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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, February 11, 2011

I-Team Reading Challenge — Checking in

Happy Friday, everyone!

So, how is your read through the I-Team stories going?

Some of you have checked in via Facebook or on the original blog post to tell me how you’re doing, and I know a number of you are already done. That amazes me. I sat down to “re-read” Surrender right before Christmas — for research purposes for Defiant — and I haven’t made it 50 pages into the book yet.

I thought it might be fun to start with Extreme Exposure and have an informal chat about the story. I can answer questions — for example, “I heard that the scene in the Rio really happened. Do you really talk like that when you’re hammered?” — and you can share favorite scenes and quotes.

I’ll start...

So, as some of you already know, the stories in the I-Team series are fictionalized versions of investigations I really did. Extreme Exposure is close to me — and Kara, the heroine — because I am a single mom just like she is. Trying to balance work and motherhood when you have a high-impact job isn’t easy. My kids spent a portion of their lives coming to the newspaper after work, doing homework and eating TV dinners in a special kids room (complete with VCR), while I finished putting the paper to bed. I’m sure I’ll be able to make up for it by paying their therapy bills later...

Particularly precious in this novel for me are the scenes with Kara’s son, some of which grew out of my own experience of being a mother to two boys and being asked silly-sweet questions like, “Mommy, what does frog poop smell like?”

One of my favorite scenes is when Reece talks Connor into coming out from under the bed. I think it shows the kind of man Reece is. The woman he loves is in bad shape in the next room, but he’s focusing on her son, showing Connor strength and offering him security and comfort.

And I’ll just confess right now... “Jiggle stick” is a word my older son made up.

Yes, that really happened. More than being embarrassed, I found it funny and shared it with everyone in the newsroom. It became part of a running joke that lasted for years.

Now I’ll get on with writing the other Connor’s book and leave the conversation to you. Is there anything you want to ask? What are your favorite scenes? And, for those of you re-reading the book, did anything strike you differently in Extreme Exposure this time around?


This comment has been removed by the author.

I have to say I loved the "drunken interview" she gives Reece about men going down...not really waiting for the answer...loved it!!!

I also liked the scene with Kara's mom & Reece in the hospital speaking with doctor where they lean on each other for strength by a squeeze of the hand & later with conner in the cafe where he reassures him He'll find out who & why they hurt his mommie...I was hooked!!!

Ronlyn said...

Each time I read EE I'm "suprised" by how suspenseful it is. I remember telling you that way back when and you saying, "REALLY!? I thought it was boring!" LOL. But, YES, really. There are so many wonderful things about EE, but the relationship that Kara and Reece develope has always felt "real" in the pacing and the emotions. Her getting drunkenly jealous of "Malibu Melanie", him admiring her ass as she's reaching for tea. I love it all.
And, it's the book that started me down the RS path, so...

also I finished my re-reads still need to purchase naked edge & read it!!!

It won't be a lie to say that Reece Sheridan is the reason I fell so much in love with the I-Team series in the 1st place. I wish I had the time to re-read this series because simply put the I-Team series is the best romantic suspense series that I have had the fortune to come across.
I loved everything about Extreme Exposure. Kara, her adorable son and Reece himself who is the hottest senator I have ever come read about ;)
Definitely loved the jiggle stick scene. And the drunken interview too. I was laughing so hard whilst reading both scenes.
A quote from the story I included in my review. Still gets to me each & every time I read it. Reminds me of the magic between Reece and Kara:
"She spun about to face him before he’d had time to step back, her breasts grazing his ribs, her pupils dark, a look of surprise on her face. And he smelled it again – that scent. It rose off her skin like body heat, like pheromone, like lust. Faint but intoxicating, it grabbed him by the gonads.
Caves. Neanderthal sex. Babies. That’s what he wanted."

landipan said...

I Absolutely Loved the 'Jiggle Stick' scene,I laughed aloud and that's not easy for a book to do!

I've actually re-read this book three times now,yes three! It is one of my fave books it has everything I look for in a story a great heroine,Uber hot hero,Humor,and great sex!

Aly said...

This is all I have to ask...What is there NOT to love about Reece? Well aside from the fact that he fell in love with Kara instead of me!

His tenderness with both Connor and Kara certainly shines through as well as his sense of humor!

But I think the thing that drew me to him the most is the fact that he is a politician that stands up for what he believes in. Obviously this is fiction but so many times authors write the politician on the wrong side of the law. I absolutely love that Pamela put him on the right side and with such passion for his job!

Really though, who am I kidding? Ronlyn may be all about the Jag Shag but the romp in the snow...although a very short scene...woooooeeeeeee!

OK and then of course he is tall...

And he can cook...

And he has a house in the mountains...

And he is HAWT!!!

I am going to stop now...

Hope said...

I loved this whole series...I will admit I was a little concerned about these hero's in a suit kind of thing, I always thought of RS as having more military type heros, but Reece was a delightful surprise. I agree with Ronlyn, it was very suspenseful, it was one of the books that I had to stay up late to finish cause I HAD to know what was gonna happen. My FAVORITE scene was when she was drunk...hilarious!!!

My question...which you might have many books have you planned for the ITeam crew??

Christine said...

I'm ashamed to admit, but I haven't been able to read Extreme Exposure. I was never able to find it since I started reading the series so late. This makes me sad, but it IS the only one I've never read...

Aly said...

Christine - I know you have no idea who I am but I am more than willing to send you a copy I have. Let me know! It is a shame to not have read Reece!!!!

Wendy said...

I finished the re-read a few days ago. My favorite scene is the dinner Reece brings over after Kara's terrible day. So kind and thoughtful!

That said, Reece will never be Julian or Marc. I'm not even sure why - it's not the obvious "dangerous" thing, honest! I like men with not so much baggage.

I think I didn't like the confrontation scene with Galen. Kara had already shoved Galen out of her life and didn't miss him. That's really the best revenge. Reece's outburst showed kind of an immature lack of self-control and didn't do Kara any favors. Galen got what he deserved in the end.

Just my opinion - I prefer Julian and Marc is all...

Wendy said...

Also - I have a guy friend I've known for 20 years now. He has 2 brothers, and we were talking about how much it's going to cost to feed our children when they become teenagers. I asked him, "Three brothers! How did your parents do it!"

He said since his mom worked at the hospital, the family could eat for free at the hospital cafeteria. That's what they did most nights.

Smart of his parents, right? It was just such a surprise to hear - I knew him back in those days. I guess I figured he was like the rest of us who all had moms who cooked and we ate at home Waltons-style.

wavybrains said...

My book budget is not happy with me, but I just finished Naked Edge, reading all 4 in just under 2 weeks--I-Team Virgin no more :) I have had a fussy, up-all-night, nursing-nonstop 6 month old, and your books have been lovely company, especially late at night when he. just. won't. sleep :) Thank you. It was particularly nice to watch your writing evolve over the course of the series--I love it when writers keep getting better and better and push themselves to develop their craft more with each new book.

I want to know if you will do Joaquin and Matt's stories. Especially after Naked Edge, I really want to see Matt's story. I have a special place in my heart for slightly-nerdy heroes :) My other question comes from Naked Edge, but it's been bugging me all morning, so I have to ask it: What was on Kat's second piece of paper? LOL We learn what is on her first and her third pieces, but not the second, and it's driving me a bit crazy LOL.

Oh and I'm not sure if I will remember to check in when you discuss Naked Edge, and I wanted to thank you for having an uncircumcised hero and actually using the word foreskin in a mainstream romance novel. It drives me batty especially in historicals where one knows that the hero most probably was not and yet the author describes them as if they were.

Thanks for a fun challenge!

Hi, Chele — I'm so glad you enjoyed that scene. You'd be surprised by the number of readers who don't or who say, "What kind of trashy woman talks like that."

Well, that scene really did happen, so I guess trashy women like me talk like that. What can I say? LOL!

I'd forgotten all about the hospital scene. Emotional authenticity is really important to me, and I like to see relationships evolve, even if it's relationships among secondary characters.

I hope you can find NAKED EDGE soon. Congrats on finishing!

Hi, Ronlyn — I remember that conversation. I'd just finished the big investigation of the cement plan, and I was sure people would find writing about journalism to be B-O-R-I-N-G. But my agent told me that I only thought it was boring because the story was drawn from my day job. LOL!

Ah, back to emotional authenticity.

Yeah, and that "Malibu Melanie" thing was real, too. All part of one stellar night of margarita drinking that left me mortified the next day. :-)

Hi, Maldivian Book Reviewer — So I have Reece to thank, huh? I'm glad. You sure tore through the series fast. It was almost one a day.

You know what was really liberating for me in writing this book? Being able to write about sex in a contemporary, and not a historical way. I was able to use language I couldn't use in a historical, and the heroine was able to have her own sexual personality and history. She wasn't a virgin who'd never seen a penis before. It felt so freeing after three historicals.

Hi, Landipan — Three times?!? Wow. That's fantastic.

I'm so glad it made you laugh. Again, a fair number of readers really hated that part. Check the Amazon/Goodreads reviews.

And thank you! That's very sweet of you to say.


Hi, Aly — I knew I'd see you here today. ;-)

I can see how Reece's fixation on Kara is irritating for you. Sorry about that.

Some readers find him too perfect, but in romantic fiction that's often how I find the heroine. I guess I tried to reverse that a bit here. The hero has his act together, and it's the heroine who has to come around.

As for the fantasy of the sincere, idealistic politician. Yeah, that's a fantasy, though I did know a senator who was much like that at one time and upon whom Reece is somewhat based.

I'm glad you love him as much as you do.

As for sex in the snow... I'm sooo glad you like that. :-) What's that called? A snow job? LOL!

Hi, Hope — Good question! Right now there's only one more I-Team book on contract. How many more books I write for the series depends on how BREAKING POINT and the next book perform.

I want to be careful to stop the series before it jumps the shark. I don't want to be writing I-Team stories and hear people saying, "Wow, these books really suck now."

Of course, having worked as in investigative reporter and newspaper editor for a frightfully long time, I have a lot of stories in my head that I could tell.

Ideally, I'd like to give Joaquin and Holly their own books. We'll see.

Interesting point about Reece not being a military man. I had never read romantic suspense before writing this book, so to me it could be about anything. I think my stories conform a bit more to the market norm these days, and maybe that's not such a good thing.

Though I do believe you all won't mind one bit that Zach is a former Navy SEAL and a deputy U.S. marshal. Take my word on that...

OR take Ronlyn's. She's read it.

Christine — What?!? You have read EXTREME EXPOSURE??? Hmmm... We must remedy that situation.

By the way, y'all — Christine contributed to BREAKING POINT by helping me not make stupid mistakes when it came to Natalie's New Orleans background.

Hi, Wendy — I can totally see how someone would find Reece too perfect. A close friend of mine says he doesn't have that much of a story arc because he starts out good and stays good. And I can see that.

I don't even remember the confrontation with Galen... I'll have to find it.

There are a lot of I-Team readers how prefer Julian and Marc, so you're not alone there.

Interesting about your friend growing up on hospital cafeteria food. My mom was an RN and I ate there upon occasion, never for dinner. I sometimes just went to see her.

Hi, Wavybrains — Oh, I remember those days of middle-of-the-night breast feeding. I nursed both of my sons for a long time. But it gets exhausting sometimes, doesn't it? Funny because I read Stephen R. Donaldson fantasy novels during that time.

Congrats on finishing the entire series. Do you have a favorite hero?

You are so sweet! I TRY to convince myself that my writing is getting better and that I'm still evolving. To reads those words brightens my day. So often I feel like the author equivalent of a klutz.

Thanks so much for bringing up the uncircumcised thing... I came of age in Europe where men are NOT cut, and I prefer that. (There's more you can do...) I refused to get my boys cut when they were born. Back then I was a rebel, but things are slowly changing here.

I believe I mention foreskin in at least one of my historicals... I can't quite recall whether the editor cut it out or not. She might have. But, you're right. That wasn't a routine thing until the early 20th century.

Thanks for noticing!

landipan said...

I would love to see how 'Horny Holly' evolves in her own book,not many people are willing to write about the 'non-perfect' heroine.

It'll be fun see how Holly gets snagged and dragged off the market by some hottie ^,~

I think we all need a break from the 'perfect virgin' heroine every once in awhile.

I am SO with you there, Landipan. One reason I never read contemporaries was that I couldn't relate to a virgin heroine who doesn't drink, doesn't cuss, never loses her temper. I never met a woman like that. There was something so saccharine and BORING about those heroines.

There's a reason Holly is the way she is. My agent is totally down for her story. Not sure my editor will go for it because of Holly's sexual past. We'll see...

landipan said...

I know exactly! No one is the perfect virgin in these times! Thats why I already love Holly,so different from most heroines,more real, but then again I find many of your Heroines to be real women

Any hints on what's going to happen in her story? Or what her Hero is going to be like? Is there going to be some smexy jealous hero scenes?

I know,Iknow I'm kinda jumping ahead of myself here lol.I'm just dying of curiousity lol!

Reading Challenge Check in: Last week, I finished a very enjoyable re-read of Unlawful Contact. (I think it's my favorite!)

I'm doing the challenge out of order, because... I guess I'm contrary :) (I re-read Hard Evidence a few months ago, so I hope that can still count in the challenge.) Next up will be Extreme Exposure.

All of these comments are reminding me why I liked the book so much in my first read. I didn't expect to find a politician hero to be attractive or sexy but read the book because of my love of your other books in the series, which I had read first. And you did not disappoint! I loved Reese and Kara.

Doreen said...

This book has some great humor in it and gave me a good laugh! The scene at The Rio is priceless!
This entire series has been so interesting and different. While I absoulutely adore historicals, I've been slower to warm up to RS, and contemporaries in general. But, that's not a problem anymore since the I-Team hit my TBR pile!
I have to say that Kara's constant friction with Tom was annoying. I wanted to hit Tom over the head with a frying pan! Bosses can be so insensitive and Tom needed to bring brought down a peg or two.
I think the thing I like about Kara and Reece is that their love story is not so far fetched. It could happen in real life (I know, dream on!)and I wish it would happen to me in my next life! LOL!
(Don't tell Gabe that though cause he's my fav.)
Thanks for some great reading Pamela! I'm half way through my re-reads and loving every minute of it!

Hi, Suberstarbecca — Hey, superstars can read in whatever order they want. That's just part of being a superstar. Did you read them out of order your first time through?

I'm glad you enjoyed UC. Have fun hanging out with Reece & Kara!

Hi, Doreen — I'm so glad that you're enjoying romantic suspense now. I wonder what's different about my books...

Tom is based on a real person, indeed, he is ANNOYING!

I won't let on to Gabe that you like Reece. ;-)

I'm glad you feel the story is realistic. That's important for me. I want us to feel we can have that kind of love in our lives.

I'm so glad you're enjoying the re-reads! Thanks for checking in.

Hope said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hope said...

SEAL ::sigh:: can't wait. So now my next question is, When do we get to talk about MY man, Julian? I am FIRMLY on Team Julian, he rocks, I love that he...oh wait, didn't have permission to jump over yet. My actual question is Do you plan a book for Holly?

Hi, Hope — Impatient to discuss Julian, huh?

Julian has to wait till Reece has had his day in the sun.

As for Holly, yes, I do, but I'm not sure how my editor will feel about it, given how sexually active and flighty Holly can be.

We'll have to see how it goes.

When Julian gets his discussion, I'm wondering if anyone is going to ask him to reveal exactly what the "sucky-swirly" thing is.

Alison said...

I'm so glad you're having this challenge. I've loved re-reading this I love this whole series! I just finished reading UC...LOVE MARC!!!!

EE is amazing! Loved it as much this time as I did the first time! I love Reece...he is sexy, good with kids, can cook and he takes care of those he loves! What's not to love!! I love Kara too...she is so much braver than I would ever be.

I loved the drunken interview...I totally felt for Kara the next day as she remembered all she had said. The jiggle-stick scene is priceless! LOL!! I laughed my @ss off when I read that! I also loved when Reece got in Galen's face and told him off. The suspense grabbed as much this time as it did the first time...even though I already knew what happened I couldn't put the book down.

BTW...I really hope Holly gets her own book! I think the journey of her falling inlove would be a great story.

Have a good weekend all...I'm off to re-read Naked Edge.

Ronlyn said...

I'm fairly confident Julian has already said what the sucky swirly is...hasn't he?

Kara C said...

Hey Pamela,
I read EE only after I bought UC and found out it was part of a series. Me being me, I COULD NOT read UC until I read the other order. Of course, I LOVED it. It was so unlike the other RS books I had read up til then. I didn't think of Reece as perfect, but he certainly was perfect for Kara! Such great chemistry. And that's another great thing about this book - the heroine's name. Thanks again for that. :-)
So, all that being said, it just goes to show that Marc really is THE man. It was his book, after all, that led me to EE, not that I'm biased or anything.

KayH. said...

Sorry to say I haven't been able to re-read the I-Team series (yet) because I'm reading book #6 of the Virgin River series. I started after you suggested V.R. Christmas & before we were challenged to re-read the I-Team. (I had to do something waiting for May 3rd.)
So glad to hear Conor is getting his book started in print. Thank you for your great stories.

Bethany said...

If your editor doesn't go for Holly, I renew my suggestion of a book for Matt--or better yet, give Matt to Holly as she really needs guy who is more than just eye candy. I didn't really like Holly in EE and while she's good for humor, I haven't really bonded with her the way I have the others on the team. While in theory I agree that there shouldn't be a double-standard--if Gabe can sleep with half of Colorado and still be HEA worthy, so should Holly, it's a tough sell. Personally, I always like it when the thought-to-be-super-slutty heroine is revealed to be a lot less so when she gets her own story. But now that you've said there's a *reason* for her behavior, I'm intrigued--it's all about the backstory. I only tolerate man-ho behavior when it comes with a good backstory justifying it too (ala Gabe, who, Man Ho and all, is my favorite of your heroes).

Bethany said...

oops I was logged into my work account--I'm the same commenter as Wavybrains above :)

Ronlyn, perhaps Julian has had a private conversation with you about the "sucky-swirly" thing. Not sure...

Hi, Alison — It's good to hear that the re-read is proving to be fun for you. And I'll tabulate you as a vote for Holly. Cool!

It's good to know the suspense is holding up. Ronlyn wasn't joking when she says I e-mailed her and told her the story was boring. I really believed that. LOL!

Enjoy NAKED EDGE! And thanks for checking in.

Hey, Kara — I figured we'd see Kara's namesake and the captain for Team Marc show up here sooner rather than later.

I love how your analysis of EE leads you to declare that Marc is the man. That's awesome. :-)

Also, I'm glad you read them in order. I try to put little gems in the stories for readers who've read the others first. Stuff like, oh, I don't know -- Dickangelo maybe?

Hi, Bethany/Wavybrains — Yes, there is a reason for Holly, and I feel great compassion for her. She can't hook up with Matt, though, because he's married.

Yes, I know, I was shocked, too, but that's what I wrote. I found out here on this blog from a reader that Matt was married. When I didn't believe it, they gave me a page number from EXTREME EXPOSURE to prove it to me. I was stunned. If I had remembered, I would at least have referenced his wife somewhere in the story. I always know the spouses of my newsroom coworkers.

I have an idea for Holly, but I know that idea probably won't fly, not matter how much I like it. So I'm waiting for another idea to hatch while I work on Connor's book.

In theory I agree with you, too -- that if we can have redeemable man-hos, we ought to be able to redeem promiscuous women, too.

Here's a figure that reveals why we ought to be able to deal with women who've had lots of partners: The average American woman in her 40s has had sex with 12 men.

So, if Holly's a ho...

By the way, everyone, I started SURRENDER in earnest tonight and am up to page 120. I'm laughing out loud because there are bits of this book that I sure don't remember writing. It's been so long that it feels like someone else's novel. The nice thing is that I'm enjoying it as if it were a novel and not feeling like I'm working.

Diane W. said...

The scene that makes me laugh in EE is when Reece is at Kara's and she's washing his shirt, so when he reaches above her head to get a box of tea out of her kitchen cabinet, she catches a glimpse of his underarm hair and starts fantasizing. Then she chastizes herself about how pathetic she is for fantasizing about underarm hair. Of course, on an I-Team hero, even a glimpse of an elbow would have me fantasizing.

I also loved that the book is set in Denver and I could very clearly visualize every single place you were talking about. Oh, and that I worked near Smith Road and Quebec at Hirschfield press (at least that's what used to be close by...don't know anymore). The series also helped remind me of my journalism days, which was fun, too. Kara is a great reporter. And Tom,....I swear I worked for him at one point, but he was disguised as a news producer at a station that shall remain nameless. Maybe he was moonlighting. ;-)

And, I also love the fact that the I-Team guys are Colorado men and I can personally testify that Colorado men are HAWT (having been happily married to one for almost 23 years)!

On to Team Julian now. Although the fact that the heroine's name in that book is the same as my daughter's (Tessa Marie) gave me pause initially....I got over it. Once I met Julian. Sigh....

Ronlyn said...

Yes, maybe Julian did pull me aside to explain. Because, in addition to throwing the books, stomping around and making threatening phone calls to the author-lady about "You better not!" I've been known to demand an explanation from these guys. LOL. I guess that's what makes me an I-Team Ho.

Back to EE...all the books really, I LOVE that the guys (Reece leading the way) are so supportive of their wives career. It drove him nuts, it terrified him, but he was right there by her side when she needed to put the paper to bed and get her exclusive.

Hey, all —

I just put up a poll question about Holly asking whether you all want her to get her own story.

Let's see what happens when the voting is anonymous. :-)

Bethany said...

You know those off-screen, once or twice mentioned wives are easy to remedy . . . and then you have a nice added layer of torture for your hero. Maybe Matt's barely existent wife becomes nonexistent or needs little reunion story to wake her up to existent status . . . Novella? :P

Amy said...

Finished reading Extreme Exposure last night. OMG, Reece is one smokin' hot state senator...I'm sure that's illegal! :P I feel so bad for these I-Team ladies who put their lives on the line so much. They are definitely heroes.

Loved the moments when Kara finally put Tom in his place!

And when Kara's mom asked what sign Reece was and he said he's a Scorpio, I was like, "I knew it!" because I've always thought Scorpio men are hot! LOL

Mary G said...

Hi Pamela
Although I'm fully Marc/Gabe and probably Zack, let's face it, all your guys rock. It's funny planning a reread of books I've already reread on my own so often
(especially UC & NE).

I loved the same things that others mentioned. He was the first politician that I read that was hot, they are ususally the scumbags in the story LOL. I loved how he was with Connor, how he didn't care that his feelings for Kara were obvious. His image was not the most important thing to him. That was sexy.

Diane W. said...

Forgot to add that what got me with Reece was how sweet he was with Connor. I loved how he didn't push him away and how he let Connor be part of everything he and Kara did. The first night when he came over to Kara's and let Connor help him cook dinner melted me. He actually understood that he wasn't just dating a woman...he was dating a family, so to speak.

Benni said...

I cant find ANYTHING wrong with any of your I-Team books. All the men are super hot and the more trouled the hotter. Julian and Marc are the BEST but i have a feling Zach will be right up there with them. I admit at first that I wasnt into a politician romance, but i was sooooo wrong. You pulled it off and i loved it. The way you write creates so many emotions in the reader it's like it's really happening to us. I have yet to read another author who can do that. Your personality is refreshing and i gety a kick out of reading your thoughts (as i tend to share them). It's like you have tapped into my mind. You are AWSOME. Keep up the great work.

ahz1 said...

I loved Extreme Exposure. It really felt like an honest portrayal of an investigative reporter and all the issues she had to deal with as a single mom. The moments with Connor are so very realistic that they added to the book very well. I've started Hard Evidence and I am hooked already.

CMD said...

I was a blushing I-Team virgin when the challenge first started (with "Extreme Exposure" being on my TBR list after suggestions by several people but waiting to get over my holiday-induced contemporary romance kick), but have since read all the books and am presently in the process of re-reading them. I'm up to "Naked Edge"once more. Working out to "Crime & Punishment" on my Kindle? Not so fun. Doing the same to an I-Team novel? Absolutely legend. Even if I do get some weird looks from fellow gym enthusiasts for laughing out loud. But it's okay; I'm a science Ph.D. student-- I'm used to odd looks :-P

I must say, I know Julian & Marc have quite the fan following, but Reece is my favourite-- maybe because he's such a sweetheart, or because I like Kara better than Tessa or Sophie. I know I'll probably get lynched for this, but Marc is actually my least favourite-- I even prefer slightly-douchy-manwhore-Gabe, hehe. Again, maybe that's partly because his better half is legend :)

Absolutely cannot wait for May & "Breaking Point". I have a feeling I'm going to be Team Zach/Natalie (because, hey, the girls always get the shaft when taking sides... it wouldn't be a romance novel without a heroine as well!). Here's to hoping that my upcoming birthday will generate enough Amazon gift cards to supplement my meagre grad student stipend and finance all my reading through the summer!

Wow. OK, so I totally got behind here...

I just had something I wanted to post, and then I'll get to responses.

I'm prepping for a kick-ass game of I-Team trivia, digging for tough things, ready to make you work hard.

That means skimming through the books, because, let's face it, I have a memory like a steel colander.

In the process, I came across the scene where Kara is giving Connor a bath. She rinses his hair and tells him he has no more sea slugs or snails in his hair, and then she draws a picture of a bunny on the wall in shaving cream.

It kind of choked me up, because that's straight from my life. I would always tell the boys (who had seen Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID) that I had to wash the mean sea witches and slugs from their hair. It turned hair washing into a game. And I always, always drew pictures for them with a cheap can of shaving cream that I kept for that purpose. So once they were washed, they got to smear the shaving cream all over themselves and the tile wall.

And now they're all grown up. I have photos of bath time and the two of them stark naked and covered in shaving cream. Sweet, fun memories.

So if any of you wondered what kind of dunderhead mother tells her kid she's washing sea slugs out of his hair, it's me.


Hi, Diane — I was drooling over armpit hair again this week with our first MTM guy. LOL! The male body, in all its wonder, just never gets old for me.

It's SO cool that you lived here. I had some stuff printed at that press once back in 2001. Were you there then? So you know the area. Did you know Denver Women's Correctional Facility is right there now? Weird, huh? And so is the county lockup.

And, yes, Colorado men. Fittest state in the nation. Lowest number of overweight people. Highest number of Olympic athletes training. That's my city, not just my state. Want to see hotties? Open your eyes.

Funny about the "Tessa Marie" thing. I can see how that would be weird. It was even weirder for poor Ronlyn to see her SISTER'S — Morgan — name used for one of my heroes. LOL!

Hi, Ronlyn — Yes, you are demanding. :-)

I can imagine us having a conversation about that. I mean, we've had some pretty, you know, graphic conversations.

And I totally love you for saying that about Reece. Yes, he respects Kara's career, sees it as real and important and not just a woman playing at doing a job. I think a lot of husbands, whether they realize it or not, treat their wives' jobs as less important. That is changing, but Reece is definitely not that way.

Bethany, I've been wondering for a few days now whether I should murder Matt's wife or something. LOL!

The trouble with him is that he's kind of your average guy. Wears wrinkled clothes. Isn't above being lazy. Does a bit of whining. He's kind of a miniature of all the men I've worked with. And I've worked with a lot of male journalists. Getting turned on by them... Well, it hasn't happened often. (I won't say it has never happened. That conference room table DID get utilized for more than conferences.)

Novella. Could be.

Holly might be relegated to a novella. There votes against her book are up to 20 percent.

Holly, you silly slut! ;-)

Hi, Amy — It's always been my goal to hook up with a serious Scorpio man. *sigh* Hasn't happened yet. My first kiss was a Scorpio. Alas, I was 14 and an idiot and he was 18 and smarter than to get himself thrown in jail. He called me Jail Bait. I had no clue what that meant. LOL!

As for Tom, he had it coming. He IS slowly changing. I hope y'all have noticed that.

And thank you for saying that. I believe there is heroism in journalism. Unfortunately, most of us see/hear about the crappy journalists and not the ones risking their lives for the truth.

Hi, Mary G — Interesting!

His confidence, then, is part of what made Reece sexy. I really like how you said that he didn't care about his image. Writing him, I felt that he was no nonsense, honest, and sincere — not what you usually find in a politician. Most of them are media whores whose first thought is of their image.

Oh, Diane, I'm glad you mentioned that, because, as a single mom I've dated guys who showed no interest or concern in my kids. And here's the thing: I LOVE my kids. Some dumb guy I'm just dating is just a dumb guy. If he has any REAL interest in me, then he needs to show genuine interest in my kids. That's where that came from.

My kids come first, even now when they're adults.

Hi, Benni — Goodness! You're so sweet! You know, I'm a very emotional person myself, and as a journalist I had to learn to really listen to people. I've tried to take all the "human nature" stuff I've learned and my own emotion and channel that into making the characters as real as I can make them. If they feel real, then their emotions will feel real. And the emotion of the story is more important to me than anything else, though I do like to get the research and the facts right. So thanks for saying that.

Can't wait to hear what you think about Zach. He is in serious trouble -- and he's troubled -- when we meet him. :-)

Hi, AHZ1 — This was my first contemporary book and my first romantic suspense, and I ended up writing from my own life. Maybe that's not a good thing, but Kara's life is basically my life -- minus the hot man and with two sons instead of one. If it feels real, it's due to the fact that I've been in many of those situations and I know what it feels like to believe you're neglecting both your job and your kids. It's SO not easy.

Investigative journalism is a profession that is largely male-dominated. Not a lot of women do it. It can get scary and intimidating. But I lived on the adrenaline. Combining it with being a mom was tough. Fortunately, my kids seem to be okay. :-)

Hi, CMD — Loved your post. The idea of working out to CRIME & PUNISHMENT sounds perfectly harrowing. LOL!

I'm SO glad you've enjoyed the series and gotten some laughs as well. And it's good that Reece is getting some attention. Typically, it's the alpha duo (Julian & Marc) who get the attention, with Gabe falling (no pun intended) in with them.

Interesting that Marc is your least favourite. (I used the "u" for you.) Do you know why?

My favorite heroine is Kat. Kara is sort of me done as a fictional character who gets a hot boyfriend. Tessa and Sophie... I adore them both, but I think the focus in those stories was on the men.

That wasn't true in NAKED EDGE, and it's not true in BREAKING POINT, either. I think BP may be the most balanced H/h story I've written in some respects. It will be interesting to see what you think.

I hope to give lots of copies away, so stick around. You might be able to use those gift cards for something else. ;-)

OMG! Am I caught up on blogging?!?

Do you all get responses when I make them or do you have to come back to check?!?

See, I don't even know.

Clueless in Colorado

CMD said...

Haha, thanks for the 'u'... people stateside mostly just make fun of me for it. And wait until I bring out the "aboot"(or what you Americans think of as "aboot" :-P)... that cracks people up left and right. Oh, the trials and tribulations of growing up in a British colony while attending an American school populated by (mostly) non-American teachers and finishing up my schooling in Canada. Hearing me talk leads to the inevitable question of "Where are you from??", hehe. But I digress...

Crime & Punishment definitely does NOT take one's mind off the kilometres on the elliptical-- or anything else, for that matter. Actually, most of the classics don't go well with a sweaty workout. Neither do scientific articles; they mostly put you to sleep and you end up having to re-read them-- a more harrowing experience than Crime & Punishment :-)

I really don't know what it is about Marc that puts him at the bottom of the I-Team hierarchy. It's not like I dislike him per se-- he's the very embodiment of the whole 'a bad boy who is really a good man' thing that we tend to love as women (I see Julian more along the lines of the 'damaged but vulnerable' hero we also love despite the fact that both have their pockets of guilt & regret). I mean, the man has been hung up on someone he spent a single night with for 12 years, went to prison (and escaped from the same) to protect his sister, and can get a woman off repeatedly on the motorway (the Britishness returns!) while driving a Jag. If he happened to stop by my laboratory (since that would be the only way I would meet anyone I don't work with, haha), I'd shag him like whoa... and yet the poor guy ranks last.

Maybe it's Sophie? Except I like her just fine in the other books-- and she & Marc are both legend in Naked Edge. Hmmm... maybe it's Sophie as the heroine right after Tessa in Hard Evidence; I transitioned from one straight into the other, and while they're both sweet, they're mostly overshadowed by their men. Kara & Kat both kick major ass; Tessa & Sophie much less so (but I don't dislike them!), and heroines are just as important to my enjoyment of the heroes as the hero himself. Maybe I just like my heroes more beta than alpha, or poor Marc just got shafted by whatever mood I was in whilst reading, or Reece just tops the list because he was my first :-)

Only 75 more days to see if Zach usurps the title of I-Team favourite. I'm considering declaring May 3rd a 'holiday' and staying home to read instead of going into lab... after all, my experiments would just get in the way of my reading!

Hi, CMD — You know, that "aboot" is pretty distinctive. Bruce Cockburn seems to have spent so much time here in the States that he doesn't do it. (Yes, I've interviewed, met and stalked him. I LOVE his music.) Last time I saw him, he signed my son's guitar and he had a copy of EXTREME EXPOSURE on his tour bus that he was reading. But that's not really what we're talking about is it?

Excuse my fangrrrl moment. :-)

I appreciate your analysis of your feelings toward Marc. I realized after I wrote him that, although he was supposed to be a bad boy, he wasn't as dark as Julian. He seemed like a super-bad guy, but wasn't. Julian on the other hand truly has killed someone. He's dark on the inside while doing a good guy's job. Does that make any sense?

Regardless, I'm glad you enjoyed the series.

I am going to predict that you will like Natalie a LOT. Who knows about Zach, though. :-)

ahz1 said...

Reading challenge check in --

I've finished the second book. Is it my imagination, but do the men just get hotter and hotter with each book I read?

I don't know why I waited so long to read this series. I am loving it and Julian - he sure has some mad skillz. And I so loved the nice little touches when he brought Tessa the coffee machine and the flowers and bought out the supermarket. So domestic in an alpha male way.

Off to read the next book!

CMD said...

To us it's more "aboat" than "aboot"... unless you're a Newfie or Nova Scotian, then all bets are off. Now I should totally pick up a wicked awesome New England accent and start dropping my r's (excuse me, my 'ahs'). How confused would people be with a sentence like "how aboot you pahk the lorry in the cahpahk, eh?"? :-P

I grew up in a British colony in Asia, fangirl capital of the world, so fangirl moments don't faze me. Hell, my school was next door to Jackie Chan's (he of of kickass Hong Kong action/kung-fu movies) office and down the street from the studio of one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop. Fangirling was our school's official pastime :-)

Lab finally gave me a bit of a breather so I'm done with re-reading Naked Edge, which just reinforces all my previous impressions: Kat still rocks, Gabe is the sweetest horndog, Sophie should totally be my friend, Team Reece is still the way to go, and Julian & Marc are at their best when they're in the background not being overwhelmingly alpha. Now I need to find some way to speed up the 72 days until the release of BP, because I need a little alpha in my life. I'm surrounded by scientists; they don't even approach omega :-P

Christine said...

Indeed, it must be remedied immediately! And Aly, oh gosh you're so sweet!

Hi, everyone!

Today marks the conclusion of the I-Team Reading Challenge.

If you completed it, CONGRATULATIONS!

Please head to my current blog post for the final roll call and a discussion about your experience.

Here's the link:

Or just check my blog.

Congrats, again!

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