Happy Monday~ Hop Winner~Interview

Hey, here’s a quickie post to say thanks to everyone for playing along on the Halloween Hop, My Book Blast and The Haunted House of Manlove Flash Hop. It’s been a busy week!

The winner of my Halloween Hop is JeanMP!  Jean wins a lovely $10 Gift Certificate from Loose Id.

There’s still time to enter My Book Blast Giveaway.  Visit Pride Promotions here.

And last but not least, today I’m interviewed by K. Ferrin over on her website. Check it out here.  Next monday, I’ll be interviewing K. so don’t forget to stop by.

 

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Howloween Hop

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Welcome to the Howloween Paranormal Romance blog hop, hosted by Hops With Heart (www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com).  Don’t forget to keep on hopping to discover amazing writers, enter to win prizes, and sign-up for the grand prize drawing of a $50 Amazon gift card!  Enter my own give-away by leaving a comment with your email below my post.  I’ll randomly draw a winner after the hop is over.

 

 

Release date October 28th!

Release date October 28th!

 

True love or wicked trickster? In my new novel, To Catch a Threeve, two men play a game of dark desire, neither knowing if the other offers danger or deliverance, love or death.  My Howloween post considers the allure of  falling in love with the enemy~

 

Dark Desire by Alexis Duran

“Love is giving someone the power to destroy you but trusting them not to.” Unknown.

Sex and violence. Love and hate. Trust and fear. Protagonist and antagonist. Hero and villain. When opposites collide, sparks fly. All we have to do is look at two of the most popular TV shows of all time, Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, to see how popular those conflict-generated sparks are. There’s no arguing that these elements are intricately entwined within the human soul and so naturally, they make their way into our stories. As a writer of erotica drawn to explore the dark side of desire, I’ve occasionally questioned the value of such stories.

As early as my pre-teens, I remember flinging my sister’s Harlequin romances and “bodice-rippers” against the wall in disgust when the so-called “heroes” forced themselves on simpering heroines who then promptly fell madly in love with their abusers. Rubbish! Crap! Horror!

Imagine my embarrassment when the editor of my new novella Touch of Salar informed me that one of my sex scenes was actually a rape, and that Loose Id prefers their romantic heroes not to be rapists. Apparently no does mean no. A few subtle shifts of language and voila, acceptability is attained. But how in the world did this come about? Why did I write my characters into such a situation? Why would a writer who should know better feel compelled to send her characters into the murky realms of sexual violence?

I decided it was time to take a look at the role of villainous lovers, submissive heroes and what happens when combatants fall in lust.

Dark Fiction takes us into the breach and over the cliff on our own writer’s journey through hell and damnation. Others on ShadowSpinners* have explored the function of horror, mayhem and death in fiction. They found value in the impulse to endanger lives, threaten comforts, kill off gods, upend reality and kick over rocks, and so too have I found rewards in the risky behavior so often present in dark erotica.

In fiction we can safely press beyond the confines of reason, rationality, common sense, political correctness. We can send our characters back into the haunted house or into the arms of Mr. Oh-So-Wrong. What if the protagonist falls in love with the antagonist? Now there is some delicious conflict.

When I first allowed myself to write about terribly flawed characters with a penchant for dangerous partners, I discovered that the challenges of loving a villain, of forcing my characters to the edge of reason, is every bit as compelling as threatening them with death, loss, and destruction in other areas of their lives. There’s no scene quite so intimate, so revealing, as a sexual encounter that challenges everything a character believes about themselves and the other person. They know it’s “wrong” and they do it anyway. Through this self-sacrifice and self-abandonment, perhaps the hero will learn the truth and come out stronger.

And what about the villain/lover? Is she a flawed hero? A wounded aspect of the protagonist? A dangerous other who threatens to bring out the worst in everyone they encounter? The Dark Man or Dark Woman does not have to be a malevolent outside force but a catalyst, a key to unlock passions buried within, a mirror of repressed longing. The dark lover might be the one person who can help the hero experience a sexual freedom they cannot achieve themselves.

And so we conscript our characters to wrestle with deeply buried desires that can’t be acknowledged by the rational mind. There are a hundred reasons not to give in to the dark lover, but reason has little to do with the decision to risk everything. Our characters can be stupid. Our characters can be scandalous.   Our characters can embrace vulnerability and overcome fear. Usually it is society that must be defied, along with constraints of fear, shame and propriety, but often it is one’s very own demons blocking the road to liberation and any author worth her salt knows the benefits of confronting those bastards.

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So do you love it or hate it when the hero falls for the bad guy?  Leave a comment and you’ll be automatically entered into a highly scientific Names in the Hat drawing for a $10 gift certificate to Loose Id!  

Don’t forget to enter  the grand prize drawing : here’s the link to the  Grand Prize Drawing Rafflecopter Dingus!

Continue the hop with more chances to win neat stuff at Hops With Heart!

 

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*This post was first published on ShadowSpinners.Wordpress.com

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Official Blurb for To Catch a Threeve ~ Release date October 28th ~

Axel Blackwood catches a thief and is astounded to see that he closely resembles Liam Alloway, the love he lost seven years ago in an attack by the evil woodland folk known as threeves. Axel suspects he’s fallen prey to dark magic, but can’t help becoming infatuated with his prisoner. He’s overwhelmed with the hope that he can at last bring his lost lover home, despite everything that warns him it’s all a diabolical trick.

Bryn Darrow, the half-threeve, half human orphan sent to trick Axel and rob him of much more than a simple gem finds himself equally as fascinated with his handsome human captor and the lure of someplace to call home, but he knows deep down that the constable is in love with a dangerous illusion. When he’s commanded by the threeves to murder Axel and steal a witch’s powerful grimoire, he’s forced to decide between the only family he’s ever known and the one person who might rescue him from a life of isolation and pain.

Will Axel and Bryn be forced into a deadly confrontation before they can discover the truth?

Goals Met, Winner Selected!

After applying the rigorous, highly scientific method of writing out all the names of all the commenters on my HAHAT post, cutting them out, dumping the name slips into scientifically approved vessel of a hat and shaking said hat vigorously, the winner of my HAHAT prize drawing has been selected! Skeeter Lee is the lucky recipient of a $10 gift certificate to Loose Id! Also, because my goal of ten comments was easily-breezily met, I’ll be donating $25 to GLAAD! Yeah!

Thanks to the organizers of the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I was truly impressed by all the heartfelt, wonderfully written and powerful articles. I think the links will stay live for awhile if you’d like to go check them out. The quality of the contributors was high and has inspired me to delve deeper and reach higher next year.

The people who really need to read these articles probably won’t stop by a hop against homophobia, but I fervently hope that by banding together to share our experience, strength and hope, we’ve sent some powerful, hate-kicking love out into the universe. In recovery we say that we’re only as sick as our secrets, and society’s long attempt to deny and repress the existence of our LGBTQ citizens has done much more harm than good. Opportunities like this one to share our stories banishes the secrets, lies and shame and shows us that we are all human, all struggling, all trying to be happy and make the most of this human experience. To that I say, yeah, us! Never let your voice be silenced.

HAHAT 2014

Weekend Writing Warriors #9

Greetings fellow warriors and visitors!  Well, I’m now into my first round of edits on Touch of Salar, and let’s just say, it’s an eye-opening experience.  Apparently, I missed the class on commas, colons and em dashes.  I’ll continue to post snippets from Touch for a while, in a flagrant attempt to get you all hooked.  Earlier snippets are compiled under the Fiction tab.

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Every Sunday, participating authors post eight sentences from their current work in progress. Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book. Click the link above or copy & paste this address: http://www.wewriwa.com

Touch of Salar

When M’lan’s palms hit a cool stone floor, he shook his head in confusion as his vision wavered between illusion and reality. On his knees, he breathed deep and tried to remember who he was, and where he was. He raised his head and the tentacles of the night terrors recoiled into the shadowed corners of a temple, chased away by the sun that was cresting the mountain. He was not a warrior, but a monk, a healing monk, and he was in the temple of Ka’alar, not some hideous battlefield.

He let out a shaky breath and climbed the last few steps on hands and knees. The nightmares were getting worse, and so powerful that they chased him all the way out his cell into the blessed light of day. He thanked Salar for the dawn, then groggily staggered to his feet. He dimly recalled rising and dressing before dawn, but the dream had hunted him down and reclaimed him on his way to the temple.

About Touch of Salar

Touch of Salar is a high fantasy, m/m erotic romance. In the kingdom of Rakkan, in a culture ruled by gods, temples and magic, a young monk with the ability to channel the healing powers of the god Salar falls in love with a wounded warrior he knows only as The Major. Relations between the classes are forbidden, and things become even more complicated when the monk discovers that the man he is obsessed with is a king’s assassin. If M’lan is found out, he will be put to death, possibly by the Major himself.

Weekend Writing Warriors #8

This post is part of an ongoing blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors.  Every Sunday, participating authors post eight sentences from their current work in progress.  Then we hop to our fellow warriors’ blogs and check out all the fabulous fiction that’s happening! I heartily invite you to participate as a reader, writer, or both. It’s a great way to discover your next favorite book.  Click the link above or copy & paste this address: www.wewriwa.com

Great news!  The first book in the Salar series will be published by Loose ID!!!  More details to follow soon.  I’ve been posting excerpts from the third in the series, Curse of Salar, which is my current WIP.  In celebration of an actual publishing contract, this weekend I’ll post from Touch.

 

Touch of Salar 

The sun pierced a crevice in the mountains and M’lan raised a hand to shield his eyes. He stood on a desert battlefield littered with the wounded, the dying and the dead. He let the blood-smeared sword in his other hand drop.  Dawn cut across the broken earth in a fiery lance, the anger of the god Salar exposing man’s cruelty in shocking, vivid detail.  Blood everywhere, limbs hacked, horses screaming. Hundreds of cold sightless eyes, all turning toward him. M’lan stepped forward and tripped over a body at his feet.  He fell, not onto a rock-strewn desert, but marble steps.

 

About Touch of Salar

Touch of Salar is a high fantasy, m/m erotic romance. In the kingdom of Rakkan, in a culture ruled by gods, temples and magic, a young monk with the ability to channel the healing powers of the god Salar falls in love with a wounded warrior he knows only as The Major.  Relations between the classes are forbidden, and things become even more complicated when the monk discovers that the man he is obsessed with is a king’s assassin.  If M’lan is found out, he will be put to death, possibly by the Major himself.