To the Blog!
Welcome, Cara! Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.
I write in several genres: contemporary erotic romance, domestic discipline and paranormal. I’m probably best known for the Rod and Cane Society domestic discipline series about a secret organization of men who spank and the women who love them. I like the freedom writing paranormal gives me. When I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling, reading, and watching TV. I have one husband, two grown step kids, and two cats.
Great! Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
It’s a reincarnation story. Destiny Grable loves her best friend’s ex-boyfriend Chance Everett, but she has never acted on her feelings. Then she and Zoe are in a car accident, her friend is killed and she’s reincarnated in Zoe’s body. Though Destiny feels guilty about it, she starts to think she might have a chance with Chance – except he secretly had feelings for Destiny who now appears to be Zoe.
Wow! As the author, what surprised you about this story?
The original reincarnation premise remained the same, as did the presence of three characters, but the story evolved and changed considerably from my first draft. It proved challenging to write because the characters are faithful and true to each other – yet they harbor secret feelings. By the end, I learned something important about Zoe that had a huge impact on the story. Developing characters is part creation, part discovery.
Sounds so interesting! Will there be any sequels or other books in the same series?
Not at this time, although I think Destiny’s sister Laura and Chance’s brother Roman have a thing going on. Laura is psychic, and Roman is the one person she can’t read.
Ooh, that’s promising! What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?
Everything. This was the most difficult, complex story I’ve ever written, and in fact I scrapped the first draft entirely, and wrote it from scratch a second time, then re-wrote about half of the second version. The relationships and emotions proved the most problematic. If Chance is with Zoe and she’s killed, how do I get him to transfer his feelings to Destiny without the implication of emotional infidelity?
I dealt with something that I don’t think is mentioned very often in erotic romance – people developing feelings for the partners of friends and acquaintances. But I wanted my characters to act honorably. Feelings are one thing; behavior is another. What turned out to be key was Zoe herself. Though Zoe appears in backstory only, her character underwent several transformations to make it all work.
Compounding the challenge of the complexity of the story itself, I had two other contracted works with the same deadlines due to two publishers, so I was under an extreme time crunch.
I am writing the fifth Rod and Cane romance, and I’m writing an erotic science fiction story. After writing Destiny’s Chance and the two other works, I swore I’d never work on multiple stories at the same time. Yet here I am doing it again. But this time, there are no hard deadlines involved.
I’m also engaged in getting the word out about the other twoworks that released in May. My tenth title (woo hoo!) Disciplinary Measures is a short story (15K words) and the fourth in the Rod and Cane Society series. Coming to Terms is a domestic discipline anthology. I’m one of seven authors in that one. My story is humorous one called Wife on the Lam.
It was published by Black Velvet Seductions. Intimate Submission is an erotic romance with spanking that is available as an individual ebook, and in the anthology Spanked! The exclamation mark is part of the title; I’m not being overly exuberant.
LOL! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?
Dialog is the easiest, sex scenes are the most difficult. Although my books contain graphic sex, the sex isn’t gratuitous. It means something to the story. For instance, in Destiny’s Chance, it’s while making love with “Zoe,” that Chance begins to realize she might not be who he thinks she is.
Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?
I write fiction, not autobiography disguised as fiction. However, I am influenced by all the experiences I’ve had in my life and they provide a backdrop. For instance, Wife on the Lam takes place on a tropical island. I’ve been to a lot of tropical islands on vacation, and I used my experiences as background information. There are a couple of scenes set in a park in Destiny’s Chance. It was inspired by the park I used to go to as a young child.
Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?
Surprisingly, forgiveness, defined as letting go of past hurts. Being able to let go and live one’s life is healing. Forgiving oneself for mistakes is especially important. We’re all doing the best we can, and we all make mistakes. In Destiny’s Chance, Destiny feels guilty because she wants Chance, and she has to forgive herself.
That’s great! What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
If they know me first and then read my novels, they would be surprised by how erotic they are. If they read the books first, and then meet me, they’d be surprised by how pragmatic and quiet I am. Some people lead with their personality, I don’t. It takes a little while to get to know me. I’m not as reserved as I used to be, but I’m still shy.
Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?
I love Regency historicals, but I don’t have the history knowledge to write one. Just the finer details like the clothing, the food, the language (word choices) are challenging. I would want to be accurate.
Okay, now, just for fun:
Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Dark chocolate.
Salty or sweet? Salty.
Bed or kitchen table? Bed.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Give or receive? Give.
Destiny Grable can’t help that she's fallen in love with Chance Everett, her best friend's boyfriend, but she's never, ever acted on her feelings -- until she and Zoe are in a car accident, her friend is killed, and she is reincarnated in her body. She never wished for something like this to happen, but perhaps now she’ll be free to love Chance the way she always wanted to.
Chance might have had pursued Destiny, but he has a kinky side and she was a nice girl. But now she’s dead, and the accident has forced him to take in his ex-girlfriend. As soon as she recovers and moves out, he’ll get on with his life.
Here’s the scene where Destiny’s discovers the truth about what really happened. She’s in the hospital following the car accident that killed her friend Zoe. An excerpt from Destiny’s Chance:
Destiny expelled her breath in a heavy sigh and reached for the phone to try her parents one more time.
What the hell? She’d been too wrought by news of Zoe’s death to pay attention to much else, but now she noticed her arm looked…weird. Her wrist seemed thinner, her skin paler, the hair so fine it appeared almost nonexistent. And when had she gotten acrylic nails?
Her pulse rate doubled. The arm, the hand, the silver infinity ring on the index finger weren’t hers, but she recognized them. She fixated on the ID bracelet encircling the skinny wrist.
RICHARDS, ZOE. And her friend’s date of birth.
They got the bodies mixed up. Gave you the wrong wristband.
But they couldn’t have switched arms. She flipped her hands over.
Destiny ripped back the covers and swore in frustration when the bed rail fought her frantic efforts to lower it. She forced it down, but her hospital gown caught in the metal. She tore it loose and scrambled for the bathroom.
Bruised and battered, Zoe stared at her from the mirror over the sink.
A nightmare. Wake up! Wake up! “No! No!” Slapping her face, Destiny searched for her plump cheeks, her ski-jump schnoz, and the mocha-brown eyes she considered one of her best features. The image mimicked her movements but presented high cheekbones loved by the camera, a perfect nose, and large blue eyes gone feral.
She yanked up her hospital gown. Where were her hips? Her boobs! She stared at her flat chest. She dropped the gown and screamed.
A nurse charged into the bathroom. “What’s wrong? Are you hurt?”
“My face!” she yelled. “What happened to my face?”
“The bruises will heal, and your hair will grow back and cover the scar.”
“No, no! It’s not my face!”
“What do you mean?”
“The person I see isn’t me,” she cried.
Where can we find you on the web?
Please leave Cara some new release love! Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt? Thanks for reading!