Countdown to Freefall…
Hey there! I have a short excerpt posted on my books page. The hero and heroine of Freefall are park ranger Hope Banning and reclusive rock climber Sam Rutherford. Hope’s sister Faith and dangerous fugitive Javier Del Norte also play a large role in the story. But don’t worry about cliffhangers! There is some literal cliffhanging, plus rock climbing and waterfall jumping and other exciting things.
As I’ve said before, I love camping and the great outdoors. Hiking is one of our favorite family activities. I’ve spent a lot of hours exploring trails and imagining wilderness adventures. The idea for Set the Dark on Fire (which opens with a mountain lion attack) was born on one of my nature walks. Both Freefall and Badlands (2014) are inspired by my time spent outdoors. Here are some photos from a recent trip to east side of the High Sierras.
With my older daughter on a trail near Big Pine, CA.
Here she is helping my husband with his favorite outdoor activity: barbecue. Notice the bear box for food storage at the campsite!
More photos and guest posts coming soon.
Freefall: Coming Soon
Hey! It’s almost time for Freefall (May 28th)!! You can preorder at Kobo, Amazon or B&N. I’m in the process of updating my web site. I’ll post an excerpt soon and maybe some more photos from our camping trip to the Lone Pine area this summer.
For now, here’s my Dear Reader letter for Freefall.
I’m an avid camper and nature lover, so I was very excited to write an outdoor adventure romance. I introduced Sam Rutherford, the hero of Freefall, in Aftershock. He’s a rock climber who pushes the limits by “free soloing” without ropes or harnesses. One false move means certain death in this extreme sport.
My heroine, Hope Banning, is a law enforcement ranger at “Sierra National Park.” The setting is based on Sequoia National Park, near Yosemite. I took some fictional liberties but also included many real details.
Speaking of real details, I’d like to thank Ruthie Knox, my author friend and rock climbing consultant. She answered my questions and recommended a fantastic book called Ranger Confidential: Living, Working and Dying in the National Parks by Andrea Lankford. I admire Lankford and all of the brave female rangers working in our national parks.
Giveaway and Series News
So much going on…
I’ve been furiously trying to finish one novella and edit another, while prepping for Backwoods, my next full-length story. The good news is that all of these projects will be part of the Aftershock series! I’d planned to write them as stand-alones, and I actually had an idea for a “cop next door” novella. But my editor wanted more “man vs. nature” action/adventure stuff, and I’ve heard that longer series are doing well, so I brainstormed. I’m really excited about what I came up with. Here’s a breakdown:
This is the original trilogy, with recurring characters who are introduced in Aftershock. All feature dangerous settings and battles against natural elements as well as human villains. Freefall is coming May 28th. Badlands, Owen’s story, will be released in January 2014. It’s my favorite. Owen. <3 <3 <3
Scenes of Peril
These are upcoming projects. The first is a “cabin romance” novella, which will be paired with Suzanne Brockmann’s Scenes of Passion, Dec. 2013. Squee!! The heroine of Scenes of Peril is Paige Dawson, reclusive photographer who rescues Colin Reed, mysterious stranger, from a vehicle accident during a storm. Paige’s brother, Paul, is an adventure guide at California’s Channel Islands. Paul hooks up with Ella, a hot geek geophysicist, in Island Peril. Ella’s sister, Abby, is the heroine of Backwoods.
Confused yet? Don’t worry. You won’t have to read one story to understand the next. That goes for the original trilogy also. Skip ahead or jump in at any point. These stories stand alone in the sense that they are complete, with satisfying endings and no cliffhangers.
How are these three projects connected to Aftershock? I’ll just say that the characters have all been touched by the San Diego earthquake in some way.
What’s next? Who knows! I continue to receive requests for sequels to previous books. Right now I’m focusing on this series because I think it’s my best chance of success. I’d also love to write another earthquake story, set in and around the San Diego Zoo. You know me, always thinking of worst-case scenarios.
If you live in the US, like to read print books, and haven’t had a chance to start the series yet, this is a great time to try it. I’m giving away 25 copies of Aftershock and 25 copies of Freefall at Goodreads. I will try to do an international giveaway for Freefall soon.
Thank you for your support, as always. I love you guys.
I’m going on a family camping trip for the next week, visiting some of the places I wrote about in Badlands!! So exciting! I’ll be offline and not checking email or twitter. Somehow I’ll live without my cozy, cozy internet.
Before I go, let me tell you about Literary Orange. It’s in Irvine, CA on April 6th. I’m participating in a romance panel with Anna Randol, Jillian Stone, and SuperWendy the Librarian! Come and see us. I’d love to meet you in person!
Freefall on NetGalley & Review begging
Hello friends! I just finished Badlands, Owen and Penny’s book!! And Freefall is available on NetGalley. If you use this site, please request it!
A word about reviews. I really, really appreciate any and all reviews. Some authors are building “street teams” of readers to review their books and spread the word. Reader reviews are more important than ever in the digital age. The more reviews I get (good or bad), the better chance my books have to catch the attention of readers. If you can, write a short review for any of my books on Amazon, Goodreads or wherever. Just a few lines is fine. “I liked the hot sex on the beach!” or “I didn’t like it because earthquakes scare me.” Even if you didn’t enjoy it, leave a review! I don’t mind.
Checking in, girl soccer & Dr. Phil thoughts
Hello friends!! I’ve been staying off twitter and only lurking on the rest of the internet in the interest of finishing my book on time. I’m cutting it down to the wire. But I thought I’d check in with some random rambles.
1. Kids. Daughter 1 was in a local production of Annie through her elementary school last weekend. She was an orphan and sang songs. It was totes adorbs. On Monday she tried out for a competitive soccer team. She’s played rec for years but never competitive. Unfortunately, she was the only girl in her age group who showed up. She had to try out with about 40 boys, most of them older than her. It was pretty brutal. She learned that she’s only a good soccer player “for a girl.” I was proud of her for going out there and giving it her all. I’d love to see her improve, try out next year and make that team. In your face, boys!!
Daughter 2 is in her second year of Dual Immersion classes at school, and her Spanish is really coming along nicely. I wish both girls could be in the same program.
2. Writing. I tend to get stressed out pre-deadline, which leads to insomnia and hand-wringing and intense fears of failure. I had a Dr. Phil moment the other day, pondering the benefits of insomnia. He used to say “What’s your payoff?” or something like that. I guess his theory is that we do things for a reason–we get something out of doing what we do. I’m trying to sleep, but can’t, and maybe there’s an unconscious reason behind this. I think it’s a lack of self-confidence. I feel like I can’t finish my manuscript on time unless I really kick my own ass!! And stress myself out a lot!! I don’t trust myself to get it done without the worry and drama. It’s this tiresome, masochistic, suffering for my art thing. God I’m annoying. I hope I can stop being so annoying soon.
3. Twitter. I think this is why I quit twitter (temporarily)! It’s another way to abuse myself into getting the book done. I miss my twitter interactions terribly. You wouldn’t believe how antisocial I am in real life. I’m always bringing a notebook to scribble in and avoiding eye contact with other parents. Don’t bother me! I have a book to finish!
4. The book is going really well. I love Penny and Owen. The supporting cast is full of surprises. The setting is insanely interesting (to me at least!). For all of my deadline angst, I love what I’m doing. I love writing, especially first drafts. I love this job.
Caught in Amber (Guest post & giveaway)
Hello blog friends! I’m hosting Cathy Pegau this weekend. I’m not a huge scifi reader but I really enjoyed the characters and worldbuilding in her debut novel, Rulebreaker. Caught in Amber is another story set in the same world. Here is her post:
Caught in Amber: A Song for Sasha
I don’t usually listen to music while I write, at least not songs with lyrics. Instrumental is fine, but I find myself caught up in a good song’s “story” if there are words and I get distracted. But there are certain songs that keep me in the mental groove of the plot or character. I’ll listen to these songs enough that even if they aren’t playing I’m hearing them in my head as I write.
Pink’s “Sober” played in my brain throughout the writing of Caught in Amber as Sasha’s theme. “Sober” is about someone who fears she can’t be herself without her drug of choice. She knows she’s not reliable.
“I don’t wanna be that call at 4 o’clock in the morning, cause I’m the only one you know in the world that won’t be home”
and is nearly powerless in the face of her addiction.
“Ah, the night is callin’ And it whispers to me softly, ‘Come and play’ I, I am fallin’And if I let myself go I’m the only one to blame.”
But at the same time, she realizes she needs to stop.
“That’s not the way I want my story to end.”
That’s what Sasha focuses on throughout Caught in Amber, not ending her personal story as an addict. She’d hit bottom, so far that she spent several years in a rehab/correctional facility, and can’t stand the thought of being there agian. But despite being “chipped” against the physical need for the drug, she still thinks about it, is still tempted by it.
“When it’s good then it’s good, it’s so good till it goes bad…”
That’s essentially where Caught in Amber opens, with someone reminding Sasha who she was then and how she wants to change her story.
Recently out of rehab, Sasha James is determined to keep her head down, complete her parole, and never touch amber again. The chip in her neck controls her cravings for the highly addictive drug, but also tracks her every move. Not that she goes anywhere other than work and the halfway house she calls home—a far cry from her luxurious former life as lover of the mining colony’s top drug dealer, Guy Christiansen.
Agent Nathan Sterling has no desire to see Sasha fall back into amber, but his sister has become Guy’s latest conquest and the unexpectedly attractive Sasha is the key to getting her back. So in exchange for an introduction, he offers Sasha the one thing she can’t refuse—her freedom. From the chip, her parole, and even the planet if she wants. Though he would be sorry to see her go…
Torn between her growing attraction to Nathan, fear of Guy and the allure of amber, Sasha accepts. But who will save her if Guy refuses to let her go a second time?
Want to read more? Of course you do : ) Leave a comment (including an email addy) and a winner will be randomly chosen to receive an e-version of Caught in Amber. If you’d like, tell me if there are certain songs that remind you of books or characters.
Thanks so very much for having me, Jill!
Cathy Pegau lives in Alaska with her family, pets, and the occasional black bear trundling through the yard. She prefers writing speculative fiction because she can make stuff up as she goes along.
Visit Cathy at her website.
HE’S HER ONLY HOPE…
Park ranger Hope Banning’s plans for a little R & R are put on hold when a plane crashes at the top of a remote mountain. Hope will have to climb the summit and assess the situation. And the only climbing partner available is Sam Rutherford- the enigmatic man she spent a night with six months ago.
FOR STAYING ALIVE…
Ever since Sam lost his girlfriend in a falling accident, he insists on climbing solo. But Hope and any potential survivors need his help. As Sam and Hope set out on an emergency search-and-rescue mission, he realizes the sparks still sizzle between them. And when they learn a killer is among the survivors, they must place their trust in each other for a chance at happiness.
Let me know what you think! I’m getting a lot of questions about Penny & Owen. Owen appears in this book as a minor character. I’m writing their story (Badlands) right now and it’s going really well. I’ve always wanted to do a connected series with recurring characters. I’m loving it!
Jill’s Best of 2012
Everyone is doing “best of” lists this time of year so I thought I’d throw mine into the hat. I included links to my reviews. Most are from Goodreads.
1. Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox. By far my favorite book of the year. Loved it!
2. Riveted by Meljean Brook. It’s vagical.
3. Easy by Tammara Webber. I almost gave up on this one. Glad I stuck with it.
4. Suddenly You by Sarah Mayberry. Lovely Aussie romance with a mechanic hero and single mom heroine.
5. Sheltered by Charlotte Stein. This one had flaws but it stuck with me. Erotic, unique, emotional.
I wish I’d read more, as usual, but I think it was a good reading year.
Get your Aftershock on
There’s an interesting review of Aftershock at Dear Author. Janine didn’t give it a glowing recommendation, but she opened up a great discussion about race, which I really appreciate. Much food for thought as I write Owen and Penny’s story.
Extra hugs for everyone today. I think we all need them. (((HUGS)))