Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Interview w/ Cecilia London--food poisoning for the #win?

Hey guys! Today we've got Cecilia London joining us to talk about her Bellator Saga. It sounds crazy interesting. Book two (Conscience) has just come out and book one (Dissident) is free right now so be sure to go grab a copy of that! Alright, check out our chat then hit the comments and leave Miss Cecilia some comment love! ~anna

Heya Cecilia! Welcome to the Herd! How are things over with you?
Well…my firstborn starts kindergarten next week, my beloved Brewers are in the basement, and my alma mater is likely to have a mediocre if not terrible football season but other than that…I’m totally cool. LOL.
Oh my word. That's a big week! Good luck to the kidlet! Here's it's crazy hot so thought we'd kick back on the deck with ice tea and lemonade while we chat about Dissident! *rubs hands together* Soooo....if you had 10 seconds to hook someone what would you tell them about Caroline's journey?
Hmm, let’s try the old “compare this thing to other things” tactic, even though that’s very hard to do here. 
If you like Scandal or House of Cards, if you still miss President Bartlet and yearn for The West Wing, or if you like speculative fiction and epic romance, you’ll love this story. You might even enjoy it if you like historical romance or crossovers like Outlander. It has well-developed side characters, witty banter and fresh dialogue, and a realistic, relatable hero and heroine. And if you also want a ton of hot sex in your books, then…we’re all set. 
I'm ALL for some hot sexy in my reads. *noms* Can you tell us 3 fun/sexy/intriguing/crazy/etc behind the scenes facts about Dissident?
1. Dissident is the first part of a six book saga, which sounds like a lot. I originally planned it as a trilogy, but once I started writing, it snowballed into something more. Most of the books are almost finished or nearing completion. Dissident is told in a non-linear fashion and is composed almost entirely of flashbacks, while the second book, Conscience, is a little more balanced.
2. Each of the six books contains flashbacks, but the non-linear storytelling in Dissident and Conscience is designed to end at a point that allows the reader to discover exactly how Caroline ended up in her current situation. In other words, we have two concurrent timelines that slowly give clues as to how the United States devolved into pseudo-chaos, ending in an angsty cliffhanger at the end of part two. 
3. I got the idea for the series after eating some bad turkey at a local BBQ place. So, uh, thank you food poisoning?
Oh man on the food poisoning but yay for the inspiration! lol So, What's the first thing that pops into your head about Caroline? What about Jack?
It’s hard for me to describe Caroline. There’s a lot of my personality in her, more so than any other character. I suppose we put a bit of ourselves into everything we write. But she’s more than simply a politician, or a wife, or a mother, or an activist. She’s likable, sympathetic, and compelling. A series like this depends on a captivating heroine or it will fail. And in Conscience, she demonstrates overwhelming strength and resolve in almost unbearable circumstances. She really carries the second book, though we’re still treated to plenty of Jack.
And Jack…the rich, closed off, secretly sensitive man who spends his whole life trying to run away from feelings or commitment or intimacy, but finds someone he never expected to meet and realizes that his life has far more purpose than he ever thought it did. He is not a perfect man, and he and Caroline have to take time to learn to communicate and form a partnership. But that’s the beautiful part of the second book, seeing how they come together to support and love one another no matter the circumstances. He is sexy, kind, and loving, but can also be a pure, delicious, devoted alpha male (without going over the top). I love Jack.
Aw he sounds like a yummy hero. If there was one thing they'd change about their world what would it be?
I’m pretty sure that Caroline would prefer not to be accused of treason, LOL. Jack would likely say the same. And just because they’re magnanimous people, they’d also probably prefer that democracy be restored. We’ll see how that shakes out as the books progress, right?
LOL yeah I think I'd have to go with changing that little bit too. Heh The Bellator Saga sounds like quite the mix of genres--romance, political thriller, suspense--what was your favorite element of the saga to dive into? Or the most challenging?
It’s been challenging at times because of the subject matter. Dissident gives us a bit of a thriller and a hint of suspense but the dam breaks open in Conscience and the proverbial shit hits the fan, so to speak. Dissident is much tamer than Conscience and serves more as a very comprehensive introduction to the books than anything else.
Parts of Conscience were extremely difficult to write since some of the darkness that Caroline faces is so terribly, awfully brutal. I wrote the book the way I did not only to keep the reader on an even keel, but to keep myself from going insane. 
So many of the flashback scenes are real, and honest, and completely, totally lovable. I suppose that’s why I’ve put them in every book…because while it’s hard for Caroline (and the reader) to look back on a privileged life that has changed in almost every single way, it’s a reminder of who she used to be and who she hopefully will be again. 
The books really are hard to explain. They’re not straight romance. They’re not just genre fiction. There are bits and pieces of dialogue and little details that are important pieces of the overall puzzle. Each book will give you more answers than the last, but they’ll leave you with plenty of questions too. 
Those meshings of genres can be so interesting. Definitely sounds like an interesting series to experience. Alright, how about some quick and silly ones...Favorite Man Candy?
Oh, I found Jack while hunting for pictures of silver foxes after the book was released. I don’t like putting real people to characters but I couldn’t help myself. Say hello to model Laurence Nicotra. I could look at him forever.
I’ve also got the hots for Gabe Kapler, former professional baseball player. O MAI. 
Oh, and I need to be fair. My husband runs marathons and has really hot man legs. But I won’t give you a picture. Ha! 
Oh, man. I could look at them for a while too. And score for the hubby's hot legs! lol Favorite "couldn't live without it" snack?
Anything chocolate. Thanks to Caroline’s best friend Christine, I’ve had a total obsession with sea salt caramel and dark chocolate Ghirardelli squares lately.
Weirdest thing in your purse right now?
I have a five year old and an eleven month old, so I have all sorts of weird toddler and baby stuff in my oversized bag (it’s not really a purse…I’m prepared for the end of the world). I think there’s an Ernie figurine from Sesame Street. Maybe some leftover fruit snacks. I haven’t heard any rustling but there’s a good chance that something is alive in there, too. ;)
LOL I could swear there was in mine too. ::snort:: Favorite office supply?
I love gel pens. They have to be blue, and they can’t be fine tip. Can’t get enough of them. I have a problem. Maybe they’re the weirdest thing in my purse, since it might not be normal to have scores of pens in one location?
Woohoo! pen lovers, unite! Mine have to be black ink and green pen. lol Alright, I'm completely obsessed with?
The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz. I heart that series so hard. And I do an annual Harry Potter reread, usually during the summer. My daughter is getting old enough to appreciate the movies and I can’t wait to help her start reading the books.
But I also adore The Simpsons, baseball, and sports of all kinds. I’m on a serious Dynasty kick right now because I love reliving the absolutely shoddy television shows of my childhood. Oh, Pop Channel. Where would I be without you in my life?
Okay, I've never seen Dynasty. *hangs head* Need to hunt that down! If I could get away with it I would....
That’s a toughie. I’m such a goody goody…I’ve never cheated on anything in my life. So, I’ll just go with spending some (cough) quality time with Laurence Nicotra. Apologies to my husband, because I’m cashing in the hall pass for that one.
He is one seriously hot male. Whew! Before you head out...What's up next for you?
I’m working on the next four books, the bulk of which are already completed. I’d love to get Sojourn, the third book, out before the end of the year but if not…it will be coming to your e-reader in January. I have plenty of ideas for standalone contemporaries, more dystopian/speculative fiction books but right now…my focus is (rightly) on Caroline and Jack.
Ooo exciting! Good luck getting book 3 out this year. :)Thanks so much for dropping in, Cecilia!
Thank you for having me! I’ll be checking from time to time today in case anyone has any questions or wants to have a little chat in the comments. Everyone can feel free to catch up with me on social media…I’m often (okay, rarely) charming and entertaining, despite the sometimes dark subject matter of my books. I may even make an inappropriate joke or two. ;)

She once was important. Now she’s considered dangerous.

In a new America where almost no one can be trusted, Caroline lies unconscious in a government hospital as others decide her fate. She is a political dissident, wanted for questioning by a brutal regime that has come to power in a shockingly easy way. As she recovers from her injuries, all she has are her memories. And once she wakes up, they may not matter anymore.

Dissident  is part contemporary romance and part political thriller, with elements of romantic suspense and speculative fiction. Told mostly in flashback, it details the budding romantic relationship between our heroine Caroline and Jack, the silver fox playboy who tries to win her heart.

The Bellator Saga is a six part series. Each part is a full length novel between 60,000-120,000 words and ends in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This saga contains adult situations, including non-gratuitous violence, explicit (consensual) sex, psychological and physical trauma, and an oftentimes dark and gritty plot (particularly in part two).

Amazon | Goodreads

*covers link to Amazon (Dissident is FREE)

Cecilia is my pen name. I may or may not live in San Antonio, Texas. I've been known to apply quotes from 'The Simpsons' to everyday life. I live for baseball season.

Find Cecilia Online!

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