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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers! I have so many reasons to be grateful, and I count you all among them. I wish you a peace-filled, fun holiday with your families.



Five reasons NOT to go shopping on Thanksgiving

5. While you're off shopping, your relatives will eat the rest of the pumpkin pie.


4. The best way to save money is to NOT buy stuff, rather than buying it on sale — 20 percent off is still 80 percent on.


3. Thanksgiving is about gratitude for what we have, not scrambling to buy things we don't have and don't need.


2. Black Friday is bad enough. Don't let commercialism encroach on yet another holiday.


1. Would you want to leave your family to go to work after Thanksgiving dinner? People with retail jobs need a holiday, too! Their bosses will only get that message if no one shows up tonight to spend money.
 

Please, respect the holiday! Shop at locally owned businesses on Saturday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

HARD EVIDENCE is out on Audiobook — Contest!



On Monday, Hard Evidence (I-Team #2) was released on audiobook by Tantor Audio, and I was too busy doing other things to celebrate the moment. So let’s make up for that now!

For readers who are new to the I-Team, Hard Evidence tells the story of undercover FBI operative Julian Darcangelo and Tessa Novak, the reporter who unintentionally comes close to blowing his cover. It’s a gritty book that deals with a difficult topic, one I investigated during my years as an investigative journalist.

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

After the murder of a teenage girl, a mysterious man in a black leather jacket was seen lurking near the crime scene. Investigative reporter Tessa Novak has him in her sights as the culprit…

 That man was Julian Darcangelo—an undercover FBI agent working with the Denver police. He’s closing in on the trail of a human trafficker and killer. Tessa’s accusations could blow his cover—and he wants her off the investigation.

But just as Tessa has made Julian a target of interest, she is now a target—of the killer. And as they are forced to trust each other, their physical attraction escalates as intensely as the threat from a ruthless murderer who wants to see both of them dead…


Readers familiar with the series know that Julian is a favorite. In fact, he is the only I-Team hero after whom multiple Kindles and iPads have been named. His name is also part of one reader’s tattoo. What makes him so special?

He’s a tortured alpha male, a man with a good heart who has taken a bad childhood, locked down his emotions, and used his knowledge of crime and his skill with fighting as a weapon.

I’ve always had a very soft spot for him. And that soft spot got softer after listening to talented actor and voice artist Kaleo Griffith narrate his lines in a deep, dark, silky voice for 11.5 hours. As one readers said (hi, Pat!), she’d listen to Kaleo narrate the phone book. He could probably make it sound sexy, too.

To celebrate the release of Hard Evidence, I’m giving away THREE copies of Extreme Exposure, the first book in the series.

All you have to do to be entered to win is to comment below AND leave a contact email address so that I can more easily reach winners. This contest will continue through Thanksgiving to Sunday.

I’ll draw winners on Monday morning.

In the meantime, Unlawful Contact is just around the corner with a Dec. 3 release date. I can’t wait to see what Kaleo will do with bad boy Marc Hunter!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Introducing Julieanne Reeves and RAZING KAYNE



I’m turning my blog over to Julieanne Reeves, a talented new writer whose debut novel, RAZING KAYNE, is about to be released. I’ve gotten to know Julieanne through the Facebook I-Team group, and I was impressed by some of the stories she shared about her life. A person who has lived through a lot generally has a lot of material to draw on for fiction. 

Without further ado, I give you Julieanne.

* * *

It’s almost here; launch day for RAZING KAYNE. I’m about to join the ranks of published authors. I’m excited and quite frankly scared. Publishing my book, sending it out into the world feels a lot like the first day I had to put my children in daycare. I bawled having to leave them that day. They, however, barely spared a wave goodbye; they were too excited to meet and play with their new friends.

The road to publication:
I took a creative writing class in high school in lieu of a traditional English course, and discovered that while I struggled with the mechanics of writing — grammar and punctuation — I flat out loved getting all the thoughts and emotions that swirled inside my head onto paper. So I wrote. For year and years after that class I continued to put stories on paper — well computer — that no one would ever see.

Not even my family or closest friends knew I wrote.

Then a few years ago I ended up spending weeks in the hospital with a systemic staph infection from a spider bite that went south on me. (Sorry Pamela, I know I used the S word, but that is what bit me) I of course had waited until my temp was nearly 105* F before I went to the hospital, which made recovering that much worse.

Laying there, miserable and sick, missing my kids like crazy, I started making a list of all the things I was going to do when I got out of the hospital. Most of that list involved my children and making special memories. But the one that was wholly just for me was a goal to be published before I turned 40. As of Tuesday I will have met that goal with months to spare. I’m still working on those goals with my children. They’re going to take a lifetime to complete.

It was also during that time in the hospital that RAZING KAYNE. That high school creative writing teacher drilled into us that you should “write what you know and do it from the heart.” Up to that point my writing has been fantasy and paranormal and I’d never dared share it with anyone. Honestly it was crap.

Searching for inspiration:
I took a long look at myself. I was a 30-something year old adult, I’d worked for years in law enforcement as a police/fire/911 dispatcher who’d been trained and certified in hostage negotiation and suicide intervention. Working in a small agency allowed me the opportunity to work closely with the Special Response Team, Narcotics Task Force officers and Property and Person’s detectives.
Heck, I’d even applied and been accepted to test for the police academy. I passed the testing though never went through the academy. Experiences I never would have had working in a big agency.

As far as my personal life, I’d adopted two children from foster care as a single mother. Up until going into the hospital I had been a full time stay at home foster mom. This meant that I usually had four kids in the house at any given time. Between special education issues, counseling and doctor’s appointments, and life in general I stayed busy. But, oh, how rewarding — and heartbreaking — it was.

Looking at all my experience — personal and professional — and thinking through the cases I’d been involved with, and remembering the ones I’d heard about, I realized I had a treasure trove of inspiration. So, I did what that creative writing teacher taught me; I wrote what I knew and did it from the heart. I spent three weeks in the hospital and several more at home on IV antibiotics, and by the time I was done, so was my rough draft of RAZING KAYNE.

Publication:
It would take two more years and lots of encouragement from my online friends before I finally got up the nerve to publish it.

Now that moment is here, and I’m on a roller coaster of emotions. I think the only thing that makes this easier is that I know I haven’t seen the last of Kayne and Jessica and their wonderful children. In Razing Kayne we met some awesome supporting Heroes: Officer Nick Astenbeck, Detectives Trace St.Moritz and Rafe Chatham, Dr. Mark Oberly, and Fire-medic Joe Sutton. They will be getting their own stories over the next couple years. Payson, Arizona is a small town in real life and in fiction so I know we’ll be seeing the whole gang around from time to time.

I hope you enjoy RAZING KAYNE as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Blurb:
For two years, State Trooper Kayne Dobrescu has wanted only one thing: to understand why his wife inexplicably killed their children and then herself. Memories haunt his days and lay siege to his nights, leaving him questioning his reasons for living.

Jessica Hallstatt became a window and single mother the night her firefighter husband died in a fiery explosion at an accident scene. While her husband may have died a hero, he left Jessica with deep emotional scars that haven’t begun to heal.


When Kayne accepted a transfer to the mountain town of Payson, Arizona, he never expected to meet anyone like Jessica. From the moment he pulled her over for speeding, he was drawn in by her whiskey-colored eyes and sassy dimple. He knows she and her children are a forever type package, and he’s vowed never to give anyone the power to destroy him again. Yet fate has other ideas, throwing Kayne and Jessica together in a fight against an unknown enemy to save the life of a child — and hopefully one another.


Release date: 
Nov. 20. (Paperback through Amazon.com, E-book available through all major distributors. Pre-order NOT available.)

Leave a comment below and be entered to win an e-copy of RAZING KAYNE. One lucky winner – worldwide – will be randomly drawn on or about Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. Winner will be announced in the comments so please be sure to check back. 

Excerpt:
Want to read an excerpt? Go to http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3252957-razing-kayne-uncorrected-excerpt for the Prologue and first two chapters.

Pamela thanks for hosting me, and to all her wonderful readers, thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope you enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend. 

Julieanne Reeves
Thursday, November 15, 2012

Project Happiness Update — Standing Up Again


 It’s been a long time since I’ve done a personal update to this page. Somehow in my mind, it ought to be the beginning of June, and yet here we are in the middle of November. Time has flown by at a pace that boggles my mind. So let’s catch up.

I started this year determined to remake my life, determined to be the happy change I needed. After getting socked with pneumonia, I felt I was off to a good start with daily visits to the gym, a self-published I-Team novella that I felt good about with a super-sexy cover from Jenn LeBlanc, and every single day of the week to work on my fiction writing and the life I want.

Benjy, my younger son, graduated in May with a film degree. Summa cum laude. Yes, I was proud. 

Then summer came, and I started working on Striking Distance, the next I-Team novel. And things began to unravel. 

I seem to think I can do everything all at once and do it well. As some of you know, I’m a strong proponent of urban farming and the local food movement. It’s vitally important that people have some skill with growing food, and it is likewise important for all of us to keep as many pollutants out of our bodies as we can. In keeping with my views, I began growing veggies a few years back with great luck, supplying most of our veggie needs from June through about October. 


When May came and we planted, I was trying to juggle a few balls: exercise, tending a very large veggie garden as well as the flower garden, handling the massive amount of watering we had to do this year due to extreme heat and drought, harvesting and processing all the food we grew, and writing books. 


It seemed possible. I figured it was just a matter of discipline. Because if something isn’t working, the fault must lie with me, right? 

I began getting up at 5 AM and working outdoors in the early light when it wasn’t so hot. And this lasted a week. At the end of the week, I was in so much pain from my neck that I couldn’t raise my arms. I ignored this, afraid that if I went in to see my neurosurgeon he'd tell me I messed up all his fine work and needed another neck operation. Unwise. This meant that the neck pain continued all summer. 
 
I did, however, realize that I can’t handle the more physical aspects of gardening any longer, and this left me feeling really depressed. Realizing that you have physical limitations is never fun for anyone; when those limitations are linked to activities you enjoy, as has happened several times to me in this life, it’s a huge downer.

Summer drifted on, and I just couldn’t write. I went to Romance Writers of America and got to meet both readers and author friends. It was a lot of fun and a great way to relax. I came home still in pain but charged up — only to find that I still couldn’t make Striking Distance budge. I had planned initially on writing Joaquin’s book next, and it seemed the Muse was making me pay for having walked away from the inspiration I had for his story. I assure you, that won’t happen again.

Is it a coincidence that it’s my 13th book? 

In the midst of this frustration, Benjamin and I made a spontaneous trip to San Diego where I was able to keep the promise I’d made to him as a 2-year-old and show him the ocean sea. It was a wonderful four days, the most magical of the year and some of the most precious in my life thus far.  Also, I got lots of afternoons and evenings with Alec at Coors Field, where we talked about everything from how much we missed Tulo this season to the fact that my book still had no plot.



I returned to find myself facing a book that still needed to be written and a deadline I could not meet. I’ve had books that were difficult to write, but never a novel that flat-out evaded me, where I would turn inward to write and find... nothing.

It was due in August. Then November. I tried everything I could think of to wrench a story out of my brain — I had the characters and the gist of it — and nothing worked. Last week, I finally told my agent and editor that I had hit a true wall. I spent a couple of hours on the phone with my sister in tears over what felt like a failure. The book has been bumped back to a November 2013 release date.

And then with the pressure off, it started to dawn on me that my well had quite simply run dry because I haven’t done much to refill it. Apart from RWA, RomCon in Denver, and our trip to San Diego — or Sandyego, as I wrote one night on Facebook when I hadn’t had enough sleep — I’ve treated myself the same way I always have, like a work horse who needs to do everything perfectly. No weeds among the roses. No veggies that go unharvested and uneaten. A clean house. Writing perfect chapters. Exercise. Making healthful fresh-picked meals. A smile plastered on my face. And all of this despite the fact that my neck has been killing me.

I haven’t read a book in ages. I’ve started reading half a dozen, but they inevitably get put aside because there’s work to do. I have art supplies but haven’t drawn so much as a smiley face.

Project Happiness? No, more like Project Creative Exhaustion.

Somewhere in the midst of this year, I started to wonder why things weren’t working out as I’d hoped. I was home every day, writing full-time, and yet things were sucking — with a few bright lights. Jenn LeBlanc and I started buddy writing, something I’ve been doing with my good friend Libby. That helps fight the isolation that I often feel as a writer, and helps us all focus better, especially when we ban the Internet.

But why were things not going as I’d hoped? I think part of it is that this is a huge transition from working in a fast-paced group environment to being alone all day with no really daily structure. It’s like walking into a new life. I just haven’t quite gotten it down yet.


Also, however, I ignored too many things — my need to relax a lot after leaving journalism, my need to refill my creative well, my need to not being in pain 24/7 because I'd spent the day doing things my body can’t handle. 

I finally got an MRI and learned that the C4-6 titanium/implant construction was fine, but that by bending over and cocking my head back, I had herniated C3. It is healing, and the surgeon says I don’t need surgery. That was great news and a big relief — and another sign that it’s time to quit pretending I didn’t fall off a mountain. 

I guess to sum it up, you could say that this has been a year of great successes with regard to my writing career, but that I’ve had some difficulty getting my act together, doing it in fits and starts and getting really angry with myself when I feel I have failed.

But the year isn’t over yet. Every day is a new day, a new chance, not to be perfect, but to take care of myself.

Here are some good changes I’ve made. In hopes of taking pressure off my neck that comes from sitting and writing for 16 hours a day (bad posture), I got a treadmill desk, which you can see crammed into my office below. I’ve been walking on it for more than an hour now as I type this. My goal for the moment is to walk two hours a day, gradually increasing until the bulk of my work day is spent walking. It wasn’t cheap, but I think it will make an enormous difference to my health, and so I deemed it worth the expense.


Another thing I’ve done is take time to be with Benjy. He’s my roommate for the moment, but he’ll be leaving and I don’t want to spend the last few months he and I live together writing in the evenings while he hangs out in the house basically alone. Nothing is more precious to me than my kids, whether it’s Star Trek in the evening with Benjy or watching the Rockies lose (again!) at Coors Field with Alec.

Here’s a shocker: I quit drinking coffee. No more artificially pumping myself up so that I can stay awake when what I probably need more than anything is lots of sleep to make up for 20 years of journalism. I do sleep more deeply at night on nights when I’m not in pain, and sometimes I even wake up feeling like I’ve slept.

Also, I’m taking the rest of November off writing to really think about this story. I’m doing the things I do when I finish a book — cleaning the house, reading, giving myself permission not to think about writing. I’m just letting the pressure go away and putting myself first, something I almost never do. Plot arises from character, so when I do work on the story, I’m working on character using a couple of new tools.

Another bright spot has been the release of the I-Team books in audiobook format. Getting to know Kaleo Griffith, the actor/voice artist who is narrating the series, has been a true joy, as has hearing my work brought to life in a new and exciting way. His respect for the stories and the characters has been deeply touching. His sexy voice certainly hasn’t been difficult to listen to, either. 

I’ve made some decisions: No more urban farming. This was a tough one. I can join a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm and support the work of local organic farmers without doing that work myself. 

Also, I’m going to get a sprinkler system and help with yard work so that the outdoor work goes away.  No more stress over weeds or any of that.

I also need to step back from the Internet. I let this blog go forever because I just didn't have the time to get to it. I’ll post as often as I can, but writing and family need to come before social media.

This way, my life can focus on exercise, sleep, good food, and writing.

I’m not a work horse. I’m a person with only so many days allotted to my life. My books mean so much to me, but writing has to come from the inside. If my insides are empty, I’m screwed. I can’t fake it.
As we near Thanksgiving, I’m basically standing up again, brushing off the dirt, and reassessing how best to commit myself to happiness for the rest of my life. I have so many things for which I am grateful, so many reasons to feel blessed and happy. 

I am going to try very hard not to stand in my own way any longer.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rock*It Reads Heating Up the Holidays Blog Hop





Blog Hop

Welcome to the Rock*It Reads Heating Up the Holidays Blog Hop. There are 15 stops on the blog tour. The more blogs you visit and comment on, the greater your chances of winning the grand prize, a $75 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble or Amazon, and a huge collection of books from the authors of Rock*It Reads. Smaller prizes will be available at each stop along the way.

Good luck, and have fun!


Welcome to my blog, blog hoppers! I’d like to introduce you to Nate West, the hero of my I-Team After Hours Novella, Skin Deep.






Nate fought with a Marine Special Operations Team in Afganistan, serving as backup for Navy SEALs on hazardous missions involving high-value targets. During the return trip from one of those missions, the transportation truck carrying him and some of his buddies was hit by an IED, and Nate was severely burned over the right side of his body. He has spent years recovering, and is now living on his family’s ranch high in the Colorado mountains.

What makes Nate special? There are so many things, but among them is the fact that he doesn’t feel sorry for himself, but focuses on getting strong again, being as supportive of the other survivors from his team as he can be. But at the same time, he doesn’t believe he stands much of a chance of finding a woman with him he can share his life.

It’s a good thing for Nate that fate has the perfect woman in mind, a woman who understands scars.  But her scars on are on the inside...

 Here’s an excerpt:

Though Nate tried hard to hide it, Megan knew it wasn’t easy for him to share himself in this way. He didn’t seem to understand that she found him attractive—even downright sexy. His scars were a part of the attraction because they were a part of him.

She ran her hand slowly over his right cheek, trailed her fingers down the scarred side of his neck to his chest. The muscles on the left side were firm, his skin soft and bronzed, coarse curls tickling her palm. His dark nipple was flat and smooth like satin, its center a hard little pebble. The hairless right side of his chest had no nipple, his skin pinched, puckered and creased, some of it almost white, some of it darkly pigmented, some of it with an underlying diamond pattern as if it had once been held in place by mesh. It was harder and stiffer than normal skin, too. But it was his skin.

She could see now that the burns went all the way around his right side to his back, dipping below the waistline of his briefs, stretching down his right leg to just above his knee. He’d been burned, front and back, from his cheek to his right thigh.

And beneath his boxer briefs? Was he scarred there, too?

His left thigh also bore a large scar, but it was different, not puckers and creases, but a large, pale rectangle that wrapped around his heavy quadriceps. Was that where they’d taken skin for his skin grafts?

So much pain.

And so much courage.

Other than that first night when he told her how he’d been burned, he hadn’t spoken of his service with the Marines, keeping all the horrors he’d seen, all the things he’d done, all he’d suffered quietly to himself. He didn’t complain. He didn’t show self-pity. He simply endured.

She traced a finger down the uneven line roughly in the center of his torso, where scars met normal skin. She couldn’t imagine how much he had suffered, couldn’t imagine how any woman could have turned her back on him and left him to face the agony of recovery alone. She felt a sharp surge of protectiveness, wishing she could take all of this away from him.

“There are no nerve endings. I can’t feel anything beyond pressure. You don’t have to touch—”

“Shhh.” She lowered her head, pressed her lips firmly to the place where his right nipple ought to have been, wanting to touch him everywhere, to know all of him, wanting to show him that every inch of him, scarred or not, was precious to her.

He sucked in a breath, tensed, his fingers sliding into her hair. “Megan, I…”

His voice faded as she kissed her way down the taut, scarred skin of his belly, her hands sliding down his sides to his hips, his muscles jerking every time her mouth touched him. But if he couldn’t feel her, then why… ?

She glanced up, saw him watching her, a look like pain on his face. And she understood. It wasn’t so much that he could feel her kisses, but rather just the fact that she was kissing this part of him that made him react.

Tears stung her eyes, but she blinked them away, swallowing the lump in her throat as she lowered her lips to him again, the sympathy she felt for him warming to desire as she indulged herself, kissing, licking and nibbling her way back up his belly, across his chest, to his neck. Then she did what he’d done to her so many times today, teasing the sensitive skin beneath his left ear, delighting in the way he shivered.

“Oh, Megan.” His hands sought out her breasts, his thumbs flicking their tips, making it terribly hard for her to concentrate. Then one big hand slid down her back and beneath her pajama bottoms to grasp and squeeze her bottom. “When are you going to take these damned things off?”

“Later.” She was too busy for that right now—and too nervous.

It was so much easier, so much less frightening, to concentrate on him.

She nipped his earlobe, sucked it into her mouth, bit down, the natural scent of his skin filling her head. It was a warm scent, unmistakably masculine, arousing her even more, an intoxicated feeling swelling inside her. She was drunk on him, his taste, the male feel of him. She wanted to kiss him and touch him—everywhere. She wanted to chase away his pain with pleasure. And—oh, yes!—she wanted him to keep doing whatever he was doing with his hands, his touch sending shivers of bliss straight from her aching nipples to her womb.

Had she ever felt anything like this?

No, never.

She stretched out on top him, seeking his mouth, her moan mingling with his groan of satisfaction as their lips were reunited in a deep, hard kiss, his head rising off the pillow to meet her, his right arm encircling her to draw her closer, his left hand still busy with her breast. They devoured each other, tongues tasting with slick strokes, teeth nipping, lips teasing. And still it wasn’t enough.

But Megan wasn’t sure she was ready for what came next.


* * *

 I hope you enjoyed that! One lucky winner will get an ebook copy of Skin Deep and will be able read all of Nate and Megan’s story.

Thanks for participating, and have fun on the rest of the blog hop!



Leave a comment with your email address below to enter for your chance to win!

Don't forget to visit the other authors on the Blog Hop for more chances to win!


















Kris KennedyBonnie Vanak
Erin Kellison

Sharon Page
Lila DiPasquaElisabeth Naughton
Norah WilsonJennifer LyonMonica Burns

Vanessa Kelly
Mia MarloweJoan Swan
Pamela ClareMargo MaguireRock*It Reads



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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