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

Friday, August 14, 2009

Congrats to my brother and father! (updated)

Crestone Needle (14,197) and Crestone Peak (14,294)

This is what my brother Robert and my father spent this past weekend climbing. For my bro, these are the last two fourteeners — mountains the summits of which are 14,000 feet above sea level or higher — that he needed to summit in order to have climbed them all. Congratulations, Robert! My father has been climbing since he moved to Colorado in 1966, and he's now 65. His stamina amazes me. So congrats to him, too! He still has two more fourteeners to climb to have done them all.

Crestone Needle is rated among the most difficult peaks in the state, while Crestone Peak is rated among the difficult peaks.

Colorado has 53 14,000-foot peaks — more than any other place in North America. By contrast, Canada has only 15. Alaska has 21, I believe. And my brother has climbed the two in Washington State, as well as Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere at 22,841 feet.

Did I mention at some point that I come from a climbing family?

There are people in Colorado who love to "bag" peaks. They try to climb them as fast as they can or keep a checklist. I've always found that distasteful. It doesn't really seem respectful of the mountains to turn it into a competition. My brother and my father just love to climb. In fact, one day when he was bored, my brother climbed his own chimney. I'm not joking. I came outside, saw him and asked, "Is that a first ascent? What are you going to name that route?" But I digress...

My brother climbing one of the Crestones. Notice how high that is at the top — and apparently they didn't use ropes.

In addition to climbing the fourteeners, they've climbed a lot of the state's many, many thirteeners and the peaks that are 14,000 or higher but aren't counted as fourteeners because the saddle between them and the next highest fourteener is less than 300 feet wide. (Those are the rules.)

I gave up mountain climbing after I fell. Actually, I re-climbed that mountain — Mt. Ida — just to show that I could, and then gave up climbing. I prefer hiking now to anything seriously vertical. I have to say it was cathartic to put details about my own fall into Naked Edge. And it was fun to have a hero who climbs. I got to put in lots of fun climbing lingo.

I'm so glad they made it to the top and back down safely!


Wow, that is amazing! I am scared of heights! A wimp I know ;-)..... btw I got the package yesterday, thanks ;-)


Jane said...

Very impressive. Congrats to your brother and father.

Hi, Brande — I'm so glad the package reached you. I wasn't sure how to sign things. Since it's a contest, I had no idea who's going to receive them, so I could only sign the stuff generically.

I'm scared of heights, too. I wasn't afraid of them until I fell. Now I am terrified. I have a deep appreciation of gravity.

Hi, Jane — Thanks!

My brother read this, and here's his response:

"Very nice write-up in the blog, Pamela! Thanks.

A couple minor numerical revisions, perhaps. The most commonly accepted number of 14ers is now 54. And the most commonly agreed-upon age of Dad is 66.

D'oh! LMAO!!!!

Debbie H said...

Wow, your brother and dad are fantastic! Way to go!

I love the mountains but would rather look at them while standing in the forest or like you hike for a while.

I can't wait to get NE in my hot little hands. LOL

JennJ said...

WOW that is truly amazing I would wet my pants if I was even 12 ft off the ground let alone 14,000! I'm terrified of heights too lol.

They truly are fearless men and I'm glad they made their goals safely! :)

linda said...

My hat is off to your brother and father. I get dizzy standing on a stepladder. It must be quite a feeling to get to the top of a mountain like that.

Hi, Debbie H — I'm with you! The pain and struggle involved with climbing something like that just so totally isn't worth the payoff at the top for me. I once told my brother that I understood WHY he climbed: because it felt SO GOOD when it was OVER. LOL!

Hi, Jenn — Thanks so much! I'm relieved that they're down and home again. Yeah, I've been to the top of a 50-foot climbing wall not all that long ago, and that was plenty high for me, even roped in. They are pretty fearless, and they're both very, very skilled at it. Otherwise, they never would have been able to attempt it. One woman died there this year after she fell.

Hi, Linda — I think they love being at the summit. Coming down is more dangerous than going up, but being on the summit is where one feels that sense of accomplishment. We have lots and lots of summit photos in our family photo album dating back to when we were little kids. And thanks!

ronna's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ronna's said...

Wow! That's seriously incredibly amazing! Congrats to your dad and bro ms. Clare. I myself like climbing, but I get pretty scared when it gets too vertical. Gravity really is'nt my best friend, especially when going down. So I stick to hiking now. I love it, just last week, my family went to Woods Canyon Lake here in AZ. What's really cool about that lake is that it's on top o the mountain. Anyway, when we got there, my parents and lil' sis went on and fish, while me and my twin sis wen hiking the whole day! It was so much fun. We hiked around the lake, and me my sister went deeper in the forest(since our parents weren't there to forbid us). While hiking, I actually thought about the MacKinnon rangers from your book. It just amazed me to think that hundreds of years ago, this is how they travel, with no conveniences like water bottles, hiking shose,radio and all that stuff, but they never got lost. They travel from mountain to mountain and for days and to them it's just another ordinary traveling day. It's like saying, "We just have to hike one more mountain, and in about a day or too, we're home free." Like it's no biggie! LOL!
Anyway, congratulations to them again, and too you for telling that mountain - Mt. Ida - that you could climb it!


Mary G said...

Wow that's incredible! I have to say that I really like mountains from far away - not up close. I climb stairs & that's it. BTW - I finally got my copy of Ride the Fire from Amazon. Damn that Kristie J LOL. Now I've got to find time to read it. The cover is so yummy.

Hi, Ronna — Please feel free to call me Pamela. :-)

It sounds like a wonderful trip! I love hiking through woods like that. I'm thrilled that it made you think of the MacKinnon brothers. I have no idea how men survived doing what they did back in those days. I think they must have had a higher tolerance for pain and discomfort than we have today. Can you imagine hiking for hours in wool?

And thanks! I keep trying to get my brother over here to say hello or something, but no luck so far.

Hi, Mary G — So Kristie J got to you, did she? LOL! I hope you enjoy the story. Be sure to email me and let me know. It's a personal fave for me. And thanks for giving it a try!

As for mountains, I love them, but I need something solid beneath my feet. When I fell, I slipped on ice and fell 40 feet -- 20 vertical and bouncing over rock for another 20. It was not fun. Some of the injuries bother me still today.

ronna's said...

Wow! Bouncing down another 20 ft? That sound painful. I don't even like it when I pass on bumbs when biking. LOL! Pamela, haha, it feels weird calling you that. I'm just 17 after all. It's mostly a cultural thing though. I'm Filipino. We're big on respect on someone older that you. We have a bunch of terms use when talking to someone older than you. Like using "ate" or "kuya" before saying the name of the person you're talking to. Ex. "Ate Pamela" LOL! That's not pronounced ate by the way, but a - te. 2 sylables, hard a.

So yeah. Wool! I know right? I can't even stand jeans, and I was wearing a short! LOL! I keep thinking of how the MacKinnons and Indians move without being heard too. While hiking, my sister and I played a game to see if we could sneak up on each other without being heard. Epic fail. LOL!


Hi, Ronna — You can call me Ate Pamela if you want. LOL! I appreciate the respect, truly. Thank you.

That sounds like a fun game you played with your sister. Next time, try to hide and ambush each other. That's more what MacKinnon's Rangers would have done and have guarded against. It's hard to sneak on leaves and twigs. But hiding behind an outcropping of rock or behind some fallen logs — that's easy.

When I went to New York last fall to visit the Lake George area where MacKinnon's Rangers fight and live (okay, they live in my head, but you know what I mean... ), my son, Benjamin, had a great time alternatively scouting for us and ambushing us. One minute he'd be ahead of us, scouting, and the next minute he'd pop up and let us know that he'd just shot us all. LOL!

The actually fall was painless. When you're that badly hurt all at once, it overwhelms your brain and you really can't feel much of anything. When my brain started sorting things out -- about 10 minutes after I fell; it's hard for me to say -- then it was very painful. I'm going to write about it when we get closer to the release date for NAKED EDGE, because Kat's fall in the prologue has some things in common with mine.

I don't recommend falling.

ronna's said...

You're welcome!

Haha! The sneaking up, that's the hard part. There's leaves and twigs everywhere! Not a bunch of big logs and rocks unless you're beside the lake. We actually drank from the lake, just to see how it was. It was ok, actually. LOL! I just don't know how they do it.

That's a cool trick your son played. Sounds fun! Awesome pics by the way. I was looking through it a few weeks ago when I decided to look at every blog you posted. That's right, all of it. LOL!

Eeesh, I don't plan on falling anytime. The way you describe, it sounds painful. I'm pretty sure I'll read about in on NAKED EDGE. Will be a-waitin'!

When's the release by the way of Naked Edge?


Hi, Ronna — You've got to be careful drinking lake water. High in the mountains here it's often radioactive from natural radiation in the rocks. And people who drink water from streams or lakes often end up with giardia. Not fun!

The release date for Naked Edge is March 2. That's only 199 days from today.

I guess I'll have to post more excerpts to tide everyone over till then.

ronna's said...

Okay. Note to self: Never drink lake water. LOL!

199 days! I think you do have to post some excerpts. LOL!


Mary G said...

After I finish RTF I'll email you then Kristie. I'm sure I'm going to love it just from the premise of the story.

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