Oops! On research, weaponry, and the Breeder series…

shooting crossbowOne of the things I love about fiction writing is that I get paid to use my imagination. I sit at my desk and make up stuff. It’s a great gig.

With science fiction, I can let my imagination run wild. I can create impossible things. In the Breeder sci-fi romance series, I imagined an alien world in which love manages to thrive despite the misogynistic, male-dominated culture. It’s a dystopian fantasy, and I drew inspiration from the Middle East’s treatment of women, communism, and even the Klingons of Star Trek. The Parseon culture is aggressive, bellicose and violent.

Not surprising due to the culture, fighting occurs and people die in the series. To make the fighting and violence up close and personal, characters use weapons requiring hand-to-hand combat.  In Breeder, the first book, the weapon of choice is a dagger.

finishedIn Terran, the second book to be released May 6, I introduce the crossbow, a projectile weapon that mounts a bow on a stock so that the bolt (arrow) can be released by pressing a trigger. You shoot it like you would a rifle.

I took creative license with my science fiction world, and on occasion, refer to it as a ballista. A ballista (Ballistae plural) technically is a piece of artillery that rests on the ground, but many names for crossbow are derived from the medieval ballista. I learned that in my research.

In Terran, heroine Tara picks up a crossbow and fires it.

After finishing Terran, I started writing book three, Warrior, and as the name suggests, there will be more fighting. I decided I needed to get the feel of shooting a crossbow by actually firing one so I could use the experience for Warrior.  So I had my husband show me. And then I learned about draw weight—the force that it takes to cock or pull back the bow string. It takes considerable force to cock the crossbow. More strength than I have. My husband had to cock the crossbow for me.


The top arrow is my husband’s; the bottom two are mine. I was aiming at the middle target.

The Parseon people are much larger and stronger than Terrans so it is not unlikely that a Parseon female could shoot a crossbow relatively easy.

But Tara the Terran? Let’s just say, she was really hyped up on adrenalin when she fired that crossbow.

Terran will be released by Loose Id in just two weeks!


CB_Terran_coverlgUnofficial Terran blurb

After fleeing loneliness and heartache on Terra, Tara Diehl has adjusted to male-dominated Parseon better than most vendors until she is kidnapped by Alpha Marlix, one of the five rulers of the planet. At first she’s terrified of her tall, muscled abductor, especially when he doesn’t hesitate to quell her struggles for freedom with some force of his own. After all her methods and ploys to escape fail, she decides to seduce her way to freedom.

But out of seduction and subterfuge grow a true intimacy that cause Marlix and Tara to take action that drives Parseon to the brink of civil war, and threaten not only their relationship, but also their lives.

Terran, the second book in the Breeder sci-fi series, is a “capture” romance involving a domineering but hunky alien, a female with a bad dye job and an even worse attitude, graphic sex, and spanking.

CB_Breeder_coverlgBreeder – Available now through Amazon and other e-tailers

To secure his legacy, Commander Dak, a ruling Alpha of planet Parseon, purchases Omra, a breeder slave. He intends to impregnate her, produce a son, and hand her off to his anointed beta partner. As Dak and Omra discover a sexual bliss banned by law, he 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.


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12 Responses to Oops! On research, weaponry, and the Breeder series…

  1. What a dedicated researcher you are. Now I want to try a crossbow!

  2. Casey McKay says:

    How fun! I love that your husband was helping you out with your research. Your shots aren’t bad at all, at least you hit the target thing-y!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Lol, Casey. When I started writing erotic romance, my husband said “no field research” — but that doesn’t apply to weapons. As a result of bowling for three years, my aim is not bad, but the crossbow is heavy and it was hard for me to hold it steady.

  3. Rose Montague says:

    Cool. Sounds like fun!

  4. Rhonda Griffith says:

    Oh the things you do for your readers:) looks like FUN research. I don’t think I could even hit the target. 2 weeks and counting!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      The crossbow has a scope, so it’s easier than it looks. It’s just a matter of having the strength to hold it steady. A Texas girl like you? You could do it!

  5. Lisa Medley says:

    Look at you! All Warrior Woman and the like! Love it! I have a compound bow if you ever want to give it a try. I used to hunt with my DH. Never actually killed anything (although I’m not adverse to that). I did win a nice little trophy in a bow shoot once, however. Research is fun. It would be interesting to know what the craziest thing an author we know has done in the name of ‘research’. I went on a ghost hunt. I’m willing to up that ante however 😀

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Funny. On Wednesday, I’m going to have a Cara Quiz, that reveals a lot of what I’ve done in the name of research (and some other stuff). I’ll have 10 questions with three true statements, one false statement. People will have to guess which one they think is false.

      I don’t think I could hunt. I would have to be really, really, really hungry. I’d have to look at a deer and see only T-bone steaks.

  6. Sue Lyndon says:

    I’m a little afraid of you now, Cara. LOL. Just kidding. Looks like a lot of fun, actually! I’ve never shot a crossbow but I’ve shot a regular bow and arrow a few times.

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