I am honored to welcome author Karen-Anne Stewart to Plain Talk. The first time I heard about Saving Rain and Karen-Anne was from our mutual friend Jovon Tucker. I saw the trailer and I was immediately hooked on the Rain Trilogy. I am an advocate for women and children’s rights and this story appealed to me because the core theme incorporates human trafficking. Not only is it a love story, it has substance behind it and who doesn’t like substance?
Please tell readers about the Rain Trilogy. What is it about?
Hi Gillian, thank you for having me on your site today. The Rain Trilogy is a powerful story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love.
Raina is nineteen (almost twenty) at the beginning of Saving Rain. She is intelligent, strong, sweet, innocent, and extremely guarded about her past. Kas is very much the FBI alpha male hero, but he has a soft side, especially when it comes to Raina. There is no ‘instalove’ in the story, but there is definitely an immediate chemistry between Kas and Raina. Both try to ignore the attraction at first, due to Raina having a boyfriend, but emotions begin to develop and ignite after Kas saves Raina from a vicious attack when she ends the relationship with her boyfriend. Kas provides Raina shelter in his home while she heals from an attack that nearly killed her, Raina fights to protect the wall she painstakingly built years prior to keep her heart safe, and Kas is hell-bent to break through that wall. Both have the need to control their own worlds, so sparks fly at times, which only fuels the passion.
Saving Rain is more about the developing relationship between Kas and Raina, but it does delve into her past and is full of sexual tension (those adult scenes don’t come until in later in the story, though). Raina’s involvement with helping the FBI stop sex-slavery is introduced in this novel, including her adept hacking abilities to try to find the elusive ring leader in the largest trafficking ring in modern history, the Ghost. With the help of Chase, Kas’ best friend and profiling partner, Kas helps Raina to begin to heal from her dark childhood.
Healing Rain delves deeper into Kas and Raina’s relationship while introducing more undercover ops and a new character that knocks them to their knees.
After the Rain is intense from beginning to end; lives are lost, saved, redeemed, and forever changed. Kas struggles as an internal war is waged between his desire to keep Raina safe and her desire to do whatever it takes to exorcise the Ghost.
You deal with a very serious topic human trafficking. What made you want to write about such a heavy topic?
First of all, I want to take a minute to thank you, Gillian, for your involvement with human/women’s rights. I appreciate what you do! When I finally decided to follow my dream of becoming an author, I knew that I wanted to write romance; I’m in love with stories with bad boys and hot heroes, but I wanted it to mean more. I have some experience working with survivors of domestic violence, and with hearing so much about the growing depravity of human trafficking, I felt compelled to include these dark issues in The Rain Trilogy.
In doing research, I came across an amazing organization, The Polaris Project, and I highly recommend readers to do their own research on this form of modern day slavery. The Polaris Project uses a holistic approach to address the issues of all forms of trafficking. The Human Trafficking Hotline number is in the back of all three novels in The Rain Trilogy.
What inspired you to write this novel?
Sex-slavery is growing at a rapid pace; the trilogy is my humble way to, hopefully, help shed some light on what’s going on in everyone’s backyards. With that said, I also want to show hope and a love story that can heal even the darkest emotional wounds.
What is it about Kas and Raina that draws people to them and their relationship?
Kas and Raina are both fighters, strong-willed, deeply in love, and both are willing to risk everything to save the other.
What kind of research did you do while working on this series?
Very sad research! It was heartbreaking and sickening reading about human trafficking. I did find several organizations fighting trafficking throughout the research. I had to walk away from my computer at times; it’s beyond tragic what so many people are forced to endure every day.
How long did it take you to write each book in the series?
That’s a tough question because I was working on all three at one time. It’s impossible for me to sit down and write in order from beginning to end; I bounce, but the trilogy was written and published within thirteen months.
What are you working on next now as the trilogy is over?
I’m working on a new novel with a completely different story line, Ash to Steele. I hope to have Ash to Steele live towards the beginning to mid next year.
What was the hardest part of working on this novel?
Saving Rain ripped my heart out! Raina went through hell and survived, but the emotional scars are hard to escape. I cried several times while writing The Rain Trilogy. Hope and love get her through, and the whole team adores her, which the readers will get to see more of in the final two novels.
If this book was made into a movie, who would you like to play Kas and Raina?
After I stop jumping up and down screaming with glee if The Rain Trilogy makes it to the big screen, I would have to pick Scarlett Johansson for Raina and Josh Duhamel or Henry Cavill would be great for Kas!
Our mutual friend Jovon Tucker from Book2Buzz Productions did your book trailer. I simply love it! How did you come up with the idea?
Jovon is awesome! She and I exchanged ideas back and forth; she’s wonderful about finding out what author’s visions are and diligently working to make that happen. She has amazing ideas.
It is an absolute honor to have Karen-Anne on Plain Talk. Please read the Rain Trilogy. It has heart, romance and substance, after you’ve read it please leave your thoughts below.