Untamed news

    When you start seeing these, you'll know Untamed has hit the shelves.

    Thanks to Sybil from TGTBTU, I learned today — or was it yesterday? — that Untamed is slated for an October 28 release. Sybil always seems to know more about what my publishers have in mind for me than I do, and yesterday she forwarded me an email from Erin, the sweetheart who does publicity for Leisure Books, that contained this information.

    So it's not November, like I thought, it's October 28.

    And in other Untamed news... the novel is done! I mailed off everything except the epilogue, which is not written, to New York yesterday.

    This weekend, I will write the epilogue and email that in, and then I will officially be completely done.

    In other news:

    Ben graduated from high school on Saturday. It was really wonderful to watch him get his diploma. He graduated with honors with one of the top 10 GPAs in a graduating class of 504 kids. On the Thursday night before graduation, the school held its award ceremony, where he received an Outstanding Scholar award for his GPA, as well as a scholarship for being the top language arts student ("superb writer," the presenter said). But most wonderful of all, he was named to the Knights of the Round Table, the highest honor his school gives out.

    To be a Knight of the Round Table, a student must be nominated by at least three teachers and survive three rounds of discussion and faculty voting. Of the 504 kids in his class, only 13 made Knights of the Round Table, and he was one of them. Of course, he was the last one to be named, so I'd pretty much assumed he didn't get it. When they said his name, I gasped so loudly that people five rows up turned around. And I was so stunned I didn't even cry. Those of you who know me can attest that this is extreme.

    So please forgive me for being absent. Between car crashes, doctor's visits, insurance hassles, work at the paper, awards ceremonies, out of town guests and graduation, I've been a bit busy lately.

    I'm hoping things will calm down so that I can get the I-Team Trivia game up and running!

    Thanks to all of you for your emails and cards and messages regarding Ben and the car crash. Your support made all the difference! There were days when a friendly email kept me sane. You rock!

Regrouping and Thanks!

    This is a view of my car on the driver's side.

    I just wanted to thank all of you who emailed and sent cards. This was a tough week, and your support and kindness helped both me and Ben get through it.

    Looking at what's left of my car, it's very easy to see that it could have been worse. I'm very lucky to have a son graduating from high school next Saturday — a week from today! — and he's very lucky to have a whole, sound body. Now it just remains to us to deal with the paperwork and the medical bills.

    Ben is feeling much better. His neck is still sore, and it hurts to raise his right arm. But his bruises are healing very quickly, as are the cuts and contusions.

    So last Friday before the ER called to say they had my son, I was midway through the second-to-last scene in Untamed. (Oh, that's right! There's a book I'm writing! I keep forgetting... ) And that's where I'm headed now, once I've had enough coffee.

    I must, must, must finish it this weekend, so send some writer mojo my way.

    Still to come: I-Team trivia with prizes! And Investigative Reporter Boot Camp...

Weekend from Hell

    This painting, Edvard Munch's "The Scream," pretty much sums up how I feel this morning.

    I did not finish Untamed because Friday afternoon, when the words were flowing, my son got into a severe car accident. Thank God he wasn't seriously injured. He got out of it with blunt chest trauma, a bad laceration on his leg that needed stitches, a bunch of cuts and contusions and a neck injury, which still has to be seen by a specialist.

    The car is utterly and completely totaled. The front end was smashed up beneath the windshield, which was shattered. The dashboard was pushed so far forward by the collision that it snapped Ben's keys off the steering column. There was very little space left for passengers, and how my 6-foot-tall son managed to get out with both legs and no serious chest injuries or head injuries is beyond me. The collision was violent enough that the seatbelt tore skin off his clavicle — just tore it off.


    Instead of writing I was trying to keep my frayed nerves from snapping while dealing with an injured kid. I got "the call" Friday at about 6 p.m. that he was in the ER and had been in an accident. I couldn't even figure out how to work my own phone. Fortunately, my mom's number is autodial. Unfortunately, she lives 300 miles away. However, she was able to call my brother, who got a friend of his to drive me to the hospital and then who came to the hospital himself with his old SUV, which he's letting me borrow for the time being.

    It was surreal seeing my son strapped to a board. It was just was surreal to see large blotches of his blood on the sheets beneath him and his blankets. He had two IVs and electrodes monitoring his heartbeat. Not really what I want to see...

    We are so lucky to have him with us still. But dealing with the aftermath — no car, insurance hassles, medical bills, etc. — is not going to be fun. A part of me wants to throttle him now that I know he's going to be okay.

    My new goal is to finish Untamed next weekend. I'm mid-way through the second-to-last scene and then have the epilogue.

Cover copy for Untamed

    I just thought I'd share. This is the back cover copy for Untamed.

    I'm working on the last two scenes of the story today and hoping to be done and have it mailed to New York by Monday. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    In the breathtaking tradition of The Last of the Mohicans

    MacKinnon’s Rangers

    They were a band of brothers, their loyalty to one another forged by hardship and battle, the bond between these Highland warriors, rugged colonials, and fierce Native Americans stronger even than blood ties.


    Though forced to fight for the hated British, Morgan MacKinnon would no more betray the men he leads than slit his own throat—not even when he was captured by the French and threatened with an agonizing death by fire at the hands of their Abenaki allies. Only the look of innocent longing in the eyes of a convent-bred French lass could make him question his vow to escape and return to the Rangers. And soon the sweet passion he awoke in Amalie had him cursing the war that forced him to choose between upholding his honor and pledging himself to the woman he loves.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    On another note: My son will be going to Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, so I'll be five or six hours away from Ticonderoga and less than that away from Fort William-Henry (what I call Fort Billy-Hank around the house). There's currently an excavation taking place on Rogers Island, what I call Ranger Island in my stories. So I want to take time to see those places while I'm visiting him. It will blow me away to stand where the real Rangers stood, to walk in the places where my heroes walk. I'll probably be a teary-eyed mess. But I'll take pictures to share with you all.

    On yet another unrelated note: I posted some of my favorite newsroom photos on the I-Team group page in Facebook. If you're on Facebook, feel free to join and hang with me and the members of the real-life Dream Team, which inspired the I-Team. The photos show how silly investigative reporters get in between breaking big stories and meeting deadlines. Click HERE to hang with the I-Team

    I-Team Trivia still ahead...

    Plus, soon we'll have a visit from sensual suspense author HelenKay Dimon.

    Now back to the 18th century for me. Today, I'm hanging at the Falls of Carillon.

Sweeter (re)Release

    Long time, no see! I miss your posts. I miss your emails. But who am I to complain because I'm the one who vanished!

    This past week, we put to bed what is usually our biggest paper of the year—132 pages that included the regular paper, in addition to our "Best of" issue. Major PITA, of course, but at least it's done for another year. And it turned out well, I think. I spent the week before working 12-hour days, bringing work home with me and editing until I could not stay awake.

    The result is that I'm chronically behind on email and blogging and everything else, including finishing Untamed. It was due Feb. 29, after all. Then I got till the first week of April—which, alas, has passed. However, I'm working on the last chapter this weekend and hope to have the story edited and out the door by the Monday after Mother's Day.

    The cool news is that I got a box of cover flats today for my historicals—the new covers for Ride the Fire and Surrender, together with the updated covers of Sweet Release and Carnal Gift. I must have hundreds of these now—a good excuse for a contest, no? What am I going to do with 400 cover flats?

    But here's the scoop: My backlist is being re-released in October with extras inside (which still have to be written...) and the books will cost only $4.99.

    I didn't know that, and I'm excited about it, because stuff is too expensive these days, and this will give people who've never read my books a reason to pick them up. It will also make it easier for people who've read them before, but want to pick up a new copy of Ride the Fire or Surrender just to have the covers, won't have to shell out 8 bucks to do it.

    One thing I noticed about the new covers. My name is so BIG!

    Coming soon:
    —I-Team Trivia: Who knows most about Kara, Tessa and Sophie? Who's the expert on Reece, Julian and Marc? I'll post the questions, you email the answers and the winner gets a signed book, plus "Marc" and "Sophie" perfume—not to mention bragging rights.
    —Investigative Reporter Bootcamp: So you think you want to become an investigative reporter. Read this training manual and take the multiple-choice quiz to see if you've got the right stuff to join the staff in my newsroom.
    —An Interview with My Mom: She's a woman I admire, a woman who's literally saved lives with her own hands, a woman who's made a difference in hundreds of other people's lives. It's my little tribute to my mom.

    So stay tuned. I'll try not to vanish for long periods again, but don't you vanish either, unless it's on some sexy beach vacation, in which case you have to take your camera with you so that you can snap photos of beach hunks to share. :-)

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