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Soul Deep out in audiobook! — Jack West, widower, rancher and former Army Ranger, gets his own love story in this special I-Team novella, which was picked by readers at Grave Tells as the Best Contemporary Romance of 2015. It will be out in audiobook any day now.


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Dead By Midnight: An I-Team Christmas is out! — The grand finale of the I-Team series finds all the couples you love brought together when terrorists attack holiday festivities at a historica hotel in downtown Denver. It’s bad news for the terrorists. They have no clue what they’ve done when they take Marc Hunter and his friends hostage. Featuring cameos by the men of New York Times bestselling author Kaylea Cross’s Hostage Rescue Team series. Available in ebook and paperback.

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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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm baaaack!


Ben's dorm on the Ithaca College campus.

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. As you all know, August got crazy for me. First we had to get Ben ready to move to New York. Then I had to drive him there and get him set up. Then I had to drive back and immediately go into covering four days of the Democratic National Convention.

It was nuts! But it's over. Thank God!

The drive out was every bit as long as I'd imagined it would be. We had to drive through a lot of flat, cornfield states to get to New York. There were a log of wind farms popping up in Iowa, which was cool to see. Once we got into Nebraska, things got humid. By Indiana, a person could drowned on the air!

We got into Ithaca at 4 AM on Thursday, had a few hours to sleep and then it was time to move him into his dorm room. We hadn't realized how busy they'd keep him. He had lots of orientation events to attend. While he did that, I unpacked his stuff and set his room up how I thought he'd like it.


Ben's dorm room at IC.


We thought we'd have the evening together to explore Ithaca, and we did get a little bit of time, heading out for ice cream at this shop called Purity Ice Cream, a very popular place judging by the crowd. I had a strawberry sundae and he had a chocolate brownie sundae, I think. Mmm. Makes me hungry to think about it.


Ben striking a Teddy Roosevelt-esque pose in front of his dorm.

The campus is beautiful. Everyone says CU-Boulder's campus is lovely, and it is, but I'm used to it. Ithaca College is perched on a hillside overlooking the city and Lake Cayuga. The hills surrounding the city are heavily forested. I bet it's amazing in the fall.


Looking down through campus toward the town of Ithaca, NY.

So we went for ice cream and then planned to have a late breakfast the next day. I knew I would have to say goodbye then and start the long drive home (interrupted — thank GOD! — by a visit with Sue Z and Kristi in Ohio). When I arrived the next morning after buying some things for him at Targe, however, he told me he'd just realized he had to go to a student job fair for kids with work study grants. And that meant I had to say goodbye right there in the parking lot.


My last glimpse of Ben at Ithaca College.

Having it happen like that was a fist to the gut. I tried hard not to cry — but failed, of course. I hugged the stuffing out of him and then had to let him go.

IT SUCKED!

It was really a blessing that I was able to look forward to seeing Sue Z and Kristi, who live in Ohio. We had pizza and lots of booze and spent time chatting via Web cam with Libby, the other remaining Gangsta. I think I lost it a few times, but I did alright.

Sue and Kristi, thanks so much! Not sure what I would have done without you!

The next day was really tough — about 13 hours of driving and nothing to look forward to but more of the same. It was really hitting me that Ben was far behind me.

I got home Sunday, Aug. 24, and it was one of the toughest evenings of my life — coming inside, seeing Benjy everywhere in the house and nowhere, missing him so much it hurt. I didn't have a lot of time to think about because I had to get ready for the Democratic National Convention, which started early the next morning.

That was a whirlwind of its own. I spent Monday morning picking up credentials, finding my way around the Pepsi Center and figuring out how to sign in to the paper from there. The afternoon and evening were spent reporting from my seat in the press stands. If you watched the event on TV, I was in the stands to the left of the podium with a view of the speakers' behinds.

Particularly stirring was the tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy. His appearance and his promise to be at the inauguration in January had tears in people's eyes — mine included.

The next day I spent trailing someone at the real convention -- the hundreds of chic, glitzy parties where special interests like gas, oil and the pharmaceutical industry, lobby lawmakers and other bigwigs. Most elected officials and party bigwigs only attend the convention when it's their turn to be onstage. Otherwise, they're off being wined and dined. I was wined and dined. I wish I'd eaten more of that awesome triple-cream imported brie!

On Wednesday I was up at 2:45 AM (yes, AM) to get to the paper and get the paper put to press. It was an insane and painful day. I was so exhausted at the end that I'm not even sure how I drove home.


Sen. Barack Obama joins Sen. Joe Biden on stage at the Pepsi Center Wednesday night. (Photo by Erica Grossman/Boulder Weekly.)

Thursday was the big day in Mile High Stadium. I was there from about 2 in the afternoon listening to speeches and watching performers. I really loved Will.i.am. Cheryl Crow was good, too. Boulder's own Yonder Mountain String Band played, and that was a real thrill for the very Colorado crowd. Obama's speech was the highlight, of course, and it rocked the house. It was amazing to see so many thousands of people inspired to the point of tears — even men.

But now it's all over. And I'm home. I miss my kid horribly, but he has such a terrific opportunity to study at Ithaca, where the filmmaking equipment and instruction is first rate. I can't wait to go visit him in October! More on what I'll be doing then later.

I hope you're all well! Soon it will be contest time for Untamed!

7 comments:

Debbie H said...

I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye for a little while to Ben. I know you can call or text him, so it will be easier. You are beginning a new phase of your life and it is going to be overwhelming at times missing him but you have us to lean on. You know where I am.

The convention looked like a madhouse on TV. I watched bits and pieces, but never caught you.

Did you say "contest?" Alright! I can hardly wait!!!!

Anonymous said...

(((((HUGS))))) Sent you an ecard that was supposed to make it all better but I think it got snatched by aliens (with good taste when it comes to male hotties...LOL)
Sorry you had to go through all this and couldn't properly say goodbye to Ben. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you.

Each time they showed the convention on TV, I thought about you, thinking maybe I would catch a glimpse on you. Never did.

Stef

Lori said...

Sorry you had to let your baby go... Compared to CU, Ithaca looked like a concrete jungle - even with all the greenery... My own son is now talking about CU (too many tales of skiing and not enough about classes from me and my hubby, methinks), so I may get to come back for a visit in a couple years.

The convention was full of some awe-inspiring speeches, for sure. And I agree - the tribute to Ted Kennedy was great. I was so happy to see him walk out on stage, looking as well as he did. I'm sure it was a struggle for all involved, especially him!

I don't know whether to be happy or sad that the RNC will be all messed up due to Gustav. Sad for the folks displaced, and praying that everything is ok for all of them, and happy(?) that the RNC is displaced as well, perhaps. The jury is still out for me on that one....

Karen said...

When I was in college, my roomie's boyfriend went to Ithaca. We drove from Boston up there to see him one time. I don't know if it was because we lived in Boston or not, but it seemed like it took forever to get there, and it was a bit remote. But it is a pretty campus. I did not go to the CU campus at Boulder when I lived in Denver, so I can't compare. But I do know that Ithaca is a great school!

We also had ice cream, but there's no way I remember the name of the place. Too many years ago!

I'm sorry your goodbye was so rushed. I know you will miss him horribly!

I guess being so busy helped in some small way. Take care and try to get some rest.

Bo said...

Ouch! sorry you had to say goodbye in the parking lot.Take heart,Oct. is not too far away & you can hug the stuffing out of him again :)

That is a long,crappy drive for sure,I am glad you got to visit the Pygmies on the way home,to take your mind off things.

Bring on Untamed! WOOHOO!!!!

Hi, Debbie. Thanks for the support. I know this is the way life unfolds, but that doesn't make it easier. Thanks for being there.

The convention WAS a madhouse. There were so many people there — delegates, "special guests" (i.e., corporate donors), more than 15,000 reporters. Thank goodness I had my own seat! I was to the left and back from the speaker so I doubt I was ever on camera. Which is fine with me. :-)

And, yes, I did say contest. We're a little more than a month away from ARCs.

Hi, Stef — Thanks for the e-card! It was really hard to have to say goodbye without warning. I wasn't ready yet to drive away. :-(

How much of the convention did folks see in France?

Hi, Lori — So your son is interested in attending Ski-U, huh? LOL! I thought Ithaca was pretty, but I've lived in Boulder for so long that anything different is really interesting to me.

Word from the RNC is that police have made mass pre-emptive raids against protesters and have gone after media, targeting reporters by searching and detaining them. Several reporters have been arrested for doing their job. It makes me angry to the pit of my gut. I called the police chief in St. Paul to demand an answer for this. He won't call back, I'm sure. But here's the fact: Media have a First Amendment right to be there. Period. The press is protected by the U.S. Constitution. Police are not. So back down, boys.

Hi, Karen — I bet the place was named Purity Ice Cream. That's the famous ice cream shop in town. We visited the place ourselves. It is a great school, and I'm so happy for him that his hard work led him there. He got some great scholarships.

And thanks! I hate that our goodbye was rushed as well. :-(

Hey, Bo! Great to see you here again. Thanks for the thoughts. And, yes, I will hug the stuffing out of him when I see him next month. You bet I will!

Having the Pygmies in Ohio was a real life-saver for me. It gave me something to look forward to that first hard day. Nothing like getting drunk with really nice short gangsta chicks! LOL!

We're almost there! According to my widget there are only 83 days till Morgan straps on his sword and takes on the masses. :-)

Must be close to time for another excerpt!

Tena said...

Hi Pam I'm glad yoy made it safe and back again I'm also sorry you had to say good bye to your son it is the hardest thing we have to do to let our kids grow up and leave we want to keep them near to protect them and be there for them our love is always there no matter what and they know it we will be the one they call when they need us for anything a parents love is the best love we have and all we teach them they carry with them. I wish your son all the luck in the world and that school goes well for him. Since we last talked I have become a granny WOW a granny at 36 my daughter had a boy 8lbs 2oz he is so handsome cant wait for your next contest. take care and God bless have a great week and weekend and the same for everyone else

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