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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MacKinnon’s Rangers Challenge, Excerpt & Giveaway

As of the moment I write this, we’re only 35 days away from the release of Defiant, the long-awaited third book in my MacKinnon’s Rangers series. Since Untamed was released in 2008, I’ve gotten daily emails asking me when Connor’s story would be released.

Now, that day is just around the corner.

To prep for it, I’m asking those of you who read the first two books to reread them with me so the details are fresh in your mind. I challenge those of you who already have Surrender and Untamed in your TBR to take this as the Sign You’ve Been Waiting For to take them out, dust them off, and read them at last.

Surrender tells the story of Iain MacKinnon, the eldest MacKinnon brother, and Lady Anne Burness Campbell, or Annie Burns. It picks up in the early spring of 1758 after the British have suffered years of disappointments in the war against France.

Forced to start a company of Rangers and to fight for the British, Iain is on a mission with his two younger brothers, Morgan and Connor, when he sees the lone survivor of a French and Indian raid on a homestead fighting for her life. Despite orders to stick with his mission and not interfere, Iain cannot let her be slain. He turns command of the Rangers over to Morgan and saves Annie’s life — at a very high cost to himself. Thus begins his adventure with the woman who will bring beauty and gentleness back into his war-weary life.

Untamed, Morgan’s story, picks up a couple of weeks after Surrender ends. In command of the Rangers, Morgan is taken captive by the French after he is badly wounded in an ambush at Fort Carillon/Ticonderoga. A high price rests on his head, and the French are eager to interrogate and  him, which means they must save his life. The commander puts a young convent-raised French woman, Amalie, to the task of caring for him night and day, unknowingly building a bond between Amalie and Morgan that will change all of their lives forever. 

Amalie’s father was killed by a Ranger, and it takes great heart for her to overcome her anger and grief so that she can care for Morgan. But Amalie is all heart. And soon Morgan means far more to her than she imagined. She knows the plan is to hand him over to the MacKinnon brothers’ mortal enemies, the Abenaki, once he has recovered, and she knows the Abenaki will burn him to death. She cannot bear the thought of him suffering so terribly, and looks for a way to save his life.

Defiant begins about two weeks after Untamed ends in March of 1760.  And to celebrate my good news (below), I will share an excerpt that features Lord William. I had a special request for just such an excerpt, and I aim to please.

First my two bits of exciting news:

Skin Deep has been in the top 100 for contemporary romance, both Kindle and general, since it’s release. That’s your doing. Thank you!

The reviews for Skin Deep have been overwhelmingly positive, which is encouraging. I know novellas can be a big disappointment. It’s very difficult to fit significant character development and plot into such a small amount of space. I tried very hard, and given the number of you who loved Nate and Megan’s story — and who are now demanding a story for Jack West — I feel like I succeeded at least a little.

I hope to have another I-Team After Hours novella written for you by this fall. But first I’m going to finish the next full-length I-Team novel because I heard a rumor that some of you would like that. I don’t have a title yet, but I will soon.

Second, Sweet Release, my first novel and the first book in the Kenleigh-Blakewell Family Saga, is at this moment the No. 1 FREE download for Kindle. It was the No. 1 FREE download for iTunes, too, but is now No. 2 there. Carnal Gift, Book 2 in that series, has risen to the No. 4 spot for historicals on iTunes and was #37 on Kindle historical romance this morning. So thank you again!

Here are the links. It won’t be free much longer. This is part of a special promotion and will end soon.

Kindle —
iBooks —
Kobo & others —

I’ve had a lot of inquiries about Ride the Fire. It is currently out of print, but is being reissued in February 2013 by Berkley. The reissue will feature the never-before-published (and as-yet-unwritten) epilogue. As many of you know, Ride the Fire has long been a reader favorite. I also consider it to be the book where I found my true voice as an author of historical romance. I cannot wait to share it with you all!

And now without further ado, I bring you a man you love to hate — Lord William Wentworth.

~ ~ ~

“My dearest Uncle, I most humbly beseech Your Lordship that you forgive my Boldness and make haste to aide me.  Such Affronts and Sorrows have I faced of late, that I must plead for Your Lordship’s Protection.  I dare write nothing that other Eyes might behold, so I shall say no more.  I humbly beseech Your Lordship to grant me Permission to travel to Albany that I might lay bare my Plight to you in person.  Please, I pray you, Uncle, if ever Your Lordship held me in Affection, help me now.

“Yours most bound and forever,

Sarah Woodville.”

Lord William looked up from the letter and stared out the window into the darkness, the fingers of his left worrying the cracked marble chess piece he always kept in his vest pocket—the black king Lady Anne had broken two summers past.

This was his fault. 

When Sarah had written to him pleading for his help, he’d had misgivings, but he’d ignored them.  At the time, he’d been worried about smallpox and measles, both of which had hit Albany hard this winter.  He hadn’t imagined it possible that Indians would dare strike so close to town with the war all but won and three thousand of His Majesty’s troops billeted here.

He’d been wrong.

How he wished now that he had denied her request and employed some other means of learning the truth of her situation, but the thought that she might truly need his help had overthrown all else, so he’d relented, arranging for her passage northward.  Bright-eyed, inquisitive, and talented beyond measure upon the harpsichord, she was the only member of his rather large and unpleasant family about whom he gave a damn. 

The last time he’d seen her had been six years ago just prior to his voyage to the Colonies.  She’d been but twelve years old and still very much a child.  Though her body had only begun to show signs of approaching womanhood, it had been clear to all that she would grow to become a woman of surpassing beauty.  William’s sister, secretly a severe Lutheran, had restricted her daughters to long hours of daily Bible study and needlework to prepare them for marriage and motherhood.  She’d been openly distressed by her youngest child’s beauty and passion for music, deeming both dangerous to Sarah’s immortal soul. 

But William had found Sarah refreshing and had indulged her when occasion allowed, secretly taking her to hear chamber music and lending her books about history, art, and music theory.  He’d even let her play privately on the harpsichord before His Majesty, her skill astounding and delighting the old man.  But perhaps his sister had been right to restrict Sarah.  Perhaps she’d seen something in her daughter that William had not.

Last summer, Sarah had caused such a scandal that her father had sent her away, depositing her not in the family’s estates to the north, but on the other side of the world in New York with Governor DeLancey, an old family friend.  When William had inquired as to the nature of the scandal, his sister had written to say that decency forbade her even to mention it.  Even knowing his sister’s penchant for exaggeration when it came to matters of sin, William had been intrigued by this, but the summer campaigns had prevented him from inquiring further.  He’d hoped to hear the unspeakable truth of it from Sarah on this visit.

But now she was out there somewhere, a captive of men who would not hesitate to do unimaginably cruel things to her.

As second in command of His Majesty’s forces in the Colonies, William had heard all the tales—accounts of cruelest torture, maiming, rape.  They’d always just been words on parchment to him, nothing more than the cost of war.  This one burnt alive, that one beaten and sold, this one adopted and forced into heathen marriage. 

But the thought of Sarah enduring such a fate…

In truth, William didn’t give one whit what happened to the other two captives so long as Sarah was returned to him alive and unscathed.  MacKinnon had probably guessed as much.  He’d seen the disgust on MacKinnon’s face when MacKinnon had heard that one of the captives was William’s niece. 

For a moment, I thought you’d grown a heart.

How could William expect an uncultured brute like MacKinnon to understand that Sarah was worth more than a thousand common colonial women?

“Pardon me, my lord.”  Lieutenant Cooke’s voice came from the doorway.

William turned to face him.  “Yes, Lieutenant?”

Cooke bowed neatly.  “I asked local churches to hold observances this evening so that prayers might be said for your niece.  Services at St. Peter’s begin in a half hour.”

“Well done.  Thank you.”  It was then William remembered he was in a state of undress, his wig sitting forgotten on his desk, his coat draped over a chair with his cravat.

“If I may be of any assistance, my lord… ”

William gave a consenting nod, his gaze drawn back to the window.

“Don’t worry, my lord.  Major MacKinnon will bring her safely home.”

~ ~ ~

I tried to find an excerpt that wasn't available anywhere else, but all other scenes with Lord William contained enormous spoilers, and I couldn’t do that to you.

I promise you that you will see Lord William as you’ve never seen him before in this story. His beloved niece, Lady Sarah, falling in love with Connor MacKinnon?

To launch the MacKinnon’s Rangers Re-Read and ‘Get ’em out of your TBR’ Challenge, I’m giving away one signed copy each of Surrender and Untamed for those who want to participate but don’t yet have the books. To be entered to win, just comment below.

And thanks for reading!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book News! Sweet Release is FREE, plus an excerpt

May has been such an incredibly busy month. I can’t believe it’s almost over! Is anyone else’s head spinning?

My big news for this morning is that Sweet Release, my first historical novel, is FREE for a short time on, iTunes and That means anyone with a desktop, laptop, ereader or tablet can read it for FREE.  It’s my hope that those of you who’ve never read one of my historicals or who’ve never read my books at all will give it a try.

The story is set in 1730 Colonial Virginia and took me seven years to write, partly because my kids were little and partly because that was the time in my life when I was deeply involved in hardcore investigative journalism. The stuff you read about in the I-Team books was happening during the time I was writing this book and the few that followed.

For some of my readers, Sweet Release remains their favorite. The heat between Alec and Cassie is strong, and story has a bit of flipped power dynamic with the hero being owned by the heroine. When my readers talk about the story, they inevitably bring up “the shackling scene,” in which Cassie starts a little role-playing sex game with Alec involving, well, shackles.

Here’s a sexy excerpt:

Cassie stifled a giggle at the thought of what she was about to do. When she’d told Alec she would punish him for defying her, she’d been jesting. Then an idea had begun to form in her mind—a startling, irresistible idea. Over the course of the evening, the idea had become a plan. She’d decided at least a dozen times not to go through with it. It was, she knew, not the sort of thing young ladies from good families did with men — even after they were married. It was positively indecent, which made it all the more enticing. In the end, curiosity — and the desire to give Alec the surprise of his life — had won out over propriety, and she had decided to stick with her plan.

She glanced nervously into her mirror and smiled conspiratorially at her reflection. Her hair was twisted stylishly upon her head, a few curls tumbling down her temples and at her nape. Her cheeks and lips were touched with rouge, her eyes lined with color. She wore the same ivory silk-and-lace gown she’d worn to Geoffrey’s birthday party — the one she’d worn when she’d first called Alec by his real name. She looked ready for a ball — except, of course, there was nothing beneath the gown.


She smoothed her skirts and looked around the room one last time. He’d arrive any minute. The candles on her bedside table cast a warm glow over the room. The covers of her bed were already turned down. In the middle of the bed lay the only pair of shackles she’d been able to find on the plantation. Though old and unused for years, they still worked. The key hung on a silken cord between her breasts.

The creaking of footfalls on the stairs told her he had come. She smoothed her skirts nervously, her heart pounding. Could she really do this? She felt herself start to smile, but forced it away. A quiet knock came at the door. The handle turned. Alec stepped in and turned to close the door. He looked so handsome, dressed in a clean linen shirt and breeches. She had to fight the urge to rush forward and fall into his arms.

“Cassie, love, I . . . ” He turned toward her, staring. “You look beauti—”

“You’re on time, convict.” It took every ounce of determination she had not to smile or giggle. “That’s good. It will go easier on you.”

Cassie could see in his eyes the moment he understood her game. His look of confusion was replaced by surprise and then amusement before his gaze grew cold and hard. “I’m to be punished, then?”

“I can no longer tolerate your insolence, convict. I mean to teach you a lesson.” It was good she had rehearsed her lines. It would have been impossible to say them else. Was she really going through with this?

He leaned against her bedpost nonchalantly, crossing his arms. Defiant and confident, he reminded her so much of the man he’d been when she’d first purchased his indenture. “And what makes you think I’ll cooperate, mistress, when I could just as easily break your pretty neck?”

“You’ll find what I have in mind far more pleasant than what you’ll receive if you disobey.”
“I see.” His gaze raked over her body in blatant sexual appraisal, and she shivered in anticipation. “And just what do you have in mind?”


He raised an eyebrow, then untied his shirt and slowly pulled it over his head. It fell, forgotten, at his feet. Candlelight cast the bronzed muscles of his arms, chest, and abdomen in glorious high relief. He reached for the opening of his breeches and began to untie them, his muscles shifting beneath sun-bronzed skin.

Cassie felt desire flow like warm brandy through her veins. “Slowly, convict.”

His gaze locked with hers again as ever so slowly he pulled on the ties, undid his breeches, and let them drop to the floor. He was rock hard, his sex thick and heavy.

She found she could scarcely breathe. “Your hair. Remove the thong.”

Not breaking eye contact, he reached back with one hand, and his dark hair slid free, falling just below his shoulders. He looked untamed, primally male, and, with his lash scars, not a little dangerous. He stepped toward her.

She stepped back and pointed to the bed. “Stop! The shackles. Lock one end around your right wrist, then pass the chain behind the bedpost, lie down, and lock the other end around your left wrist.”

He looked at the bed and saw the shackles. She heard his quick intake of breath and saw a shadow pass over his face. Then it was gone.

“Don’t you trust me, fair mistress?” His voice was dark as sin and soft as velvet. His eyes held the allure of every man who’d ever tried to beguile a woman into a false sense of sexual safety.
“Never.” She smiled and spoke in a rich, seductive voice she didn’t know she had. “But I will have your complete cooperation.”

“I see.” Naked, he walked to the bed, picked up the shackles, and closed one end around his right wrist. It locked with a click. He sat and moved backward across the bed, then reached behind his head and passed the chain behind one of the bedposts. “What makes you think these chains will protect you?”

“Do it, convict.”

He lay down, then reached back to cuff his left wrist. Click. He lay diagonally across the bed, completely vulnerable. His arms were stretched over his head. His chest rose and fell with each breath. His rigid sex stood defiantly against his abdomen. His legs, spread slightly, stretched the length of the bed, his feet hanging just over the edge. A tremor passed from Cassie’s belly to her sex.

His gaze, cold and menacing, bored through her. “Do you like what you see?”

“Aye, convict. And it’s good for you that I do.” Almost trembling with excitement, she loosened her bodice until her breasts were visible. Then she moved to the bed and began to caress him, first his feet, then his ankles and calves. Where her hands touched, her lips and tongue soon followed. She heard his breath quicken, felt his muscles tense, and reveled in his response. She worked her way up his muscular legs and over his powerful thighs, but, although she touched the sac that carried his seed, she did not touch his shaft. “You’ve a remarkable cock.”

He groaned in frustration. The chains caught on the bedpost, clinking as he strained against them. “Is this to be my punishment then? To be tortured with kisses, soft hands and words?”

Some part of her she’d never known awoke within her, and she felt herself grow more daring. Like a cat toying with its prey, she stretched across the bed beside him. She ran her fingers teasingly on his abdomen, outlining his erection.

“Your punishment is that you shall see, but you shall not touch. You shall want, but you shall not receive—not until it pleases me.”

This is your chance to download the book for free. Please help me spread the word. And if you haven’t already read it, I think you’re in for a treat. Originally released in 2003, it got a 4.5-start Top Pick review from RT Book Reviews and Alec was the recipient of their KISS Award.

You can download Sweet Release for Kindle, iBooks, Kobo and other formats, including Nook.

If you don’t have an ereader, you can download a PDF version from Smashwords (the third link above), or you can download a free Kindle or Nook application from Amazon or B&N that will enable you to read the story on whatever computer you’re using to be online now.



I would like to thank all of you who helped make the release of Skin Deep so much fun. It seemed like the book had been available for all of two hours by the time people were posting reviews. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, both for the main story and for the short story “Marc & Julian Make a Beer Run.”

This is my first 100-percent self-published book, so I was thrilled to see the response. I was away at my younger son’s college graduation last weekend, but I found myself laughing every time I logged on because so many readers flipped straight to the back to read the short story.

Thanks to everyone helped push Skin Deep up to No. 18 on B&N and into the low 200s on And huge thanks to all of you who tweeted and posted on Facebook and your blogs. I announced the contest winners for the three free copies of Skin Deep in the last comment on my previous blog, so if you posted and were hoping to win, please check. Maybe you did. I’ve only heard from one of the prize-winners so far.

 It’s available right now on for Kindle, B&N for Nook, and Smashwords for everything else. It’s not yet available in iBook format because it takes such an extraordinarily long time for ebooks to get through the system and up on iTunes. I’ll let you know when it’s posted there. Some readers download the free Kindle app to their iPads so they can read Kindle versions and not wait for iTunes.

If you haven’t yet read Skin Deep, I hope you’ll give it a try. If you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll share that with your reader friends.

Other news:

Benjamin and his girlfriend Lucy pose for the parental paparazzi immediately after the ceremony.

Benjamin graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ithaca College last Sunday in a ceremony that had me in tears several times. I was so proud of him and his friends — Lucy, his girlfriend, and Del, his wonderful roommate from freshman year. Benjamin now has a B.S. in Cinema and Photography and already has a job in his field, working as an assistant editor for Sender Films in Boulder. They do climbing porn — rock, alpine, ice — which is fun for him, given that he comes from a climbing family. He pulled his first all-nighter this week, helping them get a film ready for a festival and sleeping on the couch after crashing at 4 AM.

Our flower garden is in full bloom at the height of its beauty, and it really is spectacular this year. Everything is about a month ahead of schedule, with white irises already past their bloom and my rose bushes exploding with scenterrific color. All you have to do to be wafted in the scent of roses is stand on my porch. We’ll be sharing photos soon!

The countdown to the release of Defiant, the third book in my MacKinnon’s Rangers series is about to begin. The book — the longest story I’ve ever written — will be out on July 2, so we’ve got a lot of fun and celebration ahead. I’m so excited to be sharing Connor’s story with you! I cannot tell you want this book means to me.

I’m working on the next I-Team novel now — that’s the as-of-yet untitled I-Team Book 6.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

SKIN DEEP is out — Plus BEER RUN excerpt & CONTEST

Skin Deep is out!

How amazing — to write a book and have it available for you in just a couple of weeks. It’s almost interactive because you’re reading it so soon after I’ve written it. This is my first truly self-published book. Although my first two historicals, Sweet Release and Carnal Gift, are currently self-published, they were first published by Dorchester in print. So this is the first time I’ve handled everything beginning to end on a book.

Skin Deep is the also first novella in my I-Team After Hours series. Here’s a quick description:

Broken on the inside

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

Broken on the outside

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

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

The story is more than 47,000 words long — that’s pretty long for a novella —and includes at the end a 5,000-word I-Team short, “Marc & Julian Make a Beer Run.” The story is a thank-you to my most hard-core I-Team fans. The title is somewhat deceptive because all the guys pile into Zach McBride’s SUV, though it’s Marc, Julian and Zach who enter the liquor store. The roles each hero play in the story and their significance were determined by the annual I-Team hero vote held in the I-Team group on Facebook. Marc has won two years in a row, followed by Julian, then Zach, then Gabe, then Reece. As a result, the story is told from Marc’s point of view, with lots of Julian, some Zach, some Nate, a bit of Gabe (an important bit, I might add) and smidgen of Reece.

For excerpts from Skin Deep, read these earlier blog posts or visit the Rock*It Reads website or my own website.

For a special treat, I thought I’d offer a tiny glimpse at the Beer Run, in part because so many hardcore I-Team addicts are reading it first. Yes, they’re going to the very back and reading about the Beer Run first!

Here’s a quick excerpt from the Beer Run — six alpha males on a mission:

How Marc’s volunteering to make a beer run with Darcangelo had turned into six men packed into McBride’s SUV—Ramirez had been called out on assignment—Marc couldn’t say. The moment the women had heard they were going into town, they’d been pelted with requests. Kat James, Rossiter’s wife, needed baby wipes. Kara McMillan, Reece’s wife, had forgotten to bring ice cream to put on top the pie. And Megan wanted something of a personal and private nature, which she had revealed only to her husband.

And their beer strike force had become an expedition.

“Here’s how we’ll do this.” Marc looked back over his shoulder. “Alpha Team—that’s me, Darcangelo, and McBride—will take the liquor store, dropping off Beta Team—that’s Sheridan, Rossiter, and you, West—”

“Whoa! Wait a minute!” Rossiter cut Marc off. “I’m not part of any beta team.”

“Yeah, me neither,” West added. “And don’t even suggest ‘Baby Wipe Patrol’ or ‘Tampon Squadron.’”

So that’s what Megan had wanted.

“Okay, fine.” Marc nodded. “Alpha Team will take the liquor store, dropping Team One off at the grocery store. We rendezvous at the vehicle in the liquor store parking lot at eighteen-hundred hours.”

They had their strategy. Each man knew what he had to do.

Marc would be back relaxing on the deck in no time.

Here are the links for downloading your own copy of the novella and short story, which are packaged together.

To celebrate the release of the books, I’m offering three free copies of it. To enter, all you have to do is share the news about the story on Facebook and/or Twitter — wherever you hang out online. Post a link to this blog or just announce the book’s release, and then tell me where you posted below. 

I’ll enter the names into a contest randomizer and pick a winner next Wednesday night!

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for this story! The reviews have been wonderful so far. I’m so glad you’re all enjoying it.

Coming soon: A glimpse into the beautiful and tragic world of Lady Sarah Woodville.

Only 47 days till Defiant is out!
Monday, May 14, 2012

Questions from Spain

Cadiz, Spain. I got the worst sunburn of my life on this exact stretch of beach.

Lucía de Vicente, an author from Spain, tagged me on her blog for 10 questions as part of a spring meme that is popular right now among Spanish bloggers.

I thought I would answer the questions, though I probably won’t tag anyone. I post them here in the original Spanish, alongside my possibly lame translations. I understand a lot of Spanish, but I don’t write it or speak it well.

Before I get started answering, I just want to say that I spent two weeks in Spain one summer. I felt in love with the country, the people, the food, the beach. It was paradise, and I hope to visit again.

Si te dieran un billete sin fecha para viajar en el tiempo, ¿a qué época te trasladarías? If you were given an open ticket for time travel, which period of time would you travel to?

There are so many periods of history that fascinate me. It would be very hard to choose. I would have to decide between seeing ancient Rome in all its glory, seeing Crete at the height of its powers, visiting ancient Sparta, seeing the American West before it was taken away from the Native peoples, or being present during the French and Indian War (1754-1760). 

I’m a history geek, so I could choose a lot of other things, too, but I’ll limit myself.

¿Por qué decidiste escribir romántica? Why did you decide to write romance?

I decided to write romance because I love reading it. I did a lot of reading as a teenager, and romance novels are what I enjoyed most. I figured if I wrote what I enjoyed reading, I would be more likely to be successful.

¿Has pensado en alguna ocasión salirte del género romántico? Have you ever thought of leaving the romance genre?

Yes, and I probably will one day. I’ve always been interested in writing straight historical fiction. I think it would be easier in some ways not to have to worry about sex and romance and sexual tension. Plus, then I could write historically accurate stories without worrying about being too violent or not cheerful enough. History is violent.

¿Por cuál de tus protagonistas masculinos abandonarías a tu marido o pareja? For which of your heroes (male protagonists) would you abandon your husband or partner?
I’m single so I could theoretically be with all my heroes. I like that idea.

¿Con qué autora te gustaría firmar una novela a medias? With which author would you like to write a novel?

Gosh, I’ve never thought about this before. I guess I could make a list: Julie James, Jill Shalvis, Robyn Carr, Norah Wilson... I’m still thinking.

¿De cuál de tus novelas, te gustaría cambiarte por la protagonista? For which of your novels would you like to trade places with the heroine?

None! They all go through hell. I don’t want my life to be that hard. Then again, to be Annie or Tessa or Kat or Sophie... There would be distinct benefits, wouldn’t there?

¿Qué escena de todas las que has escrito te ha costado más trabajo? Which scene out of all those you've written was the most work?

¿Qué sería de ti y tu trabajo sin ordenador? What would happen to you and your work without a computer?

Impossible. I don’t think I could write without it.

¿Tus personajes “te hablan” o sólo “te molestan”? Do your characters talk to you or just bother you?

They talk to each other, but they do it in my head. And sometimes they keep me awake at night. They get especially chatty when I’ve been writing all day and try to go to bed.

¿Recuerdas cuál fue la novela que te impulsó a decir «yo también quiero, y puedo, escribir algo así»? Do you remember which novel it was that made you decide, “I can do this, too. I can write something like this”?

I knew I wanted to write novels when I read Misty of Chincoteague as a child. It was such a magic experience — disappearing into a story. I wanted to do that for other people. I wanted to write stories they could disappear into. That’s really all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Saturday, May 12, 2012

For Mother’s Day, Help A Mother’s Child

Online Charity Auction


Meet Berlin. Author Julieanne Reeves told me about her.

She’s a charming little girl with a beautiful smile, a shining countenance and a debilitating disease. You see Berlin has Osteogenesis Imperfecta — Brittle Bone Disease.

 Berlin was born with Brittle Bone Disease and though she's only seven she already knows what it feels like to have a broken arm, leg, and fractured vertebra — repeatedly.  But you’d never know by speaking with her that her life is anything but normal. Even when Berlin's slowly making her way across campus with her mobility walker, she always has a bright smile, and will shout out to friends and parents of friends with a warm welcome and a friendly wave.  

But Berlin isn’t walking these days. You see, she recently fell and ended up in the hospital, where doctors discovered she’d re-fractured her tibia — the main bone in her lower leg — and a pin from a previous surgery had shifted through the bone.  That shift means that Berlin can’t walk until she has surgery.

Due to lack of insurance coverage, they treated the new fracture and sent her home, denying her the needed surgery.  Every day children right here in America go without needed medical care. Every Day. It is heart-breaking.

Don’t get me started on the issue of health care in the United States. As someone who lived in Denmark and Sweden, where health care is paid for by the state, where infant and mother mortality rates are lower, and quality of life is higher, I’ve never been able to tolerate the for-profit model we have. Ka-CHING should not be a sound associated with the saving of lives and the ending of human suffering.

But lamenting our pitiful health-care system won’t get Berlin the care she needs. Until her family can come up with a very large sum of money, she won’t get the needed surgery and will continue to be in pain and unable to walk. I am one of many authors participating in this auction, put together by Julieanne Reeves, hoping to help raise the money Berlin needs. Some incredibly generous members of the writing community and local businesses have contributed to this online auction, as well. 

The auction began on Friday, May 11. To participate, or to make a simple donation, click here, and start bidding on the great gifts and services donated by award-winning and bestselling authors, artists and local businesses. You’ll find everything from signed books to “Meet and Greets” with your favorite authors and artists, and a wide array of everything in between.

In addition, there are some great items up for bid from local businesses. Don’t see anything you want to bid on? No problem, keep checking back for new auctions to be added over the next week or check out one of our donation auctions.  

And thank you for caring! What better way is there to celebrate Mother’s Day then by helping a child? That’s what we moms do.

Feel free to tweet about this, to post a link to your Facebook page, to copy this text and put it on your blog or to raise awareness among your friends or in your faith communities. With determination, we can help this child.

Quick update:

Skin Deep is done! It’s in the process of being edited and proofread right now in hopes that we can get it loaded before I leave for New York next week. Right now, I’m starting the I-Team Extra, “Marc and Julian Make a Beer Run.”

If you’ve signed up for my newsletter, you’ll get an announcement when Skin Deep has gone live on and (It takes a bit longer for Apple to make it live as an iBook via iTunes, but at least you’ll know to start checking.)

If you haven’t yet signed up for my newsletter, click here.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Writing, writing, writing, writing

Sorry to have left you with a boring blog about my garden for so long. I’ve been trying to stay focused on finishing SKIN DEEP.

Sadly, I haven’t succeeded. Between work I needed to get done for Rock*It Reads — an investment of time — and some extra time-consuming stuff for my opinion column this week for the paper, I lost a couple of days.

Then an old lady crashed into my car in a parking lot, and that has taken up a lot of time. I was fine. She was fine. Her car was fine. Mine has about $1,000 worth of damage that she is going to cover. But spending time on the phone with insurance companies, going to get an estimate for repairs, and talking with her ate a chunk of yesterday. So aggravating!

It’s one thing if I waste my time. It’s something else if other people waste it.

SO, I’m putting the universe on notice that this is it. No more. I’m staying offline and ignoring email until this story is written.

As far as the story itself goes, I have the rest of it in my head. It just needs to come out. I think fans of the I-Team will really enjoy it.

Of course, once I finish it, it will finally be time to write “Marc and Julian Make a Beer Run,” which will be included in the back of the novella as an extra treat for I-Team fanatics. (You know who you are.)

Have a great Friday and weekend, everyone! I hope to be back on Monday celebrating.

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"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