Today I’m happy to welcome back Cara Bristol, author of the successful Rod and Cane series, and much more, including WIFE ON THE LAM, a novella included in the newly released anthology, COMING TO TERMS.
Blurb: Wife on the Lam
After two kids, three moves, and the normal ups and downs of a twenty-two year domestic discipline marriage, Janelle wants to celebrate their wedding anniversary with a luxury vacation. But despite subtle hints like leaving a copy of the Cabana Resort brochure with the Couples’ Getaway Package circled in red on her husband’s golf magazine, Brent misses all the clues. Worse, he schedules a business trip on their anniversary! Though her bottom might pay for it later, Janelle decides to take her luxury vacation anyway. Leaving a note and a casserole, she flies off to the resort. She’s going to celebrate, with or without him.
If anything proves that he’s slacked off on his duties as head of household, this stunt of Janelle’s does. Brent had booked the Diamond Package at the Cabana Resort to surprise her and planned to present her with the tickets when she took him to airport for his “business trip.” She’s ruined the surprise, but he’s not going to let her ruin their anniversary. It’s time to take his errant wife in hand and get their marriage back on track.
Blurb: Coming to Terms
Summer means more than fun and sun, rest and relaxation. For the couples in Coming to Terms, vacation presents a chance to connect, and work through important issues in their domestic discipline relationships. From endeavoring to define DD to missing a DD partner to balancing erotic spanking and disciplinary spanking, these stand-alone stories penned by seven authors of spanking fiction cover a broad spectrum of issues commonly encountered in loving DD relationships. Will the obstacles prove too difficult to overcome? Or will each couple emerge from vacation with their relationships revitalized and stronger than ever?
Hi, Cara! Congratulations on all your new releases—you’ve been busy! WIFE ON THE LAM is a cute story, I enjoyed reading it. One of the things I like about your Domestic Discipline stories is how that element doesn’t overpower the story, it’s more organic.
Cara Bristol: Thank you, Karla. All good fiction begins and ends with the story and the characters. Spanking represents only one element of the characters’ relationship. It’s like sex. A “story” that is all sex is porn. A “story” that is all spanking is spanking porn. I write spanking romance. The anthology itself focuses on couples in existing domestic discipline relationships who take a vacation to reconnect with their partners.
I chuckled when I read the blurb for WIFE ON THE LAM. I think the premise of the heroine acting out because she feels taken for granted will resonate with many readers. I think we’ve all had days where we wanted to pack a bag and escape for a few days!
Cara: So much fiction focuses on dysfunction or major problems, because that creates conflict, which creates story. I wanted to show a couple in love who hit a bump in their otherwise happy, committed marriage. Even though Brent and Janelle are pissed off at each other, they still love each other very much, and I tried to show that in the little things that they do. As you know from reading it, there’s a twist in the story. Once readers realize what’s happening, I hope they take a second a look at the actions of the characters. The details in this story matter a great deal.
I know you enjoy traveling. Was ‘Cabana Resort’, the setting of WIFE ON THE LAM, based on somewhere you’ve visited? And, if you could plan a romantic anniversary trip for you and your hubby to anywhere in the world, where would you love to go?
Cara: My husband and I have traveled a lot, and Cabana Resort is a composite of many places we’ve visited including Tahiti (where we went on our honeymoon) and many places in the Caribbean. The things that Janelle does on her solo vacation, I have done: the boating, the snorkeling, the horseback riding. Once I even made the same mistake she did on her horseback ride! For our next “big trip” my husband and I would like to take a European river cruise.
WIFE ON THE LAM is part of a Domestic Discipline anthology. Can you tell us more about your story and the anthology—how it came about, etc.?
Cara: A group of LazyDay Publishing authors pitched an anthology idea centered around existing couples in domestic discipline relationships who take a vacation to reconnect and get their relationships back on track. I wasn’t a LazyDay author, but I was invited to participate. I loved the idea of joining these other authors – all of whom I knew and had worked with on other projects – but I turned down the offer at first. I had two other writing projects with the same deadline, and didn’t think I could manage another one. But I was offered a second chance, and I decided to do whatever it took to make it work. The blurb came to me in the shower, and I wrote the story from the blurb. I wanted WIFE ON THE LAM to be humorous, but also real.
WIFE ON THE LAM is a short novella, around 12k words. Was it difficult to write short after a string of longer books? Do you have a preference or natural “sweet zone” as far as the length of story you like to write?
Cara: I have two “sweet zones” – 40K (about 160 pages) and 10-15K. My vampire romance, A Scent of Longing, released by Decadent Publishing is around the latter length. Some authors find it challenging to write “short,” but I love it. My background is in journalism, so I’m used to writing concise pieces.
As I said earlier, you’ve been busy lately. In addition to WIFE ON THE LAM, DESTINY’S CHANCE, a reincarnation romance with erotic spanking, released May 14th, and DISCIPLINARY MEASURES, the fourth book of your Rod and Cane series released May 21st. So awesome, congratulations on all of them! What are you working on now, and what do you have planned for the near-ish future?
♦ Oh, and a side note — DISCIPLINARY MEASURES is currently FREE from Loose Id until May 26th. Go grab a copy! ♦
Cara: I should be writing the fifth Rod and Cane book, which is Liz Davenport’s story (the attorney in Body Politics who sent her feminist friend off on a blind date with a man who spanks), but I got an idea for a science fiction erotic romance (with spanking, of course!) that wouldn’t leave me alone. It is so hard to not write what is knocking around in your head – especially when the other story has cooled AND you lost your notes. I can’t find the notebook that contained my ideas for Rod and Cane 5. Argh! I am slowly re-plotting Rod and Cane 5.
Oh no! I hope you find that notebook! But I agree, it is hard to ignore a story when it’s demanding to be written. 🙂
Thank you so much for stopping by today. Before you go, can you give us a little sample from WIFE ON THE LAM?
Cara: Here’s the opening scene in the book. Janelle is mad at her husband and is flying to a tropical resort to take a vacation without him. The Texan in this scene plays an important role in the story:
An excerpt from WIFE ON THE LAM, by Cara Bristol
“That bull gored me like a shish kebob. Meanest, orneriest critter I ever laid eyes on.”
“Was that why you left the rodeo?”
No, no, please don’t encourage him. Pressed against the airplane window, her eyelids shuttered tight, Janelle Gibb feigned sleep and prayed for the Texan to choke on a peanut. The man had begun talking the moment he’d squeezed his linebacker form into the middle seat minutes before take-off in Florida, and hadn’t taken a breath since. Weren’t cowboys supposed to be taciturn?
She had learned more than she ever cared to about driving, branding, and inoculating cattle, the details spelled out slower than molasses ran on a cold day. Unfortunately, the man on the aisle seemed fascinated and when the cowboy wound down, he’d rev him up again with a question.
‘Mornin’, ma’am.’ When he’d first boarded, the Texan had tried to engage her in conversation, but after he’d ma’amed her, she’d brushed him off with an insincere smile and a fake yawn, and curled up against the window, ostensibly to snooze.
Ma’am? The cowboy had to be her age, probably a few years older, although she couldn’t tell for sure because of his sunglasses. Light sensitivity caused by an eye infection. She’d gotten details on that too.
Would a ma’am wear a thong bikini like the one she had tucked in her suitcase? She looked pretty damn good for a woman who, in five days, would celebrate her twenty-second wedding anniversary.
She sniffed back tears of self-pity. With the plane’s engines humming in her right ear and the cowboy droning in her left, she’d had plenty of opportunity to consider what she’d done.
Screwed up. Big time. She’d been so hurt by Brent’s cluelessness she hadn’t thought her actions through to the logical conclusion — how alone she’d feel flying off to an island paradise by herself, how mad her husband would be when he found her note stuck to the fridge by a magnet.
Made you a casserole for dinner. Bake at 375 for 45 min. I went on vacation. See you when you get back from your business trip. Love, Janelle.
She’d been so furious, she’d hesitated whether to add the “love” part. Warm fuzzies had been absent when she scribbled the note. As a regional sales manager with a new territory, Brent had been away on business almost more than he’d been home during the past year. They’d always reserved their anniversary as a special day, and she had hoped they could spend quiet time alone to reconnect. For months, she’d dropped numerous hints she’d like to vacation at the Cabana Resort at Isla Island for their anniversary, even left the brochure on top of his golf magazine with the “couples’ getaway package” circled in red. She’d done everything except smack him over the head with the booklet.
“Looks like they have a nice golf course,” he’d commented, and then said nothing more. She’d wondered if maybe he hadn’t planned to surprise her, but he dashed those hopes by announcing he had an out-of-town sales conference during their anniversary.
“We’ll do something after I get back,” he’d promised. And then he had shrugged. Shrugged! At that moment, she decided she would go the resort, with or without him.
“Besides it’s not like it’s a milestone, like twenty or twenty-five.” He had added insult to injury.
Definitely not like twenty. For that he’d given her a beautiful anniversary ring that she wore on her left hand next to her wedding set. She twisted the multiple bands on her finger, then remembered she was supposed to be asleep. Had her loquacious seatmate noticed? She cracked an eyelid.
“Did you have a good nap little lady?” the Texan drawled.