A Good News Week!

This has been a great week and I’m excited to share the news with you.

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.

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28 thoughts on “A Good News Week!”

  1. I go back and forth some between historical and contemporary and I love doing it. There’s a real different tone to the voice involved and it stretches me as a writer in ways that are really refreshing. I think I go back to the other genre with more energy when I step out of it.

  2. Hi Pat
    That is wonderful news! I love the Blaze books can’t wait for yours. Congrats!
    Fanny Kelly and the Sioux Indians sounds great!
    Happy reading and congratulations!


  3. Congratulations on the new western series, Pat!!

    Congratulations also on the various book clubs picking up your romantic suspense. Yippee!

    That’s wonderful news. And your series sounds absolutely wonderful. I like the idea of the three sisters and their trials as they find love on the frontier. You’re so clever when it comes to plots.

    I’m really sorry that the long historical seems to be fading. I like the long ones. Sometimes there’s just not enough time in the shorter ones to fully develop a plot. Plus, I like all the little extra details that enrich a story.

    Can’t wait for the first of your series!

  4. Pat – Congratulations! I’m thrilled to hear about your Blaze historicals and particularly that they’re westerns. I can’t seem to get enough of them.

    I read a variety of sub-genres and while paranormals seem to be everywhere – I personally think there are quite a few historicals being published and there will always be readers who want them – including myself.

  5. Hi, Pat! I saw that on Michelle’s blog and just wanted to say HOORAY! I’m definitely looking forward to your trilogy! They sound right up my alley!

  6. Thanks, all. I’m really going to have to discipline myself on writing shorter again (I did three Loveswepts long ago). It seems I’ve been all over the map in the past twenty years, everything from short contemporary to long suspense, from long historical to short historical. You never know what’s coming next.

  7. Hi Pat! Congratulations on all the good news! You’re such a multi-talented writer, I’m sure your Blaze historicals will be fabulous. I loved your synopsis. I find it interesting that you have difficulty going back and forth between historicals and contemporaries–I’m trying to do this myself right now, and it is SO difficult to let that historical voice go. I think I’ve been too hard on myself for wanting to switch from one voice to the other with a snap of my fingers–so your post was encouraging. I’m like you–once I get into it, I find my voice, but that switch is always a bit of a hump.

  8. How exciting, Pat…best wishes on on the wonderful Blaze opportunity. You rock!! How spicy do they have to be?

    I love the LONG historicals on my keeper shelf, some from (dare I admit it?) the late 80’s…but I think in our fast-paced world, shorter is inevitable. Like Linda, I personally like tons of neat details of the historial time period tucked in whenever possible.

    But as long as publishers keep doing historicals and adding new lines. I’m happy.

    I look forward to Behind the shadows. I do not have the mindset to create suspense and SO admire anybody who can write them. Congratulations again.

  9. Hi, Pat! You already know how excited I am for you to get back into the western swing of things again. Just goes to show how the pendulum always swings back.

    Congrats, sister Filly!

  10. Hi Pat,
    I will look forward to your Blaze historical trilogy. I love western historical romances!!!
    I prefer long but I will also read short. I never think there’s enough western historical romances out in the market. I feel as though the publishers push the paranormal and forget about the historical fans. I live in Cheyenne, WY and the first books to disappear off the bookshelves are the western historical books. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

  11. What wonderful news, Pat! Signing you and other top authors for Blaze historicals will insure the the books will have both sizzle and quality writing. It’ll be great to have more westerns out there.
    And congratulations on the success of Behind the Shaows. I love romantic suspense and will keep an eye out for that one.
    No one deserves this success more than you do!

  12. To all of you who want more westerns, please write the publishers (Bantam, Berkley, Kensington, Dell, Harlequin, etc.) and tell them so. We need to let them know there’s a good market out there.

  13. Congrats!!!!

    I personally love LONG novels…short ones are just teasers for me! LOL

    Dont get me wrong, I still read shorter books, but really prefer the longer stories though!

  14. Hi,

    Congratulations on your new contract with Harlequin. I still have copies of your old Harlequins, Swampfire, about Francis Marion, and what was his name, Connor? and Sam. I liked that one, and the one about the General’s daughter whose husband died and she was traveling west with her son and ended up with the half-breed scout who got attacked by the bear. And then there was a trilogy about three brothers, the youngest one was a Doctor Texas something. Anyway I have all your longer non Harlequins too. I especially love those.

    I read fast, so I hate the short ones. They don’t have as much meat, and I don’t find them as satisfying. I hope they’re not phasing out.

    I’ll be looking for your new ones though, for my collection.


  15. Kathy. . .
    Thanks so much for a reminder of some of my favorite books. The book you mentioned — the half breed scout — was Sieze the Fire, and it will always be one of my very favorite books. I too love writing the longer ones and I hope to do those again, too.

  16. Hello Pat!

    I love westerns regardless of length. 😀 Congrats on all the great things happening for you and I can’t wait to hear about Fanny Kelly and how she inspired one of your sister characters!

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