Friday, November 16, 2012

Interview and Review, Kristine Cayne and Romance in the Rain

Alright, everybody, the day is here at last! Author Kristine Cayne has stopped by the Diary again to gracefully answer some of my questions about her contribution to the Romance in the Rain anthology, entitled "Aftershocks". Take it away again, Kristine!

It’s a pleasure to be here on Diary of an Indie Author again. Christina has asked me to answer some questions about my work, so here goes...

What made you decide to write about firefighters?

I needed a romantic suspense story for the Romance in the Rain anthology. Since the anthology is set in Seattle, and Seattle is prone to earthquakes, I decided to write about an earthquake and the heroes who would race out to rescue people trapped in the city center. Seattle Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team fit the bill to a T.

What does a "technical rescue firefighter" do, exactly?

Although they also assist in fire-related incidents, the SFD’s Technical Rescue Team (TRT) is primarily responsible for rescues that require more training than a regular firefighter would have. These include collapsed building rescues, trench cave-in rescues, high angle rope rescues, marine accident rescues, confined space rescues, and heavy machinery and transportation incident rescues to name but a few.

Here’s a photo (used with permission from the SFD) of the TRT heavy machinery rescue. A dorm at the University of Washington was being demolished. In the process, a part of the building fell on a crane, trapping the driver.

The TRT members also participate in FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Team as well as international S&R teams. So not only are they heroes in their hometown, but across the US and the world also.

You have mentioned on your blog and Facebook that "Aftershocks" is a prequel to a series. Have you settled on a title for this series?

Yes! After much debate, thinking about how the series title pulls all the individual books together, and how it reflects the genre, I’ve settled on Six Alarm Sexy. I hope you like it! The grand reveal of the series title and logo is coming soon. Stay tuned!

Why did you choose to write romantic suspense?

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was old enough to check them out of the library. For a while, the ones that captured my attention were historicals, mostly pirate-themed bodice rippers. As I grew older, I turned to regency romances. I tried contemporaries, but at the time, Harlequin was pretty much the only game in town and I grew very tired of the sweetness. I craved excitement, something that would get my heart pounding. Something with sex and danger. That’s when I discovered Cherry Adair’s Kiss & Tell. It opened my eyes to a whole new genre that had everything I sought. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer and that I wanted to write romantic suspense.

As a romance writer, where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from every day events. I watch the news. I read articles. When something intrigues me, I dig deeper. Usually, there’s a story there that needs to be told.

Do you like working with other writers?

I love working with other writers. Although I’ve never co-written a story with another author, I do work extensively with author friends (critique, partner, writing groups, support groups, etc.) When everyone brings something different to the table, it’s amazing what can be accomplished!

The Rainy Day Writers are a great example of this. One of us handled working with the cover artist, two of us worked on the website and blog, one of us created the family tree and breakdowns, all of us worked on editing, one of us worked on formatting and uploading the book. Phew, just thinking about doing all that by myself is exhausting. I’m so glad I had my fabulous writer friends to do it with me.

What is it like taking part in a book signing?

Nerve-wracking! I’ve only done one so far, and it was not targeted at romance readers. The whole time, I worried that no one would stop by. Good thing my critique partner was there. We chatted the whole time. LOL. I will be participating in the book signing at the Emerald City Writers Conference. Since this is an RWA conference, I’m expecting things to be somewhat busier. But just in case, I’ll have chocolate and tons of swag to entice potential readers!

How would you help an "aspiring writer" get his or her feet on the ground? What kind of advice would you give him/her?

The best advice I can give to an aspiring writer is the obvious one: write. Until you’ve actually written an entire book, you have very little concept of what it entails and whether or not you’re cut out for it. That doesn’t mean your first book has to be great. It just means it has to get finished. I’ve known a lot of writers who get caught in an endless cycle of writing three chapters and revising them to death. Eventually, they get bored with the project and move on to something else. The book never gets finished.

The second advice is: join a writers’ group. This can be a big organization like RWA or a smaller online community, or even just a group of your writer friends who meet every few weeks to read your work in progress and give you feedback. Why? Because these groups force you to learn about writing, to perfect your craft. To take feedback and criticism. That last item is the most difficult part of being a writer.

What can your readers look forward to next from you?

I’m working on my new rescue firefighter (erotic romance) series, which focuses on the repercussions (“aftershocks”) of the earthquake (that takes place in the prequel) on the lives of the Caldwell family and the rescue firefighters we meet in Aftershocks. The first book, Under His Command, features the hero and heroine of Aftershocks. Jamie and Erica Caldwell take us to Hawaii on their five-year delayed honeymoon, as they work to repair their broken relationship.

I’m also working on Deadly Betrayal, the third book in my Deadly Vices romantic suspense series. Here’s the blurb:

An Afghani woman’s rights activist with a dark secret.

Azita Seraj, doctor and women’s rights activist in Afghanistan, is horrified to learn that her late husband’s brother, Khalid Mullazai, is giving his twelve-year-old sister to a Taliban tribal leader. Desperate to save the girl, she reaches out to the only hope she has: an American soldier she treated several years earlier for a gunshot wound. A wound he received in an ambush she’d been deceived into initiating. Can she enlist his aid and still keep secret her betrayal?

An American soldier searching for answers.

Kaden Christiansen never forgot the beautiful Afghani doctor who saved his life, and when he receives her cry for help, he doesn’t hesitate. The opportunity to see Azita is one he relishes, and being in-country again will give him a chance to hunt down the source of the ambush that left one of his men dead.

A deadly conspiracy that threatens them both...

Pursued by Mullazai and Taliban fighters as they travel across the country disguised and posing as a married couple, Kaden and Azita begin to fall for their own act and for each other. But Kaden senses that Azita is holding back. Is the reason their cultural differences, or something darker?

And now for my review of Romance in the Rain. It's short and sweet, but definitely to the point!

Rating: 5 black roses

I enjoyed this book very much. First thing that grabbed me about it was that the authors are all friends in real life, not just random authors who have contributed to an anthology (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I’ve done it myself). Second thing was the premise, which was that each story, starting with Splendor in the Moss and rolling down to Aftershocks, focused on a member of a single family—the Caldwell family (hmm, that name sounds quite familiar ;) ) Each story moved forward a generation or two except for the last three, which focused on three cousins who are about the same age.  

I thought that each story was very well written and realistic. Being a paranormal writer myself, I obviously enjoy a good fantasy… but I also very much love to read stories grounded in reality. All of the novellas in Romance in the Rain rang true for me. I loved that the conflicts were real, the kind you would find in just about any relationship. The characters had depth and each struggled with their feelings. They questioned their decisions and yearned to find a way to make things right when they realized they had made mistakes. And best of all they loved with a fierceness that cannot be put into words.

Except by a writer!

Bravo Rainy Day Writers. And thank you for the wonderful opportunity of reading this book and participating in your promotional tour. I wish you all the best! 

Click the following links for your chance to win some swag from the authors!

Grand Prize and prizes 5-7:
Prizes 1-4 and 8-10:
Prize 11, free ebook cover design:

If you'd like to purchase this wonderful anthology, you can find it at the following online retailers: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and Noble USBarnes and Noble UK, KoboAll Romance eBooksSmashwordsDiesel and Sony.


  1. Thank you so much for the great post and review, Christina! Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway :)

  2. Christina, great questions for Kristine. Her new series sounds like a blast (ha!)

    We appreciate your spotlighting our book--not once, but twice! So glad you enjoyed reading it.

  3. Thankies and you're welcome! Sorry the review is so short, but there was just so much stuff in it I wanted to talk about, yet didn't because I didn't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read it yet. But what I said really sums it up. It was a great book. I'd love to do something similar someday, participating in an anthology where each story is about a member of the same family. That was a great idea there. Plus, I'm not really that great at writing reviews. I think I'm a lot better at telling stories!