Author: Rachel Cross and Ashlinn Craven
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publish Date: May 19 2014
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
~ Book Synopsis ~
Everyone’s fueled by something…
Cassidy Miller is living her dreams as an EMS helicopter pilot saving lives in Arizona. When her helicopter crashes in bad weather and a member of her crew is killed, her life, as she knows it, is over. Suspended from her job and desperate to escape memories of that night, she jets to Europe and is swept along on a whirlwind world tour of Formula One racing courtesy of her father, an executive sponsor of a team.
Sexy, daredevil British driver Ronan Hawes has no room in his life for anything but winning. Strategy meetings, press conferences, practices, sponsor events and racing consume him. Half way through the season, he’s on track to win the Formula One World Drivers Championship--a title that has eluded him for years--and no emotionally damaged woman, felon father, rookie rival or rumor mill are going to run him off course.
From Brussels to Abu Dhabi, Texas to Germany, their relationship speeds across the globe, navigating the dangerous turns of life, love and racing.
Jet lag and alcohol might not have been the best pairing. It added up to a foggy
sensation in the elevator on the way to his room.Cassidy Miller had used everything else to escapefrom her memories, so why not try sex?
Ronan Hawes slipped his card in the slot and pushed open the heavy door with one arm, indicating that she should precede him. She was so close, she got a whiff of whatever scent he was wearing.
“God, you smell good,” she blurted out. The door clicked shut behind them. “What is that?”
Expression sheepish, he admitted, “Calvin Klein, but I’m under contract with
She smiled. “You unfaithful swine. What’s wrong with Burberry?”
“Too ... British. Reminds me of Prince Charles. I have some bottles in the bathroom if you fancy it though.”
“No,” she said, suddenly noticing the intensity of the inner gold ring of his irises.
“You’ve met the prince?”
“Several hang around the circuit, but I only got within sniffing distance of my own at a ceremony for an ex-teammate. I buggered off, though, before our aftershaves clashed.”
Of course he was in that league. They all were. And what did she sound like? An
“I know.” Ronan reached for her hand, teasing his thumb across her knuckles, making her breath catch. “This royal chitchat is putting you off, killing the moment. Just tell me to shut up.”
“No, no, it’s um—” She broke off as his hand slid up her arm, sending a delicious
shiver to the back of her neck. She stepped back two paces. “Mind if I raid the minibar?”
He looked surprised but recovered smoothly. “Nightcap? Pardon me for not offering, through here.”
He led her over to the bar area and extracted a bottle. “Bourbon, wasn’t it? On the rocks?”
Cass shook her head. “Straight up is fine.” She didn’t need him to take a trip to the ice machine. Better to get her drink and get this over with. She studied himwhile he poured. He was exceedingly good-looking.Enviable bone structure, square jaw. And suave.Definitely suave. What had she expected? That he’d jump her like some hick? Even standing still, her head was swimming, and her stomach was vaguely nauseated. All those drinks on an empty stomach. She’d be comatose if she weren’t careful. As if on cue, the room spun. She reached out a hand and made her way unsteadily over to the loveseat.
“All right there?” The tiniest frown appeared between his eyes, but his smile remained.
“Fine. It’s the shoes, not used to heels,” she mumbled. Oh God. Had she just slurred?
He carried the drink over and set it on the glass coffee table, out of reach. She leaned over to grab it, nearly pitching face first onto the table. Now he was staring at her, not amused in the slightest. “You sure you’re all right?”
She waved a hand in his direction and picked up the drink, then stared into the glass as the nausea welled up. “Excuse me.”
She dashed for the bathroom.
About the Author
Fueled by black jelly-beans and Pinot Noir, Rachel Cross writes fast-paced contemporary romance with a twist. She lives in coastal California with her surfer/pilot husband and two daughters. Her past includes stints as a firefighter, paramedic, clinical manager and Weekly World News tabloid model.
Ashlinn Craven enjoys writing “head versus heart” romances where lovers face toe-curling problems usually caused by wayward technology or each other. In her twenties she worked her way across Europe's technology hot-spots before succumbing years later to Alpine serenity, writing, marriage and motherhood . She lives in Switzerland which held its last Formula One race in 1954.
Inspiration for the book
It’s not easy to write the perfect heroine for a Formula One racecar driver. These drivers are revered the world over. They have buckets of money and prestige and arguably the best job in the world: driving the fastest cars on the planet.
The heroine in High Octane: Ignited, Cassidy Miller is a helicopter pilot. Not just any helicopter pilot, an emergency medical services (EMS) pilot.
Flying EMS carries a certain prestige in the aviation world—in part due to the inherent danger of the job. EMS pilots land on highways and other unfamiliar terrain, night and day. Those factors and the impact of inclement weather make the job of EMS helicopter pilot one of the riskiest occupations around. Along with a crew of a nurse and a medic, they put their lives on the line all over the worldevery day to help others.
I hope you enjoy reading Cassidy Miller’s story, the tragedy that changed her life and the F1 driver, Ronan Hawes who helped her pick up the pieces. This book is the start of a new series, High Octane, featuring F1 drivers.
The Top Ten Things you learned in writing your book.
As High Octane: Ignited (and the other two books of the series) take place in the world of Formula One, we had to brush up on our knowledge of the sport before putting pen to paper. It’s an ecosystem all to its own, so, rather than mentioning all the usual things one learns from writing a novel (e.g. voice, dialogue, pacing, world building), we’ll just go over some interesting facts that turned up in research before and during writing the book:
…which is great for Romance--we all like our heroes to be fit and sexy! But these guys…well, they’reanother category of fit. For example, the average human being has a resting heartbeat of 70 bpm. Drivers have a resting heart rate of about 45-50 bpm. Come race time, this ramps up to 180bpm for 90 minutes or more. No other sport keeps a heart rate so high for such a long period.
To achieve this, drivers require very high aerobic fitness levels. The second part of the training is specifically for the neck. They need a very strong neck because every corner puts a load of around 20-25kgs on the neck. A strong upper body and forearms is vital too. A normal person could do two or three laps in a Formula 1 car under those stresses before they’d physically be unable to continue, and as for the mental pressure…
The load on the brain of a formula one is also staggering. This is a sport where the brain has to be working hard for the whole race.
In tennis you have a break every few seconds, in boxing, every three minutes, in shooting you break all the time. This means a Formula One driver’s brain is working in a different way. They need to enter an almost meditative state before the race to achieve the concentration levels that will sustain them through the 90 plus minutes of full concentration required for a race.
According to http://www.f1deals.com/blog/demographics-spectators-formula-grand-prix.html, the average F1 fan is a 38,married European man who holds a professional degree and has an above average salary. This is not a demographic that typically reads romance. Nonetheless, the female fan base comprises 28%, and as more than 60% of F1 fans are married, they often tend to attend the races along with their wives. Let’s hope our Formula One series entices some of these people to try a romance!
This was one of facts that we discovered during the writing process and forced us to re-work some of our plot—oops! From 2010, refuelling is no longer permitted during the race meaning every car starts with a full fuel load. The 2010 season cars are about 22 cm longer than 2009 cars to accommodate the enlarged fuel tank this necessitates. (from Wikipedia)
With a race every two weeks between March and November, the schedule for a driver is gruelling. It’s not just the two hours we see on a Sunday. There are trials before that, training, long distance travel, meetings, product endorsements. Despite the money and the international glamour often attached to the sport, the day to day routine can be quite Spartan. It’s no wonder they need a little fun and romance in their lives to keep them sane!
Well, it’s not a must, but it makes it much easier because Motorsport in general is expensive; even karting costs from a few thousand to over a hundred thousand dollars a season. Formula Ford and Formula Renault cost nearly two hundred thousand dollars a season. Formula 3 costs over half a million dollars and GP2 around $1.5 million. The drivers pay for these costs unless they have sponsors or are part of an organisation that pays for drivers e.g. racing steps foundation, Red Bull Junior Team, McLaren Driver Program and the Ferrari Driver academy.
The tradition was started by Dan Gurney following the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Gurney was handed a bottle of champagne, which he spontaneously shook and sprayed over members of the press and doubters around him, beginning a tradition for victory celebrations everywhere. However, drivers will generally refrain from spraying champagne if a fatality or major accident occurs during the event.
Numbers are assigned in accordance with each team’s position in the previous season’s constructors’ championship but the number 13 is not designated to any driver. Drivers have all kind of superstitions and follow ritual such as wearing lucky underwear during a race.http://www.formulaf1.com/2006/11/01/felipe-massa-another-underwear-idiot/
Our own hero in High Octane: Ignited Ronan is very superstitious about the colour blue and the heroine’s blue underwear in particular!
The very competitive, rule-dominated world of Formula One, where twenty two alpha male drivers are thrown together for nine intense months forms the ideal grounds for developing highly-chargedromances. Watch out for the next two books in the series!
The Top Ten Things you love about your characters.
The hero of High Octane Ignited is the British Formula One driver, Ronan Hawes. Here are just some of the things we love about him:
Cast for High Octane: Ignited
(Also see http://www.pinterest.com/ashlinncraven/high-octane-ignited/)
CASSIDY MILLER – Maggie Gyllenhaal
ANDERSON MILLER – Michael Caine
JIM (STEPFATHER) – Albert Finney
MADDUX BATES – Chris Pine
VIVIENNE MAC CLOUD (RONAN’S EX) – Charlize Theron
BENNY (LEAD ENGINEER) – Martin Sheen
Describe the book using the letters from the title of the book.
It’s a longish title – High Octane: Ignited which gives us a whole bunch of letters to give you a flavour of what’s inside!
H – HEARTFELT: you’ll feel it too!
I – IDIOMATIC: A mixed bag of UK and US English expressions.
G – GRIPPING: the questions of life-or-death always are!
H – HAPPY ENDING: in case you were wondering.
O – OPTIMISTIC: despite the dangers past, present and future.
C- CAPTIVATING: not your average heroine meets larger-than-life hero.
T- TRANSCULTURAL: from Abu Dhabi to Japan to Monaco, our novel deals in all currencies.
A – ARTICULATE: you’ll enjoy our snappy dialogue and intelligent world building.
N – NONSTOP: The Formula One season takes no breaks for the weak of heart.
E – ENTERTAINING: fun, danger, passion and moral dilemmas. What’s not to like?
I – IDEALISTIC: both hero and heroine struggle to make their world better.
G – GLOBAL: see TRANSCULTURAL.
N – NEWTONIAN: the mathematics of aerodynamics, the physics of g-forces and friction.
I – INCOMPARABLE: we’ve not read a romance like this before – you won’t have either!
T – TECHNICAL: more vehicles than James Bond.
E – EBULLIENT: and effervescent, the fun just never stops.
D – DARING: we boldly go where few romance novels have gone before—the high stakes world of Formula One racing!
Playlist for “High Octane: Ignited” via Spotify:
Mike Oldfield – FIVE MILES OUT
Fleetwood Mac – THE CHAIN (BBC Formula One theme tune)
The Allman Brothers Band – TOP GEAR THEME TUNE
Swedish House Mafia – DON’T YOU WORRY CHILD ft. John Martin
Mike Oldfield – FLYING START
Yes – LEAVE IT
Vin Diesel – MY WAY
Yello – THE RACE
Wim Mertens – STRUGGLE FOR PLEASURE
"Rock Her", by Rachel Cross
"Rock Him", by Rachel Cross
"Spiraling" by Rachel Cross
"Maybe Baby" by Ashlinn Craven
25.00 Amazon Giftcard.
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