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LETTER FROM THE BOONIES
It's a lovely sunny morning in December. Amazingly-there's no snow and the temperatures are mild; in fact, the deer are still wandering through my garden, eating whatever's left this late in the season.
And I'm finally sitting down to let everyone know about my book news. Better late than never in terms of the mass market edition of HOT PROPERTY with a pub date of December 2. The story is set in Ely, MN, my childhood home, and now a tourist destination for those who like the wilderness experience as they say. HOT PROPERTY offers hot sex and serious weaponry, a hero who's haunted by his past in the CIA and a heroine in need of protection from a billionaire bully who's trying to curtail her expose on the illicit trade in antiques. Oh, and the new CIA chief wants Nick dead; he knows too much about several murders in Kosovo.
In January I have a new historical titled, SEXY AS HELL, with a hero who fully engaged my attention from start to finish. Occasionally a hero comes along who's entirely captivating from the get go-voila--Osmond, Baron Lennox. He's enormously rich, handsome as sin and if not entirely joyless, he's struggling to come to terms with the death of his parents and the woman he loved. Cynical, disillusioned, he sets about making life bearable in the time honored way of wealthy young men-with wine, women and high stakes gambling. Isolde Perceval, Countess of Wraxell in her own right, is gambling with other stakes-in her case, her reputation. The two meet in bed by accident--Oz enters the wrong room. After a glimpse of the lush woman lying beneath him, he decides the lady waiting for him in another room can wait. And the story begins.
In March, a mass market edition of FORCE OF NATURE will be published. The heroine is Hazard Black's daughter from an early liaison prior to his marriage to Blaze. Jo Attenborough has been raised in Florence and arrives in Helena under protest. After learning of Hazard's wealth, Lucy, his former lover, is intent on securing her share of his fortune-ostensibly for her daughter. In reality for herself. Jo is thoroughly embarrassed to be soliciting funds from a man she's never seen; an engineer by profession, she prefers making her own way in the world. The hero, Flynn Ito, son of an Irish mother and samurai father, has the heart of a warrior-a quality that holds him in good stead in Montana's range land where one's property is maintained by force of arms. When Jo and Flynn meet at a social affair, sparks fly. Ignoring the civilities and the shocked glances in their wake, they leave after dinner and spend the next few days in bed. It's about pleasure, they both agree, not love--as if feelings can be ignored. As if reason is of any consequence when it comes to love. When Jo is captured by Flynn's enemies, he and Hazard marshal their forces to rescue her. But the circumstances of her captivity pose difficulties for a man like Flynn. Bitterly offended she returns to Florence. A happy ending is uncertain.
In June, an anthology titled, UNDONE, will be published. My story begins with a wager contrived one night by a party of drunken young lords. The turn of the cards is won by the dissolute Earl of Albion, twenty thousand guineas is at stake and he has twenty-four hours to bring back evidence that Lady Felicity Belvoir is no longer a virgin. Since no confidence is long suppressed in the ton, the lady in question learns of the wager the next morning and begins making plans of her own. Albion is surprised and alarmed to find her waiting for him in her bedroom when he arrives, her luggage at her feet, her traveling cloak at hand. She offers him abargain-her virginity for an escort to Edinburgh. She w ishes to flee her home, her new stepmother in particular who has plans to marry her off to a loathsome old man. "I have no wish to marry anyone!" she emphatically declares. After a brief hesitation-females in full pursuit a given in his life-Albion decides that she's sincere. "In that case, we have a bargain," he says and picks up her luggage. "I'll take you to Edinburgh after race week."
"After. My horses are going to win every race."
A horse-mad young lady, she says, "After. If you take me to the races."
"Very well." She sits down.
He scowls. Twenty thousand is at stake. "If you stay out of sight in my viewing stand."
She smiles her assent. "Whatever you say."
And the wager is on.
At the moment I'm busy working on the third book in the Bruton Street Bookstore series. The hero, Jamie Blackwood, is bodyguard to Prince Ernst of Dalmia. The heroine, Sofia Eastleigh, is reluctantly drawn into the story when Prince Ernst seeks her out and informs her that she's his daughter. With his son and heir murdered, the prince requires an heir to retain his properties; he approaches Sofia with the assumption that she'll be pleased to discover that she's a princess.
Unfortunately, the man who murdered Prince Ernst's son, is intent on eliminating Ernst and Sofia. Von Welden wants the duchy of Dalmia for himself. He happens to control the Austrian secret police so his army of killers is large.
It's Jamie Blackwood's job to see that Ernst and Sofia remain safe until he and his men can kill Von Welden. They travel to Jamie's Highland estate, both the journey and their days in Scotland putting Sofia and Jamie in constant and close proximity. Aside from the danger or perhaps because of it, Sofia finds Jamie tempting, tantalizing and potent target of her lust. She pursues him, he politely declines, telling her that he never mixes business with pleasure. Not a reasonable excuse, Sofia decides, and the dance of seduction begins. Will he or won't he? Is it even a possibility with scores of villains on their trail? Amidst mayhem and murder all is uncertain. I'm not entirely sure exactly when Jamie will succumb. Although there's no doubt in my mind that he will.