Friday, September 25, 2015

~ Symposium - Weapon of Choice ~

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my September Symposium!

As an author, we seem to research a variety of subjects for our stories and plot lines. 

This month, I’ve asked my friends and fellow authors what the craziest or most interesting subjects are that they’ve researched for their books. This one is sure to be entertaining, so read on and find out what everyone had to say!

LAURIE ROMA: I tend to research whatever I put in my plotlines. Accuracy is important to me. Maybe it’s something that has held over from law school, when I had to cite everything. LOL. But really, if you don’t know how something works, how can you write about it? With that being said, some of the things I’ve researched have surely gotten me on some sort of watch list. For example, I’ve looked up chemical weapons, sniper rifles, and other weapons…not to mention police procedure and other agency practices. For another book, I did research on kinbaku and how it could benefit someone with autism. But I think some of the most interesting research I’ve done has to do with the sci-fi genre, whether it be names for characters, what other worlds could potentially look like, or what other technological advances might be possible in the future. Life as an author is never boring!

Katra Tesera is a female Dragon Warrior on a mission. Unsatisfied with the life her family wishes for her back on her home world, she seeks something more for her own future. When the opportunity to visit Earth arises, Katra is eager for the excitement and adventure of traveling the stars. She believes she is ready for whatever lies at the end of her journey, but nothing can prepare her for meeting her mate…the dark and dangerous Tarin warrior, Lord Jaden Tor.

Warlord Jaden Tor is a dedicated leader who is fighting a civil war to save his people. He has always known his path in life, but everything changes the moment he meets the dark-haired beauty with glowing silver eyes. Jaden wants to claim her for his own, however, there is more at stake than his own happiness… 

When legacies are challenged, and with Tartarus in turmoil, can Jaden and Katra find a way to be together, or will their love be shattered by the chaos that threatens everything around them?


EVANGELINE ANDERSON: I have done research into a lot of things while writing different books--sometimes I think it's the most interesting part of the process. I interviewed a dominatrix for my BDSM serial killer book, Dangerous Cravings, and also dug into the subject of whale hunting in the 18th century for a vampire novel I wrote called Kristin's Addiction. Most recently I researched Russian culture for my upcoming Age Play novel, The Institute: Daddy Issues. And let me not forget to mention that I visited Fetish Con for the first time this year and got all KINDS of good ideas. So I'm no stranger to weird research. But my most popular series, The Brides of the Kindred, is science fiction and requires a different kind of research. I get to look into black holes, worm holes, tears in the space-time continuum and all kinds of fun things like that. And of course sex--lots of kinky sex. : ) The novella I have coming out today is in the Brides of the Kindred universe and involves a hot guy being kidnapped and sold as a slave to a girl who comes from a female dominated planet. But will she know what to do with him once she's got him? Or will he end up Mastering the Mistress? (I think you can tell my BDSM research came in handy while writing this one. : )

Solar M'Tex is a Havoc--a race of males who have sworn never to bond themselves to a female. So the idea of serving or loving any woman, no matter how beautiful, is foreign to him. But when he gets captured and sold at the Flesh Bazaar, he has no say in who buys him. Before he knows it he is the exclusive property of Kaylee, a lush little female from Yonnie Six who wants her own personal body slave. 

Kaylee is new to Yonnie Six high society. She didn't even know she needed a body slave until her new friend Lyla told her. But when Lyla talks her into buying the huge, muscular Havoc, she doesn't know what to do with him--or have any idea how she's going to master him. 

Soon they're in Kaylee's new dungeon with all the equipment a Mistress could need to tame a new slave. Kaylee does her best but when Solar gets free of his restraints, the tables are turned. Will she escape from the male she dared to try and master...or will Solar end up Mastering the Mistress? 

Mastering the Mistress is a Brides of the Kindred novella - Set in the Kindred universe, this novella tells the story of what happened to Solar, Thrace's best friend and first mate who was also captured and sold as a slave.


N.J. WALTERS: Over the past eleven years, I’ve researched some interesting and strange things for various books. Some of the most unusual have been ancient blades and weapons, moon gardens (flowers that bloom only at night), and mastaba tombs (a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat-roofed, rectangular structure constructed out of mud-bricks or stones). My latest project took me into the world of the firefighter. I tried my best to make the scenes realistic, allowing artistic license for the sake of the story, of course. YouTube offered some great videos, including one about the anatomy of a fire. It was a short video, but packed with information about what happens when the trucks roll up to a fire. I also delved into the myth of the phoenix for this story, but admit that I put my own spin on it. That’s the fun part of being a writer. 

Rescue Me (from the INTO THE FLAMES box set)

When Firefighter Frank Ellis rescues an old flame from a burning building sparks ignite between them. Martha Benson is the target of a serial arsonist, and Frank will do anything to protect her, even if it means she discovers his biggest secret—he is a mythical phoenix.

Firefighters. The word ignites bold images of heroes in dust covered helmets and ash stained turnouts who defy the odds and press on in the presence of danger.

Men of Valor. A dedicated brotherhood of first responders whose honor, strength, and courage overcome obstacles to save lives.

Into The Flames. Seven NYT, USA Today, bestselling and award-winning authors offer romantic suspense, contemporary, historical, and paranormal tales of tough, iconic heroes who risk it all for their communities—but at the end of the day, seek the tender embrace of the women they love.



KALI ARGENT: My Internet browser is filled with search topics that would raise more than a few eyebrows. Everything from how to build a bomb (I wouldn’t be surprised to find I’m on Homeland Security’s watch list) to lunar phases. To the outside world, my research is confusing at best and disturbing at worst, but other authors would probably just shrug and call it a normal day at the office. Still, I’d have to say the craziest thing I’ve ever researched is how to kill someone without leaving evidence, particularly when dealing with neurotoxins or poisons. There are some pretty rare and exotic toxins out there, many of them naturally occurring, and it’s a bit terrifying to think of them being used as a weapon. 

When the Purge nearly wiped out humanity and gave rise to the Allied Races Coalition, Roux Jennings refused to become a paranormal’s new pet. Forced into hiding, she remains constantly on the move, never staying in one place for too long. It’s a harsh existence filled with too many dangers and not enough food, but at least she’s free. 

Coalition Captain Deke Collins is tasked with protecting the citizens of Trinity Grove—both human and paranormal alike. Presenting the mask of a loyal and dutiful soldier isn’t always easy, but it’s a necessary evil. If anyone discovers he’s the leader of a group of rebels secretly known as the Revenant, he won’t live to see the next sunrise. 

When circumstances force him into the path of a beautiful and tenacious female, he’s immediately drawn to the human. Dragging Roux into his world may put her in more danger than even he realizes, but it’s a risk he must take to protect her. 

In a reality where paranormals rule and humans are nearly extinct, lines are drawn, sides are chosen, and a war for freedom rages in secret.


SUSAN HAYES: I’ve done enough questionable research in my time as a writer that I always have a moment’s doubt when flying into the United States. Will this be the time that I get the “Please come with me, ma’am,” request? How am I going to explain why I’ve done extensive research on the Chicago police department, read up on ammunition that can pierce bullet-proof vests, and the gun sale policy for the Chicago area? Before I wrote romance, I worked as a freelance writer, penning comedy articles with titles like “Products designed solely to make you a worse person,” “Horrifying ways to improve your sex life” and even “Bizarre sexual conditions that can ruin your life.” You just can’t do that kind of research with “safe search” on your browser. I can only hope that when the day comes I have to justify why my internet history includes bookmarks for phalloplasty, Permanent Sexual Arousal Syndrome, and products designed to fool breathalyser tests and drug screenings, the authorities will understand when I start my explanation with “I’m a writer…”

Dani Moore barely escaped her abusive marriage. Six years later, she just wants to raise her little girl in peace. When she learns that her ex-husband is out on early parole, she goes into hiding, adopting a new name and starting a new life far away from the man who tried to kill her.

Detective David Wilde learned the hard way that romance and police work don’t mix, at least not for him. Since his divorce, he’s kept his heart closed off and his focus on the job. For Dave, being a cop isn’t only a career, it’s a way of life that defines every choice he makes…until he meets Dani.

Hired as the new cook at his family’s bar and grill, Dani’s a sweet and sexy package that brings light and color back into Dave’s life. When that light is threatened by Dani’s past, Dave will do whatever it takes to protect what’s his. 

Can two battle-scarred hearts find the strength to love again, or will an act of revenge destroy their future before they’ve even begun?


JENIKA SNOW: This is an interesting question! I have looked up really, really weird sex positions and practices (which I’m sure is the norm for most erotic romance authors), but I’d have to say the craziest subject I looked up was cannibalism. It was research for my post-apocalyptic series, and I wanted to know the grisly details and have a good, vivid picture of recorded events since my zombies like to eat off people’s faces and other body parts.

The Bleeding Mayhem MC, where blood, violence, and being a badass alpha reign supreme. 

Claire left the Bleeding Mayhem MC two years ago after a Patch named Big broke her heart. But her brother, Mayhem, and the MC are all she has, and she knows she’s going to need the club’s protection after what she’s gotten herself into. 

Big, who got his nickname because of the equipment he’s sporting between his legs, has never forgotten Claire, the woman he at one time had as his number one, so when she shows up at the club, he knows it’ll be hard to keep the past where it belongs. But Big still wants her in a bad way, and has no self-control when it comes to Claire. 

Big takes it upon himself to handle Claire’s problem the only way he knows how—with violence. No way is he going to let her run from him again. She’ll be his in every way, no matter what.


VELLA DAY: Easy. It was bones—and this was before the TV show Bones aired. I must have read ten books on the topic as I found it so fascinating—not really sure why, except that I love science. I was writing a series of romantic suspenses (under a different pen name) that involved a forensic anthropologist, and I needed to learn how a scientist would do facial reconstruction using clay(where the markers were placed and how deep they would need to be), what it meant when the body was covered with adipose tissue, etc. I read story after story on how murders were solved using forensic anthropology and was highly impressed with their talent. The hardest part of writing the story was not putting in too many details (just because I knew what to write). I am still in awe of what they can do.

Jett Anderson would take banishment from her bear clan any day of the week over an arranged marriage. Hell, the whole clan could come after her for all she cared, which was why when she crossed the Canadian border into the US she didn’t even glance back. 

Her luck runs out in Deals Gap, North Carolina, however, when her car breaks down. Unable to find cell reception, the only place to ask for help is a biker bar called the Dark Moon Roadhouse that’s full of shifters—none of whom are bears—and their reception has her running. 

Wolf hybrid, Deke Warner, takes one look at the totally hot woman and knows he’s met his mate. Determined to claim her for his own, he offers to help by fixing her car. Too bad, the Blackwood Clan has other ideas for her and causes a heap of problems. 

Their passion is off the charts, and Deke’s falling for her with each passing hour. What will it take to win her heart and convince her to stay?


TEHYA TITAN: I think some of the most interesting research that can be done is looking into folklore and myths. Whether you are dealing with vampires, demons, werewolves or aliens, the amount of information out there is staggering. I find the historical information about paranormal oddities fascinating, and it's always fun to figure out how to change things up and make these well-known concepts different and fresh. But then again, that's why I love the sci-fi genre, because the possibilities are endless.

Army Lieutenant Jordan Ramsey is having the worst day of her life. Kidnapped, Jordan is taken from Earth and brought to a new world where she is to become the property of an alien warrior that is more demon than man. But even though her future is no longer her own, she won’t go down without a fight…

Kadan Krell is the King of Tor. As a ruthless warrior, he never thought he would find his mate, but when he sees the beautiful human named Jordan, he knows she is destined to be his. Nothing will stop him from claiming what belongs to him, and showing her exactly what it means to be a warrior’s mate.


TRINA LAWLESS: Thank you for the invitation to be part of this symposium, Laurie! I have to say that when it comes to strange research, it’s a tossup between reading up on the lore of fallen angels and learning how to make meth. I wanted to get the details right for a drug dealing scene in my motorcycle book, MC Mayhem: Ramrod, which was why I needed to learn more about meth than should probably be allowed to be on the internet. The fallen angel research for Hell’s Fury was fascinating, but lead me down some very strange paths. Every click of my mouse took me further from Wikipedia and deeper into the personal websites of some folks who take their angel and devil studies (and worship) very seriously!

After five centuries of service to the Devil, Carnage has to decide if he’s renewing his contract or retiring as the leader of the Hell Hounds. Before his time is up, the Devil has one more assignment for the Hell Hound shifter: track down a woman named Leta and deliver her to Hell. 

Leta Fury should never have been born. Half Angel, half Demon, and all attitude, she can hold her own against anything the supernatural world can throw at her…until she meets Carnage. 

It should have been a simple retrieval mission, but nothing’s ever easy when you work for the King of Hell. Will these two lovers find a way to be together, or will their love be lost in the fiery wrath of Hell’s fury? 


ROSANNA LEO: Thanks again to our wonderful hostess! Laurie asked us to provide the most interesting subject we've ever researched. Mine would have to be the city of Las Vegas. My new release Vice is set in the Vegas gambling world and many of my observations on the city come from a recent trip there with my husband. I took a lot of notes, on everything from the types of games in the casinos to the inebriated people I saw on the street. Some of these observations made it into the book...including the drunk woman I saw one night, carrying around a pitcher of beer. You're in my book, lady!

He’s much more than a bad habit.

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protestor hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler.

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control...and losing themselves.

Warning: Contains a sexy, damaged hero who’d really rather just be having sex, and a no-nonsense redhead who makes him want to roll the dice on love just one more time.


1 comment:

  1. Another great symposium. Honored to be part. Thanks Laurie.