I often wonder if anyone (meaning government agencies) monitors my emails. Because they must go a little nuts when they start reading mine.

In the past few years, I’ve exchanged emails about:

  • how morphine and other opiates were made in historical times.
  • how a bad guy could sabotage a car to stop it after it’s been on the road for several miles.
  • if a gun has gotten wet, could it be fired without being cleaned
  • could a gun be fired under water
  • how to hack a computer to track a kidnapper/money launderer/Colombian druglord
  • what trouble a lawyer might get in if they have an affair with a witness
  • all sorts of BDSM topics
  • where a good place to crash a small plane in South Carolina would be
  • what type of poison could be used that wouldn’t be traced through a standard tox screen
  • date rape drugs – what are the effects, how easy are they to obtain, how to detect if they’ve been added to a drink
  • the smell of a dead body after it’s been decomposing in a warm closed room for over three weeks. (Actually I answered someone else’s question on that one–yes, from real life experience.)

Let’s see, how many agencies would I have involved there? The DEA definitely, the FBI probably, possibly the CIA for the Colombia reference, Homeland Security? numerous police organizations and bar associations. I have no idea who might keep track of BDSM questions. All of the above?

Sometimes the questions end up taking a lot more time to ask and answer than writing the actual scene. Even if it’s something fairly small and insignificant, I’ll Google until I can find the answer, or fire off a question to one of my “experts.” Sometimes the question is serious, like the ones above, and sometimes, they’re … well, they’re not quite so serious.

Last night, I thanked my lucky stars that I saved emailing my question to BlueSue, who breeds and raises Arabian horses, until late at night…


I write erotic romance, so the questions and answers may offend some.
For me? It’s all a scientific exploration (and a heckuva lot of fun!)

The question I asked Sue?

Leah: What marks would a saddle leave if the heroine were pressed over one sideways?

Sue: is she leaning forward over the saddle while he takes her from behind?

Leah: Yup (Does Sue know me or what?!!!)

Sue: LOL! ok. English or western tack?

Leah: Western

Sue: leaning over it sideways, even the best of saddles is going to be pretty painful, and probably leave a lot of damage… Bruised boobies from the swell and cantle. probably cuts/deep scrapes from the conches and even from the edges of the leather. her belly would be bruised from the edge of the leather at the bottom of the jockey. It’s thick, heavy leather – for a western saddle, even if it’s well made and soft, it’s not designed to be comfortable from that direction.

Leah: (thinking this but not sending it to Sue) Ouch. That doesn’t sound sexy. I think I may need to re-choreograph this scene.

Sue: if they drop their pants anywhere near the hay, they’ll be picking hay stems out of their cracks for hours. I promise….

Leah starts snickering.

Sue: It would be very awkward and entertaining.

Sue: If the saddles are on free standing racks/stands, if the sex is rough, they’re likely to push it over. LOL. *ahem*

Leah’s snickering changes to chuckles as she ponders how exactly Sue might have determined this bit of trivia

Sue: OH! barn cats. if she has a barn cat, it will be rubbing between their legs. dogs, goats, horses… everything will watch, or be staring eagerly at the door when they finally walk out.

Leah is bent over busting a gut from laughing so hard as her imagination starts crafting the scene.

Writing stops dead for the night. (Which was a pity because I wrote almost 6K yesterday, for a total of 19,042 words in one week – it’s not a record for me, but considering how the words haven’t been flowing lately, I’m thrilled!) The laughter however continued for quite some time afterward.

But OH, what a scene I’ve got planned now! Thanks Sue!

I sure hope whoever is monitoring my emails, if there is anyone monitoring them, got a good laugh out of it too.

It’s all in the name of research
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15 thoughts on “It’s all in the name of research

  • September 3, 2009 at 9:36 pm


    Okay, that was hilarious!

    For those who are interested, yes my cowboys have sex in a barn. You wanna know WHY they stay vertical and keep their boots on at all times?

    Research shows it's the safest way.


    Lovely Leah. Thank you…

  • September 4, 2009 at 4:08 am

    LOL…thanks for the laugh Leah first thing in the morning.

  • September 4, 2009 at 4:12 am

    LOL Viv — I see you've done your research too.

    Elaine – you're welcome.

    By the way, all those emails were about a single sentence in my WIP. "She swore she still had [find out what type of mark she'd have] imprinted on her belly after he'd bent her over a saddle in the improvised tack room and taken her from behind."

    No wonder writing takes so long 😉

  • September 4, 2009 at 4:27 am

    So, so true about the hay.
    And sand.
    Making love in the sand sounds sexy but is so not.
    Too funny!

  • September 4, 2009 at 4:39 am

    LOL, that's so funny! And makes research fun too 🙂

    Last night I was research girl too about drugs–and all for just one line in the WIP. Not so funny though when you're looking for information on illegal drugs

  • September 4, 2009 at 4:41 am

    JK: Yes! I saw your posts over on twitter about injectable drugs. I've been there too, in fact that's what inspired me to post this today.

  • September 4, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Okay… I have read this… 10 minutes ago and have not stopped laughing yet!!
    I love the way your plan your books and your scenes. It just shows us how dedicated you are to what you do! I think it is great, besides you get to laugh!! Which is great medicine for the soul!!
    Thanks for the laughs!!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  • September 4, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Oh Leah thanks so much for this post.. It was priceless… Great way to start my day… LMAO…

  • September 4, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Great post……very funny!! Who knew all that about saddles!!! :)Fun research!!

  • September 4, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Do you REALLY want to know what my research links and email look like??? I know I have to be on at least one government watch list. I know know I am in good company.

    Now where do I sign up to get one of those luscious cowboys?

  • September 4, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Well this should be interesting!

  • September 4, 2009 at 9:52 am

    It's good to see this here today! You know I'm always glad to help out with a little 'research'! 😉

  • September 4, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for the laugh!
    Can't wait to see where you're gooing with this.

  • September 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    LOL!!! Thanks a bunch for sharing that, Leah–you sure uncover some fascinating stuff in the name of research! 😉

  • September 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    LOL, I've often wondered about that too, but am very glad of the research that you have done, as it makes your books that much better!

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