On the western front, I’ve accepted a three book offer for western historicals in Harlequin’s Blaze line. The historicals are new to the line which previously has been limited to contemporary tales. The line is entering the historical field in grand style; authors include Hope Tarr, who was the line’s debut historical author; and bestselling authors Betina Krahn, Jacque D’Alessandro, and Jade Lee.
The Blazes will be shorter than my usual long manuscripts, but I really think, sadly, that the day of long historicals has passed. People just don’t have time to read them in our hectic world. But I’m excited about returning to my first love, the western. My series will feature three sisters separated on the trek west when the parents die of cholera. The first is Sam (Samantha) who is adopted by a miner and his wife. She’s orphaned again and is taken under the wing of several “Godfathers”: a gunman, a gambler and a mule skinner who share the raising responsibilities in a dying mining town. She learns their different skills, and she needs them all when she tries to thwart the marshal who intends to hang one of her “godfathers.”
Best of all, my editor will be Brenda Chin whom I dearly love. She’s one of the best in the business and harbors a deep love for historicals, She particularly likes strong heroines, and I do as well. I’m really looking forward to writing a shorter, snappy, sexy book.
And I really hope that this means more interest in historicals, particularly in westerns, from publishers. I would also like to know from all of you whether you like the long historical westerns of the past or the shorter ones.
The second great news is that my December romantic suspense release (“Behind the Shadows”) has been selected as the featured alternate by five book clubs, including the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, Book of the Month Club, Doubleday Book Club and Rhapsody, the romance book club. The book will also be featured in Rhapsody’s “Between the Covers.” I’m still floating among the clouds about that. This is definitely a first for me.It’s really a book of my heart, having much to do with mother daughter relationships. A thirty–two year old woman tries to donate a kidney to her dying mother and discovers she’s not her mother’s genetic daughter. When she searches for the real one, she encounters any number of family secrets as well as danger. Unlike my other books, it has four major characters, all with very big problems of their own. I was delighted that their complexity was the main focus of the Rhapsody interview.
I plan to continue writing romantic suspense. I truly love the challenge involved in moving from historicals to contemporary, and back again. It makes me a bit schizophrenic at times, but it also makes writing challenging and exciting. The biggest problem has always been language. Historicals demand a different voice than the contemporary, and it always takes me half a book to regain the right one.
That’s pretty much the news. I had planned to write about Fanny Kelly, who was captured by the Sioux Indians and whose status among the tribe was constantly being reversed from captive to honored guest. She’s the model for one of my three sisters, but I didn’t have room to do justice to her. So she’ll be my blog in two weeks. She’s one terrific heroine.