Native Pride

The baby is my Great Grandmother, Ella "Tootsie" Rhoan.

My newest Harlequin Romantic Suspense series, Native Country, which hits stores July and August, has special meaning to me. My maternal ancestors hail directly from Yosemite National Park and many photos in the museum feature members of my family. It’s a special honor to share Native blood and I’m overjoyed to finally tap into that resource with this new series. Although this series is set on the Hoh reservation in Washington state, the pride those feel with share Native American ancestry remains the same. I am continually amazed by those who have integrated their culture into their daily lives so that their Native voices are not lost.

I dedicated this series to my great grandmother Ella and my maternal grandfather Orval. My great grandmother was an amazing woman, tough enough to raise more than 10 children and countless grandchildren, and yet patient enough to try and teach a reluctant girl their Native language. I regret not embracing my culture at such an early age.

My grandfather Orval is a special human being, who throughout my life, has been a constant source of wisdom and kindness, not to mention hilarity, as he has a corny sense of humor that never failed to make me laugh or at the very least, smile. I’ve been blessed in my family, without a doubt.

I wanted to bring a sense of family and fierce loyalty to this series and I hope I achieved that goal. Readers will have to let me know.

I just returned from RWA National in New York and although I didn’t win in the RITA category I was nominated (category series adventure/suspense) I had a wonderful time and I can’t wait for next year in Anaheim. Of course, one of the perks of RWA conference is the copious amount of free books that you come home with! So in the spirit of generosity, and to celebrate the release of my new series, I want to give away free books, too!

To one lucky poster, I will give away a set of my Native Country series. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog and at the end of the week, I’ll draw a winner. To get the conversation started, tell me, how do you celebrate your heritage? Where do your ancestors hail? Let’s share!

Looking forward to your posts!

Warmly,

Kimberly Van Meter

A RED HOT MESS excerpt

I love posting excerpts. Mostly, because as a reader, I know how exciting it is to get a sneak peak of a book you’ve been waiting for, or are curious about. So, I’m going to post an excerpt from my new download only Kindle book, A RED HOT MESS. How’s that for cool?

Here it is:

Laurel saw the man across the crowded bar just as she was about to flag the cocktail waitress for another round. She was already on her second Apple-tini and technically tipsy but since she wasn’t driving, she didn’t mind the free-floating and giggly feeling.
“Seriously hot stuff coming this way,” Alice said, zeroing in on the dark-haired man Laurel had snagged gazes with only moments ago. “Anyone calling dibs?” she asked.
“Me,” Laurel piped up, surprising them both. She smiled tremulously, feeling every drop of that Apple-tini as she said, “You’re the one who said I needed to get my mind off what’s-his-face and flirting with a hot stranger seems like a step in the right direction.”
“Honey, I want to do more than flirt with him,” Alice said dryly but gave Laurel the go-ahead. “He’s yours. But don’t let that succulent piece of man candy go untouched or else you’re going to get an earful from me for being wasteful.” Alice scooted from the bench seat with their other friend, Tansy and suddenly Laurel was alone.
Laurel watched as he threaded his way to her, a faint, flirty smile playing with his fine lips and she flushed, feeling very decadent and heathen-like. Broad shoulders narrowed to tight hips and she caught the definition of strong arms beneath his shirt. She imagined he’d have no trouble at all hoisting her up so she could wrap her long legs around his waist. Thank God it was dark. Her flaring cheeks would’ve ruined the whole “sexy siren” thing she was going for tonight.
“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked once he got to her table. His voice, deep and smooth, conjured all manner of naughty things — things she’d never had the sexual wherewithal to try or even suggest with past lovers — and the breath hitched in her chest.
She nodded and smiled — did she look drunk or sexy? She hoped the latter. She was going to do something out of character, something wild and crazy to usher in the “new” Laurel.
She was going to ride this luscious stranger six ways from Sunday without a thought more complicated than wondering which position to try first.
“Do you have condoms?” she asked, delighting when her pointed question caused his Adam’s apple to bob.
“Y-yes.”
She reached for his hand. “Then let’s go.”

***

A RED HOT MESS is available for download through the Kindle and Smashwords.

Life in the Nuthouse

Yep. That poor woman losing her mind is me. Why, you ask? Well, as many of us do, I live a full life and when you live a full life, deadlines, responsibilities, and any extracurricular activities tend to collide with another, causing your mind to spin with details that most often get tangled with all the rest of the stuff in your head.

It’s been a frightfully long time since I blogged. I wish I were a more dedicated blogger. It’s not because I couldn’t possibly find something to blab about — as I almost always want to talk about something — it’s because I can’t seem to find the extra time to rabble on as I would most certainly enjoy doing.

But here I am today, so let’s make the best of it. First off, before I send out the wrong impression with my nattering on — I love my life. I’m blessed and that’s a fact. With that said, sometimes I feel like I’m sinking in quicksand, losing my mind, and wondering who put the clock on fast forward.

My sons are both in sports and my daughter is in dance and soon, cheerleading. Combined, their schedules completely overwhelm me. If I were a stay-at-home mom, I’d likely never be home. I think that term is an oxymoron. Sometimes, I’m so happy to escape to my office, if only for an hour or two, because at least my coworkers aren’t asking me for a ride, a couple of bucks, or thrusting some kind of paperwork in my face that absolutely MUST be signed because it was due YESTERDAY.

I’m the first to admit, I can be a scatterbrain at the best of times, so add all this extra stuff to keep track of in my head and disaster is likely to follow.

And it has. Let me confess a few of my goofs.

  • Once, my kids called me at work to ask why the water wouldn’t work. Um, because I forgot to pay the bill. Apparently, stuffing the bill in your purse and forgetting about it doesn’t actually get the thing paid. And then when the City flips a switch, your children are left without a way to brush their teeth. Then, said City, will charge you $35 to flip the switch again to compensate for the finger strain and inconvenience you’ve caused them for forgetting to pay the bill.
  • My pest control guy is starting to stalk me because I’ve forgotten to pay the company numerous times (Hey, in all fairness, the bill comes in every three months. How am I supposed to remember something so far in advance?).
  • I’ve forgotten to pick my kids from school more times than I can rightly count and by this point, they’re pleasantly surprised when I’m on time.
  • My newspaper editor has taken to peppering my desk with Post It Notes to remind me of certain inter-office deadlines, except I have a tendency to lose those so now she texts me.
  • At the office we have a board that shows who’s in the office. I haven’t used it in years. I can’t seem to remember to move my dot in a reliable fashion so it’s never quite right for the people trying to find me so I’ve given up trying to adhere to the dot-system, much to my editor’s chagrin. Thank goodness for cell phones.

These are just tiny examples of how my brain tends to drop little details.

And now, my baby sis is getting married. I’m so excited for her and I’ve volunteered to help with the planning. I know. It’s a sickness, I think. However, my sis knows how scattered I can be, so each time she asks me to do something, she reminds me to put it into my phone before I forget, which is quite smart, because I always have my phone with me, except when I forget it at home.🙂

But even as I lament my schedule at times, sandwiched between work and family obligations, I know there will come a day when the house is quiet and the calendar isn’t crammed because my oldest son is already 17 and someday soon he’ll leave the nest, followed quickly by his younger brother. And honestly, I’m dreading that moment when my babies are no longer babies who need me to take them here, pay for this, or take care of that. So for the time being, I’ll soak in the chaos, grin like a madwoman, and count my considerable blessings because a busy life is a good one.

Even if sometimes the water bill is overlooked.

***

FUN STUFF!

Guess what? I’m running a contest to kick off the start to my new series. So if you want to enter, check out the details here:

Love ’em or leave ’em?

loversSo my new book is coming out and while those in the book club may have already received their November shipment, the rest of the world has to wait until A MAN WORTH LOVING hits the shelves the second week in November. And because I’m excited about the release of this new book, I thought I’d give one away! But first, you have to answer a question. I’ll pick one lucky poster and send them a free book. Is that cool or what? I think so. Free books make my day.

Okay, so here’s the question: What do you think about heros that start out kinda prickly? Personally, I love them. Maybe it’s because once upon a time I used to have a thing for bad boys, I don’t know, but I do love reading books with jerky heroes. With that said, they have to change and become wonderfully soft and sweet by the end of the book in order to qualify.

Tell me what kind of hero makes your toes curl and I’ll randomly pick a winner!

A New Cover

What's a single guy to do?

What's a single guy to do?

A new cover is always cause for celebration, especially when it’s been a stretch since the last one came around, which is certainly the case with this one.

My sixth book will hit the shelves in July (it seems so far away at this point) but I’m very excited about this book. This story features the most amazing couple. John Murphy and Renee Dolling are two characters that I loved from the start. I have a soft spot for men who are slow to speak and quick to listen and that’s who John is. Then there’s Renee. When I say that I loved her, you’d be surprised why. Renee abandoned her three small children but no one feels that pain more sharply than she does as she tries to make amends. I loved her spirit, her determination, and her ability to grow and change through adversity. What can I say? I love flawed characters.

My editor said this book made her cry. (This is a very good thing!) And you know what? This book made ME cry. So I was really anxious for the art department to create a killer cover. And I have to say, they did a bang up job. Although John is a wee bit more manly looking in the book, the man on this cover has a warm smile and that is certainly true of John (when he smiles, that is).

Boy, it’s been a while since I blogged. Geesh, can you tell I’m not very good at keeping a schedule? Let’s see, what’s new? Well, I managed to finish all of my contracted work (no small feat with back to back deadlines) and now I’m coasting. Confession: I don’t coast very well but I have a few projects that I’ve been tinkering with and my agent really wants me to put some effort into and well, now I have no excuse! Oh, and here’s some exciting news; I’ve decided to give my website an overhaul and it just so happens that Amy Knupp and her uber cool hubby are in the webdesign biz and so as soon as I pony up the cash, the site is going to get a fresh, hip new look and boy, do I have some wild ideas in store for the site. Keep checking for updates. It’s going to be COOL.

Anyway, since it’s been sooo long since I blogged I figured WTH, let’s give something away. Post your opinion on my new cover and someone will win a book. Not gonna tell you what book. It’s a surprise. I’ll just put my paw into my book bag and draw something awesome.

Happy writing,

Kimberly

Christmas Babies

Okay, so technically only one is a baby but my boys are still my babies in my heart even if they tower over me at this point. We took our annual Christmas pictures on Sunday and as usual, my boys groaned and complained through the entire shoot but I managed to catch a few shots that pass my internal perfectionist gauge. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone!

Eryleigh, 3, smiles for the camera. What a natural!

Eryleigh, 3, smiles for the camera. What a natural!

the boys

Jaidyn, 13, and Sebastian, 15; such handsome boys!

A Call To Action


You’re never going to guess where my younger sister, Kristen, is at this very moment. If you guessed anywhere in the United States you’d be wrong. My sis is currently in Kitale, Kenya. Yes. You read that right. Africa. Pardon my mouth as I say, “Holy crap!”

You see my sis is the antithesis of me and she is such a dedicated activist with causes she believes in. She’s the mother of a son with Down’s Syndrome, who was also recently diagnosed with Tethered Cord Syndrome and autism (PDD-NOS). He’s in remission for leukemia and, oh, did I mention she has rheumatoid arthritis? Yeah, she’s like that Unsinkable Molly Brown character who just won’t be stopped no matter what is thrown in her path. (Although she has asked God to stop testing her strength because she’s about had it. Can you blame her?) Anyway, so at church (another huge diff between me and her) she learns about the plight of these poor African children who are sold into slavery and prostitution because their parents have died or abandoned them and apparently, there’s this school that takes in these poor children and it just so happens that her church was sponsoring a mission trip to that very region. Well, I guess my sister decided she didn’t have enough on her plate already and started raising money to go to Africa to do her part for these poor children. Wow. I mean, wow. I’m floored. And, I’ll admit, a little bewildered. Seems a long way to go to satisfy a humanitarian urge. But, more power to her. The world needs more people like her and probably less people like me who tend to get a little distracted by meaningless things in life. I consider myself a good person but, hot damn, my sister makes me feel like a total slacker. I know, it’s not about me or my competitive nature so I will just say, kudos to you Kristen for being such a warm-hearted, giving person. The world is certainly a better place for you being in it.🙂

And in honor of my sister’s humanitarian journey to the other side of the world, I’ve decided to give away more books! This time, since I don’t have any new releases coming until next year (egad!) I will just reach into my RWA goody back and pull out something lovely for whomever wins this time around.

Tell me what you do to make the world a better place? Perhaps it’s volunteering in your child’s school or simply recycling or maybe you’re like my sister and you travel across the globe administering wholesome goodness in the form of sandwiches and vaccines to third world countries. Dunno. You tell me. I’m curious. Truly.

Kimberly

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.