Message From The Author

Author's Message

November will be a special month for me. Bantam will publish my 20th historical, and three weeks later Silhouette will publish my fifth contemporary and first Intimate Moments.

Just as important, both are books of my heart, books that have been simmering inside my headand heartfor years, just waiting to burst out. And burst out they did.

Some books do that: just bubble until the time is right. They are usually among the best books because you know the characters so well.

The first November book is my Scotsman, or perhaps I should say my third Scotsman. He is a descendant of the Starcatcher, Patrick Sutherland, and has many of Patricks fine qualities: compassion, intelligence and courage. But hes also a verra, verra angry Scotsman.

Condemned to die after Culloden, he is forced to watch the hanging of his brother before his own sentence is commuted to transportation—fourteen years as a bond servant. He would have preferred death to slavery. The only thing that makes him fight for life after a hellish voyage to America is the fact that the only remaining member of his family—his little sister Katy—has been lost in the maelstrom following Prince Charlies defeat at Culloden.

His need to find Katy soon wars with the needs of the American family who purchases his bond. Angry, bitter and determined to return to Scotland for his sister, he fiercely resists Robert Marsh. But when Marsh dies, leaving a wife, her mute sister and two children, Ian reluctantly finds himself the only means of their very survival.

Who has the greatest need: his lost sister or this small family which so quickly broke the barriers of his heart?

STARFINDER is the second of a series of three books involving the Sutherland family. The first was Starcatcher, a Romeo and Juliet story with a happy ending. In STARFINDER, Ian Sutherland finds love in the most unlikely place. In the next book, STAR RIDER, John Patrick Sutherland, Ians son, has his own problems as an American privateer who falls in love with his enemy.

I hope you fall in love with the Sutherland men, as I did.

Ryan Murphy, in A HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, a December Intimate Moments, is Irish, and also a convict. Unlike Ian Sutherland, however, he has no idea why.

Imagine emerging from a coma only to be told that you are a murderer and a drug dealer, and an ex-cop who killed his own partner. Imagine realizing that there is no doubt, because you pleaded guilty and already served ten years of a life sentence.

The only person who sees any value in Ryan Murphy is a former district attorney whose life he saved when he was working on a prison road gang.

Much to his surprise, she manages to get him a parole on the basis of his heroism and medical opinions that the injury to his brain has changed him into a different person. But is she wrong? Does he have any redeeming qualities, or might he revert back to being the criminal everyone believes he is?

And has he put in danger the life and livelihood of the one person who believes in him? Is he endangering her child? Can she overcome the communitys revulsion to having a murderer in its midst? And is there a more sinister influence behind the threats she receives for helping him?

It was a tremendous challenge writing the internal feelings of someone whose mind is blank, but I loved exploring with him a past that offered only contradictions. Why had he ignored a wife and child for ten years? Why had one of Atlantas best detectives turned to crime? Who is Ryan Murphy?

And as for my heroine, Julie… I love writing strong women, and Julie was particularly interesting because shed lost all faith in her strength.

I welcome letters. Please send your comments with an SASE to me at 2028 Kings Cross Lane, Cordova, TN 38018.


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