Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wildcard Weekend: Bad Boys and Big Bikes...

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome USA Today Bestselling Author Christine Rimmer who is using the opportunity to confess.

Hi everyone. I’m Christine Rimmer. This is my first visit to the Pink Heart Society. It’s great to be here. And so nice to participate in a blog that’s all about series romance. I love series romance. And I’ve been writing it for a very long time!

Let me begin with a confession. I have a thing for bad boys and big bikes. Motorcycles, I mean. Harleys. Choppers, particularly.

My current release, A BRIDE FOR JERICHO BRAVO, is the story of the sixth son of one large branch of the Bravo family. The San Antonio Bravos are seven brothers, two sisters and one recently-discovered half-sister. Under various sub-series titles, such as Bravo Family Ties, Conveniently Yours and The Sons of Caitlin Bravo, I’ve written over thirty stories in this family’s saga, the majority of them for Silhouette Special Edition.

Most families have at least one black sheep. And in the San Antonio branch of the family, that would be Jericho. He’s had a rocky past, made some big mistakes, and done time for them. He is also a genius. He designs and builds custom choppers of great coolness and beauty. Like the one you see here, by Thunderstruck Custom Bikes and named Paranoid. Totally fitting name, IMO.

And what, specifically, is a chopper? Well, according to the Motorcyle Biker's Dictionary it's "A style of motorcycle that appears deceptively light, has a greater angle on the front end than usually seen, and radical styling." The term is derived from former GI's back right after WWII "chopping" factory bikes to make them faster, removing all "superfluous" parts.As I mentioned above, Jericho has been in trouble much of his life. Big trouble. But in the past few years, he’s turned his life around. He’s healed his rift with his family. He’s ready for the love of his life—though he doesn’t realize that yet.

Enter Marnie Jones. If you've been reading my books for a while, you first met Marnie when she was a tough, angry nine-year-old who swore like a sailor in Sweetbriar Summit—which was so long ago, I can’t even find a cover image for it online. And where was I? Oh, yeah. Since then, Marnie has been tamed. As the story opens, she’s just been dumped by her live-in boyfriend. Marnie needs to find a way to heal her broken heart. And to rediscover her wild side. I think Jericho is the one to help her with that...I haven’t really figured out what it is I love about a big, bad guy on a powerful bike. But I do. And Jericho is a great guy, really. He doesn’t realize how great. Marnie is the one to help him see his value as a person. As a man.

I discovered in my research for this book that bikers call any enclosed vehicle “the cage.” Bikers are, to me, all about freedom—the freedom you get on a bike—which is to do with the up-close contact with the outside air, the sense of power and self-determination, of direct connection to the road. Maybe what I love about bad boys on big bikes is just that—the feeling that they live free and wild. That they are outlaws in our modern age.

So what about you? Do find the idea of a big guy on a powerful bike romantic? Dangerous? Or do you not get that fantasy at all?

Christine Rimmer has written over seventy books for Harlequin and Silhouette. Check out her website, for more information on the Bravo family and her other stories. You can also visit her regularly on eHarlequin and at theSilhouette Special Edition Authors Blog

16 comments:

  1. Men on bikes? Growl! Love 'em. The "bad boy turned good" who just still happens to have a bike does it for me. I think I was converted by Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" and that bike scene where he rides along side the planes. Lovely. And guess what? I've got my motorbike licence too - learned to ride a motorbike before I learned to drive a car. So there's no need to ask me what my preference is! Have a great weekend. Caroline x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Guys on bikes? Oh yeah, love'em. For a while I watched Orange County Choppers on cable. Cool to watch them build one.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Caroline, hi! A girl after my own heart. But in real life! I agree about Tom Cruise and that bike in Top Gun. Yum. Sigh. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marcie, so true. I used to watch that show, too. And I kind of have a thing for Jesse James of West Coast Choppers. I loved seeing him at the Oscars and Golden Globes with his wife, Sandra Bullock. When he look at her--and when she looks back at him. Oh,my? Is there a fire in here???

    ReplyDelete
  5. I saw West Coast Choppers once of twice. How could I forget Jesse?! The ultimate bad boy. But then he married Sandra - they do look happy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The fantasy, I get. The reality, not so much. In fantasy, the bad boys all have really good hearts and come around in the end. In reality, bad boys usually remain bad boys.

    As for the bikes, I understand the appeal of the imagery. Again, reality, not so much, as my DBIL and a couple of close friends have been killed on them. In two of those cases, the biker was doing nothing wrong, and in the case of my DBIL, everything right to try to correct for the driver who was in the wrong. The risk of death or serious injury is just so much greater because there's nothing substantial between the biker and the road and/or the other vehicle in the case of a crash. A fairly minor fender bender between two cars can mean death when it's a car and a bike, and neither driver has to have been doing anything wild or aggressive. Besides, I like the comfort of air- conditioning in the summer and protection against the elements and the bugs. So, I'll stick with the "cages", but I do see that there's something sexy about a bike.

    ReplyDelete
  7. JV, sadly, all good points! And a chopper, or a Harley...they're not that agile of a bike, so it's all the harder to correct for "cage" drivers who aren't paying attention.

    Plus, a chopper, especially, is a very hard ride. It's all about style. So again, it's the fantasy I love. In real life, I want a well made four-door sedan. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm with JV, I understand the appeal of the biker-bad boy and I love when author's can redeem them. But reality is never quite the same (usually).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think bikers are more fun guys than bad guys. They flout convention and are more on the fearless side. The carefully cultivated image often hides a marshmallow heart. When I was 16 I was in love with a Harley and its owner was pretty okay, too. I love images people project and then discovering the person behind the façade.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nancy, so true. That's why I'm totally into my fantasies. But I know they're not real. I do. I truly do.... (And do you wonder, who's she tryin' to convince?)LOL

    ReplyDelete
  11. Linda, well said. So often the toughest guys do have the softest hearts. Even in real life!

    ReplyDelete
  12. If I were to wager a guess at why, I’d say that users don’t “browse” forms. The interaction style users engage in with forms is different, and requires its own study and design best practices. This is a very interesting post, and the comments are also fantastic to read. I’ll have poses to have a little re-think about my own contact form on our new website, as this some interesting questions!
    study home

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yeah I believe in a deep part of our soul we admire a bad boy. There is just something about bad boys especially one's that ride a bike they are so um I want to say hot. But its the freedow they have riding on them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Christine, after all the stuff in the news this week about Sandra Bullock leaving her husband, I was reminded of your comment about how they looked at each other at the Oscars. She found out that he carried on an 11-month-long affair with another woman while Sandra was filming "The Blind Side". As I understand it, he was texting the "other woman" as late as 5 days ago, and apparently Sandra didn't know anything about the affair until mid-week or so. I feel so bad for her because I know her heart is broken.

    I guess this demonstrates the point that, in real life, bad boys tend not to be reformed. They just keep being bad boys. He had been married twice before, once to a porn star (not that having been married twice before necessarily means he's a bad boy, but it does point to a possible inability to remain committed), and he has had at least two lawsuits filed against him. One was for failing to complete a custom car job for a client and then trying to get about 3 times the amount of money he'd already paid over 2 years to complete it, and another suit was by his attorney for failure to pay his fees.

    According to Wikipedia, the "other woman" is a stripper, too. Apparently, he has a penchant for "bad girls". I'm glad they can be redeemed in romantic fiction, and I'd like to think they could be. However, in reality, I'll stick with the nice guys!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think today choppers and bikes are mainstream and that you may be surprised to see your attorney, stockbroker or even your grandmother riding one. Mountain bike usa for fun this spring and summer

    ReplyDelete