Hi. I’m Cailin Briste, sci-fi fantasy suspense erotic romance author. I think that’s all my author hats. Thank you, Delilah, for allowing me to guest post on your blog.
As an author, I find myself researching everything from the structure of foam to the direction shards of concrete take when a pillar is struck by a bullet. Before I began writing, I thought authors who wrote historical fiction were the only ones required to do extensive research. Not true. All fiction writers do or should.
The existence of the Internet is a major boon to researching the details that make my speculative fiction stories realistic. I don’t write highly detailed technical sci-fi, but I want my stories to be plausible. I read several academic papers online about foam before creating the stuff that I used in a car crash in How to Steal the Pharaoh’s Jewels. I wasn’t sure if it was possible to have a foam that solidified quickly enough to be effective. (The foam is in the excerpt below.) I learned a lot of interesting things about bubbles and what constitutes foam before deciding my creation was credible. None of that research ended up in the book. But if I’m ever asked about my vehicle safety foam, I ought to be able to answer the question. If I don’t forget what I learned. No guarantees.
When it comes to guns, weapons, and fighting, I work hard to achieve accuracy. My characters know that running behind something doesn’t guarantee safety. (Not all screenwriters understand this point.) But despite all I’ve read on the subject, each situation is unique, and sometimes you need to see an event to be able to describe it. Amidst the gazillion videos of people shooting guns, I found a real treasure.
Personal Defense Network posted a video on concrete bullet ricochet. It was perfect for figuring out where my hero or heroine might get hit by flying concrete in a sniper attack while hiding behind a bank pillar. Another scene found in How to Steal the Pharaoh’s Jewels.
As great as the Internet is for research, I’ve also come to depend on in-person expertise. How to Steal the Pharaoh’s Jewels, required input from my massage therapist and my son-in-law the paramedic. In the past I’ve worked with a rope bondage master, and I’m currently working with a sadist for my next BDSM title, Rand: Marshal of Tallav.
No matter what a scene involves, there’s always something that I need to look up. How to Steal the Pharaoh’s Jewels is set on a world colonized by the French. I use French place and business names. The Banque Populaire is an actual French bank. The designer of the Pharaoh’s jewels of the title is Alessandro Castellani. I used the first and last names of two renowned Italian goldsmiths. These are the details I love to seed through my books. Research makes this possible at the same time it adds an enjoyable element to grinding out my quota of words each day. Not that every day is a grind, but some days…
Cade’s fantasy is to seduce his best friend if he isn’t murdered first.
His comfortable routine as a member of Sebastian St. Croix’s cat burglar team is shattered the day he’s pinned in a crushed car. In a moment of clarity, before everything goes dark, he realizes he’s in love with his best friend, a woman who has sworn off intimate relationships for life.
It’s taken Bassinae years to overcome a past filled with physical abuse and embrace the truth that she is a powerful, capable woman in her own right. Tamping down a case of nerves, she’s ready to take on a larger role as a thief in Sebastian’s next caper. If only Cade would stop acting like a lovelorn idiot. She needs her best friend’s support to help steal the Pharaoh’s jewels.
Set in the distant future, this sci-fi suspense romance has action and adventure as well as a sizzling romance.
With a grunt of approval, Cade noted the route change had worked. The road ahead was less congested, so he relaxed back into his seat and picked up speed. A parking garage lined the left side of the street with office buildings on the right. He checked the time and glanced in the rear-view mirror. “Want some music?”
At that moment a large dump truck came barreling out of an exit of the parking garage. Cade swung right and hit the brakes hard, hoping to lessen the inevitable impact, but even with the protection devices built into the vehicle this would be a brutal collision. Safety foam inundated the foot wells of the car, and the air ballasts deployed. The scree of metal and the splintering of the car’s plastic shell, filled Cade’s ears along with a sound like the roaring thunder of thousands of wild animals stampeding toward him. One thought struck him. No pain. And then the world winked out.
The next he knew, someone was shouting his name and agony radiated from his pelvis. The gray airbags that held him in place deflated while before him the mangled remains of the windshield gave him a partially obstructed view of the front end of the dump truck, an irresistible force that even Gerald St. Croix couldn’t have stopped. The left side of the car was crushed and had been pushed into the passenger side. Cade had been displaced two-and-a-half feet to his right.
A voice sounded behind him. “Cade. We’re going to get you out of there. Hang on. They’ll have to cut you out.”
I get this question a lot: Where do you get the ideas for your books?
My answer? Everywhere.
But one of the more interesting ideas behind a book happened about eight years ago, when I picked up a newspaper and saw a short article with the headline “Husband and Wife Discover They Are Twins After DNA Test for IVF.” I was immediately intrigued. What on earth would that feel like, to discover that the person you had fallen in love with, you were blood related to?
Turns out it’s not that far-fetched a question. I did a little reading, and then a little more, and I found something called Genetic Sexual Attraction, which is something that happens when two people who are genetically related, but denied the ability to properly form emotional bonds as children, meet as adults and develop strong feelings for one another. These days, with anonymous donors more and more common in the world of fertility, it’s actually not unheard of for people who are blood related to cross paths as adults and, yes, date or fall in love.
So that brought me back to my original question: what would it feel like to make that discovery? Could you “unlove” the person you thought was your soulmate? Could you possibly stay with the person anyway? Would you tell anyone? And that’s when I knew I had to write a romance novel with those questions at their core.
Labyrinth of Love is the fourth book in my Hometown Heroes series, and it features two related love stories, sixty years apart. Within those two stories I finally got to weave the idea of that long-ago newspaper article — but I’m not saying any more! If you want to find out what happens, you’ll have to read the book.
If you want a little teaser first, you’re just in time to sign up for my newsletter and receive my next free short story, “Roses are Red, Violets are Pink.” It’s a tie-in to Labyrinth of Love, so you can get a peek at the small town of Lindsey Point and a little of its history before you dive into the series.
As a physician, I’m always concerned (okay, completely anal 🙂 ) about infection control. I taught my three kids to wash their hands whenever they came home from school, after playing outside, really anytime they walked into the house. We all have separate toothbrush holders, and we each have our own tube of toothpaste. And don’t even get me started on sharing drinks. Infectious mononucleosis, influenza, herpes simplex, even hepatitis A lurk everywhere. So imagine my chagrin when, now that they’re older, they taste-test each other’s beer or share water bottles on the bench when they’re playing hockey!
This crept into Behind the Bench, the second book of my In the Game Hockey Romance series. Dr. Danni Angelo is the team physician for the local professional hockey team. She’s forever chirping at the players to use their own water bottles. The players tolerate the advice, even appreciate her concern, but they pretty much ignore her. She’s not giving up though – and she’ll add her two cents about the merits of full-face shields while she’s at it.
I also want to wish you Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!May your day be touched with a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed with smiles by the people you love!
Behind the Bench
(In the Game Hockey Romance series, Book 2)
Dr. Danni Angelo is the team physician for the Clarington Quakes hockey team. She’s worked hard to earn the players’ respect, but the new coach, Trey Mason, is stirring things up, and Danni’s worried her job may be in jeopardy.
Trey finds Danni…distracting. Beauty, brains, and sexy moves on the ice have him uncomfortably attracted. He’s the new guy on the block. He has a reputation to build and a standard to set. The last thing he needs is a complication.
When the team spirals out of control and Danni and Trey get caught up in a drug scandal, things heat up on and off the ice. It’s a whole new game plan…Behind the Bench.
Danni watched the tail end of the in-house broadcast of the news conference and flicked off the screen. How could you not be impressed with that? Trey Mason was confident and eloquent, and spoke in a relaxed and engaging way. The beach-bum blond hair, sculpted cheekbones, and easy smile would win over the non-hockey fans, and his passion and knowledge of the game would impress the followers. He had it all, and landing in a town like Clarington must be a dream come true. For him.
And a nightmare for her.
She had worked part-time as the team physician for the Clarington Earthquakes, Quakes for short, for the past three years. It had taken time to gain the players’ confidence. Being a female physician for a men’s hockey team hadn’t been easy, but she’d built a solid professional relationship.
She loved everything about the job – the energy of the games, working with high-level athletes, and a new clinic in a state-of-the-art arena. She certainly didn’t want it to change because of a new head coach.
Trey Mason couldn’t fire her. Theoretically. That would be up to the owners of the team. He could, however, make her life miserable. And if there was friction between them, it would affect the players, and ultimately, what affected the players influenced the owners. There were two other physicians who shared the job with her and a few more who would be eager to take it on.
He, on the other hand, could be set for a long run if he delivered half of what he’d promised today. She certainly hadn’t seen any charm when he’d walked into the pressroom, and yet it came out in spades when he spoke. She could only hope that her initial impression had been wrong, because between the two of them, it wasn’t likely that he’d be leaving any time soon. Bottom line – she needed to suck it up and get along with the new guy. She sighed. She hated sucking up. She’d thought she was done with that. Apparently not. She shook her head and gritted her teeth. Time to smile and play nice.
Behind the Bench is part of the Coming in Hot: Rescue Me Romance Collection. It’s available for preorder for only 99cents. Coming April 17!
Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at the local home décor store. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.
The cover’s pretty, right? In Too Deep is the second of The Triplehorn Brand stories, and it releases next Tuesday. This one features a very sexy couple. They can’t keep their hands off each other. Be sure to pre-order your copy!
Excerpt from In Too Deep
With the window of his Ford F-150 rolled down and a breeze whipping his face, Gabe Triplehorn didn’t mind the sultry, mid-summer heat. For the first time in years, he felt completely free.
Free of responsibility.
Free of Colt telling him what he ought to do with his life.
Free of Tommy giving him disgusted glances, because the last thing Gabe wanted to do lately was ride behind a herd of cattle kicking up dust in his face.
But he was especially free of the evidence of domestic bliss stinking up the air in the Triplehorn ranch house.
Gabe wasn’t usually this grumpy, but he’d lost sleep for weeks due to the lusty goings-on inside the Triplehorn ranch house. Unaccustomed to sleepless nights when he was home and lying in his own bed, and irritated at having to keep himself decently dressed every time he stepped foot outside his bedroom door, he’d become as nasty as a growling bear to be around.
And who could blame him? Sounds echoed down the bedroom hallway into the early morning hours. Sexy sounds—soft moans, warm chuckles. Sharp, urgent cries. Sounds that put erotic images into a horny man’s head. Stuffing a pillow over his face didn’t muffle them enough to cut through the pictures flooding his mind, especially after he’d gotten an up-close eyeful of one particularly hot-’n’-heavy petting session in the kitchen. Thankfully, neither one of the newly married couple had noticed as he’d hastily backed away from the door. But after that, he couldn’t look at melted chocolate or Zuri’s small breasts in quite the same light.
Not that he wasn’t happy for his brother, Colt. The eldest of the brothers deserved every bit of the happiness he’d found with his new wife. He just wished the two of them had kept their newfound wedded bliss a little more private. Having a beautiful woman under the same roof, one whose lusty spirit apparently matched his brother’s stroke for stroke, played hell with Gabe’s own desire. The fact he hadn’t had time to court a new playmate to handle his excess frustration only added to his ill humor.
At least, Gabe had at last gotten over the major case of indigestion that adding Zuri Prescott to the family had caused. She’d turned out to be all right. Far from the heartless heartbreaker he and Tommy had pegged her for.
Still, it was hard to shrug off over a decade of animosity and resentment in just a couple of months. Harder still to listen to the sounds of his brother’s hard-won satisfaction night after night. Read the rest of this entry »
If you live anywhere near Nashville, you might want to head to the Airport Marriott on Saturday. From 3-6 PM a slew of wonderful authors, including myself and my sister Elle James, will be signing books! I’ll have print copies of Reaper and Texas Cowboys, Volume 1 & Volume 2.
For more information about the conference, click on the picture above!
Hey, everyone! I’m so glad to be back on Delilah’s blog today to share my newest release, Thirsty. It’s the first book in my Eastside Brewery series, starring a family of gangster ex-cons who start a craft brewery in their old neighborhood.
Thirsty launched yesterday. Please enjoy this short excerpt and enter the special release week giveaway below.
A gangster hiding from his past. A single mom fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man he’s meant to be?
My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.
Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.
I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.
“Thirsty held me captivated from its first page to its last with its heartrending, raw and beautiful story…It is a singular reading experience.”—USA Today
“Thirsty is a sizzling, emotionally intense story that is both gritty and heartwarming, an addictive page-turner that will stay with me for a long time to come.”—New York Times bestselling author Cathryn Fox
“Thirsty is sexy and soul-wrenching, with Sal’s irresistible voice luring you through a living, breathing Los Angeles. Vanessa and Sal’s chemistry sizzles right off the page. Five smoldering, tattooed stars!”—USA Today bestselling author Sierra Simone
“Thirsty is an amazing read! I stayed up way too late to finish and haven’t stopped thinking about the characters. Highly recommended!”—USA Today bestselling author Molly O’Keefe
The ride starts with a burst of music like a jack-in-the-box. We glide backward and over a couple of times. The Ferris wheel stops to let other passengers on. At the very top, our carriage swings back and forth before it goes still.
Now I can see my neighborhood from a different viewpoint, high above. The lights of the carnival are bright and beautiful. The smells of tacos, hot dogs, and popcorn fill my nose. People pack the church parking lot. Cars line the street, and in the surrounding houses, lights in the windows show where families are talking or watching TV or having dinner.
“How are you doing?” I ask.
“I’m all right.”
She’s looking at the same things I am. I wonder if she is seeing the same details. I stroke her hair and take another risk. “So what do you think?”
“Starting something with me?”
She takes a deep breath but doesn’t say anything.
“What are your doubts?” I say.
“Are you kidding?” She snorts. “You’re seriously asking me that?”
I laugh a little. “Okay, well. Besides the obvious.”
“You have your own life. I have mine. You’re trying to rebuild from the ground up. I’m trying to secure my daughter’s future. We’re heading in different directions.”
She isn’t wrong. Life has disappointed her in such deep and cruel ways, I don’t blame her for protecting herself. But even as she tells me this—the truth about how we’re not right for each other—I feel how right it is to talk to her, to hold her hand, to show her who I am. “I have an idea,” I say. “Probation.”
“I’m only around for two months, right?”
“Spend those two months with me.” I look into her eyes. “I want to be with you, Vanessa.”
“I’ll be gone before I have a chance to disappoint you.” When the words leave my mouth, I try to ignore how pathetic they sound. “We’re adults, not dumb kids. We won’t lose our heads.” I run my fingers through her silky hair. “I swear to God, every time I look at you, I feel . . .” I reach for the most honest word I can find. “Thirsty.”
ABOUT MIA HOPKINS
Award-winning author Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and waggish dog.