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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Benjy in London

Just popping in from Deadline Hell to share a photo of Benjamin standing with his beloved Lucy in the cage at the top of The Monument in London. Aren’t they wonderful together?

You can just see Tower Bridge to the right of Lucy's pretty head, along with a stretch of the Thames.

I got to Skype with them late yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, which was really nice because I ended up having to cancel my plans to visit my parents and have Thanksgiving dinner with them. I needed the time to write. So it was just me here with a fire and some chocolate.

BP Update: I’m halfway through Chapter 31. Only 32, 33, and the epilogue to go — which will take every second between now and early Monday AM. Keep the vibes coming! I wish it were possible to order coffee from Starbucks via Internet and have it delivered to my desk...

So I’m off again. But I had to share a photo of these two delightful young people whom I love so very much.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, I am thankful for so many things.

I am thankful for all the support I got in getting the shackling bill passed in Colorado. I’m thankful that people’s hearts were moved and that pregnant women in prison and jail will no longer have to suffer added indignity.

I am thankful for Dr. William Bentley and the fact that the cause of the pain in my legs was finally — FINALLY! — diagnosed.

I am thankful that it was something they could treat.

And I am thankful beyond words that the surgery, performed by Dr. Saul Schwartz, was (apparently) successful. I still have a lot of healing to do, but at least I can say that now.

I'm thankful for all my mother and others did to help me during my immediate post-operative recovery period.

I’m thankful to Kat for the lovely meal that I was able to eat even though it was so hard to swallow.

I am thankful for my five-book contract with Penguin Books/Berkley Sensation.

I am thankful that the contract enables me to write Connor's book.

I am thankful to my editor that I have Jed Hill and his very fine body on the cover of Breaking Point. Yes, I know you’re thankful for that, too.

I am thankful to have two jobs and safe, warm home when so many people are losing jobs and homes.

I am thankful that I was given the gifts of language and storytelling.

I am thankful that I got to meet a few of you this year.

I am thankful for the love of my family, my friends and my readers. That includes you!

I am thankful to be living and breathing on this beautiful little planet.

And most of all I am thankful for my two sons, Alec and Benjamin.

What are you thankful for this year?

P.S. Yes, I know I said that would be my last post until the book was done, but I couldn’t miss giving you all a holiday greeting. Besides, I know you much you all love that goofy cartoon turkey!
Friday, November 19, 2010

True Love

Alec Matthew, 12 hours old, Oct. 1, 1986

As a romance novelist, I write stories about men and women who meet, overcome obstacles together and fall in love. But the greatest love I have known is the love I feel as a mother. It dwarfs any romantic love. There’s not a man on the planet who captures my heart the way my two sons do. No other relationship has brought me such joy.

Alec, my first born, turned 24 on Oct. 1. The day he was born I was blown away by how much I loved him. He was tiny — only 6 pounds, 10 ounces — but I remember thinking as I held him that my happiness from that moment on would depend on his well-being.

Both of my births were attended by midwives — I don't like being told what to do and doctors have nasty tendency to dominate women during labor and birth, when we should be the ones in charge — and Alec’s birth was 100 percent natural. No IV. No drugs. No one shouting, "Push! Push!" or counting to 10. I caught him myself and drew him onto my chest so fast that no one could see whether he was a boy or a girl.

But that was the most pain-filled day of my life, and I decided that I would either never have another child, or I would have an epidural from the moment I found out I was pregnant.

Well, I ended up having an epidural, but not until I was dilated 4 cm with Benjamin. I knew he was a boy from ultrasound images. I wasn’t terribly interested in having the experience of birth — no more than anyone is excited to go through, say, a root canal — but I did want my baby. I found a great midwife who agreed to an epidural.

Benjamin Alexander — just hours old — November 20, 1989

I was only in active labor for two hours with Benjamin. He had a 15-inch head, however, so that was painful, especially because the epidural wore off just as I hit the pushing stage. I screamed him out — poor kid!

Now, he and his brother are all grown up. I miss them both so much. Alec lives about 45 minutes from here, so I’ve been very lucky to be able to spend a bit more time with him, especially lately. He’s been coming over for dinner every other week, and I’ve really cherished that time.

Brothers being goofy on Christmas morning

Benjamin would be arriving home in Denver right now for Thanksgiving Break, but his girlfriend, Lucy, is away on a semester-abroad program, studying theater in London. The selfless part of me thought it would be a beautiful birthday gift if I sent him to be with her for that week. Not only would they get to see each other, but he would get to see London accompanied by someone who’s been there for a few months and knows her way around.

The selfish part of me is sad that he won’t be here. By the time he gets home on Dec. 19, I will have gone just over four months without seeing him — a world record. I miss him so very much. I hope he has a safe and wonderful time in London with Lucy.

Benjamin and Lucy

I should say that Benjamin, perhaps more than any single person, has been there for me as a writer. I cannot tell you how many weekends he cleaned the house so that I wouldn’t have to. How many teenage boys — age 14-18 — do that sort of thing of their own volition? Plus, he lets me bounce ideas off him, as well.

Perhaps because he wants to be a filmmaker and has long had an interest in creative endeavors, he seems to understand how much it means to me to try to make it as an author. He has seen me at my best and at my very worst when I was at the end of my rope, ready to scream and rip my own hair out.

Happy Birthday, Benjamin, from the mother who loves you enough to send you to England when she instead wanted to bring you home. Enjoy London. And please be safe!

Benjamin Alexander, shooting Apples, Ithaca College, Fall 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quick update on BREAKING POINT

Authors are always the last to know...

Thanks to a tip from a reader, I discovered that the publication date for Breaking Point, my next I-Team story, has been bumped up to May 2011 from July. That's two whole months sooner that you’ll be able to read about Natalie’s ordeal in Mexico — and how it brings her together with the wounded warrior who needs her every bit as much as she needs him.

Breaking Point is already available on Amazon for pre-order, although they don’t have the cover up yet. You’ll have to search to find it.

Of course, if I don’t finish the book by November 30, I’ll lose that publication date. I understand now why my editor wants it absolutely by the end of the month. I’m on Chapter 29. But events at the paper have kept me extra busy. I spent this past weekend with some good friends, and this coming weekend will be shortened due to a wonky special edition deadline that is robbing me of a day off. Yikes!

Send good vibes for a crazy productive week! I’m editing the book on weeknights, trying to get revisions done at the same time that the ending of the novel is percolating in my brain.

In the meantime, I’m thinking up some fun contests, including an I-Team Re-read Challenge and a Get the I-Team Hunks Out of Your TBR and Into Your Bed Challenge.

The first would involve prizes for readers who re-read the first four books just prior to the release date of Breaking Point. The second is about encouraging readers who have the I-Team books buried in their TBR to dig them out, dust them off and read them. Do Julian and Marc really deserve to languish in TBR limbo forever?

Also, I’m going to try to get some apps going. One that comes to mind is “Pin the Canoli on the I-Team Hunk.” Thanks to Jenn J, we have the art for that, but it doesn't actually move. So I might have an apps contest, too, to see who can develop the coolest ideas for iPods, iPhones and iPads. (I say this after having played Angry Birds on Libby’s iPad. That game is addictive!)

I’d also like to give a shout out to SueZ, Libby and Kristi for being such great friends. We had a blast this weekend, thanks to Sue, who got the ball rolling. Alcohol was consumed. Laughing was epidemic. And I think we had the world's longest Skype session ever with Kristi.

Coming soon:
Playlists for Breaking Point

So, what is everyone reading these days?
Monday, November 08, 2010

Some good news

Those of you who stay on top of news on the blogosphere have no doubt heard of the struggles facing Dorchester Publishing, the publishing company that launched me back in 2003. They’ve had financial difficulties, which have resulted in their decision to go to an e-book format only and to discontinue books in print. They’ve also had a great deal of difficulty paying authors, including yours truly.

I hold great affection for many people at Dorchester, so I’m this post won’t devolve into Dorch-bashing. But I will say that I was lucky enough to separate myself from the company before its woes became serious. I left on good terms — at least with the people I care about, most of whom are no longer there — but Dorchester still owned the rights to my five historical novels.

My agent and I were not excited about the prospect of these novels being available only and forever by e-book, so she started the looooong process of getting back my rights. We had strong grounds to do this, and as of October 12, my books once again belonged solely to me.

They’re still available as e-books, although I’m not getting any of the revenue from sales. It’s still going to Dorchester because the e-book companies, Amazon included, seem to take their sweet time when it comes to removing titles. I haven’t raised a stink about it — in my case Dorchester is absolutely not to blame — because I'm very busy.

Today I got the fan-freaking-tastic news that Penguin — my I-Team series is published under their Berkley Sensation imprint — is buying the distribution rights to three of the five books in my historical backlist. They are buying Ride the Fire, Surrender and Untamed.

It makes sense for them to buy especially the last two, as they also bought Connor’s book. After people read his story, some will want to go back and get the previous two books. And unless they’re still in print, they won’t be able to find them. But now, happily, they will be in print.

So that takes care of the MacKinnon’s Rangers series.

But what about the others? I told my agent to please, please, please try to persuade Penguin to buy Ride the Fire, as well. There are reasons for this. First, it’s the novel where my writing really hit its stride, or so I feel. Also, it’s an intensely personal story for me, the novel that took the most out of me in many respects. And third, it’s a reader fave.

My editor hasn’t read Ride the Fire yet, but I trust that when she does she’ll be happy she included it in the purchase. And when she reads it, I'm going to ask for the chance to fix one thing that has bugged me for years (an oversight on my part toward the end) and to add the long-awaited, still unwritten epilogue.

I have no idea what the covers will look like or when the books will be released. I suspect they’ll want to get Surrender and Untamed in print before Connor’s book is released a little more than a year from now. As for Ride the Fire, who knows? But at least the stories won’t be languishing forever.

As for Sweet Release and Carnal Gift, I’ve got to contact all the e-book booksellers in the universe and let them know to send the checks to moi. Because I have time for that. But for the foreseeable future, those two are going to be out of print. It’s a bummer, yes, but I’ve had a much softer landing with regard to the Dorchester ordeal than some authors. I have my agent to thank for that.

I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that my editor would want these books for weeks now, and I’m so excited to share the good news.
Saturday, November 06, 2010

Busy writing...

So sorry to leave you without new content! Hope those photos of bulging man-bits didn’t bore you too much.

The election ate my life for a few days. We worked late Tuesday night, laughing at all the stupid things TV journalists were saying. And we got a little punchy ourselves late that night.

One guy from Channel 9 said: “Sometimes people say they think they can win this thing because they feel like they have to say they think they can win it, and then sometimes you know people are saying they think they can win because they think they can win.”

Uh, wow. Put that online as your quote of the week.

I feel sorry for broadcast journalists in the sense that they have to fill time and they can’t edit things once they’ve said them during a live broadcast. I’ve done lots of live radio and live radio call-in shows, so I understand that. But sheesh! I don’t think I’ve ever been that inarticulate. Some of the blather was highly entertaining.

But the election is over. Thank God!

I’ve shifted straight into working on Breaking Point. My goal is to finish Chapter 28 and then get at least halfway through Chapter 29 before the end of the weekend, because next weekend I’m taking for myself.

It’s going to be a BFF gangsta weekend, with SueZ flying in from Ohio to hang with Libby and me. There will be good food and drink. There will be laughter. And time will go by much too swiftly. That’s all I know for certain. We don’t have anything specific planned beyond spending time together, something we rarely get to do.

One member of our gangsta foursome can’t make it — Kristi! — so we’ll be missing her. But we hope to do a video chat of some kind so that she can share in the fun.

Last time I saw Sue and Kristi in person was in August 2008 when I was driving home from dropping my son off at college in NY. They supplied the alcohol. I cried, my heart completely broken at having to leave my boy behind and return to my empty nest for the very first time. They were my salvation on that trip.

Libby and I manage to see each other a bit more often — which is good because she only lives 20 minutes away.

But back to Breaking Point... Some of you have been pleading for an excerpt. If I can find one that doesn’t give something key away, I’ll post it. But this is my most action-packed I-Team novel, and future scenes give past events away. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, so I am being cautious with excerpts.

I’m reaching the emotional and action climaxes of the story in the next couple of chapters, so it’s some pretty intense writing. I deliberately manipulate my own emotions for these scenes, playing music that puts me in the right frame of mind, whether it’s fear or grief or despair or whatever the emotion is. Then I end up going through a box of tissues and feeling as wrung-out as the characters.

My new deadline is Nov. 29. If I don’t meet it, the publication day moves further away. So I must meet it! I won’t be around as much between now and the end of the month as I finish weaving words together for this story.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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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