Book Releases

Tempting Fate (Colorado High Country #4) —
Chaska Belcourt’s story will be out at the end of June. Head back to Scarlet Springs for more Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team adventures and more humor and sexy romance. The book will be available in ebook and paperback.


Barely Breathing (A Colorado High Country Novel) — The first book in my new Colorado High Country series is now on 99 cents! This new contemporary series is set in the small mountain community of Scarlet Springs and focuses on the lives and loves of members of an alpine search and rescue team.


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, June 22, 2011

This just in: The new cover for UNTAMED 2.0




I am in love!

I just got this cover from my editor at Berkley Sensation (Penguin USA). As you can see, it’s for the re-released version of Untamed. And I shrieked when I saw it because, there in the background, are the ramparts of Fort Ticonderoga (Fort Carillon), where much of the story takes place.

I am so happy I could sprout wings and fly!

This editor is the same one who brought you Jed Hill on the cover of Breaking Point and who went out of her way to make sure the new covers for the MacKinnon’s Rangers series were historically accurate (no tipis!). Her name is Cindy, and she flat-out freaking rocks.

Say it with me: Thank you, Cindy!!!

Thanks to the production team at Berkley, too. I owe them all a beer. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to New York and be able to deliver on that promise.

I turned the edited version of Untamed in this morning, together with “The Ballad of Morgan MacKinnon,” which will go in the book this time. As some of you know — and some of you don’t — Untamed had 25 pages of content cut out to fit the original publisher’s arbitrary maximum page count. They kept shrinking the size of their books — smaller books = more books per box = lower paper, printing and shipping costs — and I kept paying the price for that because I write long stories. (My contracts say the books need to be no fewer than 90,000 words; almost all of my books exceed 115,000 words, which is one reason it takes me longer to write them. There are more pages.)

For the re-released version, which will be out in January, we went back to the original untouched manuscript. Those 25 pages are in the book, which has a different edit this time, too. I’d forgotten until I was doing copy edits on the manuscript this weekend that the villain dies in a completely different way in the original version. (Talk about making huge changes to a story! Ouch!) I was so excited, because I much prefer it.

Untamed got a starred review from Publishers Weekly when it first came out, but it’s never quite had the buzz that Surrender did, and I think that’s in part because those 25 pages were cut. I have discovered in editing my older manuscripts that I don’t put unnecessary stuff in, so when you take stuff out, you’re changing the emotional tone of the story. As I read Untamed, I actually really liked it. And, as my Home Team can attest, I don’t say that very often.

So I feel very good about Surrender 2.0 and Untamed 2.0 and can’t wait to share them with you! Today, at least, I get to share this freaking awesome cover.

And here’s some photos from Fort Ticonderoga that my son and mother took when we visited for research purposed back in Autumn 2008.


You can still see the remnant of the French lines in the forest around the fort.

Here’s a view from the upper level of the fort looking down toward Lake Champlain with the La Chute River (plays a role in the story) and Rattlesnake Mountain (where the Rangers spy on the French) just out of the photo to the viewer’s right.

This is close to the view from the cover of the book. To your right would be the lake (and ahead of you, as well, because Fort Ti is on a peninsula) and Rattlesnake Mountain. The other photos of the lake were taken from up there.

A closeup of a cannon with Rattlesnake Mountain in the back. Up there, hidden among the trees, the MacKinnon Brothers are spyin’ on the French with their Mahican brother beside them....

Thanks for reading! I just wanted to share my excitement.

(P.S. Who has figured out that I’m just a big history nerd masquerading as a romance novelist?)
Saturday, June 18, 2011

News for my historical readers



As most of you know, I left Dorchester publishing after they quit publishing books in print. When I left, I bought one box of each of my titles, unable to bear the thought of them all being pulped. I gave the books to my son to do with as he chooses, and he is opting to sell them for the regular retail price on eBay. All of the books are new, straight out of the warehouse.

I have offered to sign and personalize the books for anyone who buys one. They are available in a limited supply. Although Ride the Fire, Surrender and Untamed will be re-released with added material at the end of the year and into 2012, Sweet Release and Carnal Gift will not. I'll soon be making both Sweet Release and Carnal Gift available as ebooks, but for now, this is one of the few places you can find to get a new print copy — and certainly the only way to get a brand new signed copy.


If you're interested, here are the links:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260804263299&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT#ht_926wt_1141

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260804261110&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT#ht_926wt_1141

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260804258931&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT#ht_926wt_1141

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260804255566&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT#ht_926wt_1141

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260804251361&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT#ht_924wt_1141

Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Answers to the I-Team Quote Matching Game

Congrats to those who participated! I guess this match-the-quote game was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But hopefully it was fun, too.

Here are the answers:

1. “Have you ever caught a criminal with ink?” — Julian to Tessa in Hard Evidence

2. “The word phobia implies there is something wrong with my reaction to spiders — horrid little monsters!” — Sophie to Marc in Unlawful Contact

3. “Maybe the mayor can hire a consultant for hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach the boys in blue the difference between a gun and a cell phone.” — Tom Trent

4. “If I wanted to kill you, you'd already be dead.” — Julian to Tessa in Hard Evidence

5. “Burn a bra if you want, but don't be ridiculous!” — Reece to Kara in Extreme Exposure

6. “I want a man who really loves me, who will stick by me no matter what, even when he gets bored with me and thinks I’m old and ugly.” — Kara to Reece in Extreme Exposure

7. “You're just afraid to let yourself feel because feeling hurts so much.” — Kat to Gabe in Naked Edge

8. “I just love to start the day with a bit of yelling.” — Tessa Novak



9. “Sometimes you say the stupidest things, Holly.” — Matt Harker in Naked Edge

10. “At least if you were plying him for information, get him to spill insider secrets, I could respect it!” — Tom Trent to Kara in Extreme Exposure

11. “I love you with everything I am. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” — Gabe to Kat in Naked Edge

12. “You should ask Kat whether she found it romantic, because before the rescuing bit came the part where someone nearly killed her—or did you miss that?” — Tessa to Holly in Naked Edge

13. “No one is supposed to be okay after witnessing a murder.” — Kara to Tessa in Hard Evidence

14. “You're a reporter, and that means trying to catch the killers, doesn't it?” — Reece to Tessa in Hard Evidence

15. “I never could’ve done what you did. I probably would have jumped off the cliff myself just so I didn’t have to be afraid of falling.” — Holly to Kat in Naked Edge

16. “I’m sure there are lots of men who’d do or say anything to get inside her, but I’m not one of them. I don’t want her. I want you.” — Gabe speaking about Holly to Kat in Naked Edge

17. “If I thought you’d been a coward, I’d tell you to your face.” — Marc to Joaquin in Breaking Point
18. “Oh, come on, Bradshaw. One beignet won’t make you fat.” — Matt to Holly in Breaking Point

19. “Your wish is our command.” — Chief Irving to Julian in Breaking Point

20. “I’m ashamed to say it, but I tried not to think about what they might be doing to you because I couldn’t stand it.” — Kat to Natalie in Breaking Point

21. “That’s just him being a man. Trust me. He’s crazy about you, even if he doesn’t know it yet.” — Sophie to Kat in Naked Edge

22. “I want to hear more about Mr. Secret Agent Man.” — Holly to Tessa in Hard Evidence



23. “The bastard shot him from the upstairs window when the officer was walking up the to the door. Didn’t even warn him.” — Joaquin during an I-Team meeting

24. “There’s still something between us — something strong. You want me as much as I want you.” — Marc to Sophie in the Jag in Unlawful Contact

25. “Yeah, well, I guess I was in the wrong place at the right time.” — Zach to Kat in Breaking Point

26. “You can’t just look through a reporters files no matter who you are.” — Natalie to Zach in Breaking Point

27. “Sometimes the scar isn’t on the outside. Sometimes it’s on the inside where no one else can see it. Believe me, I know.” — Natalie to Zach in Breaking Point

28. “Clash of the Titans.” — Joaquin in Unlawful Contact

29. “You haven’t exactly caught me at my best.” — Zach to Natalie in Breaking Point

30. “I can’t say how sorry I am to see you here. Not only does it mean bad times for you, it means I’m about to get a call from your asshole boss.” — Chief Irving to Sophie in Unlawful Contact

I put the names of everyone who participated in my online contest randomizer and...

LANDIPAN!

You are the winner! Choose any book I’ve written that you’d like to have — I-Team or historical — and I’ll sign it and get it in the mail to you. Congratulations!!!

Other news:

I’m working hard this weekend to finish editing and revising Surrender. As some of you know, the book is being re-released in December with a new cover and new content. Think of this as the “author’s cut” of Surrender. The plot of the story won’t change, but now that I have no size limit on the book, I’m able to include scenes I wasn’t able to include before. Also, my editor at Penguin has edited it differently then the original editor, so there are subtle differences in the text.

I need to finish this quickly, however, as I need to get back to Connor’s story, which is due soon and which I’m very far behind on. The release of Breaking Point took a lot of time away from writing, and I’m losing two weekends to Surrender, one weekend to out-of-town guests from Denmark and one weekend to a speech I’ve been asked to give in Denver.

As for that speech... I'm very excited that I’ve been asked to be the speaker at SlutWalk Denver. The SlutWalk movement started after a Toronto cop told a group of young women that if they didn’t want to get raped, they shouldn’t dress like sluts — which is more of the same victim blaming we’re all tired of hearing. SlutWalks have been held all over Canada, the United States and Europe, and on July 2, there will be a SlutWalk in Downtown Denver. Already, more than 1,000 women have signed up to march, and I will be delivering the speech wearing a T-shirt that says, “This is what a slut looks like.”

I also wanted to let you know that since Breaking Point was released, the volume of email and Facebook messages, Tweets and Goodreads messages that I’m getting have shot through the roof. It’s not unusual for me to get 2,000 e-mails a day now. I’m doing my best to answer them, but if I haven’t gotten back to you, please know it’s not because I’m ignoring you. If your email was about an event, like a guest blog, please write back to me as a reminder.

So how did everyone do guessing quotes? And how’s the summer going so far?
Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I-Team Match the Quote to the Character Game





Time for a bit of fun!

I finally got around to sorting through the zillions of quotes my home team — I love you! — plucked out of the five I-Team novels and have put together a little matching quiz.

All you have to do is match the quote to the character. Easy, right? You all know these characters so well!

Each characters has two quotes. In the case of heroes and heroines, the quotes may or may not be from their own story. I tried to pick quotes that were representative of the characters’ personalities without being too obvious.

Try to see how many you can do in your head without looking in the books. Only turn to the books as the last resort. You can email your answers to me — my email is listed in the info on my Facebook page and many of you already have it — and share your experience by posting here.

Participants will be entered to win the signed book of their choice from me.



Good luck!
1. “Have you ever caught a criminal with ink?”

2. “The word phobia implies there is something wrong with my reaction to spiders — horrid little monsters!”

3. “Maybe the mayor can hire a consultant for hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach the boys in blue the difference between a gun and a cell phone.”

4. “If I wanted to kill you, you'd already be dead.”

5. “Burn a bra if you want, but don't be ridiculous!”

6. “I want a man who really loves me, who will stick by me no matter what, even when he gets bored with me and thinks I’m old and ugly.”

7. “You're just afraid to let yourself feel because feeling hurts so much.”

8. “I just love to start the day with a bit of yelling.”

9. “Sometimes you say the stupidest things, Holly.”

10. “At least if you were plying him for information, get him to spill insider secrets, I could respect it!”

11. “I love you with everything I am. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.”

12. “You should ask Kat whether she found it romantic, because before the rescuing bit came the part where someone nearly killed her—or did you miss that?”

13. “No one is supposed to be okay after witnessing a murder.”

14. “You're a reporter, and that means trying to catch the killers, doesn't it?”

15. “I never could’ve done what you did. I probably would have jumped off the cliff myself just so I didn’t have to be afraid of falling.”

16. “I’m sure there are lots of men who’d do or say anything to get inside her, but I’m not one of them. I don’t want her. I want you.”

17. “If I thought you’d been a coward, I’d tell you to your face.”

18. “Oh, come on, Bradshaw. One beignet won’t make you fat.”

19. “Your wish is our command.”

20. “I’m ashamed to say it, but I tried not to think about what they might be doing to you because I couldn’t stand it.”

21. “That’s just him being a man. Trust me. He’s crazy about you, even if he doesn’t know it yet.”

22. “I want to hear more about Mr. Secret Agent Man.”

23. “The bastard shot him from the upstairs window when the officer was walking up the to the door. Didn’t even warn him.”

24. “There’s still something between us — something strong. You want me as much as I want you.”

25. “Yeah, well, I guess I was in the wrong place at the right time.”

26. “You can’t just look through a reporters files no matter who you are.”

27. “Sometimes the scar isn’t on the outside. Sometimes it’s on the inside where no one else can see it. Believe me, I know.”

28. “Clash of the Titans.”

29. “You haven’t exactly caught me at my best.”

30. “I can’t say how sorry I am to see you here. Not only does it mean bad times for you, it means I’m about to get a call from your asshole boss.”

Here’s the list of characters you can draw from:

a. Kara McMillan
b. Reece Sheridan
c. Holly Bradshaw
d. Matt Harker
3. Joaquin Ramirez
f. Tessa Novak
g. Julian Darcangelo
h. Sophie Alton
i. Marc Hunter
j. Chief Irving
k. Tom Trent
l. Kat James
m. Gabe Rossiter
n. Natalie Benoit
o. Zach McBride

Coming soon:
Interview with the I-Team heroes
Baking pies with Natalie
News on Surrender 2.0

Stay tuned, and have fun!
Friday, June 03, 2011

Meanwhile, back in 1758...




As many of you have already seen on Facebook, I now have the final cover to the re-release of Surrender. I was elated to see the first images of the cover — posted here a while back — because they demonstrated the care my editor at Berkley has put into getting historically accurate images on the cover.

Compare this to the original cover with its entire village of tipis — I had sent an email telling my first publisher to make sure there were no tipis — and its “chastity plaid” that made an absolute waste of Nathan Kamp’s excellent chesticles — a request made by a shall-not-be-named distributor that is now defunct. Yes, I wept when I saw this cover, and not in a good way.


But by now, most of you have seen the little gold medallion on the front that says, “Includes new material.” I thought I would explain what’s going on.

Basically, we’ve gone back to square one with the original manuscript. So the novel is getting a new edit — I am making small changes to the text, but not to the plot — and my editor has edited it in a slightly different way. The manuscript was never altered very much from the original, and these changes are subtle.

For example, my previous editor felt that using “ken” and “kent” in the story made it hard to read and irritating for people who don’t like the Scottish burr, so all of those were changed to “know” and “known.” But my editor at Berkley has left them the way I originally wrote them.

(Those of you who wonder where I got my way of denoting the Scots accent and such might be interested to hear that I got it from Scottish music. The way I spell things and much of the vocabulary comes not from my imagination, but from old Scottish folk songs.)

What won’t be subtle are new scenes or extended scenes that will be included in the final version.

When I wrote Surrender, I was not too far away from the experience of having 100 pages cut from Carnal Gift. It wasn’t that the book sucked and needed to be cut. It’s that the original publisher just would not print anything beyond a certain number of pages, and I had overshot that by a significant number. It ruined the story, in my opinion.

So, when I wrote Ride the Fire, I was very conscious of this page limit and was simultaneously trying to write and not write too much. That’s a hard thing to do as a writer. It was the same experience in writing Surrender. I never, ever wanted to go through the pain of having pages I’d worked so hard to craft cut just to please some bean counter somewhere. (It costs more to ship books if fewer fit in a box.)

Now with this new edit, I can loosen things up a bit. How much new material will be in the story? I can’t say. But there will be some.

This same process will occur with Untamed in about a month. The difference with Untamed is that the original manuscript had 25 pages cut out to make the book fit the original publisher’s even smaller maximum page count. (I was not pleased.) Those 25 pages will be restored, and the book will get a new, fresh edit.

The same thing will occur with Ride the Fire later this year, only my focus there will be to get in the epilogue I didn’t have the stamina to write when I originally wrote the book. A deeply personal story for me, Ride the Fire stripped me to the bone. I had nothing left and couldn’t function for about six weeks after I finished writing it. So, the epilogue just never happened. It still isn’t written.

A lot of things will be happening in a short period of time as we move deeper into 2011. Here’s a list:

Later this summerSweet Release and Carnal Gift will be available in the original print versions as I sell off the limited stock I have of those books. I bought a case of each, and I’ll autograph them and sell them online or through email.

Early autumnSweet Release and the original version of Carnal Gift will be available as ebooks for Kindle, Nook and in other formats. I’m going to be self-publishing them, and that means those 100 pages will be included in the ebook version of Carnal Gift. You can judge whether what I wrote is better than what was originally published.

December Surrender will be re-released in print and as an ebook by Berkley with the cover you see at top, the new edit and the new material.

January Untamed will be re-released in print and as an ebook by Berkley with the cover you see at top, the new edit and the new material.

February (or later)Defiant, Connor’s story, which you have all (im)patiently been awaiting, will be released. This is a new book, not a re-release.

So those of you who’ve been waiting for more historicals from me will be getting what you asked for, and the entire series, which went out of print after the original publisher hit hard financial times, will be available in one format or another, part of it self-pubbed.

I’ll keep you up to date as a I go along. As we get closer, we’ll do a MacKinnon’s Rangers reading challenge so that everyone can remember who these guys are and what the heck three Scottish brothers from the Highlands are doing in Colonial New York.

This weekend, I’m hanging with Iain and Annie, re-editing Surrender and making notes for ideas for new and extended scenes. It’s something I’ve never done before, and I’m finding it kind of fun.

Have a great weekend!

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Favorite Writing Quotes


"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."
—James Joyce

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery."
—Jane Austen

"Writers are those for whom writing is more difficult that it is for others."
—Ernest Hemingway

"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
—Kurt Vonnegut

"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar is the test of their power."
—Toni Morrison

"No tears in the author, no tears in the reader."
—Robert Frost.

"I'm a writer. I give the truth scope."
—the character of Chaucer in
A Knight's Tale