Message From The Author

Author's Message

In for a Wild Ride

JACI BURTON'S HUBBY GOT A MOTORCYCLE, SHE GOT A NEW SERIES

Motorcycles are hot!

Guys on motorcycles are hotter. Guys on motorcycles wearing leather ... I think you get the picture.

So a couple years ago, when my Harley-loving husband said he wanted to buy
a motorcycle again, I was all over it. Research for a potential book, you know. I had wanted to do a series on motorcycle-riding bad boys, and what better way to get firsthand knowledge than to climb on the back of a bike and ride the wild roads?

Of course you're talking about someone who had never been on a motorcycle in her entire life. Theoretically, it sounded fun and adventurous. In reality, I was scared to death. My thoughts about bikes and bikers fell to the Hell's Angels, rowdy and law-breaking types. Hey, I saw the movie Easy Rider in the 1960s. I knew the mystique.

I was wrong.

After getting over my initial oh-my-God-I'm-going-to-die
fear of being on a motorcycle (where are the seatbelts on this thing?), I learned a lot about motorcycles and the people who ride them. Bikers today come in all types. Blue collar, white
collar, lawyers, doctors, secretaries, construction workers, you name it, everyone rides. At first I didn't understand the thrill.
If you don't close your mouth when riding, there's a high probability you could eat a bug. And even if you do close your mouth, the bugs will still hit you (and at high speed, they hurt!). Riding in the winter is cold. Riding in the summer is hot. When it's windy outside you feel like you're going to fall over. (My husband says I'm a whiner. Can you believe he said that to me?)

But riding is like nothing else. There's an appeal to it that took me awhile to understand, but I finally got it.

It's freedom. The road rising up to meet you as the bike leans sideways around a curve, the smell of earth and pine trees and honeysuckle in bloom as you ride the back roads, the sight of a hawk soaring overhead as it searches for prey, the feel and sound of rushing wind swirling around you -- all the things you can't see, smell or hear with the windows rolled up and the stereo blasting in your car. On a bike, you're closer to nature and in touch with your fellow bikers (there's nothing like the camaraderie of waving to other bikers as you pass each other).

But there's more -- the aforementioned hot biker dude. And that's the type I focused on when I created my Wild Riders series for Berkley Heat, about reformed bad boys who work undercover for the U.S. government. Six guys, all former street punks, for one reason or another were headed down the road of crime and punishment but were lucky enough to get plucked from the street by a retired military general and offered a chance at a better life. Is there anything more appealing than a bad boy gone good? Hmmm, maybe a bad biker boy gone good is better.

The first book in the series, which was released in February, was Riding Wild, about Mac and Lily, who knew each other 10 years ago, when Mac was still young and headed for trouble. Lily was a rich girl from a prominent family who fell head over heels for him. But Mac knew he was bad news, so, despite loving Lily, he dumped her, not wanting to drag her down the dark path he was destined to follow. A decade later, Mac is in the process of stealing an artifact from a museum, and who shows up to foil the theft but private investigator Lily. Mac ends up kidnapping her and taking her on a wild adventure on the back of his Harley, where the flame is rekindled between the two of them, and long-held secrets are revealed. I loved writing Mac and Lily's story, since lovers reunited is one of my favorite themes.

This month's release is Riding Temptation. It's the story of polar opposites Jessie and Diaz. Jessie has a thing for Diaz, but Diaz thinks he's the wrong guy for sweet, innocent Jessie. Jessie isn't about to take no for an answer, though, and is out to prove to Diaz that she's the woman for him. I love bold women who go after what they want. Jessie is just that kind of woman, and she knows exactly who she wants.

Guys on motorcycles seem to have a dangerous, reckless edge to them. I mean, you have to be a little crazy to ride them, don't you? There's something about climbing on the back of a motorcycle, sliding your thighs alongside the guy in front of you, wrapping your arms around him and letting him take you ... wherever
he wants to go ... that's just so sexy.

I hope you decide to take a ride with the Wild Riders.


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