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Why Cara Bristol Wrote Claimed by the Cyborg

 

I’m such a pantser, I’m always the last to know anything about my books.

Claimed by the Cyborg is a standalone book in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series. Cy-Ops stands for Cyber Operations, a covert organization of cyborgs fighting to save the galaxy from terrorism. When I first envisioned the series, my goal was to create romantic cyborg heroes who were truly heroic—bold, brave men willing to risk life and limb to save the world—and the women they love. The series tagline is saving the girl and the galaxy one mission at a time.

And that’s pretty much how I write the books—one mission, one book at a time. I’m a pantser. I don’t have the series outlined, I don’t know from one book to the next who is going to be the hero or heroine, what their goals will be or the obstacles, until I start next book. That said, each subsequent book is built on previous books, and secondary characters later become the main characters of future books. I also revisit settings. Xenia, a beautiful, exotic-looking planet is one of the secondary settings in several of the books.

Last summer I wrote a free Cy-Ops short story for my newsletter subscribers. Married to the Cyborg was a spinoff from book one, Stranded with the Cyborg and brought back the hero and heroine, Brock Mann and Penelope “Pia” Aaron, for another adventure, but confronted them with a new villain and some new secondary characters. One of those characters was Princess Julietta. Remember now, I was just making stuff up…

When Penelope meets Julietta, the princess invites her to her upcoming wedding. The princess then tells Pia that she has yet to meet her future husband. Marriages are arranged, mates are chosen for them at birth, but they don’t meet them until the actual ceremony. Further, her mate must defeat a challenger in the Sha’A’la, a battle for her hand.

Wait a minute, she doesn’t even know the man she’s supposed to marry? There’s a story there!

I knew then I had my heroine for the next book! But her hero isn’t the mate chosen for her, but a man from her past, now a cyborg, who shows up just in time to throw a wrench into the imperial bonding ceremony.

Because of the past (backstory) relationship between the hero and heroine, Claimed by the Cyborg turned out to be the most romantic of all the Cy-Ops stories, and it has the most plot twists. You’d think I planned it all!

The one thing I do know when I start to write is the end. I know where I’m going. I have to figure out how to get there, but I know where I’m headed. This time, however, the end changed from what I had planned. I was in the home stretch when I realized my heroine was going to do something different from what I had envisioned. I think readers will be surprised by the book.  I know I was. Lol.

Claimed by the Cyborg Description

March Fellows assumed he had all the time in the galaxy to pursue a relationship with Jules, an alien exchange student from Xenia, until she vanished without a trace. After years of searching, he finds his lost love on the eve of her arranged marriage.

The daughter of the Xenian emperor, Julietta never meant to fall in love with a Terran man while visiting Earth. Leaving to fulfill her responsibilities on her home planet opened up a hole in her heart that could never be filled. When March, now a cyborg, unexpectedly shows up just before she is to be bonded, she struggles to find the courage to turn him away a second time and follow through with her duty. Before she can act, the lovers are thrust into a political conspiracy that threatens the Xenian empire and their lives.

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Excerpt:

March gaped at the woman who’d entered the hall, her arm linked with a girl’s. Hair, long and curly, tumbled down her back. Her eyes were as he remembered, as black and enigmatic as space, but girlish features had matured into womanliness. Jules. My Jules. Her gaze collided with his, the darkness concealing her thoughts, but her mouth parted as if shocked. If he hadn’t been seated, the sight of her would have knocked him on his ass. His hands shook, and he clenched them into fists to quell the trembling.

He’d searched, questioned everyone who’d known her, revisited all their haunts. So much time, so much effort, and she just walked in. Of all the places, in all the years, she was here. He couldn’t believe it. A guest at the ceremony. The practiced words he’d imagined he’d say if he located her evaporated, and all he could do was drink her in.

She’d never looked more beautiful. Dignified, refined, polished. Not haughty, but self-contained. Intricate whorls adorned her face, enhancing her exotic allure. She wore the tunic and pantaloons common to Xenia, the design and tailoring of hers nonpareil, surpassing elegance, but in the same color as the garments of members of the imperial family. She must be one of the many attendants. A relative maybe? Cousin to the bride? Obviously, she knew the imperial family well, or she wouldn’t be at the banquet.

Which would begin at any moment. Damn it! He couldn’t talk to her now. Jules moved, almost as if to step in his direction, but the younger woman herded her to two open seats at the other end of the long banquet table.

At the next opportunity, he would approach her. His heart hammered. The twins probably knew her. He turned to Naimo to ask him, when Kur spoke.

“There’s your chosen! Princess Julietta is looking at you, Naimo.” He gestured in Jules’s direction. “She’s checking you out!”

March shifted his attention to the girl who’d accompanied Jules. She couldn’t be more than fifteen or sixteen. She was a little young to be bonded, wasn’t she?

Naimo took a deep, satisfied-sounding breath. “She is even lovelier with the bonding stain painted on her face. Her vids don’t do her justice.”

The younger woman’s face was clear, unmarked. His gaze zoomed to Jules, to the spiraling whorls gracing her temples, her cheeks.

No. No. No.

The woman with the facial paint is your chosen?” His voice came out a whispered croak. “That’s Princess Julietta?” His Jules was Emperor Dusan’s daughter? No.

“The one and only.” Naimo beamed.

* * * 

USA Today bestselling author Cara Bristol has been the no. 1 best seller in science fiction romance, bdsm erotica, and holiday fiction on Amazon. She’s the author of two science fiction romance series featuring tough alpha heroes: the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance cyborg series and the Breeder science fiction romance series, which emphasize character-driven stories written with a touch of humor and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara lives in Missouri with her own alpha hero, her husband. Find more about Cara:

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There is a contest going on!

Use the cover of Claimed by the Cyborg in an Instagram photogram and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Don’t delay. The deadline to enter is January 20. Get the entry requirements and rules here.

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I’d like to thank Cara for stopping by to share her story. As an also pantser, I feel her plotting pain. lol So dear readers, does this sound as romantic to you as it does to me?

I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.