11-25 Australian Author - Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Hi, I’m Sarah Raplee, author of BLINDSIGHT (Psychic Agents Series Book 1).

Psychic Agents Series Blurb:
Over the last hundred years, the number of people with psychic gifts in the general populace, world-wide, continues to increase. The Special Psychic Agents of the FBI’s Global Resources Subdivision are a law enforcement resource hidden deep in the Bureau’s International Operations Division. These men and women are charged with using their powerful psychic Talents in support of FBI operations and foreign law enforcement organizations upon request. These unsung heroes routinely lay their lives—and their hearts—on the line in pursuit of justice for all.

As Matt Buchman said in his post last Saturday, writing a romantic thriller is a balancing act. The thriller storyline and the romance storyline must be so interwoven that one cannot stand without the other.

In the case of paranormal romantic thrillers like BLINDSIGHT, the paranormal elements must be integral to both storylines and to the main characters’ goals, motivations and conflicts. For me, writing one of these edge-of-your-seat stories was a whole lot of fun!

I took a world-building class, a class about weaving together the various elements of a story and a class on researching and writing diverse characters. The characters in this series reflect the richness of our diverse American culture.

Digging into subjects as wide-ranging as bear vaults, hypothermia, invisibility cloaks, and world history was fun. Brainstorming secondary characters, twists and turns in the plot and a doozie of a mid-point reversal was off-the-charts awesome. During revisions, discovering theme was a revelation. Somehow I’d written it in without knowing!

I'd have to say the most difficult thing for me to get right was pacing. Thillers are mostly fast-paced, but this romance needed quieter moments spaced in as well. 

 When psychic FBI Agent Hector Guerrero’s family was kidnapped and murdered, he swore to stop the slave trade in psychics. Undercover for three years in the Mendoza Drug Cartel, he’s zeroing in on a hidden prison camp in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Nothing will stop him from taking down the Cartel.

Blind wedding singer Melisenda Sepulveda can’t keep from projecting her emotional energy onto others through touch. Meli’s nomadic life performing throughout the Pacific Northwest allows her to avoid physical and emotional intimacy. But now the veterinarian insists her only family, her elderly Guide Dog Freddy, must stop traveling. Desperate to pay for a career change so she can work from home and keep her beloved companion, Meli accepts a risky gig at a drug lord’s wilderness wedding.

When the Cartel targets Meli for kidnapping, Hector loses his focus. When Meli blows his cover, she loses Hector’s trust. When Meli rescues Hector from a torture chamber, Hector might well lose his battered heart.

Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, the agent poured his champagne into his neighbor’s empty glass. He couldn’t take a chance on dulling his thought processes.
Being Hector was like wearing an ill-fitting-but-familiar old suit that pinched in a couple of places, but not so badly he couldn’t ignore the discomfort most of the time. He had to be at the top of his game, one-hundred per cent in character to survive long enough to bring down the Mendoza Cartel.
The murmur of the crowd muted. Casting a glance over his shoulder, Hector spotted Killingsworth staring through the open French doors beside the musician’s dais like a lion spotting a threat—or prey. The back of the agent’s neck prickled.
Turning in his seat for a better look, he made out a shadowy female figure wearing a long gown. Why was Killingsworth so interested in her?
A swirl of iridescent fabric the color of sagebrush in springtime accompanied a dainty, green-slippered foot into the soft circle of light spilling from the ballroom. Conversation near the doorway hushed. Every male in the room homed in on the woman who left the shadows, a woman like no other the agent had encountered in the underworld of the Cartel.
Coppery curls spilled over the curve of one shoulder in a long, loose ponytail. In the warm glow of the chandeliers, rhinestones shimmered in her burnished hair and winked from the frames of her mysterious dark glasses. Her demure, floor-length gown failed to conceal her curves or the sweet, girl-next-door sexiness she exuded.
For the first time in nearly four years, desire unfolded in the agent’s belly.
In the world of the Cartel, women survived and sometimes thrived using a combination of cold cunning and artifice. They grew cynical and hard, or worn-down and resigned. Yet everything about this young woman sang the siren song of wholesome, soul-deep beauty. Even the crowded ballroom’s air smelled fresher with her in the room.
She hesitated, brushing back an errant curl with a small hand covered in sage-green lace. Beneath the twinkle of her dark glasses her wide mouth curved into a smile full of promise.
One of the blue-suited mariachis descended the dais steps and spoke softly to her. She nodded. Tucking one of her hands into the crook of his arm he led her to the little stage. He murmured something into her ear and she smiled. They ascended the three steps and crossed to the middle of the small, raised stage. The mariachi guided her gloved hand to a microphone stand.
Hector’s heart bucked like a wild burro. ¡Mierda! The woman was blind.

©Copyright 2017 Sarah Raplee

Thank you for reading my post. ~ Sarah Raplee


Judith Ashley said...

Just finished reading "Blindsight" and enjoyed it immensely even though I'm generally not a fan of thrillers or suspense. I think you got the pacing just right for those of us who do want to keep breathing and even take a break to go to the bathroom while reading. Still there was enough suspense and 'thriller' events to keep the adrenaline going!

Maggie Lynch said...

I love this comment you made in the article: "During revisions, discovering theme was a revelation. Somehow I’d written it in without knowing!"

That is exactly what happens to me. I do enter the writing process with an overriding theme (e.g., love conquers all or the price we pay for decisions), but I'm always pleasantly surprised at the underlying themes that play an important part of the story.

I've had this book on my TBR pile for a long time. One of my "balancing" goals moving forward is finding time to read for pleasure. I haven't done that for at least two years and it's driving me crazy. (Okay crazier than I already am). I hope you are working on a second book in this world, Sarah.

Diana McCollum said...

Great blog post! Isn't interesting all the things one has to consider when writing a novel? I read Blindsight, intriguing story. Do you have an estimated time for the release of the next book in the series?

Sarah Raplee said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed "Blindsight", Judith. I don't go in for much of what I consider extreme violence 'on stage'. When a scene is intense, I try to lighten it with humor. I want people to remember the characters and the story, not be overwhelmed or grossed out. Both my characters and my readers need time to process and catch their breath.

Sarah Raplee said...

Maggie, I'm glad I'm not the only one surprised by the themes that turn up in their stories! My core story/main theme is "You have to decide who you want to be." Themes that turned up in Blindsight include "true love and intimacy go beyond the physical" and "we are stronger together."

Sarah Raplee said...

I forgot to say thank you for having Blindsight on your TBR pile, Maggie. I seldom get to read for pleasure, either, but I've been reading more lately.

And yes, I'm working on Sight Unseen, Book 2 in the Psychic Agents Series.

Sarah Raplee said...

Diana, thank you for reading Blindsight. I plan to have Sight Unseen published next summer. In between I'll be releasing a Steampunk short story and a Valentine's Day short story.