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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, July 20, 2011

DEFIANT — Here's the cover


Here it is — the final cover for Defiant.

I got it yesterday afternoon but was too busy to be able to post it. I guess I shouldn’t be doing it now, either, given that we’re on deadline with a big paper, one new staff member and one newsroom staffer on vacation. (I got to the office at 7:30 to try to get a jump on things.)

Even so, I couldn’t resist. I wanted to post it and share it with you!

I love the fact that my name is slowly getting larger than the title. I love that I’ll have enough books and reissues out by the time this book releases that they feel the need to put “Never Before Published” on the cover.

The details are pretty specific — the MacKinnon plaid, the wooden cross, the hunting knife (can’t call it a claymore because it isn’t.

Here’s a bit of trivia: I drew the tattoos myself and sent them to NY. There’s more to Connor’s “warrior marks” than the artists chose to put on the cover, probably because they felt it would make the image too busy. The one I miss the most is my drawing of a bear claw, which I thought was pretty cool. Oh, well. I agree with their decision, for what it’s worth.

I also like the font they chose for the title of the book. It has a nice frontier-ish feeling to it somehow.

So what do you all think?

Coming soon: We’re going to have a visit from the Dessert Diva. A columnist for my paper and a star of local TV, Danette specializes in making the yummiest desserts, pioneering recipes that make me really hungry each week when I’m editing our food section. Danette will be joining together with Natalie Benoit, the heroine from Breaking Point, to talk about baking pies — sharing pie-making tips, as well as recipes.

Danette is a lot of fun, so I know she and Natalie will make an entertaining duo.

If you’re wondering whether this is a response to those who disdain Natalie’s decision to stay home and bake pies for Zach, you’re absolutely right on. Why not have fun with it?
Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun with Foreign Covers

Every once in a while, I find it fun to share with you the covers of my books as they appear in translations. Often the concepts are very different. Sometimes they’re very old school, using images that seem to belong to the ’80s or even earlier. And the translations of the titles are fun to learn, too.

As some of you know, I love language. Period. I love learning new languages and have never felt shy about trying to pronounce things I cannot yet say. To me, it’s just fun. It’s been interesting to me to try to interact with readers from around the world, despite the language barriers we face. In the age of Google translate, it’s not impossible for me to communicate with readers whose languages are utterly foreign to me. Right now, my books are in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish, Thai, Japanese, Portuguese and Norwegian.

At the top is the Norwegian cover for Untamed, titled Svikefulle Hjerte, or Deceitful Heart, in Norwegian. I speak fluent Danish, and Norwegian is kind of like misspelled Danish with some words that are strange to me. So I can pretty much read the Norwegian translations.



The same cannot be said for Thai, which must be one of the prettiest written languages in the world. I looks like a bunch of artful loops and curves. I can’t read a word of it, but it’s fun to post messages to my Thai readers on Facebook using Google translate.

Here’s an example:

ฉันชอบที่จะเยือนประเทศไทย

That says, “I would love to visit Thailand.” Is that just freaking cool or what? It’s art.

The Thai publisher has done a fantastic job with these stories, which seem to be fairly popular in Thailand. They can’t have the sexy covers that they have here in the U.S., but the series has a unique look to it that’s a bit mysterious and culturally appropriate. And all the books come with plastic covers.

I have learned that they take books very seriously throughout Asia. Books are shown great respect and are treated like important property. As an author, I like that.



Here is the Japanese cover for Untamed, titled Loyalty to the Maiden’s Prayer, in Japanese. I’ve learned to recognize my name in Japanese — that’s something, anyway — but I need to learn more than that, as I hope to travel there one day. I have two good friends who live there — one a journalist from the Dream Team days and one a journalist who worked with me until Monday. (Not sure what it is about journalists who work for me, then go to Japan...)

Apparently, my books are fairly popular there, too, especially my MacKinnon’s Rangers series. Readers are reportedly waiting desperately for Lord William’s story. Yes, he is the fan fave. Apparently, Japanese readers enjoy characters with more shades of gray.

I was very fortunate to connect with Kyoko Nakai, the talented Japanese writer who translated my Ranger series into Japanese. Warm and gracious, she contacted me to ask if I’d like to write a special message to my Japanese readers for the release of Untamed earlier this month, which I was delighted to do. And she translated that, as well, sending me a copy of the published book when it came out. It hit No. 2 on Amazon.jp for mass market paperback.

(Incidentally, Nakai is a surname in Navajo, too. I find that interesting.)

One of these days, I plan to visit Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia to meet my readers and fellow authors there, as well as catching up with two wayward reporters and meeting Kyoko. Can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’m back to working on Connor’s book. I’ll be finishing Chapter 12 today. I thought I was working on Chapter 13 last weekend. Then I discovered it was actually Chapter 12 — and that half of a chapter had already been written weeks ago and that it was completely different from what I’d just written.

This was frustrating, as both versions had things I liked and didn’t want to lose. After much swearing — I was so angry at myself — I finally took the stuff I absolutely had to keep out of the first version and put it in the second version. I’m finishing that today if it kills me. And then on to Chapter 13 for real.

That’s what happens when you don’t have an outline and just write from the heart. One day I write it this way; a month later, I write a completely different chapter, although the gist is the same.

On to other things...

We had some big rain pass through here that set off flash flood sirens, as a four-foot wall of water moved down one of the canyons. Kind of exciting for an adrenaline junkie like me. Fortunately, damage has been fairly minimal, and all that free water falling from the sky has done wonders for our veggie garden and lawn. We’ve harvested lots of greens, broccoli, tomatoes and squash already. Much, much more to come. I love cooking and eating food that we grow ourselves. I’ll share some photos soon!

I do plan to get Tina Lewis Rowe, the former U.S. Marshal for Colorado, in here for an interview soon, as promised. She and I keep missing each other. Not sure what’s up with that. You think maybe we’re busy? We almost pulled off lunch and window shopping just prior to Christmas. And then...

Also, I’m inviting the dessert columnist from our paper — known as Dessert Diva — to join Natalie Benoit from Breaking Point here on my blog for a post devoted to baking pies and sharing pie recipes. I think the title of that blog post will be, “How to bake good pies for your husband.” (That really cracks me up — it made the entire all-male staff of the newsroom laugh out loud — but if you don’t get the joke, don’t worry about it.)

Benjy says he still has some of each of my five historicals in case anyone is interested in buying an autographed copy straight from him via eBay. These are the original versions. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Sweet Release and Carnal Gift are not being rereleased in print in any version, and I think he said he has about a dozen of each remaining.

And one last bit...

The new cover for Surrender is up on Amazon, and the book is now available for pre-order. This is the “author’s cut” of the book, what I’ve been calling Surrender 2.0. I need to find a way to let readers know that it’s not a brand-new book. I’m hoping the gold medallion on the front that says,“Includes New Material,” will be enough to tip them off. Inevitably, someone will send me an angry email accusing me of trying personally to dupe them into buying a book they already have. But you can serve as my witnesses that I am 100 percent open and honest about these things.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Now, back to Connor...
Saturday, July 09, 2011

Home improvement


It’s been a busy week around here. After 13 years of having the same faded, worn, chipped paint and crumbling siding on my house, I took the plunge (i.e., broke out the credit card) and got my house restored and painted.

It used to be dingy yellow. Now it is a very sweet shade of blue with bright white trim. It’s not quite finished yet — the trim above the upstairs window needs to be reconstructed and most of the trim still needs to be painted or given a second coat — but we’re so close! There’s a big redwood deck in back that will soon be refinished and stained, but you can’t see that in this photo.

Of course, it’s only natural that when I decided to put myself into debt for restoration on the house that other stuff would break down. Last weekend, right after the painting work began, my dishwasher gave up the ghost. It was eight years old. Unwilling to spend time doing dishes by hand, we got a new one. Another blow to the credit card. And the blinds I ordered to replace broken ones in my bedroom and in the kitchen before my Danish friends arrived— they left my house on June 27 — will finally be installed on Monday — also on credit.

Bottom line: nicer house, but bigger bills!

For the record, I don’t believe in using credit cards. But there are some times where you just get sick of finding pieces of your walls on the grass, you know? I guess I need to get writing!

In this photo, you get a glimpse of my flower garden, which brings me so much joy, in this photo. The veggie garden is off to the right behind that little wooden fence. The roses badly need to be deadheaded, but some are still in bloom. That’s butterfly bush in the foreground (purple) with hollyhocks lower right. The roses are kind of little puffs of pink around the place.

Just wanted to share the photo with you all.

Upcoming stuff

An interview with Tina Lewis Rowe, the former U.S. Marshal who was a source for me for Breaking Point and who got a walk-on part in the book because she rocks so much.

A look at the reissue of Sweet Release and Carnal Gift, which will be available as self-published eBooks by August 1. I’ll tell you how they’re different.


Other stuff

Those of you who haven’t joined the fun on the I-Team group page are missing out. Every day is MTM there, thanks to the fun women who share photos of super-hot men from around the universe. Click here to join.

Also, my website has been updated. There are links to the limited supply of autographed books my son Benjamin is selling through eBay, as well as some fun new foreign covers, including the Japanese release of Untamed, translated by the wonderful and gracious Kyoko Nakai.

I’m off to work on Connor’s book. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Signed books and heatwaves





It’s been a while since I’ve posted. In the time I haven’t been blogging, I’ve... had a family of Danish friends visiting, given a 25-minute speech at SlutWalk Denver, put out two issues of the paper, finished editing Untamed for it’s grand re-issue in January, dealt with a broken dishwasher (the new one won’t be here till Friday), fractured a small bone in my wrist falling off the fit ball that I sit on at work, washed umpteen loads of laundry, replanted spinach and green beans, got the process moving to have my house painted, re-read Defiant so I could get back to it again, and begun the process of getting some books online as eBooks... not necessarily in that order.

In short, life has been crazy-busy. And there's lot’s of news.

The first bit of news isn’t news to those of you who are BFFs with me on Facebook. For a limited time, my son Benjamin is selling new, signed copies of my out-of-print historicals: Sweet Release, Carnal Gift, Ride the Fire, Surrender and Untamed. These are copies I bought from my the original publisher when they quit selling print books. I just couldn’t bear the thought of them being pulped — pulp Iain? I think not! — so I rescued a case of each. Poor little orphans!




I think at this point there are about 22 copies of each book left. Benjy is selling them for the sticker price (that’s $4.99 plus shipping for everything except for Untamed, which is $7.99 plus shipping). Although he originally posted that he would only sell to U.S. addresses, the demand from Australia and Canada has been such that he’s making it work. Every night, he brings down books for me to sign. I personalize them, and then he packages them for me to ship.

This is the only way, apart from used copies or new copies from private sellers, to get print copies of these books at this point. Ride the Fire will be reissued with its epilogue some time in 2012, while Surrender and Untamed will be out in their uncut, original form with hot new covers in December 2011 and January 2012.



But Sweet Release and Carnal Gift are not being reissued in print. This is it for them. I hope to make them available in various eBook formats by the end of summer through self-publishing.

Given how few copies there are and the fact that I am signing them, I wanted to let you all know because I figure it matters more to you than anyone else. For more info or to check them out, just click on the titles you’re interested in above. Some people are ordering all five, while others are just getting signed copies of their favorite.



I’ll keep you up to date about Sweet Release and Carnal Gift and let you know when they’re up as eBooks.

And now, given that I was awake until after 2 AM last night due to the heat (100F!) and up by 5:30 AM, I’m putting my sleepy, grumpy self to bed.

We were supposed to get rain but, as usual... No.

In the meantime, stay cool, and happy reading! And have a happy Hump Day!

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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