Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway: Romance in the Rain Tour


Please Welcome today's guest Kristine Cayne! 

She is sharing her research process, something that I'm very curious about.

Thank you so much for participating in the ROMANCE IN THE RAIN book tour. Researching my books and understanding my characters’ professions and the worlds they inhabit is my one of favorite aspects of writing. What better way to keep learning and growing?

Where to start?

Depending on what I'm researching, I usually start online. I look for generic articles, then work my way to detailed specialized articles. If I'm looking for current day incidents, I search news sites. Next, I read reputable books on the subject. Many, many books.

In almost all cases, I've needed to contact sources. For my first book, Deadly Obsession, I needed information about real estate in LA, so I contacted travel agents. I needed information about the effects of Rohypnol and how a Rohypnol patient would be treated, so I confirmed what I'd learned in my online research with a couple doctors. 

My second book, Deadly Addiction, deals with the Iroquois and the current issues they are facing in today's modern culture. I contacted a reserve in Canada and was introduced to someone in their Cultural Centre who provided me with a list of books to begin my research. Afterwards, I send him lots of follow up questions, which he graciously answered. I had the opportunity to visit the reserve and spent an afternoon with him talking in more detail about various cultural aspects of life on a reserve. I also enjoyed a ride-along with the native police. This gave me a sense of the place and culture I simply couldn't get from reading.

My new Six Alarm Sexy series deals with a rescue firefighter team. In “Aftershocks,” the prequel to the series, my heroine and her daughter are trapped in a collapsing building during an earthquake. Since I know little about rescue operations, I contacted the Seattle Fire Department. Within days I received an email from a gentleman in their Public Information Office. I sent him a list of questions and he drove over to the technical rescue team and got the team to answer all of them. Later, I visited downtown and took photos of the area and the fire station so I'd have some visuals.

Do some research before you reach out to consultants

The hardest part of working with consultants is formulating intelligent questions when you don't know enough to know what you don't know :)

Seriously, this is why I recommend starting with basic articles online and moving into more detailed information only after you've got a handle of the subject. This is especially important when doing interviews with sources. Their time is limited so you want your questions to be as specific as possible to get information from them that you won't (easily) find online. 

A Fun Aside

It turns out that the gentleman from the SFD Public Information Office who has been helping me out also consulted with the folks from "Grey's Anatomy" on draft plots. Looks like I’m in good hands. :)

Title: Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)
Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings
Publisher: Kristine Cayne
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Pages: 360


From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell—By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings—With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna—University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her--and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw—No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale—Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for. (21,000 words)

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne—When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He's defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24, 000 words)


Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.

To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.

There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.

Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.

Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.

Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers' list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.

In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.

Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer's list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.

Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne's raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner's manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.

For more information on Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at

Romance in the Rain Excerpts

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell

After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
“I had to fight my better judgment.”
James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.
Final Approach by Marianne Stillings

"You were there." Caldwell's voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. "You saw it, didn't you. Didn't you, Charlie?" Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.
And so she did. 
What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw

"Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat. It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. Right?"
Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale

A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises, the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he'd rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here. Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.
Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne

Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.

And her daughter was all alone.

All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.

Giveaway for US residents only.

Grand Prize:

  • 1 autographed copy of Deadly Obsession + SWAG
  • 1 autographed copy of Deadly Addiction + SWAG
  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (autographed copy)
  • Blood Trinity, by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
  • 1 e-book copy of “Falling Angel” by Clare Tisdale
  • 1 handmade shell necklace by Clare Tisdale
  • A handmade afghan crocheted by Marianne Stillings
  • 1 autographed copy of AROUSING SUSPICIONS
  • 1 autographed copy of SATISFACTION
  • 1 autographed copy of KILLER CHARMS
  • 1 bag of truffles from Seattle Chocolates
  • 3 chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates
  • $15 Starbucks gift card
  • 1 autographed copy of Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5: 

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
  • 1 print copy Accidental Cinderella, by Nancy Robards Thompson
  • 1 print copy Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell

Prize #6: 

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
  • 1 print copy The Angel in My Arms, by Stephanie Sloane
  • 1 print copy The Naughty List, by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden and Susan Fox (autographed by Susan Fox)

Prize #7: 

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
  • 1 print copy Tsunami Blue, by Gayle Ann Williams
  • 1 print copy A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, by Angie Fox (autographed copy)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway for both US and International residents.

Prize #1:

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
  • 1 ecopy of A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
  • 1 ecopy of The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser

Prize #2:

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
  • 1 ecopy of Unraveled by Courtney Milan
  • 1 ecopy of Unlocked, a novella by Courtney Milan

Prize #3:

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
  • 1 ecopy of One Night in London by Caroline Linden
  • 1 ecopy of Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Prize #4:

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
  • 1 ecopy of Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

Prize #8-10:

  • 1 ecopy Deadly Addiction
  • $10 Amazon or B&N giftcard

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #11 US and International Giveaway

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  1. I found your information on researching for a book informative and like the approach that you take. As a reader I tend to google events, or cultures mentioned in a book if I am not familiar with them, so I appreciate good research. I love the concept of these novellas and love that it spans generations of one family. Thank you

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Kim! I believe this way of doing research is the most natural and intuitive. When the came up to create novellas that span generations of the same family, we all looked at each other and we knew right then that it was the way we needed to go. I think it turned out really well and I hope you have the opportunity to read our stories. Good luck with the giveaways!

    2. I have planned vacations after looking up place. I recently had a work trip that took me to Coronado. I've read tons of stories set on the island - now when an author mentions Hotel del Coronado...I'll say (usually out loud)

      "I've stayed there!"

    3. Heather - I love when I read a book that's set in a local I know. One of the many reasons I'm such a fan of Kathy Reich is that her books are partially set in Montreal. Whenever she mentions a place, I try to figure out where it really is. I'm obviously easily amused. :)

  2. Thank your for the beautiful post and for participating in this tour.

    1. Nothing to it! Great material made my job easy.

  3. Thank you for the hosting us with this awesome post, Heather!

    1. I was happy to do it! I am glad people have enjoyed your post about research as much as I did. Thanks!

  4. Hi Kristine! Thanks for your research techniques. I work in the legal field and have to do a lot of research but it's not nearly as fun as your research sounds. I see where you decided on Six Alarm Sexy for your next Series and I squeeled out loud! (Startled my DH) I don't know if you remember, but that's okay, I'll happily remind you, I submited that title in the contest you ran! I'm having a really cool proud moment right now! Thanks! I’ll look forward to reading it:-)

    1. Karen--I, for one, am glad you submitted that title to Kristine. I absolutely love it and am so glad she picked it. Nice work!

    2. I agree with Charlotte it's a great title. I am looking forward to it.

    3. Karen - how could I forget the person who suggested such a wonderful, inspiring title? It embodies everything I hope to do with this series. Thank you so much! You're prize is going out today. :)

      Thank you, Charlotte and Heather!

  5. Kristine--great information on researching. As a historical author, I just have to say how jealous I am that you get to interview people for your research. I wish I could talk to people from the 19th century to get the low-down:-) I guess I'll just have to stick to their letters, diaries, etc while you get to speak to firefighters!

    Heather--thanks for hosting Kristine and spotlighting our book.

    1. I envy Kristine getting to interview firefighters. I also think it would be fascinating to get to read through historical letters, especially love letters.

      There has been a wonderful response to the tour; I enjoyed taking part.

    2. Thank you so much, Charlotte. Interviewing people is nerve-wracking for me because I'm pretty shy with new people. At the same time, it's fascinating because I get to learn so much. I can't wait for fire station 14 to reopen next spring/summer so I can get a tour. :)

  6. Kristine,
    I like that you reminded people to do the research first, then come up with intelligent questions to ask the experts. They are so much more willing to help if they know their time isn't being wasted by someone who asks them what they do for a living! :)

    My question is, have you ever been asked to pay an expert for answering a list of questions?

    Thanks for the post! Lara

    1. Lara - no I've never been asked to pay anyone for their research expertise. I've found that most people are very willing to offer their knowledge for free. I also tend to start with either public relations departments or culture centers (if I'm looking for info on a location or culture). One of the purposes of these organizations is to provide information to the general public, so they are always willing to help. Thank you so much for commenting!