Tuesday, October 2, 2012

VBT - Countermeasure Series - Ecstacy by Sea by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey

Welcome to my stop on the Passionate Blog Tour for the Countermeasure Series by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey.  Please be sure to leave a comment or question below for Chris or Cecilia.  You can enter their giveaway using the Rafflecopter Form below.

Location is Everything

Welcome to the second day of the Passionate Tour. Thank you Queen of the Night Reviews for hosting the second stop of the Passionate Tour.

When Chris and I have an idea for a scene, location becomes a key piece of the puzzle. Whether it’s in a park, a nightclub, or a vacation spot away from everyday life, the process we take to find the ideal locale is the same. We do not just randomly say, “Oh! That is a cool name. Let’s use it.” No. Personal experience and online tools become our best friends.

Some we write from personal experience, from having actually been to the places we write into our scenes. Other times, we request the help and guidance of friends who have lived or live in those places. And sometimes, we depend solely on research to achieve the results we want.

Take for example Ecstasy by the Sea. The first Byte of Life revolved around an important event in Trevor and Cassandra’s life. One that generates memories that last a lifetime for every married couple. It had to be special. It had to fit the moment. It had to have the ambiance fitting for something that is a milestone in a couple’s life. For that reason, its setting had to be a very special place.

We both love the sun and the ocean so we narrowed our focus to the beach, but we also wanted it close to where the Bauer’s house is located, not something that would require them flying out of the country so soon after their settling in their new home. Enter Google search. First, we looked at the map of Dublin and determined the distance between the city and nearby beaches bordering the Irish Sea.

Once the area was pinpointed, another search was done for hotels and their offerings. From that list each hotel was painful researched from descriptions of the hotel to the amenities; from gallery pictures of the hotel itself to the suites they offered. We also searched for tourist videos posted by those who had actually stayed at the hotel, paid virtual visits to them through street views and browsed through customer reviews, reading up on actual experiences  until we isolated the one hotel that fit every point of our criteria— The Waterside House Hotel on the coastline, north of Dublin.  But our research didn’t end there. As the story took form, we needed reference points to understand what the views would have been from the hotel, from the sea, famous landmarks in the area. The virtual tours offered by the hotel provided a wealth of knowledge and imagery. Gave us what we needed to describe the grass area that Trevor and Cassandra sat on to enjoy the ocean air and each other 

When we lay down words, we have to feel as if we have actually breathed in the air of the location, sensed the sun, wind, and sea mist on our skin, tasted it on our lips. If we don’t fall knee deep in Déjà vu while writing those scenes, if we aren’t able to close our eyes and envision the places we write about, then we know we haven’t done our research to the fullest. 

We want to give the reader the feeling of having been there, of having taken the same steps as the characters, of seeing the locations in one’s mind’s eye. Visit The Waterside House Hotel for yourself. Take in the sights Trevor and Cassandra observed, or look out the window of their hotel room, the Sea View Suite. We hope you feel the same familiarity we feel when we visit the site.


Ecstasy by the Sea 
Countermeasure: Bytes of Life (Book 1) 
by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey

This steamy spin off to COUNTERMEASURE sees Trevor Bauer and Cassandra James having just tied the knot and moving across the pond to their new digs in Ireland to begin their life as a married couple. Their days have been swamped with planning the wedding, setting up their new business, and Trevor's NSA commitments—not to mention their continued investigation into his parents' disappearance. So when it’s pointed out to him that a key launching point for a new marriage has been overlooked, Trevor takes matters into his own hands.

Unbeknownst to Cassandra, Trevor plans the perfect honeymoon getaway down to the daintiest swatch of lace. His detail-obsessed wife won't know what hit her when he sweeps her away for what will result in nothing less than a weekend filled with pure ecstasy by the sea….

Available in Digital format from:


Blog Tour Schedule:

10/1 featuring Countermeasure ~ Harlie's Books
10/2 featuring Ecstasy by the Sea ~ Queen of the Night Reviews
10/3 featuring Cuffed at Midnight ~ Guilty Pleasures
10/4 featuring Passion at Dawn ~ Kinky Book Reviews
10/5 featuring To Russia with Love ~ Author Alannah Lynne

Please don't forget to leave a comment or question below for Chris or Cecilia.  You can fill out the Rafflecopter form below to be entered in their giveaway.  Chris and Cecilia will be giving one random commenter a copy of Ecstasy by the Sea, one grand prize winner will win all 5 books in the Countermeasure series.  You must comment to be entered in the giveaway and you can go back to any previous stops you missed to leave a comment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Good Morning! Coffee in hand and looking forward to some great conversation. Thank you, Queen of the Night Reviews for having us today.

  2. Replies
    1. The funny thing is that I came very close to that hotel but didn't realize it until we did the research. I took the train to Howth for a day visit and you can see Howth head from the hotel room's balcony.
      It's just an amazing place.

    2. It has definitely found a place on our bucket list!

  3. I get excited when I hear that authors put that much thought into the location of their story. For me, the scenery is often as much a character as the people in the story, so I definitely will look forward to this book (and others from you both!) as books to be on the watch for. Great guest post!

    1. Hi Liz,

      Thank you! Yes, we do put a lot of effort in the settings. Right now we are deep in research for the third novel and the data overload is overwhelming. Cecilia and I immerse ourselves in the place and people. We actually look for residents of the places we talk about so we can get a real grasp of what it is to live, walk the land.
      With the Irish settings it is easier because I have been there myself and still have friends there. With the other places we use other tools to give the most accurate feel of the places as possible.



    2. Thank you, Liz! Chris said it all *grins*

  4. I haven't got to read all of the books yet but I am so excited to read them! I fell in love with Countermeasure! And Chris and Cecilia are great! I love chatting with them! I can't wait to read more of their wonderful work! They are both fabulous writers! Keep it up guys!

  5. I can't wait to start reading all these new books....:)

  6. Wow, you put a lot of thought into the location of your stories which is much appreciated. Being able to visualize location and surroundings is important to me. The better a location and scene is explained the richer my inner picture of the entire story is.