Today I have the lovely Krystal Brookes dropping by for a chat. Krystal is a fellow Pink Petal Books author and has several stories published with them. Her first story 'Bounty' is a sci fi tale and her second, 'Highland Fling' is part of the Kilrigh Heat series.
Hello and welcome!
Thanks for having me, Nicole.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I’d love to have a real answer to which includes hours of meticulous plotting and scribbling ideas down in a note pad in a coffee house down by the beach. But the truth is, I’m a complete pantser. I make it up as I go along. I’ll quite often talk to friends about my characters or plots and that helps me decide for certain where certain stories or characters are going.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Definitely plot. I tend to make my characters fit the story I want to write.
Are you working on anything at the present?
I have number of irons in the fire. A new erotic science fiction story about a ship lost in space, the third book in the Kilrigh Heat series, set at New Year. A ménage fan fic. I also have a number of stories that I’ve started but it will take a while to get round to writing them properly
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
I got into writing through reading Star Trek Voyager fan fiction, so a number those writers really influenced me: Elem,
Maulmistress to name just a few. I read
a lot of Lynsay Sands, Molly Harper, Em Petrova, Suzanne Rock and I just
discovered Sylvia Day. Francine Pascale and Enid Blyton were my early
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I usually look for a play on words or something that stands out in the book. Gemma is a bounty hunter in Bounty so it kind of just seemed appropriate. I don’t want to spoil it by explaining further. In Highland Fling, Fiona doesn’t want a long term commitment so she suggests having a fling with Brodie. It’s set in the Scottish islands and was a good play on words.
If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
iPad, coffee maker, generator, wifi modem, flushing toilet.
What is your favourite book?
It changes weekly, though I love Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Drawing. I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.
Are you messy or tidy?
Very, very messy
What is your favourite food?
Meat Feast Pizza with onions and mushrooms
What inspires your writing?
Just my over-active imagination. Sometimes TV, other books or conversations I have with other people.
Are you a sweet tooth? – what's your favourite sinful sweet/cake/chocolate etc.
Definitely. I love sweet pastries; especially yum yums (though I doubt anyone outside the
what a yum yum is.) UK
What made you want to be a writer?
A desire to be able to exercise my over-active imagination on a daily basis.
Dreams and aspirations... what’s the one thing you want to do, see or experience above all else?
I want to be able to give up my job and become a full time writer.
Highland Fling – Blurb
When Fiona Campbell travels home to the Island of Kilrigh for her best friend's wedding, she doesn't count on meeting up with Brodie MacNeil, her childhood friend. Fiona can’t help but be charmed by the Laird’s handsome son – until he starts to tell her some home truths.
A city girl at heart, Fiona tries to resist his charms and his offer of a life together on the tiny island. Can Fiona heal the rift with her father enough to accept Brodie's offer and take on the job as the island’s vet or will she walk out on the one man she truly loves?
Highland Fling – Excerpt
Fiona was practically falling asleep when she heard a low chuckle from somewhere near her feet. She sat up immediately, pulling her skirt down over her thighs. She found Brodie's gaze raking up her legs and over her body, lingering momentarily on her breasts before he turned and looked at Sarah.
“Gary was looking for you, Sarah. Something to do with the baking competition.”
“Oh damn, I forgot,” said the bride-to-be. “I get to choose who is going to make the cake for the wedding. Brodie, will you look after Fiona?” She scampered away without waiting for a reply.
Brodie threw himself down on the grass beside her, his kilt splaying out beside him, and then he smiled.
“Is this Sarah's?” he asked, lifting up the half-finished beer.
“I doubt that she has anything too infectious,” he shrugged, taking a mouthful of the now lukewarm liquid. Fiona picked up her bag and pulled out her phone, trying to ignore her companion. The bright sun made it impossible to see the screen, so she tossed it back where it came from and studied the craggy hills in the distance.
“I'm sorry if I over-stepped the mark yesterday,” said Brodie. “It's just... well... he has missed you, Fee. And he also knows you've been having a hard time. John's been worried sick. You barely even email him anymore.”
“It's none of your business.”
“I know, but he's my friend.”
“I'm not a child anymore.”
His gaze moved over her again as he replied hoarsely, “Oh, Fee, you don't have to tell me that you're not a child.”
Fiona shifted uncomfortably, trying to find a way to change the conversation. His words were stirring feelings in her that she had put to rest a long time ago. She spotted his sporran sitting on the grass between them.
“What's wrong with your sporran?” she asked. He was close now—too close—and his breath on her neck was having a distracting effect.
“The chain broke. I'll be able to fix it easy enough with a few tools when I get home.” His hand was sneaking around her waist and she turned her head to find her lips close to his.
“Brodie, we used to play together in your paddling pool. This is...”
“You are welcome to join me in my paddling pool any time you like.” His voice was barely a whisper before his lips grazed over hers. She closed her eyes and allowed him to tease her bottom lip with his tongue before she parted her lips slightly. He pushed his tongue into her mouth, gently forcing her teeth apart and exploring. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he manoeuvred her back onto the grass, lifting his body half on top of her. As they devoured one another hungrily, he grazed his hand up from her waist to her breast, palming it gently.
She couldn’t believe how easily she had accepted his advance and how quickly her body was responding to his touch. She was usually careful about becoming intimate with a man, yet here she was, making out behind the beer tent with Brodie MacNeil at the Highland games. Fiona's head was swirling and she was very aware of his hardness pressing against her thigh. He groaned as she gently nipped his bottom lip and he thrust his hips against her thigh in response.
Fiona heard his name being called over the tannoy first. She ripped her mouth away from his and batted his hand away from her breast.
“What...?” growled Brodie, moving down towards her neck.
“They're calling you.”
Brodie cocked his head and nodded when his name came over the tannoy again.
“Shit, I'm entered into the caber tossing competition.”
“The caber tossing competition where you throw a big wooden log as far as you can?” She giggled, still aware of his own “caber” pressing against her leg.
“Yes, what's wrong with that?” He frowned.
“Oh, em, nothing. It just seems funny. Here, you'll need your sporran. I have a safety pin to hold the chain together for now.” She quickly removed the pin from her bag and fixed the sporran. He grinned as he left her sitting on the grass, blowing her a kiss before he walked around the corner and out of sight.
Bounty – Blurb
When Gemma Scott’s shuttle crash lands on Alcatraz prison planet, she’s sure of one thing. If the impact doesn’t kill her, the inmates will. She wakes up in the hut of a convicted terrorist and wonders how long it will be until the handsome but dangerous man finds she was the one who arrested him two years earlier. As their attraction grows, they work together to help Gemma escape the dangerous planet. But they can’t deny the sparks that fly between them.
“I see you’re awake,” a gruff male voice stated.
Gemma looked in the direction of the voice. Wherever she was, it was dark and damp smelling. Her mind was struggling to make sense of what had happened. She could tell there had been an accident but the immediate events before it were extremely fuzzy.
“It doesn’t matter. You’re safe–for now. How are you feeling?”
“Sore and groggy,” she replied quietly.
She couldn’t quite make out the man in the dim light. She didn’t recognize his voice or where she was. Her memory was still fuzzy but something in the back of her mind scared her. She seemed to be alone with this man and she certainly was not in a hospital.
“Yeah, well, that’s what happens when you crash land your shuttle into a planet Ms. Scott.”
“How do you know my name?”
“Your ID was in your pocket. And your phase gun was in your holster.”
“Where is my gun now?” Gemma asked, trying to stop the fear in her voice.
“It’s safe.” The man moved forward into the thin shaft of light coming from the dim overhead light on the ceiling of the hut they seemed to be in. The man was tall, muscular and tanned, with a shock of medium length brown hair. She recognized him, but couldn’t quite recall from where.
“I’d prefer it if you returned my gun. I need it.”
“I said it’s safe.”
She sat for a few moments trying to remember what had happened. She knew she had to get her gun back from this man but her head was too befuddled to form a coherent argument for now.
As the details of the accident came back to her, she squinted again at her rescuer, trying to recall how she knew him. She felt her blood drain as she remembered.
“I need to fix my shuttle,” said Gemma, hoping that he hadn’t realized who she was.
“It’s dark outside, you won’t be able to do anything just now.”
She tried to sit up but a shard of intense pain ripped through her shoulder and made her fall back on the pillow.
“You dislocated your shoulder, so I had to put it back in the socket. It’s going to be sore for a while.”
She rubbed her shoulder and grimaced.
“Thanks, I think.”
“If I’d left you in that shuttle, believe me, you would have been murdered or worse.”
“What’s worse than being murdered?”
“On this planet? Not being murdered and being kept alive long enough to be aware of what they’re doing to you.”
“Thank you for not leaving me. I heard them banging on the shuttle hull. How did you get rid of them?”
“I have a reputation around here. Apparently I can rip a man’s throat out with my teeth.”
“Oh!” She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear any more. The man smiled wolfishly at her.
“Don’t worry, Gemma. I’m not hungry just now.”
She did her best not to show her fear. Not having her phase pistol was a problem. She always felt braver on the other end of the cold slender metal tool.
“Umm, what’s your name?”
“Rob. Rob Paris.”
His name triggered the memory that she had buried under a hundred other missions. He was a terrorist and she had hunted him for weeks before he had turned up on an abandoned planet on the edge of Terran space. She’d stunned him and kept him unconscious as she had transported him on her shuttle back to Earth to face trial. She wondered if he would remember her. She’d shot him from behind, so with a bit of luck, he hadn’t made the connection.
“Pleased to meet you. Are you a prisoner here?”
“What do you think?” he drawled.
“Well, I assumed but...”
“Never mind. Can I get my pistol please?”
“I said I was keeping it safe.”
“That’s very kind of you but I’d prefer to have it, if it’s all the same to you.”
Rob walked over and sat on the bed. He clasped her chin roughly in his hand and moved her head back, peering into her eyes. He let go as suddenly as he had grabbed her.
“Hmph! You’re definitely slightly concussed. As for your pistol; you’re in no shape to be carrying a fire arm. If any of those brutes came in here, you’d never be able to get it out the holster quick enough to kill them.”
“I always have my pistol set to stun.”
“Well, I noticed it was set to stun when I took it from you.” Gemma looked hard at him. Did he know? His gaze was unwavering and she was having difficulty reading him.
Gritting her teeth, she swung her legs out of the bed. Her shoulder was agony. Only then did she realize that she was wearing nothing but her bra and panties.
“Where are my clothes?”
Thanks so much Krystal for coming to play.