Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Royal Secrets cover revealed!

Last night I received the cover for my next book, Royal Secrets, which will be released in February 2012.  Below the cover, I included the summary from the back of the book.

It's been three years since the tragic Christmas Eve when CIA agent Alora DeSanto returned from a doctor's appointment to find her husband dead and her Paris home destroyed by a terrorist firebomb. Still mourning her heavy loss, she seeks a new life for herself and her two young sons by accepting a job offer from her friend and fellow agent Janessa Rogers, who is engaged to marry Prince Garrett of Meridia. As Janessa's personal assistant, Alora takes up residence in the royal chateau in Bellamo, where Prince Stefano is recovering from a possible assassination attempt and reeling from some life-shattering news of his own. As their paths repeatedly cross, Alora and Stefano are surprised by a budding attraction that draws them together in friendship. But as their hesitant affection evolves into romance, royal secrets plunge them into plots of espionage and blackmail that threaten all they hold dear-- including each other. And as enemies arise to crush the Meridian monarchy, Alora must confront the fears that destroyed her past before they destroy her future.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

News and signings

I always love getting good news and a couple of weeks ago my editor gave me the news I was waiting for, the news I was hoping for. The manuscript I had submitted has been accepted. Royal Secrets, a spin-off of Royal Target, is expected to come out in February, 2012. Yeah!

I know a lot of people wanted me to write a true sequel to Royal Target, and I did try. But then there were these two other characters, Prince Stefano and Alora DeSanto. They're very interesting characters, both in the way they developed as well as the way they hijacked the story. I had planned on them being minor characters, maybe part of a fun subplot. They had other ideas. So needless to say, this story isn't quite what I had planned, which only proves that I shouldn't try to plan what I'm writing. It never turns out the way I expect anyway.

My other news is that I'm heading to Utah in a couple of days and will be doing three book signings while I'm there. For anyone who is local to them, I'd love to see you. Here are the details:

Friday, September 30: 1pm - 3pm at Seagull Books, 1720 S. Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah
Saturday, October 1: 12pm - 2pm at Seagull Books, 1625 W. 9000 S., West Jordan, Utah
Saturday, October 1: 6pm - 8pm at Deseret Book (Ladies Night), 989 S. University Ave., Provo, Utah

Friday, September 9, 2011

Books and things

Obsession is out and has been spotted in Utah. I still haven't seen the book in person, but I have pictures, or at least the cover art. I have received a few emails from people who have read it and so far all of them have been positive. (I love those kinds of emails!)

I am also excitedly setting up my visit to Utah for Conference weekend. I will be at the Seagull Books on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City (1720 S. Redwood Road) on September 30th from 1pm to 3pm. There are a couple of others that I'm still in the process of setting up.

If all goes well, the Christmas book I contributed to will also be available. It's a collection of true Christmas stories from fourteen authors who all publish with Covenant Communications. Most of the authors are probably familiar names to most, although I know at least one is probably new to most people. I believe Krista Jensen's first novel with Covenant is slated to come out sometime next spring and she has several more that have been accepted so her name will become familiar sooner than later. Having met Krista a couple of times, I'm excited to see what she brings us. She is a lot of fun and since we share the same editor, I know how excited everyone at Covenant is about her upcoming projects.

Now, one last thing before I go back to work on the novel I'm supposed to be writing right now. My friends with the Whitney Awards asked that I (and my other author friends) remind everyone to nominate their favorite 2011 novels. The rules to be eligible for a Whitney are listed on the Whitney Awards website, but the basics are that the book has to have been published in 2011, be over 50,000 words, and have been written by an LDS author.  The button to the left will take you straight to the nomination page. The deadline is December 31, 2011, but the earlier the nominations get in, the easier it is for the judges. Hopefully you've read lots of books worth nominating!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm on You Tube

For the past few decades I have happily stayed behind the scenes as my mother, Dianne Hunter, spent more than 25 years in front of the camera with her television show, The Home Hunter. My sister joined her on the show about 10 years ago and except for a couple of cameo appearances on Mothers' Day, I have avoided having a camera pointed in my direction. Until now. My publisher just happened to schedule author interviews during one of my trips to Utah. Here is the result:

And yes, you can tell me what you really think.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Visiting BYU

Over the past several weeks, my 18-year-old daughter and I have been preparing to take her out to college for the first time. She set her sights some time ago on attending Brigham Young University. When it came time to apply for college, she only sent in one application.

Now, for anyone who knows much about BYU, they can tell you that it isn't exactly the easiest of schools to get into. Rumor has it that BYU turned down more students this year than Harvard. So understandably I was a bit concerned that she didn't have a plan B. I should know better than to second-guess Christina. When she wants something, she works hard and makes sure she gets it.

Once we received the good news that she made it in, we turned our focus to the decision about housing. We knew she would live on campus, but several options were available. She decided she wanted one of the cooking dorms for several reasons. First, she liked the idea of making her own meals and not having to pay so much for the meal plan. Also, the location of the older cooking dorms have the best proximity to the heart of campus. When she chose her room, she surprised me and chose the same apartment that I had lived in when I attended the Y. Different bedroom, same apartment.

Her first couple of days were spent in the traditional dorms when she began the late summer honors program. Then last Saturday evening she got to move in. Can I just say that I have never seen a Wal-Mart so packed as I did that Saturday night? College students everywhere, buying groceries and stuff for their rooms. And the official move-in date isn't until today. So beware residents of Orem and Provo. Avoid the stores (and the streets) today at all costs. The college students have arrived!

Luckily my daughter and I managed to get everything she needed (we think) and by the next morning she was all unpacked and everything was organized. Now comes the  hard part. Waiting to meet the new roommates. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they all like each other!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Obsession - Coming Soon!

Since several of you asked what this book is about, here's the backliner. Obsession will be available this September.

Pop singer Kendra Blake grew up in the spotlight as the daughter of a prominent actor. Now famous in her own right, she's had enough with bodyguards shadowing her every move. So when a bomb goes off backstage at one of her concerts, she gives in to her urge to flee. In search of the privacy she's lacked her whole life, Kendra escapes to a remote cabin in Arizona. Little does she know, FBI agent Charlie Whitmore has been assigned to keep her safe and is staying right across the street. 

Stranded in severe weather, the two develop a friendship that hovers on the verge of romancewith Charlie frantically trying to keep his personal and work life separate and Kendra enjoying a new-found freedom from her glamorous world. But when law officials discover that there may be a link between a notorious serial killer and Kendra, she has far greater concerns that her independence.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sneak peek

I just received a preview of the cover for my next book, Obsession. What do you think?

Foggy with a Chance of Murder

When I was asked to review G.G. Vandagriff's latest novel, Foggy with a Chance of Murder, I had two purposes. One was to sit down and enjoy a good book, and the other was to see if G.G.'s main character, Chloe Green, reminded me of anyone. You see, G.G. had e-mailed me a couple of months earlier to tell me that to her surprise, Chloe had taken on several Traci-like qualities.

Here's how the comparison came out:
  • Chloe is a former lifeguard and strong swimmer. Yes. Definite similarity.
  • Chloe is a best-selling mystery/suspense author. Well, I'm not a New York Times type of best selling author like Chloe, but we definitely write in the same genre.
  • Chloe is an excellent shot and enjoys releasing tension on the shooting range. I know how to shoot, but I think I'll stop there with that comparison.
  • Chloe is considering renewing a relationship with a man who had left her for another woman years earlier. Nope. Definitely NOT like me. If a man had betrayed my trust to that extent, I'm quite certain that if he showed up years later the only thing I would be considering would be which door I could show him to the fastest.
As for the storyline itself, personally I found Foggy with a Chance of Murder to be less of a suspense novel and more of an emotional journey by the characters. Both Chloe and the other main character, Rob Stevens, are dealing with a lot of emotional struggles as well as the challenges that come from having close family members who are alcoholics.

Romantic tension between the characters is complicated when Chloe's old boyfriend emerges on the scene and a suspense element complicates Rob's life. In the midst of their struggles, Chloe and Rob both begin a journey of spiritual enlightenment and several attempts are made on Rob's life.

Overall, I found Foggy with a Chance of Murder to be an enjoyable way to spend a few hours as I journeyed with the characters on their paths to self-discovery. G.G. is a talented writer and she showcases her abilities particularly well in the depth of her characters.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

LDS Storymakers Conference

Just a quick note that the registration deadline for the LDS Storymakers writers conference is April 15th. I will be teaching two classes at the conference, one on writing action and the other on writing mystery/suspense. If you want to sign up for the conference, you can find all of the information here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


As evidenced by my lack of posts over the past few months, life has been a bit crazy for a while. Here are the highlights to what has been going on in my little corner of Virginia:

1. The high school swim team that I co-coach had an amazing season. Both teams only suffered one regular season loss, and my girls' team repeated as district champions by a narrow margin -- only one point. Best of all, I had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and the girls' district title was the result of some impressive teamwork.

2. My daughter who is graduating from high school this year made it into the only college she applied to: BYU. Yeah! Despite her wonderful grades and strong ACT score, I admit that I was on pins and needles waiting for the news that she had earned the right to go to her first choice school, especially since she refused to consider a second choice. I've got to love her confidence!

3. In celebration of my son's seventh birthday, his pet guppy had babies...37 of them. We now have two fish tanks instead of one.

4. My novel Crossfire was selected as a Whitney award finalist this year so thanks to everyone who nominated it!

5. Last but not least, I have finally figured out which book I'm going to write next. I would tell you, but I'm afraid my characters will stop cooperating if I do. I promise to update the status on this adventure within the next week or two if those pesky characters will let me. I think I hear them calling me again, so I guess it's time to post this and get back to work.