Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Great News!

Just found out the other day that No Turning Back has finaled in the OKRWA National Readers' Choice Awards! I was ecstatic to hear the news, even before I found out the book had been nominated for best romantic suspense with this list:

Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish
No Turning Back by Kaylea Cross
Edge of Sight by Roxanne St.Claire
A Rancher’s Brand of Justice by Ann Voss Peterson
Killer Heat by Brenda Novak
Desperate Deeds by Dee Davis

The winner will be announced at RWA Nationals in July. There's no way I'll win the category against competition like that, but I'm just tickled the judges loved the story so much. Especially because I represent a little e-publisher :) And, obviously I'm thrilled to have finaled amongst this group of powerhouse authors.

Like I've said before, Ben was a difficult hero for me to write, and the book is so violent and graphic it's not everyone's cup of tea, so finaling in a contest like this means a lot! If you love to root for the underdog, please send out good thoughts for Ben and Sam's story.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed. Er...Hatched

Morning everyone! Well, after a very stressful time yesterday when Ma Eagle seemed to step on and crack the egg open before the chick was quite ready, the little one appears to be doing well. Its sibling has not yet hatched, but hopefully we'll have another addition to the nest shortly. Click HERE to go to the live camera. Come over and say hello to our new fuzzy gray bobblehead! He's sooooo cute...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Egg Hatching Day

Today's the big day! Our eagles are about to become parents again. The first egg should begin hatching sometime today, and its sibling should join him/her two days after that. Click HERE to go to the live camera feed, and keep your eyes peeled. The weather is supposed to be decent for the next few days, so I hope at least some of you out there get to see the big event. So exciting!

I got something cool in the mail this week. My new CCT friend sent me a DVD, commemorative coin and lapel pin, just because he's a nice guy. I'm dying to watch the DVD, but I have to hold off until I get these second round of edits finished for my first Callie Croix release, and then finish off my next ranch story.

In other exciting news, it's finally baseball season here. It's been extremely chilly and windy here in these parts, and I have to tell you we're all sick to death of it. Let's hope it warms up fast so that my weasels actually enjoy heading to the ball park!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Civil War Milestone

For all you fellow Civil War freaks out there, you must be in heaven right now. Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, marking the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, SC. I've been there, of course. I've been to a lot of places pertaining to the war. It holds a strange fascination for me, and I can't remember what got me hooked in the first place, but there you go.

I'm over at Writers Gone Wild today, talking about this quirky obsession of mine, so click HERE to drop by and take a peek.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guest at Ron Knight's Blog

It's finally spring! My favorite season of all. Here in Vancouver it's still chilly, but at least the sun's come out a few times and we're desperate for more of it. My little garden is slowly coming to life, which is great, but I've yet to re-paint the fence and do a last time cleanup of the yard. In a couple weeks I should know how bad the black vine weevil infestation is going to be this year. Every year I hope and pray the nematodes have killed them all, but each year I'm always severely disappointed. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

In an effort to get my name out into the world more, I'm part of Ron Knight's 100th blog. To visit and find a host of new authors you might not have heard of yet, click HERE. To visit Ron's blog, click HERE.

Hope all of you are doing well out there. I'm just getting over an awful bug so I haven't written in a long while. Plan to fix that this week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gotta Love the Internet: More Research Connections!

This past week I've been dying of a flu/strep throat/sinus infection I came down with two weeks ago when we got back from our trip. Today is the first morning I woke up and thought I'm actually going to live. I can almost breathe through one side of my nose, and though my head and face feel like they might explode if I bend over, things are looking up.

Right now I'm working on the dedication and acknowledgements for Deadly Descent. As you know I got in touch with some really cool inside sources for research on this one, and had a ball talking with them. When I e-mailed my recently retired PJ contact and asked what official title to call him in the dedication, I got a response that so typically embodies these men that I could only smile and shake my head. I'm paraphrasing, but basically his answer was, "No thanks are necessary. We're just ordinary guys, and I'm glad I could help."

If that doesn't encapsulate their humility and heroism, I don't know what does. So Weaver, if you're ever reading this, just know you're a hero to me and always will be no matter how much you try to downplay your years in Pararescue. So there.

Another cool thing happened too. I don't even know how he found out about me (must have been through this blog, but I never asked him), but a retired Air Force Combat Controller (CCT) contacted me to ask how the heck a young woman from Canada became interested in CCTs. He said some people in the Air Force don't even know about them--which I hope isn't true--so he was curious about me. I joked that I'm a little odd, and that on top of being a Civil War superfreak, I love learning about Spec Ops stuff. I love it even more when I can put what I've learned into my writing and give it more realism.

Wait--what? You don't know what a CCT is either? Not to worry, there's a picture of one at the top of this post. Deadly Descent will introduce you to Ryan, a CCT embedded with a SEAL team out of Bagram. You'll learn plenty about why these guys are damn handy to have with you out in hostile territory. Or in any combat mission, for that matter. At the most basic level, they're Special Ops trained air traffic controllers that go out into harm's way and bring a lot of firepower with them. They bring the rain. Heavy ordinance from bombers, missiles from fighter jets, or close air support from gunships, just to name a few. And that's merely a part of their job description. I'll be highlighting the hellish ordeal they undergo just to earn the right to be called a CCT in a later post, so stay tuned.

Anyway, this retired CCT and I chatted back and forth a few times, and I assured him that while my books are steamy romantic suspense, I make an effort to research my heroes' line of work and add a level of detail that readers won't find in other books of the genre. His response surprised me. He said he's actually proud that I'm taking the time to learn about his CCT brothers and bring them into the spotlight. Even if it's only a small spotlight.

He also said he sincerely hopes my hero gets to spend the night with a belly dancer at some point in the upcoming book :) He wants to read the book, but I told him it's pretty steamy and he probably wouldn't like it. "Are you kidding? I love steamy!" was his reply.

He's in his early sixties now and has been out of the game for a long while, but he offered to put me in touch with a recently retired CCT while I'm writing the draft of Crash and Burn. And he's sending me a DVD on CCTs and a couple trinkets, just because he's a nice guy. How awesome is that? And to think this connection literally landed in my lap (er, inbox) last Monday. Gotta love the Internet! As soon as I'm finished this latest novella, I'm back into Ryan's book, and I'm looking forward to writing it more than ever.

So, Mr. A.L., if you're reading this, thank you so much for taking the time to contact me. Very cool getting to "meet" you.

Damn I love what I do :)