Book Releases

Holding On (Colorado High Country #6) —
The Colorado High Country series returns with Conrad and Kenzie's story.

A hero barely holding on…

Harrison Conrad returned to Scarlet Springs from Nepal, the sole survivor of a freak accident on Mt. Everest. Shattered and grieving for his friends, he vows never to climb again and retreats into a bottle of whiskey—until Kenzie Morgan shows up at his door with a tiny puppy asking for his help. He’s the last person in the world she should ask to foster this little furball. He’s barely capable of managing his own life right now, let alone caring for a helpless, adorable, fluffy puppy. But Conrad has always had a thing for Kenzie with her bright smile and sweet curves. One look into her pleading blue eyes, and he can’t say no.

The woman who won’t let him fall…

Kenzie Morgan’s life went to the dogs years ago. A successful search dog trainer and kennel owner, she gets her fill of adventure volunteering for the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. The only thing missing from her busy life is love. It’s not easy finding Mr. Right in a small mountain town, especially when she’s unwilling to date climbers. She long ago swore never again to fall for a guy who might one day leave her for a rock. When Conrad returns from a climbing trip haunted by the catastrophe that killed his best friend, Kenzie can see he’s hurting and wants to help. She just might have the perfect way to bring him back to the world of the living. But friendship quickly turns into something more—and now she’s risking her heart to heal his.

In ebook and soon in print!

About Me

My photo
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.


Seductive Musings

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Amalie, Morgan & Wentworth

Just a quick pop in to share some images with you.

I've long said that Duncan McLeod is the model for the brothers of the MacKinnon's Rangers series — Iain from Surrender, Morgan from Untamed, my WIP, and Connor. Jennifer Johnson put this bit of artwork together, transforming Duncan into a Ranger a wampum belt over his shoulder... And she put him with my idea of Amalie (the beautiful Sophie Marceau).

And this is my idea of Lord William Wentworth. And, yes, he will get his own novel, provided I'm still allowed to write books after this...

Just thought you might want to see.
Friday, December 28, 2007

Ramblings on prison

The Colorado State Penitentiary, where Sophie gets reacquainted with Marc.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your responses below. Sorry I didn't get back to you individually, but Christmas and then work had me busy. Plus, I have a deadline hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles...

But Bo brings up something very interesting, a topic that SueZ brought up from a different angle in a private email to me. Bo points out that she doesn't feel sorry for people like child molesters who are in prison. SueZ asked me if I would feel sorry for the men who attacked me with switchblades if they'd spent Christmas in prison.

And the answer to both, I guess, would be that I don't necessarily feel sorry for people just because they're in prison. The men who attacked me got two months — two lousy months — in jail before being deported on a deferred 2.5-year prison sentence. (That means that if they were found back in the U.S. again, they'd automatically go to prison for 2.5 years. If not, they were free.) I, on the other hand, was sentenced to five years of post-traumatic stress disorder, which included an inability to sleep at night (they broke in just after midnight) and terrible nightmares and depression. I still have trouble sleeping, and it's been 20 years.

Not really fair, is it?

As for child molesters, you can read Ride the Fire to get my own personal experience with that. Again, the harm is lifelong.

Do I feel sorry for them when they go to prison? Nope. In fact, a part of me wants to watch them being force-fed their own genitalia on live television. Violent offenders belong in prison, some of them belong in prison forever, child molesters and rapists especially.

But most people in prison aren't violent offenders. Most are in there for drug-related charges and crimes relating to mental illness and poverty. I do feel sorry for them.

However, my biggest issue with prison isn't so much that people are there; it's what happens while they're there that bothers me. Inmate violence and abuse by correctional officers is a real thing. I write about it in Unlawful Contact as fiction, but it's not pretend. Rape, beatings, gang activity, mutilations, medical neglect, and other forms of abuse are only too real, and the government should not be in the business of sentencing people to death-by-broomstick.

A very posh, upscale jail cell. Most aren't this nice.

Among women in prison, despair is such a real problem. Most of them are mothers, and the overwhelming majority have done nothing violent. Drunk driving, not having car insurance, narcotics abuse, theft, forgery — those are the crimes the women had committed that I met while I did my 24-hour stint as an inmate. One was there for assault, and she was newly pregnant with a 3-month-old baby at home. Her boyfriend had done the assaulting, but she'd been with him at the time. She cried and cried and cried about wanting to go home to her baby, and she had no idea when she'd be able to leave again.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

As we get nearer to the release date for Unlawful Contact, I thought I'd do a series of posts about my 24 hours in jail. Call it "Pamela's Prison Diary." (Makes me sound like a badass. LOL!) And then I'll tell you all about it, from the moment I was "arrested" and cuffed through the strip search to the morning, when I was released and debriefed by the jail captain. Sound interesting?

I'll even try to locate my mugshot. I look like a frightened 2-year-old in the photo. Was I scared? You bet your bra, I was. It had dawned on me at some point how ridiculously stupid I was to think going to jail was a good way to get a story.


One last thing: This past year, on the 20th anniversary of the attack, I had LibBAY, KrisTAY and SueZAY with me. We were supposed to commemorate the event somehow. That's what I wanted to do, anway. Some sort of observation of that terrible, terrible night. What did we end up doing? Laughing our butts off, drinking lemoncello, and sleeping very deeply (at least I did). And you know what? That's probably exactly the right way to commemorate a night of horror — with a night of fun and close friends. Those men wanted to ruin my life by raping me in my own home. But who had the last laugh?

Thanks to my Gangstas — I love you! — I had the last laugh.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Marc's Christmas in prison — web exclusive

One of the most moving experiences of my life was the 24 hours I spent as an inmate in the women's unit of the county jail. "Arrested" as part of a deal with the county sheriff, I went in as a felony arrest, which meant enduring a strip search. I hoped to reveal to my newspaper readers what life was like in the overcrowded jail. Kind of an extreme way of doing it, I know, but if you know anything about my journalism career, you know I rarely take the easy way out of a story. Whether that's a good thing or whether it means I'm crazy, I'll leave for you to decide.

Most of us give little thought to people who are locked behind bars. We tend to dismiss them because, well, they're criminals. They've broken the law. Their lives are a mess. And we just don't care. I find that sad. No matter how messed up a person's life has become, all human beings are entitled to compassion. Having seen exactly how desperate, lonely, miserable, violent and frightening life behind bars can be, I made it one of my missions to write about inmates, in particular women in prison.

The novel Unlawful Contact grew out of my experiences covering prison issues as a reporter. And I know that today, Christmas Day, there are tens of thousands of inmates who are serving their time, completely forgotten by the rest of the world.

That's part of the reason for what I'm posting today.

The other reason is that Marc won't leave me alone! And as I thought about inmates in prison this Christmas, I thought of my beloved Marc, and I realized that this is another Christmas in prison for him. (It's his last Christmas in prison, but he doesn't know that...)

I tapped into Marc, and this scene popped into my head. It's not in the novel. It fits in between the Prologue and Chapter 1. And it's my Christmas present to you, my dear friends. Thanks so much for your support!

Merry Christmas, and enjoy!

Christmas Day, 2007

Marc forced out one more sit-up, then leaned back on his arms, breathing hard, the strain taking only the slightest edge off his black mood. After six years of living in a nine-by-nine concrete box you’d think he’d be used to this. But maybe that was part of the punishment—you never got used to it.

He stood, threw himself down for a set of push-ups, the pain a kind of anesthetic, a way to focus on something besides the nothingness that was his life.

Seventy-five, seventy-six, seventy-seven.

He pushed past 100, then sat back against the wall to catch his breath.

Other men read their kids bedtime stories or made love to their wives before they went to sleep. He kicked his own ass. And he rarely slept. Not deeply, anyway.

From down the cell block came the muffled sound of crying. The new kid. Only sixteen, he’d been drunk and fucking around with daddy’s gun when it had shocked the hell out of him and slam-fired into his best friend. The judge had been in a kick-ass mood and decided to make an example of him. He’d been sentenced to sixteen years.

Helluva thing to happen.

Still, someone needed to tell the kid to shut up. Show too much vulnerability in this place, and you’d find yourself on bitch duty. Marc would have a talk with him tomorrow.

Tomorrow—Christmas Day.

He’d forgotten about it completely until Cormack had wished him a Merry Christmas during evening count an hour ago. It would be like any other damned day, except the kitchen would turn out some dry fucking shit that was supposed to be turkey together with blobs of canned cranberry sauce. The luckier inmates would get photographs or Christmas cards or maybe even cash for their commissary accounts. Everyone else would watch those lucky few—and think about the families they left behind on the outside, families that no longer gave a damn about them.

Marc reached for the photo of Megan holding little Emily, let his gaze travel over the familiar image. Megan, her hair drawn back in a pony tail, exhaustion on her face, her ankle cuffed to the bedrail. She looked exhausted but happy, her gaze fixed on her baby girl, a look of wonder in her eyes.

Emily was almost six months old now and thriving with her Mennonite foster family. As unexpected Megan's pregnancy had been, Marc was grateful that his niece had come along when she had. Megan had quit using drugs the moment she’d realized she was pregnant. If she stayed clean, she’d be out of prison and in a halfway house in a little more than a month — and she’d be able to see Emily again.

If Marc had still believed in prayers, he’d have prayed for that — that his sister would be reunited with her baby and live a long and happy life. The two of them still had a chance at a normal life, and he would do anything — anything — to make sure they got that chance.

Of course, there wasn’t much he could do, given that he was locked in this place and would be for the rest of his life.


Life without parole.

He set the photo down and reached for the newspaper article on the shelf beneath, his gaze seeking the byline.

By Sophie Alton

He ran a fingertip over the ink, ran her name through his mind.

Strange that she of all people should end up writing articles about his sister’s struggle. Compassionate, smart, a damned good writer—Sophie had made her dream of becoming a top-notch journalist a reality. And Marc respected her all the more for it.

If he closed his eyes, he could picture her clearly even though twelve long years had gone by since the last time he’d seen her. Straight strawberry blonde hair. Beautiful blue eyes. Delicate features.

Fairy sprite.

That’s what he’d called her that night so long ago—the night he’d taken her virginity and
spent the night with her beneath the stars. It was a dumb nickname, really. But then he’d been only eighteen.

Sophie was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He’d spent one night with her, and somehow she’d changed his life—at least for a little while. He’d give whatever little bit of his soul he had left to see her again, except that he didn’t want her to see the man he’d become.

Did she regret that night? Did she remember him the way he remembered her?

He began to read through the article, when the lights went out.

Eleven P.M. Another day done.

He set the clipping back on his shelf, then stretched out on his bunk and stared into the darkness. Down the hall, the kid was still crying.

And then he heard it—someone singing.

“Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright.”

How long had it been, how many years, since Marc had heard the carol? His throat grew tight as the song went on, the words with their hope so out of place in this godforsaken hellhole. Nights were never silent in prison, and nothing even close to holy ever happened here.

"Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.”

He didn’t even know what peace was any longer, and he wished whoever was singing would shut the fuck up.

But another voice took up the words. And another. And another.

”Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar. Heavenly hosts sing hallelujah. Christ the savior is born. Christ the savior is born.”

And Marc found himself singing along, the lyrics coming to him out of some forgotten memory.

“Silent night, holy night, son of God, love’s pure light. Radiant beams from they holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace.”

But the last words died on his tongue. There would be no redemption for him, no second chance.

“Jesus lord at thy birth, Jesus lord at thy birth.”

The song finished, leaving a bittersweet silence in its wake.

And then Marc heard.

The kid down the cell block had quit crying.

And for the first time in years, Marc closed his eyes and prayed—for Megan, for Emily.

And for Sophie.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Surrender in Norsk

I got home today to find a wee box on my steps. It was from my agent. I thought it might be anything. Who knows? She periodically sends stuff she thinks I might like.

I opened it and discovered copies of Surrender in Norwegian. The title of the book has been changed to The Brand, referring, of course, to the terrible brand Annie wears on her inner thigh thanks to her dear Uncle Bain. (Norwegian is very easy for me to read; it's almost exactly like Danish.)

The blurb on the back is very well done, I thought. Authors have very little involvement with foreign publishers and foreign-language translations (though I would love to be more involved in multi-lingual events and such and maybe adding foreign-language pages to my website soon).

The back reads:

" Lady Anne Campbell was betrayed by her own uncle and sent to the English colonies in America, where she was sold as an indentured servant. It was a hard life, and Anne survived an Indian attack... only because a scout, Iain MacKinnon, was willing to risk his own life and his position in the army to save her.

"Warm feelings arise between Anne and Iain, but he has nothing to offer her. He is bound to the English army, and his commander, Lord William Wentworth, is willing to do anything to have Anne for himself... "

Anyone have Norwegian friends or relatives who might want a romance in norsk? I've got five copies. I'm actually reading Surrender right now to keep in a Ranger mood during the work week. It might be fun to see how they translated it.

Okay, so maybe this is only interesting to me. If you're bored, just look at John DeSalvo's awesome nipple on the front cover. That ought to tide you over until my next post.

Only a week till Christmas, and I haven't started shopping yet!
Monday, December 17, 2007

Jayne Ann Krentz and Me

Lost and Found by Jayne Ann Krentz and Pamela Clare (Kindle Edition - Mar 3, 2007) - Kindle Book

It's every author's dream. You open your browser, go to, and there on the screen is your book! You stare at it, thinking, "Wow! I wrote that. I wrote that!" Ah, yes. Such a special feeling.

And then there are those rare times you log on and see your name and think, "I wrote that?"

Such was my experience today when I went to Amazon to see if the cover of Unlawful Contact was up and discovered that I had co-written a book with none other than Jayne Ann Krentz! The title of the book was Lost and Found, which seemed to be very appropriate because I'd lost any memory of ever having worked with Ms. Krentz and had only just now found the story.

Imagine my swelling sense of pride. Me and New York Times bestseller Jayne Ann Krentz writing together. Any author would be proud to be part of such a partnership. I found myself full of questions: Did Jayne and I work well together? Were our styles compatible? Which one of us wrote the sex scenes? Who handled characterization best? When is our next co-authored book coming out? And why if I co-authored that book is my name not on the cover?!?

The most amazing thing about this novel is that I wrote it with zero stress. None at all. No long hours agonizing over which word comes next. No brainstorming character. No research. I would love to write more books in this fashion.

The first thing I need to do is find out how to contact Jayne and find out if she'd like to continue this partnership. But just between you all and me, I'm guessing she thinks she did more of the work and considers me a freeloader. Well, she may have something there.... Hmmm...

Seriously, it's a funny mistake. I'm not sure how the folks at Amazon accomplished this, but it made me laugh. I suppose in their rush to "kindle-ize" her book, someone got a wee bit confused. Now I can only hope that having my name in close proximity to Ms. Krentz will result in magic author fairy dust rubbing off on me so that I can find my way on the New York Times bestseller list, too, one day.

Thanks, Jayne. :-)
Friday, December 14, 2007

Galleys and Gift Baskets — Contest Time!

I have on my desk the edited galleys for Unlawful Contact. Which means it's Contest Time!

In honor of the holidays and in gratitude for the friendship and caring you all have shown me, I'm giving away an autographed galley of Unlawful Contact and a gift basket from Blue Moons Bliss. These products are hand-made by a friend of mine and include only all-natural ingredients and essential oils. I use them myself, and Luscious Lavender is the scent I prefer, so that's what I'm giving away.

Check out all the wonderful stuff at, and tell Benecia that Pamela Clare sent you!

So how do you enter this contest?

Simply reply to this post or send me an email at pamelaclare @ (remove spaces). Tell me what you prefer most in a contemporary hero, and I'll put you in the contest. Deadline: Sunday at midnight.

Update: I've been busy at work, and that's about it. The holiday season is always very busy for newspapers. Fortunately, January and February give us a chance to catch our breath. I'm understaffed in the newsroom right now, so that has made for some late nights and crazy days. I haven't gotten any Christmas shopping done. I guess I'm hoping there is a Santa and that he can do it all this time. (His sleigh, his reindeer, his credit cards.)

When it comes to fiction, I'm behind on Untamed, the sequel to Surrender, but there's not a lot I can do about it at this point. Being short on staff at the paper means that for the first time in six years, I won't have vacation through the holidays. But I do hope to post a few excerpts soon.

And speaking of excerpts:

From Unlawful Contact

Clutching the arm that imprisoned her, Sophie struggled to keep up as Hunter pushed her down the empty, silent hallway, gun near her cheek. Her mouth had gone dry, and her heart beat so hard it hurt, her sense of unreality growing with each forced step.

This couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be real.

It was only too real.

His breath hot on her temple, his hold on her never letting up, Hunter half-dragged, half-carried her toward the security checkpoint where only thirty minutes ago she’d overheard Sergeant Hinkley saying something to Lieutenant Kramer—she couldn’t remember what.

Dear God, what if Lieutenant Kramer is dead?

They reached the gate, found it locked.

“Crappy hospitality.” Hunter hit a button on the control panel with the butt of the gun, and the gate clicked open. “I guess we’ll have to show ourselves out.”

“They’ll catch you sooner or later.” She barely recognized the sound of her own voice.

“I’m hoping for later.” He didn’t sound worried in the least. “Now hush your pretty mouth, and keep moving.”

It seemed to her she watched from outside herself as he drew her through the checkpoint, down the hallway, and through Lieutenant Russell’s station with its metal detectors, ink pad and black light scanner. She felt an absurd impulse to hold out her hand and run it under the scanner as she always did on her way out.

You’re in shock, Alton.

That must explain why she couldn’t think straight, why she was stumbling along with Hunter like a puppet, why she hadn’t tried get away from him. Well, that—and the fact that he’d threatened to kill her and had a gun to her head.

And to think she’d come here to help his sister.

Rage, hot and sudden, burned through Sophie’s panic and fear. She twisted, kicked, scratched, brought her knee up hard.
“Let… me… go!”

“Son of a—!” His curse became a grunt as her knee met his groin.

In a heartbeat, Sophie found herself pinned up against the wall, the hard length of his body immobilizing her, her arms stretched over her head, his forehead resting against hers.

His eyes were squeezed shut, breath hissing from between his clenched teeth, his face contorted in obvious pain. He drew a deep breath, then opened his eyes and glared at her, his expression shifting from pain to fury.

“I’ll give you that one because, God knows, I deserve it. But don’t try to play rough with me, Sophie! You’ll only end up getting yourself hurt!”

He seemed to hesitate for a moment, then his gaze dropped to her mouth.

For a split second, she thought he might try to kiss her, and a completely new fear unfurled in her belly. “Don’t!”

He thrust her in front of him and pushed her down the hallway. “I’m a convicted murderer, not a rapist! Besides, now isn’t the time. Move!”

Her rage spent, she did as he demanded, trying not to trip, trying not to cry, trying not to throw up. Just ahead lay the lobby and beyond it the front entrance and visitors’ parking lot.

When I’m safely away, I’ll let her go.

His words came back to her, and she latched onto them, clinging to the hope they offered, repeating them in her mind like a mantra.

I’ll let her go. I’ll let her go.

They passed the abandoned registration desk where Sergeant Green had checked her in, and hurried through the now vacant lobby. And then they were outside.

Sophie barely noticed the cold wind or the fat snowflakes that had begun to fall or the fact that the sun had set, her thoughts riveted on Hunter and what he would do next.

He surprised her by stopping just outside the door and drawing her back against the brick wall with him. “Give me your keys! Which one is yours?”


“Which car?”

“The blue Toyota. But you can’t—!”

“There’s no time for this!” He covered her mouth with his hand. “Listen close, Sophie. The moment we step away from this building, a dozen snipers with high-powered rifles will sight on my skull. Perhaps that idea pleases you, but it makes me a little nervous. I don’t have time to call a cab, so we’re taking your car. Understand?”

He lifted the hand from her mouth.

She nodded, her pulse skyrocketing. “Y-yes.”

He was kidnapping her!

No! No! Please, no!

She swallowed a sob and fumbled in her purse for her keys.

Marc heard Sophie’s breath catch, felt her body jerk and realized she was crying.

Goddamn it! Goddamn it!

He fought the urge, so instinctual, to reassure her. He couldn’t afford to think about what she was feeling. Not now. Not yet. One mistake out here, and he’d be a dead man.

She drew her keys from her purse and held them out for him, metal jangling. “P-please just take my car and leave me!”

“No can do, sweetheart.” He grabbed the keys from her hand, glancing from the parking lot, which was flooded by search lights to the lobby, where a dozen C.O.s had gathered, waiting for him to slip and offer them a clear shot. “Go!”

He realized his mistake as soon as they hit the parking lot. Dressed in those ridiculous heels, she could barely walk on the ice and snow, much less run. She skittered and slipped, more than once nearly toppling them both to the ground. If she fell, she’d give the snipers the clear line of fire they were waiting for.

“Jesus Christ! It’s winter, woman, or hadn’t you noticed!” Marc lifted her off her feet, held her hard against him and ran, his prison-issue tennis shoes offering little more in the way of traction, the skin on his back prickling with the imagined heat of red lasers. He’d worked the other end of the rifle for too long and could almost hear the snipers' thoughts in his mind.

Slip. Drop the girl. Raise your head up just an inch, you bastard!

Her car was parked nearby—the first space in the second row. He fought for footing, skidded into the door, his knees crashing against metal as the first shot rang out.

Sophie screamed, and for one terrible moment Marc feared she’d been hit. Then he felt it—searing pain in his shoulder.

“Shit!” He slipped the key into the lock, jerked the door open, then shoved Sophie through the door and piled in behind her. “Scoot over!”

An explosion of weapons fire.

A barrage of bullets.

The driver’s side window and mirror shattered, glass spraying through the air as rounds shredded the door where he’d been standing a split second ago.

Keeping low, he slammed the door, slid the key into the ignition, and gunned the engine. Then, both hands on the steering wheel, he fishtailed out of the parking lot and toward the highway. “Put on your seatbelt, sweetheart. This ride is likely to get rough.”
Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Finally! A historical that I love!

After what feels like a century trapped in the desert, I have discovered a new-to-me author and a historical novel that I loved! The last time this happened was years ago when I was writing Ride the Fire and read Elizabeth Lowell for the first time. Apart from a handful of books I read written by her, I'd begun to think that it was impossible nowadays to find a historical author who writes what I want to read.

Okay, so I know I'm picky. When I read a historical novel, I want complex characters, a story that seems epic in nature, and historical veracity. I want dialogue that, as much as possible, feels genuine for that time and place. I want believable heroines who feel like real women, not proto-feminist "sheroes." I want heroes who feel like men, not metrosexuals. I want to feel the past surrounding me, carrying me away. I want a meaty story. And I want it to be as seamless as possible.

I don't want wallpaper historicals. I don't want "light, breezy" reads that feel like foam in my brain. I don't want novels about gowns and frippery and ballroom banter — unless they go to a deeper place than the wardrobe and the ballroom. I don't want anachronistic novels that put modern-day heroines into historical settings.

This week, I dug around in my TBR and found a novel I'd brought back from RWA this summer. It was Kathleen Givens' On a Highland Shore. I opened it up, plopped onto my bed... and vanished into 1263 Scotland.

Here's a description I stole from B&N:

On Scotland's western shore, the village of Somerstrath prepares for the joyous wedding celebration of Margaret MacDonald, the laird's daughter. But a dark storm of bloodshed and betrayal is closing in, as a merciless band of Vikings threatens the Highlands. Margaret is determined to hold the MacDonald clan together and to locate her abducted younger brother. But can she trust the noblemen from King Alexander's court, who insist that only by adhering to a betrothal conceived for political gain will she find safety? Or should she put her trust in an imposing half-Irish, half-Norse warrior? Gannon MacMagnus alone offers her hope of reuniting her family and vanquishing the barbarous Norsemen who would continue to rob her people of their God-given right to determine their own destinies. In whom should Margaret entrust the fate of the rugged, magnificent land she calls home?

There's sexual tension in this book, but very little sex. It's not a "hot read," but it's an amazing story. I ate it up, and at the end I wanted to read it again. That never happens to me. As I read the last page, I had a rush of goosebumps such as I haven't had... I can't remember when, really. I felt so satisfied by the story.

It's dark, gory, rich in history and full of believable, wonderfully drawn characters.

Kathleen Givens rocks. She's a RITA winner, and I can certainly see why. I sent her a slobbering fan-grrrl email, unable to help myself.

Historical novels are my absolute faves. And it's funny that any time a message board or readers' group asks readers to list their all-time favorite novels, so many of those are historicals. But, in part due to worries about being politically correct, and etc., historicals have been so muted lately. I think the publishing industry is in part to blame for that, as few houses want to venture outside the realm of Regency or European historicals. But that's another topic.

I don't make recommendations all that often, but I loved this book. It's a five-star keeper for me.

Needless to say, I haven't been writing...

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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