Vicki Crum writes contemporary and paranormal romance, creating tales full of love and laughter and discovering one’s soul mate in the most unlikely places. Her published works include Loving Luc, Once in a Blue Moon, Moonspell, and Blood Moon (Eternal Moon Series). Vicki resides with her husband in a charming seaside community in Southern California. She has two grown daughters and two adorable grandchildren who light up her world.
We’re spending time today with contemporary and paranormal romance author Vicki Crum. Vicki’s third book in her paranormal romance Eternal Moon series has just been released.
Jann: Your Eternal Moon series is about werewolves. What drew you to this genre?
Vicki: A few years ago, my friend and critique partner, Mandy Baker, urged me to try my hand at writing a paranormal romance. I had only written contemporary romances prior to that, and one contemporary romance with futuristic elements. I tried to think what I could write exploring the paranormal world that would hold my interest. I wasn’t really a “vampire” kind of girl, so I settled on a werewolf. I’ve always been fascinated by wolves, and so I figured, why not? I could still create characters that were sexy and mysterious, and they could be awake during the day and eat whatever they wanted!
Jann: You received great reviews for Once in a Blue Moon and Moonspell. For this series, did you start with plot idea, a character or a theme?
Vicki: Oddly enough, I had started a contemporary romance that wasn’t really going anywhere, so I revamped it into what would eventually become Once in a Blue Moon by making the hero a werewolf. Only Jake was meant to be a werewolf in the beginning. I didn’t even know his love interest, Casey, was a werewolf until Jake did! A rare breed of werewolf with a case of latent genes, even Casey doesn’t know about her true heritage until Jake comes along. I can tell you I had some fun with this one!
In Moonspell, I give Casey’s handsome older brother, Reed, his own love story. Due to their odd family genetics, Reed is not a werewolf, but Marin, the woman he ultimately falls for, is. Each book in the series is connected by siblings. In Blood Moon, Austin is Marin’s brother.
Jann: Blood Moon, book three made its debut recently. What can you tell us about your characters Austin and Kat and their journey?
Vicki: Of all the characters I’ve ever written, I think Kat and Austin are my favorites. They completely captured my imagination and took over my life for a while. I love the way they relate to each other, their good-natured sparring, the immense and uncharted chemistry between them that sweeps them along, almost against their will, on an ultra-passionate adventure. The story takes place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Austin serves as Kat’s outdoor adventure guide. Lots of beautiful scenery, wild animal encounters, and plenty of passion-filled nights. And did I mention Kat’s stalker ex-husband, who refuses to take no for an answer? A showdown at the end exposes Austin’s werewolf heritage in a sudden and violent way, causing Kat to reexamine her feelings for him, and what a future with him might look like.
Jann: What do you want the readers to take away from this series?
Vicki: I want them to have fun, to be entertained above all, to be carried along on a fantasy, passion-filled adventure as the characters meet and fall desperately in love, then struggle with how, despite the odds against them, to forge a future together.
Jann: Will there be a fourth book? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
Vicki: The next book (as yet untitled) takes us to Nashville, and yet another sibling of Marin and Austin’s. Ethan Sawyer is a popular country music star who falls for an extremely independent woman, one whose father was a famous, and very troubled, rock star. Due to Skyler’s scarred past, getting involved with a musician is a non-starter for her. She is also half Shawnee, which according to her full-blood grandmother, makes any kind of union with a shapeshifter forbidden.
Jann: Your first book, Loving Luc, is a contemporary romance. Do you have any plans to write another contemporary romance?
Vicki: Loving Luc is a contemporary romance with futuristic elements, as Luc hails from a planet in another solar system that just happens to be very similar in size and scope to Earth. But yes, I’m thinking to finish my Eternal Moon series with Ethan and Skyler’s story, and then I have several straight contemporary ideas I’d like to work on. Also, my daughter has expressed an interest in us writing a book together, so we’ll see where that idea leads.
Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories?
Vicki: I would have to say the main theme in most of my books has been the tried and true “love conquers all”. I’ve paired lovers from two distant solar systems and given them their happy ending, and three of the Eternal Moon novels feature couples with incongruent genetic lines, human and werewolf. You can imagine what kinds of difficulties they might face trying to create a life together! I love the idea of discovering one’s soulmate in the most unlikely and unexpected places, wherever that may be.
Jann: Are there any words of inspiration on your computer, in your office or in your mind when you write?
Vicki: Honestly, the quote that has always inspired me the most, and I’m sorry I can’t remember who said it, goes like this, “It makes me sad to think of all the truly talented writers who eventually gave up and went away.” When I’m feeling down and discouraged, this quote gives me heart. Never give up your dreams!
Jann: Do you have a website, blog, twitter where fans might read more about you and your books?
Vicki: You can find my website at: vickicrum.wix.com/author, and catch me on Facebook at Facebook.com/vickicrum.author
Congratulation Vicki on the debut of Blood Moon!! It’s been fun getting a peek into your world of werewolves here on A Slice of Orange.
Today’s Guest Author is Kat Martin. We hope you enjoy her post on Setting the Stage and the excerpt from her next romantic suspense novel, THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.
I love to read novels set in interesting places. Currently I’m reading an historical romance that takes place in Nazi-occupied Paris during WWII. I’ve always loved Paris, which makes the book even more fun to read. Being able recognize the settings where the action takes place, as well as the names of restaurants and streets I have visited.
As a writer, going to the place your book is set, or choosing a place you have actually been, is the best way to make your book seem real.
In THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, the novel takes place in Colorado, a state I love to visit. After I’d concluded my second Maximum Security novel, THE DECEPTION, which was set in Texas, I was looking for someplace different for book number three. Colorado, with its wide variety of landscapes and extreme climate conditions seemed perfect.
Having been to Denver a number of times, street names were familiar, parks and airports, locations of smaller towns and rural mountain communities.
Since this was a Maximum Security novel, a romantic thriller, I began by researching crime in the state. I had digging and digging and finally stumbled onto an article about the U.S. Army chemical weapons depot near Colorado Springs. As Brandon Garrett, the hero of my story, was a former army officer, I loved the idea of Bran interacting with his military past.
The idea of stealing chemical weapons from a storage depot gave me all sorts of plot ideas. In THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL, when investigative journalist Jessie Kegan’s father, a colonel in the army, is accused of treason, she’s determined to clear his name. Afraid for her life, Jessie turns to former Special Ops soldier, Brandon Garrett. But time is running out and the game being played is deadly. Working together, Bran and Jessie risk everything to solve the riddle and stop the threat–before it’s too late.
Because of the military setting, this was one of the hardest books I’ve ever written. I think it turned out to be one of my best. I particularly love the interaction between Bran and Jessie and I hope readers will, too.
I hope you’ll watch for THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL and that you enjoy Bran and Jessie’s story. Till next time, all best wishes and happy reading, Kat
Too much downtime always made him nervous, kind of edgy as he waited for the other shoe to drop. It had been a week since his last client had headed back to Nashville, a week of peace and quiet he should have enjoyed.
Instead, he had this nagging feeling that something bad was coming down the line.
Lounging back in the chair behind his desk at Maximum Security, Brandon Garrett looked up at the sound of the front door swinging open. A gust of cool, late October winds swept in, along with a petite, whirlwind of a woman with the prettiest strawberry blond hair Bran had ever seen.
She had a sweet little body to match her fiery curls, he noticed, outlined by the dark blue stretch jeans curving over her sexy little ass and the peach knit top that hugged her breasts.
It wasn’t tough to read the anxiety in her big green eyes as she surveyed the room, but instead of heading for the receptionist’s desk, those big green eyes landed on Bran and as she started toward him, there was something about her that rang a distant bell. Interest piqued, he rose from his chair. “Can I help you?”
“You’re Brandon Garrett, right? You were a friend of my brother’s. Danny Kegan? I recognize you from the photos Danny sent home.”
The mention of his best friend’s name hit him like a blow, and the muscles across his stomach clenched. Daniel Kegan had been a member of his spec ops team, a brother, not just a friend. Danny had saved Bran’s life at the cost of his own. He was KIA in Afghanistan.
Bran stared down at the girl, who was maybe five-foot-four. “You’re Jessie,” he said, remembering the younger sister Daniel Kegan had talked so much about. “You look like him. Same color hair and eyes.”
She nervously wet her lips, which were plump and pink and fit her delicate features perfectly.
“My brother said if I ever needed help, I should come to you. He said you’d help me no matter what.” She glanced back toward the door and his mind shifted away from the physical jolt he felt as he looked at her to the worry in her eyes.
“I’ll help you. Danny was my closest friend. Whatever you need, I’ll help. Come on. Let’s go into the conference room and you can tell me what’s going on.” When her gaze shot back to the door, his senses went on alert.
“I didn’t mean I needed your help later,” Jessie said nervously. “I meant I need your help right now.”
Gunshots exploded through the windows. “Get down!” Bran shouted to the other guys in the office as he shoved Jessie down behind his desk and covered her with his body. Glass shattered and a stream of bullets sprayed across the room.
Jaxon Ryker popped up, gun drawn, and ran for the door. Hawk Maddox and Lissa Blayne were shuffling through their desks, arming themselves. Jonas Wolfe drew his ankle gun and ran for the rear entrance, ready for any threat that might come from there.
“Black SUV with tinted windows,” Ryker reported. Six feet of solid muscle, dark hair and eyes, Jax was a former Navy SEAL, currently a PI and occasional bounty hunter. “Couldn’t get a plate number.” Jax’s gaze swung to the front of the room. “Mindy, you okay?”
The little receptionist eased up from beneath her desk. “I-I’m okay. Should I call the police?” Around here, it was never good to jump to conclusions.
Bran hauled Jessie to her feet. He could feel her trembling. Her eyes looked even bigger and greener than they had before. “Are they coming back?” he asked.
“I-I don’t know. It could have just been a warning.”
Bran turned to Mindy. “Unless someone’s already phoned it in, let’s wait to call the cops till we know what’s going on.” His attention returned to Jessie. “We need to talk.”
She just nodded. Her face had gone pale, making a fine line of freckles stand out across her forehead and the bridge of her nose.
Bran took her arm and urged her toward the conference room. “Keep a sharp eye,” he said to The Max crew. “Just in case.”
Jessie sank unsteadily down in one of the rolling chairs around the long oak conference table. The man she had come to see, Brandon Garrett, sat down beside her.
“Okay, let’s hear it,” he said. “What’s going on?”
She thought of the men who had just shot up his office and her pulse started thumping again. “Danny said if I ever needed help–”
“Yeah, I get that. Your brother knew he could count on me. Like I said, I’ll help you any way I can, but I need to know what’s going on.”
Bran was taller than Danny, around six-three, with a soldier’s lean, hard body, vee-shaped, with broad shoulders and narrow hips. Powerful biceps bulged beneath the sleeve of his dark blue T-shirt. With his slightly too-long mink brown hair, straight nose and masculine features, he was ridiculously handsome, except for the hard line of his jaw and the darkness in his eyes that contrasted sharply with their beautiful shade of cobalt blue.
“Start at the beginning,” he demanded.
Since she wasn’t sure exactly where to begin, Jessie dragged in a shaky breath and slowly released it.
“I’m here because of my father–Colonel James Kegan, Commander U.S. Army Alamo Chemical Depot. Just before he died a little over two months ago, my father was removed from active duty. He was charged with larceny–specifically the theft of chemical weapons stored at the Depot. Because the Army believed he was selling the weapons to a foreign entity, he was also charged with espionage and treason. I need you to help me prove his innocence.”
THE UNTIMATE BETRAYAL IS AVAILABLE TODAY
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Today we’re chatting with Frances Amati and learning how wolfhounds, holidays, and weird dreams work into a journey to publications.
Frances Amati writes fantasy/paranormal and contemporary romance. A member of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America, she has been a finalist twice in the prestigious Orange Rose Contest and three times in the California Dreaming Conference’s Hooker Contest. Her first short story, Heart Hound, was published in the OCC-RWA Anthology Romancing the Pages.
Her debut novel, The Christmas Present, the first installment in her contemporary Holiday Hearts Series released November 29th, 2019 and is available in Kindle or print-on-demand on Amazon. The first of her fantasy/paranormal series is slated for release in spring of 2020. You can find her at www.francesamati.com or on Facebook at @FCAmati.
A full time Senior Property Manager for a real estate services firm, this mother of three grown children and “Nonna” to five darling grandchildren, keeps her sanity with large doses of humor and frequent reality checks administered by her Irish Wolfhounds. Her close-knit family inspires not only many of her characters but is an integral part of the support system that keeps her afloat in windswept ocean of activity. An avid traveler with various hobbies, Frances currently resides in Huntington Beach, California with her seventeen-month-old Irish Wolfhounds puppies, Valhalla and Valkyrie, who remind her that love is what we make it.
Jann: Tell us about your journey to publication.
Frances: I wouldn’t be a published author without my son, Evan and my Irish Wolfhound, Handsome. But that’s not really the place to start. I’ve always been close to my kids—and humor is a huge part of that. Thus my “dream” life is a running joke in my family. The narrative is “Don’t tell us you had a weird dream. Just tell us you had a dream; we’ll know it’s weird.” Stories, whether in dreams or daydreams, have always been a part of me. So, when my son Evan was preparing to leave for university, he threw me a challenge. “I’ll go to college and while I’m gone this year, you should write a book.” More, I think, to keep me out of his hair than anything else.
Through Handsome, I had met Alexis Montgomery. We were becoming good friends and spending considerable time together as she mentored me in the ways of wolfhounds. Laughingly, I recounted Evan’s challenge and she latched on like a moral eel. I hadn’t known she was a writer. She invited me to a meeting of her writing “group.” To be honest, that first time I didn’t know what I was attending, or even what OCC or RWA were. That was 2010 and I never looked back.
When OCC put out the call for short stories to be published in a fund-raising anthology, Alexis and Janis Thereault, my other new writing pal, encouraged me to submit—so I did. Heart Hound was selected and published in Romancing the Pages. I was excited, but also at a loss. Growing up in a blue-collar home where creative arts were considered fanciful pastimes, I had to get past my own limiters. The success of being selected threw me because I felt untrained and unprepared. A situation utterly “at odds” with my natural tendencies to always be prepared. But Alexis and Janis encouraged me so I started writing. So much so, that I now have bits and pieces of so many different stories tucked into journals all over my house. But I needed to learn.
I was heavy on craft sessions at conferences and meetings—and I went to plenty of them. I took a writing class with Louella Nelson. There is just so much to learn and everyone is always pushing more at you. Honestly, it was almost so overwhelming I thought I’d never get anywhere. Plus, you’re in the ring with talented people who have degrees in fields designed for this pathway. But the OCC motto kept popping up—and I kept on going. Not to mention I think Alexis would have dragged me back in chains if I tried to walk away. But that is what good friends do for you.
The one thing I repeatedly took away from meetings and conferences was to have a stockpile of material to release systematically over time when you were getting started. By then, I felt that my path was going to be through self-publication. Thus, my stockpiling commenced, but it is slow going. My day job is time consuming, eating up anywhere from forty-five to sixty or more hours a week. That ties right in with my mortgage holder who, for some strange reason, really likes my house payment on time. And let’s not forget those Irish Wolfhounds—someone has to keep them in the royal pampered style to which they have become accustomed.
The Christmas Present (TCP) is the first installment in the Holiday Hearts Series and my very first self-publication (Thank you Amazon!). I have two books written in my fantasy series that are in the editing process now. I also have a series of children’s books called The Adventures of Handsome and Marlo in the works. They are about a wolfhound and his new friend, Marlo, a mouse. And yes, Handsome is very much based on my wolfhound of the same name. I’m looking for an illustrator for those as they are destined for picture books. I am excited to continue down the road in front of me. If there is one thing to take away from this interview, it is that dreams are never too old or too dead to be revived and lived.
Jann: Your debut contemporary romance novel released on November 29, 2019—The Christmas Present. How did that feel?
Frances: How did it feel? So often things in my life have ended up being anti-climactic. This was not one of those times—even though I feared it might be. It was amazing!
Throughout the process, but monumentally more as I neared the end, was the trepidation that the long haul of writing, editing, along with all the details and prep of publishing would overshadow the actual accomplishment. However, when I hit that “Publish” button on KDP my heart leapt into my throat. This was REAL and happening NOW. There I was, sitting at my dining room table, sending texts to my family, my critique partners and close friends; all the while I kept glancing at my laptop screen thinking “I did THAT.” Even now, when I look at the Amazon page or a print copy, I almost can’t believe it. But what has made this experience even more amazing is the support and feedback I have received. So many people have given me unsolicited and wonderful feedback. People I respect professionally and whose praise is all the more meaningful because it isn’t easily earned. It beats back that little demon of self-doubt who likes to beat me up.
Jann: Let’s talk about The Christmas Present, Book One in the Holiday Hearts Series. Who are these two amazing characters, nature photographer, Alexandria Marsh and playboy Declan Ruaidhri? How do they find their HEA?
Frances: Originally, this was supposed to be a novella for publication in a Holiday anthology with my critique partners, Alexis Montgomery and Janis Thereault. But somewhere along our planning curve all three stories diverged to different life paths. TCP was actually written four years ago. I pitched it to a few houses at different conferences, and it was requested several times. But it’s not a typical holiday story and honestly, I wasn’t thrilled about putting it with a house—it didn’t fit the “profile” and I wasn’t willing to make the significant changes to storyline. To me, no matter your beliefs, Christmas is about faith and the grace of forgiveness.
In The Christmas Present, Alexandria and Declan must renew their faith in themselves and allow the grace of forgiveness to free them from the past. To not live in the present can be a serious detriment to one’s happiness. The weight of past baggage can drown you in a sea of regret and worry. Alexandria carries a burden born from her strong protective tendencies, and to find the solution she must forgive her own choices, own them and have faith in herself and her family. Declan’s encumbrance is wounded pride and family duty. Each sees the other’s problems more clearly than their own. In seeking to assist one another, they find the blessings of solving their own internal issues. Finding love along the way never hurts.
Jann: How many books are you planning for this series and when do you plan for Book Two to be available?
Frances: While all the books will have characters in common, each novel stands alone and is based on a different holiday. Currently, I have four additional stories plotted out around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day and Thanksgiving. So, a total of five. Every story resonates with a different “theme” related to its holiday association. For example, Easter, to me, is a time of hope and re-birth—which is part of both the hero and heroine’s journey in this story. I anticipate that Book 2 will be released early in the summer of 2020.
Jann: You also have a fantasy/paranormal series to coming out this year. What can you share with us today about the series?
Frances: In my mind, this series is where creation and the big bang meet. I haven’t finalized the series name yet, nor the titles of the first two books, which are complete. Part of the backstory is that the original solar system of the universe is peopled by super beings. Since the beginning they have watched over developing worlds, protecting them from the dark forces of the cosmos. But the fight between good and evil, dark and light, has gone on since the creation of the universe. This fight has taken its toll on the protectors and twelve of the most powerful warriors in the universe have been entombed—alive but in a state of crystalline stasis. They can only be awoken by another of their kind. The hunt is on for the mysterious thirteenth—the lost offspring of one of the warriors—who may be hidden here on Earth. Or maybe it was on Andar, or that other planet? The search for the missing warrior takes a rogue crew of hunky aliens into the heart of danger, and the peril of losing their hearts.
Jann: For our lovers of animals, introduce us to your Irish Wolfhounds.
Frances: You may be sorry you asked me this one. LOL. My Irish Wolfhound story is magical in my eyes, and without this journey I would not be an author today. I have always loved to read. As a child it was an escape from the life I was born to. When I was eight or nine, I read a story with a girl who had a wolfhound. He was her best friend, her protector, and the one who loved her above all others. I told my mother I wanted one. Not being an animal person, she said no, not only to a wolfhound, but to any pets. Mind you, I actually had no idea what they looked like—there was no internet back then. I only knew they were huge and loved you to no end.
Time passed, I grew up, left home, married and had a family. Like so many childhood dreams thoughts of an Irish Wolfhound fell to the wayside. Years passed, my children were adults, I was divorced and living alone. My heart reminded me of my childhood dream—and now we have the internet. Photos of majestic hounds called to me like nothing ever had in my life. I found referrals from the National Club website and spoke to a woman who referred me to Alexis Montgomery, president of the Southern California Irish Wolfhound Club. Although not a breeder for profit, she knew many people in the wolfhound community and invited me over to meet her. In hindsight, I think it was more of an interview to see if I was worthy of consideration.
It was May of 2009 when Alexis met me at her front gate with her female, Wunjo and Wunjo’s two one-year old male puppies, Bear and Handsome. All three dogs welcomed me warmly. When Alexis invited me in to sit and talk Irish Wolfhounds, Wunjo and Bear wandered off around the yard. But Handsome followed me into the house. When I sat down on the loveseat he jumped up beside me and using his paw, pulled me up against his chest. For perspective, I am 5’9” and when I sat next to him, my head barely reached his neck. He was a big boy who bent and licked my face before laying his head on top of mine and cuddling me against his chest. I fell in love that very moment. But as he was Alexis’s dog, with a show career and breeding plans laid out in front of him, I knew I could only love him from afar.
Alexis was true to her word. Welcoming me into the IW community, she put me in touch with responsible breeders and I was on the waitlist. She invited me to the Irish Fair, fun matches and countless events and walks. Then one day when we were going to take Bear and Handsome for a walk on the beach, she dropped the bomb on me. “I know you want a puppy, but would you consider taking Handsome?” I don’t cry easily, but in that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotion and could barely speak, much less function.
I couldn’t believe my ears. But she laid it out clear enough. I still remember the hitch in her voice. “That damn dog is so in love with you, he isn’t happy unless he is with you.” His happiness was paramount to her. So finally, five months after our “meet-cute”, Handsome came home to be my forever heart hound. My heart was full. Or so I thought. That was October of 2009. Two years later, Phira, a female from Bear’s litter joined us and we were a pack of three.
I lost Handsome in April of 2015 and I still cry over him. Phira crossed over in February of 2018. I will mourn them always. But life moves on and in September 2018, one of Bear’s granddaughters, Jaegar gave birth. Having asked her to give me a boy, she naturally had all females: Valhalla and Valkyrie. I was only planning on one and Hala came home in December 2018, but Valkyrie joined our family in July of 2019. The sisters love each other and are boon companions. Being the same age and closely bonded they are a handful, but worth every moment.
Hala is a wheaten with black tips and Valkyrie is a gray brindle. But those aren’t the only differences. Hala is a goof—she makes funny faces and is an absolute gladiator at play. Affection and loyal, but very independent. She adores my six-year-old grand-daughter, Evelyn, and I have found them curled up together on the dog bed more times than I can count.
Valkyrie is an absolute cuddle-bug. She will curl up in your lap—she makes herself fit—for hours if you are willing. But make no mistake, this little girl can gladiate with the best of them. And willful…I think her picture is next to the word in the dictionary.
Right now, they are around 130 pounds at seventeen months of age. They still have some growing to do. But both are clever, strong and determined—like my heroines. They are a big part of my life, so naturally they will find their way into my written world.
Jann: What’s your favorite movie?
Frances: This one is easier than it used to be. I Am Dragon. It’s a Russian movie I found a year or two ago. I don’t normally care to have the television on while I am working, but for some reason I wanted something on in the background. I figured a movie in Russian would do the trick. I don’t remember what I had intended to do, but I never got to it. I was enthralled. The cinematography and music are so incredibly beautiful. And the story! The courage to love against all odds. Loving enough to sacrifice for the benefit of one you love. I bought it and have watched it probably fifty times. There is something about it that just grabs me in a most visceral way.
Jann: If a spaceship landed in your backyard and the aliens on board offered to take you for a ride, would you go? Why or why not?
Frances: Oh, yes. I have wanted to go into space as long as I could remember. To move through the cosmos, to see a nebular cloud, experience other worlds, a trip around the sun. It would be amazing. Well, at least as long as I wasn’t on the menu for dinner. Hopefully, when they show up I will either be between wolfhounds or able to take them with me. LOL
Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received? What’s the worst?
Frances: The best? Never quit. Simple. Easy. Straight forward. The worst? “The rule is….” Every great book I’ve ever read breaks one rule or another. Rules box you in, limit you. You have to produce a great product—that is the end game. But there has to be room for creativity and play. Once, while I was still a newbie at my day job, I asked a previous supervisor about a form to complete this mundane task. She responded that she didn’t particularly like to be in a box. I agreed—I don’t want to live in a box either. But I do believe we have to know where the box is and how it functions so we can effectively live outside it.
My first new book of 2020 is a February release. It’s Colton First Responder, a Harlequin Romantic Suspense book.
Yes, it’s one book in the HRS long-lived series about the Colton family, which is large and has family members living in branches all over the country. A Colton is a hero or heroine in each of the books in that series, so it contains a lot of highly romantic members. And of course they’re romantic suspense books, so those Coltons keep getting involved in relationships… and suspense, including murders.
It’s my second Colton book, and I don’t have any more planned, although that could change. Meanwhile, I will have more HRS books coming out, though I don’t know if any will be published this year. So Colton First Responder may not only be my first book of the year, but also possibly the only one.
I mentioned last month that I wouldn’t be going to many, if any, conferences this year, although I attended four last year. The one I wasn’t sure about when I wrote my last blog post here was the Romance Writers of America National Conference. Since then, I’ve made up my mind—I’m not going. There has been a lot of controversy in RWA lately, and I’m hopeful things will eventually be worked out enough for the organization to survive. But because of the controversies, Harlequin will not be attending the conference, hence my decision not to, either.
Despite all the stuff that’s going on, I have renewed my membership in RWA and my local chapters. I’ve been a member for a long time, and hope to keep it all going.
How about you? How is your year going so far? Looking forward to anything in particular soon?
She marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall and mucked around with the sheep to find out exactly how her client’s fine wool clothing was manufactured. Then Rebecca wrote her first book and found her passion. Now, over twenty-five books later, she is a USA Today and Amazon bestselling author and writes full-time, penning thrillers that explore the emotional impact of the justice system. She earned her B.A. at Loyola, Chicago and her MBA at Loyola, Los Angeles. Rebecca has taught the Business of Creativity at University of California Long Beach Writers Certificate Program, UCLA and UC Irvine extension. Married to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, she is the mother of two grown sons and spends her free time traveling, sewing, and playing tennis.
December 1st sees the release of Rebecca’s newest novel Lost Witness the eighth in the Josie Bates Witness.
It’s two in the morning and an aging cargo ship lies off the Port of Los Angeles. Deep in the bowels of the vessel, an important man is dead and the woman who killed him is mortally wounded. On shore another man staggers out of the sea determined to save the woman before she dies or the ship sails. Exhausted and terrified, he goes to the only person he trusts to help, Josie Bates. He brings with him a history she can’t ignore, a problem that seems insurmountable, and a plea she can’t refuse. But Josie is up against international law, maritime justice, a Port Authority that doesn’t want anything to get in the way of profit, the U.S. Coast Guard who dances to the tune of politics and a captain who swears the people in question were never on his ship. With the clock ticking, Josie becomes ever more desperate to prove the woman is real and get her safely ashore. What Josie doesn’t know is that the sands of time that are running out may be her own.
When disaster strikes
A Colton comes to the rescue
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