With the fall weather upon us, we need something hot to keep us warm. We welcome Cierra James to Coffee Time Romance and we're going to talk about her book, "Lethal Intent".
Cierra, thanks for joining us. Why don't you start by telling us a little about yourself
I was born in Ohio the oldest of eight children. The majority of my life has been spent in the southwestern part of the United States. While working in Idaho, I seriously began to pursue my writing by building my knowledge with classes pertaining to the subject. When we moved to Arizona, I developed and finished my first manuscript.
I am the mother of two sons who I adore. My husband and I live in northern Arizona with our darling white mixture of a dog, Kricket.
Your book, Lethal Intent, is available at The Wild Rose Press. Why don't you tell us about it.
I think the best way to tell about Lethal Intent is with the blurb.
When assistant to head bio-chemist Carter Rawlins is found slumped over a microscope at Everlast Pharmaceuticals, Carter is forced by management to go undercover to flush out the recent theft of a proposed high profit drug formula. A lead sends him to a location in a small town in Colorado. But first he must attend his brother’s wedding in northern Arizona. There he meets vivacious, outspoken redhead, Rebecca Jordan, R.N. He knows she is unaware it is her clinic under investigation.
The day Rebecca Jordan attends her friend, Jenna Masters wedding and meets brother of the groom, Carter Rawlins, she’s immediately infuriated by his rude remarks about her physical endowment and curses him openly. She hopes never to set eyes upon him again.
Carter and Rebecca are reunited at the clinic in Twin Rivers, Colorado and thrown into the path of an opponent who lets nothing stand in the way, including murder. While Rebecca tries to remain professional, she can’t stop her growing feeling for this moody chemist.
Is he the man of her dreams, or the man who ends her dreams?
Where did you come up with the idea for this story? Was it something you had planned for a while, or did it just come into your mind and you started to write?
Lethal Intent is the second book in a series that can be read independently. Carter is the oldest Rawlins brother. My own career began in medicine. I always wanted to be a scientist. My Hero needed a career and a plot of something happening to an ordinary guy on an ordinary day.
The characters, Carter and Rebecca, are so real. Are they based on anyone you know? Did you have a connection to them?
Carter and Rebecca are figments of my imagination. I have no connection to them and they are not based on anyone I know. If anything, they may be fragments of many different people I have known throughout my life.
Romantic suspense is an exciting genre to write. What made you decide to turn to this type of story? Is it your favorite type to read as well?
The addition of suspense to romance is very appealing to many readers. Since my teen years I have loved romance and read voraciously. I read many different genres. Romantic suspense is my favorite with gothic a close runner up.
Tell us about "the call". Where were you when you received your first offer to be published. Is it just as exciting to have your second, third, etc contract?
When my first manuscript was finished I sent a query letter and within the next two weeks I was asked to send the full manuscript. I was overjoyed to receive an email a few weeks later with a contract offer. My husband and I celebrated with dinner out.
Every contract means a great deal to me. It is hard work being an author and being published is the author’s reward.
Tell me about Cierra the person. How is she different from the author?
Cierra and the author are one and the same. I chose a pen name in case I decide to do gothic in the future. Then I may use my real name.
What is your favorite way to relax. How do you get 'down' time.
I love to sew and lose myself in beautiful fabric. My ‘down’ time is very valuable to me. When I’m tired, I can’t create. So I make sure I get enough rest.
You are the eldest of eight children. *whew!* What is it like to grow up with such a big family? How did this affect your writing?
Truthfully, growing up in a big family gives one a wide variety of character development. I am the oldest; therefore, I led the way for the others. We did without many things, but we always knew our mother loved us unconditionally. Her strength, the trials of her life, and how she handled situations taught me great values.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? What is your least favorite?
Forming the plot is my favorite part of the story and then finding the right Hero/Heroine and antagonist to fit.
Editing is without a doubt the hardest part of writing for me and many other authors.
What do you do to put yourself in the mood to write? Have you had a problem with writer's block? If so, how do you work through it?
I schedule time to write everyday. Once I sit down and review my last few pages, I am good to go. Also, I plan the day before where I am going in the next chapter. Often I write the first paragraph of the next chapter and it gets me going. Occasionally, I have writer’s block. When that happens, I step away for a break into another room, have something to eat and drink, and think it through. It always helps.
Please share an excerpt, your website, and a way readers can contact you.
Carter and Rebecca decide to do some investigating on their own.
Excerpt: Lethal Intent
“So, what’s our first step?” she asked eagerly.
“When the coast is clear, we’ll take a look around.”
“Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
“We’ll pay a little visit, Rebecca.” He smiled
sardonically. “There’s no such thing as breaking and
entering if the door is wide open.”
“No way, I’m not going to jail for a ‘joyride’ through
“Lighten up, nobody’s going to jail.” He winked at
“Despite your intellect, Carter, you are one ‘bad boy’,”
“That’s how I learned to survive living with two
brothers. We’ll need to turn off the lights and wait. Maybe
tonight we’ll get lucky.”
Just as their eyes adjusted to the dark, Carter
observed two shadows steal into the small garage at the
side of the home. A few minutes later, a third shadow
moved from the darkened back door. A car backed out and
stopped, allowing the person to enter before leaving the
premises. He thought he noticed luggage. Obviously
someone was going somewhere but he couldn’t make out
details. Whoever lived there certainly wanted to hide
their identity. He nudged Rebecca and in moments they
trudged their way to the back door of the house.
He knocked several times and then twisted the door
knob. He was surprised someone had forgotten to lock the
door. This is a lucky break for us. After what seemed like
an eternity, they entered and he called out. There was no
response. The house appeared to be empty and dark.
“Stay close,” he whispered, “we can’t turn on a light,
so let’s just feel our way around.”
“Great, some sleuth you are,” she huffed, “feeling
your way around blindly.”
“Since neither one of us thought to bring a flashlight,
let’s do the best we can,” he commanded.
Carter crept through the small hallway with Rebecca
hanging on to his belt loop. Soon they reached the parlor
area, which he determined to be the living room of the
house. An apparent doorway led them to the kitchen.
Rebecca stumbled into him a few times, muttered a few
hells, and then went silent when he asked her not to
make comments unless asked for. After several minutes of
inching their way around the kitchen, Carter quietly
turned a knob.
“Hmmm, wonder where this leads? Maybe it’s the
housekeeper’s room,” he whispered, “Do you suppose she
is off this evening.”
“Don’t just stand there and play guessing games, let’s
find out.” Rebecca was beyond ready to finish up this
useless expedition. So far, they had found out nothing.
But, then again, what could they determine in the dark?
She was somewhat frightened at their audacity to invade
another’s home, but at the same time she wanted to laugh
hysterically at their investigation techniques. Why did he
think this house was a link to danger?
What can we expect next from you?
I am more than half way through manuscript of Nicholas Rawlins story. He makes an appearance in Lethal Intent. His story takes place on the Adriatic Coast of Italy.
Thank you, Lori for your interesting questions and thanks to you and Coffee Time Romance for allowing me to be here. It has been my pleasure.
Thank you so much, Cierra, for taking time to chat with us. We look forward to your next book!!