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Like the beat of a primal drum whispering the rhythm of an ancient dance, the lifestyle calls…
At the seasoned age of fifty-six, Allen Bourke has resigned himself to the fact he’ll probably never find someone to top he can also love. While he’s had wives and lovers, none of them endured and he’s come to the conclusion the clock’s ticking and age is working against him. Then a very intriguing Nicki Cartwright pings on his radar at what Allen determines will be his last house party. He can’t help but notice while he and his friends are getting older, the players emerging on the scene are forever getting younger. Nicki's no exception. Determined to resist the vibes humming between them, he only agrees to service her after his old friend, Kyle Montgomery, convinces him it's entirely feasible. Then it’s brought to Allen’s attention who Nicki really is. Knowing their pasts are forever intertwined, as hard as he tries to ignore his heart, he finds himself yielding to the tides of fate.
Born to senatorial royalty, Nicki Cartwright has spent her entire life trying to shield her mother from her father’s wrath while drifting further and further into a world where panic is normal and anxiety is always on the edge of her reality. Tired of burning the candle at both ends and forever trying to live up to the picture of All-American perfection her father James Cartwright touts as his ace in the hole during election cycles, Nicki finds herself on the path of self-discovery in search of relief from the stressors continually swamping her mind. What she doesn’t expect is to find who she thought she was is truly just a shadow of the person she really is. And what scares her most is the fact Allen, the only person she thought she could trust, has been holding a secret since before she was born which could destroy her entire family.
When given the chance to have Lila Munro come on the blog and tell us more about her research methods I was beyond excited I am endlessly fascinated by the process authors use to write the books I love to read. Thank you Lila
Good morning readers! And thank you to my host for having me here today. I’m very appreciative and happy to be here. I was perfectly delighted when I saw the topic I was asked to talk about today. It’s something near and dear to me and I’ve been asked many times about it. Although, at times the question has gone even further and at other times my husband and I have both been barraged with questions concerning our private life. :O)
Research. I have to be honest. I’m probably one of the few people you’ll ever encountered who ponies up to loving research. I really don’t understand the writer who doesn’t like research for it’s curiosity which drives me and I can’t fathom it doesn’t drive every writer. And quite truthfully, when a writer doesn’t do his or her research it shows. I’ve tossed aside more than one book myself for lack of plausible story line and a smattering of miscues and falsehoods. This happens to me a lot when I try to read military romance. Having been married to the military for most of my adult life, it’s pretty hard to fool me.
So, my research methods. Well, just let me assure you, they are many, varied, and go way beyond Google. Google is a great tool, don’t get me wrong, but it definitely doesn’t take the place of experience. And the experience doesn’t have to be your own. I’ve read many, many times write what you know. And I do for the most part. I know the military and have an endless bounty of contacts so my military facts are always correct. If I miscue one, it’s purposeful. And that’s the key to this. Contacts. It’s also where the experience comes in which can’t be found in the annals of Google. Talking to a real live person, observing them, asking them questions, trying for yourself what they’re showing you…nothing can replace that as a research tool.
I’m sure when I’m asked this question in regards to the BDSM aspects of my stories, most would expect me to either avoid the question altogether or profess whatever my direct involvement might be. People are curious creatures and it seems that curiosity doubles when it comes to what a writer does or doesn’t do in their own lives. Well, I’m not going to avoid the question as to where I find my information. I have a few very close friends who are living in various stages of the lifestyle. Some are individuals who also share my life in the military, others are people I met through them. Some live in close proximity, some are far away. Two are in the mid-west, one being my closest military friend whose husband is now retired. And although I don’t divulge their identities for privacy sake, I can tell you they’ve taught me everything I know. Do I use creative license at times? Of course I do. I’m a writer. Do places like Steele Image really exist? To some capacity, but due to real time laws and regulations the rules in real life aren’t nearly as flexible as I make them in my stories. But we do need a bit of fantasy element in our stories, right? But the basic concepts are always obeyed.
My research methods don’t just stop with getting the BDSM aspects correct. Recently a character revealed himself to me one morning in the shower. He’s the first character who has approached me with a devastating war injury. In order to understand him better I’m currently in contact with a physical therapist who’s answering my questions as I go. I also have a contact in Okinawa, Japan who’s helping me with a character who’s a prostitute from there.
When I need to know something I don’t waste time or guess. I go directly to the source. And I suppose my madness may go beyond natural human curiosity or the drive to get it right. I was a journalism student at one point and ultimately attained a degree in sociology. The need to know runs heavy in my veins and so sorry Google, you’re just not enough for me. :O)
Thanks again for having me here today. And readers let’s chat. How do you feel about the facts? Do you ever feel like a writer fell short by obviously not doing their research?
“Mom’s not with James in Vermont,” Nicki blurted as if she’d been holding the information for so long it was about to eat her alive. “In fact, she’s been out of the public eye for a while now. So far my father’s handlers have been able to convince the press she’s been away visiting family or busy writing her memoirs in private while they’re on vacation. The truth is, only one of those numbers is my therapist. The rest are her doctors. At Cedar Ridge…” She trailed off, a tear rolling down her cheek to meet Allen’s right thumb as he stroked along the corner of her mouth. “She’s an inpatient. He finally ran her crazy and she’s being treated for a psychosis and chemical dependency on prescription meds and alcohol.”
“Can I have something a little stronger? Than water?”
Nicki’s seemingly innocuous question came back to mock Allen. Although there were no signs she was hooked on anything in her apartment, not all addicts failed to hide the evidence. Some were closeted so carefully nothing short of a complete breakdown outed them.
“And you? Do you share your mother’s problems?” he asked.
“I’m not a drunk and I don’t pop pills,” she snapped, anger overtaking her features and overshadowing her fear.
“I wasn’t trying to offend you, Nicki. But I need to know these things. I like you, but we can’t play if I don’t have all the cards face up and I’m too old to allow some things into my life no matter how much I like someone. So if there’s anything I need to know, now would be a good time to spill it. And. I. Mean. Everything.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012-2013 and has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13.
You can also contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org ,
and you can find all her works at: