SLAVE is now a full time reviewer for Guys Like Romance, Too!

Please note that SLAVE's Erotic Review is on hiatus to catch up on reviews.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hump day with Dreamspinners Press: Elizabeth Noble

Life’s Little Surprises
Thank you for welcoming me to your wonderful blog!

Webster’s Online Dictionary defines mayhem as:
1 a :  willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person's fighting ability
b :  willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of the body
2 :  needless or willful damage or violence

Oh hello hurt/comfort one of the sweet little staples of many, many genres of writing and storytelling! It’s taken many forms and had other names dating back to the time humans began weaving stories and using the stars as characters. We’ve read it in books and watched it on the big and little screen. It’s in every culture and every age of humanity. 

Clearly it is a popular theme.

Who doesn’t like their hero being comforted, loved and cared for by the other hero. Notice how I go from stars and through the ages to M/M romance?

What is it about hurt/comfort that we like so much? Most human beings don’t really want to see someone hurt, but the hurting is important. Without the hurt we never get the comfort. It’s the comfort that speaks to something in us all. The hurt takes many forms. It can be mental anguish, physical pain, emotional trauma, or some combination of all three. The hero can get a broken leg, or in the case of Val in Run for the Roses a broken arm, hand and shoulder. He can have the crap scared out of him and then his hero comes along to provide a much-needed sense of security. His friend can be hurt and he feels helpless and alone or maybe his family has shunned him (or he thinks they will) for being gay. The possibilities are endless.
After the hurts comes the comfort. The understanding without the need to explain feelings. Strong arms and shoulders to lean on for support. A lover who is first, a friend, someone a guy can depend on no matter what.

I never realized how full of hurt/comfort Run for the Roses is until it was mentioned in a review. Our hero, Val is no stranger to hurt, the comfort part not so much. He’s had a string of bad, and abusive, relationships. He’s been hit physically and hurt emotionally. Like many people who’ve survived something like that, he’s chosen a life alone rather than take the chance on being hurt again. He might sleep alone every night, but he’s safe.

Then his friend, Janelle, has a terrible accident, one she’s lucky to have survived and Val’s life is turned upside down. That’s about the time Wyatt, Janelle’s father, rides into to town in a rented car. He’s there to help out Janelle, but he’s got that comfort thing down pat and Val gets a good dose of it as well.

Wyatt isn’t like other men Val has known. He’s older, calmer and more subtle than previous men Val has dated. Wyatt isn’t simply there for Janelle, he becomes the man Val learns he can depend upon, the man who will not hurt him. The man who in fact saves him and comforts him.

Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.

They left the restaurant and walked to Wyatt’s car. Stepping around Val, Wyatt went to the passenger side and unlocked the car door. Val saw Wyatt glance around the parking lot. No one else was around. When Wyatt reached out and slipped one hand through Val’s hair and pulled him gently closer, Val tensed despite his brain screaming at him not to.

“Shush. I’m not going to hurt you.” Wyatt tenderly brushed his fingers through Val’s hair. “Though, I’ll be honest, I have hurt people. But they were bad people stealing valuable national treasures and wouldn’t give them back.”

Val burst out laughing, and the tension left him. Wyatt smiled in that way that made the corners of his eyes crinkle. When Wyatt leaned in toward Val again, he inched forward.

Wyatt’s kiss was light and gentle. He didn’t push, but seemed to wait patiently and coax Val into opening his lips. It was the hottest thing Val ever could imagine, and he moaned, rocking his hips into Wyatt as Wyatt’s tongue slipped over Val’s and skimmed the roof of his mouth.

Val slid his arm around Wyatt’s back. At the same time Wyatt wound his free arm around Val’s waist, pulled him closer, and pressed his thigh between Val’s legs, applying steady pressure upward. It was delightful and maddening at the same time. No one had ever affected him in this way or so completely. Val wanted more.

Wyatt ran a hand softly up Val’s spine, making him shiver, then moved his hand to Val’s shoulder. He pushed back from Val barely enough to break their kiss and caressed Val’s cheek with his own before saying in a low voice, “I thought I’d burst before I had the chance to kiss you.” Wyatt’s breath was warm against Val’s skin, making him quiver and his breath catch in his throat. Reaching around Val, Wyatt pulled on the car door latch. He nudged Val to the side and opened the door completely, then waved grandly at the inside. “Shall we?”

Elizabeth Noble bio:

Elizabeth Noble began telling stories before she actually knew how to write, and her family was very happy when she learned to put words on a page. Those words turned into fan fiction that turned into a genuine love of M/M romance fiction. Her favorite books to write (and read) include all things sci-fi, futuristic, and supernatural as well as a good mystery.

Elizabeth has three grown children and is now happily owned by an adorable mixed breed canine princess named Rosie, and two cats, Murphy and Yeti. She lives in her native northeast Ohio, the perfect place for gardening, winter and summer sports (go Tribe!) and using her trusty telescope. When she's not writing she's working as a veterinary nurse, so don't be surprised to see her men with a pet or three who are a very big part of their lives.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Grace's Mayhem with Patrick and Chance

This is Grace, here, stopping by to possibly add to the mayhem. I write erotica and erotic romance between men and am here today to talk about my upcoming guys, Patrick and Chance in my new novel No Sacrifice.

Mayhem may not even be strong enough for the mess Patrick goes through in this book. I’ve put all my men through angst; I think it’s rather necessary for them to truly appreciate the happily ever afters that I want them to have. And while I can guarantee it’ll end happily, I can also guarantee it’ll be a bumpy ride to get there.

Patrick—married, a father—has always believed himself straight. Or, well, he’s always stuck with that, even when he knew he was attracted to guys. But when he finds himself getting aroused by his fellow male costar during a kissing scene, he starts down a path that forces him to reexamine himself and finally conclude he’s not straight, he’s bisexual. But that’s only the beginning of the mess he’s got himself into and his trials, I hope, will give everyone something they can relate to.  What’s your favorite type of mayhem to see a character go through?

Thanks so much to Guys Like Romance Too for hosting me today and giving me a chance to talk about Patrick’s struggles. Thanks to the readers for stopping by!

* * *
Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s married and a father—and thus, straight.

One night he goes to drink his worries away, meets Chance Dillon, and can’t take his eyes off the man. After having a little too much alcohol, he spills his problem to Chance, who helps him realize there’s something other than gay and straight. Patrick’s new understanding of his bisexual identity helps him sleep better—until the next day, when he discovers Chance is a sound technician on the same set.

As their friendship grows and Patrick’s marriage ends, he recognizes a possibility for much more with Chance. But Patrick isn’t ready to be out the way Chance has been for so long, and when the matter is taken out of Patrick's hands, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick's life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.
* * *
Instead, he lifted his hand and threaded his fingers through Rhys’s dark locks. He took the other from its scripted spot on Rhys’s arm and slid it up to the back of Rhys’s neck. Then he returned the nips and nibbles and did his best to deepen the kiss while still keeping his tongue to himself.
Rhys responded by sliding one hand down Patrick’s back and pulling him in tighter. That hand landed on Patrick’s ass, the other resting on his lower back and holding him in place. A quiet moan escaped Patrick’s throat, and as soon as it did, he was sure he’d hear the call. Again though, it didn’t come, so he kept it going.
And as it did, the strangest thing started happening. The hands on him, the kiss from Rhys as it deepened, started to feel… really good. The sensations went through him, and he found himself reacting to it, his cock starting to harden. He didn’t understand it, but he was too focused on Cyrus and the things they were doing to be able to figure anything out.
Finally, he heard the call, and they broke the kiss. Patrick noticed Rhys seemed to be having as much trouble controlling breathing as he was, though he didn’t feel anything against him. At least, nothing like his hard cock against Rhys. Rhys and Patrick stared at each other, and Patrick was sure his face was turning red. He didn’t understand it, couldn’t figure out why he’d react to Rhys, even if Patrick was as thoroughly in the role as he was.
“Finally!” Jack grumbled, drawing Patrick’s attention. “I think we can wrap that for today.”
“You… okay?” Rhys asked Patrick, who nodded. “Should I be… flattered?”
Patrick laughed, breaking the tension. “Uh… sure,” he said, chuckling. “I guess. That’s… never happened before. Um….” He paused, glancing around. Most of the crew were busy taking care of what they needed to, but he desperately needed to adjust himself before he walked to his dressing room. When Rhys dropped his hands but didn’t step away, Patrick did his best to adjust himself surreptitiously and finally move back. “Uh… sorry?” he asked, then shook his head.
Rhys laughed. “I’ll just take it as a compliment. Next time, though, maybe don’t think of your wife while we’re working on a kissing scene.”
Patrick forced a laugh, though why that thought bothered him, he couldn’t pinpoint. “Yeah, right. ’K… guess I’ll see you tomorrow….”
“Yup. Later.” Rhys threw up a casual wave before heading to his dressing room.
Patrick followed, going to his own, though his mind was so preoccupied he almost went into the wrong one. When he was settled into his chair so Chrissy could help him remove the scar makeup, he let his mind wander back to the scene. He’d never done that—never—even when he’d been kissing the female actor he had been with for his one romantic role onstage.
He knew it was possible for actors to react. He often thought the assurances that it didn’t happen ever had to be bullshit. There were too many Hollywood romances that grew between costars for that to be the case. And he’d heard the old oft-misquoted line he thought went something like, “Darling, one of two things is about to happen. For either, I apologize,” which told him it was, in fact, quite possible for a man to react during a scene.
He might have even expected it someday when playing a romantic role with a woman. But he’d never in a million years expected it to happen when he was playing a gay man. And he had no idea what to do with it.
* * *
Author Bio:

Grace R. Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age—many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children—both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance, and other erotica, or even dabbling in art.