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Please welcome today’s guest author Cari Silverwood to the blog. You will remember Cari from her guest appearance back in November when she talked about steampunk, submissive heroines, and her novel Iron Dominance or her more recent guest appearance when she talked about her novel 31 Flavors. As always, please make Cari feel welcome by leaving a question or comment for her in the comments section at the end of this post. 

Action and Romance

By Cari Silverwood

Are you an action fan? I know I am. That bit of violence in a story just makes everything hurtle along so much faster for me. It ups the tension and the conflict and makes me bite my nails. I’ve been a Terminator fan, a James Bond fan, and a reader of anything with a bit of nastiness strewn across the pages for a very long time.

Although I’m thinking of doing some genre-swapping soon and migrating from steampunk stories to something more mainstream, I know I’ll never easily forsake action. Iron Dominance, the first in my Steamworks series, had its fair share. There were exploding airships, mid-air battles, and snipers taking out the enemy from miles away with bullets whizzing past the heroine’s head – yes, I had fun.

Since that book has just won Best Book of 2011 in the Erotic Steampunk category at The Romance Reviews, I must have done something right.

This next book in the series, Lust Plague, has even more action. Instead of just a bit of intrigue and mystery, I added zombies and mild horror into the plot pot. What better way to keep the tension high than to have an ever-present worry that something undead may stagger around the next corner?

I did resist the “brains, brains” dialogue though. That was a little too cheesy. Lust Plague may have some humor but the overall tone mostly swings from hot and sexy to hair-raising and back to sexy again.

Sten followed along behind Kaysana—the view was better.

Her curvaceous backside swayed before him beneath his own shirt. Damn, that was sexy, especially remembering how she’d moaned under his mouth. What a hard-on that had given him.

Kissing, hah, he’d not been sure she’d go with that logic.

A few hundred yards of walking and they emerged from under the tree line into the night sky. Only stars above. No burning airships despite the faint smell of smoke. He felt relief. So many odd things had happened.

“Don’t suppose you want to give me a weapon, Sten?”


“We’ll be meeting zombies. I promise not to shoot you.”

“I’ll consider it.” She expected a weapon? Heaven and hell. He wasn’t that nuts. Maybe when indignation wasn’t coming off her in waves every time she looked at him.

She snorted, turned away. “Fool. Come on. Looks like a farmhouse up there.” She pointed. Up a slope, through a field of some tall crop, the silhouette of a building showed at the peak. Light flickered across the crop, washing the field in yellow and orange as if it were some strange golden sea.

“I’ll watch your tail. Just keep wriggling it like that.”

“I’ve been known to gouge out the eyes of men who ogle.”

Sten and Kaysana were more than tough enough to withstand the zombie hordes. Anyone who can make love on a rooftop with zombies prowling about down below has my respect.

While I was writing this story, a wolf came and sat on my pages too. He made a curious sort of pet. So suitable for a book with zombies though. A lap dog would have been an appetizer in seconds, but not Cadrach. He gnaws on zombies for breakfast, spits out the bones and smiles through his shiny teeth.

Cadrach accompanied them, walking on a parallel path without being commanded to. Pets, to Kaysana’s mind, should be small and happy and their mouths should only open wide enough to nip fingers, not entire limbs. The brooding wolf sent glacier cold sliding through her veins.

“I shall call you Fluffy,” she muttered.

Towards the end of Lust Plague I made sure the action shot up to crazy and life-threatening levels, and since the romance will always hit a few bumps toward the end, the inter-tangling of those two things made for a great balancing act while I wrote it all out.

If you too like lapping up the action, Lust Plague should suit you. As an early reviewer said –

“this is an utterly sexy, thrilling book that lures you into a world that is as dangerous as it is fascinating.”

Teresa Silberstern 5 stars Goodreads

Blurb for lust Plague:

Saving the world should be easier.

When airship captain Kaysana meets Sten, the last thing she wants to do is have mad rough sex with him while bound by ropes and clamps but fate pencils in their appointment. The lust plague strikes. From her infected crew, zombies arise.

With her ship gone, she must rely on Sten, a human clone, a man who has fought all his life to master himself. She despises his kind and detests Sten’s growing hold on her. Though he never takes no for an answer, surely it’s the plague that makes yes slip from her tongue like melted butter? Or should she blame her own traitorous heart?

Hordes of slavering zombies await them. Sten and Kaysana unlimber weapons, don goggles, and set a course for the origin of the plague. Yet their victory will be hollow if they cannot also solve the puzzle of their hearts.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and elements, exhibitionism, spanking, strong violence.

Here’s a little taste of the action.

While Kaysana struggled with Ling, the mercs advanced, uncoordinated, bumping into each other, as if their minds had gone on holidays. At least they weren’t raised. Eight of them. None had weapons drawn except for Honder, but the way they stared with implacable eyes, the lust, sent cold shudders down her spine. “Emily!”

The dazed young woman, who stood a few steps nearer the advancing men, looked up and saw them. She froze, then raised her hand to her mouth.

The woman could think. Please, Emily, run. You’re alive, uninfected. Run, girl! Does the woman have any sense? “Get out of here! Run!”

Ling wouldn’t let her go? Fine. The tragedy of what she had to do squirmed in her mind like a maggot. Damn this. Damn everything. This was a good man. She jammed her palm onto the pistol’s butt, jerked it free of the holster, and hesitated. The pistol’s blue-steel barrel wavered under her trembling hand.

Shooting him was… Frick. Don’t think; do.

She yanked the trigger, blasted a gauss round into Ling’s abdomen. The blue charge spiraled out with energetic fizz. The magnetized bullet burrowed and sizzled into him, then spun out the other side in a mist of burgundy gore. Ling crumpled.

Flesh and blood always lost out to a gauss pistol.

“Sorry,” she gasped.

With no time for real grief, she clamped down on the tsunami of feelings that threatened to swamp her. Dammit, the man’s twitching corpse wouldn’t let go of her arm. Too heavy to drag. She wasted seconds trying to pry off his digits before she gave up and turned.

Methodically she shot the merc who reached for Emily. One.

Emily screamed and sprinted for the door, flying past Kaysana, mouth gaping, her blonde pigtails flailing.

Two. The butt kicked into her palm. With a ’lectric-laden spit and fizz, another man dropped. Three rounds left. How did you shoot six madmen with three charges? And now they came for her, syrup slow—not normal, not by a long shot. Slow was good, though.

“Decisions decisions,” she murmured, and all the while, her heart pounded away as if someone inside her were dying to get out.

Three. Four. Five. Empty. How fast could she reload?

Mouth dry, fear kicking in, backing away as much as she could with Ling latched on like an anchor, she ripped a recharge pack for the pistol from her belt. Damn damn damn. Three men left. Hands reached for her. She kicked Honder in the testicles, smiled as he grunted and dropped back. Something clutched, wrenched at her ankle. The world whipped up and hit her, hard, in the back of the head with a thump. Her ears sang in painful harmony.

On the floor with hands, growling faces, hot breath. Skin stung as fingers clawed at her, clothes tore, but through it all the worst was Ling’s face heaving into view, inches away. You should be dead!


Cari’s website:

Buylink for Lust Plague:

9 Responses to Do You Like Action With Your Romance? Cari Silverwood Joins Us To Talk About Action Romance

  • Mary Preston says:

    I do like action with my romance. In fact, I rather like action with most of my reading. It heightens the experience.

  • Laurie Sanders says:

    You’ve written three pieces…some would say three pieces that are fairly different from each other. What’s on tap for you next? You mentioned shifting more mainstream. Does that mean leaving behind the eroticism, bdsm, or the steampunk sub-genre? Just curious…what’s on tap next. Where you see going after that.

    • Cari Silverwood says:

      Sorry, I missed the last comment Laurie.

      I may head for PNR or urban fantasy with erotic scenes but not as heavily erotic as I’m currently doing. I’ll see how my series sells. Most romance readers like contemporary, cowboy or PNR on the polls I’ve seen, so steampunk…especially steampunk with zombies, is a bit off the beaten track. I’m not sure I’d like to leave behind the BDSM element to the sex as that is so fun to write. I do hate rewriting the same thing, as you’ve noticed, and vanilla sex is a tad boring c/o BDSM.

      I’m at the moment writing Steel Dominance, the third in this series.

      I’d definitely keep to very alpha men. I may not write steampunk again. Although I get great reviews and have won awards, it just isn’t finding the bigger audience, as yet. Lust Plague may grow that audience though. I have already gotten a great response to this story.

      And my latest 5 star review says (Full Moon Bites):
      “I really enjoyed this novel and have come to the conclusion as I am sure others have, that Cari is one hell of a sex scene creator, even in the middle of zombie gore, she still managed to bring the erotica scenes to a height that few authors in my opinion can.”

  • Laurie Sanders says:

    Thanks for joining us here today. Romantic suspense is one of my favorite sub-genres. Like action romance there is the added element of danger…and that adds a quality that I like. I also like that there is usually some aspect of mystery…something for the logical mind to gnaw on while the couple falls in love.

    Being a fan of Walking Dead the zombie element of your story appeals.

    Are you a fan of the show? Did it inspire the book in anyway?

    • Cari Silverwood says:

      I’ve seen the graphic novels for the Walking Dead, but no, I wasn’t inspired by those. Zombies in general, throughout literary history, inspired me (Dare I say zombie and literary in the same sentence?)

      Zombies to me, became a great way to have some cannon fodder to kill off without leaving my people saddened by the killing too much. And like all good action stories, at the very end, I let the zombies come so darned close to wiping out my good people.

      • Laurie Sanders says:

        I’ve not seen the graphic novels for The Walking Dead, but I understand they heavily influence the show…though not everything that happens in the graphic novels happens at the same time or in the same way in the show.

        I agree…if you want to be able to have cannon fire without “real” death zombies is the way to do it since zombies aren’t really alive to begin with.

        I agree…for the action to really inspire the edge of your seat feeling that all of us who like action and suspense titles like in those genres it has to be very possible – even probable – for the good people to lose. If the good people winning were a sure thing then there would not be as much to worry about.

  • Cari Silverwood says:

    Just got up here in Australia. Thanks for commenting, ladies. There’s certainly a lot of scope in stories for action — Whether contemporary or historical or scifi. I guess it adds a heap of conflict, wondering if someone is going to get hurt?

  • Ilona F says:

    I like action in a romance if it’s there for a reason and well written. The excerpt says Lust Plague has both criteria covered so it’s going on my wish list :D

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