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

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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.


Seductive Musings

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm baaaack!

Ben's dorm on the Ithaca College campus.

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. As you all know, August got crazy for me. First we had to get Ben ready to move to New York. Then I had to drive him there and get him set up. Then I had to drive back and immediately go into covering four days of the Democratic National Convention.

It was nuts! But it's over. Thank God!

The drive out was every bit as long as I'd imagined it would be. We had to drive through a lot of flat, cornfield states to get to New York. There were a log of wind farms popping up in Iowa, which was cool to see. Once we got into Nebraska, things got humid. By Indiana, a person could drowned on the air!

We got into Ithaca at 4 AM on Thursday, had a few hours to sleep and then it was time to move him into his dorm room. We hadn't realized how busy they'd keep him. He had lots of orientation events to attend. While he did that, I unpacked his stuff and set his room up how I thought he'd like it.

Ben's dorm room at IC.

We thought we'd have the evening together to explore Ithaca, and we did get a little bit of time, heading out for ice cream at this shop called Purity Ice Cream, a very popular place judging by the crowd. I had a strawberry sundae and he had a chocolate brownie sundae, I think. Mmm. Makes me hungry to think about it.

Ben striking a Teddy Roosevelt-esque pose in front of his dorm.

The campus is beautiful. Everyone says CU-Boulder's campus is lovely, and it is, but I'm used to it. Ithaca College is perched on a hillside overlooking the city and Lake Cayuga. The hills surrounding the city are heavily forested. I bet it's amazing in the fall.

Looking down through campus toward the town of Ithaca, NY.

So we went for ice cream and then planned to have a late breakfast the next day. I knew I would have to say goodbye then and start the long drive home (interrupted — thank GOD! — by a visit with Sue Z and Kristi in Ohio). When I arrived the next morning after buying some things for him at Targe, however, he told me he'd just realized he had to go to a student job fair for kids with work study grants. And that meant I had to say goodbye right there in the parking lot.

My last glimpse of Ben at Ithaca College.

Having it happen like that was a fist to the gut. I tried hard not to cry — but failed, of course. I hugged the stuffing out of him and then had to let him go.


It was really a blessing that I was able to look forward to seeing Sue Z and Kristi, who live in Ohio. We had pizza and lots of booze and spent time chatting via Web cam with Libby, the other remaining Gangsta. I think I lost it a few times, but I did alright.

Sue and Kristi, thanks so much! Not sure what I would have done without you!

The next day was really tough — about 13 hours of driving and nothing to look forward to but more of the same. It was really hitting me that Ben was far behind me.

I got home Sunday, Aug. 24, and it was one of the toughest evenings of my life — coming inside, seeing Benjy everywhere in the house and nowhere, missing him so much it hurt. I didn't have a lot of time to think about because I had to get ready for the Democratic National Convention, which started early the next morning.

That was a whirlwind of its own. I spent Monday morning picking up credentials, finding my way around the Pepsi Center and figuring out how to sign in to the paper from there. The afternoon and evening were spent reporting from my seat in the press stands. If you watched the event on TV, I was in the stands to the left of the podium with a view of the speakers' behinds.

Particularly stirring was the tribute to Sen. Edward Kennedy. His appearance and his promise to be at the inauguration in January had tears in people's eyes — mine included.

The next day I spent trailing someone at the real convention -- the hundreds of chic, glitzy parties where special interests like gas, oil and the pharmaceutical industry, lobby lawmakers and other bigwigs. Most elected officials and party bigwigs only attend the convention when it's their turn to be onstage. Otherwise, they're off being wined and dined. I was wined and dined. I wish I'd eaten more of that awesome triple-cream imported brie!

On Wednesday I was up at 2:45 AM (yes, AM) to get to the paper and get the paper put to press. It was an insane and painful day. I was so exhausted at the end that I'm not even sure how I drove home.

Sen. Barack Obama joins Sen. Joe Biden on stage at the Pepsi Center Wednesday night. (Photo by Erica Grossman/Boulder Weekly.)

Thursday was the big day in Mile High Stadium. I was there from about 2 in the afternoon listening to speeches and watching performers. I really loved Cheryl Crow was good, too. Boulder's own Yonder Mountain String Band played, and that was a real thrill for the very Colorado crowd. Obama's speech was the highlight, of course, and it rocked the house. It was amazing to see so many thousands of people inspired to the point of tears — even men.

But now it's all over. And I'm home. I miss my kid horribly, but he has such a terrific opportunity to study at Ithaca, where the filmmaking equipment and instruction is first rate. I can't wait to go visit him in October! More on what I'll be doing then later.

I hope you're all well! Soon it will be contest time for Untamed!
Friday, August 08, 2008

Making a "to do" list

It dawns on me as I sit here working on Naked Edge that it's been ages since I've gotten a pedicure. I don't know about the rest of you, but nothing is quite as scrumptious as having silky feet and beautifully painted toenails. I prefer black polish. A bit goth, I know, but I love it.

Life just gets away from you sometimes, and when you should be getting a pedicure you're doing something else. So I thought I'd sit down and write up a "to do" list covering the next couple of weeks to see where I can fit in a trip to the salon.

Today, tomorrow and Sunday: Work on Naked Edge, which is supposed to be in by Oct. 1. (maniacal laugher)

Monday through next Thursday: Write articles for Thursday's special Anniversary Edition, edit articles for next week's Student Guide edition, write articles for next week's Student Guide edition, and prep for the Democratic National Convention.

Friday, Aug. 15, through Sunday, Aug. 17: Help my son pack for college, work on Naked Edge.

Monday, Aug. 18: Put Student Guide magazine insert to bed.

Tuesday, Aug. 19-20: Pack up car and drive son to Ithaca NY, stopping in Iowa to meet Matt of I-Team fame.

Thursday, Aug. 21-Friday, Aug. 22: Help son move into dorm room, drink excessive amounts of coffee while hanging in Ithaca and helping him to get settled.

Saturday, Aug. 23: Cry buckets of tears as I leave my baby in Ithaca and start the two-day drive home, stopping to visit the Pygmies along the way. See Pygmies again. Cry some more. (It's okay. They're used to this.)

Sunday, Aug. 24: Keep driving. Find a way to enjoy Nebraska. (Perhaps think up haikus about corn?) Fall on knees and kiss the ground when the Rocky Mountains come into view again.

Monday, Aug. 25-Wed., Aug. 27: Pick up DNC press credentials in Denver. Make way through 30,000 protesters to the Pepsi Center (above). Spend the day doing live blogging, writing articles for Thursday's paper and manage the rest of my reporting staff. Note to self Remember to take gas mask. Drink excessive coffee to stay awake from early hours to late-night convention hours, compete with a zillion other reporters for a chance to speak to Obama.

Thursday, Aug. 28: Attend convention and then Obama's speech at Mile High Stadium (sorry, I refuse to call it Invesco.) Probably embarrass myself by crying while he gives his speech. Report live via cell phone link to the Boulder Theater every 30 minutes, while continuing to blog live. Note to self: Look into wearing adult diapers so as to avoid wasting time in the bathroom.

Friday: Collapse. GET PEDICURE. Thank God we only have general elections every four years. Get back to writing. Whiskey: It's what's for dinner.

So there. It's all figured out. See? You just have to prioritize and plan if you want to include those little special moments — like, say, going to the bathroom, sleeping or eating a meal.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A writer's dilemma

Tségháhoodzáni — otherwise known as Window Rock

As I'm writing Kat and Gabe's story here, I'm facing a dilemma I haven't faced much before (apart from a single scene in Surrender) and that is how to respect the boundaries within Indian culture while at the same time explaining things enough so that readers will understand.

My sister and I were emailing back and forth about this at about 4 AM my time (noon-ish her time in Stockholm). She was confused by a scene in the draft manuscript of Naked Edge, and I hadn't given more detail because I felt doing so would be wrong.

It's frowned upon (if not utterly forbidden) to share the details of Native ceremonies with outsiders. You can't photograph sacred sites, nor can you take pictures at ceremonies. That's just how it is. So for me to write an Indian character, I have to show that world from the inside without crossing boundaries that would be considered exploitative.

It's not an unfamiliar balancing act, as I've had to do that as a journalist, as well. I've covered meetings of the Navajo Nation Council in Window Rock (above), as well as an attempt by feds to barricade and shut down the Sun Dance at Camp Ana Mae at Big Mountain (no photos, sacred site). In both instances, I was part of events the full nature of which was private but part of which needed to be made public in order to for people to step up and help Indian people.

Even when I reported on events at "Mesa Butte" (not it's real name), I had to be careful of what to say and what not to say.

Also, I'm working hard to make sure that Kat feels authentically Indian to me but is also someone who feels accessible and real to readers.

OK, so there's not much to this post, but there you have it. :-)
Monday, August 04, 2008

Road trip!

Hi, all,

If you live in Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, or western NY, I may be passing through a town near you! I'm going to be driving my son to college in Ithaca, NY, and hope perhaps to connect with some of you and quaint roadside eateries or other glamorous locations, like truck stops.

I'm pasting in the route we'll be taking (maybe) below, but I have no idea where the halfway mark is or where we'll be staying overnight. I hope to find hotels in towns that magically coincide with drivable distances for you, so that I can meet you!

Please contact me here or via email if you have ideas about how to make this work. I've really never been east of the Mississippi apart from a few trips to Springfield, ILL, where I was born.

I am willing to alter the route below as long as it doesn't make Ben late for orientation on Aug. 21 or me late for covering the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 25. (We just got official notice from the Library of Congress that we got press creds today, so I'll be there somewhere when you're watching it on TV.)

Driving Directions
Estimated Time: 24 hrs., 23mins.
Total Distance: 1668.5 miles (2685.1km)

1. Start out heading SOUTH on SHERMAN STREET towards 21ST AVENUE. Drive for a short distance.
2. Turn RIGHT onto 21ST AVENUE. Drive for 0.1 miles.
3. Turn RIGHT onto FRANCIS STREET. Drive for 0.5 miles.
4. Turn RIGHT to get on UTE HIGHWAY heading EAST. Drive for 3.2 miles.
5. Go STRAIGHT on CO-66. Drive for 12.3 miles.
6. Turn RIGHT to get on US-85 S. Drive for 8.6 miles.
7. Take exit towards CO-52 / FT LUPTON / DACONO. Drive for 0.3 miles.
8. Turn LEFT onto CO-52. Drive for 9.3 miles.
9. Turn LEFT to get on I-76 E towards I-76 E / US-6 E. Drive for 155.2 miles.
10. Go STRAIGHT on I-80 E. Drive for 471.8 miles.
11. Take exit number 123B towards I-80 E / I-35 / CHICAGO / MINNEAPOLIS / KANSAS CITY. Drive for 0.3 miles.
12. Go STRAIGHT to get on I-35 N towards I-80 E / I-35 N / CHICAGO / MINNEAPOLIS. Drive for 14.6 miles.
13. Go STRAIGHT on I-80 E. Drive for 150.8 miles.
14. Take exit number 290 to get on I-280 E towards I-280 E / US-6 E / ROCK ISLAND / MOLINE. Drive for 27.3 miles.
15. Go STRAIGHT on I-80 E. Drive for 167.1 miles.
16. Stay SLIGHT RIGHT on I-80 E heading towards TOLL ROAD / I-80 E / I-90. Drive for 286.1 miles.
17. Take exit number 151 to get on I-480 E. Drive for 26 miles.
18. Keep SLIGHT LEFT at the fork towards US-422 E. Drive for 1.5 miles.
19. Take I-271 N towards I-271 N / US-422 W / ERIE PA / US-422 W. Drive for 12.8 miles.
20. I-271 N becomes I-90 E. Drive for 90.7 miles.
21. Take exit number 37 to get on I-86 E towards JAMESTOWN. Drive for 190.5 miles.
22. I-86 E becomes RT-17 E. Drive for 1.7 miles.
23. Take exit number 54 to get on RT-13 towards ITHACA. Drive for 27.5 miles.
24. Turn RIGHT onto RT-96B S. Drive for 0.7 miles.
25. Keep RIGHT to stay on RT-96B S. Drive for 1.1 miles.
26. You have reached 953 Danby Road, Ithaca 14850, New York

Get in touch with me if we can meet anywhere along this route! Also, if you know anything we should stop and visit along the way, I'd appreciate knowing that, too. I've been all over Europe, but haven't seen much of the U.S.

Blogger isn't letting me upload photos tonight, or I'd have a hottie here for you to enjoy. D'oh!

Hope everyone is doing well! Now back to Kat and Gabe...

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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