Thank you

CYBILL CAIN: YEAR ONE

One year ago today I published Poker Face, Cybill Cain’s debut contemporary romance. It hardly seems more than yesterday to me, but I suppose that is how time works. Unless you are constantly marking every minute it slips away from you.

In the year since I told the story of the billionaire who would risk everything for a chance at feeling alive, and the virgin who needed a way to turn her life around and reclaim it for herself I have written six other volumes in the Chimera Club Stories, each a unique love story filled with characters that I myself couldn’t help but fall in love with over and over again.

I didn’t set out to write romance. Or maybe I did. It’s not something I can pin down exactly. Probably because I don’t like labels of any kind, and consider myself to be a rebel most days. I think I write romance because it is such an intrinsic part of who I am.

I believe in Happily Ever After. I believe in soul mates. I believe in the power of love to conquer all things and change the way we see ourselves and the world around us. I don’t think these core beliefs would change even if I were writing mysteries or action suspense stories because no matter the genre you are invoking what makes a story real is the way the characters resonate and become three dimensional to the reader. You can’t be a three dimensional character without love. You can’t be a three dimensional person without love either.

I don’t even necessarily mean romantic love when I say that. Love is a bouquet of many colors, but the impact it can have in any form is boundless. Recognizing that, talking about that, and showcasing that power is the most important thing to me in the world.

We speak reverently of the invention of fire and how it shaped our species. Rarely do we acknowledge that the first thing we did with that fire was gather around it to tell stories. Stories of great hunts, stories of interaction with beings we perceived as gods, or stories about ourselves and our journeys through life.

As a species we are addicted to stories. We watch them on television, read them in books and gather in modern caves called theaters by flickering light to be told a story. We see ourselves in the characters, either the people we are, or the people we long to be. Nothing is more seductive than the power of a story to transform and shape us, and our view of the world and the people around us. Because of that, stories of boundless love and happiness seem important to me, and so they are the kinds of stories I tell, but they are also the kinds of stories I read.

I always knew I was going to write. It was one of the first things I knew to be true even when I was a child. I never thought much about what I would write, because the story informs the artist as much as the other way around. It took me a very long time to reach a place in my life where I had stories in my head that refused to sleep and insisted that they be given life on the page, but once it happened I can honestly say that nothing has ever made me as happy as seeing a story unfold before my very eyes. There is a sense that I am in the groove I was made for doing what I was meant to do. It gave me a sense of completeness that I have never experienced at any other point in my life. For me, writing is love. I suppose once you know that it makes sense that all my stories are love stories, love letters to the circumstance and events that brought me here to this place in my life.

I am more grateful for this past year than any other in my life. I have learned so much about myself, and the art of writing that at times I feel like I am going to burst at the seams from all the feelings inside me. When that happens I tell myself to take a breath and keep going because even if I do end here, this is the best ending for me that I could have ever imagined.

Thank you all for an amazing year.

Love,

Cybill Cain Signature

Character Interview, Chimera Club Stories, Promos

A Heart Like No Other – Character Interview with Morgan Lightner from Roped

red  scarfIt’s a cloudy hot morning in July when I sit down with Morgan Lightner, the COO of Draven International Holdings, in a small coffee shop along the Hudson River. I feel inordinately blessed that he agreed to this interview and came back to NY just to meet with me.

The first thing I see is his cowboy hat, and immediately check for his near legendary cowboy boots. Sure enough, he’s wearing them. They’re a bit scuffed from use, leading me to think they must be a favorite pair and tempering my slight disappointment that his shirt isn’t unbuttoned like it is on the cover of Roped. I do so love the view of a bare chested man early in the morning.

“I like my privacy, my time with my family is very dear to me.”

Once he’s ordered his coffee he joins me in a booth overlooking a busy morning street where people go about their lives blissfully unaware of the role this man, The Mystic Warrior, might have in their lives. When I asked if he is recognized more frequently now that the book is out, he looks at his coffee before giving me a panty melting smile and shrugging his shoulders. “I get a certain amount of attention from the press on an almost daily basis in my role for DIH, so I’m used to it. I haven’t noticed a significant change. Maybe if the book becomes a bestseller, but even then, I hope it doesn’t change. I like my privacy, my time with my family is very dear to me. I don’t want to raise Athena in the constant explosion of flashbulbs and click bait copy.”

When he mentions his new daughter he can’t stop a smile from lighting up his face, and I ask him how he feels about being a father. He leans back in the booth and really thinks about his answer while his smile grows wider still. “Well,” he starts slowly, choosing each word with extraordinary care, “you think you know. I mean, you read the books, and you listen to the horror stories and the stories of selfless world changing love, and you think, ‘all right, I’ve got this’. But the first time you see their tiny furious screaming red faces, you know with absolute certainty that you’ve never had less control of anything in your life.” He pauses, sipping his coffee before adding, “It’s absolutely fucking exhilarating!” I try very hard not swoon, it wouldn’t be professional, but there is something about big strong men and the tiny babies that they love that makes every woman take an instinctive beat for admiration.

While we are on the topic of family I ask how things are going with Daphne, and how she is adjusting to being a mother. The light inside him grew brighter, and I almost had to look away from his shining face so filled with love when he thinks about his wife. “There is nothing Daphne can’t do. Every day I wake up a little more in awe of this amazing woman that somehow I’ve been lucky enough to have by my side. She’s just…the best,” he finishes, and I see a slight blush cover his cheeks as he thinks of her. It’s almost as good as a view of his naked chest would have been.

I take advantage of his distraction to ask another question. In Roped, you speculate and seem to believe that Daphne is supposed to be with you, that she has some role to play in The Prophecy that has been handed down in your family through generations. What do you think her role is exactly? “I first heard about The Prophecy when I was six years old. My Dad took me to the cave and showed me the carvings. From then on, until I left to come East, I lived with what his version of what events were going to be. He was sure he had it all figured out, but I wasn’t convinced. I still don’t think anyone understands what it all means, certainly not me.  What I said about Daphne being a part of it was something that spoke to me from my soul. I can’t explain that, and I can’t help anyone else to feel it with me. It’s just something I know. The rest we’ll figure out as things unfold.”

“Every day I wake up a little more in awe of this amazing woman that somehow I’ve been lucky enough to have by my side. She’s just…the best.”

What about the others, I asked, Thomas Meenan for example? Daphne thought he was The Trickster from The Prophecy. “She might be right. She usually is.” He smiles when he says that, his admiration of her coming through loud and clear once again.

I ask him how he feels about Thomas’ friendship with his wife, and he frowns for the first time since he sat down with me. “That’s not the right question,” he says, and I ask him to explain what he means. He sighs and rubs his jaw, seeming to be a little frustrated for the first time. “Look, people have this weird wall in their minds where once they get married, once they ride off into the sunset together, they stop being people. They stop having thoughts or doing things and having opinions and other relationships with people and that’s just bullshit. Life doesn’t end when you say ‘I do’. In fact, in a lot of ways it’s only just beginning. I object to the way you phrased the question, because it implies that Daphne is defined only as ‘my wife’. She is, and always has been, so much more than a single title could ever encompass.” I rephrase the question.

How do you feel about Daphne’s friendship with Thomas? The tension in him recedes, but not completely. “I don’t trust him, and I worry that she will be hurt, but I respect her decision to be his friend.” When I ask if he can see a place or time when he might consider Thomas Meenan his friend, he chuckles a little before saying, “I never say never. It’s illogical to think that in a universe of infinite possibility I won’t eventually run across everything, if I live long enough.” I laugh now and accuse him of avoiding the question.  I try again. Do you want to be friends with Thomas Meenan? “If he ever dropped his mask I would consider it.”

“Life doesn’t end when you say ‘I do’. In fact, in a lot of ways it’s only just beginning.”

From what I have read of Thomas Meenan it seems unlikely that he would ever fully reveal himself to anyone. You’re asking a lot to be his friend. “My friendship is worth a lot. I give as good as I get. Right now he’s playing in the shadows, and I can’t align myself with someone I can’t see.”

Is that why you told him and James you wouldn’t help them with their vendetta against Constantine? “Partly, yes. They kept me in the dark for years. Years. Not just the time James was away in Switzerland, but they’ve been doing whatever it is they are doing for years, and never let me in. I’ve done the leg work, I suspect they are right to believe that Constantine is a threat, but right now, I have a clearer picture of him than I do of them, and that says something.”

Will you ever tell them about The Prophecy? “Time will tell, but I suspect they know already. Whatever shadow games they are playing, they don’t seem to be missing much along the way.”

But they’ve never asked you about it? “No, and I’m glad.” He sighs again, shifting around in his seat, clearly not comfortable with the topic. “It’s kind of strange. If they ask me, I will have to decide if I can trust them. I know someone has to go first, that’s how trust works, but I’m not convinced it should be me this time. I feel like I need more time for them to convince me that this isn’t a game to them.  When I tell them about The Prophecy, it certainly won’t be a game for me, or for the people I hold dear. They haven’t convinced me they are worthy of that risk yet.”

Shifting gears, I tell him that as part of the preparation for this interview, I put out a call on social media to see if his fans had any questions for him, and I am delighted when the blush returns along with his sexy smile. I hide my amusement by grabbing my notebook and leafing through the pages to find my notes. By the time I look again, the blush is gone, but the sexy smile was still there, making me think he’s actually looking forward to this part.

Do you ever use the red scarf on Daphne? “Yes.” Care to elaborate? “No.”

In Roped you mention that the Native American Tribe which Sam belongs to and who came up with the prophecy regarding The Mystic Warrior, are still on the land. How does that work? And do they interact with the day to day of the ranch? “They live there, like they would anywhere else, and go about their lives the same way. Some of them do work on the ranch, but just as anyone else would if we hired them to work there. I’m responsible for maintaining the legal complexity of the property, but they are free to do as they like within the law. The rest of them have jobs outside of The MW. Some leave, some come back, some have always been there. I do my part as legal guardian of the holding, the rest is up to them.”

What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? “I like books that make me think, and stories that make me feel. I don’t have a must read author list, instead I look for something that will take me to places I’ve never been, or places I’d like to revisit. Books are adventures, filled with endless possibilities and hope. I’ve always loved them for that very reason.”

Do you think you will return to DIH at the end of your vacation? “We haven’t decided yet. We have a lot happening with a new baby, and we haven’t had time to make any formal plans yet. I think we are open to whatever feels right for us. We’ll decide that together.”

Do you think Sam is in love with your mother Ellie? “You’d have to ask him, but no matter what he says, Sam deserves love in his life. I wish for everyone in the world to have the chance to feel what I do every time I look at Daphne. How and who are up to each of us to decide, but love is the most important thing we can have on our lives, and I would certainly wish it for the people who are closest to me.”

“When I tell them about The Prophecy, it certainly won’t be a game for me, or for the people I hold dear.”

Will you marry me? He chuckles at this before looking down at his gold band with small rectangular mother of pearl inlays. “Sorry, already taken.” And I have to add he seems very pleased about that fact.

As we part on the street he shakes my hand and tips his hat to me before walking away. If I hadn’t fallen in love with him when I read Roped, I certainly would have then.

As I walk home, I think of his earnestness during our interview, the strength of his love for Daphne and the joy he clearly feels about his family, and I can’t help but smile myself. He talks about Daphne’s accomplishments with pride and confidence. It reminds of what she said about him in Roped. Morgan Lightner has a heart like no other.

 

New Releases, Promos, Teaser

Have you been Roped yet?

Red ScarfI ran the beautiful scarf slowly through my hands, and my smile grew wider as he continued to follow my every move like he was hypnotized. Morgan was a neat and meticulously organized man. He liked things to be just so, nearly all the time. The woman in me knew that. The devil in me wanted to upset his balance and make him spill outside his lines for me, until he was a scribble of love with no borders, no rules, and most of all no fears.

 

Spend the day with Morgan and Daphne finding out what happens next.

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New Releases, Promos, Reviews

ROPED (Chimera Club Stories #7) IS LIVE!

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❤️Amazon ❤️ Apple ❤️ B&N ❤️ KOBO ❤️ GPlay ❤️ Goodreads    BookBub

Our love breaks all the rules.

I see her as the mistress of time management.

I see her as the queen of organization, her sharp mind and insight are priceless to me.

I see her as a warrior, her sword flashing bright when she steps up to defend me.

I see her in my bed, letting me show her all the things a woman like her deserves to experience.

The problem is, Daphne Adams doesn’t see me at all. There’s so much on the line, I can’t lose her. She’s the one thing I have to have to get through the day.

But I want to risk it all.

I see the cowboy boots and expensive suits.

I see the way his lips quirk up on the right side when he’s amused, but hiding it.

I see the best man I’ve ever known, with a heart like no other.

I see him every day, and just being near him makes every day the best day of my life.

The problem is, Morgan Lightner is my boss. If we get personal, the price is the job I’ve been looking for my whole life. Besides, he doesn’t see me that way.

But I wish he did.

Can we find a way to have it all together?

Roped (Chimera Club Stories #7) is AVAILABLE NOW!

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Roped- Author Review

He Sets Me Free Master_edited-1I never know when I sit down to write exactly who I am going to meet. I’m what they call a “planner” and a “pantser”, as in, like the heroine of Roped, I make lists. My lists have lists of things that need to be listed. But then I start meeting the people I am writing about, and my planning becomes pantsing, as in flying by the seat of.

I like that. It keeps it interesting when the character says or does something I didn’t see coming, and I stop and look at the page and go, “Really?” and the character goes “Yep,” and twirls their proverbial finger for me to get on with it.

I met Morgan Lightner for the first time in Delicious, and as another reviewer has said, he was only a frustrated voice on the phone trying to get James Draven back to work after nearly a year of hiding in his Swiss Chalet because of the scars on his face from a car accident. I found out he was a cowboy in All the Colors of My Heart when James, now very much out of hiding, visits his best friend Max Alexander and is talking about how the first thing he is going to do when he returns to work is give Morgan a much deserved vacation.

I have to admit, I made a “squeeing” sound of joy to know that I had a cowboy romance in my future. I love cowboys just as much as I do romance, so it was something I was very much looking forward to writing.

The first question I had to ask myself, is the same question I always have to ask when writing Chimera, “What is Thomas Meenan going to do?” For the fans of Chimera, you know what I mean, because Meenan is always a supporting character in Chimera, often seeming to play the role of Cupid for the couples in these books. But he is so much more than that, and we learn more and more every time we get the chance to see him in action. Understanding his role in each love story helps to build the framework for what the leading characters will be and do together, as well as contributing to the overall arc of mystery and suspense that serves as a backdrop for all the Chimera Club Stories.

Every couple, and every story in Chimera is unique. Daphne and Morgan perhaps even more so than usual. They are both deep thinkers, both incredibly intelligent and drawn to each other from the moment they meet. They are passionate people who enjoy each other as friends and co-workers. Both of them know that they need each other, but their brains keep trying to apply logic in matters where the heart should lead. Taking the journey with them, seeing them open up to each other and themselves was incredible to watch.

Roped, as the tagline says, breaks all the rules. Not just the rules Daphne and Morgan are afraid to cross, it also breaks out and offers us a different kind of H and h, people who aren’t trying to figure out if they are in love, but rather how to handle the feeling and not lose each other in the process.

Roped is different because we get a little taste of the paranormal, and maybe most of all, Roped is different because we get to see the h use a red scarf in some very steamy ways on the H in a scene that I absolutely loved writing because that kind of play between lovers was new for me as a writer.

I work to make sure that Cybill Cain books, are original, fun, sexy and intriguing and it is my sincere hope that you will always find them to be so. My goal is always to give you a serious case of “the feels” with every story. Feel the love, feel the steamy, feel the mystery, and then wanting to feel it all over again.

If you’ re looking for a steamy office romance, with cowboy yummy and a dash of mysticism, get Roped by Cybill Cain. Available for Preorder now.

Tell Me About the Red Scarf