Thursday, 11 July 2013

Guest post by Stephanie Feagan + Giveaway

Today's guest recently released a romantic suspense novel Out of Control centered around oil riugs and blowouts. Naturally that made me wonder: what is sexy about oil drilling? Well take a seat because Stephanie Feagan was kind enough to tell us! :-) And if you leave a comment, you could even win a gift card! ;-)

Baby, I Love It When You Talk Petroleum
by Stephanie Feagan

Some might say the oil business is not sexy, but I have to disagree. Beyond all the metaphors and double entendres about drilling and pipes and holes and slick-lines that are endemic to the business, there’s a certain mysticism to it, something almost elemental. It’s not just the production of oil – it’s the business of drilling for it, done by people who are risk takers, some of them extreme. The oil business is chock full of adrenaline junkies. Who else would invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a business that has a 50% failure rate? You drill for oil and there’s a 50% chance you’ll hit a dry hole. And yes, there’s a crude oilfield name for that.

A lot of the oilfield is as crude as the oil. Since the beginning, it’s been a business dominated by men, some educated, some not, but all just a smidge on the bad boy side. At every drilling rig, there’s a small metal building on the rig floor, which is generally about 20 feet aboveground, called the doghouse. When I was newly married, my petroleum engineer husband took me out to a few drilling rigs, and I remember going in the doghouse and thinking it was totally a masculine environment, rife with nude magazines and boxes of cigars – which were not smoked in the doghouse because hello blowout. Oilfield service companies produce a ton of giveaways for promotion, none more iconic than the wall calendar with a monthly offering of scantily clad, busty babes. Every doghouse on every drilling rig had a nekkid girl calendar. My husband had notepads with a tiny naked lady and a genius product shill: Call Danny’s Mud and get the dirt. Did you know they use mud to drill a well? It’s special, enhanced, expensive mud which is pushed down the hole to lubricate where the drill bit is chewing up the earth. It circulates out and into a mud pit, then back down the hole. Is that sexy, or what?

Oil drilling platform
These days, the oilfield isn’t quite as much a free-for-all of wildcatters and crazy hell-or-nothing roustabouts and drillers. There’s less porn, whisky, and bad advertising. There are women in the oilfield now, but I don’t think that’s why things are less crazy. Mostly, it’s technology. The way a location is found these days relies heavily on seismic surveys and other tools of the trade that give a better idea where to drill. It’s still a gamble, but not like it was. The method of drilling wells is the same, but technology has changed some elements to reduce risk.

Oil blowout
Once a well has reached total depth, they run a test to see if they’ve hit a producing zone. Wells in my neck of the woods are typically around 5,000 feet, but some deep wells in other areas can be as deep as 30,000 feet. If you think of it in terms of a building, which on average is 10 feet per floor, a 30,000 foot well is the equivalent of a 3,000 story building. That takes some time to get your testing equipment to the bottom, and the equipment’s been known to disengage and become stuck in the hole. That’s when you call a fishing truck to come out and fish the tool out. Time ticks by and you’re still paying the drilling contractor, his hands, the mud guy and his hands, the drilling foreman and the geologist. While they wait, this is when poker is played, nudey magazines are looked at, naps are taken in the back seats of company vehicles, wives and husbands are called. Most wells are miles from town, so you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the fishing truck to get the tool. Sometimes they can’t retrieve it and the well is lost. Ouch.

Oil blowout
Even with more modern technology, drilling for oil is a huge risk. Not so much for big oil companies like Exxon, but for independent producers, it can mean the difference between sending your kids to Harvard and telling them to get a job after high school graduation to help the family pay for food. People become filthy rich or flat busted, and they all do it and take the risk because at heart, they’re gamblers. Southwest has a direct flight from my west Texas town to Las Vegas and it’s always full.

Out of Control is as much about the oil business as it is about oil well blowouts and the danger involved in killing those fires. I saw a blowout once, and it was like a window to Hell, absolutely terrifying and magnificent, all at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to write a story about that?

Thanks so much to Stella for having me here! I hope you’ll give Out of Control a read, and I hope you enjoy it!

My first published book had a CPA heroine who found the bad guys by following the money. CPAs are typically considered boring bean-counters, which is one reason I had so much fun writing that book, and the two that followed in the series. The heroine was anything but boring! So tell me, what industries not typically considered sexy do you think would make for a good story? 

Author of the RITA winning Pink Files series, Stephanie Feagan has had a love affair with romance novels since she was eleven and discovered there are kissing scenes in Victoria Holt books. She spent a lot of time in her closet with a flashlight, reading as fast as possible to get to the end, only to start a new book and begin the whole Leave-Me-Alone-I’m-Reading cycle all over again. She still stays up until the wee hours to finish books, now courtesy of a lighted e-reader which she believes is mankind’s greatest invention ever.

Stephanie also writes Young Adult and New Adult paranormal romance as Trinity Faegen. A practicing CPA who loves travel, books, new pencils, old keys, and smart guys, she lives in the oilfields of west Texas with her engineer husband and a mean cat. She’d love to hear from you. She answers to Stephanie, Trinity, Hey Lady, and Mom, and can be reached at or

She’s aware the similarity between her pseudonym, Faegen, and her real name, Feagan, confuses pretty much everyone, herself included. Since so many mispronounce Feagan as FEEgan instead of FAYgan, she thought she’d mix it up when she took a pseudonym and make it easier on people. Now people say FayEEgen, and spell it wrong. Next time she takes a pen name, she’s totally going with Smith or Jones.

Connect with Stephanie at:

And they thought the blowout was hot…

Oil rig blowout specialist Blair Drake is finished with men—especially after her disastrous marriage that caused her family to disinherit and cut all ties with her. But when Nick Robichaud, a handsome, roguishly charming oil well fire expert, wildcats into her life, throwing his devil-may-care attitude all over the place, the real sparks begin to fly.

Forced to work together to kill a string of sabotaged oil rig explosions, Nick and Blair discover a plot to cripple the world’s oil supply. Unless they stop the doers, it’ll mean global economic catastrophe. With time running out and their lives on the line, they risk everything to prevent disaster. But nothing can stop the fire between them from burning out of control....

Buy at Amazon - B&N - Goodreads


For the chance to win a $25 USD Amazon and a $25 USD B&N gift card just fill out the Rafflecopter form below and answer Stephanie's question in a comment: What industries not typically considered sexy do you think would make for a good story?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 13 July 2013!

Good luck!

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