Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Desert Inferno excerpt

Excerpt from my one Arizona contemporary. There will be more coming probably in May. Shorter books than I've been writing. Desert Inferno  is set in Nogales and the desert. Jake is with Border Patrol and Rachel is a painter. Her ancestors were also in the Arizona Historical Romances.


"Let it go, Rachel. Look, I don't get it.” The expression in his eyes hardened. “What's a woman, who looks like you, doing with a guy with a face like mine, a guy whose own mother couldn't stand him, who has a brother doing time? I’m not your kind of guy, Rachel O’Brian."
She leaned forward, reaching out, lightly tracing his face with her fingertips, her fingers wreaking havoc with his resolve to keep everything casual between them. “How do you know what my kind of guy is?” she asked huskily, trying to keep her tone light and knowing she was failing.
"I am an ugly man, inside and out."
Her fingers tipped his chin up and she looked into his eyes. "Obviously," she whispered, "we don't see your face the same way. Know what I see when I see you?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “I see a strong face but with too much sadness. Your face is like the desert, craggy and rugged. The desert is not ugly but beautiful."
Before he could respond, she pressed her fingers against his lips. "You’ve protected yourself all these years by not caring. You figured that worked.” She felt an almost unendurable surge of sadness to think of what Jake had said and not said about the little boy he’d been, the man he was. She wondered then why she knew so well who he was inside. She knew it better than he knew himself. She had no answer for why that might be true.
"It does work."
"Does it?  Or has it only left a lonely boy inside a lonely man?"
“People do what they have to do. I don’t want pity."
She shook her head. "I don't pity you, but can't I feel sympathy for what you've been through?"
“Are you a fixer upper? One of those women who goes around finding people who need somebody to redo them.”
She laughed. “So you think I’d want to remodel you?”
“You sure couldn’t want me as I am, but I don’t want remodeling. I am not here for any woman and that’s how it is.”
“It’s how it has been.”
“You don’t give up. Listen, I told you about my brother so you’d see this interest you think you have in me is not going to work.”
"Because of your past? The past is just that—done and gone."
"It colors today, tomorrow. You see your world in bright, shiny colors. You've grown up to be a princess, surrounded by luxury."
"And what have you grown up to be, Jake?"
He stared at her. “What are you getting at?”
“Back to the start of all this conversation. Why did we meet?”
His smile was faint. “I do a fair amount of interrogations, and that sounds like a trick question to me.”
“Not really, but you said you’d never normally have been where you were that day. You didn’t have to decide you’d be the one to come out to the ranch. Don’t you ever think that some people are meant to meet? It’s fate. I won’t say why or even know, but there is more going on with human life than meets the eye.”
“Babe, it’s all biology.”
“I don’t think it is. I think with you and me there was something there that first day, and we both could have walked away from it. You would have.”
“And why didn’t you?”
“Because I hadn’t felt it before, that magnetic pull to get close to a man, to learn who they were, to follow the trail where it went with them. I wasn’t sure I ever would again if I walked away from what was possible.”
“What is possible is a dead-end.”
“I won’t deny that could be, but don’t you want to know—for sure? Some things aren’t logical. Feelings don’t always fit facts. Sometimes though they are strong enough to surmount what might seem insurmountable.”
“You think that’s what this is?”
“Jake, ours is a story that hasn’t yet been written. It could be by us.” Her smile was confident and so sexy that he felt as though the wind had been knocked from his lungs. "How would you write our story? If I am the princess, who are you?”
“I wouldn’t write a story about us because there isn’t an us.”


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Love Waits excerpt from the fourth Oregon historical romance

My fourth Oregon historical romance involves a conspiracy, some spying and a volatile time in the history of the United States, being only a short time after the Civil War has ended. In Love Waits,  high level government officials and the military try to stop a rebellion before it gets started. The hero has been called to The Dalles to request he become involved in ferreting out the traitors. 


“We can tell you this-- there is a Pinkerton on the job. And although we do not have an official spy agency, we have sent in a man who has proven competent in spying during the Civil War.”
“Am I to know who either of these men are, and will I be expected to contact them?” Rand had already decided he would take the assignment, short of spying on Hardman. If he had a traitor in his unit, he needed to know it. He didn’t want another rebellion to lead to another war.
With Belle working for Forester, he had a personal reason to do what he could to assure her safety. She presented a personal complication in stopping at the Hardman ranch. He didn’t want to have to hide his knowledge of her marriage and current abode. Maybe they already knew though. It’d been six months since he’d stopped by. He walked to the window staring out at the Columbia.
“Yes, you will need to know who they are. And one more thing, Rand.”
He turned back. “Your brother was befriended by Forester before he left San Francisco. I don’t know how involved he is with the cause. He had not been working for him that we knew, but Jason left The Dalles this morning on the stage for Canyon City.”
Hellfire. He hadn’t seen his younger brother in years. Their father had found Rand to be a disappointment for reasons Rand never quite understood. Jason had continued to live with him. It didn’t make sense though that he would befriend someone like William Forester. For what purpose?
“How loyal do you consider your father to be?” Williams asked watching his face.
He turned to stare back at the Secretary. “He was a well decorated general before he retired. As far as I know has always served with honor. Why would you ask such a thing?”
“Since his retirement, General Phillips has had some... friendships that have been regarded as questionable—one of which had been with Forester. I realize that alone doesn’t mean much. Often powerful men are attracted to each other.”
Rand tried to think what he knew. He’d never heard the name William Forester before the man arrived in Canyon City. “Perhaps you know that I am not close to my family, but last I knew, my father was in Maryland.”
“They were both in San Francisco up until last week. Our sources there lost connection with your father. It’s uncertain where he is now.”
“He and Jason were together?” At one time, his father had been estranged from both his sons. Had that changed?
“Yes, in San Francisco,” Williams said. “How they left there is a bit of a mystery. Jason left a clear trail north. Your father signed out of his hotel, and disappeared.”
“No train or ship tickets?”
“Nor renting a driver.”
“Could he have died?” He should have cared more than he realized he did.
“Although we don’t believe that to be the case, we don’t know. We need more information than we have and you seem to have the best chance to get that.”
“Will you take the assignment, Captain?” Schaeffer added.
Reluctantly, Rand nodded. “I don’t know how effective I can be though.”
“We know the caliber of man you are, Captain. I am confident you will do your best,” Schaeffer said. “I have a dossier for you to study on Forester to learn what you can. Burn it when you finish. Take a few days here in town before you head out. You look exhausted.”
 “If any names stand out for you,” Williams added, “please file a report before you go. But from this time on, be careful how you contact us. Leave no clues that you are looking into this as it could be very dangerous for you-- at least until you know who not to trust at your back.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

a rough draft

Yesterday I finished the rough draft of Bound for the Hills. I had begun the book 1/4/16 and finished it February 9, which meant 36 days (if I don't count the weeks or months ahead of writing where I am thinking and researching). 

Since a few writing days I didn't write anything, some I wrote five thousand words, a few maybe only a thousand, I don't have an average number per day (and have no intention of ever keeping track of that. This is one of the first times I actually know when I started and ended a book). I write what I get and usually that is several scenes, but I like to have time between events to think what might happen next. I am both a plotter and a pantser. I know where it's going but how it gets there, I find out a lot along the way.

Whatever the word counts, it was a lot of hours, but I feel good about the book. Next comes editing and roughly I am guessing the book will be out in March but not figuring on a date until I do the first edit and know how many problems I have. I put off my edits at least a week, usually more, to get some distance. Anyway, this is a snippet from early in the book. Again, remember, it's a rough draft which means it might change.


     Ironically, it had been her last year in high school when two events changed her life. A friend loaned her one of the popular dime novels. She had snickered through it, at the same time she was writing a thesis on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales. The praise for the book had come from the greats of Hawthorne’s own time, not the least of whom had been Longfellow, who stated the short stories and Hawthorne’s writing was “characterized by a large proportion of feminine elements, depth and tenderness of feeling, exceeding purity of mind.” 
     It was then that her mind had begun to spin with the possibility of merging the dime novel with the elements of classic plots and her own writing. She had to learn about guns and such, but she found them rather interesting anyway.

     A month later, she had sent off her first manuscript to one of the publishing houses, noted for the dime novels. A contract returned quickly, with an option for more. Was this her making or her downfall? In some ways, she thought, as she took another sip of sherry, it had been both. She had sold out the classics as she mined them for plots on which she spun a western tale.
     When requests came for the mysterious author, Will Tremaine, to appear at book signings or to give lectures on the West, her editor, Matthew Jefferson, the only one who knew there was no Will Tremaine, brushed them off with various excuses. Having these lusty, sometimes brutal westerns written by a woman would never do was his reason. She had her own.