The I-Team — Now available in Audiobook format! Find them on Audible.com!
Skin Deep — Now in trade paperback! Find it on CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com! And coming in audiobook format on April 29! Ride the Fire, Kenleigh/Blakewell Family Saga #3 — Reissues with new material, including the never-before-published epilogue!
Sweet Release and Carnal Gift — Now in trade paperback! Find them on CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com!
Striking Distance(I-Team #6) — Available in paperback, ebook, audiobook — Nov. 5
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.
Lately, I've been getting the same questions a dozen times a day, so I thought I'd post some answers here and perhaps alleviate some confusion.
Q: I loved Defiant. Do you plan to write more books in the MacKinnon's Rangers series?
A: I do plan to give Lord William and Captain Joseph their own stories, though I’m not sure when they will be released or what the titles will be.
Q. Do you plan to write more I-Team books?
A: Absolutely. I am working on Striking Distance, the sixth book in the series, right now and hope to have it done in time for a May 2013 release. Watch my blog for updates and excerpts. I know a lot of you love Holly — I do, too — but I'm saving Horny Holly for last.
In addition, I plan to continue the series of spinoff novellas I'm calling the I-Team After Hours series to help readers through the long wait between books. Skin Deep, the first I-Team After Hours novella, came out in May. It tells the story of Marc Hunter’s younger sister, Megan, and Nate West, the scarred veteran who helps Megan face her past.
Q. Why do you go so long between books?
A. I write two different sub-genres, plus I’m a very picky writer and try very hard to write the best book I possibly can. I’d rather make people wait than churn out junk. In the end, it’s the quality of the story that counts, not how fast I wrote it.
I am writing my butt off, basically doing nothing but writing 16 hours a day, seven days a week, to try to finish Striking Distance on time. The writing is going well, and the story is finally — finally — coming together.
Yesterday afternoon I got a pleasant surprise when my RITA finalist pin for Defiant arrived in the mail. I had totally forgotten that little perk of being a finalist. It’s my second finalist pin, the first having come from Surrender when it was a finalist in 2007.
I took a few minutes from writing to snap a photo to share with you.
I will be having a reader get-together in Atlanta, so if you’re one of my readers and you’d like to meet me, you can come to the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing Wednesday, July 17, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis or connect with me to learn more about the other private events I’ll be hosting in Atlanta.
Kaleo Griffith will be joining me in Atlanta, and he’ll be attending the get-together. For those of you who’ve fallen in love with his voice and the I-Team audiobooks — I’m talking to you, OKD sufferers! — this is your chance to get your audiobooks signed by both of us and to meet us in person.
If you’d like to join in, please send me a message, and I’ll include you in all updates about events in Atlanta.
Chat with 2013 RITA® Historical Romance Finalists: the RITA Reader Series
Join me along with an all-star cast of historical romance authors for week 4 of the RITA Reader Series! Romance fans will have the chance to ask 2013 RITA Historical Romance finalists about their writing, characters, and more online at http://shindig.com/event/rwahistoricalromance.
Join us Thursday, May 9, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to chat with me, Cara Elliott, Anne Gracie, Sabrina Jeffries, Jade Lee, and Sarah MacLean. Guest appearance by Romance Novella finalist Eloisa James. RSVP today!
One lucky participant will win a copy of each of the 2013 RITA Historical Romance finalist books!
How to participate: You'll need a computer and an Internet connection. If you'd like to participate via video chat, then you'll also need a webcam and computer microphone. The events are free to the public, and only 1,000 spots are available!
Visit http://www.rwa.org/RITAchat to view the schedule of upcoming events; RSVP for the Historical Romance chat at http://shindig.com/event/rwahistoricalromance.
Don't forget to tell your friends about the event!
Follow RWA on Twitter @romancewriters (#RITAchat hashtag) during the chats.
It has been a very long time since I’ve updated my blog. I would apologize except that I’m pretty sure you’d rather have me working on Striking Distance (I-Team 6) than blog posts. Just a guess, but I’m pretty sure I’m right about that!
The good news is that Striking Distance is moving along, slowly but surely, and I’m doing all I can to meet my May 31 deadline so that you’ll have the book by November.
I’ve also been busy shopping for a gown to wear to the 2013 RITA Awards, where Defiant (MacKinnon’s Rangers 3) is a finalist. I’ve never had any fashion sense or skill with this sort of thing, so I expect I’ll end up looking like Björk or something.
I’ve had time to listen to only about half of it so far, and having Kaleo Griffith bringing these characters to life, some for the first time, some for the fourth or fifth time, is such a delight! Those of you who suffer from OKD — that’d Obsessive Kaleo Disorder — will get a fix here that will hopefully hold you over until November. I especially love his portrayal of old-time Colorado rancher Jack West, the former Army Ranger who happens to be Nate’s father. As Benjy joked as we listened in the car, “And now for the real romance of this story — the relationship between Jack and Emily.”
Of course, Jack is 63 and Emily is 4, but theirs is a love story of a different kind.
The audiobook includes the I-Team short, “Marc and Julian Make a Beer Run,” which I wrote in response to a joke that someone made on the I-Team Facebook group page. “I’d read anything you wrote about the I-Team heroes, even if it was just Marc and Julian making a beer run.’
Her words percolated in my imagination, and the result is hopefully something you will enjoy, written as a thank you to the I-Team Facebook group members, one of whom created the little e-card you see above here. Fun!
In other audiobook news, I do know for certain now that the MacKinnon’s Rangers series will begin its release in July with Surrender coming out on July 15 and Untamed and Defiant slated for release in August.
To celebrate the release of Skin Deep and the crazy “Beer Run,” I’m giving away one signed copy of the full CD set to a lucky winner. To enter, just post below and tell me what you love most about the I-Team series. And remember to leave your contact information so that I can reach you if you win! If you want to tweet about the audiobook or share your love of the I-Team on Facebook or Twitter, I’d be grateful, but it's not necessary.
Now back to Javier and Laura. Things are heating up for those two...
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for audiobook news her at Casa Clare.
As I announced on Facebook and mentioned here, Tantor Audio bought the rights to Skin Deep and “Marc and Julian Make a Beer Run.” The stories, which Kaleo Griffith has already finished recording, will be available on April 29 — just a few weeks away!
The email in my inbox from Kaleo telling me that he’d had fun bringing the characters to life hadn’t yet cooled when I heard from my editor at Penguin that Tantor had purchased the audiobook rights for the MacKinnon’s Rangers series — Surrender, Untamed and Defiant.
I’m not sure what the time frame is for voicing the series and release it, but Tantor moves quickly, so I don’t thing we’re in for an overly long wait.
Of course, readers and listeners began asking immediately whether Kaleo would be brought onboard to voice Iain, Morgan, Connor, Lord William and the Rangers. I don’t have the answer to that question yet. I do know, however, that Kaleo did voice a book that was done entirely in Scottish brogue, so clearly he has the accent down.
I guess we’ll wait with baited breath to see. As one listener said, “Kaleo gives great aural.” And, indeed, he does!
With the release of the MacKinnon’s Rangers series in audiobook, that leaves only one I-Team novella and three historicals that aren’t yet in audiobook, and I know Tantor has expressed some interest in the I-Team novella. Eventually perhaps those of you who prefer to listen to books will have everything I’ve written at your auditory beck and call.
I’m still busy working on Striking Distance. I’m halfway done with the story. The past couple of weeks derailed me a bit, but I’m doing all I can to get back on track this week. When I have a lot of interruptions — such as hearing that one of my books is a RITA finalist or writing and posting a long piece about sexual assault on Facebook, like I did last week (which got 23,000+ reads on my fan page alone) — it tends to break the thread of the story. I end up having to read from the beginning to get my mind back in the right groove again.
Have a great week, everyone!
And stay tuned for big news about a fan get-together in Atlanta in on July 19-20! Guess who’s joining me there to sign books and audiobooks? If you guess Kaleo, you’re right.
Sorry I’ve been away for so long! A blog that is updated once a month is a BORING blog. I do understand that. But my effort has been channeled into writing Striking Distance, which is halfway completed now, and I’m willing to bet you’re okay with that.
One nice thing about being so focused on Laura and Javier’s story is that I’m oblivious to so much else that’s going on in the world. I had completely forgotten that RITA finalists would be announced soon. I was not up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday, March 26, waiting for “the call.” In fact, when “the call” came, I was sound asleep.
I crawled out of bed — I’d been in the middle of a dream about bugs crawling on my bedroom ceiling — and stumbled down the stairs cussing all the way to the phone. The caller identified herself and said she was calling on behalf of the RWA Board of Directors.
I was so asleep that my first thought — I kid you not — was, “Does this have to do with that penis post on Facebook?”
She said, “I’m calling to let you know that your book...”
And it clicked. RWA. March. Phone call. My book...
DEFIANT WAS A RITA FINALIST!
At which point, I said, “Oh my God!” or something like that.
She finished the sentence “... Defiant is a RITA finalist in the historical romance category,” or something like that... and then I was so excited who knows what she said or I said.
And that was the end of my getting anything done that day.
I am so grateful to RWA and to the judges who read Defiant and found merit in the story. Being a finalist at the RWA convention is kind of like being a princess for five days. You get a pretty blue flag on your table at the big “Readers for Life” Literacy book signing. They have a reception. You wear a special ribbon on your name tag and get a pretty pin. (Click here to see a list of all the RITA finalists in all categories.)
Surrender was a RITA finalist in 2007, so I’ve been fortunate to experience this once already. Although Surrender didn’t win, the conference was still unforgettable.
I should say that it’s pretty cool that TWO of the three books that make up the MacKinnon’s Rangers series so far have been RITA finalists. I love that!
So, yes, I’ll be attending the RWA conference in Atlanta July 17-20. The literacy signing, which will involve hundreds of writers, takes place in the evening on Wednesday, July 17, and is open to the public. Click here for more information on the conference and the literacy signing. If you live in the Atlanta area, I would love to meet you!
I plan to have a special event set up for members of the I-Team and Camp Followers Facebook groups so that we can meet in person and have some time to talk. And there may be other big surprises in store, as well. So please stay tuned!