Book Releases

Barely Breathing (A Colorado High Country Novel) — Look for the first book in my new Colorado High Country series on May 10! This new contemporary series is set in the small mountain community of Scarlet Springs and focuses on the lives and adventures of members of an alpine search and rescue team. It will be available in print and ebook, with audiobook coming sometime this fall.


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.


Seduction Game is out in paperback, (I-Team #7) — Holly and Nick’s story is out in all formats — ebook, audiobook, and paperback. Look for it in Wal-Mart, the Kroger chain of stores, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookseller.


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.

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.

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Seductive Musings

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tempus Fugit — And the best of 2009 [updated]




When you’re a child, a single summer seems to last forever. Now, decades seem to fly past me in the same amount of time it took to live a year. What’s with that?

I just finished writing a 4,200-word retrospective on “the Aughts” — the name most of us media types are giving the past 10 years. We got into some fierce debates in the newsroom about the best CDs, TV shows and movies of the past 10 years. And it made me want to hear what you all have to say.

First, let me just say that any list of the best movies that doesn’t include the Lord of the Rings trilogy is both wrong and offensive. I mean, Viggo Mortensen, people. What else is there to say?



Now, moving on...

It would be hard to recount 10 years of entertainment on the blog, so I thought perhaps you could all tell me what your favorite books, TV shows, CDs, songs and movies have been for the past year. (You can’t include any of my books. So there.)

Here’s my list from the past year:

Best Book
Anna Campbell — Captive of Sin (historical romance)

Best Books I read in 2009 from prior to 2009

Kathleen Givens — Rivals for the Crown (historical fiction)
Joan Wood — The Road to Avalon (Arthurian fiction)

Television Shows
True Blood


Godric


Alex as Eric

Movies
I only went to one: New Moon. But I'm planning to see The Young Victoria, and I hope it will get my vote before midnight on Thursday.

Best Music
”Love Me When I’m Gone," 3 Doors Down
”Here Without You,” 3 Doors Down
”Landing in London” 3 Doors Down
”It’s Been A While,” Staind
(Okay, so none of these were released in 2009. I can’t help that I discovered these songs in 2009.)

By now, it's apparent that I rarely get to read, never watch TV or listen to the radio and rarely go to movies. I really don’t have much to add to this discussion.

But you do! So share with me your ”Best of” lists for 2009. And, remember. I’m always looking for new music.

Now, go for it.
Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Ready for a New Year



For a lot of people, New Year’s Eve is a time to cut loose, drink a lot and party. For me, it’s always been a very reflective holiday, a time to look back at the past year — and my life, in general — and to face squarely my own shortcomings and to plan how I'm going to live a better life over the coming year.

It’s always been a melancholy holiday for me, to say the least.

Even when I was a child, New Year’s Eve was a reflective time for me. I’d watch Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and try to plan a better year for myself, not in terms of random things that just happen, but in terms of my own actions.

I have to say that 2009 feels in some respects like The Wasted Year. Down in the heart over my younger son’s departure from the nest to his college in New York and recovering from 2008’s string of disasters and near-disasters, it felt like all I could do to tread water. It took forever for me to write Naked Edge, and though I did some things, like experiment with growing my own veggies, mostly I let time get away from me.

So this coming year — 2010 — needs to be The Year I Got Over Empty Nest Syndrome and Started Living My Life Again.

Most people are older than I am by the time their kids are grown and off at college. I have friends my own age who have toddlers and kindergarteners, while my boys are 23 and 20 years old. I tell myself this is a good thing, because I now have the chance at age 45 to create a new life for myself. But...

Well, that’s easier said than done, isn’t it?

I was visiting my friend Kat over Thanksgiving when I realized that I still have the same furniture, dishes, dish towels, bath towels and such that I had when I got divorced and my kids were little. Yes, I still eat breakfast cereal from a plastic bowl with the genie from Disney’s Aladdin staring up at me. I kid you not.

Kat is an artist and has the most amazing house, with a mix of folk, Native and artisan dishes, furnishings and so on. Appalled to hear that I still have a household of old junk — my sofa and TV are 20 years old — she suggested I get rid of it.

All of it.

I'm not a shopper by habit, and I like to be frugal. But there’s frugality, and there’s stupidity. I think I’m closer to the latter.

So this year it will truly be a case of “out with the old, and in with the new.” Not that I’m going to blow money I don’t have on the latest trendy junk. But with Kat’s help, I'm going to replace things bit by bit until the stuff of my Mommy Years is replaced with things that feel more like me in the here and now.

I’m not sure how other single moms deal with Empty Nest Syndrome, so ideas are welcome. But it’s time to stop moping and start living again.

In turn, I’m going to help Kat gain mastery over piles of paper, i.e., filing. It’s overwhelming to her but not to me. If journalists deal with anything it’s documents, documents, documents. So I’ll be at her place on New Year’s Eve firing up the paper shredder and getting down to work. Then she and I are going to start revitalizing my home.

What are your New Year’s plans?
Thursday, December 24, 2009

A white Christmas in Colorado


A view of the foothills taken out my car window during my morning commute. The temperature was -8 F/-13 C.

Una vista de las estribaciones tomado la ventana de mi coche durante mi viaje matutino. La temperatura era de -8 F/-13 C.




Green Mountain and Bear Peak with the Flatirons. This is just down the street from the newspaper.

Green Mountain y Bear Peak con el Flatirons. Esto es sólo por la calle del periódico.


I wanted to share a glimpse of what I was seeing this morning. Fortunately, they haven't yet made it illegal to take digital photos while driving. The mountains are so incredibly beautiful with snow on them. When I was a little girl, I always thought it looked like someone had dipped them in powdered sugar.


Quería compartir una visión de lo que estaba viendo esta mañana. Afortunadamente, no han hecho todavía es ilegal tomar fotos digitales durante la conducción. Las montañas son tan increíblemente hermosa con nieve en ellos. Cuando yo era niña, siempre pensé que parecía que alguien había sumergido en azúcar en polvo.



Strangely, Christmas in Colorado is rarely white unless you’re high in the mountains. I remember Christmases where it’s been 60 degrees outside — sunny and warm. But every once in a while, we end up with snow on the ground. It’s snowed for the past two days almost non-stop, so there’s about a foot of freshly fallen snow, and it definitely makes my holiday brighter.


Curiosamente, la Navidad en Colorado es raramente blanca a menos que esté arriba en las montañas. Recuerdo que en Navidades ha sido de 60 grados exterior - soleado y cálido. Pero de vez en cuando, nos encontramos con nieve en el suelo. Es nevado durante los últimos dos días casi sin parar, por lo que hay alrededor de un pie de nieve recién caída, y sin duda hace que mi día de fiesta brillante.


I know some of you will celebrate Christmas tonight. In Europe, most of you are either home making dinner and preparing for a wonderful, magical evening or you’re rushing home from work to do just that. I don’t celebrate until Christmas morning, which is good because I haven't finished Christmas shopping yet.

Sé que algunos de ustedes se celebrará esta noche de Navidad. En Europa, la mayoría de ustedes son su casa haciendo la cena y la preparación para una noche maravillosa, mágica o estás corriendo a casa del trabajo para hacer precisamente eso. Yo no celebro hasta la mañana de Navidad, que es bueno porque no he terminado todavía las compras de Navidad.

My younger son is spending the holiday with his father on the other side of the mountains, while my older son will be coming to my place tomorrow morning. He works full time and can’t get away until late tonight. So it will be just the two of us.

Mi hijo menor es el gasto de las vacaciones con su padre en el otro lado de las montañas, mientras que mi hijo mayor va a venir a mi casa mañana por la mañana. Él trabaja a tiempo completo y no pueden salir hasta tarde esta noche. Así que será sólo el dos de nosotros.

I didn’t put a tree up this year because I haven’t had time. But there’s a wreath on the door. I might hang some lights around the house this afternoon if I get time between baking, shopping and wrapping my son’s gifts. (We work till noon at the paper, then have the rest of the today and tomorrow off.)

Yo no puse un árbol de este año, porque no he tenido tiempo. Pero hay una corona de flores en la puerta. Podría colgar algunas luces alrededor de la casa esta tarde si me da tiempo entre la panadería, de compras y envolver los regalos de mi hijo. (Trabajamos hasta el mediodía en el papel, y luego tener el resto del día de hoy y mañana libre.)

I hope you’re all doing well and that the craziness of the holiday season is settling down to peace and quiet.

Espero que todos están haciendo bien y que la locura de la temporada de vacaciones es de ponerse a la paz y la tranquilidad.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Feliz Navidad!
Saturday, December 19, 2009

Packages, packages everywhere



I've been running laps to the post office mailing everyone’s books. The lines have been outrageous! I actually got up at 6:30 so that I could be at the post office when it opened this morning and get the rest of your books in the mail. And there was already a line!

I managed to do this without coffee. Yes, without coffee. Which means some of these books might end up in Timbuktu. (Just kidding. I addressed them last night.)

But I haven’t just been mailing packages. I've also been receiving things from all of you. Thanks so much for the lovely Christmas cards! I cherish each and every one. I always hang cards on my pantry door so they're the first thing I see when I walk into my kitchen.

Last night, I got home to find a package on my doorstep that had come all the way from Antonia in Thailand. Inside were Thai translations of Extreme Exposure and Hard Evidence, together with the most adorable set of bookmarks and a scrumptious silk shawl.

The bookmarks each have a tiny figure dressed in traditional Thai costumes representing different peoples of Thailand. There are almost a dozen of them. They’re so cute that I’m not sure I could ever stick them in a book.

The shawl is of red embroidered silk. What Antonia didn't know is that I'm crazy about silk. If toilet seats came in silk I'd try to get one. Seriously! When I went shopping last night — my first attempt at Christmas shopping — I draped it around my neck and went out feeling quite happy about it.

Thank you, Antonia!

As for Christmas shopping, I'm woefully behind. I really don't like to shop so getting myself to the mall is going against the grain. I've gotten things for my sister, my mother and my niece. That leaves my dad, my two brothers and my two nephews. Not to mention my two sons.

I'll be spending the day shopping, wrapping and — I hope! — finishing the proposal for Natalie’s story, the next I-Team book. The story still needs a title, by the way. Any great ideas? Benjy’s suggestion is RANDOM INNUENDO, because that’s what he thinks all my I-Team titles offer. Smarty-pants!

I also wanted to wish my Jewish readers a late Happy Hanukkah. I totally missed it this year! I hope everyone had eight days of peace, good food and fun.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Web site is finally updated



I know, I know. My Web site really needed an update. Unlike a lot of authors who update their Web sites regularly, I use my blog to keep in touch and up to date with everyone and only update the Web site a few times a year. Because I didn't have a book out this year, my poor Web site was even more neglected than usual, as I focused on writing.

But it's done now. Hurray!

The new content includes this snaxy downloadable wallpaper that Jenn J made for me. It also includes the entire author's note from the back of Naked Edge, the back cover blurb from the book, and updated news.

As a quick follow-up on the book giveaway: The woman at the post office asked me why I don't sell the books on eBay rather than sending them to readers at my own expense. I told her that it's a lot more fun to give a gift and make someone happy than to sell a book to a stranger. And, besides that, it's actually a violation of most author's contracts for them to sell their own books for profit if they've received those copies free from the publisher.

I still have those copies of Für die Liebe, Für die Freiheit available, as well as a couple ARCs of Surrender and two copies of Rendición. First come, first serve.

Now to get back on track here...

Coming soon:
A review of Kathleen Givens' Rivals for the Crown
Interviews with I-Team heroes
A French perspective on Ticonderoga/Carillon (from Untamed)
Contests for copies of Naked Edge...
Not to mention excerpts!
Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Great Book Give-Away — Update 3



I am buried.

Not in snow, but rather in books. Every time one of my novels is released, I get copies of the book, most of which I give away to readers in contests. Then, when the story is published in another language, I get copies of that, too.


Estoy enterrado. No en la nieve, sino más bien en los libros. Cada vez que uno de mis novelas es liberado, puedo obtener copias del libro, la mayoría de las cuales me regalan a los lectores en los concursos. Luego, cuando la historia se publica en otro idioma, puedo obtener copias de eso, también.


Right now, my bookshelf is filled to overflowing with copies and translations of my books On the one hand I love it. On the other... Well, there just isn't room for any more books. With new translations coming out in Spain, Germany, Thailand, France and Norway — not to mention the impending release of Naked Edge — I need to clear some space.

Ahora mismo, mi biblioteca está llena a rebosar de copias y traducciones de mis libros Por un lado me encanta. Por el otro ... Bueno, simplemente no hay espacio para más libros. Con nuevas traducciones que salen en España, Alemania, Tailandia, Francia y Noruega - por no hablar de la inminente liberación de Naked Edge - Tengo que liberar espacio.

That means I am giving signed copies of my books away.

First come, first served.

Eso significa que estoy dando una copia firmada de mis libros de distancia. 'Primero llegado, primero servido'.

Here is what I have available:

Auf Deutsch:

3 Kopien "Für die Liebe, Für die Freiheit" (Sweet Release)
1 Kopie "Kold vie der Tod" (Hard Evidence)
2 Kopien "Süß ist die Angst" (Unlawful Contact)

En français:

The copy of "Méfie-toi, Kara!" (Extreme Exposure) went to Christine. Enjoy, Christine!

En español:

2 copias de "Rendición" (Surrender). One copy is now on its way to Argentina.

日本語に:

2つのコピー 事件記者テッサ 目撃の波紋 (ヴィレッジブックス) (Hard Evidence)
1つのコピー 事件記者カーラ 告発の代償 (ヴィレッジブックス) (Extreme Exposure)

In English:

3 defective copies of Surrender in which part of Page 3 is unreadable
5 bound ARCs of Surrender full of the original typos and one spectacular copy-editor mistake (Zou?)
6 copies of Carnal Gift. Two copies have already been given away.

So what do you have to do to get your signed copy? Simply send me an email at pamelaclare @ earthlink.net (remove spaces) and tell me what you would like. Make sure to give me your mailing address. I’ll include a bookmark from Untamed.

One copy per person.

Entonces, ¿qué tienes que hacer para obtener su copia firmada? Basta con enviar un email a pamelaclare@earthlink.net (quitar espacios) y dime lo que te gustaría. Asegúrese de que me dé su dirección de correo.

Una copia por persona.

It make take me some time to get them all mailed out, given that it’s the Christmas season and given that foreign postage isn’t cheap. But I shall do my best to get them mailed promptly.


Es que me lleve algún tiempo para llegar a todos ellos por correo, dado que es la temporada de Navidad y, dado que los gastos de franqueo no es barato. Pero haré mi mejor esfuerzo para obtener los envíen con prontitud.


(Megan, your ARC of Naked Edge is in the mail. You’ll probably get it Tuesday.)

I figure these books need good homes, and it's my way of sharing the holiday spirit with all of you. Thanks so much!
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Who's going to RomCon?


A view of the Flatirons about 10 minutes away from my office

Please pardon me if my teeth chatter. It's been very cold here lately, and that blizzard that is now blowing its way across the Midwest just left us yesterday after four days of dumping flakes on those of us who live in the Rockies.

We got about a foot of snow in the end, with temps dropping to -15 F/-26 C last night. It was all of -6F /-21-ish C when I drove to work. But the view of the mountains completely covered in white with sun glinting off the snow was spectacular.

I'm not complaining. I love winter. I've spent those days with my sister Michelle, whom some of you have met on my Yahoo group. She’s visiting from Sweden. We’ve been keeping warm with lots of coffee and blazing fires in my fireplace. I think I’ve laughed more in the past few days than in the past few months put together. We have such a great time. She’s been coming to work with me and reading the Twilight series in my office while I do newspaper stuff.

Such are the joys of living at the foot of the mountains.

But it's not all snow and chattering teeth here. Come summer it will be 95 degrees and sunny. Every day. For weeks. It’s dry heat with very little humidity. Sometimes it gets as high as 110 F / 44 C or so. (Personally, I’d rather have snow!)



I hope some of you will experience this yourself when you come to Denver for the first annual RomCon this summer. The event was put together by some Denver-area romance writers — alas, not me — in an effort to create an event that focuses not on the romance industry but on readers.

I will be attending, as will Christine Feehan, Tara Janzen and... Anna Campbell, as well as many other authors. The entire focus of the event is getting writers and readers together in fun ways. I'm very excited about it. For one, I get to see Christine again and I get to meet Anna face to face. (Tara lives about 45 min. north of me, and we get together for coffee when we can.)

The conferences takes place July 9-11 in Denver. I hope to rent a bus and take a group of readers on a tour of the real places featured in the I-Team series and of places where the real investigations behind the series took place. Maybe we can even make it up into the mountains.

For more about the three-day conference, click here.

In the meantime, I'm putting together the proposal for Natalie’s book and trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be writing now. I hope to be working on my next story before Jan. 1.

I've joined Goodreads, so if you frequent Goodreads please find me! I'm also on Twitter now, despite my promise never to tweet. There are so many social networking sites these days that it’s a bit overwhelming.

In other news, I've learned that my first three historicals are available on Kindle. I thought that would never happen. I'm also in the midst of a Web site update, so that will be coming soon, possibly by Monday.

OK, well that’s all there is to report today.

Thanks to Anna Campbell for sharing her time with us and to all of you for making her feel welcome!
Saturday, December 05, 2009

An interview with Anna Campbell



Today I get to put on my journalist hat and ask probing questions of an author who is a new discovery for me — the lovely and very kind Anna Campbell. As someone who got burnt out on Regency romance in the 1980s, I typically don't read them any longer. However, reviews of Tempt the Devil persuaded me to give Anna’s books a try. I’m so glad I did! She offers a fresh look at the Regency era, one that isn’t mired in cliches and which feels unique and real.

So far, I've read Tempt the Devil and Captive of Sin, with Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched waiting in my TBR. When I finished Captive of Sin, I knew I needed to get to know Anna better, so I suggested an interview.

Without further ado, here's what Anna had to say:

PC: First of all, can you tell us a bit about your background?

AC: Oh, goodness! How long have you got? All right, here’s the shortish version. I’m an Aussie, born in Queensland which is the state high up on the right-hand side, the state with Steve Irwin and the Barrier Reef! I’ve been in love with books as long as I can remember so the desire to be a writer was a natural follow-on to that. I did an arts degree at uni – hey, three years where someone actually wanted me to spend my days with my nose in a book? My idea of heaven! Then I worked at a variety of jobs, including a long stint captioning TV programs for the Deaf. Great training for a writer! I love to travel and as well as shorter trips, I had two years living in England in the mid-1980s and four months traveling the U.K. in 2004. That was great for a budding Regency romance writer — all those wonderful stately homes to check out! I now live on the Sunshine Coast about an hour north of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital. I’ve been writing full time since Avon bought Claiming the Courtesan in 2006 - a dream come true.

PC: What inspired you to write romantic fiction?

AC: My mother gave me my first romance novel when I was eight in an attempt to get some peace. It worked! Mind you, back in those days, you could give an 8-year-old a category romance without worrying about her reading inappropriate material! I’ve been addicted to romance fiction ever since and like lots of writers, I went from reader to writer. The next major leap for me was reading The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss when I was in my early teens. I adored that book, the passion and sensuality and emotion of it, and suddenly I’d discovered exactly what I wanted to write. I decided then and there I wanted to grow up to write historical romance for Avon — it still blows my mind that that’s what ended up happening!


PC: That’s pretty cool that your dream came true in such a literal way. What is the attitude toward romance novels and romance novelists in Australia as compared to that in the U.S.?


AC: Romance is definitely a bigger force in the U.S. than it is in Australia, although having said that, Harlequin Mills & Boon is huge here. A lot of romance novels are sold here in other guises — for example, Nora Roberts is often shelved in either women’s fiction or crime. You can strike snobbish attitudes about romance but that’s something education from Romance Writers of Australia and our wonderful local authors is slowly changing.

PC: You’ve got four books in print right now — Claiming the Courtesan, Untouched, Tempt the Devil, and Captive of Sin. Was Claiming the Courtesan the first book you wrote? How long did it take you to cross that hallowed threshold and become a published author?




AC: Sorry, I’m laughing hollowly at Claiming the Courtesan being the first book I wrote! Not by a mile! I wrote a medieval in between high school and university and actually finished the manuscript so if I consider that the beginning of writing with the hope of publication, I needed another 27 years before I actually sold Claiming the Courtesan. I’d decided Harlequin would be the best way to develop a career and I wrote eight rejected manuscripts for them before I decided to go back to my first love, historical romance. Then I started a stack of stories, finished the occasional one, didn’t submit to anyone — yes, clearly, you have to submit your manuscripts if you want to be published! Two things brought a big change. One was that I gave up writing about seventeen years in because I decided I was never going to achieve my dream. I couldn’t bear not writing so I went back to it after about eighteen miserable months. And it was then that I joined Romance Writers of Australia. I started an enormously steep learning curve (and made a lot of wonderful friends on the way) and eventually sold Claiming the Courtesan to Avon at auction in 2006.

PC: What inspired you to write the period that you write?

AC: I’d always read Regency-set romance, going back to Georgette Heyer and Pride and Prejudice as a kid. But for some reason, I resisted writing in the period and tried every setting except Regency England. Then I finaled in the first romance writing contest I ever entered (with a manuscript set in 18th-century Hungary, I’m not exaggerating about my exotic settings!) and suddenly thought maybe I had a shot at taking this further. If that was the case, I clearly needed to think of a more commercial setting than the obscure ones I was exploring, much as I happened to love them. I started writing a Regency comedy and it was like coming home — my voice really belonged and through reading thousands of Regency historicals, I already had an extensive knowledge of the world my characters inhabited. I haven’t looked back since. I write late Regencies (really reign of George IV) set in the 1820s. I love the decadence of that period just before Queen Victoria came to the throne.



PC: Your books have been — very accurately, I think — described as “Regency noir.” I’ve read Tempt the Devil and Captive of Sin and enjoyed that darker element very much. Where does that come from for you?

AC: Thank you, Pamela! It’s odd – if you met me, I don’t think you’d consider me a dark person. Or at least that’s the feedback I’ve had! I was an avid gothic reader, though, and I had a huge crush on Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester when I was a teenager so clearly something in me responded to the darker side of romance.

PC: Do you do research first and let your characters develop out of that, or do you get to know your characters first and then do the research to match their story?

AC: Luckily because I’ve now written five Regency noirs (My Reckless Surrender is out in June, 2010), I’ve got a pretty good handle on the period I’m writing about. So I have a good idea of what stories will work in that setting and what won’t. Before I start writing, I always have a hero and a heroine, a problem, occasionally a villain, and always the opening. Then I write organically, letting each scene grow out of the one before. Having said that, I usually have a few high points in mind and I know what the ending will be. Those characters often present something I need to research in depth. Which is great as I love research. With Claiming the Courtesan, I did a lot of research on courtesans and I found so many amazing stories in that research, Tempt the Devil grew out of the same body of research. Untouched meant researching the treatment of mental illness in the 19th century – scarier than most horror movies! Captive of Sin required a lot of research on the legalities of marriage and also on my hero’s backstory with the East India Company.


PC: What’s your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

AC: Definitely a pantser! I wish I was a plotter. It would save me a lot of rewriting but I find if I’ve already told myself the story, I lose interest in it so I guess I’m stuck with my messy process.


PC: Hurray! Another pantser! I’ve tried to change my process also, and I find that I cannot. What's an author to do? I always feel that I truly know my characters when I understand where their deepest fear and pain comes from. What has to click for you to feel like you truly know your characters?


AC: I think you’ve got a great point there. What amazes me about the writing process is that I THINK I know these people when I start writing the story as they’ve lived in the back of my brain for a long time by then. I put pen to paper (or hand to keyboard!) and they emerge with traits and behavior that completely astonish me. I truly know my characters once I’ve come to the end of what is always a really difficult first draft process. Then the editing is refining and clarifying and strengthening what I’ve learned about them in writing their stories. And yes, inevitably the painful stuff comes out in that process! I think that’s how you get the power into your stories, making these characters confront the things they really don’t want to confront.

PC: Gideon from Captive of Sin was a tortured, sympathetic and delectable hero. What inspired him?


AC: Thank you so much. I must admit I had quite a crush on him when I wrote him. He’s such a knight in shining armor, isn’t he? Actually the idea for Gideon came during that trip to the U.K. in 2004. I picked up a book called The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk in a bookshop in Oban on the west coast of Scotland. This was much more exciting than it sounds and was full of Indiana Jones-style spies and soldiers as the Russians and the British vied for control of Central Asia in the mid-19th century. One story in particular struck a chord with me – these two amazing warrior scholars called Arthur Conolly and Arthur Stoddart who were beheaded in Bukhara in 1842 after being kept in a pit in the central marketplace. Anyone who has read Captive of Sin won’t have to think too hard about the links with what happens to Gideon in India. I’m fascinated by Central Asia but sadly, writing in the 1820s, this imperial rivalry between Russia and England was a little too late to fit my period. So I started researching the British conquest of India and came up with plenty of options that allowed me to torture poor Gideon in an appropriately Conolly and Stoddart way! On a serious note, I find the warrior scholar archetype terrifically compelling and Gideon’s definitely an example!



PC: How wonderful to give Stoddart and Conolly that tribute. Your books are fairly gritty, and the characters have an intensity of emotion that I enjoy. Does that come at a cost to you as a writer?

AC: Oh, absolutely! I’m like a wrung-out rag when I finish a book. You have to live through these experiences with the characters and sometimes it’s tough.

PC: What do you do to refill your creative well?

AC: I love to look at water. I walk by the sea or swim. I’ve always felt I should have been a water sign (for the record I’m an earth sign!). I watch TV. I read – not as much I used to, sadly. I find a really good book gets my subconscious firing in the way nothing else does. I catch up with my friends. I listen to music. A break away really freshens up the brain too.


PC: Your next book, My Reckless Surrender, comes out on May 25, 2010. Can you tell us a bit about that?


AC: It’s about a dangerous seduction in Regency London. Here’s the blurb:

Headlong into sin...

A well-practiced rake, weary of easy conquests and empty pleasures, Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft, knows women—and his every instinct warns him to beware of this one. Diana Carrick’s brazen overtures have thrown the haunted, sinfully handsome lord completely off his guard. Why, the exquisite temptress stated outright that she wishes to be his lover! But it is neither Diana’s boldness nor her beauty that intrigues him so—it is the innocence he senses behind her worldly mask.

Intent upon the seduction that will finally free her, Diana has set her sights on the notorious Ashcroft—never dreaming that there is much more to the enigmatic rogue than sin and deviltry. His kiss is bewitching, his caress intoxicating—and even the dangerous secret Diana must protect cannot shield her from Ashcroft’s dark allure.

Unwittingly yet most willingly, they are playing with fire. Now the fuse has been lit and there is no escape…except surrender.


PC: That sounds luscious! What are you working on now, besides cleaning your house for the holidays?

AC: Ha ha! Someone’s been reading my Facebook posts complaining about having to do so much housework! I’ve just started my sixth historical romance for Avon. I’m still at that lovely stage when everything’s fresh and exciting. This book will probably be out some time in 2011. I’m also writing a mini-novella (13,000 words) for an anthology — it’s my first reunion story so I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops. The Australian edition of Captive of Sin is just about to hit the stands (mid-December) so I’m also gearing up for local promotion.

PC: Good luck with your Australian release, and congrats on starting your sixth book. And thanks for taking time to chat with me. Your stories have touched me, and it's nice to get to know you better.

------------

Does anyone have questions for Anna? If so, fire away and she'll answer as she’s able to.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009

And the winner is...

Megan C!

Congratulations!

I should let you know that my dear friend Kat James did the honors and picked the winner from the hat. That might make it extra special for you.


I've been at her place since Saturday. I went to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with her and Uncle Ray, but got very sick that night with some kind of virus, which almost immediately became a raging sinus infection. She and Ray were very sweet and kind and took good care of me. In return, I went through all their Kleenex, lay around on the furniture moaning and ate my way through Kat's fantastic cooking. I am on antibiotics for my sinuses and was finally able to get on my feet and drive home today — and that wore me out.


This photo illustration shows what Kat and Ray got to look at in their house the past few days.

For those of you who entered but didn't win, don't be discouraged. I'll be giving away signed copies of Unlawful Contact, plus a few copies of Naked Edge once I get my author copies.

Coming up next:
An interview with the lovely Anna Campbell, interviews with I-Team heroes and a review of Rivals for the Crown, Kathleen Givens' powerful historical novel.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Win an advance copy of NAKED EDGE




Guess what came in the mail today? Advance review copies of Naked Edge! And that means...

IT’S CONTEST TIME!

I didn’t even know I was getting ARCs of the book, but here they are, all nice and bound and unedited. The author’s note, which I turned in at the absolute last moment, isn’t included, but the rest of the story, including the epilogue, is there.

So, in honor of Thanksgiving and in gratitude for your wonderful support, I'm giving away an autographed ARC of Naked Edge to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment, and your name goes in the hat. I'll pick the winner Sunday night, Nov. 29 at 9 PM Mountain Standard Time.



In the meantime, I wish you and your families a restful and bountiful Thanksgiving!

Blessings,
Pamela
Monday, November 23, 2009

Pie poll results!


How pumpkin pies are made
Cómo se hacen los pasteles de calabaza



Pumpkin pie is the winner by a landslide in our first-ever Thanksgiving Pie Poll. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Pumpkin is so deeply entrenched with the months of October and November — pumpkin lattes (UG!), pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie — that most people must associate this holiday, and perhaps even Christmas, with pumpkin pie.

Pastel de calabaza es el ganador por un deslizamiento de tierra en nuestra primera encuesta Pie de Acción de Gracias. Creo que no debería sorprendernos. La calabaza es tan profundamente arraigada en los meses de octubre y noviembre - Lattes calabaza (UG!), Pan de calabaza, pastel de calabaza - que la mayoría de la gente debe asociar este día de fiesta, y tal vez hasta Navidad, con pastel de calabaza.


This will be the second year that we do not have pumpkin pie at my house. Last year, we all realized somewhat in unison that pumpkin pie really wasn't our favorite pie (gasp!) and that each of us — me and my two sons — preferred pecan pie any day of the year. So we ordered a pie from a local bakery.

This year, however, Benjamin and I are going to make our own pecan pie from scratch and see how that goes.

Este será el segundo año que no tenemos pastel de calabaza en mi casa. El año pasado, todos nos dimos cuenta un poco al unísono que el pastel de calabaza en realidad no era nuestra tarta favorita (¡oh!) y que cada uno de nosotros - yo y mis dos hijos — pastel de nuez preferido cualquier día del año. Así que pedimos un pastel de una panadería local.

Este año, sin embargo, Benjamín y yo vamos a hacer nuestro propio pastel de nuez de cero y ver cómo va.


Here's our Thanksgiving menu, all of it made fresh from scratch:
Butternut squash soup (made from squash grown in our garden)
Roasted turkey breast
Mashed potatoes
Fresh green beans
Salad
Cornbread stuffing

And pecan pie with fresh-made whip cream or vanilla ice cream or both (why not?)

What's going to be on your Thanksgiving table? Got any cool recipes to share or any you're looking for?

Aquí está nuestro menú de Acción de Gracias, todo hecho nuevo desde cero:
Sopa de calabaza Butternut (a base de calabaza cultivadas en nuestro jardín)
Pechuga de pavo asado
Puré de patatas
Frijoles verdes frescos
Ensalada
Relleno de pan de maíz

Y pastel de nuez fresca hecha con crema chantilly o helado de vainilla o de ambos (¿por qué no?)

¿Qué va a ser en tu mesa de Acción de Gracias? ¿Tienes frío para compartir recetas o cualquier estás buscando?


Oh... I finished proofreading the second pass of copy edits on Naked Edge. That puppy is now officially out of my hands about to go to the press.

This weekend, while hosting a surprise birthday party for Benjamin, who is now 20, and baking his birthday cake and feeding half a dozen teenagers, I managed to dream up Natalie's story. There will be a sneak peek of her story in the back of Naked Edge.

I don't have a title for her book yet, but I do know her hero's name: Zac McBride. I don't want to steal Gabe's thunder by saying too much about Zac yet, but I will tell you that he's a Deputy Marshal with the U.S. Marshal Service. And much of their story takes place not in Denver but... in Mexico.

Oh ... Terminé de corrección de pruebas el segundo paso de ediciones copia en Naked Edge. Ese perrito está ahora oficialmente fuera de mis manos a punto de ir a la prensa.

Este fin de semana, mientras se celebraba una fiesta sorpresa de cumpleaños para Benjamin, quien ahora tiene 20, y hornear el pastel de cumpleaños y la alimentación de media docena de adolescentes, me las arreglé para inventar la historia de Natalie. Habrá una vista previa de su historia en la parte posterior de Naked Edge.

Yo no tengo un título para su libro todavía, pero sé el nombre de su héroe: Zac McBride. Yo no quiero robar el trueno de Gabe diciendo demasiado sobre Zac todavía, pero te diré que es un agente judicial con el Servicio de Alguaciles de EE.UU.. Y gran parte de su historia tiene lugar no en Denver, pero en ... México.


Still to come:
An interview with the delightful and brilliant Anna Campbell
A review of Kathleen Givens' historical novel Rivals for the Crown
Interviews with I-Team heroes, including an introduction to Gabe

Aún por venir:
Una entrevista con el anuncio delicioso brillante Anna Campbell
Una revisión de novela histórica Kathleen Givensrivales por la Corona
Entrevistas con I-héroes del equipo, incluyendo una introducción a Gabe


Para mis lectores de habla española:

Autoras en la Sombra dio una entrevista a mí que ya está disponible en su sitio Web. Estas maravillosas mujeres salieron de su manera de hacerme preguntas diversión. He disfrutado con él! Haga clic aquí para leer la entrevista.
Monday, November 16, 2009

Naked Edge wallpaper/Excerpt



I just had to share this right now. Jennifer Johnson made it for me this evening, and it will soon be up on my Web site as downloadable wallpaper beside the other fun wallpaper she's made for the I-Team series.

It won't be up online for a while, so if you just can't wait, email me and I'll send it to you.

Thanks, Jennifer!

I'm in the middle of a massive Web site update. There are many new foreign covers, as well as an excerpt from Naked Edge and the novel-length author's note. OK, it's not quite that long. It's only eight pages, but for an author's note, that's looooong. My editor read it and said, "It's a lot more than I expected but then you never do anything half way."

Work at the paper is ratcheting up for the holidays, and things are busy with this book even though I'm done writing it. I'm almost done proofing the second round of copy edits to make sure no one added mistakes to the book. In some places, the accents on the Navajo words were changed, which if you know anything about Navajo, is a big deal. So I'll get those fixed. And then the book will head off to the presses. Before long there will be Advanced Review Copies (ARCs), and I'll be holding contests here and on my Yahoo group to give some copies away.

For now, though, just wallpaper. And this excerpt...

Haha! Yes, it's torture time again!

From Naked Edge:


Geee-zus!


Gabe sucked in a breath, shocked by the blistering impact of Kat’s unexpected kiss, heat shearing through his gut at the first clumsy press of her lips against his. Even as his body responded, some part of his brain knew this shouldn’t be happening. “Kat, you’re upset and tipsy and—”

She kissed him again, tilting her head to better slant her mouth over his.

Christ!

He turned his face away, felt her lips brush his jaw. “Honey, you don’t really want this. You’ve just lost—”

She made a little sound of protest, her arms sliding behind his head, drawing his lips closer to hers, as if to show him that she did really want it.

Good. So did he.

Ignoring the pathetic warnings of his conscience, he took control of the kiss, drawing her tight against him, capturing her mouth with his.

God, she tasted sweet! She smelled sweet, too — like honey and woman. She gave a little whimper, melting against him in a way that was utterly feminine, every inch of her soft body molding to his, her breasts pressing against his ribs, her lips parting to give him access. He swirled his tongue over hers, felt her body tense. And through a pheromone fog, he realized she wasn’t just a virgin between her legs.

Kissing — real kissing — was new to her, too.

Not just virgin, buddy — extra virgin.

He reined himself in, gentled the kiss, slowed it down, brushing her lips lightly with his, teasing their outline with the tip of his tongue, nipping their fullness, his lust for her at war with some strange urge to protect her from himself. In his world, any night that started with kissing ended soon after with fucking. His cock had already risen to the occasion and strained painfully against his fly, looking for the surest route out of denim and into her. But that couldn’t happen — not tonight, not when she was vulnerable and afraid and hurting, probably not ever. She wanted happily ever after, and all he could give her was sex. Still, he could keep kissing her…

Hell, yeah.

He claimed her mouth in a no-holds-barred kiss, penetrating deep, taking her tongue with his, sucking it into his mouth, biting down. She whimpered, kissed him back, meeting the strokes of his tongue with her own, her fingers curled in his hair, her body almost undulating against his, communicating in a primal language of its own, one Gabe’s body understood only too well.

Katherine James might want to save her virginity, but her body had other plans.

With a groan, he drew her beneath him, testosterone shorting out his brain, his body taking over, his blood running hot and fast. He found her throat and pressed his lips against the rapid beating of her pulse, kissing a path over soft, sweet skin, tasting her, nibbling her earlobe. And he wasn’t finished — not by a long shot.

Kat heard herself whimper and turned her head to the side, surrendering her throat to Gabe, the heat of his lips raising goose bumps on her skin, his male scent filling her head, the hard press of his body on top hers making her belly flutter.

She’d never felt anything like this, never even imagined it — the heat, the intensity, the overwhelming physical force of it. Her body trembled, and her heart raced, her breathing uneven as if she’d been running. And she was running — from her grief, from her fear, from everything that hurt. Some part of her knew this, but that only made her run faster.


The rules don’t apply tonight.


She didn’t stop him when he slid a callused hand beneath her sweater to trace tiny circles up her ribcage. She didn’t object when his clever fingers found the clasp of her bra between her breasts and unhooked it. And when he cupped her left breast, when his thumb flicked her nipple...

She gasped, stunned, the sensation too astonishing, too arousing, too wonderful to be real. Jagged shafts of heat seemed to shoot straight from her breast to her belly, turning to liquid between her thighs.

“You like that, don’t you?”

At the husky sound of his voice, her eyes flew open. She found him looking down at her, his breathing as rough as hers, his blue eyes burning, a smile on his wet lips. She forced herself to hold his gaze, shocked by the intimacy of watching him as he watched her, as he watched the effect his touch had on her, his hand still cupping and shaping her breast, his thumb tracing lazy circles over its aching crest.

And the heat in her belly became a wildfire.

Then he pushed her sweater up, baring her breasts, his gaze raking hungrily over her. “God, Kat, honey, you’ve got beautiful breasts. They’re so… Mmm.

Whatever he’d been about to say became a moan as he ducked down and drew one of her nipples into the scorching heat of his mouth.

“Gabe.” Kat’s body jerked at the initial shock of it, the pleasure staggering as he suckled first one nipple and then the other, tugging at her with his lips, teasing her with velvet strokes of his tongue, tormenting her with nips of his teeth. It was sweet, so sweet, and terrible, too, the fire between her thighs now a throbbing ache. She heard herself calling his name, felt her hips lifting toward him, wanting, wanting…

Wanting him.

He groaned, settled his weight between her thighs, and answered her need, grinding what could only be the thick ridge of his erection against her… there. Slowly, so slowly he moved against her, taking the edge off the ache, only to make it so much worse. She was wet, the emptiness inside her burning, her inner muscles clenching around nothing. And she knew.

If he kept going, if he pressed her, she wouldn’t be able to stop him. She wouldn’t want to.

Gabe’s body was strung so tightly he thought it might snap. He’d been a damned idiot to take it this far. He’d wanted to give her the comfort she so obviously needed, and one thing had let to another. Or that’s what he’d told himself. In truth, he’d wanted to kiss her and hold her — and so he had.

He needed to stop. But how could he when Kat was coming apart in his arms, her response burning him up? Her little mewls and whimpers were driving him out of his mind, her wine-dark nipples drawn into tight buds that begged for his mouth, her hips moving in a way that was both feminine and undeniably erotic. He didn’t want to stop — oh, hell, no! He wanted to fuck her long and hard. He wanted to make her come again and again. He wanted to forget himself inside her.

And then what, buddy? You’ll pluck her sweet cherry and show her the door? She deserves better than that, and you damned well know it.

Gabe dragged his lips from hers, forced his hips to hold still, sexual need grinding in his gut, blood pounding through his veins. “Kat.”

She looked up at him, so beautiful it made his chest ache, confusion and longing in those hazel green eyes, tear stains on her cheeks, her lips red and swollen, her delicious breasts rising and falling with each rapid breath — no makeup, no silicon, nothing but sweet, soft, sexually aroused woman.

He fought the urge, so elemental, to kiss her again and settled for running his knuckles over her cheek. Somehow, he managed to string a few words together. “If I don’t stop now, honey, we’re going to be at this all night.”
(c) 2009 Pamela Clare
----------

Kat is the first contemporary heroine I've written as a virgin — and for reasons that become apparent in the story. It was an interesting experience. But more on that in another post. I have pages to copy edit!
Friday, November 13, 2009

Captive of Sin



I finished ghostwriting last weekend, and I wrote the author's note for Naked Edge, which meant that for the first time in ages I had time to... READ!

In the last poll I conducted, it's clear that I'm not the only one who chooses reading as my main way of relaxing. Some 70 percent of you do the same. Nothing else even came close. Television follows behind at a measly 13 percent, with goofing off on the Internet garnering 10 percent of the vote.

Reading wins in a landslide!

I love to read. I love to snuggle up with a book and disappear from this world for hours on end so that I forget what's going on in life entirely. It's something I used to do all the time before I started writing books. Now, I rarely have the time.

At the top of my pile was Captive of Sin, by the lovely and gracious Anna Campbell. An Australian author who's making a big impact, she's also an incredibly nice person.

I chose her book because it had just arrived at my door and because I'd heard so much buzz on it. The thing that really clinched it for me were the Amazon comments, which revealed a key plot element that I knew I would love: the hero finds the heroine, battered, weak and exhausted, and in desperate need of protection.

Here's the blurb from the back:

He pledged his honor to keep her safe . . .

Returning home to Cornwall after an unspeakable tragedy, Sir Gideon Trevithick comes upon a defiant beauty in danger and vows to protect her whatever the cost. He's dismayed to discover that she's none other than Lady Charis Weston, England's wealthiest heiress—and that the only way to save her from the violent stepbrothers determined to steal her fortune is to wed her himself! Now Gideon must hide the dark secrets of his life from the bride he desires more with every heartbeat.

She promised to show him how to love — and desire — again . . .

Charis has heard all about Gideon, the dangerously handsome hero with the mysterious past. She's grateful for his help but utterly unwilling to endure a marriage of convenience — especially to a man whose touch leaves her breathless. Desperate to drive him mad with passion, she would do anything to make Gideon lose control — and fall captive to irresistible, undeniable sin.




I read the book in two evenings after work, staying awake far too late and relishing every second. Anna Campbell is a new author for me. I'd previously read Tempt the Devil, which I very much enjoyed, and for many of the same reasons I enjoyed Captive of Sin.

As many of you know, I'm not a huge fan of Regency romances. Too often they feel like cookie-cutter, wallpaper romances. Lords, ladies, parties, gowns, the ton... That isn't to be critical of anyone who loves to read Regency romances. To each her own, I say. We all have our own preferences. But I've never gotten in to that period. I guess I don't much care what society thinks today, so reading stories about people trying to fit in to society 200 years ago just isn't interesting to me. Plus, I like stories that have a bit of grit and some real emotional depth.

This story has all of that.

Gideon, the hero, has suffered unspeakable torment and is returning home, when he encounters Lady Charis. Battered but still defiant, Charis doesn't trust Gideon at first; still, she really has no choice but to accept his help. The two of them begin a journey toward mutual trust that also results in healing for Gideon that he never thought he'd have. For him, his decision to risk himself to protect Charis, based in part on his belief that his life is actually more or less over, results in nothing less than a miracle of healing for him.

There are so many moments in the story where Anna demonstrates her superior storytelling ability, moments where some authors would have used a misunderstanding to create overly dramatic conflict between Gideon and Charis, i.e, the Big Misunderstanding. Anna doesn't do that, instead relying on her characters' intelligence and compassion to work through those minor glitches with no problem so that they stay focused on the real conflict facing them.

The sex is realistic and also very hot. And there's an element of romance to the story that never ebbs. For me, the story maintained its magic from the beginning through the end. I fell in love with Gideon. What a wonderful hero! And truly a hero, in every sense of the word, both before and after he meets Charis.

It's kind of funny because being an author means I have a different relationship with books — and other authors — than the average reader. It's easier for me to get in touch with authors and talk with them behind the scenes. Anna and I sort of discovered each other's books (thanks to a variety of blogs out there) over this past year. Though we have very different writing styles, there's a common thread in our writing, which we have noticed, that involves a bit of grit, some real pain and suffering in our characters' lives, and a willingness to go into the darkness of that suffering.

One author coined the term "Regency noir" for Anna, and I think that's very apt. It's that difference in tone — and her willingness to explore her characters' dark places in a deeper way — that endears her writing to me. Plus, being an Aussie, she manages the British-ness of the period quite deftly. It feels very authentic to me.

In short, I loved it! I have two more books of hers in my TBR pile — it's actually a bookshelf, not a pile — and I look forward to reading them.

Soon I hope to have Anna as a guest on my blog. I'll whip out my reporter’s notebook and interview her and share the interview here.

In the meantime, I've got big plans to get organized, clean my house, and write a proposal for Natalie's story, the next I-Team book. Then I'll move on to writing my next novel, which I hope (for once) to finish quickly.

We're supposed to get snow here, which makes me happy.

With the holidays coming up, I suppose everyone is very busy. I hope you get time to relax. When you do, what books will you be reaching for next?

Next up: I'll talk about Kathleen Givens' Rivals for the Crown. Then we'll interview some I-Team heroes, including Gabe, the hero from Naked Edge.
Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fort Hood & Veteran's Day



My heart and prayers go out to the families of those killed in today's attack at Fort Hood. I can't imagine their grief. As the investigation unfolds in the coming weeks, I hope we'll come to understand why the shooter was still in the Army and not already given the boot for poor performance. Based on what I read on the news wire before coming home, there were many reasons he could have been discharged prior to today's massacre.

It's so senseless and terrible.

On Wednesday, we observe Veteran's Day. The holiday began as Armistice Day, an observation of the armistice that ended World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars. Well, we all know how that turned out. Now, the day is called Veteran's Day in the U.S.

My family has had someone (or even more than one person) serve in every war since the French and Indian War up through the Vietnam War. My mother's father served in the Navy during WWII, and she had an uncle who died at Pearl Harbor on the U.S.S. Utah. He'd been married for a week and had just gotten back from a very short honeymoon with his bride, who became a widow faster than she could possibly have imagined. I've always found that to be very sad.

Tell me about the veterans in your families.
Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Vacation, Part II: Walking with the Rangers



Halloween is over. I spent it in costume at my brother's house, handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and spending some time with my brothers, my sister-in-law and my niece and nephews, who were adorable. Now that I don't have any kids in the house, I can enjoy how cute everyone else's kids are without the pressure of carving pumpkins, buying costumes and buying candy myself.

So now we pick up with Fall Vacation Part II:

So Thursday was spent in Ithaca. On Friday, Benjamin and I climbed into the rental car and drove for about four hours up to Fort Edward. The fort is mentioned in the movie Last of the Mohicans, as Monroe at doomed William Henry awaits reinforcements that will never come from Webb who is stationed at Edward. That "Edward" is this Edward. In my books, it's called Fort Elizabeth.

We checked in to our room at the Historic Inn of Fort Edward which is north of the site of the fort and east of the Hudson River. The inn is a wonderful, homey place run by very kind people. Debbie, who watches over the inn for its owners, worked there last year, and she remembered us. I took her a signed copy of Untamed.

The showers at this places are a-ma-zing! They've got granite and marble and they have jets coming out of the walls so that it's a shower and a massage. I've dreamed of taking another shower there. No joke!


Así que el jueves fue gastado en Ithaca. El viernes, Benjamin y me monté en el coche de alquiler y se dirigió por cerca de cuatro horas hasta Fort Edward. El fuerte se menciona en la película "El último de los mohicanos", como Monroe, condenado a William Henry espera refuerzos que nunca vendrá de Webb, que está estacionado en Edward. Que "Edward" este es Edward. En mis libros, se llama Elizabeth Fort.

Se verificaron en nuestra habitación en el Hotel Histórico de Fort Edward, que está al norte del sitio de la fortaleza y el este del río Hudson. La posada es un maravilloso lugar acogedor dirigido por personas muy amables. Debbie, que vela por la posada para sus propietarios, trabajó el año pasado, y se acordó de nosotros. La llevé una copia firmada de Untamed.

Las lluvias en este lugar son increíbles! Tienen el granito y el mármol y tienen aviones que salen de las paredes de modo que es una ducha y un masaje. He soñado con tomar otra ducha allí. No es broma!




This is Jim's Broadway Café — which now was free wi-fi. It's a wonderful, cozy place with plastic table cloths, delicious food and fantastic maple cream pie. Jim, the owner, was there the two days we were in Fort Edward, and he came out to say hello both days. He remembered us from last year, too.


Esto es Broadway Jim's Café - que ahora estaba libre wi-fi. Es un maravilloso lugar acogedor, con manteles de plástico, comida deliciosa y fantástica tarta de crema de arce. Jim, el dueño, estaba allí los dos días que estuvimos en Fort Edward, y salió a saludar los dos días. Se acordó de nosotros desde el año pasado, también.



In this photo, Cousin It is being attacked by Thing. Or that's what it looks like, anyway. It's actually me making some strange hand gesture while talking to the lovely and kind Eileen Hannay, who runs the Rogers Island Visitor Center. She shared a year's worth of news with us and the helped me renew my membership. I am now a Ranger Sergeant. She knows so much about the history of the place. And, yes, she's read my books, all of them. She's waiting for Naked Edge to come out.

En esta foto, "Cousin It" está siendo atacada por "Thing". O eso es lo que parece, de todos modos. Es realmente me toma de la mano un gesto extraño al hablar con la encantadora y amable Eileen Hannay, que dirige el centro de la isla de visitantes Rogers. Ella compartía valor de un año de noticias con nosotros y el me ayudó a renovar mi membresía. Ahora soy un sargento Ranger. Ella sabe mucho sobre la historia del lugar. Y, sí, ha leído mis libros, todos ellos. Ella está esperando "Naked Edge" para salir.



This is taken from about the same place as the photo Benjamin took last year. There aren't as many leaves this year, because it got colder earlier in the season. Benjamin is standing on the shore of Rogers Island (Ranger Island) looking back across the Hudson River toward the site of Fort Edward (Fort Elizabeth). All that remains of the fort today are some deep, buried wooden beams that jut into the Hudson, some of which were torn up by dredging, unfortunately, and big wooden planks that were taken from the fort and used in some of the historical houses in town. Where you see a faint white shape on the shoreline — a little boat — is where the bateau bridge crossed the water to camp.


Esto está tomado de sobre el mismo lugar que la foto de Benjamín tomó el año pasado. No hay tantas hojas de este año, porque se hizo más frío a principios de temporada. Benjamín está de pie en la orilla de Rogers Island (Isla de Ranger) mirando hacia atrás a través del río Hudson hacia el sitio de Fort Edward (Fort Elizabeth). Todo lo que queda de la actual fortaleza son algunos de profundidad, enterrada vigas de madera que sobresalen en el río Hudson, algunos de ellos fueron arrancados de dragado, por desgracia, y los grandes tablones de madera que fueron tomadas desde la fortaleza y se utiliza en algunas de las casas históricas en la pueblo. Donde se ve una silueta blanca débil en la costa - un pequeño bote - es donde el puente de barco cruzó el agua al campamento.



I stroll from the Rogers Island Visitor Center along the road that marks the historical shoreline of the island back toward the encampment where Robert Rogers and the Rangers truly lived during the French and Indian War. Everything from the left of the road was dredged up from the Hudson through the years.

Yo paseo de la Isla de Visitantes Centro de Rogers en el camino que marca la línea de costa histórico de la isla hacia el campamento donde Robert Rogers y los Rangers realmente vivieron durante la guerra franco-india. Todo, desde la izquierda de la carretera fue dragado desde el río Hudson a través de los años.



Last year when I visited Rogers Island, I had to stop where Benjamin was standing when he took this picture. The private landowner wasn't letting anyone on the site of the encampment. He's probably afraid people will damage the archaeological sites or try to steal stuff. But this year, we were able to walk on to the actual site of the encampment. For me, it felt like a pilgrimage. To my left (also your left) you can see some of the excavated cabin sites. To my right is the excavated officer's cabin and the burial area.

El año pasado, cuando visité la isla de Rogers, tuve que dejar de donde Benjamin se encontraba cuando se tomó esta foto. El propietario del terreno privado no dejar a nadie en el sitio del campamento. Es probable que la gente tenga miedo a los daños a los sitios arqueológicos o tratar de robar cosas. Pero este año, hemos sido capaces de caminar en el sitio real del campamento. Para mí, era como una peregrinación. A mi izquierda (también a su izquierda) se puede ver algunos de los sitios excavados de cabina de pasajeros. A mi derecha está la cabina del oficial de excavaciones y de la zona de enterramiento.




I was able to walk right up to the excavated sites and look in. None of the artifacts remain on site. They're all safely in museums or stored away. But the foundation of the cabin — almost certainly an officer's cabin based on the artifacts found there — can be seen inside. They're covered with plastic. So think for a moment... This might have been Robert Rogers' actual cabin. It might have been the cabin that belonged first to Iain MacKinnon and then to Morgan. I wish I could have put up a sign that said, "Annie slept here."


Yo era capaz de caminar hasta los sitios excavados y mirar hacia adentro Ninguno de los artefactos que quedan en el sitio. Son todos de manera segura en los museos o guardados. Pero la fundación de la cabina - casi con toda seguridad la cabina de un funcionario sobre la base de los artefactos encontrados allí - se puede ver en su interior. Están cubiertas con plástico. Así que piense por un momento ... Esto podría haber sido real de cabina de pasajeros Robert Rogers. Podría haber sido la cabaña que perteneció primero a Iain MacKinnon y luego a Morgan. Me gustaría haber puesto un cartel que decía: "Annie dormido aquí".




Here's a closer view of the little enlisted cabins. This where Killy, Brandon, McHugh, Dougie and the others would have lived. The cabins stood in long rows with shared walls kind of like stalls and not really much bigger than that. The little covers you see here are in place to protect the excavated sites.

Aquí hay una vista más cercana de lo poco que se alistó cabañas. Aquí es donde Killy, Brandon, McHugh, Dougie y los demás han vivido. Las cabinas de pie en largas filas con la clase compartida paredes de puestos y no como realmente mucho más que eso. Las cubiertas poco que ve aquí son para proteger los sitios excavados.



Here, you can see what was the cemetery for the Ranger war dead from the French and Indian War. It's marked out by stones. There are no headstones, possibly because they only had wooden crosses to mark their graves.

Aquí, usted puede ver lo que era el cementerio de la guerra Ranger muertos de la guerra franco-india. Es marcado por las piedras. No hay lápidas, posiblemente debido a que sólo había cruces de madera para marcar sus tumbas.



This put a lump in my throat. It's sad that it took so long to get this marker placed here. But Fort Edward/Rogers Island is one of the most neglected historical sites in the United States. It was British HQ during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), and that war and its aftermath are what created the United States. You'd think more care would go in to this place. I hope it will soon be a state park. There are folks who are working hard to make that happen.


Esto trajo lágrimas a mis ojos. Es triste que haya tomado tanto tiempo para conseguir este marcador colocado aquí. Pero Fort Edward Rogers Island es uno de los sitios históricos más descuidados en los Estados Unidos. Fue la sede británica durante la guerra franco-india (los Siete Años, la Guerra), y que la guerra y sus secuelas son las que crearon los Estados Unidos. Se diría que más cuidado que entrar a este lugar. Espero que pronto será un parque estatal. Hay personas que están trabajando duro para que esto suceda.



This is another look at this sacred ground.

Este es otro aspecto en este suelo sagrado.



I walked to the opposite shore of the island and looked toward the other side of the river where Morgan took Annie when she an Iain were married. So Ranger Camp is behind me and Fort Edward is across the water, also behind me. Where I am standing is close to the actual historical location of the infamous whipping post. It stood on the this shore not far from the latrines, which would have been to my left.

My heart fills with so many feelings when I visit Rogers Island. I found myself moved to tears standing there and looking across the water.

Me acerqué a la orilla opuesta de la isla y miró hacia el otro lado del río, donde Morgan tomó Annie cuando se casó con ella una Iain. Así Ranger Camp está detrás de mí y Fort Edward es a través del agua, también detrás de mí. Cuando estoy de pie cerca de la ubicación histórica real de la picota infame. Se encontraba en la costa del este, no muy lejos de las letrinas, lo que hubiera sido a mi izquierda.

Mi corazón se llena de tantos sentimientos en mi visita a la isla de Rogers. Me encontré conmovió hasta las lágrimas de pie y mirando a través del agua.




The Rangers have long been gone from this place, but their echoes remain — if we listen very carefully.

Los Rangers han sido durante mucho tiempo pasado de este lugar, pero sus ecos siguen siendo - si escuchamos con mucho cuidado.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Vacation, Part I: Ithaca really is gorges


A view of Buttermilk State Park in Ithaca, NY

(Mira debajo de la traducción al español.)

Howdy! Miss me?

Sorry to have been gone so long. I've been doing as much nothing as I possibly can — while still working and ghostwriting. I'm going to finish the ghostwriting assignment this weekend for certain, so that will give me some real downtime, which I hope to use to refill my creative well, sleep — and clean my so-called house. (It's actually a junk pit.)

I spent the weekend of Oct. 14-19 in Ithaca and Fort Edward, NY, visiting my younger son, meeting his very cool friends and communing with MacKinnon's Rangers. It was time I so desperately needed, but it wasn't without it's own stresses.

The flights out and back were miserable, turning into an almost unbelievable saga. Sure, these things happen. But in a single trip?

On the way out, both flights were delayed, giving me ten hours of waiting in airports. Then I managed to lose my driver's license in the Philly airport, where extremely useless and rather rude customer service people provided precisely zero customer service. That left me trying to rent a car at 11 p.m. without a driver's license. No sooner had I pulled out of the parking lot, than a deer jumped in front of the car. I slammed on the breaks and managed to avoid crashing into it with the car I was renting without a license. Well, that was a blessing, anyway. I will admit, though, to using the f-word approximately a dozen times at that point.

I stayed in the dorms at Ithaca College, which was both fun and strange. I never stayed in dorms as a college student, so this was my first time in a college dorm. I slept pretty darn well, actually. Which is good, because after that awful trip — which started at 4 a.m. in Colorado and ended at 1 a.m. in NY — I really, really needed it.

The next day, I spent the entire day with Benjamin and his friends: his lovely girlfriend Lucy; his roomie from last year, Del; romance novel fan Anna; and filmmaking buddy Tyler. We went to breakfast at a place that served great lattés and eventually went in search of the gorges for which Ithaca is so famous. We found two, thanks to Anna's iPhone.

With all of us piled into the rental car we stopped first at Ithaca Falls. There's very little signage and no parking, so it wasn't easy for this out-of-towner to find. But it was breathtaking. It was raining and pretty chilly, but the running water and all the fall foliage were unbelievably lovely.

Fortunately, Lucy is a very talented photographer, and she snapped some photos for me to share. I almost never think to take a camera. Remember you can double-click on an image to enlarge it.



Above, Benjamin and I take in the beauty of Ithaca Falls. It's always mind-opening to stand in a place like this and think that it was crafted over many hundreds of thousands of years and has been there for centuries. For me, it was just so wonderful to be with my son, whom I miss horribly when he's away.


(Back, L to R: Me, Benjamin, Anna, Tyler. Front: Del.)

After that, we went in search of Buttermilk Falls, which was easier to find and had lots of parking. By then it was getting dark and was very chilly, but I enjoyed it. I love fall best of all four seasons, and there's nothing like fall in New York and New England.

I'm not sure why I didn't download an image of Buttermilk Falls by itself. But it is just as lovely as Ithaca Falls, though not as steep. There's an open park area with informational signs about how the gorges were formed. Then there's an area at the base of the falls where, based on the "No Swimming" signs people regularly go swimming. I took off my shoes and waded in the water a bit.



Then there are bridges that cross the "No Swimming" swimming area and lead to a trail that heads up the hillside — sorry, this Colorado girl can't say "mountainside" — alongside the water. I really love the photo below, because the layering of the rock and the stairs create interesting and similar patterns. Lucy is so fantastic at seeing little moments like this.



We stopped a fair way up the hillside at an overlook, where Lucy took the photograph at the top of this post. She snapped some photos of Benjamin and of me with Benjamin.



Then I insisted she let me get some pictures of her with Benjamin.



Benjamin and I agree that Lucy is quite adorable and wonderful herself. Not to mention, she's beautiful and smart and has fantastically thick hair.



Aw. Isn't that sweet?

After this, we made our way back down the trail and went out for pizza. It was a truly wonderful day.

Now, here's the fringe benefit of being my son's close friend. Both Anna and Lucy have read Naked Edge... Anna finished it in eight hours (!), and Lucy finished it likewise very quickly. Meg, another close friend, was away the first day I was there, so I missed here, which was a bummer. Meg was about halfway through the story before I left. No word from her what she thought of it yet.

Anna, as it turns out, is quite a romance reader. We talked Twilight and such, which was fun.

Next: Walking with MacKinnon's Rangers

En español:

¡Hola! ¿Me extrañaste?

Lo que se ha ido tanto tiempo. He estado haciendo nada tanto como me sea posible - mientras seguía trabajando y escribiendo bajo la firma. Voy a terminar la tarea escribiendo bajo la firma de este fin de semana de seguro, de modo que me dé un tiempo de inactividad real, que espero utilizar mi creatividad para rellenar bien, dormir - y limpio mi casa llamada. (En realidad es un pozo de basura.)

Me pasé el fin de semana de Oct. 14-19, en Ithaca y Fort Edward, Nueva York, visitando a mi hijo menor, de la reunión a sus amigos muy fresco y en comunión con los Rangers de MacKinnon. Ya era hora que tan desesperadamente necesitan, pero no sin que se destaca propia.

Los vuelos de ida y vuelta eran miserables, convirtiéndose en una saga casi increíble. Claro, estas cosas pasan. Pero en un solo viaje?

A la salida, tanto los vuelos se retrasaron, y me da diez horas de espera en los aeropuertos. Entonces, me las arreglé para perder mi licencia de conducir en el aeropuerto de Filadelfia, donde muy inútil y bastante personal de servicio al cliente siempre grosero precisamente cero de servicio al cliente. Eso me dejó intentar alquilar un coche a las 11 horas sin de un conductor de licencia. No bien se retiró del estacionamiento, que un venado saltó delante del coche. Cerré las rupturas y logró evitar chocar con el coche que había alquilado sin una licencia. Bueno, eso fue una bendición, de todos modos. Debo reconocer, sin embargo, a la utilización de la F-Word aproximadamente una docena de veces en ese punto.

Yo me quedé en los dormitorios en el Ithaca College, que era a la vez divertido y extraño. Nunca me quedé en los dormitorios como un estudiante universitario, por lo que esta fue mi primera vez en un dormitorio universitario. He dormido bastante maldito bueno, en realidad. Que es bueno, porque después de ese viaje terrible - que se inició a las 4 am en Colorado y terminó a la 1 am en Nueva York - realmente, realmente necesitaba.

Al día siguiente, pasé el día entero con Benjamin y sus amigos: su encantadora novia Lucy, y su compañera de cuarto del año pasado, Del, novela romántica del ventilador Anna; cine y amigo Tyler. Nos fuimos a desayunar en un lugar que sirve café con leche grande y, finalmente, fue en busca de las gargantas de Ithaca, que es tan famoso. Encontramos dos, gracias a iPhone de Anna.

Con todos nosotros se amontonaron en el coche de alquiler que se detuvo primero en Ithaca Falls. Hay carteles muy poco y no dispone de aparcamiento, por lo que no fue fácil para este fuera-de-towner de encontrar. Pero fue impresionante. Llovía y bastante frío, pero el agua corriente y todo el follaje de otoño fueron increíblemente hermosa.

Afortunadamente, Lucy es un fotógrafo con mucho talento, y ella rompió algunas fotos para mí compartir. Casi nunca me vas a acordar de una cámara. Recuerde que usted puede hacer doble clic sobre una imagen para ampliarla.

Fotos:
Benjamin y yo disfrutar de la belleza de las Cataratas de Ithaca. Es siempre la mente la apertura de pie en un lugar como este y creo que fue elaborado durante cientos de miles de años y ha estado allí durante siglos. Para mí, era tan maravilloso estar con mi hijo, a quien echo de menos terriblemente cuando está lejos.


Después de eso, nos fuimos en busca de mantequilla Falls, que era más fácil de encontrar y había un montón de aparcamiento. Para entonces ya estaba oscuro y era muy frío, pero yo lo disfruté. Me encanta caer mejor de las cuatro estaciones, y no hay nada como la caída en Nueva York y Nueva Inglaterra.

No estoy seguro de por qué no descargar una imagen de las Cataratas de mantequilla por sí mismo. Pero es tan hermosa como Ithaca Falls, aunque no tan pronunciada. Hay una zona de parque abierto con carteles informativos acerca de cómo se formaron los barrancos. Luego hay un área en la base de la cascada donde, sobre la base de la "Prohibido bañarse" la gente signos regularmente ir a nadar. Me quité los zapatos y se metió en el agua un poco.

Luego están los puentes que cruzan el "Prohibido bañarse" zona de baño y conducir a un sendero que sube la colina - lo siento, esta chica de Colorado no puede decir "montaña" - junto con el agua. Me encanta la foto de abajo, porque las capas de la roca y las escaleras de crear patrones interesantes y similares. Lucy es tan fantástico de ver pequeños momentos como éste.

Nos detuvimos un modo justo por la ladera en un mirador, donde Lucy tomó la fotografía en la parte superior de este puesto. Ella rompió algunas fotos de Benjamín y de mí con Benjamín. Luego insistió en que déjame algunas fotos de ella con Benjamín. Benjamin y estoy de acuerdo en que Lucy es muy adorable y maravilloso a sí misma. Por no hablar, ella es hermosa e inteligente y tiene el pelo increíblemente gruesa.


Después de esto, hemos hecho el camino de regreso por el camino y se fue a comer pizza. Ha sido un día realmente maravilloso.

Ahora, aquí está el beneficio adicional de ser íntimo amigo de mi hijo. Tanto Anna y Lucy han leído Naked Edge ... Anna terminado en ocho horas (!), y Lucy terminado también muy rápidamente. Meg, otro amigo cercano, estaba ausente el primer día que estuve allí, así que se perdió aquí, que era un engorro. Meg estaba a mitad de camino a través de la historia antes de irme. Ni una sola palabra de lo que ella pensaba de ella todavía.

Anna, como resulta, es un buen lector de novela. Hablamos de "Twilight", el cual fue muy divertido.

Siguiente post: Caminando con los MacKinnon's Rangers

Noticias para mis lectores en español: En cuanto tengo tiempo, tengo previsto iniciar una única versión en español de mi blog. Que contendrá la misma información que este blog, pero usted no tendrá que buscar a través de todas las palabras en Inglés para encontrar el español.

Sé que mi español es muy pobre, pero espero que tenga sentido basta con que usted es capaz de disfrutar de ella y que podamos comunicarnos un poco.

Muchas gracias por tu apoyo!

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"I am an artist. I am here to live out loud."
—Emile Zola

"I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day."
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