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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.

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Seductive Musings

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Tales of Rangers


A rainy day in the Rockies.


It's been cold and rainy this weekend. This makes me very happy because I get to use my fireplace for the first time this fall and enjoy the flames. I love to write in front of a fire. In fact, most of Hard Evidence and Unlawful Contact were written in front of a crackling fire.

With the rain and the fire, it's been a perfect writing weekend. I've set Untamed aside for a moment to work on the proposal for my next romantic suspense, which will tell Kat's story. I've known for a long time that this story would include my experience falling off a cliff and that Kat would end up falling in love with a mountain parks ranger. I also knew the main story would revolve around a struggle over sacred land — a constant struggle for American Indian people.

After writing the synopsis and prologue, I met with Ranger Rick Hatfield, a friend of mine. He and I were both volunteer naturalists with Boulder Mountain Parks — Boulder is one of few cities in America that has its own parks system in the mountains. He focused on monitoring raptor nests, while I led hikes of grade-schoolers and other visitors. Then I began writing seriously, and he became a Ranger.

Nowadays when I see him, he's all official — uniform, big pick-up truck, geared up. My biznatches SueZAY and KrisTAY met him when they were here. We ran into him up at NCAR. He was there because some stoopid drunk dude had driven his car up the Mesa Trail. The first quarter-mile of the trail is flat. Then you come to a very steep, very rocky dropoff. You can imagine what happened to the car. But I digress...

So I met with Rick today and he showed me all the gear on his belt. Glock 21 .45 caliber sidearm. Baton. Mace. Cuffs. Two spare magazines with hollow-point rounds. Pager. Radio. I got to handle his Kevlar and ask a bunch of questions. It was fascinating and a great excuse to hang with him for a while.

It struck me as funny that I'm writing a historical about the original Rangers — the men who served during the French and Indian War under that name — and that when I'm done with that, I'll be writing a story about a modern-day Ranger. Because I'm still searching for a last name for the hero — Gabe won the vote with you all, by the way — I was thinking of calling him Gabriel (Gabe) MacKinnon and having him be the many-times great-grandson of Iain MacKinnon. He could tell Kat how he learned that his ancestors were Rangers in the old-fashioned historical sense. Silly, perhaps, but a fun way of linking my current historical series with the I-Team series.

In the meantime, I'm recovering from the VOTE edition and taking tomorrow off.

I'm on Shelfari now for those of you with "shelves." Find me and let's link up there!

6 comments:

Debbie H said...

Hi, there long lost friend! I was beginning to wonder about you! I think it would be a wonderful idea to name the ranger Gabe MacKinnon and have the stories linked together! So you got to handle his Kevlar, is that what they're calling it these days. BEG The picture brought back so many memories I have as a child in Colorado. Enjoy your days off and the fire!

Ronlyn said...

Good morning my friend!
I sit here with my triple venti vanilla latte (Alex is teething already) and looking out my office window at my own rainy skies wishing I was looking at the rainy skies of the Rockies with you. I love fall. So beautiful, even if it is a bit wet.
i love the Gabe MacKinnon idea! very fun! I can't wait to hear more.
I'd better dig in and make sure my desk is still here, under all this paper and files and stuff.
Enjoy your day off!!

Cheryle said...

The fire sounds wonderful, I do so love this time of year myself.

I love that you have placed some of your historicals in the Lake George area. As a former Upstate NYer with family in the Lake George are, I use to love to vacation there.

I am looking forward to more wonderful reads.

Also, thanks for finding me on Shelfari, that was a welcome surprise over the weekend!

Bo said...

Jealous,jealous,jealous,of the fireplace! *sigh* Someday...

I LOVE the idea of Gabe MacKinnon,descendant.Bloody brilliant!The only thing I'm having trouble with is picturing Iain as a Grandpa...yeah,that is sooo NOT happening in my head...LOL! Is it wrong to lust after an older man? *VBG*

Hope you're enjoying the day off today!

Sue Z said...

I was trying to remember where the fireplace is in your house and then I remembered. It was right by my "bed". I have a gas fireplace and I hate it. Although easy to light, there is nothing like the good crackle and roar of real logs burning. Plus it sucks up the propane in our tank & it is expensive. We rarely get to use it.

I love the MacKinnon last name for Gabe! It does give a nice tie in to the 2 series and would be a treat for your readers.

Yes, we did get to meet Ranger Rick and let me tell you...If I ever needed a rescue; I would not mind at all if he were my rescuer. He is a hotty and super sweet.

I am sending you good vibes for your writing...may your creative energy flow through you today!

Hi, Debbie — I'm hot sure I'm going to make him a MacKinnon. I haven't made up my mind yet. Right now his last name is Ross. (I hear screaming in Ohio.) And, yes, I got to see Rick's Kevlar and touch it. It's not what I thought it would be, but he tells me it's extremely uncomfortable to wear for long.

Hi, Ronlyn — I am jealous of your beverage! I've been avoiding coffee for a few days. I can't believe Alex is already teething! That's amazing. It sounds like you've been swamped at work, and with a new baby and a 3-year-old, you are one busy woman! I will keep you all posted about Gabe, of course. :-)

Hi, Cheryle — I wish I had been to the Lake George area. I read and research about the region, but I've never been there. I would love to visit it and see the places I'm writing about. It would feel like a pilgrimage. And you're welcome! It was great to see you on Shelfari. I haven't done much with it yet, but I'm still trying to figure out how it works.

Hi, Bo — You'll just have to come sit in front of my fire, won't you? You know, Iain does become a grandpa eventually. For one, that's what happens when you live a long and happy life and, for another, these MacKinnons are a lusty lot. How do you think his sons and daughters will behave?

Yes, Sue, the fireplace was next to your bed. What a luxury suite you enjoyed while you were here! Oh, except for the lack of a bed and such. LOL! Thanks for the good vibes! And good vibes back at you.

(((HUGS to all)))
P.

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