Thursday, July 10, 2014

Special Guest Kimberly Dean + Giveaway!

Today I'm super thrilled to have Kimberly Dean as a special guest. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be a part of Samhain's superhero anthology with Kimberly, and lemme tell ya, she knows how to pen the smexy. *wipes brow* Her latest book, Roxie, is book 3 in her Triple X series. I absolutely love the concept of these stories, and her topic today is one of my faves--research! Also make sure to checkout Kimberly's rafflecopter giveaway for a chance at winning a print copy of Maxie.


When Research is Fascinating

Writers are a creative bunch. Stories pop into our heads, and we just want to write them.  We want to put fingers to keyboards and just go, but the truth is that sometimes we need to slow down and do research.  Depending on the subject matter, this can be tedious.  In my case, though, it was so fascinating that I had to remind myself that I needed to stop learning and get back to my stories.  What was so interesting?  I was digging into the research done on identical twins separated at birth.
My Triple X series is about identical triplets reuniting and finding the men that they love. Lexie (Book 1) was taken in by a wealthy family, but never allowed to forget that she was adopted.  Maxie (Book 2) was raised as a single child, never knowing that she had a biological family out there.  Finally, there’s Roxie (Book 3), who never made it out of the foster care system.  The sisters are identical in appearance, but they’re different people.  I needed to know how different they might be and in what ways they should still be the same.  It all came down to the old nature versus nurture question.

The University of Minnesota has done a lot of research into twins.  They’ve found that even when raised separately, twins often have certain traits in common.  They tend to have similar life experiences and gravitate to similar careers.  They use the same gestures and, in photographs, often pose in the same stance.  The strong connection they feel upon reuniting was something researchers always noted.  The story of the Jim twins, though, is extraordinary.  It’s the most commonly quoted case study I found, and it boggles the imagination.  

As I was writing these books, more stories about twins kept popping up in the news.  There was a story just this year of twin sisters reuniting after twenty-five years of separation when they found one another on YouTube and Facebook.  A similar story was about twins reuniting in China.  And there was even more.

See?  The research just pulls you in, but I eventually had to step back and use what I’d learned to make Lexie, Maxie, and Roxie believable characters. In the end, the sisters look identical.  They’re very connected and share a deep love for one another. They have a common habit of cocking their foot back on their heels, yet life experience has molded their personalities and styles to be different.  Lexie is well-mannered, hard-working, and always trying to please others.  Maxie is timid and sweet, yet wants to be adventurous.  Finally, there’s Roxie.  She’s wild, bold, and sexy. 
It’s her story that’s releasing this week, and it’s the completion of the Triple X series.  If the books are half as compelling as the research was, then I consider my job done.  But I’m interested.  Do you know any identical siblings?  In what ways are they the same and how are they different?

Also available on   Nook   Kobo   iBook

It’s time for this identical triplet to meet her match.

Can a wild child ever really be tamed? Growing up in foster care has made Roxie Cannon tough and self-reliant, but being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s finally found her sisters. Is it time she met her match?

Roxie should be on top of the world. She’s formed bonds with identical sisters she never knew she had, and she’s buying the biker bar she’s managed for years. The feisty brunette has everything she’s ever wanted. Almost. Two things still elude her: answers to why her family was split apart and a man of her own to love. Seeing her sisters with their soul mates has made her aware she’s still the odd one out. Yet that all starts to change when a rough-and-tumble hottie from her past walks in The Ruckus’ door, wanting a second chance.

Billy knows trouble when he sees it, and Roxie is commotion in motion. They’ve always set sparks off one another. This time, he’s promised himself he won’t get burned. Yet things get serious when he learns of Roxie’s quest to find her parents. Can he save his hot-blooded lover from being hurt? Or will the wounded little girl inside her never trust him again?

Other books in the Triple X series:
Lexie (Book 1)
Maxie (Book 2)