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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

May the peace and gratitude of this day stay in your heart all day and throughout the coming year!

THANK YOU for being the most wonderful readers on this earth! I am so grateful to you all for your friendship and your support.

From me and my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

A holiday surprise!

I have a holiday surprise for you!

UPON A WINTER’S NIGHT is a MacKinnon’s Rangers Christmas novella. I haven’t had anything for my historical readers since Defiant in July 2012, so it only seemed right that I end the year with a historical treat just for them. I didn’t say much about this because I wasn’t sure I’d finish it in time. But I have, and it will be out on Nov. 27. 

That’s this coming Wednesday! I wanted you to have it in time for your Thanksgiving Weekend, and I’m high-fiving myself for making it happen.

The most important thing to say about this book is that KARL is on the cover. OK, maybe that’s not the most important thing, but it feels very important. You will remember him as the mostly naked star of the Defiant trailer. He was the one running around the forest carrying a musket. I am posting a gratuitous photo of Karl from the trailer shoot to jog your ovaries ... er, your memories.

In fact, the image for the cover was being shot by Jenn LeBlanc at Studio Smexy™ while I watched in the background, waiting to film the Connor/Lord William sequence for the trailer. Karl got up off the model, put on a shirt, picked up my musket, and filmed that scene right after this sequence of photos was taken. 

Good times. So what was I talking about? Oh, yes!

This 26,000-word novella picks up one day after the epilogue of Defiant. It is a week before Christmas, and Lord William surprised them all the night before by leaving a letter and the cracked marble chess piece on the doorstep to Iain and Annie’s cabin. The story carries us through that week to Christmas and on to Hogmanay (New Year’s).  Here’s the blurb:

Reunite with the MacKinnon brothers and their wives for Christmas—and a tale of love, new life, and redemption.

The war between Britain and the French is finally at an end, and the MacKinnons are looking forward to celebrating their first peacetime Christmas in five long years. While Iain and Annie have discovered that the pleasures of marriage grow deeper with time, Morgan and Amalie find themselves at bitter odds. Meanwhile, Connor and Sarah have a newborn son to cherish. 

The family’s preparations for the holidays are interrupted when Iain learns that Britain has not paid the Rangers for the summer’s victorious campaigns. Unwilling to let men who fought under the MacKinnon name suffer deprivation at Christmastime, Iain, Morgan, and Connor leave the warmth of their frontier farm for Albany. There, they find their happy Christmas, and even their freedom, at risk at the hands of a ruthless British officer who holds a grudge against them.

With the men gone, Annie, Amalie, and Sarah do their best to prepare for the festivities despite differing traditions, a raging bull—and the gnawing fear that their husbands won’t make it home for Yule. 

Events begin the day after the epilogue of Defiant ends. The story includes Joseph, Killy—and revelations about the fate of Lord William Wentworth.

It was a lot of fun to visit with these characters again and to move some of their story threads forward. There is a wedding at the end, but I won’t tell you whose it is. The story started as a 3,000-word mini-story that ran on a blog last year for a holiday contest. I’ve taken that blurb and transformed it, expanding it and bringing other characters into the story.

Upon A Winter’s Night will be out no later than Nov. 27 in all ebook formats via Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords, iBooks and Kobo. And here’s some good news for those of you who hate ereaders: The novella will also be available in trade paperback through Amazon, though that may take an extra week or so. Stay tuned for updates!

In the meantime, thanks for all of the emails and messages about Striking Distance. What a whirlwind this has been — from release day to learning the book was a nominee for RT’s Best Romantic Suspense of 2013 to making the USA Today best-seller list. I was trying to write in the midst of that excitement, and, on top of everything else, my sister is visiting from Sweden.

Who said the holidays are crazy?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

STRIKING DISTANCE hits the USA Today list!

Things have been pretty crazy at Casa Clare. Let’s see...

I had a major book release, a MacKinnon’s Rangers Christmas novella deadline, and got a lot of really fabulous news. My sister, who is a dual US/Swedish citizen, arrived from Stockholm to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday and spend Thanksgiving with us. And in the middle of all of this, my poor blog went without an update for a very long time.

Sorry about that!

I’ll start with the good news.

I learned the Unlawful Contact has been picked up by J’ai Lu and will finally be published in French. This comes as good news to my French readers, who’ve been waiting forever for the I-Team.

Also, BookPages, a national publication for librarians and booksellers, featured Striking Distance (I-Team 6) as Christie Ridgeway’s top romance pick for November. That was a huge honor.

Publishers Weekly featured Striking Distance in its article about the popularity of military romance. (I’d post a link, but unless you have a subscription, it wouldn’t do you any good.)

Close on the heels of that announcement, I found out that Striking Distance was nominated by the reviewers at RT Book Reviews for Best Romantic Suspense of 2013. RT had given Striking Distance a 4.5-star Top Pick review in its November edition, and I was thrilled to see the story in such fabulous company.

And then today, I learned that  Striking Distance made the USA Today Bestseller list!

As Javier would say, “¡Wepa!

I got the news from New York Times bestselling author and friend Thea Harrison, whose book Kinked, also made the list. She tweeted me, beating my editor and agent to the punch. Within seconds author superstar and friend Jill Shalvis, whose novel Rumor Has It hit both USA Today and the NYT, sent me the link. Then author/photographer Jenn LeBlanc, my bestie, posted on Facebook, and I knew it was real.

I was, of course, ecstatic. Squealing may or may not have occurred.

I immediately tried to call the two people who’ve done the most to support me — my sister, Michelle, and my younger son, Benjamin — but couldn’t get a hold of either of them. That’s exactly how it would work out, right? I had always imagined telling them to their faces. In the end, Benjamin, who is in Europe, saw it on Facebook before I could reach him. I did manage to tell my older son over the phone and then caught my sister later in the afternoon.

It means so much to me to hit the list with this novel. As most of you know, this story was very personal for me and took pretty much everything I had. It’s the first time I really explored the inner landscape of surviving trauma, in particular sexual assault. Sometimes we choose which stories we want to write, and sometimes those stories choose us. This was definitely the latter. It wasn’t easy to write, forcing me to dig deeper into myself than perhaps any other book I’ve written.

Ultimately I wrote something that I, as a survivor of childhood sexual assault, physical violence, and PTSD know to be real — while doing my best to give both Laura and Javier all the love and happiness they deserve.

I feel incredibly grateful to have had the chance—and to have had so much support along the way.

Thanks to my sister, Michelle, and my son Benjamin, for their encouragement, weeks of handholding and long hours of listening me bounce the story off them.

Thank you to Arlene and Beatrice Rios and Wilson Cruz for the 15 months they spent working with me to help me get the Puerto Rican aspect of Javier’s character right. Any time they swear in their mother tongue, they will think of me.

Thank you to Officer Bryan Bartnes of the Loveland Police Department for his help in understanding explosives, the work of EOD teams, and the way authorities investigate bombings. Is it wrong that I was amused by people’s nervous glances as we talked about how to blow stuff up?

Thanks to Diane Grimaldi Whiting for walking me through the world of broadcast journalism. I’ve been interviewed on television, but I’ve never been on the other side of the camera. She helped me understand how a studio operates, essential information for a key scene in the story.

My heartfelt thanks to the active-duty SEAL who spent time between work-ups and deployments helping me understand the work and life of a special operator. His input and perspective over a period of almost two years were so essential to Javier’s part of the story. How he found time to answer all my questions and read the manuscript, I don’t know. But I am so very grateful both for his help and his service. I dedicate the book to him and feel honored to know he has a copy.

And, of course, a huge weepy thank you to the wonderful members of the I-Team Facebook group and all of my fabulous reader friends who have sent emails, posted on Facebook and tweeted to let me know how much Laura and Javier’s story mean to them. You make it all worthwhile!

I celebrated this evening by watching Raylan Givens get into trouble in Justified and enjoying some European chocolate with my dear sister — truly precious time for me.

As for that novella...

I hope to have a sweet MacKinnon’s Rangers Christmas story ready for you by the day before Thanksgiving. But more on that in my next post.

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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