Posted by Gwen Hernandez
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.
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.
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 …
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.