The Wedge of the San Rafael

The Wedge of the San Rafael
Someone has to live here, in the middle of desert beauty. Might as well be the Kellys.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I hereby resolve...

I should resolve to be more prompt with blogs, but I have to tell you that's not going to happen. I'm still not convinced that anyone particularly cares what I do, so I face 2013 with the same amount of skepticism I ended with in 2012.

Some fun things did happen before Christmas. I grudgingly agreed to do a few booksignings at some Seagull store, and I did have a good time, or what passes for a good time at a booksigning. I'm well aware that most royalties for authors, at least authors of fiction, are generated through ebook sales. With that in mind, what's the point of booksignings? The "grudgingly" part comes because we're never quite sure about the weather in the canyon between Carbon County and the rest of Utah. It can be the white knuckle express.

And yet. On December 22, I had a lovely encounter with two readers, Amy the mother and Dondy the daughter, whom I had met at a fun bookclub meeting last summer in Mapleton, Utah. They like to read, and they both enjoyed My Loving Vigil Keeping, to the point of wanting to visit Scofield Cemetery in the spring, when the snow is eventually gone.

Dondy did say she probably won't make the trip, because she's expecting twins in spring.  She's having a girl and a boy, and here's the part that we laughed over: She's almost convinced her husband that the boy should be named Owen, after the hero in Vigil Keeping. I was tickled. I'll have to ask her if I can attend her son and daughter's blessing.  She said she wasn't making any headway on getting her husband to agree to Angharad for their daughter, though.

Amy and Dondy stayed and chatted a while and we all had fun. Heavens, I hated to see them leave, because not only are they charming, but they were calling over browsers in the bookstore and telling them to buy my books! I told them I'll have to take them on all booksignings.

I'm about halfway done with Safe Passage, a novel set in 1912, after the Mormons have been ejected from their Mexican colonies by the Mexican Revolution. Our hero has to return and find his wife. Safe Passage is the working title, but could change.

For those of you who are interested, Signet has released The Lady's Companion as an ebook. This was my second Rita Award-winner, and a bit of a ground breaker. My Signet editor claimed it was one of the few books where the heroine "slides" and finds her true love in the bailiff on the estate where she is functioning rather poorly as a lady's companion to the widow of a Peninsular War hero. According to my editor, what usually happened was the lady would discover that her lover was really a duke or marquis in disguise, and not a lowly bailiff. Nope. I never mess around like that. David Wiggins is a bailiff. He was a thief, a rascal, a bastard, a sergeant major reformed by the aforementioned widow.

And if you're still interested, CamelPress in Seattle has just reissued Miss Whittier Makes a List, another moldy-oldy Signet. This is reissued as paperback and ebook. Hannah is a Quaker miss, bound for Charlestown, South Carolina, from Nantucket. When her ship is blown out of the water by a French privateer she becomes the unwilling guest of the Royal Navy.

Here's the funny thing about Miss Whittier: I wrote in in 19th century Quaker-speak, of course, which some well-intentioned but boneheaded copy editor turned into Elizabethan English. I spent a lot of time changing it back to Quaker-speak and convincing Signet that really knew what I was doing.

Well. When I finish Safe Passage by the end of January, I'll return to the high seas for another Harlequin Historical. Not sure what the title is yet, and the plot is barely there, but I'll have fun, and hopefully you will, too, if you're not opposed to reading a more va-va-voom book. After that, I'm off to the Double Cross again in the royal colony of New Mexico. I do get around.

Happy New Year to all of you. I'll try to resurface in a couple of weeks, and I will try to be more prompt with answering comments.


  1. Loved seeing your family, Thursday! Finished "My Loving Vigil" Friday. IT WAS GREAT. I am like your fan at the booksstore, it makes me what to go to the cemetary and pay my respects to those good people lost. I LOVE the "butterbean" homage. Tisha was telling me you used it because of her usage in calling Olivia that nickname. I will call you with questions about the novel. Oh yes, we got home safely around 11:30 last night. We also enjoyed the fruit , on the way home!

  2. Glad you're home! Butterbean worked for me, too, and again, it's all thanks to your own darling daughter. Take some time when you buzz through here some spring or summer and I'll take you to Scofield Cemetery. And do call.

  3. I discovered your books during the summer after finally caving and buying a Kindle. I just wanted to say thank-you for hours of fun & for really telling a good story. I have purchased every title available on ebook & have pre-ordered a few others. Thank you for making your titles available in ebook & always providing me with well-rounded characters & interesting settings. I have even cried a few times and laughed very often. I just wanted to say "thank-you" in print, as well as with my ebook orders. :)

  4. I'll bet there are lots of folks like me who don't comment often, but look forward to your blog posts. I like hearing the news of your books, but I also enjoy your personal stories and anecdotes. They are charming, and often thought-provoking. Best wishes for 2013!

  5. Thanks, guys. If you like the anecdotes, you might enjoy Stop Me If You've Read This One, a collection of my newspaper columns when I was a reporter for the Valley City Times Record. Being a columnist was one of those bucket list things, and a fantasy fulfilled. Anyway, the collection will be out in April, I think.

  6. I agree with the Unknown poster above. I read your blog for more than information about your books. You are busy, and I don't expect you to regularly post; it's just a blessing when you do. This December I reread all your Christmas short stories and some of my favorites of your full-length books. I have three left to go in the stack of favorites I set aside to read again.

  7. Jemilyea, I was looking at a Deseret Book catalog, and feel a blog coming on. I'll write it tomorrow on New Year's Day, after I make deviled eggs (we have chickens and lots of eggs) and before the smoke turkey is consumed.

  8. I just found this blog and have been snooping back through it. I'm also enjoying the old Signets (again, but they're on my Kindle this time, and I'm less likely to lose them.) Thanks for sharing your "stuff"--I enjoy it all so much.

  9. Dear Carla,
    I absoluely LOVE your books and I believe I have read all of them. I also enjoy your blog. You live an interesting life and have interesting opinions. It's always fun to find a new post. Please keep doing it, just for me if for no one else. :-)
    Warmest regards,

  10. Dear Carla,

    I love your books and have read all of them I could get. I was so thrilled that so many are coming out in ebook. I wanted to ask if there was any chance that The Wedding Journey might come out in paperback? It is possibly my favorite and I like to have my keepers in paperback - I like to just open the book and begin re-reading. Yes, I know you can do that in Kindle,but to me it is just not the same.

    I also wanted to tell you that I have absolutely enjoyed your stories set in the American West, including of course, Here's to the Ladies. I'll never forget the lady who had to remarry right after her husband died. It was heartbreaking.


    1. Check out, Pam and you may find a copy of the Wedding Journey there. It's one of my favorite books also.

  11. Carla, I do care what you are doing and reading and writing. I was thrilled when you started a blog. It is so much fun to read. It would be great if you considered putting a button that lets us get an email when you write a new post. You go to design; add gadget, choose follow by email. Then every time you post a new blog we'll get notified and we'll come right over to your blog to read it. Hope you consider this. You'll have a lot more people reading your blog.

  12. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed My Loving Vigil Keeping. (I was going to get Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand at B&N but couldn't find it.) Since first seeing the George Edward Anderson photographs in the 1980s I have wondered about the mine disaster and we drive Highway 6 often to visit relatives in western Colorado and SE Utah. I was very startled to find Emil Isgreen as a character, as my grandfather and he were good friends and he's mentioned a lot in my grandfather's 1890-1896 journal. My grandfather was also the Utah County surveyor during the 1890s and mentions going up to Soldier Summit. I assumed he went by train but didn't have any idea it was so scary! Other ancestors had dealings with Jesse Knight (and I'm distantly related to him) so this was all very exciting to me. I will have to look more closely at the Knight-Allen home the next time I'm on Center Street in Provo. I loved the Billy Evans game or metaphor or whatever it's called. A friend of mine is descended from one of the families that lost a father in the disaster--she mentioned that a long pattern of dysfunction came from the fact that her widowed ancestor had to re-marry because of economics rather than affection. Anyway, thanks very much for writing this and for all your hard researching it!