Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Club: Breaking Point by Pamela Clare

By: Ronlyn Howe

Denver journalist Natalie Benoit and Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride find themselves captives of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel. Working together, they escape through the desert toward the border, the attraction between them flaring hotter than the Sonoran sun. They fight to stay ahead of the danger that hunts them as forces more powerful than they can imagine conspire to destroy them both...

And now for Ronlyn's interview with Pamela!

Ronlyn: How are you feeling now that BREAKING POINT has been released?


Pamela: Relieved and very tired. I’m always nervous in the weeks up to a release. I put so much work into the stories, hoping to please readers. Seeing the characters that have lived in my head for months or even years come alive for other people and experiencing readers’ excitement as they move through the story has been very gratifying.

Ronlyn: Do you treat yourself to something special when you finish writing a book?

Pamela: Yes. Sleep.

Actually, things are usually so unraveled in my life when I finish a book that, after sleeping a bit, I “celebrate” by cleaning my house, going for walks, catching up on errands, and generally restoring a sense of order. Because I work essentially two full-time jobs, there’s no leisure time for keeping on top of such things while I’m writing. If my house gets cleaned twice a month while I’m writing, that’s great. (When my son Benjamin is home, he cleans the house. Bless him!)

Often, I get a massage or two, also. That helps get rid of the aches that come from sitting for long stretches of time, and it helps with the emotional release I need after finishing a book. Writing stories that are intensely emotional often leaves me feeling really emotional. I cry at the drop of a hat and feel really drained. Massage helps bring back some sense of serenity.

Ronlyn: I LOVE massages. And a clean house. I need to invest in a housekeeper and masseuse. ;-) You've always been very candid about some of the "topic" ideas coming from your day job as a journalist. When you come across some of those topics do you immediately think, "Oh, here's something I would use!" or is it a more gradual process?

Sometimes it’s one, and sometimes it’s the other. The five I-Team books that I’ve written so far include the most high-profile work I’ve done as a reporter. In a few cases, I was conscious of the fact that I would later use this stuff in a book while I was doing the investigating/reporting. But that was after I’d published. My reporting on prison issues and American Indian issues started before I was published, so, although it was obvious material for fiction, I wasn’t thinking, “Gotta put this in a book” while it was happening.

As the I-Team continues, I’ll be having to dig deeper into past reportage for topics/issues, and I might even veer into matters that I’ve never covered. I’ve been exceptionally—is lucky the word?—to have so many really big stories come my way. A lot of journalists never get to work on projects like that. But part of it is my own desire to step off the beaten path and take on topics no one else wants to touch.

Ronlyn: While you were writing BREAKING POINT the current issues on the border were becoming national news, with several reports regarding the Zetas making headlines. Then, of course, with the Navy SEALs becoming such a huge focus for their work, you were interviewed by the Washington Post. How did it feel having some of the topics in your fiction work be current headlines while you were writing and as the book was released?

Pamela: It was creepifying. I’d write about some hideous thing, and then something very similar would happen a few weeks later. I was writing about fictional Zetas while the real Zetas were out there committing mass murder in absolutely macabre ways—faces stitched to soccer balls, hanging people and slitting their throats (talk about literal overkill), slaughtering a house full of immigrants trying to make their way to the US, the kiling of U.S. Border patrol agents by bajadores and others. I’ve been aware of the situation with regard to Las Muertes de Ju├írez for almost a decade, and, of course, I knew about the Zetas. But the topic for the book had been settled in my mind for quite some time. To have all of this flare up while I was writing the story was extremely eerie.

Then, to top it off, SEAL Team Six takes out Osama bin Laden two days before the book’s release, putting SEALs in the headlines. Who could have predicted that?

Ronlyn: I guess this book is just really timely.

Pamela: That’s in part because I’m a journalist, so the issues I write about are real. They’re in or have been in the headlines (many times they’re headlines I’ve written, such as an article about a cement plan titled, “Concrete Evidence,” from which I got the focus of Extreme Exposure and the title Hard Evidence). For example, after Hard Evidence came out, the issue of human trafficking became more prominent in the news as part of a rising tide of public awareness.

I read a review where the reviewer insisted that the incidents described in Unlawful Contact—the rape of inmates by inmates, the sexual assaults of juvenile female inmates by guards, etc.—were hyperbole, that such extreme things didn’t really happen. I wanted to ask her when she was coming back to Planet Earth. These things really did happen.

Ronlyn: Do you think you might have a bit more of a finger on the pulse, so to speak, of various issues that are about to...trend (for lack of a better word) due to your continued work as a journalist and editor

Pamela: Possibly. I have a knack for predicting where stories will go. That’s one reason I’m the editor-in-chief and no longer a reporter. (I still do reporting, but that’s not the focus of my job any longer and hasn’t been for about 15 years.) Here’s an example of what I mean. When the Oklahoma City bombing happened, the TV stations were reporting that people who seemed to be Arab or Muslim were being stopped at airports for questioning. All of the channels were talking about the possiblity that this attack had been carried out by someone from the Middle East with a grudge against the U.S. I couldn’t believe how ridiculous they were being. First of all, someone from the Middle East is going to want to attack something symbolic of the United States, not an obscure building in a city and state their friends have never heard of. Secondly, I knew it was the anniversary of Ruby Ridge. So I turned to my fellow journlists and said both of these things, finishing with, “They need to be looking for a disgruntled redneck, not a Muslim.” I wrote a column about it, which ran in the paper the next day—when news broke about McVeigh.

And everyone in the newsroom said, “Whoa!” and looked over at me.

But, hey, to me all of that seemed obvious. Sadly, it was obvious on 9/11, too.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Ronlyn: Going back to BREAKING POINT, I know you've caught some serious flack for Natalie's decision to become a housewife. Did that surprise you?

Pamela: It really surprises me that women are so intolerant of other women’s choices, even those of fictional women. So, yes, I was a bit surprised. I was even more surprised by people saying that “all” of the I-Team women leave their jobs. If by “all” they mean just Natalie, they’re correct. (Personally, people can hate my books if they want, but I’d really appreciate their getting the facts straight.) Kara and Tessa reach the heights of being a journalist, which is working independently writing books and freelancing. That’s what every journalist hopes to do one day. They didn’t “leave journalism.” Au contraire. They moved up in their careers. Sophie, who always wanted to be a journalist, and Kat, who similarly had strong motivations for being a journalist (i.e., being a voice for Native people), are still at the paper. Natalie did leave, and I tried to make it clear in the story that she just wasn’t as connected to her career as the others. Journalism found her, she didn’t find it, and as the story opens we learn that she’s in a state of “professional ennui.”

Of course, then she goes through weeks of hell and attempts on her life. This, combined with her past trauma, ought to be reason enough to say, “To hell with this job.” In reality, very few women who start careers as investigative journalists remain in the job. It’s confrontational and intimidating. I’ve tried over the years to bring women in and to deliberately cultivate them as investigative journalists. Of all the women who’ve worked under my mentorship, ONE is still a reporter. One. It’s not discrimination; it’s self-selection. Women self-select out of this career more often than they remain. So for Natalie to leave her job reflects her lack of connection to it, her understandable desire not to be the target of violence, and the reality of the journalism world.

In addition to these reasons, there are two more: She is deeply in love with a man who has struggled to adjust to life outside of war. She doesn’t want to be the kind of two-career family where everyone’s exhausted and no one’s needs are met. She wants to make sure they both get the peace and happy homelife they so desperately want and deserve. She lost Beau, so she knows that every moment is precious. Who in her right might would say on her death bed, “Wow, I really wish I’d spent more hours at the office and succeeded more in my career”? It’s much more likely that most of us will wish for more time with those we love. So she chooses to be a homemaker in order to maximize the time they have together.

The second reason is very simple: If no one leaves the I-Team, I can’t bring in new characters.

In my hometown, I’m considered to be a serious feminist. But feminism for me revolves around the desires of women, not the expectations of a society that still values men’s work over that of women. If a woman wants to stay home and has the means to do so, that’s her business. I’ve had a journalism career that is the envy of many male journalists. It was recently capped off with the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award from SPJ, the same organization that sent Natalie to Mexico. But I stayed home with my kids when they were little, and if I hadn’t had to work, I probably never would have. Does that make me less of a feminist? In the eyes of some, perhaps. But there are those who see success for a woman as mirroring what we traditionally define as success for a man. I don’t want to be a man. I want to be a woman and to celebrate what’s special about the feminine in this world. I felt that Natalie personified balance in this regard. She was a feminine woman, but she was strong when she needed to be strong.

Women who are pursuing careers for the sake of having careers may find that path less fulfilling than they imagine. I’ve won big national journalism awards, passed a state law, broken big news, and the thing I’m most proud of in this life is being a mother.

One last thing: Some of those who objected to Natalie’s choice objected on the basis that it she was a woman who sacrificed her career for a man. I don’t think Natalie sees it as a sacrifice. While I understand that a lot of women feel taken for granted by the men in their life—I’ve been there and am proudly and happily divorced—there is nothing wrong with a woman giving of herself for the sake of the man she loves. I don’t see scads of message board posts objecting to the fact that Zach suffered and almost died for her sake. So apparently it’s okay for a man to give his life for the woman he loves, but it’s not okay for a woman to bake pies and keep a home for the man she loves. That’s unbalanced and unhealthy. From my point of view, spiritually speaking, the greatest thing to which we can aspire is to master ourselves so that we can serve others.

I’m working on that still.

Ronlyn: If there is one thing you'd like people to take away from BREAKING POINT, what would that be?

Pamela: I guess I want what I always want—for readers to leave the story feeling that they’ve been on a journey and are the better for it. We all know the feeling we get when we read a book that touches us. It’s that feeling that I want readers to have.

If there’s any message in the book—a moral premise, if you will—it might be that we can’t live full lives as human beings by keeping our pain to ourselves. Zach and Natalie try that. It’s only when they share with one another that they find love and release from the past and earn their HEA.

Ronlyn: Thank you so much Pamela for agreeing to chat with us today! If anyone has questions feel free to post them and she'll be popping in and out today to answer as many questions as she can as well as do a give away!

104 comments:

Marie Force said...

Morning! Looking forward to the chat today! Welcome, Pamela!

Marie Force said...

Dang it, forgot to subscribe....

krisgils33 said...

Hi Pam!
I loved everything about this book! This was such a great story on so many different levels. I thoroughly enjoyed all the I-Team books, but Zach is my new fave!!

Mary G said...

Awesome interview ladies.

Pamela, if perfection can be achieved in writing, this is it.
This whole book could be one big fave quote LOL.

It’s gritty, riveting, romantic, hot and yet I could still smile.
Thankfully it came in the mail on a Friday because I stayed up till 5:30 AM to read it. Even when I was done I couldn’t sleep, still on a high from this amazing ride.
It’s telling that one moment just shone for me. That was Joaquin taking the picture of Marc & Zach & then again when he showed it to everyone. That it had nothing to do with the primary romance is telling – that this book is special for so many reasons.

I thank you for being the brave soul you are & again for stringing a bunch of words together that weave absolute magic. I’ll say it again – you write in beauty Bella.

Pamela Clare said...

Morning, Marie! Morning, Ronlyn! Thanks so much for having me as a guest at Romance & Oreos today. I'm exciting to hang with you all and answer penetrating questions. ;-)

Marie, congrats on the kudos your blog has recently received as being among the top 50 romance blogs on the Net. Pretty damned cool, that.

Under the Covers said...

What a great interview, ladies!

I'm reading Naked Edge right now so soon I'll be on to Zach! I can't wait!I had to skim over the spoilery section though! I'll come back once I've read it.

Pamela, thank you for writing these amazing books! You are one of my top favourite authors of ALL-TIME! I can't even describe how I feel when I read one of your books. Either way, I always do a happy dance when I have any one of your books in my hands. And then, I'll probably start sobbing when I finish it.

Thanks for making me dance, laugh and cry. You are awesome!

Ann @ Under the Covers

landipan said...

Great interview ladies! I really enjoyed it!

I'm so surprised that some people took offense to Natalie's decision to be a housewife,I actually like it alot since I felt it was a nice variation from the other books.I loved how you explained it too,I really felt it 'real' in the book for Natalie,if that makes sense.

Alyssa (hesperialovesbooks) said...

Thanks you Ronlyn & Pamela for the wonderful interview!

I started this series in January as part of the I-Team Reading challenge and I have to say that I could kick myself for waiting so long to read these fabulous books! Never have I read a series that is so realistic, raw & honest as this one is. I feel like I could literally hop on a plane to Denver and meet all of these AMAZING characters.

I've pimped these books so much since reading them that I feel like I need a crazy 70's pimp suit, fedora, cane & goblet of wine to be complete. I just want everyone to experience the awesomeness that is I-Team & Pamela Clare.

Amy said...

I love all Pamela's I-Team books and she did not disappoint in BP. I see no problem with Natalie wanting to be a stay @ home lover/mother....to each there own and if it works for them who cares what others think. :}
You ROCK Pamela!!

Ronlyn said...

Morning all!! I hope everyone liked the interview. It was fun, but I realized I'm soooo not a journalist! I had to cut myself off from continuing to ask questions and have the never0ending interview instead of getting to the blog. LOL

Pamela, do you have a favorite Romance Hero? Not one of your guys, but an overall fave?

Jackie P said...

I loved this book and the wait was so much fun with all the things you let us in on. Like giving us sneak peeks and then you get your favorite guy for the cover!!!!! Talk about fun!
Can you give us a maybe sketch of want you would think we have to look forward to in the future with the I-team books? The photographer? :)

cgcook64 said...

Hi Pamela,great interview! I just want to say that I loved your speech on Natalie's choice to be a housewife,I found it very inspiring! Shame on the fools who didin't like it,they can just go pout in the corner.Also....

(*SPOILERS* for those who havin't read it)

..Were you nervous about the Julian 'thumb' scene? I have to say when I read that part my heart nearly stopped lol.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Kris — I'm so glad you enjoyed the story. And, yay, for being a member of Team Zach! I thought he'd do better in the I-Team hero poll than he's doing. (Just between you and me, those Team Marc people are really obsessed!) ;-)

Hi, Mary G — Aw, thanks! You're so sweet to say that. Did you ever catch up on your sleep?

That particular story moment — with Joaquin's photos — is perhaps the moment readers have mentioned to me most since the book came out.

Hi, Ann — Thank you so much! Wow, I'm so happy to hear you've enjoyed the book so much. One of your all time faves? That makes my day!

If you're reading NAKED EDGE, then I can safely predict sobbing in your future based on other readers' responses.

You are SO welcome! Thanks for giving my books a try.

Hi, Landipan — Thanks for saying that. I always write the ending based on a deep feeling about what that character really wants from life at that point. All characters in fiction go through a learning experience in their stories. What Natalie learned was to embrace the joy she has. Why would she work if she didn't have to work, especially when Zach moved to a new town/new job to be near her and has his own very serious issues to deal with? I'm glad the ending worked for you! :-)

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Alyssa — Is that true? I've only known you since the I-Team Reading Challenge? Egads! It feels like you've been an I-Team fan forever. (My brain has a few things in common with the Bermuda Triangle, I think.)

Well, I'm so glad you discovered the series and took a chance on it. And I appreciate all you've done to spread the world.

I almost choked on my scrambled eggs laughing at this vision of you tricked out like a 70s pimp. LOL!!! Too funny!


Hi, Amy — Thanks so much! I'm delighted you enjoyed the story. I'm very happy with the choice Natalie made. And, of course, no one knows what she might be doing in the next book. (Hint: She won't be going back to the paper but she will be writing...)

Hey, Ronlyn! I thought you did a great job. We're both crazy busy, so if days went by between questions and if it took me forever to answer, that's just A-okay.

Favorite romance hero... Well, there's Roarke. And then there's Daegus. I have to admit that, although I don't read paranormal very often, I did read KMM's Highlander series. And I just loved Daegus.

Ronlyn said...

mmm....Daegus. I LOVE him. ~swoon~

I was thinking of this as your poll is going on: Obviously Zach is a tortured hero. Would you consider your other heroes tortured as well? I do. Not necessarily physically (at least not up until you started dismembering them) but emotionally, certainly.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Jackie — I'm glad you enjoyed the sneak peeks. And I was so thrilled to have Jed on the cover. I actually thanked my editor for that yesterday in a phone call. How often does a romance novelist get to pick her cover model? Not very often!

Well, as of yesterday I know that Holly WILL get a story. I'm saving her for last.

I DO have a story in mind for Joaquin, but I need him to grow up a bit more... I tried to push him a bit in this book, as you all probably noticed.

So there's also the person who is replacing Natalie. Who that is and what her background is, I can't say. We haven't met her yet, though. I DO have some ideas based on some violence experienced in the Middle East by female reporters. We'll have to see what the Muse does inside my head over the next few months.

But DO follow my blog. That's where I post all of the latest.

Hi, Crystal — Thanks so much! You know, I don't want to tell people what they should think of my stories. Whatever their experience is it's real for them. But when they're factually wrong — about all the women leaving journalism — that's when I really want to speak up. I never say anything to reviewers in person, but I figure I can say what I want in interviews and on my blog. So I'm glad it was meaningful for you.

All I know is that when I went back to work when my youngest was 3, being in the newsroom felt like a VACATION!

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

As for your other question. I was kind of nervous about it. I knew it was going to happen, and a part of me GIGGLED while I wrote it because I KNEW what the response would be. But I really love these characters, so I also had an "Oh, no!" reaction. (Being an author is kind of like being crazy — voices in the head, etc.) I anticipated more angry responses than I've received. Either you all trust me, or you were so wrapped up in the story that no one took time to send me an angry email. I did get a few, "OH, NO YOU DIDN'T!" FB posts and such.

By the way, I warned Ronlyn before she got to that chapter NOT to throw her computer. This is based on her past responses to "bad things happening."

And now I have to rush off or miss my carpool!

Aly said...

Fabulous interview Mrs. Howe!! Great questions! And great answers Pamela!

Although no one will ever push Reece out of my #1 spot, this book has now pushed Extreme Exposure into the #2 book spot and has become my all time favorite!

There are so many fantastic parts in this book but my favorite is when Zach allows himself to let go emotionally in front of Natalie. We know he is strong physically and mentally but I think this emotional part made Zach that complete hero :)

Marie Force said...

Jumping up and down about the Holly news!!!! YAY! So glad to hear that. I think you could have BIG FUN with her story!

ChrisS said...

Hi Pam,
I am currently reading Breaking Point and loving it.
The detail in your story and the depth of your characters has brought Breaking Point to life.

One scene I found really touching was how Natalie and Beau met. Was there any real life inspiration to the flowers?

Thank you for such a great read! I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

Mary G said...

BTW I totally loved that Natalie would be a stay at home mom. It just fit this story.
I would have loved to do that. I have an interesting job but I don’t define myself by it.
I’m a wife, mom, aunt, sister, daughter, granddaughter, BFF, friend, tennis player first.
Maybe in my idealistic 20’s I would have defined myself by a career choice but even if I had my dream job today it wouldn’t define me. It’s cool that Natalie knew that early.

Tonya said...

Great interview! I had no idea people complained about Natalie's decision. I think it's great. I am a stay at home mom/wife & I wouldn't have it any other way. I think a lot of people have this crazy idea that if a woman doesn't have a job outside the home she sits on the couch all day watching soaps & eating bon bons. And that's fine if they do. It's really nobody's business what she does with her time. However, I rarely sit down at all during the day. I volunteer at my son's school. I help the kids in the Reading Lab that are struggling with learning to read. I read to students. I file papers, I give out popsicles on field day, or whatever they need me to do. I also go to the nursing home (where I used to work as a Medical Records Clerk) & read to the residents or help feed them or whatever needs to be done. Anyway, my point is that being a homemaker is not always as glamorous as some people think it is. I don't go shoe shopping everyday or go to the spa everyday. And if someone does do those things everyday, that's okay too. I just don't want people to think that every homemaker does. And I hate it when people say "Oh, you don't work." Well, yes I work. I just don't get a paycheck for it. Most of us homemakers are far from what people see on those Housewives reality shows on Bravo.

As you know, I am a huge I-Team fan. My friends (who are also I-Team fans now) call me the I-Team cheerleader. They mean that in the best way possible I'm sure. ;-) They accuse me of nagging them until they read the books & then they call & thank me after they finish each one. 8-)

When I'm nagging people about reading Pamela Clare's books they ask me who I compare her to or who has the same writing style as Pamela. I tell them no one. I tell them her books are just "more." More intense, more emotional, more descriptive, just more. In my opinion Pamela Clare's books are in a league all by themselves. Out of all the books I read (5-6 a week), I haven't read one yet that is better than Pamela's.

Thank you Pamela for sharing your amazing talent. I look forward to reading & re-reading more of your books in the future.

And Marie Force, I'm also looking forward to reading your books. Several people have recommended them & I can't wait to get started.

krisgils33 said...

I didn't realize it was offensive to people for Natalie to leave her job. WTH? i applaud anyone who does what is right for them and not what others dictate! dude, a "member" of team Zach? what happened to me being CAPTAIN??? i'm so crushed. guess i'll have to go back to being one of those crazy obsessed team marc members.

Marie Force said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tonya, and for all you do for the people around you.

Thanks for checking out my books, too. :-)

As the Captain of Team Julian, I am still recovering from the thumb scene. Ugh!

Mary G said...

Bravo Tonya!
If I won the lottery I’d be doing more volunteer work. I don’t get how people say they’d be bored if they quit work.

Mary G said...

At least it was only his thumb LOL.

Pamela Clare said...

Well, I made it to my carpool and am now at the office...

Ronly, I absolutely consider Julian, Marc and Gabe tortured — each in his own way for his own reasons. Julian and Marc have both endured a lot of violence — and they know how to dish it out.

Gabe lived a pretty fantastic life until the BAD THING happened. His torture is more of the emotional variety.

Zach, of course, was emotionally tortured before this book started. He's been through some serious trauma. Then in the story, he's tortured almost to death.

The reason he's close to dying have as much to do with lack of water, lack of food, exhaustion, etc., which weaken his body when it comes to dealing with the form of torture being dished out to him. It's not the torture itself, which CAN kill if done for that reason. What the Zetas have done to him when the story opens is all about pain, not killing him. I don't know if that was clear or not...

Marie, I was SO happy to hear my editor say that. One of the first things she said to me after she bought the first I-Team book was, "I hope you weren't planning on giving Holly a story. I just don't see her as a heroine."

Well, that has changed. I think I've proved to her that I can take emotionally complex characters and do things with them that are outside the "bounds" of what's generally acceptable in romance (something YOU do quite often, too!).

Marie Force said...

I'm glad your editor has seen the light. There is SO much you can do with her. I can't begin to imagine what you WILL do with her, but I can picture a scenario where we find out there's some steel under the fluff.

Ah yes, the two of us love being OUT OF BOUNDS, don't we? That's where all the fun stuff happens. That lovely gray area between black and white. :-)

Pamela Clare said...

OMG! Captain Kris!

So sorry. Faux pas on my part.

Yes, Kris is captain of Team Zach!

Okay, I have to do a bit of work, then I'll be back. Wanted to clear that up first. (Whew!)

Hope said...

Great job Ronlyn, wonderful interview. I thought you did a lovely job.

I am really uncertain about the stay at home mom thing and why everyone is upset. I am a stay at home mom with an accounting degree, but as a family we decided it was best for me to take care of the family for a while, it is a personal decision and I think people should chill out!!

While Julian is still my favorite (and I was one of your angry..."OH NO YOU DIDN'T" messages) Zach really gave him a run for his money. I loved this whole story. I loved how she was not a waif, but very strong and she actually did the rescuing :)

Pamela, any chance you might start a new series with the Shadow Forces?

Ronlyn said...

I think (and I have no basis for this other than my own opinion) a lot of people wouldn't feel quite so strongly about Natalie's decision to be a housewife if they had kids. It's the no kids thing that has people thinking, WHY? It's no longer the norm for a woman to get married and leave her career to keep home and hearth.
But, I'm just guessing. Maybe they wouldn't have liked that either. *shrug*

And yes, Pamela did warn me about throwing the computer when she sent me the "thumb scene". I very much appreciated the warning since I have been known to throw the books at the wall in a fit of "Oh HELL NO!" when something bad happens. After reading UC and having Marc be shot I believe I called Pamela to warn her that there would be no where for her to hide if he didn't pull through. LOL

I came in here with a discussion point and now I can't remember what it was.....hmmm.....I'll be back.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Aly — I'm glad you enjoyed BREAKING POINT enough for it to unseat EXTREME EXPOSURE. It's always weird that, as an author, there's an internal conflict about whether I want someone to love my latest book most or whether I want them to love the older ones. If they don't love the new one most, is it not good? Am I declining as an author? If they love it and not the older ones, then did the older ones sucks and someone didn't want to tell me that? LOL! Seriously.

The scene were Zach finally breaks — not from torture but because he's with a woman who loves him — was hard to write but it also choked me up. I'm glad it touched you.


Hi, Chris — I'm so glad you're enjoying the story. I try to pack my head with research so that I can "see" the details I'm writing about. I had photos of all the desert plants and the reservation on my desktop while I wrote about that.

The scene where Beau intervenes and stops his buddy from tearing the petals off her corsage flowers — that was just one of those moments where I was in the flow and the words just appeared on the page. No real-life inspiration there. I wish!

Hi, Mary — I read somewhere recently that Americans tend to ID themselves based on their careers more than other nationalities. I wonder if that's part of the difference.

I don't want to tell anyone how to live her life, but having had a couple of near-death experiences myself, I learned a long time ago how easy it is to die. People who treasure life aren't focused exclusively on their careers. As I told Ronlyn, that's not what you're thinking about on your death bed.

Pamela Clare said...

Tonya, you're amazing. Good for you and all you do. I know SO MANY women (myself included) who wanted to be able to stay at home and do all of those undervalued but essential things that help keep a family and a community running.

People are only beginning to understand that "women's work" at home and volunteering in the community DOES come with an economic benefit. It's like its own economic engine. That's true going back in history all the way. While the history books recorded what the men were doing, the women had an almost separate economy based on trade of products and services — honey and eggs for help during childbirth; quilting together; making their own clothing. Those are real economic contributions that so often are overlooked, not just today but throughout history.

For me, being a feminist is about recognizing the feminine and making space for it in an otherwise unrepentant macho world. That means breastfeeding moms in the workplace and stay-at-home moms and their hard work and mothers who balance it all and become CEOs.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your experience! It's a great contribution to this discussion.

And you should definitely check out Marie's books. I really enjoy them, and they have the virtue of feeling really fresh and original, on top of being well written and touching.

Marie — Sorry to traumatize you with the thumb bit. I don't dismember heroes lightly, no matter how it may seem after these past two books. :-D

Marie Force said...

Actually, Pamela, I don't think you gave my delicate sensibilities the first thought when you hacked off my beloved Julian's thumb. LOL

Thanks for the kind words about my books. You are sweet (if a bit diabolical, too!) :-)

Pamela Clare said...

LOL! That may be true, Marie.

As for gray areas — they're so much richer and more fun to explore than the black and white, which have very limited depth.

I've always believed that romantic fiction could be about real things, even the full ugliness of real life. It's the love of the hero and heroine that transform that reality into something more beautiful and transcendent.

And that's how life is — it's the love we give that makes this world a better place.

Ronlyn said...

Since I didn't post a recipe this week...
Who's the cook in the relationship? Natalie or Zach?
Any specialty dishes they whip up from time to time?

Pamela Clare said...

Natalie is definitely the cook. Zach can open an MRE and crack a beer or wrench open a bottle of Jack. He can also open bottles of champagne and wine now that life is easier for him.

But Natalie is the cook. And she makes a killer shrimp bisque. She's also getting the pie crust thing down — not easy. She discovered that if you make a shortbread crust for your pecan pie, for example, it's waaay tastier than if you just use a pre-fab pie shell. All the pecan goo seeps into the shortbread. Mmmm...

She's taking a few cooking classes and getting into the slow food movement. Though she and Zach kind of up in the mountains where stuff is hard to grow, Zach built her a little greenhouse on their patio where she's able to grow some of their food — greens, tomatoes, herbs.

She wants to try making lobster ravioli because she knows how much Zach loves seafood.

Zach has put on a few pounds since she met him, but it looks really good on him.

Ronlyn said...

oh man, I'm SO going to use that shortbread crust tip. My guys LOVE pecan pies.

I remember my discussion topic now! (I'm not going to tell you what made me remember because, really, I fall into this category a LOT).
TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) Heroines. You and I have talked before about some of your gals catching that title, which makes me laugh because there are time *I* feel like I am TSTL. What are some TSTL moments that have brought around some entertaining moments in your books?

Pamela Clare said...

My own TSTL moments that have shown up in the book or my heroines TSTL moments? Because, honey, I have them, too.

For example, I just called the spokesman at the University of Colorado looking for an earthquake expert (we've had two 3.9 quakes in the past month). I asked him to call me back and left HIS number in the voice mail. HIS number, not mine.

Yeah, and I run the newsroom. Lifetime achievement award and National Journalism Award winner — and TSTL ditz....

I saw a great discussion of TSTL recently. Can't remember where...

Ronlyn said...

your own that have shown up in your novels. ;-)
I was just changing the water jug on the water cooler and and knocked myself in the head with the empty when I pulled it off the cooler. I'm awesome.

Pamela Clare said...

LOL! Glad you didn't render yourself unconscious there, Ronlyn.

OK, so, not trying to get myself in trouble here...

TSTL moment #1: Drove my car into a strip mine while the dragline was running and the place was under armed guard. Jumped out of car. Took photos while armed guards started running toward me. Jumped in car and drive like a bat out of hell through open desert. In a Nissan Sentra. Hmmm... Maybe that's not in a book. LOL!

That was absolutely life threatening and not just because the Wackenhuts had high-powered rifles. If the dragline had hit me or my car or had dumped, I'd have been squished under a few tons of coal. I didn't even think about that until a local coal-mining activist ripped my head off. She totally went ballistic. Sheesh!

TSTL moment #2: Drove through razor wire to photograph pollution at a nearby cement plant. This is absolutely in a book.

Both of those were technically felonies.

TSTL moment #3: Planned to write about cement plant. Stuck my hand in CKD (cement kiln dust) to see how much it burned. Regretted that for a while.

Thwarted TSTL moment: While writing HARD EVIDENCE, I tried to get my gun-nut buddy to shoot me with a .22 while I was wearing Kevlar. He refused. Offered to beat me with a bat instead. Said that's what it would feel like. I was mad. Asked my cop friend, he told me that rounds penetrate more often than I know and that I could easily be killed that way. D'oh!

If you're getting the idea that I sometimes carry research to extremes, you're right.

TSTL moment #4: Went to jail. As a felony arrest. Had to be strip searched.

TSTL moment #5: Tried to do some undercover-ish reporting on the gay prostitution scene/drug scene in Denver. Being a chick really blew that for me. Hung out in all the roughest gay bars and just got glared at a lot. How was I to know there wouldn't be ANY other women there? That's not in book either, though it has some things in common with Tessa hangin' in the hood. :-)

Ronlyn said...

I'm horrified/laughing hysterically.

Pamela Clare said...

When people call Tessa TSTL, I take that personally. Who you calling stupid???? LOL!

Believe it or not, I never did get to the bottom of the gay prostitution/meth scene. Go figure.

Ronlyn said...

Must have been your hair that gave you away. ;-)

Pamela Clare said...

Yeah. They were some pretty butch gay guys. I was the only one with a pink sparkly purse.

Marie Force said...

Okay, you win Pamela. You are definitely TSTL! Haha! I love your stories and the lengths you go to get a story. The most dangerous thing that happened to me as a reporter was splitting my dress up the ass end when a hot guy was giving me a tour of some controversial coastline property. I went to my parents' house after and turned to show my mother. I said, how bad is it? She laughed so hard she nearly wet her pants. I guess that answered my question about whether or not he saw "anything." Back then, I might add, the view was pretty good. ;-)

Maybe you could put Holly on the gay nightclub story and have her run into a mess somehow. That would be pretty funny!

flchen1 said...

Hi, Pamela! I'm not caught up with your books, but am looking forward to some mighty fine reading when I have a chance :) Will there be more in this series to look forward to?

Ronlyn said...

Questions I've been asked on your behalf:
-HOW did you get JED HILL on the cover? And do you typically have any input on the cover art/models?

-With the news you put out there yesterday that Holly will actually get a book there's been some confusion: haven't you been saying all along that Holly would get a book?

-Do you have a favorite scene you've ever written?

Shelly Sihu said...

I have looked at every place that sells books in our town and can't find Breaking Point anywhere! This means one of two things, they've either sold out OR we live so much in the sticks that it'll be another month before it comes in. We are in desperate need of a good book store but it probably wouldn't do very well. Please enter me in the drawing! That way I might not have to wait so long or just give in and order through amazon, lol.
Thanks,

Shelly Sidhu

Tonya said...

Does your sons read your books? Do their friends & girlfriends read them?

Pamela Clare said...

Oh, Marie, sorry about the split dress! LOL! A little extra ventilation? I guess there's not a lot you can do in that situation except keep your face forward.

That's a fun idea for Holly! She would have felt very out of place in one of those bars. I'm laughing just imagining it. :-)

Yes, I am TSTL.

Hi, Flchen — YES, there will be more I-Team books. At least three I'm thinking at this point. I hope you enjoy catching up. :-)


Ronlyn, my wonderful editor apparently visits my blog (uh-oh!) and she caught a few MTM posts. (That's "Man-Titty Monday" for the uninitiated.) She read about my love of Jed's anatomy and how I was envisioning him as Zach.

To surprise me, she went out and got him for the cover. She told me last June when we had drinks at RomCon in Denver. I was so touched!

That is a FIRST for me. Different publishing houses have different ways of dealing with their covers. I've had more input at Berkley than anywhere else. I had no input on EE or HE. The shower scene on the front of HE was just synergy. I suggested an "in front of the fireplace" scene for the cover of UC. I suggested an outdoor Colorado scene with the fire for NE.

What's funny is that when EE came out, I said, "That doesn't look like Denver at all. You should put Denver." And I was told, "No one will know, and Denver's really not that recognizable." Then the book got a lot of really positive critical feedback. And Denver was on the cover of HE. So that was cool.

About Holly: I have been saying I would make sure fans got Holly's story no matter what. That was me posturing. I felt that if the publisher didn't want it, I would find some way to get it out, even through self-publishing. But now I know I don't have to do that. My editor has changed her mind. When I first mentioned the plot for UC, she also didn't really want that, so I did HE instead. UC would have been the second book otherwise. Then after HE, I went back to the plot for UC, and she was fine with it. I think I've proven myself as a writer, so she changed her mind about Holly.

Tara said...

Great interview! I loved this book, Pamela, one of my I-team favorites!

I love the growing friendship of all the team and their spouses and kids. They have created their own family I enjoy catching up with all of them in your books.

I am also shocked about the reaction to Natalie's decision to leave the paper and be a housewife. To each their own I guess, but I applaud her for doing what she thought was right for her situation. Which is another reason I love Pamela's books, her strong female characters.

Thanks for yet another wonderful book in one of my all time favorite series.

Marie, thanks for another great book club and I loved, loved, loved the Wreck and Mad for Love!

Everyone have a safe, relaxing holiday weekend!

Pamela Clare said...

Do I have a favorite scene? I have several:

EE: The hospital scenes with Kara, Reece and Lily

HE: Julian's breakdown where he "rapes" Tessa and the aftermath to the point where Tessa "talks" with his long-dead mother.

UC: The cabin scene where Sophie recognizes Marc and their hands shift so that they're holding hands. Julian's rescue of Sophie. Julian and Marc's confrontation at the end. Marc's "death."

NE: The cabin scenes again; bromance scenes; Gabe at the end on the cliff and the aftermath.

BP: All the scenes in Mexico; the desert flight; the bromance at the end especially with Joaquin's photo; Zach's breakdown.

If I were to name the scene that gave me the most satisfaction as a writer, where I felt inspired, thrilled, in tears, floating, it would be the scene above all, the "No man but me" scene in RIDE THE FIRE.

Hi, Shelly — I'm so sorry you haven't found the book. Bummer! I know some stores did sell out right away. You can ask them to special-order it for you, too. Most stores have the ability to do that and are happy to help a customer in that way. But good luck in the drawing!

Hi, Tonya — Alec, my older son, has read one or two. He has a couple of female friends who read them, one who works with him who is a hardcore fan. (I did a reading from BP over the phone for her. LOL!) Benjy has read most of them, both historical and I-Team. He usually helps me by listening to me fret and fuss over scenes and offering his suggestions, which I inevitably reject (he says). His girlfriend and some of her friends read them, too, or some of them.

My mom and sister read them, as do my aunts. (I have an aunt who lost her home in Katrina, so this book will hit closer to her than others.) My sister is SO important to these books. She is a rock for me.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Tara — Thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

It's fun to write about good people who become a circle of friends, the men as much as the women. Someone posted somewhere that she loved how protective the I-Team hubbies were of all the women. That's a great part of writing it for me — building a true sense of strength and community into these characters.

You have a great weekend too! I'm going to spend mine -- wait for it -- writing!

Mary G said...

Yes, I forgot that part. I love how you seamlessly wove the previous couples into this book.
Such a great balance. Zach & Nat were front & center but we got glimpses into the lives of RJMG
and their families.

ClaudiaGC said...

I love the interview! There are some really unique questions. lol
And yeah for Holly getting her own book! I know it will be awesome.
Pamela, I can't tell you how much I love and adore your books (including your historicals). They are not only entertaining, funny, smart and sexy but also very educational. You have really opened my eyes about topics where I had no idea they were that serious and awful. Thank you for that!

Ronlyn said...

A favorite scene you didn't mention, but corresponds with your last answer so I'm going to mention it, is when Julian rescues Sophie in UC. That was one of the first times we saw Julian, still uber alpha, but in what I call his "big brother" role. Protector, Care Giver, "I'm gonna kill the jackass that hurt you" friend.
And as I'm typing this I could see him take on that role for Holly's beau someday too....

Ronlyn said...

Claudia, I hope unique is good! LOL Thanks for the compliment.
I think everyone is aware that Pamela and I are friends, so I've talked to her a lot over the years and I've heard a lot of her stories. It always feels (to me) that people ask authors the same set of questions over and over again, so I was hoping to get some different questions out there.
I'm so glad everyone seems to enjoy it.

Pamela Clare said...

Thanks, Mary. I love hanging out with them again. Believe it or not, I kind of miss them when I'm not writing them.

Claudia, you're so welcome! And thank you! I'm so glad you gave my stories a try and that you enjoy them. I really feel these books can have important content, just like any other form of literature. Just because romance is front and center doesn't mean the stories are fluff.


I love the guys when they do that, Ronlyn. One reviewer wrote that she found Marc in "big brother" mode hilarious in this story. Julian was a little more subdued because (as Zach suspected) he didn't actually witness Zach with Natalie. Had he done so, I think Zach would have faced a pretty overwhelming situation: Marc, Gabe and Julian all in "I'm sorry, but what the fuck did you just do?" protective mode.

Pamela Clare said...

And Ronlyn, as you've guessed, these guys aren't going to like Holly's lover one stinking bit. Not at first. Maybe not even later. LOL!

Crystal said...

Hey everyone! Great interview! Sorry I'm late we had some storms role through last night so I am struggling to get it together today.
Great questions Ronlyn! Pamela you are one of the most fascinating people! I think Mary G hit the nail on the head with "Pamela, if perfection can be achieved in writing, this is it.
This whole book could be one big fave quote LOL."
Breaking Point is a absolute favorite of mine. It is a grab you by the seat of your pants and not let go kind of book. Those are hard to come by!
I was wondering and if someone else has already asked this then I apologize I haven't read all the way through the comments yet, but is there any such group like the Shadow Wolves? I was fascinated by them.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Crystal — No, no one has asked that today.

YES, the Shadow Wolves are real. You can catch them in action on National Geographic's BORDER WARS, which I think you can probably view on Hulu or YouTube.

They're widely acknowledged as the best trackers in the world and are made up entirely of Native agents.

Pretty hot shit. In more ways than one. ;-)

And thank you! I don't know about perfection. I was on the phone with my editor yesterday in tears because I've been worried that my writing isn't what it used to be.

Crystal said...

I will check them out for sure! That is awesome I was hoping they were based on real life trackers wow!
Ummmm so your worried your writing isn't what it used to be? Are you CRAZY? You have absolutely NOTHING to worry about. It is above and beyond fantastic!!

Mary G said...

You’re right. It’s not what it used to be. It doesn’t seem possible but it gets better every time.
Remember – your writing doesn’t suck!! LOL.

ClaudiaGC said...

@Ronlyn Yes, I meant unique in a very good way! :)

@Pamela Oh yeah, let Holly's guy prove himself! We want to read that. :)

Marie Force said...

OMG, I sooooooooo want the guys to hate Holly's guy and then have him save one of their wives or something. I NEED this.

And I hope your editor told you to pipe down. Mary is right--you get better with every book!

Mary G said...

Marie
It’s an ongoing joke with us. When Pamela says her writing sucks, I tell her she’s only allowed to use the “suck” in a love scene.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Crystal — I think you'll enjoy watching the program and find it fascinating. I watched a lot of that stuff before I wrote BP so that I could see them in action. I've thought of doing a spin-off series focused on Shadow Wolves.

And thank you! That's sweet of you to say. I have my own feelings about my writing. My editor says I'm too hard on myself. Not sure.

Hi, Mary — Haha. Thanks! And I don't think I used the word "sucks" this time.


Claudia, Marie — He'll definitely have to prove himself. And he's going to be a different kind of hero, I think. Haven't decided 100 percent for sure who he is yet...

Fun idea, Marie. ;-)

As for getting better, I really do try. I feel like the hardest part of being a writer is struggling with my own limitations.

Jane said...

I love "Breaking Point" and I was a little surprised by Natalie's decision, but I understood her decision. I love Zach and love that the rest of the guys are warming up to him.

Mary G said...

Mary-Wan has taught you well LOL.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, I know I'm going to, Pamela--I like knowing there's more to come in a series, so while I love nothing better than to read through several in a row, I also have to pace myself because I hate knowing I'm at the end ;) Crazy, right?

Thanks for hanging out today and sharing some of your favorites and inspirations!

Kara C said...

Hey Pamela!
I can only skim the comments right now as I'm rushing off for the second half of my crazy schedule, but I wanted to stop by and say howdy.
You already know I loved Breaking Point because I simply haven't read a book of yours that I haven't loved. HOWEVER, I have a bone to pick with you- and I quote, "those Team Marc people are really obsessed!" Hey now! I resemble that remark.
And for all you Julian fans, the few who still exist after UC, NE, and BP came out, at least it was just his thumb she had chopped off!
You have several new fans in this part of the country as I've been handing out the series to anyone who likes romantic suspense. To a person, they have not been disappointed.
Thanks for another great read. Looking forward to more (you know I've been asking about Holly for sometime...bless her heart.)

Amy said...

Great interview! Ronlyn and Pamela have such great banter! Though it can be a little scary for people unfamiliar with them, as seem in the chatroom last Thursday night ;-)

I don't have any questions for Pamela at the moment, but I really enjoy reading the comments. Just wanted to give a shout out to the awesome Pamela for writing the I-Team books! Can't wait for the next I-Team novel and Defiant!

-Amy Z.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Jane — I guess if I had to do it over again, I might stress again that she felt from her job. When something like that surprises people, I have to wonder if I've done my job right as a writer.

The whole bromance thing — It's important to me to try to depict a brotherhood like that realistically, and I don't think guys embrace each other right away without learning to trust what the SEALs would call the FNG — the Fucking New Guy. :-)

They warmed to Gabe, and I think they've taken taken Zach in now. More or less. We'll have to see where they go next book. :-)

Aly said...

I have to say that bromances are sometimes my favorite part of the books! The connection these men have is so great and I love the way you write it!

Pamela Clare said...

Hey, flchen — I don't think that's crazy. It's hard when you finish a series and have to wait... Peter Donaldson has new books coming out, and I'm not even starting the first until the last is done. (He writes fantasy.)

And you're welcome!

Hey, Kara — LOL about "resembling that remark." Your team is doing well! Marc is basking in glory that even he thought was Julian's. Wow. I'm still amazed at the way he's held on to that lead no matter how many people vote.

THANK YOU so much for spreading word about the series. It's really begun to make a difference. I'm so grateful to all of you.

Hi, Amy Z — Thanks so much! I really appreciate that. You're very sweet.

You know, you were only seeing the typed comments. SueZ, Ronlyn and I were on VoIP vi Skype at the same time, so there was a lot of behind-the-scenes fun, too.

It was a fun night. Thanks for coming then, and thanks for posting today!

Aly, thanks so much. I LOVE those guys. They go on and on and on with one another, even when I'm not writing a book. Yes. I said it. Even when I'm not writing a book! LOL! I'm so glad you enjoy it.

Ronlyn said...

lol Amy. We try hard not to intimidate anyone with our banter. Well, we sorta think about it sometimes, but....
;-)

Doreen said...

Hi Ladies! I just got home and had to tune in!
Marie, I'm a native Rhode Islander like you and just got off the phone with my hubby who is there now visiting family!I'm stuck here in D.C. Oh well! No beach for me yet! (For those of you who may not know, R.I. has some wonderful beaches!)
Pamela, this book was soooo worth the wait and I've been singing it's praises with my reading friends for weeks now!
All I can say is keep on doing what you do best...writing amazing, riveting stories that take the romantic suspense genre to a whole new level! I love your historicals too!

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Doreen — I love beaches, so it sounds like I'll have to visit RI one day. Thank you SO MUCH for spreading the word about BREAKING POINT. That means a lot to me.

As for writing, I don't seem to have much choice. There are all these people in my head...

Jane said...

Oh, Pamela, don't know if you got my email, but I was wondering if we might see more of Chiago.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Jane — Gosh, did I miss it? I might have. Since BP has come out, I've fallen very far behind on e-mail.

But I'd like to see more of Chiago, too — preferably unclothed. ;-)

So there might well be a Shadow Wolves spin-off (I-Team people could pop in perhaps). Or maybe I can drag him to Denver.

Tonya said...

When I saw that Marc was winning the poll, I thought to myself "she's gonna think we didn't like the books after UC." Truth is I love all of the books. I re-read all of them. If someone told me I could only have one I-Team book & had to get rid of the rest of them I'd kick their teeth out.

It seems like for a lot of people UC was the first one they read. It was mine. That might be why so many are partial to it. And then there is that prologue, too. By reading UC, I (& a lot of others) discovered the I-Team & Pamela Clare. I think that's another reason why UC is so popular.

But honestly, I do love them all equally. Marc is just my favorite hero. I don't think any of your books is better than the other. They're all different & special in their own way.

That's the thing about your books. They're not cookie cutter books. Same thing over & over with new names & places. So many books are like that. I rarely can read a series without getting bored & having to stop & read something in between. I can read the I-Team books back to back & finish BP & start on them again. No matter how many times I read them they never get old.

Jane said...

I'm so down with the spin off. I do hope you'll get to do it. Yes, Chiago naked is something I want to see.

Jenn said...

Sorry I'm late. Fantastic interview!

I can't believe you caught hell for Natalie becoming a housewife. I thought that was fantastic. I'd be one myself if I could!

The first I-Team book I read was Hard Evidence, several years ago, and have been a Julian girl ever since (though truthfully, I adore them all!). I too, was one of those ' Oh no you didn't' messages. As soon as they made mention of their plan, I just knew it was going to be him! :( But it was resolved, so I suppose I can forgive you, LOL.

Thank you for your fabulous work and for being so accessible for your fans!

Jenn S.

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Tonya — You must be psychic. Part of me feels really happy for Marc and UC, which I think may be the most powerful I-Team book. And part of me feels bad for all the other stories and makes me feel exactly as you describe. I'm smiling as I type this because I realize there some real irrationality involved here. But I'm pretty attached to all those guys.

I think one thing that UC has going for it in terms of emotional suspense is the fact that Marc is a convict on the run. When he is found, he will either die in a hail of bullets or he'll be locked up again for life with no chance of ever seeing or touching Sophie again. The reader has no idea how the two of them will possibly be able to live happily ever after. It's all heartbreak and grief on the horizon — until it isn't.

That's a hard storyline to duplicate because one can't write a Cellblock C series of worthy lifers who break out of prison. LOL!

Rather than trying to top one story with another or to top one hero with another (though they can all top me), I just try to make each story it's own story and special in its own way. So Tonya, what you said there at the end makes me feel very good. I'm glad you can reread and enjoy them and not feel like, "OMG. This is SO the same story."

And, Tonya, you are very perceptive.

Hi, Jane — I'll have to work on that then. ;-)


Hi, Jenn S. — I'm glad you forgive me. It was a tough story moment, but it had to happen.


SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

One thing I enjoyed writing was the scene between Tess and Natalie where Tessa tells Natalie that Julian has a soft spot for women and that she knew that when Julian stopped to help that "pregnant" woman, he was thinking of her (of Tessa). I liked seeing that Tessa understood Julian so well and I liked seeing Julian's protectiveness played out like that.

(Yes, I know I wrote it, but sometimes it doesn't feel like I wrote it.)

Thank you for your sweet words. And you're welcome! I love hanging with all y'all.

Marie Force said...

Tara,
Thanks so much for reading The Wreck and Maid for Love! I'm so glad you enjoyed them.

Doreen,
I hope you get a chance to come to the beach in RI this summer!

Crystal said...

Great post Tonyaa!! Agree to every word!

Kara C said...

Ditto what Tonya said! I think you know who my fave hero is of yours, Pamela, but every single ITeam book is on my keeper shelf.

And, now that I've had time to read through all the comments, I am cracking up at the TSTL stories! Sure glad I don't have any such stories to share. ;)

Ronlyn said...

My afternoon went nuts, so I missed out on some of the fun.
BUT, one thing that I really enjoy about the I-Team is that even though it's RS, and it's got the uber-alpha guys, the whole premise is different than anyone else's. I can't think of anyone who has written about reporters. It makes perfect sense to "set" the stories in the newsroom.
Evil genius, mastermind stuff right there.
Then, toss in just how crazy yummy the guys ARE, how much they are willing to give of themselves and it's a big ol drool fest. Ok, it's a drool fest because you're so incredibly gifted at the descriptions.

I think we need more JAG SHAG in the next book...k? ;-)

Pamela Clare said...

Hey, Kara — Your favorite hero? That would be... Hmmm.... Marc? ;-)

I'm so glad all the books are keepers for you.

As for those TSTL stories, I thought of another thwarted TSTL story.

So here's thwarted TSTL moment #2:

I wanted to do an in-depth story on the city's needle exchange program by hanging on the streets all night and all day with heroin users. As part of that, I wanted to shoot up a small amount of smack just to see what that was like. You know — authenticity! Authenticity and personal experience — two key words for me.

BUT as I started to set this up, pretty much my entire news staff said NO!!!!!! I'm their boss, but they were absolutely adamant that I NOT do this. I've never had that response before, so I didn't do it.

Would have made a killer article.

Pamela Clare said...

Thanks, Ronlyn.

I was surprised at how many people dislike reporters. At first there was a fair amount of, "Reporters? You're kidding me?"

But anything can happen in a newsroom. My brother tells me I ought to just tape my work day and put it on YouTube. LOL!

Mary G said...

You're right Tonya
I love them all but UC was my first & Marc will always be special. I reread UC this week & you'd think I wouldn't get all worked up since I know how it goes, but it gripped me again LOL.

Aly said...

OK can I just say that b/c of all of you, today I said "screw work" and have managed to read UC, EE and am now working through NE.

And Ronlyn and Pamela, I just had to tell you that I have now added another word to my search -- y'all remember my other word I search right? LMAO!!! Anyway -- I have now added vibrator to my word search since it dawned on me that both Kara and Sophie's make an appearance! I started wondering how many vibrator appearances there are! LOL!

So add that I love that the female characters in the I-Team books embrace their sexuality with no shame! That is so fabulous and just adds to their strength!! :)

Marie Force said...

You read like a crazy wild woman, Aly!

Pamela Clare said...

Hurray, Aly! That's an excellent search term to add.

I'm certain Holly has a vibe, if not a collection. Tessa, too, I'm sure, though it was never mentioned. Kat — not so much. ;-)

I feel very happy to write books and participate in a literary genre that encourages women to embrace and explore their sexuality.

After writing this week about that 13-year-old Yemeni bride who was raped to death by her husband, I can't be more grateful for the fact that I've been able live fully as a woman, enjoying the experience of living in my body.

(That story totally has me down, by the way.)

Ronlyn said...

LMAO Aly! I knew you were being too quiet today.
I'll expect to see your word searches for all upcoming books. LOL

Christina said...

I am just now getting around to reading the interview...very cool. Pam I love that your a successful journalists..I think that really comes out in your books. I have really felt right there in your books and the topics are sooo interesting. Thank you so much for writing this series and I look forward to the next book...whenever that may be

Pamela Clare said...

Thank you so much, Christina. I'll do my best to write stories worth reading.


Goodnight, y'all! I want to rest my brain and sleep off the work week so I can write tomorrow.

Marie, thanks for having me as a guest.

Ronlyn, thank you so much for doing this wonderful interview.

I'll be back in the AM to pick a winner via a contest randomizer. The winner gets to pick from among all the novels I've written to choose a signed book. :-)

Sleep well, everyone!

Tonya said...

Hey! I actually am a little psychic. My grandmother, my mama & me all have had "visions" of things before they happened. I've had many but the most significant one was when I was in high school & I saw my friend have a wreck on the way to my house. The next day she was coming to pick me up to go shopping & I told her not to & I would come pick her up. She believed my visions b/c I'd had them before involving her but she said she'd be extra careful. She did have a wreck. A car ran a red light & slammed into her. She was okay but for about a year she wouldn't drive until she asked me if it was okay.

Anyway, I asked earlier if your sons read your books. I bet they are so proud of you.

I've tried to get my husband to read them but he won't. A few months ago he was going to Walmart & I told him to get me HOW TO WOO A RELUCTANT LADY by Sabrina Jeffries if they had it. He got it but he wasn't happy about it. He told me that buying that book was worse than buying tampons (which he's only done once & that's b/c I had a kidney stone & couldn't drive). I asked why & he said b/c they know the tampons are not for me. LOL He's such a man!

Sheree said...

First, I absolutely love the Jed hill cover!!

Anyway, what with so many of my friends being stay-at-home moms when their kids were little, I joked that they were the most educated housewives in America (they all had PhDs or MDs). Of course, I also knew moms who would rather pay through the nose for daycare for their kids just so that they, the moms, could keep their sanity (because it's tiring to take care of the little darlings all the time and without adult interactions). I think it's great that there is the choice for so many parents I know.

Kaetrin said...

Hi Pamela - I'm so looking forward to reading Breaking Point. I'm glad it's doing so well for you - you deserve it! My question is: how did you manage to get Jed Hill for the cover? :D

If the giveaway is still open and is open to those in Australia, please count me in! :)

Pamela Clare said...

Kaetrin, you already won a copy, you just never got word. I can't remember which blog it was on, but you won that drawing. I've been waiting for AGES for an email from you with your mailing address. So please if you could contact me via FB or email, send me your address, and your copy will be in the mail.

My editor got Jed Hill for the cover to surprise me after she saw on my blog that I was using him as the physical model for Zach McBride. She surprised me with the news when we met at a conference in Denver. I was THRILLED! She rocks.

Hi, Sheree — I agree that it's great for parents to have so many choices these days. I also agree that staying home with small children is very challenging. I did it for a while, and it was tough. They're cute, but they're very demanding. Plus, I think it's hard to go without adult company for so much of the day.

I'm so glad you like the cover!

Pamela Clare said...

OK, it's time for the drawing... I've typed everyone's names into an online contest randomizer. All I have to do is click and...

JACKIE P! You are the winner! Congrats! Please send me an email or message me through FB to give me your mailing address. Also, you get to pick from among all the books I've written (historical & I-Team) for your prize, so be sure to let me know which book you'd like to have.

And THANK YOU to Marie Force and Ronlyn for inviting me to the book club once again and for the smashing interview. :-)

It was great chatting with all of you. Thanks so much for your kind words. Writing stories for you is everything to me.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Marie Force said...

Thanks for being here, Pamela! It's always a party when you are visiting us! Come back again soon! xoxo

Kaetrin said...

Hi Pamela - thank you!! I've emailed you at your earthlink address - I'm so excited!