Posted in Guest Post, Romantic Suspense on June 13, 2013



Seleste deLaney joins us today to give us some insight into how she came up with the idea for this book.  Welcome Seleste!

An element of Gaming for Keeps that I love is that the main characters officially “meet” while both are in costume. Cosplay is generally something people I’ve met indulge in either because they are mad crafters who make awesome things or because they like to play dress up. (On a personal note, I fall into the latter category. Sadly, crafty I am not.)

There’s a lot of talk about fake geek girls, and I do play with that a bit in the book. Do I honestly think most of the women in costumes are fakes? No. That’s the long and short of it. Most women wouldn’t bother with the money and work involved in cosplay just to attract the attention of a random guy or guys. (I wanted to get that out of the way so there was no confusion about my personal feelings on the matter.)

Pen, however, does take her outfit with thoughts of garnering the attention of a specific guy (her partner in the fictional game Heroes of Fallen Gods). I won’t spoil how she ends up wearing it, but let’s just say her ultimate reason changes through the course of the story. But she has a costume to wear because she likes to play dress-up. And she is that crafty-bitch-who-makes-awesome

-things. (*cough* Sorry, personal issues coming out.)Cal, on the other hand, does cosplay for a different reason. Those fake geek girls (that don’t really exist)? He’s the kind of guy they dress for. He is the uber-hot nerd boy. The man is, to put it simply, beautiful, and he hates the attention. So he slathers himself in makeup and scales and wigs in order to be a little less obvious. In costume, he can blend and disappear.As I wrote him, I started to think about conventions I’d been to and the people who cosplayed at them. These are the people I don’t know. The ones I just ooohed and aahhhed over their outfits and asked to take pictures of them. They were all very friendly and awesome, but after writing Cal, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them were trying to hide behind their outfits too.

It’s something that I’ve questioned ever since, even about myself. I paid particular attention at RT (the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention) this year, and I did feel different when I was in costume than when I wasn’t. For me it was almost like a uniform. Once it was on, I was “on duty.”

It’s interesting how people can have a story they aren’t even aware of lurking inside them. I’ve found that I can’t look at cosplayers the same anymore. I always wonder how they change from in costume to out and why. And then I wonder whose story will inadvertently make it into a book somewhere.

Gaming for Keeps-500


Pen Holloway’s done with men—in real life. Guys in game are so much less drama. But when her partner from Heroes of Fallen Gods invites her to the convention of the year, she panics. What if he’s another jerk? What if he’s not?

Cal Burrows is living his dream of being a spy. One of TRAIT’s misfit spies, but still a spy. It’s the perfect job… until an arms dealer with a taste for blood invades his not-so-secret geek haven. All Cal wanted from ConDamned was to meet his on-line girl. Now, with the threat of mass murder looming, he’s forced to choose between keeping his mission a secret and protecting the girl of his dreams.

Let the games begin…