Backlist to the Future: Breeder by Cara Bristol…what is it REALLY about?

Backlist to the Future is a weekly Thursday feature highlighting science fiction romances from authors’ backlists.

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Note to readers: This feature is usually reserved for other authors. But this week, I’m making an exception, taking liberty and featuring one of my own books.

Breeder, a dark sci-fi romance, represented a risky turning point in my writing career.

It was 2013, and I was enjoying modest success writing the Rod and Cane Society novellas, a contemporary spanking/domestic discipline romance series.  Then I got a story idea…

What if a society devalued its women to the extent that females were relegated to the role of breeding slaves? What if M/M partnerships were the norm and M/F relationships were considered deviant? What if one of the leaders responsible for enforcing that “Protocol” were to purchase a breeder, but fall in love with her? Would he chose love or his belief?

The story couldn’t be anything but science fiction romance. I would have to change genres. Would my contemporary spanking romance readers follow me over? I didn’t know.

I also didn’t know what to do about the spanking. I was getting bored writing spanking stories, but I didn’t want to disappoint my audience. After seriously considering omitting spanking from Breeder, I did include some spanking scenes, but changed the focus. In contrast to the “impact play” (I really do think that’s a silly phrase) of Rod and Cane, the spanking in Breeder is not intended to be erotic. Breeder is not a hurts-so-good spanking romance. The violence is brutal and reveals the kind of messed-up society the characters live in.

Another risk involved the M/M content—on two opposite fronts. Breeder is an M/F romance set in an M/M world. There was a chance readers would be put off by the association with M/M. On the other hand, Loose Id, the original publisher, focused heavily on M/M romances. My Breeder characters reject the M/M orientation for an M/F one. I didn’t know how Loose Id would react and wondered if they might even reject the book. (They didn’t.).

Breeder can be enjoyed for the story and the romance between the hero and heroine, but it has a message, and it’s this: What do you believe with all your heart that just isn’t true?

The characters of the Breeder series have complete faith in their “Protocol.” Even when they recognize its inconsistencies and how it repeatedly fails them, they still believe in it, still think Protocol is natural and best.

Are you brave enough to examine and question your sacred cows–those core beliefs you accept as absolutes? Those very principles by which you live your life? Is what you believe factual and true or were you just taught that it is?

The question, “Can everybody be wrong?” is often used in defense of tradition. But yes, everybody can be wrong.

Just ask the people of Parseon.

Breeder became my best-selling book ever. The rights to the series has reverted to me, and I’m re-releasing the trilogy over the summer: Breeder (already out), Terran (preorder now for July 10 release) and Warrior (slated for August).

Breeder description

She was only meant to be the Alpha Commander’s slave…but she became his everything.

High Commander Dak, a ruling Alpha of planet Parseon, purchases Omra strictly as a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her, produce a son, and hand her off to his anointed beta partner, Corren. Any infractions of the rules by her will be harshly punished.

But as Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, Dak begins to question the traditions and ways of his people, causing him to jeopardize his command and endanger the life of the woman he has come to love.

Dak has enemies, men who will not hesitate to exploit his fondness for Omra, and use it to portray him as unfit to rule as Alpha. Can he expose the rampant cruelty and corruption in Parseon culture… or will the protocol he’s spent his life defending, be the weapon used to destroy them and their love?

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2 Responses to Backlist to the Future: Breeder by Cara Bristol…what is it REALLY about?

  1. Viv says:

    That’s what elevates this book: it challenges readers, asks some tough questions, never takes the easy route. Like all the best books.

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