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Archive for August 21st, 2012

NT: Hi Pamela! Thank you for being my guest today.

Pamela: Thanks for having me! I really appreciate it!

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

Pamela: I knew I wanted to be a writer at about age nine or 10 when I read MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE and the world vanished around me. I realized books were magic. The could make the world around you vanish and replace it with a time and place you’d never been. The story lingered with me long after I read it, and I felt that was a kind of magic, too. I knew I wanted to write stories that crept into people’s hearts and became a part of their lives whether they realized that or not. I told my parents that I wanted to write novels when I grew up, and I don’t think they took me seriously at all. They do now.

As for my first book, I had an atypically easy path to publication. I wrote my first book over seven years. I was newly divorced with two small kids and a full-time job, so sometimes I was able to write only for a few hours on a weekend. But after seven years, I finished it. I sent out five query letters, signed tentatively with an agent who wanted some revisions. I put off the revisions for most of a year, then sat down and did them in three weeks. My agent loved them, and nine months later I had a two-book contract.

NT: You have a new release this month, DEFIANT. Can you tell us about it?

Pamela: DEFIANT is the third book in the MacKinnon’s Rangers series, which is set on the Colonial frontier in upstate New York during the French & Indian War (Seven Years War to Brits). DEFIANT tells the story of the youngest MacKinnon brother, Connor, and Lady Sarah Woodville, the niece of the MacKinnon brothers’ most hated enemy, Lord William Wentworth. Lady Sarah has been sent away in disgrace by parents who don’t know what to do with her and seeks the help of her beloved uncle. Before she can reach him, however, the party she is traveling with is attacked by a war party of Shawnee out to avenge the death of a Shawnee mother. Lord William sends Connor and Captain Joseph, the Mahican war chief who is blood brother to the MacKinnons, to rescue her and bring her back alive, knowng that if anyone can do it, they can.

But when they reach the village, Connor realizes the only way he’s going to be able to save Sarah is to fight the warrior who abducted her — and then claim her himself.

This will not make Lord William happy.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

Major Connor MacKinnon despises his commander, Lord William Wentworth, beyond all other men. Ordered to rescue Wentworth’s niece after the Shawnee take her captive, he expects Lady Sarah Woodville to be every bit as contemptible as her uncle. Instead, he finds a brave and beautiful lass in desperate peril. But the only way to free Sarah is for Connor to defeat the Shawnee warrior who kidnapped her—and claim her himself.

Torn by tragedy from her sheltered life in London, Lady Sarah is unprepared for the harshness of the frontier—or for the attraction she feels toward Connor. When they reach civilization, however, it is she who must protect him. For if her uncle knew all that Connor had done to save her, he would surely kill him.

But the flames of passion, once kindled, are difficult to deny. As desire transforms into love, Connor will have to defy an empire to keep Sarah at his side.

For the visually inclined, here’s a link to the live-action trailer my son and I made together. He put his film degree into it, while I mostly stood around watching the sexy male model and giggling. But, as I was the money, I got to stay on set. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYQA2WhPz58

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

Pamela: As soon as I can get other baloney out of the way — breakfast, shower, important chores — I sit down with my computer and write all day and into the evening. In the summer, I grow a lot of veggies, and that means that I’m outside very early watering the garden before it gets hot, harvesting the veggies, and washing/slicing/preparing salads and so on for later in the day. It’s a huge amount of work, but I really prefer organic vegetables, and the only way to know for sure what goes into them is to grow them yourself.

I’m always eagerly awaiting the first hard frost so I can quit doing that and focus more on writing. I love building a nice fire, then sitting beside it with my laptop and lapdesk sipping coffee and writing. That’s my idea of heaven.

FREEZE, zucchini plants! FREEZE!

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

Pamela: My sister, Michelle, is my rock. I can’t tell you how many hours we’ve logged on Skype talking about my books. She lives in Stockholm, so she’s eight hours ahead of me. But we manage to connect every week. She was here when I was finishing DEFIANT, which for some reason was very hard for me. And my sweet baby sister sat there on my couch till 4 AM night after night as I was writing to help me stay focused. My younger son Benjamin has been a part of discussing scenes and such since he was in high school. He just graduated summa cum laude with a film degree and is an exceptional writer, so maybe it’s been a good exercise for him. I have friends, too, whose feedback is always helpful. Author Norah Wilson, Marie Force… It takes a village.

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

Pamela: Research is something I love to do. My college degree and work in graduate school was in archaeology, and I spent 20 years working as an investigative reporter. Compared to trying to prove that Person X is a depraved criminal, there is no difficult research in fiction. It’s just a matter of being persistent. I have my own techniques, and they work wonderfully well. And since I love it — LOVE it! — it never feels like work.

For the MacKinnon’s Rangers series, I research the French & Indian War extensively focusing on Fort Edward, Robert Rogers and Rogers’ Rangers, a band of colonial frontiersmen who helpd the ill-prepared British face a new kind of warfare here in North America. Don’t get me started or I’ll still be going at midnight.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing 😀 )

Pamela: Well, there’s that ominously enormous veggie garden. I also have a very large rose garden, and I love it! In early summer, you can stand anywhere in my yard and just float away on the scent of roses. Deadheading the whole thing probably takes about three or four hours. In theory, I like to hike. I just haven’t done much of it lately. I live right next to the mountains, so hitting the trails involves maybe 10 minutes of driving to the parking lot. I love spending time with my kids. They’re both grown — the older one was born when I was a freshman in college, the second when I was a senior — and I adore them.

NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

Pamela: Oh, goodness! I’ve got TRUE SHOT by Joyce Lamb that I’m reading. I have several Norah Wilson titles on my Kindle (GUARDING SUSANNAH, SAVING GRACE) along with Marie Force’s Gansett Island series. I want to read Sylvia Day’s BARED TO YOU. I have a shelf of Monica McCarty I desperately want to read. I think my most recent acquisition is BRIDE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY by Kaki Warner, which I also desperately want to read. Where does this reading time come from? Not sure.

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

Pamela: People might throw rotten tomatoes at the screen when I say this, but I didn’t read any craft books. I didn’t workshop my books. I wasn’t a member of RWA. I didn’t belong to any writers groups or critique groups. I just sat down and wrote what I saw in my head. Granted, I’d been a working journalist for a while. I had my college degree and some grad school under my belt. But writing/language has always been my gift. I accidentally wrote an extra paper in a graduate level archaeology course, and the professor offered to auction it off. “She writes like a pro,” he said. “Bid high.”

I did take a creative writing course in college and one class about writing autobiography, and the feedback I got in both classes was overwhelmingly positive — at least where the professors were concerned. The students in the creative writing class were the black-clad clove-smoking sort who didn’t know what to think of a chick who was already a mom. Everything I wrote was savaged during critiques. In the middle of my last critique, the professor interrupted the students in the midst of shredding me and said, “Isn’t this interesting that you all feel this way because I think Pamela has written the only publishable work we’ve seen this entire semester.” Eat that, clove-smoking haters! That was awesome!

Poet and essayist Reg Saner was my professor for the autobiography class shortly before he retired. My writing just exploded in his class. I couldn’t get the words on the page fast enough. I would sit my baby on the floor with tupperware and spoons and just pound out as much as I could while he was diverted. At the end of the semester, Prof. Saner invited me into his office for my final critique and grade. I sat down and he said, “I’m afraid I have to apologize.” Naturally, this concerned me. He said that all he could give me was an A when it was clear that I was writing on a different plane than the other students. “Students come to me all the time and say, ‘I want to be a writer.’ I look at what they’ve written and tell them to do something else because they just don’t have it. You’re one of two students I’ve had during my entire career to whom I can say, ‘Go for it. You can do anything you want to do.’”

I cannot tell you what his words meant to me. It was an affirmation that THIS was the path I needed to be on, not graduate school.

I saw him a few years ago, and he knew I was published and was very happy for me. He said, “If anyone gives you a hard time about writing romance, ask them what they’ve published lately. The difference between what I write and what you write is that people read what you write.” (His Reaching Keet Seel: Ruin’s Echo and the Anasazi is phenomenal, and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading nature essays.)

So my advice to aspiring writers… Read a lot. Follow your heart. If this is what you want to do, commit to it with the devotion of an Olympic athlete and make it your life. Don’t give up. When you do, you lose.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

Pamela: Right now, I’m working on STRIKING DISTANCE, the next book in the I-Team series. I hope to finish it soon. Theoretically, it will be out next spring. After that, I’ll be writing another historical, perhaps Joseph’s story in a follow-up to the MacKinnon’s Rangers series.

NT: If someone has not read any of your books, which would be the one you’d recommend they try first?

Pamela: For historical fans, I would say Surrender, the first book in the MacKinnon’s Ranger series. For romantic suspense fans, I would suggest Breaking Point or Unlawful Contact, Books 5 and 3, respectively, in the I-Team series. People who are adamant about reading things in order can start with Extreme Exposure.

NT: How can readers contact you?

Pamela: There are so many ways!

I have a contact form through my website, where readers can send me an email and also sign up for my newsletter. http://www.pamelaclare.com/guestbook.php

I’m @Pamela_Clare on Twitter.

I’m on Goodreads and have a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pamela-Clare/167939496589645

NT: Thanks for being our guest today!

Pamela: You’re so welcome! Thanks so very much for having me!

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

For a chance to win DEFIANT, just leave a comment below. Good luck!

 

 

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The Book

The Tease

“Yuk it up, furball, but you didn’t see the colors swirling around him. Black and icky green. Not the good green like grass, but the glowing eerie shit that scares you in bad horror movies.”
“Furball?” Wait. “How did you know he was a wizard?”
She shrugged. “The same way I knew you were a wizard. It’s in your magic.”
He blinked. “I had no idea you were a witch.”
“Really?” The surprise in her voice turned into a smug smile. “Cool.”
He rolled his eyes. “I can show you the spell I cast to call you to me if you like.”
She tilted her head. “You think I’ll understand your spell?”
“I don’t see why not.”
Her mouth opened again but nothing came out, the surprise there nearly causing him to laugh. She must not have expected him to offer to show her the spell. “Huh. I never thought I’d see the day a wizard offered to show a witch his workroom.” She stood. “Bring it on.”
He grinned. “Follow me.”
“Where have I heard that before?” She followed him out of the bedroom and down the stairs. “Oh, wait, I remember now. I think it was the time just before you drugged my hot chocolate.”
“Can you prove I drugged your hot chocolate?”
She growled, then huffed out a breath. “No.”
“Well then.” He opened the door to his workroom. “Here you are.”
She walked past him into the room only his family was allowed into. His wards let her in easily, barely rippling around her. “Whoa.” She put her hand to her forehead. “What was that?”
“My protection spells.”
Her eyes went wide, her face paling. “Am I about to experience being inside out?”
He huffed out a startled laugh. “No, of course not!”
She turned to look up at him, her gaze following him when he moved into the workroom. “Because you’re with me, right?”
He merely raised one brow.
“Right?”
He sat behind his desk, ignoring the open Registry. He had no doubt she would look him up in it soon enough, the same way he’d looked her up. “It let you through because it knows you’re family.”
She sat in front of his desk with a thump. “Oh.”
He leaned forward. “Welcome home.”

The Blurb

Strike a match, light the candle…and fall into the spell.

Christopher Beckett is from an ancient line of wizards, but with one aspect that sets him apart. His wolf. Right now that wolf is howling for a mate. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before the wolf’s needs override everything else in his life, Chris casts the spell all the Becketts have used to call their mates to them.

His wish list is short: She must be of a lineage at least as old as his own. And she must accept his wolf. When his mate appears, he realizes his list should have been one item longer.

Alannah Evans, a powerful witch of the Evans Coven, has no problem with Chris’s wolf. It’s the wizard part that sticks in her magical craw. Witches and wizards have always been at odds, so by rights, she and Chris shouldn’t be striking sparks of attraction this bright. But Chris will not be denied, and gradually she finds herself trusting him—then falling into the fire of desire.

When it becomes clear an old enemy has targeted them both for death, Chris charges into a duel that could cost him his life. Or worse: Lana.

September 18, 2012

danamariebell.com

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LIKE A WOLF WITH A BONE by Shelly Laurenston

Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn’t be happier when the most-feared member of the South’s rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there’s nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts—and have her surrender however and whenever she wants…

WED OR DEAD by Cynthia Eden

Gage Ryder knew his human bride had her wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem—Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla’s secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game…

LIKE A WOLF WITH A BONE

This story was everything I hoped it would be. I’ve been a fan of Laurenston’s shifter series for years and Eggie has been a favorite since he was first mentioned. When I saw that this would be his and Darla’s story, my anticipation level hit code red.

It’s the summer of 1974 and Egbert Ray Smith is on leave from the military when he meets pacifist Darla Mae Lewis. Chaos immediately ensues when Eggie saves her life and rushes her off to Smithtown to keep her safe, with their families hot on their heels. Eggie is already the stone-cold killer we know from other books (once you meet his mom, you’ll understand why) and watching him soften and worry about how Darla sees him is so sweet. And seeing Darla embrace and except Eggie is beautiful.

The various family interactions provide the hilarious moments that puts Shelly Laurenston books on my keeper shelf and has me going back for rereads. I loved every moment of it!

Favorite quote:

They’re not a Pack, they’re a hillbilly cult filled with criminals and ‘shine runners.

WED OR DEAD

Kayla is a hunter and her only mission in life is to stop supernaturals like the one that killed her parents. Her current job is to get close to wolf shifter Gage so her team can eliminate him and his pack. When Gage proposes after a whirlwind courtship, Kayla says yes. Not just because it will get the job done but because she wants a night with Gage. Gage knows his bride is keeping secrets but it doesn’t matter. The wolf has found his mate. After a passion filled night, their honeymoon is interrupted when Kayla’s team shows up and she realizes that all the things she’s been led to believe may be lies.

WED OR DEAD hit all my happy reader buttons. Steamy hot sex, secrets, violence, angst, and a HEA that made me smile. It even has a hero that not only accepts the heroine’s ass-kicking side but he counts on it to make his pack safer and stronger. This book pushed Cynthia Eden from “author I enjoy” to auto-buy status.

Favorite quote:

Kayla had her secrets. So did he. The time for the big reveal would come later. The time for fucking – yeah, that was now.

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 28th, 2012
Format: Print and digital

Preorder:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

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