Dive Into Love with a Side of Kink with “For Real” by Alexis Hall (giveaway)

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For Real by Alexis Hall
Published by Riptide Publishing

Cover by Simone
Release Date: June 1, 2015

Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing

Alexis Hall quickly became one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words “Must Have, Must Read” Authors with his stories Glitterland, Waiting for the Flood (both Spires universe books),  and Sand, Ruin and Gold.  Now comes another standalone novella in the  Spires universe, For Real released June 1st.

Check out this wonderful author below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment at the end.  Make sure to include your email address where you can be reached if chosen.

About For Real…

Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable.  Everything Laurie can’t remember being.
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.
The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.
It can’t be real.

ForReal_200x300Book Details:

Author: Alexis Hall
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-279-0
eBook and  print release: Jun 1, 2015
eBook Formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Print ISBN: 978-1-62649-280-6
Word count: 125,000,Page count: 437
This title is part of the Spires universe.
– Read an excerpt at Riptide’s For Real book page.

About Alexis Hall

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret.

He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.

He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.

He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

Connect with Alexis:

Website : http://www.quicunquevult.com/
Blog:  http://www.quicunquevult.com/blog
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/quicunquevult
Goodreads:  http://http//www.goodreads.com/alexishall

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Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $15 Riptide store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 23. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win! Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Prizes provided by Riptide Publishing.

Feel Lucky? Check in with Moriah Gemel’s “Load the Dice” VBT (Contest)

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Moriah Gemel has stopped by on her VBT for Load the Dice.  She’s answering some questions, brought along an excerpt and even a contest to enter.

 Contest: Moriah will be awarding a free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) to TEN randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour as well as a Grand Prize of a $25 B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner. A $25 B&N gift card and print edition (to be released at conclusion of the series in January) of Load the Dice will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.  Use this Rafflecopter link to enter and for additional contest details.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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My Interview with Moriah Gemel on Writing, Favorite Books, and Inspiration

 STRW:  What was your inspiration for the story?

Moriah Gemel:  A friend and I were discussing what it would be like to meet someone through a game, to start a romance that way. I write a great deal of BDSM romance, and I thought, what better way to play a game? A BDSM scene can be much like a game—there are rules, and a set progression through agreed-upon activities, but all in the name of fun, and everybody wins–so what kind of game could two people meet through? And so Load the Dice was born.

STRW:  Do you have a muse?

Moriah Gemel:  Not that I think of as personified, no. I like to think of my inspiration as energy—some days I have plenty of it, and it just flows out through my fingers. But other days it’s stuck, and needs some jolting to get out, and that’s when I seek inspiration from other sources.

Do you work on one project at a time or many?

Moriah Gemel: I try to work on one thing at a time, but inevitably I forget that I’m supposed to be doing that and take on something else.

Hero or Antihero? Who would you chose and why?

Moriah Gemel:  I think it depends on the story. Characters are just people, and every person is different and does things their own way. And so both have their own merit depending on which character you’re throwing into which situation. For Load the Dice, I needed Eric to be a hero, of a sort—he needed to be honest and open and good, as much as he could be. Another character could easily have become an antihero though.

People say write what you know. Do you think that is right or is that even important?

Moriah Gemel:  I like to say, “Write everything.” That includes what you know, what you don’t know, what exists, what doesn’t exist. Why limit yourself when there really are no bounds?

What is the first book you read that really meant something to you?

Moriah Gemel:  When I was six years old, my grandfather handed me Watership Down by Richard Adams. And so I read it, and understood so very little. I wasn’t mature enough. But his advice was to keep reading until I got it, and so I did—I read it over and over and over, and I still read it from time to time. There’s always something new to discover.

What do you find sexy in a man?

Moriah Gemel:  I love a good pair of arms on a guy. I like them strong and thick, hard enough to hold me tight and hold me up. That and respect—nothing hotter than a guy who treats me like a person, you know?

What’s next up for you?

Moriah Gemel:  I’ve just outlined my second novel! I’m excited about it, it’s completely different and a new challenge for me.

Thank you, Moriah, for sitting in our author’s chair and giving us some insight into your books, inspiration and writing.  Now let’s take a closer look at Moriah Gemel’s book Load the Dice.

Cover_LoadTheDiceLoad the Dice (Episode One)
by Moriah Gemel
Publisher:  Interlude Press
Sales Link:  Load the Dice at Interlude Press

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Load the Dice Blurb:

Eric left the BDSM scene years ago because he couldn’t find the right partner, opting instead to meet men in quiet coffee shops and piano bars. But when his friend invites him to a posh hook-up party, he meets first time sub Jamie, who he convinces to detail his sexual fantasies during a passionate night together.

The pair soon embark on a relationship that introduces Jamie to the BDSM scene, and plays out his fantasies one by one. But as they approach the final fantasy, will Eric be able to walk away?

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Load the Dice Excerpt

He crawls onto the bed and straddles Jamie’s thighs, his clothed body barely touching Jamie’s, and Jamie whimpers. “Are you still wearing all your clothes?” he asks breathlessly, and Eric leans down and kisses the top of his spine, letting him feel the fabric of his clothes over his bare body.

“Yes, I am,” Eric says, and Jamie rocks down into the bed.

“Oh god, that’s so hot.”

Eric chuckles, and then sits back up, making sure to keep as little contact as he can.

“I want you to tell me about your fantasies,” Eric says. “For every fantasy you tell me, I will explore one part of your body with my mouth and hands. The more details you give, the more I will pay attention to the spot I’m on.” This gives Jamie just a little bit of control, and lets Eric know the kinds of touches he likes best. Jamie can decide if he wants to keep Eric somewhere or move on—it’ll keep him on his toes, and Eric has one more trick up his sleeve to ensure it.

“But if you stop talking,” he adds, “and you don’t move on to the next fantasy, or tell me more about the one you’re on, you will be punished. Is that understood?”

Jamie whimpers again, nodding.

“I need an answer, Jamie.”

“Yes, sir.”

Eric kisses the top of his spine again. “Good boy. Number the fantasies as you go. You may begin.”

 

Eric smiles. It’s a start.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:AuthorPic

Moriah Gemel has developed a dedicated following for her realistic, sexually-charged stories over twelve years in online fan communities. Passionate about a realistic depiction of BDSM, her goal is to both entertain and educate readers about the BDSM community.

Load the Dice originated as a short work of fan fiction, written in three parts. For her first work of professional fiction, she has turned it into a serialized novel in ten parts.

She is married and has a young son.

Connect with the author at:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – see contest details and prizes listed at the beginning of this post.

Review: Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield

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Rating:  3.75 stars out of 5

HomeTheHardWay_500x750Dare Buckley has returned home to Palladian, Washington a far different person than the one he was when he left.  Dare left Palladian, a teenaged golden boy who, along with his mother, was mourning the loss of his father who had committed suicide.  The man who returned?  That Dare Buckley is a disgraced former Seattle P.D cop.  A man who’s poor judgement and even worse actions have made him someone only a hometown police department would give a job too.  Dare Buckley knows this is his last chance for redemption and he needs to make good.  It also gives him a chance to investigate his father’s death and reconnect with someone who used to idolize him, Finn Fowler.

Finn Fowler, son of the local tramp, is someone who Dare protected when they were in school when the bullies saw Finn as an easy victim and outsider.  But that young boy who followed Dare everywhere, who thought Dare was his hero is gone.  Now there’s an adult Finn Fowler to  content with, one who wants little to do with Dare Buckley.  Or so it seems.

Palladian has always been a town of secrets, only Dare never realized that before now.  And those secrets contain the answers that Dare needs to find closure and the ability to go forward.  But what happens when someone doesn’t want those secrets to come out?  Who can Dare trust when even the man he thought he knew might be keeping the biggest secret of them all?

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Two things  right off the bat.  One, I love Z.A. Maxfield.  Her stories have an originality and life about them that I find irresistible.  So many of them are must reads and highly recommended books on my shelf.  Two.  Home the Hard Way is probably not one of those stories, at least for me.

Home the Hard Way is more of a mixed bag for me narratively speaking than her other tales of  angst, broken men, and love.  For most of this tale, I was engrossed in the complicated but resoundingly lifelike plot.  That includes the small town Sheriffs office and its police officers, the town beauty parlor and its clients as well as all the other denizens of a town that’s seen better days and knows it.  And there’s a local golden boy who left a hero and came home a failure.  Those parts all work here and work extremely well.  The resignation, humiliation, and indignation of the returned “past his glory” boy and the people left behind who idolized him…all rang true. It is just one well conceived and well drawn character portrait after another here.

Other plot threads that worked seamlessly throughout the story were the old mysteries floating up from the past to haunt and threaten those involved in their present lives.  That these secrets were kept hidden by agreement and association feels like an integral part of authentic small town life instead of part of a fictionalized culture.  I liked that too.  Even the behavior that can be institutionalized under such a society felt real.  Bullying, harassment, all can be excused given the right circumstances and people involved, and that’s the shared history in a small town that makes that an ordinary happenstance.  Everything I just mentioned worked beautifully in the story and made the narrative flow slowly along.

So what didn’t work for me?  The manner in which one main character is introduced to bdsm and a D/s relationship.  And that aspect of the story was enough, in its treatment, to almost derail this book for me.

I love it when using BDSM components or a D/s scene or lifestyle makes sense for a character or a situation.  I think that it’s important that it be explained or incorporated in a way that lets the reader into the scene and understand  why its necessity for both characters to participate.  It shouldn’t, in my opinion, make you start questioning about the “rightness” of the scene or the judgement about the author’s handling of her characters in such a scene.  Or even if  the segments that bothered me are acceptable to the leather or bdsm community in general (if you can answer this please let me know), I do know that those scenes were problematic enough to keep me awake trying to see it from all angles because it bothered me enough to jar the flow of the story.

My issues here?  That anything consensual can happen with a drunken or judgment impaired character and not be addressed in the narrative.  That’s at the core of my dissatisfaction with this story. It’s a sticking point with me although it might not be for other readers.  But here’s my thinking on the issue.

For starters, that a drunk character, on an unplanned, inebriated visit to another sober character (under strained circumstances) gets pushed /involved into a D/s BDSM scene with little dialog or discussion between the characters.  Unless the lack of consent is part of the storyline, an inebriated or alcoholic person (fictional or not) can’t be seen to give consent to an action or behavior, even an implied consent without some discussion going on.   The impaired judgement of that main character is not addressed.  It wouldn’t have mattered even if they are getting a tattoo while on a binge or other similar actions.

Secondly, then this character is ushered into an act of submission, and by a Dom/character who has complex feelings about the other person. This includes a long standing grudge (feelings of abandonment) against this character. For me, it just felt well less a scene between consenting adults and more like an action of aggression and implied revenge.  Again that would be fine if that was the intent of the scene.  But it’s not. And the character made to submit?  A virgin so to speak about D/s play and BDSM in particular.  This happens more than once.  Is this typical D/s play?  Don’t know. I have been informed by some in the lifestyle that such scenes need to be worked out in advance, rules and limitations agreed to, things of that nature.

Again, it’s not the D/s or BDSM play that I mind, but the manner in which the characters use it to sexually interact with each other and work out old issues.  This guy is a mess to begin with and it only gets worse. I wish the whole aspect of this story would have been handled a little differently. Even the slightest change would have affected how I feel about this story.  I kept trying to see my way around this element but I could never resolve it satisfactorily enough to get by it.

This element aside (which admittedly was hard for this reader), Home the Hard Way is a story that many readers will enjoy and feel deeply about. Why?  Because there are so many wonderful elements at work here.  Z.A. Maxfield’s characters and small town descriptions are just incredible.  Just the way in which the town of Palladian and the rank river that it got its name from are depicted.  The river, dank,and  sluggish, full of trash pooling at its edges, waits for a storm to flush the stagnant waste and foul waters away.  Much the way the town has an overlay of old secrets, hidden antagonisms, and barely contained jealousies and rivalries.  It’s that aroma of  neglect that reflects the stagnant  feel that small town can get as if the life is seeping slowly out of them a drip at a time.  Everyone knows everyone else or thinks they do because of a shared history that can reach decades into each family’s life.   This element of the story made Home the Hard Way for me.  I recognized those people and the town they lived in.  I knew them from their all-too-human actions, petty and otherwise,   The small town parlance and activities speak for themselves as an authentic part of small town USA.

Will the issues that bothered me here bother you?  Not sure. That’s for you to decide.  If not,then you might feel that this is just the story for you.  As I said, so much about this book is quite wonderful.  I enjoyed parts of Home the Hard Way, just not enough to read it again and that’s the benchmark for a 4 star rating for me.  Let me know how you feel about the book and this issue.  This inquiring mind wants to know.

Cover art by Amber Shah.  I loved it and vote it one of the best of the month!

Buy links:            Riptide Publishing                   All Romance eBook (ARe)                 Amazon                    <a href=” Home the Hard Way 

Book Details:

book, 350 pages
Expected publication: July 28th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
original titleHome the Hard Way
ISBN139781626491458
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://riptidepublishing.com/titles/home-the-hard-way

Review: Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley

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Rating: 4. 5 stars out of 5

Every Inch of the Way coverOne email has brought the mysterious Professor Carson back into his former student’s life and the consequences for Jamie Sheridan has just added to the confusion and unhappiness that is his life.  Jamie has two men in his life and needs very different things from each of them.  And neither of them appear to want to share Jamie with the other. Or if one is willing to do so, it must be on his terms…as always.

Satish Malhotra is crazy for Jamie Sheridan.  Jamie is sweet and intelligent and gorgeous.  But the welts on Jamie’s back and the reappearance of Jamie’s former Professor has forced Satish to make a decision as to whether he can keep Jamie in his life.  He doesn’t understand what drives Jamie’s submission and he is not sure that he can fulfill all of Jamie’s needs.

With the Professor and Satish vying for Jamie’s affections and attention, Jamie is divided between his need for love and his need for submission.  Will Jamie have to choose or will Satish make the choice for him?

Every Inch of the Way is the penultimate story in The Professor’s Rule series that has followed the story of Jamie  Sheridan and his Professor Evander Carson through college and graduation.  A test message reunited Jamie Sheridan with Professor Carson after several years break.  Old games that the Professor had introduced prior in their relationship instigated a meeting and hot sexual encounter with clothier Satish Malhotra.  But Satish’s discovery of Professor Carson and his connection to Jamie served to demolish the fragile feelings that had been developing between the two of them.

Every Inch of the Way focuses on the emotions and feelings of Satish and Jamie as they try to pick up the threads of their relationship and see if a future is going to be possible between them.  Belleau and Gormley have done a terrific job in conveying the emotional minefield that was the result of events in Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) for each man.  Both Satish and Jamie are coming from very different perspectives.  Satish’s idea of a sexual and emotionally satisfying romance does not extend to bdsm and a Dom/sub relationship.  Satish doesn’t understand it no matter how hard he tries.  Jamie, on the other hand, has certain needs that can only be fulfilled through his submission and the games involved in  a D/s partnership.  Normally,  they would part and go their separate ways and that, as they say, would be that.

But Satish and Jamie have an emotional connection that neither man is willing to give up.   And these authors make us not only see that connection but make it come alive for the reader to the point that we want these characters to find a way to make it work…even if we don’t understand it ourselves.

I have always believed that having a bdsm element in a story requires an extra effort from the author, in this case two authors, to help the reader understand what defines a bdsm lifestyle and also help provide an explanation as to why a particular character(s) need to have it in their lives.  The Professor’s Rule series allows the reader to achieve a certain understanding of that choice through Jamie Sheridan and the emotional journey he makes throughout the series.  The authors have constructed a history for Jamie (his drug use and more) that allows the reader access to his emotional state and the reasons why his submission and his need for a Master is so important to him.  And it delivers also in making Jamie’s Master, Professor Carson, more accessible by finally giving us his point of view about his own feelings as well as emotions about Jamie and their complicated relationship.  Although that does not fully spring to light until the final story, To The Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5).

In addition to these very complex men, authors Belleau and Gormley deliver Satish Malhotra, a character who might very well stand in for most readers because of the manner in which he views Jamie’s relationship with  his Professor and his lack of understanding of Jamie’s need for submission.  By giving the readers a character most can identify with, it then helps to bring the reader along with Satish  as he slowly starts to understand Jamie, the Professor, and the layers that a relationship with Jamie holds.  It feels utterly authentic to watch Satish wrestle with his emotions and thoughts as he juggles his affection and physical attraction towards Jamie with his rejection of what he initially sees as physical abuse, the welts on Jamie’s back raising Satish’s objections and vague disgust to go along with his concern.

And all this takes place in 42 pages.  Yes, there are 3 books that precede this one but I think you can read this story and still gather enough information about the events prior to understand and appreciate this story.  Does it help to have read them? Yes, but not definitively so.   Every Inch of the Way ends a bit unresolved so you will want to go quickly on to the next story.

The final story in the series is already out, To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5).   Follow me there to see how it all shakes out.  For those of you new to this series, decide for yourself whether to start at the beginning or continue on from here.  Either way, this is a delicious series, full of well written characters, sexy hot scenes and a fast paced narrative that moves all the events along concisely.  They come complete with covers guaranteed to draw you in!  Enjoy.

Book Details:

ebook, 42 pages
Published March 3rd 2014 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 1st 2014)
original title Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule, #4)
ISBN13 9781626491274
edition language English
Book in The Professor’s Rule series.  It helps to read them in order to understand Jamie and all the relationships within.
Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #1) currently free where sold (Amazon, ARe)
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule, #2)
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #3)
Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule, #4)
To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #5)

Pulp Friction Author Roundup with Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and T.A “Tom” Webb. Winners too!

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Well, it has been such an outstanding week here at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.  Its been great fun having all four such terrific authors stopping by each day this week. And a pleasure to listen to each of your thoughts on the Pulp Friction series and to hear how this idea came to fruition.

I love seeing the old pulp fiction format resurrected and working successfully.  Each series is exciting on its own but combined with the other three Pulp Friction creates a cohesive, dynamic portrait of an amazing collection of men who are locked together by bonds of friendship, love and a past.

Look at the cast you all have assembled.  Whether it is Wick Templeton (Wicked’s Way), Chance Dumont (Chances Are),  Zachary and Archer Wilde (Triple Threat), or Marcus Prater of City Knight, each and every one is a fascinating and, quite frankly, addicting character.  Then you start to add on their new lovers, in Chance’s case, Rory or for Marcus its his Benjamin and Jeremiah for Archer and Zachary.  And when it comes down to it, we will have to include Ned for Wick whether he admits it or not.

But I won’t keep you readers waiting any longer, here they are for our final chat….this week. Trust me, you will be hearing from these people again in the near future….*hands out glasses and yells that the bar is open*  Oh, and the winners are announced at the bottom of the post.  No peaking now.

WARNING: When the Pulp Friction group gets together it can get a little wild…we talk in a group chat all the time and are real good at following each other—but I suspect a fly on the wall may get a slight headache trying to keep up *blushes* so we are color coding our blog for you today just for that reason! *whispers* Well that and I like playing with colors, hehe. (Note: WordPress won’t play nicely with colors, so you readers will just have to imagine all the loveliness of the rainbow they had planned for you.)

May I introduce to you Lee Brazil…Tom Webb…the lovely Laura Harner…and me (I’m Havan Fellows *big smiles*)

Havan: There are few places I’m extremely comfortable…you know what I’m talking about? Places I can let my hair down…kick off my shoes…unbutton my shirt…wiggle out of my—

Lee: Havan! Stop that! Button that shirt up and keep your pants on. *glares* Okay, you can keep the shoes off, but this is NOT the right place for naked time.

Havan: *eyes bug out* There’s a wrong place for naked time? Um…okay…maybe not THAT comfortable—though I’m working on my Pulp Friction family to relegate our PF headquarters into a clothing optional facility…hehe

Lee: *frowns* Never gonna happen. Modesty is a virtue, and it happens to be one I’m rather fond of.

Havan: *sighs* Fine…for now…*talks quickly* But back to my original point – because yes, yes I did have a point to make – sitting with my Pulp Friction co-writers: Lee Brazil, Tom Webb and the mastermind who brought this fabtabulous idea to us Laura Harner…I do feel comfortable and they make sure I know I can open up to them and we work great as a team. *big smiles*

I believe that is one of the reasons Pulp Friction has exceeded our expectations. < see, point! lol

So now we are gathered once again to unload a few deep dark secrets…

Lee: *gasp* Havan! You can’t tell them…

Havan: No, I promised never to tell anyone that! Anyway, *eye rolls* not about ourselves *breathes a sigh of relief* (there isn’t that much blog space for that *winks*). *glares* I’m talking about secrets of the FINAL *gasp* book in the Pulp Friction 2013 series…and maybe…just maybe if you are interested…a sneak peek into what might be happening in 2014 with PF…

Lee: *yanks Havan into the seat next to me* Look, you don’t have to go blabbing ALL the secrets at once. A little mystery, something left to the imagination….

Havan: Hmmmm…you do have a great imagination Lee *winks*. Sooooooooo…who wants to begin?

Laura: *Raises hand, and waits to be called on* My name is Laura and I’m a-
Oops, wrong meeting. *Blushes* In all seriousness, when we first talked about this idea last October, I had no idea how big or how satisfying Pulp Friction would be,

*Pauses to consider just exactly how deliciously naughty that sounded.*

Sorry, I was sidetracked for a moment. When we started writing, we shared little bits here and there, hesitantly offered a comment or two about how one of our characters might fit into someone else’s book, and waited with mixed apprehension and excitement to write the next book.

We are all various shades of punsters, *whispers aside: I think she means pantsers, because lord knows no one laughs at my jokes* which means we had no real organization, no master outline, or even an idea of how it would all end.

A funny thing happened though. Just as the characters grew within our individual series, they also grew closer to each other. Unexpected friendships occurred, secrets were revealed, relationships grew or were broken. The line blurred between the reactions of the characters and the writers, and when Zack wanted to scream with frustration at Wick and shout out his denial-that was because we’d both been shocked and hurt by someone we thought we knew. And that is what makes these stories so powerful for me. We respond to the stories that have gone before, and sometimes we are cut by the power of the emotions that are right there at the surface. They feel real, because to us…they are.

Tom: Exactly, Laura. Writing five stories each, then coming together (and with four of us, that is something to plan!) to do the finale, Marcus and Benjamin are like my own family. They talk to me, haunt my dreams, and snipe at each other just like…well, I do. The last book, Darkest Knight, was so easy to write, because these guys run around my head and I know them.

And the fun (and totally weird) thing is? We all can write each others’ characters because we know them so well too. I love Wick, annoying asshat that he is, Chance, Zachary and Archer, and their men. It’s funny how they all ended up with younger men, although we don’t quite know about Ned. He can fool us all.

But seriously, I wasn’t prepared for how popular the series became, and how many fans each of us have. Marcus and Benjamin, and now Frankie and some of the other supporting characters, interact with not only each other but all the other cast, and fans…well, they have their favorites. Some wanted Wick with Frankie, then they read Havan’s books and loved them. Others haven’t read any but their favorite author’s books, and then they read some of the others and it opens up a whole new world.

It’s kind of like that with us too. We all write our own way, our own styles, and have our own successes. Then the four of us came together and decided to try this experiment, and didn’t know how it would all turn out. The best thing? Damn, but it worked!

I’ve learned so much from writing with these guys. You have no idea how much energy it takes to make this whole thing work. We talk daily, and discuss the what ifs and the how abouts, and what I personally found was, we all fit together so well. They way we think, the way we write…it’s so similar, but not. Laura is so patient, and I think I picked up some of that. Lee thinks a lot the way I do, but he is so creative and solid. And Havan, she makes sure the fun is there.

We fit.

I like this group, and can’t wait to take it to Flagstaff.

Lee: When Laura suggested this, I had no idea how it would work. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. And that was when I thought I was writing a single series. I had the luck of writing the first book, so I was going in blind as well, hadn’t met anyone else’s characters, or been told their story lines. I got Chances Are written, and shocked myself with who he turned out to be. At first he was closed off, isolated, and bitter. But as the other stories unfolded, it became clear that Chance wasn’t as alone as he thought, and by the end of the series he isn’t living in his own head quite so much.

The same thing happened on this side of the computer screen too. Writing is of necessity a solitary occupation. That’s what I used to think. What I discovered, right alongside Chance, is that the right people can make everything better. I grew to enjoy the intricate way our stories were woven together, and to depend on my fellow PF writers for support and inspiration. I can’t imagine sitting down to write without having them at hand.

So, I’m really looking forward to Pulp Friction 2014, to seeing how PF will continue to evolve, as I’m sure it will.

Havan: Wow…you guys verbalized it so beautifully. *wipes eyes* Me…I’m just here for the free liquor Melanie offered…*winks*

So there will be one last PF ’13 book that all four of us are penning together—a four-way! Something we’ve never admitted to doing before!—and it will nicely wrap up any loose ends you may think we have out there *cough cough* and then PF ’14 brings a whole slew of new main characters in a new location to the west this time…Flagstaff!

Think you’re ready for another year? Oh are you in for a treat then—think of the first year as foreplay. We got to feel on each other…taste the other three’s styles on our tongues…wrap our hands around their abilities…

Foreplay’s over…

This is gonna be fun.

STRW: Whew! *runs and locks the liquor cabinet*  That was amazing and now we know that the last book, no. 6, will be a joint effort and bring the hunt for the killer to a close. *whispers to the dogs that I knew that would happen*.  I can’t wait to read that story and I know the rest of you feel the same way.

So, meet us back here in December for the final Pulp Friction guest post of 2013 and the final Pulp Friction review.  There will be another giveway or two.  You never know. My thanks again to all these remarkable people, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and of course, Tom Webb for stopping by this week and giving us insight into their characters, their series and of course, Pulp Friction.

Now here are the Winners of the books by day and author:

Monday, Havan Fellows, Wicked’s Way:  The winner is penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

Tuesday, Lee Brazil, Chances Are:   The winner is Leni (ldinnell@gmail.com)

Wed., Laura Harner, Triple Threat:  The winner of Laura’s book is Ashley E (ashley.vanburen@gmail.com)

and drumroll please….

Thur., Tom Webb, City Knight:  The winner of Tom’s book is bluesmokey (richards851@sbcglobal.net)

Darkest KNight cover

Duplicity cover

Wicked Truths cover

Chance In Hell cover

Review: Retribution (Triple Threat #2) by L.E. Harner

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Triple Threat Retribution coverWhen Archer Wilde gave Zachary, his husband of 15 years, a submissive named Jeremiah for a year, he never anticipated the fallout that was to come.  Both Archer and Zachary are Master Doms, and only within their relationship, does Zachary take a submissive posture.  So Archer thought a  submissive of his own would make Zachary happy.  But the reality was exactly the opposite and it threatens to destroy their happy and balanced loving relationship of 15 years, one they have worked hard to achieve.

Submissive Jeremiah has a signed contract and nothing else.  He had hoped to find a loving home and a Master Dom to teach him the ways of the lifestyle he needs in order to be whole.  Instead he finds a household in discord because of his presence and the very real possibility that he will be asked to leave before he even is given a chance to prove himself.

Jeremiah’s predicament leads him to make a disastrous decision.  He calls on an abusive Dom who has a grudge against Archer and Zachary to train him. When Jeremiah disappears, Archer and Zachary race against time before the damage inflicted upon their boy is too deep to undo.  This time, their retribution is personal.

What an astonishing book and series!  With every new development, the characters and their relationships just get more layered with an authentically human  feel to them.  Retribution picks up exactly where Triple Threat left off.  Zachary and Archer have retired to their bedroom ostensibly to talk about Jeremiah but instead they proceed to have white hot sex. Sex that will both reassure them of their love and reestablish a connection that Archer almost broke with his unwanted gift of Jeremiah to Zachary.  That Jeremiah is not exactly welcome is now obvious to Archer’s dismay.   Harner’s characterizations are perfection.  We can see Archer Wilde making this error in judgement because he so rarely doubts his own brilliance that he thinks he knows what is best for all around him.  Plus Archer has made that all too human mistake of forgetting just who his partner is because the years together has lulled them into complacency.

As with Archer, Zachary too is a beautifully realized portrait of a man stunned by his lover’s actions.  It shakes him to his core and not just because he didn’t see it coming.  It turns out that a  past trauma involving a prior submissive of Zachary’s have left Zach scarred and unable to make that commitment again.  All of these mens flaws come to the surface with one bad decision and the one to pay is Jeremiah.

L.E. Harner certainly knows how to build the suspense into a plot.  When Jeremiah disappears, the reader immediately knows something awful has occured. But what had happened and where was Jeremiah?  The answers to those questions are guaranteed to raise the reader’s anxiety, making us despair for Jeremiah’s safety.   Harner’s narrative threatens danger at every curve and a certainty that violence is lurking near the end.  I loved every minute of Retribution.  And that includes the ending.

The characters here have issues to settle amongst themselves,  and by the end of this story, Archer, Zach and Jeremiah are on their ways to resolving some of them.  But not all.  And those unresolved issues will be carried into the following stories.   This aspect of the series continues to give these characters and their relationship a very human feel.  I have always felt that it is a human being’s flaws, not their perfections, that help to connect them with their fellow beings.  And that is as true in fiction as it is in real life.  L.E. Harner recognizes that fact and builds it into her stories and people.

So go and pick up this story and make a commitment to this remarkable series.  But make sure you start at the beginning story, Triple Threat, and work your way through as these are not stand alone tales and need to be read in the order they were written.  For those of you who hesitate when seeing that elements of bdsm (D/s relationships) and threesomes are present,  don’t let this stop you with this series.  It works, it feels real, and you will come to love the men involved just as I do.

Books in the Triple Threat series to date are:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution  (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat #4)

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 1st 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN13 9781937252489
edition language English
series Triple Threat

Review: Chances Are (Chances Are #01) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Chances Are coverChance Dumont, owner of Chances Are bar, is at a stalemate in his life.  Years ago, an injury cost Chance his job as a cop but it is an emotional damage that has kept him from moving on.  Chance’s grandmother always told him that “Chances are you’ll come to no good, just like your pa.”  That’s how he got his name, nick name actually.  His real name is Aaron, Aaron Dumont.  But Chance is what he goes by.

Its time for a change in Chance’s life but how to go about moving on is the question.  Chances are that nothing good is going to come of this too, but its more than past time for Chance to make a change.  Now to make that happen.

Chances Are introduces us to another memorable character in the Pulp Friction stories being written by three different authors. This time its Lee Brazil and Chance Dumont, her damaged ex cop.  Chance is one of those marvelous personalities you find behind the counter in their bars throughout noir fiction.  A deeply damaged man, Chance is an ex cop who still operates from a vague set of morals he can barely remember. Chance’s life has been in stasis for some time, the result of past events that are never really defined for the reader. Brazil just offers us tantalizing bits here and there as to the source of all  Chance’s pain and emotional scarring.  It’s a great character made even more enticing and mysterious by not giving us too much of his past history.  It dribbles out slowly, teasing the reader with glimpses of Chance’s past and imparting clues to the reasons behind Chance’s current state of mind and heart.

Another surprising twist to this character is Chance’s sex life.  He likes his sex with a kink, and that kink being that Chance is a Dom in the BDSM lifestyle. In fact the story starts out with Chance and another young man in the middle of a sexual encounter.  It’s white hot, and truthfully kind of sad at the same time, a great touch.  Primarily because it is Chance that is unsatisfied, and not just with his current partner.  Brazil leads us directly into Chance’s mindset even as the sexual goings on heats up.  You can feel Chance’s frustration with his life even while he appreciates his partner’s attributes (which are many).  It’s a great portrait and a complicated one.  And I loved every second of it.

Those of you expecting a romance here, well, you aren’t going to get it.  At least not yet.  I expect the real romance has already happened in the past and that Chance is still reeling  from its detonation.   I also expect to see it or someone pop up sometime in the series to muck everything up again for Chance, a delicious element to keep our anticipation high and idling.  How lovely and a great change from instant love.

For some of you, the BDSM element might make you hesitate when deciding on reading this series.  Don’t.  It is very well done and not extreme in description.  While I am not a fan of this element in my stories, Brazil’s treatment of Chance’s sexual choices are matter of fact, an aspect of Chance’s character which works perfectly with the core of his character.  It’s just one more need from this incredibly complex man.

Again, this is a short story, one of four in this series.  And that’s my only quibble. We only just get into Chance’s mind when the story ends.  We are beginning to see the possibilities ahead even as his past threatens to drag him back down.  The tension is wonderful, the character mesmerizing, and the heat white hot.  I can’t wait to see where Brazil will take Chance next.  Luckily I will be there for the journey. Join us.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I liked this cover much better than the one she designed for the Wicked’s Ways series.  The glass on the bar works for Chance  and helps brand the series.

Books in the Chances Are series in the order they were written and should be read:

Chances Are (Chances Are #1)

Second Chances Are (Chances Are #2)

Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #3)

Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #4)

Book Details:

ebook, 42 pages
Published December 30th 2012 by Lime Time Press
edition language English
other editions
None found