Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Visit from Cindy Gerard

Words that strike fear in the reclusive author: “Hey – wanna blog on our site? It’s easy. All you have to do is be charming and funny and informative. Piece of cake.”

Huh? For someone who doesn’t do off the cuff charming, funny and informative, the words not only strike fear, they make me break out in hives.

Okay. Maybe not hives. But I am itching as I’m writing this and it could be hives and if it is, Lois, it’s your fault. I could never say no to Lois. She’s just too cute. She’s also charming and funny and informative – hey. I think I see a pattern here. But don’t count on it from me. Then again, as to the itching, it could also be I’ve developed allergies to my cats, Buddy & Sly, who as, as I write this are lounging like the little slugs they are on the corner of my desk.

All right, now that my insecurities are flying at full staff for all to see, Hi. This is me. Cindy Gerard. (Picture me waving) Still wondering what the heck you might want to hear from me. Books? I can do that. As a matter of fact, I have a new release on the stands right now.

UNDER THE WIRE is book 5 in my Bodyguard series and it’s one of those stories that took me for a ride. From war torn Nicaragua during the contra revolution to present day politically unstable but beautiful Sri Lanka this book explores passion and betrayal and a love that transcends all obstacles.

Book 6, INTO THE DARK, will be out in June – take a gander at this amazing cover. I think I’m in love :o)

If you’re not familiar with my bodyguard series, it centers around E.D.E.N., Inc. a securities firm based out of West Palm Beach, Florida. Most of the principal characters are siblings and all are ex special ops. I’d love for you to check out my website (www.cindygerard.com) for excerpts, cover art and lots of other good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff, as part of my ongoing research I recently spent a day at a firing range with a weapons expert. What an education. I shot some pretty nasty bang bangs and have learned a whole new appreciation for the gun culture and the precision and craftsmanship of the weaponry. And yes, I have what my dh refers to as “don’t mess with me” pictures.:o) Check them out on my site.

Okay. Guess I’ll throw this open to comments and questions now. But just in case I forget, big hugs and HI’s to Lois, Debra, Kathleen, Suzie and Betina who I know and thanks to the rest of you for the invite!

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays everyone!

Cindy

31 comments:

Betina Krahn said...

Wow, Cindy-- those covers are to die for! Okay, give. How on earth did you get started writing such edgy action-adventure stories? And though I know there are romances in your books, do you still consider your books romances or more general fiction?

Also. . . do you travel to do research for your books? That's always been a dream of mine, but so far, I've only made it to Europe. I keep telling myself I'm going to Costa Rica and the Yucatan and Brazil. . . but so far, not.

So glad to have you here Cindy! Isn't this back seat great?

Hugs,
Betina

Helen Brenna said...

Hi, Cindy. Welcome!

Ditto, what Betina said. Love your covers. You have a great website, too.

How did you come up with the idea for the Bodyguard series?

cindy Gerard said...

Betina! Hi Hi. Great to hear from you. And I couldn't agree with you more about the covers. St Martins art department is on FIRE! Love those people. And as to how I started writing action adventure stories (and never fear there is LOTS of romance - with those guys on the covers, how could there not be?) after writing 20 plus relationship books for Bantam and Silhouette, I was simply ready for a bigger type of story.
To make a long story short, after 911 I sent a bunch of things to the troops via the Red Cross. I included some of my books and low and behold a year later I heard from a soldier on the front lines. He's since become my 'adopted' son and through him I became intrigued with the fate of these soldiers who returned from combat. What did the do next if they weren't career miulitary? Many, I found, became involved with security work. And the seed was planted. Four siblings just stepped front and center and presented themselves to me and told me their stories. Now I'm retelling them. And I love doing it.
Like you, however, I'm not much of a traveler but I do mega research and thanks to the NET have contacts all over the globe who help me flesh out the locals.
Whew. That was probably more than you wanted. Again, great to blog with you and as always I LOVE your work!!
Cindy

cindy Gerard said...

Hi Helen! Were it not for you, I'd be writing my posts and delivering them via paper airplane. thanks for all the great guidance for this virgin blogger.

Helen Brenna said...

No problem, Cindy. It's fun having you!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I tried this once and seemingly lost myself in the abyss, so I'll try again. If it ends up being a double post, I apologize.

I literally just finished Under The Wire and loved it. How do you come up with your settings? For instance, Sri Lanka would never have entered my mind. Do you research a place first and then come up with your plot or do you plot and then look for the proper setting?

My final question is: how do you write the military alpha male so well? My husband is a police officer, a former Marine, and a National Guardsman who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention the first Gulf War). You seem to capture the essence of the man in a way those who haven't been in that situation might not necessarily understand. Perhaps "understand" isn't the right word, but you have an authenticity and authority that is hard to duplicate. Yeesh, could I be more convoluted? I hope that makes sense.

I'm really looking forward to Dallas's story. It's a bit cruel to have to wait until JULY, but I'm sure that it will worth it.

Have a safe and peaceful Christmas!

Aubrey

cindy Gerard said...

Hi Aubrey.
Man, you just made my day! So glad you liked Under The Wire. And thanks for the kind words. It was a very special book for me and I'm thrilled with the positive reactions I've been recieving. As to the setting, Sri Lanka, I knew I wanted to set the first part of the book in Nicaragua and wanted a similiar political climate for the main body of the story. I also knew I wanted a young man involved with a student exchange program on a humanitarian mission and Sri Lanka was the perfect compromise as tsunami relief is ongoing. I learned to love the country as I researched it and truly do pray that they find a solution to their civil war. Sadly, just the other night I heard new reports of fighting.
As to understanding the mind of the military man - again, thank you. You couldn't have paid me a higher compliment. What I know about what I do as I write the characters is this: I strive for honesty. Of emotion, of motive, of integrity. And I have a deep and abiding respect for any man or woman who puts their live on the line so the rest of us can sleep snug and safe at night. Mega thanks to your hubby for all he's done - and to you for giving up your time with him while he was deployed.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Cindy! It's so good to have you riding with us today. I remember our Iowa getaway/retreat with Anne MacAllister, Pamela Bauer and crew a few years back? We should do that again.

I know exactly what you mean about feeling intimidated by the whole blogging phenomenon. I did a guest spot with Squawk Radio yesterday, and while it was a great experience, I worried about it for days. I go from loss for words to running on and on. But once you get started, it's not so bad, huh?

So I'm wondering, what comes first for you--character or plot? Did you come up with the characters and then see them lending themselves to suspense, or was it the suspense first and finding people to fit?

lois greiman said...

Cindy,

You're here...with us...riding topless...errr...riding...You know what I mean. Anyway, thanks for blogging. So fabulous to hear about your stuff. I, like the rest of the universe, am terribly envious of your covers. They make me want to blow something up. Can't wait to read your latest and greatest.

I think the last time I saw you there were a lot of half naked cover models around. Ahhh....the good old days.... By the by, are you going to be at the Romantic Times convention where all us fans can get autographed copies?

cindy Gerard said...

Hi Kathleen! And yes, I fondly remember our retreat. What a great place. And the company was even better. A do over is definately in order.
And yeah - I could get to like this blogging thing. Too much fun.
As to which came first the chicken or the egg - I mean the characters or the story, it's always been characters for me. Sometimes they appear fully fleshed out (no pun intended) and start dropping little hints about what they want me to write about. Okay. That might be a bit corny but the truth is, it is absolutely the character that presents him or herself first and then I need to come up with a story to showcase them. What about the rest of you? Character or storyline?? Hum??
CG

cindy Gerard said...

Hey Lois.
And thanks on the covers. Although, the covers I see on this blogg are none too shabby!
RT is still uncertain for me. At the rate I'm going I'll probably still be trying to finish my current WIP when the conference begins - never mind the fact that it's due 1-5. Every year I SWEAR I won't let myself get roped into a deadline that falls right on the heels of the holidays and every year here I am, running around like a nit wit and accomplishing exactly nothing. Anywone else have holiday deadline syndrome?
Cg

Anonymous said...

Current wip? Do we get a hint? Is there any chance that Adam will get his own story when he grows up??

My only holiday deadline is trying to get the Christmas tree up before Christmas!

cindy Gerard said...

Hey again. Sadly my current wip is Dallas and Amy's story. I say sadly because I should be finished with it by now but the muse hasn't been too cooperative. At least it hadn't been until lately. The story is finally starting to come together the way I want it to. Whew!
Adam was a sweetie pie, wasn't he? And I've asked myself the same question, about whether he'll get his own story someday. Guess time will tell ...
My tree is up. The presents are wrapped. The inside of the house is all a glitter and there are at least 100 Santas lurking around in every nook and cranny. I think they multiply through the summer because each year when I unpack them I seem to have more than the last year and I don't, for the life of me, know where the fat little fellas come from :o(
cg

lois greiman said...

Okay, I'm impressed by your plots and your covers and everything. But you have all your shopping done!!! That's impossible.

cindy Gerard said...

It's first for me. Honest. I'm usually out on Christmas Eve day scrambling like mad. Don't know what got into me. But I hope it get a dose of it next year too!!
CG

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy,

I absolutely love the Bodyguard books. Romantic suspense has always been a favorite genre of mine ever since I cut my teeth on old Phyllis Whitney books in junior and senior high school (does that date me or what). At any rate, I think too many authors have forgotten the romance part of romantic suspense. I am so happy that you haven't. The characters and the romance in your books is what makes the suspense and plot action really sizzle. Your readers become so caught up in the character's lives that we are able to live the action. Without your ability to develop such intriquing characters and hot romantic tension between them, I doubt the plots (though wonderfully written and paced) would snare me as much as they do. If I wanted a straight mystery, that's what I'd spend my money on.

I loved Under the Wire, probably one of my two favorite books of the entire year. Over the Line would definitely be in my top ten reads for the year, too, but it's Dallas and Amy's story that I am sitting on pins and needles for. That man has intriqued me from the first book when Jillian asked Eve why some woman had not already snapped him up. Absolutely loved Eve's response," Because there hasn't been one born who can measure up to what that boy's looking for. Can't wait until some not-so-perfect woman comes along and knocks the pins out from under him. It's going to be a real ride watching her take him down." That was it -- Dallas had me! Then when we met Amy in To the Brink and to watch him suffer through the last two books -- well -- I'm already planning a vacation day on Into the Dark's release date.

My only concern is that Dallas may be the end of the Bodyguards -- please, please, continue the series. I loved Adam, and would love to see his story in the future. I'm sure Ethan, Dallas, Eve and Nolan, have other buddies that have some great stories to tell or even some of Mac's police force buddies. We need to find a guy for Rachael, too. Six just isn't enough.

Lori

cindy Gerard said...

Lori
Will you be my publicist??? Seriously, you really know how to make MY head swell - right along with my butt, which, unfortunately is spreaking by the day because I'm spending so darn much time in this chair with none other than Dallas and Amy who is really knocking him for a loop.
Anyway thanks. Really. I love the romance in romantic suspense too and like you it's what makes the books really work for me. I have high hopes that I'm making it work for Into The Dark.
At this time, it does look like Into The Dark is the last book in the series BUT....I'm introducing a new bunch of guys in DARK who will hopefully carry the torch. Same kind of stories, similiar kind of men. Dark. Dangerous, Tortured. I'm already so in love with Gabriel (Archangel) Jones in Dark that I'm having a heck of a time keeping him from taking over :o) You are going to love him.
Thanks again
Cindy

lois greiman said...

I'm with Lori. I mean, mysteries are great (and hey, I guess I write mysteries) but a dead body can only go so far...a naked body on the other hand... enter romantic suspence--at which you are aces, Cindy.

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

LOL! I probably should get a publicist cut considering just how many people I have recommended your books to. Under the Wire is in several packages under my tree as I type. I just enjoy a good book and I am eternally grateful that there are authors like you who can write such terrific books to support my reading habit. (Good to know that my butt isn't the only one spreading ;-) Also, good to know that Amy is knocking Dallas for a loop -- I'm sure Eve is going to have a blast with that -- loved the excerpt where Dallas tells Nolan, "Do not sic Eve on me." Big, bad Recon Marine is afraid to face little sis. He is in bad shape.

Gabriel (Archangel) Jones -- hmm! -- I have to admit that sounds intriquing and yummy! I do love those dark, dangerous and tortured men. However, smack Gabriel up beside his head a bit and tell him he must wait his turn -- we have to get Dallas good and snared, first. I am disappointed that the bodyguards are coming to an end -- I was afraid of that, but if your're going to writing similar books maybe our guys will show up in some of those -- you know we have to catch up with what's happening with them occassionally. (Can you tell that I REALLY get involved with your characters?)

Thanks for sharing. I do appreciate the time you take to talk with your fans.

Wishing the days away until June.
Lori

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Cindy!

I've always loved your work. And now I'm just putrid green with cover envy! Those are great covers.

Thanks for hanging out and giving us some insight as to how you switched writing gears.

--Debra

cindy Gerard said...

This is for you Lori - and anyone else out there who is wondering.
Here's an excerpt from Under The Wire where we first meet Gab.
....
Another man stood in the shadows, swore under his breath as he watched the tableau unfold. His name was Gabriel. Other than the Cold Steel Arc-Angel butterfly knife strapped to his hip, his name was the only thing he had in common with anything Godly.
Gab Jones stood six feet five inches tall, checked in at a honed two-twenty-five and knew how to deliver a fatal blow to virtually every vulnerable area on the human anatomy – both in theory and in practice.
For too many years, he’d been a player in a game where the rules were made up as he went along and the stakes pitted life against the grizzly and gruesome reality of death. At thirty-five, he’d already played so long he could hardly remember another way of living – if that’s what his current existence could be called. A time when duty and honor had been his driving force instead of stone cold anger and a thirst for revenge was a distant and murky memory.
He’d lost friends, lost faith, and for the most part, lost the ability to see life through anything but glasses made foggy with the film of gunpowder and red mist.
These days, he had contacts, not friends, enemies, not adversaries. He had access to an arsenal, yet it was his Butterfly he relied on. It was the Butterfly that had earned him the dubious handle of Archangel with the locals. He did nothing to dispel the stories that had bred and grown and were whispered with reverence and fear the dark circles of the night.
Men stepped aside when he walked within striking distance. At first glance, women regarded him with sexy cat eyes and wondered what it would take to tame this man with the sleek stealth of a panther and the alluring aura of diablo. One long piercing glare of his devil black gaze, however, and they understood: No woman tamed the Archangel. When the need arose, he found a willing bed partner, not lover – a distinction he made clear up front.
He was a mystery – and he liked it that way. Found it amusing and to his benefit that he was somewhat of a legend on the Patagonia and the backstreets of this city. More to the point, he was an enigma, a lone Americano whose idea of a good time was to indulge in a single shot of Wild Turkey while shooting flies off a cantina wall with a Les Baer 1911 – A1 .45.
Overkill turned him on.
Uninvited interest turned him mean.
And interference just plain pissed him off.
The confrontation unfolding before him in the back of this low rent cantina reeked of interference. Two Americans – a man and a woman – had just stumbled into a snake pit, the head viper a reptile Gab knew well. Alejandro had his own proclivities with tempered steel. He’d already drawn his ‘Skean Dhu’ Black knife. The four other men who crept like rats out of the cantina’s back door carried semi-autos. So now it was six to two. With bang-bangs.
Gab could give a rip about the foolish American’s lives, but he’d be damned if he’d let some thrill seeking tourists out to catch a rush on the wild and seedy side of town get themselves wasted in his carefully staked out territory. A tourist homicide would draw the policia and U.S. Embassy officials like flies – a complication he neither wanted nor welcomed. Not after the groundwork he’d laid to trap Alejandro here tonight.
He searched the shadows and realized the Americans came equipped with their own firepower. And they obviously knew how to use it and defend themselves.
So. Not turistas after all.
That pissed him off even more.
Because that meant there might be a helluva lot more to them than met the eye – and that they might actually be here looking for him.
He considered walking away. Letting the pit vipers have their fun with their six to two odds. But then a car pulled into the alley; its headlights cast an eerie glow on the deadly montage, and for an instant, flashed bright on the woman’s face before it backed up, reversed the direction and shot away on a shrill squeal of tires.
It was only a moment, but it was long enough for Gab to see the woman’s face – and he’d recognized every emotion etched deep there.
Recognized them because the relentless force behind them drove him, too. Revenge.
Well, hell
Now he had to help. Her specifically. And wouldn’t that just go a long way to blowing his carefully nurtured cover?
He slipped the Butterfly out of its sheath and stepped out of the shadows.....

Work for you Lori? I LOVE this man. Can't wait to tell his story. Meanwhile, he's impatiently waiting his turn:o)
And I love talking to all of you.
Cindy

cindy Gerard said...

Hi Debra!! Times have changed a bit since our old Loveswept days, huh? I hear your name everywhere - and it's all good!!
Thanks for the invitation. I loved being here.CG

Anonymous said...

dead body can only go so far...a naked body on the other hand...

LOL! Lois! Not that I don't like a good mystery, too. I have tons in my collection. It's just that when I want romantic suspence I want some romance not just suspense. Too many romantic suspense authors recently (or maybe it's the publishers pushing the change) seem to forget the romance as they become more popular and their stories become just suspense although they are still marketed to some degree as romantic suspense. For example, I loved Iris Johansen's early romantic suspense, but she has basically become a suspense/mystery author. Others have tried to walk a very fine line between the two genres and I think it weakens everything in the book -- the romance is bland and the suspense isn't nearly as riveting in most cases. If an author is going to focus on the mystery -- then great write a fabulous mystery and if some romance happens fine, but don't try to make it a "romantic suspense" and market it as such. It's not fair to the genre, the story or the reader.

I'm a reader and I read just about anything and everything except straight out horror. (Never quite got into wanting to be scared to death by whatever -- although strangely enough I do like paranormal romances -- not with my romantic suspense though, please. I did not care much for Cherry Adair's Edge books -- just too far fetched and I could not quite get past the feeling of "oh come on".)

Lori

Anonymous said...

Wowza! I see what you mean! Definitely works for me! Oh, la, la!

Lori

cindy Gerard said...

Yeah, I thought you might like him.:o)
cg

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy!!!!

What an AWESOME cover for Into The Dark! WOW! And the hottie on Under The Wire. Yowza! : )

It's great, great, great to have Manny and Lily's story in my hands. I'm looing forward to Dallas and Amy!!!

I hope you're going to show us some pics of you with the guns *G*

cindy Gerard said...

Hey Anne
Thanks!! Manny's a hottie all right. Dallas isn't too shabby either...
And I actually did post photos of me shooting on my web page so make sure you check them out there because I'm not cyber smart enough to figure out how to post them on a blog :o(
Hugs
cg

Betina Krahn said...

Cindy. . . okay, Under the Wire is going to be in my Christmas stocking! Wow. Just wow. Gab is spectacular and you, my dear, are a bombshell of an author.

Heading for a cool shower now. . .

;) Betina

cindy Gerard said...

Yikes. I goofed. that excerpt was from INTO THE DARK, not Under The Wire. Sorry. You don't get to meet Gab until June :o( In the meantime, I think you'll like Manny and Lily in UNDER THE WIRE - which IS out now.
Urg. I've had too many irons in the fire today and obviously, it took a toll.
Once again, thank you ladies who like to ride topless :o) for inviting me along for a great cruise down the highway. It was a blast.
And now it's off to bed...
cg

Anonymous said...

Betina,

Even though Gab doesn't show up until June with Dallas and Amy, I can guarantee that you'll love to find Manny in your Christmas stocking. I told Santa that I wanted Manny Ortega for Christmas, but alas the elves couldn't quite manage it ;-) Seriously, Under the Wire is a fabulous story and Manny is to die for.

Lori

Helen Brenna said...

Cindy, it was a blast having you. Many, many thanks for the fun day!