Summer 2012 Newsletter

August 2, 2012


Happy HOT summer!  Living in Arizona, it is a hot, hot place and I’ve used this summer to write instead of taking my normal three month break.  When it’s over 100F, I stay inside.  My mind has percolated a lot into a new, exciting direction which I’ll spell out in detail in my Fall Newsletter.  Suffice to say, I am writing!

THE WRANGLER, HQN, July 2012, has just arrived!
I love stories about survival.  Ranching stories and cowboys go hand-in-hand with my interest in the human struggle.  In THE LAST COWBOY, HQN, December 2011, I introduced Slade McPherson, hero of the book.  In it, I introduced a secondary character, Griff McPherson, his younger twin brother.  My editor, Tara Parsons, Sr. Editor of HQN, had suggested I write about him.  I felt that was a terrific idea!
Griff’s story mirrors real life for many people since 2008, when we hit a major recession, since the Great Depression of 1929.  Everyone has been touched and changed by this Recession in large and small ways.  It too, is about survival.  And I wanted to weave a story around this real-life event.
What if your parents were suddenly killed in a car accident when you were five years old?  What if you had a twin?  And what if two uncles of your father, each took one of you to raise?  In Slade’s case, his uncle came to the Wyoming ranch to keep it afloat.  Slade got to grow up where he’d been born.  And at eighteen, he became half owner of the ranch.  The other half was owned by his younger twin, Griff.  Slade grew up as a cowboy, knew ranching, raised champion endurance horses and never had to leave his real home.
Griff was taken by the other uncle who was a Wall Street investor and owner of a stock brokerage firm.  At age five, Griff only knew he’d been ripped away from his parents, his older twin, Slade, and flown to New York City, half a country away from his Wyoming roots.  Griff landed in wealth and in a world so different from his first five years growing up in Wyoming.  Can you imagine his grief, loss and being pulled out of a country lifestyle into the glittering, power-brokering metropolis of New York City?
When Wall Street and all the rest of the big monied banks from around the world failed, Griff’s life came to a stunning halt, just as it did for so many other people around the globe.  He was  now owner of his uncle’s stock brokerage firm.  And even though he’d graduated with an MBA from Harvard University, nothing could stop the total destruction of his uncle’s company.  In one blinding twenty-four hour period, Griff went from being rich to becoming a pauper.
How many of you have gone from being well off to poor?  There’s many of us out there.  We know what it feels like. And it certainly shows whether one has the internal strength to pull themselves up by the bootstraps once again — or not.  It is about the most basic kind of survival.  Griff is faced with the same dilemma.  He goes home to the ranch, hoping to take his legal share of it and run it with Slade.  If you’ve read THE LAST COWBOY, you’ll see what kind of homecoming Griff receives from his twin.
Griff realizes he’s got to make it on his own.  He understands his twin’s wanting the ranch to himself because, after all, Slade had kept it solvent all those years while he was gone.  Worse, when Slade did contact him to ask for a small loan to keep the ranch afloat, Griff refused to give it to him.  Now, many years later, that immature decision comes back to bite him.  Older now, Griff realizes the error of his stupid youthful decision.  He has no desire to go back East and reenter Wall Street.  It’s not who he really is.  With Wyoming grit in his blood, Griff humbles himself and starts all over again.  And along the way, when least expected, Griff meets a woman who is a survivor like him, unpretentious and honest as the land beneath his feet.
Come along and follow Griff’s road to redemption, reclaiming his soul and once more, having his feet solidly planted in Wyoming soil.
I hope you truly enjoy it.  I love family themes. Being a Gemini, I have lots of branches to my tree.  Sometimes, I like to pen stories about ranching and families.  Sometimes, historicals.  Or paranormal.  Or military romance, which I created the sub-genre in 1983 with CAPTIVE OF FATE, Silhouette Special Edition.  I have one more book in the Wyoming Series, and it will be THE LONER in December, 2012.  This is a ‘cross-over’ book to my new series.
I’ll give you a hint:  It’s about US Navy SEALs.  Who better to write about them than someone who has been in the Navy (like me)?  I’ll be devoting a lot of books to this new series (but I don’t have the title of it yet…it’s a work in progress…) both in HQN as well as HRS….so stay tuned!
I have a garden but the heat has been sooooo awful, all my darling plants are “stunned” by the temperature.  I’m getting just enough tomatoes to do some freezing for soups and stew this winter, but that’s all. My chard has grown gigantically…whoppers.  They don’t care how hot or cold it gets :-).  My squash is in shock and I have no squash. Sigh.  And my sweet bell peppers–same thing.  My lettuce and romaine soldiered on and I’ve got plenty of greens….so I must look on the positive side of all of this :-).
I used to work out at a gym several times a week.  Writers do one thing really well besides create great stories:  they sit on their butt a LOT.  I had gain twenty pounds and really hated it.  By going to the gym it helped but it took me an hour, roundtrip, to get there, work out and come home.  I finally broke down and bought a Life Fitness 95X elliptical cross trainer!  I had used it at the gym and loved it.
Now, twice a day, for thirty minutes each time, I’m on my cross trainer.  And I DO workout.  I’ve had it for 32 days now and I’ve lost 11 pounds!  Not bad.  So, now I’m a happy writer balancing off my world class brain muscles with my physical body muscles!  I always feel better after I work out and of course, science has proven when you do the sweating, the body releases the feel-good endorphins.
Back to work!  I hope you are having a wonderful reading summer.  Please drop me a note.  I always love to hear from my readers!