Characters and J.M. Dabney! Check out the Blog Tour for Gage (Trenton Security #3) by JM Dabney (excerpt and Guest blog)

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GAGE

TRENTON SECURITY BOOK 3

J.M. DABNEY

M/M ROMANCE/SUSPENSE

RELEASE DATE: 01.29.19

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host once again JM Dabney here to talk about the latest release in the Trenton Security series, Gage.  Welcome, JM!

Characters and J.M. Dabney

You have a penchant towards bad boys and damaged men in creating your characters, but also there’s a spectrum of souls that run a gamut of personalities and individuals.  From those who regard themselves as “normal looking’, trans, older, younger,  hulking, or slight, is there any character personality or type you wouldn’t consider for one of your novels? Or romances?

I don’t know if there’s a type that I wouldn’t include in my stories. Yes, I do lean more towards so-called damaged characters, but we’re all damaged in a way. Some trauma no matter how small leaves a mark. When I start a project, I don’t really have a picture of the characters, I build them from page one. From their backstories I let character development naturally progress. Out of the almost 30 stories I’ve created over the last five or six years, I’ve never said I won’t write a character who is this or that. With all that said, I won’t write someone who’s bigoted in any way. As someone who is body positive and believes in diversity in all genres, to romanticize the bigot is a detriment to the genre. Yes, it makes for a good story, the villain becoming the hero, but there is a point when someone is beyond redemption and I won’t write a victim of bigotry falling for their abuser/bully as if they had simply needed to see the error of their ways. I’m too realistic to believe that love conquers all.

Most of your stories show two types of families: those you are born into and those that are formed from those you gather around you.  Was that an intentional choice?

This is a great question. For me, personal experience I have no close ties to my biological family. Familial love is supposed to be unconditional and we all know that has proven to be impossible. To see the statistic of LGBTQI+ youth being disowned. Love always comes with some condition. It’s the sad reality of life. I’ve found that bonds formed with friends, through shared personal struggles or just acceptance. Blood doesn’t make a family. Sharing a name doesn’t make a family. Love and acceptance can bring people together in a bond stronger and more intense than simply sharing DNA. Chosen family is just that, you choose these people, strangers that shouldn’t have any bond at all. Yet they show up to embrace and support for no other reason than a mutual love and respect. And with my stories I want to show that you can create this beautiful extended family – a safe space of kindred spirits.

For many of these characters, normal for them is something entirely different and hard won.  In fact “normalcy’  is a questionable term in every aspect of their lives.  Again, is that something you wanted to factor in?

Normalcy is such a weird concept. I think every one of my characters is normal for them. A lot of my characters deal with mental health issues. What’s normal for one is completely off for another. When writing my characters I try to keep the reaction as natural as possible. And with mental illness, they process things differently. I don’t factor in if it is so-called normal or not, it’s just something the character deals with. Yes, by the end of a book, I give them their HEA, but non-traditional relationships are as healthy as what society deems appropriate. I don’t know if I consciously started using the struggle for normalcy as a part of the story or character development. Each processes their quest for a HEA in different ways. I like the fact that I make my characters evaluate the expectations place upon them, either they adapt or they don’t. I find acceptance overrides the expectation of normalcy.

Trenton Security is the fourth in a group of connected series that i just love.  Is this the end, or will it keep going?

Twirled World Ink was supposed to be the end, fast forward to Trenton, and I’m still finding voices popping up. Pure will be coming out in a few months and that’ll be the end of the Trenton Security series. Powers County Series will start next. It’s about a group of transplant. Grace and Alex, both found in Little’s book get their story first. Unlike with the other connected series, Powers will have five books. At this point Powers County will be The End of the Powers Universe, but I have been toying with the idea of the Next Generation affectionately known as the Hellions. So, we’ll see how everything works out, but there’s definitely one more series after Trenton.

Thank you for allowing me to ramble on a bit.

 

 

 

BLURB

The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.

Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?

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EXCERPT

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Dishes rattled, and the low murmuring of conversations filled the interior as the lunch rush started to slow down at Heidi’s Diner. Typically, Gage ate alone before returning to the office, but today, he hadn’t turned out to be so lucky.

 

“How about I buy you dinner, Gage,” the confident young man across the table from him asked.

 

He stared at the boy as if he’d lost his mind. He slowly closed his laptop and calmly leaned back in the booth. The first time he’d seen Derrick Thorpe the kid was skin and bones, skittish from years of abuse by Derrick’s homophobic and racist father, the former Sheriff of Powers County, Georgia. The last time he’d allowed himself to be in the same space with Derrick, he had graduated from college. His boss, Linus, adopted Derrick and his toddler brother after the death of their father and, well, the mother hadn’t fought Linus when the man demanded she sign over custody.

 

Today Derrick was a man in his mid-twenties, and even with the pale blond stubble, he was still as pretty as the last time he’d seen him which had occurred Christmas a year ago. He’d made his excuses and went to stay with friends for the holiday. Fighting any of the Crews to get out of a family function always turned into a lost cause, and he’d found it easier to escape.

 

Gage forced a chuckle and a good-natured smile at the eager boy in front of him, but he felt neither of those actions. Because his greatest hell sat across from him and there was no way he’d ever allow the boy close to him.

 

“Not going to happen, kid.”

 

“Why not?” Derrick looked offended.

 

He wasn’t fucking around with some boy with Daddy issues. No matter how much he wanted to find out what his handprint looked like on the boy’s ass. Derrick wasn’t for him. Age difference aside, with Derrick’s history, he wouldn’t let the young man find out how interested he was.

 

“Go find someone your own age, Derrick.”

 

“What’s this got to do with age? I’m an adult, and I think I’m old enough to know what I want.”

 

He felt the muscles in his jaw clench. He didn’t like telling people no twice. When he made a decision, it was final. This little boy was asking for a spanking. A vision of Derrick over his knee came to mind, and he banished it as quickly as it appeared. This was getting out of hand. That’s why he’d avoided anything that had to do with seeing Derrick.

 

“And I said it wasn’t happening. I don’t like to repeat myself, Derrick.”

 

Derrick’s chin lowered to rest on his chest. There was a deep breath, and then Derrick looked up, his dark brown eyes shimmered with indignation.

 

“Yes, sir,” Derrick pushed the words through clenched teeth.

 

About the Author

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

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A MelanieM Review: Gage (Trenton Security #3) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.

Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?

I know going in what to expect from one of these interconnected stories.  Damaged men who don’t think they deserve love, perhaps someone who already loves them, a case that needs to be investigated and many of our couples from the series and stories that orbit each other, serving as friends and extended families. Yet within this framework, J.M. Dabney brings new characters or rather familiar characters to the front for a closer examination and revelations.  We get to see where their damage came from, their past histories revealed, and who, most often, has drawn their attention and maybe even love.

The author also folds into their stories important current international elements such as child trafficking and slavery that makes our headlines daily and puts a face to the horror in Cameron in the daughter that is missing,   Through Alex we feel his pain, panic , and outright despair at ever finding her, if not alive, then whole.

While the investigation is frantically intensifying for Cameron (and the author horrifIcally details why the searchers have such a short frame of time to accomplish their goals), Gage and Derrick are working through a minefield of emotions themselves about each other.

There is enough material here for Gage to be twice as long.  I wanted more to be frank.  More of the high wire act that was the investigation and suspenseful search for Cameron.  That has me in knots every step of the way.  And then, almost as a second story, the romance and dynamics that was playing out between Gage and Derrick.  That involves all the voilence and extreme angst of Gage’s background which he hadn’t quite worked through and still required, as he acknowledged, the needs of a therapist, to help him.

In that respect this is very much a HFN, which realistically all you could expect.

There is Daddy kink, bdsm, D/s.  and for people with  triggers… beating, domestic violence, self harm such as cutting, and mention of suicide.

J.M. Dabney’s books, especially in these series are dark, gritty, and  not for the faint hearted.  I prefer them that way.  They are true to these wounded men and the situations around them.

I have listed all the connected series below.  It helps to obtain a sense of community and who all the people and couples are that are mentioned here or appear in the scenes.

I recommend them all.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I love that cover by Reese Dante, That is my idea of Gage.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

184 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Edition Language English
Series Trenton Security #3