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

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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.


Seductive Musings

Monday, September 22, 2008

Name That Scene — Mystery Excerpt #2

Hooray for Stef, Debbie, Ronlyn, Jenn J, and Bo! They all got it right — and Stef hasn't even read the book yet. Our first Mystery Excerpt was the (in)famous manacles scene from Sweet Release.

The funny thing about that scene is that I wrote it after the book was finished. Alec and Cassie were still in my head, and the scene just came to my mind as if it were already written. I sat down and worked it in, enjoying every second of writing it. It made me laugh and it made me love Alec even more for being a strong enough and sexy enough man to play games like that with his beloved.

Little did I know that an editor was about to make an offer on the book — eight years of hard work finally paying off (seven to write it, one to revise it and get it to an agent). My editor loved it, and it was officially part of the story.

In writing Sweet Release, several things surprised me, two that stand out. The first was how determined my characters were in their own right. They knew what they wanted to do, and if it wasn't part of the plot, so what? They became real people -- something I never would have understood before writing. And No. 2 -- I never would have imagined how SAD it can be to finish a book. For seven years, all I'd thought about was finishing the book. I had imagined how I would dance for joy when it was done. And what did I do? I typed the last word, smiled, drew a deep breath — and started bawling!

I have since gotten used to being bossed around by fictional people, and though I'll never get used to saying goodbye to people I love, I'm at least prepared for a few weeks of post-partum blues after each book.

Now on to today's Name That Scene. Enjoy the art!

Name That Scene #2

She worked her way down the riverbank, keeping a safe distance from the swirling waters, peeled soft moss from the earth, placed it in her bowl. She walked quietly, warily, remembering the war party that had passed this way only weeks ago. But the air was so sweet and the singing of the birds so lovely that she could not linger on dark thoughts.

On impulse she began to pick the wild violets that grew beneath the trees. They would make a pretty bouquet for the table. Or perhaps she would tie them at the head of Belle’s cradle. She followed the violets around a bend in the river, picking them in clusters of purple, white and yellow, when a movement caught her eye.

Heart in her throat, she froze.

He stood with his back to her in the river just around the bend, water up to the middle of his thighs.
And he was completely naked.

She meant to avert her eyes, to turn away, to flee before he saw her. But she could scarce breathe, much less move. She had never seen a naked man before. Oh, aye, she’d cared for Andrew in his illness and after death. But he had not looked anything like… this.

His body was all muscle, lean and hard. His thighs were heavy and corded, his bum twin mounds of smooth muscle that tightened and released as he moved his weight from one leg to the other. Dark, wet hair clung to his skin, hung down his powerful back all the way to his narrow hips. The muscles of his arms and shoulders bulged and stretched as he washed himself. His skin, bronzed from the sun, was slick and wet.

’Twas like stumbling upon some heathen river god.

She stood as if under a spell, her mind beyond fear or reason. And although some part of her knew what she was doing was wrong and sinful, she could not make herself turn away. Never would she have imagined that she could find a man beautiful. Yet beautiful he was.

Time was measured in heartbeats as she stood, watched.

And then it happened. She could not say when, but suddenly she became aware that he was looking straight at her.

Blue eyes.

Even at this distance, they pierced her.

She felt naked. And although she knew she should turn away, apologize, leave him in peace, she continued to stare. Against her will, her gaze dropped from his bonny face to his broad chest, with its sprinkling of dark hair and wine-dark nipples tight from the chilly water. Then, as if by some deviltry, her gaze was drawn down along the trail of hair to his rippled belly and then, further still, to his sex.

She felt her womb lurch.

Bereft of thought, of breath, she stared at what she had never seen before. To her eyes, he seemed huge, his shaft thick and heavy, his stones full and nestled in dark curls.

Heat and heaviness seemed to spread through her belly, a new sensation and more than a little frightening. She meant to look away, tried to look away, but his raw maleness enticed her, called to her.

And some unknown part of her answered.


JennJ said...

I'm pretty sure that's from Ride the Fire and that is Bethie admirin Nicolas's fine assets ;)
If I'm not havin a major brain fart that is lol.

Tena said...

yes I aggree it is from Ride the fire I hope all is well with your son and you its hard being away from our children I work so much i dont get to see my grandson as much as I like take care

Debbie H said...

RIDE THE FIRE!!! I loved this book, OK, I admit, I love all your books. LOL There was just that "something" that tugged at my heart strings.

Amanda said...

I think its from Ride the Fire too

Ronlyn said...

Ah way to introduce yourself to a young woman. *G*

Jenn, Tena, Debbie, Amanda, Ronlyn....

You are all correct! It is Bethie setting her innocent eyes on Nicholas and his, er, business.

Amanda, I'm so happy to have you here.

But tell me...I thought that would be difficult. There aren't many location clues. He doesn't say a word (he just stands there looking all wet... and muscular... and hung). How did you know it was RTF?

And, Tena, thanks. Ben is doing pretty well. He has some lonely days, but we talk/text/email every day pretty much. I just bought some stationery so I can write him letters.

Debbie, as you know RTF will always be the most special of the most specialest for me. It's the first novel I wrote completely the way I wanted to write it despite my fears that no one would want a pregnant heroine, given that the baby isn't the hero's.

I love all my stories, but I gave every last ounce of my soul for this one.

Ronlyn, thanks so much for your email! I really needed that. Things are going well, so... LOL on Nicholas. He does have a flare for the dramatic, doesn't he?

Ronlyn said...

Sweetie you answered your own question. He stood there looking all wet & muscular & hung...who wouldn't remember that?? LOL


can I pick a scene? ;)

Oh, well, I'd hope that any of my heroes would have those same physical attributes if you dipped 'em nekkid in water. ;-)

Yes, Ronlyn, go ahead and pick a scene! That would be fun!

Y'all can pick your fave scenes from my historicals and email them to me. I'll post them. You can let us know after people guess them WHY you like that scene so much.

Hey, Bo, are you seeing this? Bo has some very strong opinions about certain heroes and certain scenes... LOL!

Anonymous said...

That scene was in Ride the Fire,

Debbie H said...

I recognized it from the picking up the moss to put in the diapers along with his magnificent assets. LOL

Yep, Anonymous, you're right! Come back and play some more!

And Debbie, I can see how the mention of diapers would be a giveaway. Hmmm... And here I thought I was being clever.

I have a low-RAM brain, I guess. :-)


Paging Amanda!

You win today's copy of SURRENDER. Please email me at and give me your mailing address.

Congrats! :-)

Anonymous said...

Ah ben zut alors....I missed that one....And I won't lie, I had NO idea what book it was from. No clues to help me in the excerpt. But I definitely want to spend more time with Nicholas's assets!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much!! Just sent you a mail there. So excited!

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