Okay, so we like to push the envelope, think outside the box, write on the edge. Pick your idiom; it’s our goal to have our names listed in the definition. Usually we take a great deal of pride in this. Celebrate our lifelong rebellion against social norms and cultural conventions. We imagine ourselves modern day James Deans with a pen. But how far is too far?
Over the course of our twenty-some-year career, we’ve shined the spotlight on infidelity, an incest survivor, alcoholism, bi-sexuality…you name it, it’s probably popped up somewhere in our forty novels, all of them romance with the exception of the three titles in our Sofie Metropolis, PI series, and even Sofie's love life is an important part of her evolution. We take great pleasure in mixing a hefty dose of reality in with our fiction, mostly because it lends a certain authenticity, partly because – along with our characters – we’re grappling to understand life’s mysteries. And we almost always come away from each book with if not a complete understanding at least acceptance that the world would be a very drab place indeed if we were all cut from the same piece of cloth.
Which leads us to our latest Blaze DANGEROUS.
When our editor Brenda Chin first proposed the Extreme series of Blazes, we were at a loss of where we could possibly take our books that we hadn’t taken them already. I mean, outside those elements that would boost them from romantica to straight erotica. So it took us awhile to wrap our minds around the concept that she wasn’t necessary looking for sex – or more of it – since regular Blazes were already blazing that trail (pardon the pun). She was looking for books that dealt with themes that normally wouldn’t appear in series romance fiction, such as vampires, time travels, witches, etc. But while we’re both fans of paranormal, we feel there are enough everyday elements to deal with without delving into unknown realms (that and we wrote one really dark paranormal years ago that still sits in our attic and haunts us both to this day).
So we went the reality route and found ourselves asking questions like: What if your father were a mafia don? If you were born into a New York family that was a cross between the Corleones and the Sopranos? What would be normal to you? And what would life be like if your father and brother were gunned down in broad daylight and you were sucked back into an existence you knew like the back of your hand but had hoped never to have to confront?
Thus Lady Boss Gia Trainello and FBI Agent Lucas Paretti were born.
The end result was a book we felt was true to the subject matter…as well as the most brutal story we’d ever written. Even Brenda had us take out a couple of the more violent passages and make the end happier (how does one write about the mob without violence?).
But, ultimately, the story is about one woman, and one man, and how they overcome their own unique obstacles in order to claim the happily-ever-after they so deserve. And in Gia and Lucas' case, create their own definition of the word family.
Have you read the book? How do you feel? Was the subject matter distracting? Or did you feel it was in fitting with the story? In the movie industry, sex is what makes a film R-rated, violence is acceptable. Is the reverse true in books? Especially romance novels?
You tell us.
Oh, and as special incentive, we’re giving out a copy of one of our books to one lucky commenter. All you need do is post to qualify. We were going to make the giveaway a copy of DANGEROUS, but decided to open it up to any title in our forty strong backlist, including the three hardcover titles in our SOFIE METROPOLIS, PI series.
For more info on us and our books, and to enter our October on-line drawing for a box of Godiva Halloween chocolates, visit http://www.toricarrington.net and http://www.sofiemetro.co