Q&A and Giveaway–Breaking Point

**Note: the giveaway is closed. Winners announced in comment #74 below.

I’m thrilled to welcome author Pamela Clare to the blog today!

I first became curious about Pamela Clare’s books after reading the great reviews of her 2010 release, Naked Edge. When I saw the book named as one of the 64 finalists in the DABWAHA competition, I realized I’d never picked it up–and quickly rectified that situation.  I finished Naked Edge a couple of weeks ago and loved it!  My six month-old daughter had a double ear infection that week and both of us were getting noooo sleep, yet I still stayed up until 1:30 to finish it.

Pamela’s newest I-Team release, Breaking Point, hit bookstores yesterday, and she’s here to tell us more about the book.

Before I turn things over to Pamela, I must confess that I’ve been ridiculously excited about this book ever since reading the below excerpt.  Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of 24, and the Breaking Point excerpt strikes me as very Jack Bauer-esque + romance.  In my book, that = sold.  I picked up my copy of Breaking Point yesterday and cannot wait to dig in.

So without further ado, here’s my Q&A with Pamela:

1. When did you first realize you wanted to write, and how did you get started?

I was 10 years old when I first realized I wanted to write books. I remember it very distinctly. I went to a nearby branch of the public library (which just happens to sit within view of my office at the newspaper) and read Misty of Chincoteague. Something really magical happened while I was reading that I hadn’t experienced before. The world disappeared, and I felt like I had experienced the adventure right along with the protagonists. I decided right then that I wanted to write books, and I started reading everything I could. I also wrote some exceptionally terrible poetry at that time.

2. What is it about writing romance that appeals to you?
I think romance novels deal with the most important subjects in our lives — human relationships, family, sex. Writing romance also enables me to put together a world that is focused on a woman’s experiences, desires and dreams. As a journalist, I’ve focused on addressing primarily women’s issues. Writing romance allows me to do the same thing, but through a fiction format. Plus, I love happy endings.
3. What do you do on those writing days when you’re stressed, worn out, or distracted?
I wish I had a healthy answer for this one! Instead, I am an example of what not to do. I used to hike or go for long walks while listening to music. But with two more-than-full-time jobs and a recent spinal surgery to correct spinal compression from a broken neck I sustained as a kid, I often feel too stressed to take time to relax. Is that stupid or what? It’s really become a vicious cycle. I live right next to the Rocky Mountains, so the opportunity for fresh air is everywhere. But lately I just feel I don’t have time. Unfortunately, I think it’s impacting my writing.

4. What can you tell us about your current release?

Breaking Point is the fifth book in my I-Team series. I’m very excited about it. It got a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which thrilled me. The I-Team books focus on a group of hardcore investigative journalists—mostly women—who end up in dangerous situations because of their work. All of the stories have their genesis in something I’ve worked on as an investigative reporter, and though they stand alone, there’s payoff for people who read them in order. The relationships between the heroes and heroines are a big ongoing part of the series.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the Breaking Point:

While investigating border violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Denver journalist Natalie Benoit is caught in a bloody ambush and taken captive. Alone in the hands of ruthless killers, she will need every ounce of courage she possesses to survive.

Betrayed by another operative, Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride, a former Navy SEAL, has endured a week of torture and interrogation at the hands of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel. Ready to give his life if he must, he remains unbroken—until he hears the cries of an American woman.

Although Natalie is only a voice in the darkness of their shared prison, her plight brings renewed strength to Zach’s battered body. With her help, he overpowers their captors, and they flee through the desert toward the border, the attraction between them flaring hotter than the Sonoran sun.

But past loss and tragedy leave both of them reluctant to follow their hearts, even when the passion between them reaches its breaking point. Faced with feelings neither expected, they fight to stay ahead of the danger that hunts them as forces more powerful than they can imagine conspire to destroy them both…

5. Can you share with us brief excerpt from your next release?

Zach hung limply from the manacles, unable even to hold up his head.  His shoulders ached from supporting his dead weight, manacles biting into his bloody wrists.  But none of that could compare to the residual pain of that last electro-shock.  His muscles seized in sharp spasms, his heart slamming erratically in his chest, his body shaking, his mouth filled with the coppery taste of his own blood.

Don’t give in to the pain.  Adjust for it.

He willed himself to relax, slowed his breathing.

Cold water splashed over his chest, making him jerk.  It wasn’t to revive him, he knew, but to make his skin more conductive to electricity.  He waited for the next blast of agony, but instead felt a glass bottle against his lips.  A hand fisted in his hair, tilting his head back, and he swallowed, warm cola sliding down his raw, parched throat.

Electrolytes.  Caffeine.  Calories.

All would help him stay alive.

Then his tormenter spoke to him, as always in Spanish.  “You are dying, cuñado.  And for what?  You are alone now, forgotten, left without even a dog to bark at you.  Tell us who has the cocaine and where we can find them.  Then your torment will end.  There will be no more pain, only sleep.”

Zach fought off a wave of despair.  “¡Vete a la verga!”  Fuck off!

The bastard chuckled, but Zach knew he wasn’t really amused.  They’d tried to break him and had failed.  There’d be a price to pay when Cárdenas got the news.

Creaking hinges.  Footsteps.

And Zach knew she was there.  He could feel her presence, hear her rapid breathing.  Hell, he could even smell her, something sweet in a world of filth.

Natalie.

“Tráela aquí.”  Bring her over here.

What the hell?

Zach’s head came up.  Somehow, he drew himself to his feet, his hands clenched around the chains for support, his heart thudding hard in his chest.  Why had they brought her in here?  Were they going to torture her to get to him?

Over my dead body.

6.  Fun questions:  What are you watching on TV these days? (Or what are you reading?)

Recently, I read Love at First Flight by Marie Force, a contemporary romance that I really enjoyed, and Something About You by, well, you. I loved Cameron and Jack. Loved them! I love your voice, and I found your sense of humor very enjoyable. I don’t often laugh out loud while reading anything, but SAY cracked me up. I’m about to start Charlaine Harris’ new release, Dead Reckoning, because I’m going to be interviewing her for the newspaper soon.

Funny story made short: I write for Penguin. So does Charlaine Harris. The PR folks sent a press release about her new book to the journalist version of me. I called them, and we had a good laugh about it (my publicist sits across the hall from her publicist). I decided it would be a lot of fun to interview her. My editor sent me an email telling me that everyone was giggling about this.

7.  What are you listening to on your Ipod?

I make mixes for each novel I write. Music is so important for my writing, perhaps the most important thing after sleep and research. (And coffee. Can’t forget coffee.)

Right now, I’m working on my next historical, the third book in the MacKinnon’s Rangers series, so during my writing time I’ve been listening to a lot of Old Blind Dogs, my favorite trad Scottish folk group, as well as historical soundtracks, especially The Last of the Mohicans and The War That Made America.

When I’m not writing, I’ve got a post-grunge rock mix that includes Shinedown, Staind, 3 Doors Down, Daughtry, Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Days Grace, Evanescence, Puddle of Mudd and others. These are all leftovers from my play list for Breaking Point that I haven’t gotten sick of yet.

I’m always, always searching for new music.

8.  What is your biggest weakness (shoes, purses, chocolate, etc.)?

Oh, definitely chocolate.

I lived in Denmark for three years and love really creamy European-style milk chocolate, such as Marabou Mælkchokolade, or marzipan and chocolate, such as Anton Berg, a Danish favorite of mine. Fortunately, neither of these is widely available in the U.S. My sister lives in Stockholm, but she never sends me any of this stuff. This is an issue between us, as you might imagine. Bad sister!

9.  Complete this sentence: One fun thing about me that people might not know is……

I’m a complete Trekkie and a Ringer. I love both Star Trek (all of them) and Lord of the Rings (books and movies). And, yes, I know a word or two Klingon and more than a few phrases in Elvish, too. Is that fun, or is this just scary?

* * *

Well, there you have it, folks.  Pamela has generously offered to give away a copy of Breaking Point to one lucky person who leaves a comment below.  And for those of you who’d like to find out more about Pamela Clare’s books, you can check out her website.  Good luck!

77 thoughts on “Q&A and Giveaway–Breaking Point

  1. Twinkle says:

    I’m glad to know that you read each other’s books and helping each other out 🙂 Both your books are engrossing. Must love the Heroes. Please keep writing for More! Go Pam and Julie ☺

  2. Jennifer says:

    Haven’t picked up the book yet, though I’m dying to… this weekend, perhaps. I’ve loved all of your books, and I’m sure this one will not disappoint.

    Julie, I’m a new fan of yours, having just listened to JTSMA on audio. Can’t wait to read the others!!! Have you read the rest of the I-Team series? Glad to hear you’re as much of a fan as I.

    Keep up the good work, ladies!

    Jenn

  3. LEW says:

    I’m over half way through Breaking Point and, since I brought it to the gym this morning, it’s sitting in my bag on my Nook while I’m at work. It’s going to be a LOOOOOOONG day trying to restrain myself from reading. Zach is delicious.

    le swoon

  4. Allie says:

    I have Naked Edge – it was a wonderful read. Thanks for the peak into the life of a writer. And Julie, those were great questions. I always find it fun to imagine what writers do with the rest of their time. And it’s always funny to find out authors I like also like the other authors I like. 😉

  5. Kim says:

    Hey Pamela! Beam me up a book! Read all your books and currently reading yesterdays release. Keep up the good work!!

  6. Kristi says:

    I love that she read Marie Force because I just went on a Force bender, I love her stuff!

    I have an older Pamela Clare in my TBR pile and from all the reviews I’m hearing about her, it sounds like I better go find it and dig in! I would love to read this one, it sounds great!

  7. Amy says:

    Naked Edge was my first I-Team novel and I fell in love with Pamela Clare’s writing. After that, I went back and read all the other I-Team novels, as well as Pamela’s older historical romances. I loved those as well! Can’t wait to read Breaking Point

  8. Becky says:

    I just can’t resist a book with a male protagonist in uniform, and I can’t wait to read this one! Good interview!

  9. StacieDM says:

    Hello Pamela!
    Wow I loved the excerpt. It makes me think of that scene in Casino Royale with Daniel Craig. I’m curious to see if they do torture her to get him to talk.

    Congratulations on the new release. Breaking Point sounds like an exciting read.

  10. Courtney says:

    Excellent interview. I’ve loved all the I-Team books and this sounds like another killer installment. :

  11. Rachel says:

    Pamela, do you have your playlist for Breaking Point listed anywhere? Love all those artists and would LOVE to have a playlist that reminded me of Zach. I’m about halfway through the eBook and I’m such a gonner. I can’t put it down. My husband is on his own for dinner. 😀 Not only do I love Zach, but truthfully this is your most talented work yet.

  12. Limecello says:

    I really like the I-Team series, and Extreme Exposure and Naked Edge are some of my favorite romance books across the board. I can’t wait to get my hands on Breaking Point – it sounds so good and crazy intense! Gah – that excerpt :X
    Congratulations on the new release, Pamela – and great interview, Julie!

  13. Pamela Clare says:

    Goodness! Wonderful to see you all here!

    Thanks so much, Julie, for the fun interview. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted publicly to being BOTH a Trekkie and a Ringer.

    I’m insanely busy at the paper today, but I will be checking back.

    Rachel, I do have the BREAKING POINT playlist up somewhere. Check my blog. It should be noted under topics. I know it’s there because it got posted on Seductive Musing’s blog this week.

    I’m thrilled to see this kind of enthusiasm, and I will make it back this afternoon/evening after we’ve gone to press to answer questions and do a better job of saying “howdy!”

  14. Paige says:

    This is a GREAT series! I have read the first 3 but haven’t read Naked Edge. It is in my “to be read’ pile.
    The new one sounds great too!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Jocelyn G. says:

    I love, love, love the I-Team series! I just got my copy of BREAKING POINT and I can’t wait to start reading it! Anyway, I really love that my favorite authors are promoting/helping each other! I think that’s really COOL!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!!

  16. Pamela Clare says:

    Quick P.S. Rachel, here’s a super-quick list to get you started: “Breaking Inside,” “Call Me,” “45,” by Shinedown and “Easier to Run,” by Linkin Park. These are all Zach tunes.

    For Natalie, try Evanescence “Bring Me to Life.”

  17. Leanne says:

    I would so love to win this book! I love Star Trek to! Really enjoyed their last movie 🙂 It’s thanks to my dad that I enjoy them so much, he use to watch it all the time 🙂 Great interview!!

    leanne_gag[at]hotmail[dot]com

  18. Julia - Yen says:

    I really enjoyed the interview! And I love it when authors are helping each other promo. I get this big smile when I see authors reading each other books or have some like/common interest too 🙂 I have got all the I-Team series books and they are keeper! Looking forward to read BREAKING POINT soon! 🙂

  19. Vanessa says:

    Congrats Pamela on the new book. Sounds like a great series! Can’t wait to read the new release. Thanks Julie for the chance to win a copy. Just finished A Lot Like Love. Great job, really enjoyed it!

  20. infinitieh says:

    Congrats on your new release, Pamela! And with such a hot Jed Hill cover!

    You like all the Star Treks? I personally didn’t like the post-Gene Roddenberry ones as much.

  21. Landin says:

    Great interview Julie!! Pamela,you and I have the same weakness…chocolate lol.I can’t get enough of it,my favorite is actually chocolate cheescake!

  22. infinitieh says:

    Congrats on your new release, Pamela! And with such a hot Jed Hill cover, too!

    I enjoy eating chocolate every time Legolas is on the screen, too. 😉

  23. Estelle C. says:

    Thanks for the new author recommendation! Just what I needed, another series to follow 😉 off to buy the first book in the series, hmm Kindle version or paperback?? I’m too impatient, kindle version first..

  24. infinitieh says:

    Congrats on your new release, Pamela! and with such a hot Jed Hill cover, too!

    Personally, I prefer the Star Treks prior to Gene Roddenberry’s death, the ones in which the humanoids got along.

  25. Lisa B says:

    Oh i’d love to read this book. Sounds great. What a great interview. I like start trek but i’m more of a star wars fan but i’m with on the Lord of the rings lol

    Lisa B

  26. kris says:

    congrats again on such an amazing book! I absolutely LOVED the story, Zach, Natalie, and of course Jed on the cover.

  27. Jodie from Wagga Wagga says:

    Congratulations on the release of Breaking Point Pamela. I can’t imagine the thrill that would come with releasing a book after all that hard work.
    Enjoy the rush and spoil yourself with chocolate – you deserve it.

    To Julie, also a huge fan of your books and can’t wait for the next installment.

  28. CMD says:

    Yay European chocolate! I don’t know how you Americans survive without ready access to the good stuff: Valrhona, Callebaut, Felchlin, Amedei… even our run-of-the-mill stuff trumps any American chocolate! Ghiradelli & Scharffen Berger are okay 😛

    Chocolate snobbery aside, the I-Team series is legend, and every book is definitely worth a read. Breaking Point ranks among my favourites 🙂

    (P.S. Pamela, we have the same taste in rock music… I blast my “angry rock” in lab before my labmates show up)

  29. Ren says:

    Thanks for the interview Julie and Pamela.. Pamela is my favorite author and I devour all of her I-Team books, and of course I can’t wait to read Breaking Point too (note : I’m not read Julie’s book yet,but already put it in my wishlist :D)

    By the way, nice playlist for Breaking Point. I’m big fans of Evanescence and Linkin Park too! And I love Lord of The Ring. No Pamela, it’s mean you awesome to know some phrases in Elvish 😛

    Again, congrats for the release date of Breaking Point, and I hope many readers that not read this book, will pick it, because you don’t want to miss this 😉

  30. Karen says:

    A super interview ladies. How did we share any of this important entertainment before facebook and the like. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  31. Jolene A says:

    Great interview and I’m so in love with the cover of this book. Can’t wait to get my hands on this, my book club girls are going on and on about Zach, I MUST have him 🙂

    june111(at)att(dot)net

  32. Mariee says:

    Great interview!
    I haven’t read any of Pamela’s books before, but I’d love to! Please count me in.

  33. Katie W says:

    Great interview..totally adding this series to my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway 😉

    Katie
    Katiewalthall AT ymail DOT com

  34. Pamela Clare says:

    Hi, everyone! Today was the day that wouldn’t quit. But here I am finally.

    I would love to respond individually to everyone’s posts, but I don’t think that’s really possible at this point, given that there are 56 of them and it’s getting close to my bedtime.

    First, thanks to all of you who’ve posted. I’ve read each and every post. Thanks so much for the kind words!

    I am thrilled at the number of you who’ve read at least some of the I-Team books. It’s nice to see familiar names again. Also, the excitement readers have for BREAKING POINT has been wonderful for me. I don’t think it will disappoint you.

    It’s great to see new faces, too!

    As for the music, I’m so glad I was able to share some tunes. I am always on the prowl for new music. It plays such an important role in inspiring my writing. Rachel, I hope you enjoyed the songs!

    Infinitieh, here are my preferences in terms of Trek (this is important): ST/STNG tie for the top spot, with movies #2 and #4 coming in second and third. I agree about Rodenberry’s influence (positive future vs. apocalyptic one). I liked Voyager and DS9, but I didn’t really get into Enterprise. And this most recent movie? Didn’t feel like Trek to me at all. So I guess I don’t like all Star Trek.

    As for Legolas, I saw LOTR: FOTR only 16 times in the theater. That’s not extreme or anything. 🙂

    Because there are so many of you, I’ll give away two copies and post the winners tomorrow. I use a contest randomizer to draw the names.

  35. Jessica C. says:

    I love that cover. This is a new author for me so I’m really looking forward to reading it. Please count me in for the contest. Thanks for the giveaway!

    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

  36. Alyssa S. says:

    I am in complete LOVE with the I-Team series. It has to be one of my absolute favorite series I have ever read. The stories always captivate me from practically the first page and I’m just hooked. I can’t WAIT to read Zach and Natalie’s story!!!

  37. Janet Lin says:

    I read most of Pamela’s book. Most of them are great; but somehow I did not enjoy “Naked Edge”. I hope her new book is a great one!

  38. Kaetrin says:

    Hi Julie & Pamela! Both of you have new/kind of new books out I haven’t got my hands on yet – I love a good romantic suspense and I’m looking forward to the next I-Team instalment – Naked Edge was awesome – the series keeps getting better and it was no slouch to start with! 🙂

    @Julie, SAY was also an excellent book and I plan on reading your newest also!

  39. Edna says:

    Thanks for the interview (loved the excerpt!) and giveaway. I already have this on my TBR list but haven’t had a chance to get a copy yet.

  40. Mary G says:

    Oh I missed this! Awesome interview with 2 of my faves. Warning – read Breaking Point on a weekend. I was up till 5:30AM reading it. Couldn’t put it down. It was all kinds of amazing. The previous heroes’ appearance was great too.
    BTW Don’t enter me. Just want to say – go get this book NOW!

  41. Karen C says:

    I’m a big Pamela Clare fan and have read the I-Team series twice. I just got the e-book version of Breaking Point and I’m really excited about reading it. Can’t decide if I’ll jump right into it or re-read the series (again) first. Decisions, decisions. It’s a win either way~~~ Congratulations, Pamela! Will there be a sixth I-Team book? I hope so. Thanks.

  42. Lisa N. says:

    Great interview! I haven’t read any of Pamela’s books, but they are now on my list to check out. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

  43. Pamela Clare says:

    Hi, everyone!

    Checking in late again. I wish I could respond individually, but that would take till midnight.

    I hope those of you who decided to give BREAKING POINT and the I-Team series a try will get in touch with me afterward and let me know what you think.

    Hi, Mary G — Great to see you here. Caught up on that sleep yet?

    Hi, Jill — So wonderful to see you! So you lost some sleep, too, huh?

    Ahem. Well, sorry about that (but not too terribly sorry). 😀

    So I’m here to give away TWO signed copies of BREAKING POINT using a contest randomizer. I type in everyone’s names, and click twice. And it spits out two winners.

    Drum roll please…

    The first name is… LIZA!

    The second is… TWINKLE!

    And the bonus THIRD name is… LISA N! (Ha! You all didn’t know that was coming, did you?)

    CONGRATULATIONS! I’ll get your books in the mail as soon as I get your mailing information. You can message me on Facebook or send an e-mail to pamelaclare at earthlink dot net.

    Julie, thanks so much for having me on your blog and for asking fun questions. I really appreciate it.

    I hope those of you who posted will pop by on Facebook or to my blog (pamelaclare.blogspot.com) to say hello. There are loads of excerpts and info about the I-Team series on my blog for the curious.

    And thanks to all of you for posting!

    Happy reading!

  44. Julie says:

    My pleasure, Pamela! Thanks for dropping by and telling us more about Breaking Point! (And for the books). : )

    My copy of BP arrived yesterday, and I’ve bumped it up to the next book in my TBR pile. Can’t wait to dig in!

    Thanks to everyone for dropping by and hanging out with me and Pamela!

  45. Twinkle says:

    wow i won!!!
    Thanks everyone specially Pam and Julie ♥

    Just to share, Whenever im checking this page after i submitted my comment i can only see 2 comments one from me and the 1st one from Petra, So all the while i thought that there’s no other contestants but just the 2 of us and felt that i have a great chance to win. I was surprised when Julie posted on her FB that there was a large turnout and Pam is giving 3 copies instead.I felt my chance slipping away and felt a little frustrated that i can’t even see who wins since i still can only see 2 comments till i tried to use a different search engine and check Julie’s blog.

    I guess, I’m really meant to be with Zach♥

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