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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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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Coming Soon — SKIN DEEP: An I-Team After Hours Novella

Cover image by Jenn LeBlanc/Text design by Jennifer Johnson

Remember I was going to write a Christmas novella? And then I somehow couldn’t get Defiant done to my satisfaction until January 20, making a Christmas novella a bit untimely?  And then I got pneumonia so I didn’t write a damned thing for the entire month of February?

Good times! Not.

Well, I got to work the moment I started feeling better, opening the novella I had started, setting aside the Christmas theme and just working on a straight novella — my very first I-Team After Hours novella.

I’m using I-Team After Hours to brand these I-Team spin-off stories as being somewhat different than a regular I-Team novella and also shorter. My average novel is about 120,000 words. These novellas will come close to 40,000 words, making them about one-third the size of an I-Team novel. Accordingly, they’ll be priced at about one-third the cost of an I-Team novel — $2.99.  I’m self-publishing them straight to ebook through Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Smashwords. It will be available in all ebook formats, including Kobo (Smashwords) and Apple. If you don’t have an ereader, you’ll still be able to enjoy the story by downloading a free ereader application from Amazon or B&N that will enable you to read the story on whatever computer you’re using right now to read this blog post.

The first novella is titled Skin Deep. No doubt you’ve already noticed the delicious cover image provided by friend and fellow Colorado journalist Jenn LeBlanc, who is also a romance author. Jennifer Johnson of Sapphire Dreams did the text design. But what we all notice are the abs, the muscles in the arms, the veins. Yes, the veins... Ahem.

Skin Deep is about half finished and will be available as soon as I can have it edited, formatted and uploaded — perhaps before the end of the month, but definitely by early April. Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter if you want to make certain you are notified when the book is released. To be added to the newsletter, click here.

This is a new venture for me and a way to give stories to characters in the I-Team series that would otherwise not get a story.

I’m starting with Megan Rawlings, Marc Hunter’s little sister. Those of you who’ve read Unlawful Contact know what a terrible life Megan has had. I won’t elaborate in order to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read the book.

Here’s the blurb that would go on the back cover of the book (if it had a cover):




Broken on the inside

Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man’s rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.

Broken on the outside

Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He returned to his family’s ranch in the Colorado mountains to heal—and be alone.  Disfigured as he is, he has put all thoughts of sex and romance aside. But something about Megan brings him back to life, heats his blood, makes him feel like a man again. As danger pursues her, and the truth about her past is revealed, he vows to protect her—and to heal her wounded spirit.

But confronting the past is never easy—especially when it’s carrying a gun. Megan will have to learn to trust Nate to survive and to claim a passion that is much more than … 
Skin Deep.

That gives you a quick overview. I’ll be posting an excerpt soon! Stay tuned for more!



MacKinnon’s Rangers news:  Jenn LeBlanc just finished reading Surrender and Untamed and loved them so much she decided on her own to start a closed Facebook discussion group for anyone interested in reading the series and discussion the stories in preparation for the release of Defiant.

Anyone who wants to read and discuss the stories can ask to join. Jenn’s plan is to start reading the books on April 1, I believe. If you’re on Facebook and are interested in joining, click here.




Project: Happiness Update: I continue to improve my eating and to go to the gym, though I find it difficult to write, keep a clean house, be on the Internet, go the gym, cook healthful meals and write. My instinct when the story stalls is to drop everything — good eating habits, the gym, getting enough sleep — just to get the story back on track.

But that’s what I can’t do. That’s what I’ve always done, and in the end it doesn’t do me any good. So, despite feeling stressed about finishing the story, I did go to the gym, cussing all the way. I wasn’t cussing when I came home, however. The moral of this story? Go to the damned gym.

I have never, ever regretted going to the gym. 

 Oddly enough, living a different life means doing things differently. And that’s what I’ve committed to through Project: Happiness.

And, dammit, I’m sticking to it!

10 comments:

WOO HOO!! That's really all I can say about this. :)

landin said...

Yum, love the sound of Nate! Can't wait to get more closely acquainted with him *wink wink* Plus, I so look forward to Megan getting her HEA, she deserves it!

And good job on sticking with Project H! Willpower and sticking with it is always the hardest part for me, I get lazy around the second or third week and that never turns out well for lol.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness! Skin Deep sounds so good! I love "scarred", sexy heroes!

bonnie c said...

Oh, Dear, I have a feeling a novella is not going to be enough for Nate and Megan. The story sounds scrumptious.

Toni said...

Desperately looking forward to reading this book.....And since it's an I-Team....I'd be willing to pay more....

CMD said...

Umm, hell yes on the novella! If it comes out before my next thesis committee meeting, I know what's getting pushed to the bottom of my priorities list... and it won't be the novella! :)

Good job on the Project Happiness progress! I find the gym/working out in general to be the best place to release some stress.

Oddly enough, living a different life means doing things differently. And that’s what I’ve committed to through Project: Happiness.

Tattooed to our foreheads, do you think???

Jenn, thanks so much for letting me use your photo of Guy. He really IS amazing.

And, yes, ladies, those abs are real.

Hi,Landin — I think Megan deserves an HEA, too. I've already really loved her as a character, so it's good to bring her back.

And thank you! Old habits are hard to break and new ones are hard to build. But it's just paramount to change things if I want to live the best possible life I can live.

Hi, Amy — I do too! I'm so glad you're excited.

Hi, Bonnie — It's a lot to fit in 40,000 words, but I'm excited about the story and how it all happens. And hopefully we'll see more of them in future I-Team novels and novellas.

Hi, Tori — Thank so much! I'm so happy to know you're excited for it.


Hi, CMD — YES! A great way to avoid preparing for thesis committee meetings. I'm happy to help you out with that. :-)

The gym does release stress, although I get stressed when I'm not getting words on the page. However, sitting for the rest of my life is not an option.

Hi, AliasLaceyGreen — Inorite? How obvious can it be? And yet...

I have to remind myself every day why I'm doing this. It's not hard to figure out. But the desire to focus on writing or have an extra latte or cope with stress via chocolate is much stronger than my desire to go to the gym.

But I'm going...

I can't wait! And am really glad that you are feeling better.

Dalila G. said...

Yay you for sticking to your guns!
You're one tough cookie, I can see you doing anything you want to.

Great news on your novella, big congrats!

Best wishes to you!

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