Outrageous Google searches and the craziest things in the name of writing with Kristen Orlando (and a giveaway)


you wont know im gone

You Won’t Know I’m Gone (the Black Angel Chronicles #2) 

By: Kristen Orlando

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Publication Date: January 16th, 2018

Reagan has to prove herself to an elite group of special agents—and avenge her mother’s death—in the second book in the Black Angel Chronicles from the author of You Don’t Know My Name.

Going rogue in an effort to rescue her kidnapped parents has cost Reagan Hillis her automatic ticket to the Training Academy. But becoming a Black Angel is the only way Reagan will be able to exact revenge on her mother’s merciless killer, Santino Torres.

When Reagan is given a chance to prove that she’s worthy of training to be a Black Angel, she also gets the first chance she’s ever had to be her true self. No aliases. No disguises.

But when her friend Luke joins her at the Black Angels training compound, Reagan finds herself once again torn between the person she was and the person she wants to be. Reagan has to prove that she’s as good as her parents trained her to be, because she’ll never find Torres without the Black Angels’ help.

I did some extensive research for this trilogy because I wanted it to feel as real as possible. I wanted the reader to walk away thinking, “Hmmm maybe there really is a top secret group like the Black Angels within our government.” So I did a ton of research on the CIA. I even had the privilege of interviewing government officials about how the CIA works, how an underground group like this would get federal funding, how it might be run, how it would stay hidden, which government officials would know about it, and the list goes on. I also did a lot of research on martial arts (I’ve watched dozens and dozens of Krav Maga videos on YouTube) and weaponry as well. I have Googled some pretty insane things. Here are just a few examples of things I’ve typed into Google:

  • How do you hotwire a car?
  • Different colors of blood
  • What does a slashed throat look like (don’t ever, ever Google that…it’s awful…but I really needed to know for a scene I was writing)
  • What does blood smell like?
  • How do you break out of zip ties?
  • How do you subdue someone without killing them?
  • What does dried blood look like?


Here’s hoping that I never get put on trial for murder. I can already hear the Keith Morrison voiceover for Dateline: Was it all really for a book? Some harmless research for her next spy thriller? Or was it a method…for murder…


Besides the outrageous Google searches, I guess the craziest thing I did in the name of accurate research was going to a shooting range to learn how to shoot a gun. I am scared of guns, but I really wanted to know what it felt like to hold a gun, what it felt like to pull the trigger, and what it actually does to your body when you fire a bullet (it really does knock you back). I wanted to be able to describe all of those feelings accurately in the novel. So even though I don’t like guns, I’m very glad I learned. I think it makes those passages in the book feel more authentic.

Writing is one of the great loves of Kristen Orlando’s life and she has been lucky enough to make it her living, first as a television producer, then as a marketer and now as a novelist. Kristen graduated with a B.A. in English literature from Kenyon College. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with the other great love of her life, Michael. You Don’t Know My Name is her debut novel.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author image, info, giveaway, and more were provided by Xpresso Book Tours.

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