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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

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Countdown to UNTAMED

Coming on Jan. 2



We’re 16 days away from the reissue of the second book in the MacKinnon’s Ranger series, Untamed. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, it tells Morgan’s story. The middle son of the three exiled MacKinnon brothers, Morgan has always felt his duty was to serve his older brother, who, by rights, would be The MacKinnon if the family hadn’t been sent into exile.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

In the tradition of The Last of the Mohicans... and honoring the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Ticonderoga...

The sequel to
SurrenderUntamed

MacKinnon’s Rangers

They were a band of brothers, their loyalty to one another forged by hardship and battle, the bond between these Highland warriors, rugged colonials, and fierce Native Americans stronger even than blood ties.
Untamed

Though forced to fight for the hated British, Morgan MacKinnon would no more betray the men he leads than slit his own throat—not even when he was captured by the French and threatened with an agonizing death by fire at the hands of their Abenaki allies. Only the look of innocent longing in the eyes of a convent-bred French lass could make him question his vow to escape and return to the Rangers. And soon the sweet passion he awoke in Amalie had him cursing the war that forced him to choose between upholding his honor and pledging himself to the woman he loves.


The cool thing about the book’s original release was that it happened during the 250th anniversary year of the Battle of Ticonderoga, which is the battle that ends Surrender and serves as the genesis for Untamed. I felt that very keenly as I wrote the story.

Here I am standing at the gate at Fort Ticonderoga.

I was lucky enough to pay a visit to Fort Ti shortly after completing the story and was given a very personalize tour by the curator of the museum there, where I got to see real Ranger gear including Robert Rogers’ powderhorn, which made me burst into tears. (Rather embarrassing.) Rogers was the father of the Rangers. Though there were other Ranger units, he codified their method of warfare into Rogers Rules of Ranging, which are still standing orders (slightly modified) for the U.S. Army Rangers today. The Rangers were the original special operations forces in North America.

I love the cover of the new version of Untamed, and I thought I’d share with you what’s different. With Surrender, I added new scenes, decompressing the book somewhat, but the plot didn’t change. That’s not the case with Untamed.

When I originally finished writing the book, I got the news that the original publisher had AGAIN decreased the maximum page size of their novels. They wanted to cut 100 pages. I told them they couldn’t do that. Period. No. So they played with fonts and page design and told me that I had to cut 25 pages.

A chunk was cut from the beginning of the first chapter.  A chunk was cut from the epilogue. There were other bits and pieces sliced out. And then the final confrontation between Morgan, our hero, and the villain of the story was also cut.

In the version of Untamed that all of you have read, the villain dies in different way that what I originally wrote. That’s a huge change, in my opinion, because readers (and authors!) look forward to the villain getting his comeuppance. When it happens in an unsatisfactory way, well, it’s just not as fulfilling.

The whittled version of the story still received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which was nice. Given how popular Surrender had been, I was horribly afraid of disappointing readers. (I’m feeling the same way about Defiant now.) But I really hated the changes, especially given that they weren’t part of an effort to improve the storytelling, but an effort to trim expenses.

The reissued version of Untamed not only includes the best historical cover I’ve ever had, with a bit of Fort Ti in the background, but it also has all the cut scenes restored including the original villain death scene.

Some people have said the cover isn’t romantic enough. I think the man’s body makes it pretty sexy. But you all secretly suspect that deep inside I’m a historical fiction author — and it’s true. To have the actual site depicted on the cover, to have a hero wearing period attire, carrying a musket... I love it. I really love it.

There’s so much more I could say about this story and the history behind it. The period of the French and Indian War is a deep passion for me. I could sit and talk with you about it for hours non-stop, as the poor curator from Fort Ti discovered, after I asked questions for probably four or five hours.

There is so much drama, so much conflict in this period that it’s a fiction writer’s dream.

But for today I wanted to share with you what’s new in the story. Unlike Surrender, there is one major plot change in Untamed 2.0 — the way the villain dies. You’ll enjoy this a hell of a lot more!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I’m staying offline to battle my way through the ending of Defiant. I want it done by Christmas.

OK, so to make this fun, I’ll give away a signed copy of Surrender to one commenter. To be entered for the drawing, post below and tell me the your most hated romance villain ever.

Coming soon:

The restored prologue and first chapter of Untamed
Decorating Christmas cookies with the I-Team guys

19 comments:

Tonya said...

I can't wait to read the new version! And I love the cover. Also looking forward to cookies with the I-Team guys! There's something amazingly hot about a big badass hero decorating cookies!

I can't wait to read Untamed! I can't even imagine writing something that you love, only to have to revise it...like you said, because of budget, not because the story would be better revised.

And I think it looks like a romance cover too, because it if was historical fiction we wouldn't get that delicious view of all that glorious chest (which would be a crime!)

I'm so glad this series is getting another chance to be what you really want it to be.

Favorite villain I love to hate? Hmmm, really great villains are hard to come by, but I think I will have to go with Black Jack Randall from Outlander. He really is such an evil, black-hearted person that you love to hate him.

landin said...

So excited for Untamed's re-release,as you know I just re-read Surrender in the last few days and am totally absorbed into that world again and now I need another book to keep it going!

I can totally see the I-team guys now with their cookies,I can just tell they're is going to be some bickering among Marc and Julian lol.

Shirley B Quick said...

I am so excited about the new revised version of UNTAMED! I was originally going to order SURRENDER, UNTAMED, and DEFIANT for my Kindle since I have the print versions of the first 2 already, but I've changed my mind and want to have the books in hand because I love the covers so much! I'll be chatting with you and everyone on the I-Team! Merry Christmas!

Looking forward to this one. As you know, Morrgan is my MacKinnon. It will be satisfying to see the villain get his just deserts the way you intended.

I love your books and would LOVE to win a signed copy. However, I really don't have a favortie villan. I have this way of discounting them and focusing on the hero/heroine.
Best wishes with the new release!!

Liz said...

I can't wait! I'm so excited for the books.
I would have to say one of my most hated villains is Giuseppe from Lisa Kleypas's Then Came You - any man who can kidnap his own child in order to blackmail the mother is a real bastard.

Sue P. said...

Haven't read this series yet, so waiting now til they are all reissued. Can't wait. Hope you'll be doing more I-team books, too. MC and HNY.

pennsdog@yahoo.com

Eli Yanti said...

i can't think about one villain is my fave, just remember lady morgana

i'm count the day release too ;)

eli_y83@yahoo.com

Kaetrin said...

Probably Captain Randall from Outlander. I hated what he did to Jamie.

hankts AT internode DOT on DOT net

Doreen said...

Aaak! I'm eagerly anticipating the reissue of this book! Morgan is my favorite brother although Connor is captivating my interest too! I'm sure the new scene for the villains demise will be great!
I think the cover is perfect. I love American history and this time period is one of my favorites. Keep up the great writing Pamela!

Emily L. said...

Ahhh! I can't wait to get my copy, either from you or my own order! My most hated villain of all time is probably....the father from No Place to Run by Maya Banks. *spoiler* He shot his wife in the head at the dinner table in front of their daughter and then kept on eating, really awful stuff.

marybelle said...

I don't know that I do have a favorite hated romance villain. Black Jack Randall has already been mentioned & he does stand out, especially since I re-read OUTLANDER not that long ago.

Dalila G. said...

I can't wait to get my hands on the reissuue of UNTAMED, YAY for 16 days and counting!

I was going to get them all on my Kindle too, but I LOVE all of the new covers, so I also am choosing for paperbacks. This way I can 'hold' the brothers. ;-)

Looking forward to your cookie post, love my sweets!
Sending you best writing vibes for DEFIANT!

P.S. ~ please do not enter my name in giveaway, am a recent winner. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's not really a romance, but the wicked older brother in Helen Hollick's Sea Witch is really awful, but sometimes you almost feel sorry for him (almost). For anyone who loves pirates (especially Captain Jack Sparrow types), and doesn't mind some supernatural elements, I highly recommend this series. There's romance along with the adventure (which is darker than PotC), but it continues through the series.
I love the new Untamed cover - it annoys me when covers show wrong historical details (even if they're pretty), or wrong colouring - it drags you out of the story every time you look at it, instead of reinforcing the mood.
Lesley

Chelsea B. said...

I would have to say Wickham from Pride and Prejudice-- he wouldn't even own to it!

Hi Pamela,

I don't really have a most hated romance villain ever, but when I think of a villain that I really dislike what comes to mind is Deirdre. Deirdre in the villain from the Dark Sword Series by Donna Grant. Crossing my fingers to win!!!

It looks like I forgot to pick a winner here...

Thanks for Maria for reminding me. It wasn't a deliberate oversight. The holidays and the book deadline were just too much. I dropped the ball!

So the winner is... Eli Yanti!

Congrats!

Pamela

Eli Yanti said...

thank you so much Pamela

I have sent email to you, hope you got it ;)

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