The I-Team — Now available in Audiobook format! Find them on Audible.com!
Skin Deep — Now in trade paperback! Find it on CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com! And coming in audiobook format on April 29! Ride the Fire, Kenleigh/Blakewell Family Saga #3 — Reissues with new material, including the never-before-published epilogue!
Sweet Release and Carnal Gift — Now in trade paperback! Find them on CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com!
Striking Distance(I-Team #6) — Available in paperback, ebook, audiobook — Nov. 5
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.
Lately, I've been getting the same questions a dozen times a day, so I thought I'd post some answers here and perhaps alleviate some confusion.
Q: I loved Defiant. Do you plan to write more books in the MacKinnon's Rangers series?
A: I do plan to give Lord William and Captain Joseph their own stories, though I’m not sure when they will be released or what the titles will be.
Q. Do you plan to write more I-Team books?
A: Absolutely. I am working on Striking Distance, the sixth book in the series, right now and hope to have it done in time for a May 2013 release. Watch my blog for updates and excerpts. I know a lot of you love Holly — I do, too — but I'm saving Horny Holly for last.
In addition, I plan to continue the series of spinoff novellas I'm calling the I-Team After Hours series to help readers through the long wait between books. Skin Deep, the first I-Team After Hours novella, came out in May. It tells the story of Marc Hunter’s younger sister, Megan, and Nate West, the scarred veteran who helps Megan face her past.
Q. Why do you go so long between books?
A. I write two different sub-genres, plus I’m a very picky writer and try very hard to write the best book I possibly can. I’d rather make people wait than churn out junk. In the end, it’s the quality of the story that counts, not how fast I wrote it.
For a couple of years now, I’ve gotten e-mails from Kristie J talking about BBC’s four-episode series North & South, urging me to watch it. As busy as I am, I thanked her for the recommendation — but I didn’t follow up on it.
Then I found North & Southon Netflix and decided to put it in my queue ahead of Tristan & Isolde. It arrived last week, but I didn’t have time to watch it.
Last week was a very busy week for me, with lots going on at the Capitol and way too much to do at work. I worked every night till 10 or 11 p.m. and was so tired Thursday night after I finished editing our special edition content that I knew I needed to get to bed. I made the mistake of popping North & Southinto my DVD player.
I watched the first episode and then had to watch the second. When that was done, it was midnight. But I didn't care. I downloaded the third and fourth from Netflix and watched the whole darned series.
Guess when I finally made it to bed? 2:30 AM! Yes, that's exactly the right way to make up for stress and lost sleep, isn't it?
So, now, like Kristie J., I’m telling you that you need to rent this program from Netflix. It’s a desperately romantic series with two people who shouldn’t be together falling in love set amid the struggles of a Victorian industrial town in Northern England.
Margaret, the middle class educated daughter of a clergyman, is from the south, while John Thornton, who grew up amid poverty, is the master of a cotton mill, where the desperately poor labor all day in conditions that would make you and I cringe. When she first sees Thornton, he’s beating the lights out of a worker who tried to smoke in the mill — something that could start a flash fire and kill all of them.
Naturally, Margaret’s first impression isn’t a good one, but she is forced to spend time in Thornton's company — and that of his mother — when her father, who is no longer working as a clergyman, takes Thornton on as a pupil. Thornton finds Margaret to be ignorant when it comes to business and to worker/master relations. She sympathizes wholeheartedly with the workers without understanding how hard it is for him to keep the mill operating so that they can have jobs at all.
The class struggles that help shape this story fascinated me. I delve into those sorts of things in my own writing. I find the daily lives of the average person throughout history far more interesting that the lives of lords and ladies, who have always made up a tiny percentage of human society.
Though I wanted to strangle Margaret a few times — and I hated Thornton's mother at first — I can to adore all of the characters (apart from his bimbo sister) and cherished the evolution of this love story.
Thornton's mother is a character I really came to respect as the story unfolded — her loyalty to her son, her willingness to do the right thing even when she abhors Margaret, her sense of honor.
The script was superb. The acting was perfect. I forgot they were acting, actually. It all seemed very real to me. The sets were very interesting — how they reconstructed the machinery of a cotton mill I can’t say, but it fascinated me.
The kissing scene at the end of the series ranks right up there among the best and most fulfilling kissing scenes every. Yes, I cried — in part because I know I’ll never kiss Richard Armitage myself. (That’s patently unfair, if you ask me.)
Yesterday, I ordered a copy from Amazon, because I know I'm going to want to watch this again (like right now). This time, I want to watch it more slowly and watch it when I’m actually awake. The series has 9 out of 10 stars on IMDB, which is incredibly high for any film.
So here’s my official recommendation for you. I regret not listening to Kristie sooner. After all, I know she has impeccable taste. She’s told everyone on the planet about Ride the Fire, hasn't she?
What other movie kisses can you think of that just stole your breath away? One that comes to my mind is the kiss between Lancelot (Richard Gere) and Guinevere (Julia Ormond) in First Knight. That was intense!