want to meet good men, maybe you should quit going to the clubs. Most of the guys there are just looking for someone to hook up with.” 

It wasn’t the first time Kara had suggested this, but she didn’t understand. 

How could she?

Holly fired back. “You met Reece at a bar.” 

Okay, so it had been a restaurant. Still, Kara had consumed three margaritas, so it might as well have been a bar.

“Only because someone interfered,” Kara replied.

Holly smiled to herself. It had been so easy.

“Where else can a woman meet men? If I don’t go out, I’ll never meet anyone. It’s not like Mr. Right is going to just walk up and knock on my front door.”

“You never know.”  Kara changed the subject. “Hey, did you hear that Tom is converting to Buddhism?” 

Holly sat upright. “Tom? The same Tom Trent I know? The one who spends his day shouting at everyone? He’s converting to Buddhism?”

 “That’s what my mother says.”

Kara’s mother Lily lived with Tom.

“She would know. But Tom—a Buddhist? He and the Dalai Lama have so much in common, like, for example… nothing.”

Tom was the editor-in-chief of the Denver Independent, where his temper was as much of a legend as his brilliance as a journalist. As an entertainment writer, Holly didn’t work directly beneath him like her I-Team friends did. Beth Dailey, the entertainment editor, was her boss. Beth never yelled, never insulted people—and she appreciated Holly’s shoes.

“I think it’s perfect,” Kara said. “If anyone needs to meditate, it’s Tom. Gosh, it’s after midnight. I need to get to bed.”

“Same here.” Kara wasn’t the only one who needed a good sleep. 

The two said good night and ended the call.  

Holly got up from the sofa and went through her nightly routine, undressing, brushing her teeth, and washing and moisturizing her face, a sinking feeling coming over her. Naked, she walked over to her dresser and carefully took her new Louboutins out of their red silk bag, moving them so that the light made the crystals sparkle.

She didn’t want to spend another moment with Sasha Dudayev, but she’d already accepted and had the shoes…

Just one more date and that would be it.

She tucked the shoes carefully back in the bag, turned out her light, and crawled between her soft cotton sheets.

(c) Copyright 2015 Pamela Clare



Thursday, March 12, 2015

What’s new?




It’s been a good month here at Casa Clare. My health continues to improve. The first three books of the I-Team series are out in the UK. Ride the Fire (Kenleigh-Blakewell #3) came out in audiobook with Kaleo Griffith voicing one of my personal favorite tortured heroes, Nicholas. Sweet Release, my first historical, is being translated for release in May in Japan. And, best of all, I’ve written almost half of Holly’s story.

Now for the details...




Eternal Romance released Extreme Exposure, Hard Evidence, and Unlawful Contact on March 5, bringing the I-Team series to readers in the UK and Commonwealth nations. The books are available in print and ebook format. I’ve gotten so many emails over the the past year asking when the books would be out. I hope my UK readers are enjoying them.

The next three — Naked Edge, Breaking Point, and Striking Distance — will be available on April 2, with four of my historicals set for release in May.

My author copies of the first three books arrived, and it has been wonderful to hold them in my hands!


The Kenleigh-Blakewell Family Saga is now available in its entirety in audiobook format from Tantor Audio. Kaleo Griffith is again giving voice to my characters — good news for all of you Obsessive Kaleo Disorder sufferers. Yes, it’s OKD Fix Time! Kaleo has outdone himself on this series, which has a gazillion different characters with at least that many accents. Most of the series features characters who speak with different British English accents, so if you loved Kaleo as a Scott, you’re going to love these, too. I’ve listed to Sweet Release and Carnal Gift myself and am a few hours into Ride the Fire, a novel of which I am particularly fond. Carnal Gift got an A+ review from Audio Gals, which is pretty terrific!

Readers in Japan can look forward to Sweet Release in May. They really love the MacKinnon’s Rangers series there and are particularly fond of Lord William. Yes, HE is the the star of that series for them. So, while they wait for his book, they’ll have the Kenleigh-Blakewell series to read. Thanks to Kyoko Nakai for her hard work on the translations!

Acoso Mortal, the Spanish translation of Striking Distance, published by Ediciones Pamies (Phoebe) in Spain, has been nominated for Best International Romantic Suspense of 2014. I have also been nominated for Best International Author, which is really touching, especially given the company. I am very grateful to my readers in Spain and to Ediciones Pamies for their unflagging support and enthusiasm. 

I love the cover to this book — Laura’s striking blue eyes and Javier’s dog tags.

Mariajo Losada does a fabulous job translating my books for Spanish readers, putting so much of herself into the effort. I’ve told her that I consider them to be our books, not just my books.


And then for the news that has me smiling most...

I am more than a third of the way done with Holly Bradshaw’s story. The working title is Dead Giveaway, though I am still hoping to come up with something naughtier and sexier. This is Holly’s book we’re talking about, after all.

What can I tell you about it?

You all know Holly pretty well, as she’s been in each I-Team book since the beginning. Nick Andris, the man who finally wins her heart, is new to the series. Let me tell you about him...

Nikolai (Nick) Andris is the son of immigrants from Georgia. He grew up in the States in a close family, has a sister, and four brothers. He went into the Army and made his way into Delta Force, but was quickly recruited by the CIA to serve as a paramilitary operator.

Two years before the story opens, he is involved in an operation that goes sideways — and costs the life of the woman he loved. Now, he’s been recalled to the US and given the chance to take out the arms dealer responsible for her death. The arms dealer just happens to be the man Holly is dating.

Poor Holly! You know it’s been a bad date when 1) you’re drugged and 2) you wake up half naked in bed with a dead man.

The words have really been flowing on this book, and it has been so fun to write. It’s probably the lightest and funniest I-Team novel, and Holly and Nick together are setting the pages on fire.

Watch for an excerpt soon!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Back to life



I was going to do a blog post about picking up the pieces of my life and the challenges involved in that — how what was once normal feels so strange, how hard it is to create a day when you’ve forgotten what it feels like to have things to do.

But a strange thing happens.

I started trying to pick up the pieces — and found myself living again.

I am doing much better than in my last blog post. Though I still have some pain in my left chest and arm, probably from radiation, I’m going for walks, hitting the gym, and best of all I am writing again. I cannot tell you how it has felt to sit down every day and have Holly’s story just fall out of my fingertips. I’m on Chapter 6 — a point at which I’ve already begun to doubt whatever story I’m working on — and so far, I love it. But more on that another time.

I have news! So many of you have asked over the past year or so when, oh, when will my books be available in the UK and Commonwealth countries on Kindle. The fantastic news is that Eternal is publishing both my historicals and the I-Team series, and the books will be out in March, April and May — all of them.

I’ll share the covers here. I hope you love them as much as I do. Which brings me to a funny story...

I was going back and forth with my wonderful editor at Eternal when I discovered that the covers for the historicals are based on photographs taken by my good friend Jenn LeBlanc.

Talk about a small world!

This was complete coincidence and speaks to the quality of Jenn’s work that a UK publisher had tapped her photos for my books.

If the man on the cover of Surrender looks familiar it’s because he bloody well ought to. That’s Karl, who served as the live-action hero in the trailer Jenn, Benjamin and I put together for Defiant.

It’s a special thrill for me to have Jenn’s works on my books. If you count my indie pubs, that means Jenn’s photos grace eight of my covers now. Is that right, Jenn? Eight?

The publication schedule for Eternal is as follows:

March 5
EXTREME EXPOSURE
HARD EVIDENCE      
UNLAWFUL CONTACT

April 2
NAKED EDGE
BREAKING POINT .
STRIKING DISTANCE

May 14
SURRENDER
UNTAMED
DEFIANT
RIDE THE FIRE 




I asked my editor what a UK edition means — do they translate the US slang, prison slang, or historical terms into UK English? She said they try to leave the words as they are as much as possible in order to preserve the story. (I wish US publishers would do that with books from the UK! I can figure out what a lorry is, thank you.) That means my UK readers, who have been so very patient, are going to be getting the I-Team stories and my historicals intact.



As a special treat, I’ll be participating this weekend in a free romantic fiction festival designed to bring UK readers and authors together online. I’m not sure what all it entails, but I’ll be there. Here’s the link to sign up and participate.

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/romance-festival-2015-tickets-15326821937

I've got to run, so I'll post the I-Team covers here and dash. But I hope you're as happy about the news as I am. It's rare to have two entire series coming out all at once. 

If you’re new to my work, visit my website at www.pamelaclare.com for details on all of the stories.