Charles Breakfield & Rox Burkey - Exciting Stories Filled with Romance and Technology
Charles Breakfield is a technology expert in security, networking, voice, and anything digital. He enjoys writing, studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges. Charles is a fan of wine tastings, winemaking, Harley riding, cooking extravaganzas, and woodworking.
Rox Burkey is a technology professional who excels at optimizing technology and business investments. She works with customers all over the world focusing on optimized customer experiences. Rox writes white papers and documentation but found she has a marked preference for writing fiction.
Together these Texas authors create award-winning stories that resonate with males and females, as well as young and experienced adults. They bring a fresh new view to technology possibilities today in exciting stories. As our Authors of the Day, they tell us all about their book, Fears, Tears or Cheers.
Please give us a short introduction to what Fears, Tears or Cheers is about.
Fears, Tears, or Cheers combines women's empowerment and leveraging their support, such as family and friends. A young teen imprisoned with her family for believing in freedom. Their society forbade the right to free thinking; thus, they got condemned. The hero, JoAnn, escaped and ran toward freedom. She got adopted and adapted to a world with outstanding opportunities and a chance at love. However, she never dealt with the problems of her captivity and losing her family. She finds a way to exorcise her ghosts and build a life. Her efforts are complex, but she finds them worthwhile.
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
Breakfield and Burkey wanted to share the backstory of one of the characters within the Enigma Series because it is essential. Jo Wagner’s story is perhaps more common than one would think. She certainly has the backing of a well-connected Brazilian family. She also can reach a goal she never imagined professionally and personally. We like to help people live up to their potential.
Tell us more about Jo Wagner. What makes her tick?
This teen escaped with her life and memories of her parents and their guidance. She also feels a sense of guilt that she wanted to o much. Jo has deep feelings for her adopted family and JJ. She needs to prove something to him but more to herself.
Why did you use a flashback as a catalyst for this story?
Jo Wagner hid from her past as a protection mechanism. Her parents died in the encampment. Her escape was one of the few that occurred from that place monitored by machine learning-enabled robots. Jo Wagner initially appeared in The Enigma Beyond (Book 11 of the Enigma Series) and started her career in modeling. The story of her emotional struggles didn't fit that book. We felt it deserved exploring, so we brought Jo and JJ into book 5 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Series, The Flower Enigma, where we decided she needed to beat her demons.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Breakfield and Burkey are full-time workers in the technology arena. We have each worked for manufacturers who have driven leading and bleeding-edge technology changes. But secret skills we accomplish are bar-b-que cooking, creating food extravaganzas with custom pizza, gourmet cornbread in cast iron skillets, complex soups, homemade bread, and pecan pie that folks arm wrestle to get a taste. Oh, and we do an annual cookie bake.
You co-wrote this story. How did you go about it?
Breakfield and Burkey have coauthored fiction and non-fiction for a dozen years. Once upon a time, we crafted technical workshops and delivered them to global partners. We branched off to fiction as we can leverage our technical knowledge as a foundational framework and yet tell a compelling story. We collaborate and frame our stories, capturing an outline on spreadsheets, then we each write various pieces, merging them into a single voice.
What did you have the most fun with when writing Fears, Tears, or Cheers?
We had the most fun on two fronts. First getting the ending just right was an effort of love for the character of Jo. The second was working with Rebecca Finkel our fabulous graphical artist who delivers our branding and makes eBooks pretty. We are hoping for reader feedback on all aspects of this or any of our short stories.
When starting on a new story, what is the first thing you do?
Breakfield and Burkey start a conversation with I have an idea. The four terrifying words unleash a creative flow from the instigator on what story we might tell. Then we flush out the outline
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
The cover design combined Rebecca Finkel’s creativeness and our supply of story summary; in this case, she read the story. The red cover is a vital element of the story she’d saved for years as an image to use. This story is where she chose to feature it. We’d love to hear readers' thoughts after they read the story.
Family plays an important role in this story. Why did you take this approach?
Family plays a role in our fictional novels as the R-Group evolved from family values and commitments through the shorts. Family is an area we learn as children right from wrong, honor from dishonor, and love versus hate.
We like to emphasize that family is not just of blood but also of where the heart lies. The backing you receive when you take a chance as an individual is a key to how supported you get even if you fail. Of course, failure is not an option; it means you learn and try harder.
What is your personal favorite line from this book?
We believe a fabulous compelling line is when her confidence shows.
After the fourth successful flight, meeting all the instructions perfectly, Jo grabbed the drone and did a bit of a happy dance. She hugged Carlos. “Thank you, Uncle Carlos, for teaching me the skills for flying and maneuvering. I think I’m over my fears.” Raising the drone over her head almost triumphantly, she declared, “Meet Dove.”
Let us know if you as a reader agree.
How do you manage to finish one project while the idea for the next is nagging at you?
Breakfield and Burkey run a spreadsheet to keep track of dates, times, and commitments. Everything has a schedule to which we do our best to meet. And, we have demanding full-time jobs that keep us in the know and on our toes.
What are you working on right now?
Great Question. Breakfield and Burkey are working on the first book in our new R-Group and CATS series Enigma Heirs. This technology thriller takes Gracie on hunt for evidence to get rid of an opportunistic industrialist who wants to take advantage of anyone in his sights. Here is the draft back cover.
The R-Group and CATS team have new leaders—family heirs:
Organizations fearing digital extortion petition the R-Group, headed by Gracie, for solutions to intercept and destroy cyber threats. JJ’s CATS (Cyber Assassin Technology Services) team sends experienced staff to locations for courageous, hands-on root cause analysis and damage control activities. These teams work from the moral high ground in a world where technology offers cyber thugs a place to operate with anonymity.
Gracie’s, college roommate Bailey, reaches out for help to bring down an environmental philanthropist. Using all the resources under her purview, Gracie rises to the challenge. JJ provides skilled talent to fight Pliant Industries suspected nefarious plot. Are they strong enough to win against this predatory criminal?
The R-Group delivers support to vetted customers. They protect their family members and subcontractors from outside access within multiple layers of security. Leadership cloaks their cyber heritage information capabilities using a modern-day lens that maintains traditional values of right over wrong. Cutting-edge technology is set to track Pliant Industries’ actions in the vulnerable economies of the nature-ravaged Caribbean islands.
Our cyber heroes learn Pliant has eliminated prior evangelists bent on exposing his operations. Gracie works with Bailey to force Pliant to play on their terms. Their boyfriends, Jeff and Keith, covertly provide specialized skills to gather incriminating evidence.
Their plans hit a wall against Pliant’s seasoned thugs. Gracie never considered their lives would hang in the balance between winning and losing. Can they uncover options in time for everyone to go home safe?
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
The best place is to visit EnigmaSeries.com for sample stories in pdf or audiobook formats. The voice of our series, Derek Shoales is a remarkable voice actor. Visitors can sign up for information and download free stuff. Folks can also buy paperback from our series with a discount and ship free anywhere in the continental U.S. with personalized autographs. We respond to inquiries at [email protected] and look forward to reading reviews from readers.