This book won’t Crash and Burn

AllisonBrennanLauraGriffin_CrashandBurn2500 (2)At K&T, we’re big (really, really big) fans of Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin. So what’s better than a book by either of them? How about one by both of them together?

Allison and Laura have co-authored a new book called Crash and Burn. Part anthology, part collaborative work, Crash and Burn combines two stories starring former cops Scarlet Moreno and Krista Hart who are now partners in a private investigations firm.

Allison Brennan’s Crash has Scarlet Moreno hot on the trail of a killer, while trying to avoid a hunky police detective who wants her off the case. Burn, written by Laura Griffin, follows Krista Hart as she hunts down a missing defense witness and fends off a playboy PI competing for the same fee.

Danger, intrigue, and a few hot kisses ensue.

If you like mysteries with intelligent, kick-ass female leads, you’ll love this book. I know I did! I tracked down Laura and Allison to learn more about the genesis of Crash and Burn.

Laura Griffin

Laura Griffin

Gwen: How did the idea to collaborate on a book come about?

Laura: Allison and I had been talking for years about how fun it would be to write a book together. When we came up with the concept of Moreno & Hart Investigations, the ideas really started flowing back and forth. I knew we’d found our characters.

Gwen: The two of you are good friends. Did your friendship survive the book? 😉 Seriously, though, was working together on the book tricky? What was your process?

Allison: Amazingly, the process was painless. Laura and I knew we wanted to write about two female PIs who bonded over something in their past. We picked Orange County as the setting because it’s a place that has a lot of natural potential for stories, it’s familiar, and we both know the area. We each created our own character—Laura developed Krista, and I developed Scarlet. We each wrote our own novellas and incorporated each other’s character, then read everything and edited where our characters came in so that it was consistent. Then we hired an editor to go through both stories looking for any inconsistencies we missed, in addition to standard editing issues.

Gwen: Crash and Burn has some light romantic elements, but it’s a bit different from your usual thriller/romantic suspense titles. Was there a specific spark that drew you toward mystery?

Laura: From the beginning we wanted this to be a series, so I don’t think we were in a hurry to resolve each heroine’s love story right away. Both Scarlet and Krista have a romantic interest, but it is something that will develop over time.

Allison: I love mysteries where there’s a love interest, but the love story isn’t the focal point of the book. In a true romantic suspense, like Laura and I generally write, we spend more time with the hero and heroine working together. As a writer, I like to stretch and write new and different things, while sticking with my core suspense foundation.

Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan

Gwen: Allison, your character Scarlet Moreno reminded me of a modern day Kinsey Millhone (from Sue Grafton’s alphabet series): loner, former cop turned PI, not looking for commitment with a man, can’t walk away from a mystery. Was Moreno inspired by any other authors you read or shows you watch?

Allison: What a great question that makes me think! I watch a lot of television and read a lot of books, and can’t really point to one character who inspired Scarlet. When Laura and I were first talking about this series, we thought of a female Elvis Cole and Joe Pike from Robert Crais’s fantastic series. But Scarlet and Krista are definitely different from the guys ☺ … I think with any lead character, there are elements that get pulled from the author’s current reading and viewing habits. I watch a lot of crime drama, from Justified to Longmire to Person of Interest. Outside of Castle and Rizzoli & Isles and Bones, there aren’t a lot of really strong female leading roles. I hope there will be more in the future!

Gwen: Me too! Tell us about Moreno and Hart. What makes them tick, and why do they work well together?

Laura: These two women are both strong and independent, but after the harrowing incident at the beginning of the book they are bonded together by loyalty. They are determined to make their business work, to uncover the truth in their investigations, and to tackle the obstacles in their path. Despite their different personalities, their loyalty runs deep and no matter what happens, they have each other’s backs.

Gwen: You definitely left me wanting more of this duo. When can we expect to see more from Moreno and Hart?

Allison and Laura: We’re thrilled you enjoyed the book! We hope to write another Moreno and Hart mystery (or two or three!)—whenever we can fit it into our schedule. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Thanks so much for being with us today, ladies!

Laura and Allison are giving away an e-book of Crash and Burn to one lucky commenter. Tell us about one of your favorite strong female characters for a chance to win.

More about Crash and Burn:

Trial by Fire …
Three years ago LAPD Detective Scarlet Moreno and rookie cop Krista Hart were nearly killed during a botched sting operation. Now, they’re best friends and partners in the Orange County private investigation firm of Moreno & Hart. But their routine assignments are anything but safe …

Crash …
Scarlet Moreno has her hands full with a cheating spouse case when the bartender at her favorite pub becomes a murder suspect. Worse, the detective in charge of the investigation threatens to arrest Scarlet for obstruction—even when she tries to give him valuable information. Scarlet risks her PI license and her life to find out the truth, absolve her friend, and track down a killer—with or without the help of the arrogant, mysterious Detective Alex Bishop.

And Burn …
Krista Hart is burned out on catching deadbeat dads and philandering husbands when a big-time criminal defense attorney hires her for a choice assignment: find the sole witness to murder the day before the trial. The case could be a boon for Moreno & Hart, but the witness is in hiding, someone is following Krista, and her own client is withholding information. The last person she wants help from is sexy investigator R.J. Flynn, but he claims he’s willing to share intel—for a price. If she can solve this case, it’ll elevate Moreno & Hart above being divorce voyeurs, but first she has to survive, with her life and heart intact.

About Gwen Hernandez

Author of SCRIVENER FOR DUMMIES & the Men of Steele romantic suspense series. Manufacturing engineer turned writer. Scrivener instructor, runner, reader, explorer, Kung Fu sifu, AF spouse, mom, vegan.

Posted on September 4, 2013, in Author Interview, Gwen Hernandez and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. Crash and Burn is now on my Kindle. LOVE the idea of a P.I. firm run by two kick-ass women.

  2. Can’t wait to read this book.

  3. Hi Deborah, I hope you’ll like it! We had so much fun writing the book together.

  4. I started reading this last night and LOVE it!! I fell asleep in the chair reading. Hate that I have to get through a whole day before I can get back to the story!!

  5. This is so exciting. Two of my all-time FAV writers in one FAB-sounding book! Can’t wait to share with my mom who is also a fan! All my heroines are tough as can be emotionally. Always overcoming a tough past, making a better future, but so far none in law enforcement. Can see Moreno & Hart as a tv series someday! Best of luck with this venture.
    Gwen, looking forward to meeting you at NJRW in Oct. I am a scrivener convert!

  6. Okay, I just finished Lisa Gardner’s Catch Me last night. I’ve got Ashes Ashes by Lena Diaz queued for my plane ride to the writers police academy (see ya there Jenna :-)) . Crash and Burn will be PERFECT for the trip home. Hooray! I was trying to decide what to load up on my ipad. Laura and Allison, thanks for being our guest. Gwen, awesome interview!

  7. Thank you so much for having us here today! We’re very excited to come back to K&T. We love you too!

  8. I’m loving this book. It’s a dream to have two of my favorite authors writing together. Can’t wait for more.

  9. Thanks so much to Allison and Laura for coming to the K&T lair! I’m a huge fan of you both (and Allison and I are SMP sisters) so I pre-ordered, only to get sidetracked by life. CRASH AND BURN is all queued up and ready for me to jump into on my Kindle now though so I’m all set! Can’t wait!

    There are lots of possibilities for my strong heroine pick. I’ve been reading Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series so she’s definitely on the shortlist. So is S.J. Bolton’s Lacey Flint. But for my final answer I’m going with a heroine who isn’t (exactly) in law enforcement, but who does her part to solve crimes all the same. And who has showed lots of strength over the course of many books. Dr. Sara Linton from Karin Slaughter’s Grant County and Will Trent series’ is my favorite kind of strong southern heroine. She’s strong when she needs to be and soft when she needs to be. And she gets things done. Which is sometimes all you need.

  10. Welcome back Allison and Laura! The book sounds fabulous, can’t wait to read it.

    Hmm. Strong heroines. I really love Carol O’Connell’s Kathy Mallory, but she’s a rather different sort of strong female and difficult to like.

    My favorite Elizabeth Peters heroine is Vicki Bliss. I’m still mourning EP’s passing and sad I won’t get to read more of Vicki’s adventures.

  11. Lord, my 2 favorite RS authors collaborating on a book. I seriously considered making up a fake comment-profile so I could get in the running for the prize!

    (Grumble) guess I’ll head straight to Amazon from here.

    Welcome, Allison and Laura and congrats of finding the TIME between your own busy lives and deadlines to work together like this. I recall Allison (I think it was your online class) saying one of your fav TV shows is Justified. Laura, what sorts of shows (if any) do you watch?

    Strong heroine: Lucy Kincaid (oh gosh, is that fan girl brown-nosing or what?)

    • Yes, Justified is one of my all-time favorite shows … I can not WAIT until January when it returns! Some of my recent faves are THE FOLLOWING and THE BRIDGE, both very dark.

      I’m glad you like Lucy! She’s grown so much from book 1 to book 7. I just started writing book 8 in her series, and she’s really come into her own as a full-FBI Agent. 🙂

  12. I cannot wait to read this book! What a wonderful premise and I have no doubt the series will be a huge success.
    As far as strong heroines, I just finished JR Ward’s Envy and I really enjoyed her heroine, Sophia Reilly, who was an IA police officer. She was a great realistic character, both strong-willed yet vulnerable. And I loved how she kept the hero slightly off-kilter. 🙂

  13. Laura and Allison: It was great to have you with us on K&T today. Thanks for checking in and just being so darn great. 😉

  14. Krista Hart! Wow–great name for a heroine 😉 The series sounds awesome! Looking forward to reading Crash and Burn. I’m adding Emma Sharpe from Carla Neggers’ Sharpe and Donovan series to the list of strong heroines.

  15. Two great authors, Allison and Laura, have to make for one great book. And, to create a new series in my favorite genre … let me just say I am VERY happy. 🙂

    I think the heroines that overcome serious personal tragedy to become someone that is beyond strong and brave are my favs. Sara Linton, as previously mentioned, and while in a series but not the herione in each Lena Diaz’s Amanda Stockton from He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not are the type I’m talking about. Yes, I got a bit picky but I love so many types of heriones that I would still be posting tomorrow if I listed them all.

    Look forward to reading Crash and Burn. Thank you for intoducing it to us.

  16. Yay, Julie, for mentioning Amanda Stockton!

  17. Congrats on the release! Looking forward to it. One of my favorite strong characters is Eve Dallas

  18. Sounds good. I just started reading Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid series. This book with Laura Griffin looks to be right up my alley. We definitely have to read.

  19. Sounds like an exciting read! I hope I win!

  20. I cannot name just a single strong female character I like. I find that all females are strong in one way or another. I’ll go a step further; I find that all females are stronger than they think they are when called upon to be strong. Anyhow, now I’d love to read this book!!

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