Rachel is author of many books, including Anchored, Where He Belongs, Master Class, and SUBlime (click the links to see my reviews of said books). Without further ado (though much ado should be made!), here's Rachel:
Thank you for taking the time to stop by my humble blog and answer some of my questions. I know you’ve been touring the blog-o-sphere like mad, so I hope my questions are at least a little bit interesting for you!
Thanks so much for having me! You did indeed ask some totally new questions, so this was fun :)
Can you tell us about Riptide publishing in 14 words?
Haha, that’s . . . oddly specific. But, let’s see . . . A boutique purveyor of some of the finest gay and trans* fiction being written.
What was the high point of this year for you?
This is a surprisingly tough question. On the Riptide side of the equation, the high point was definitely opening day. On the personal side of the equation, it was my dad finally marrying the wonderful woman he’s been seeing. On the author-hat side of the equation, I’d say it was a tie between and going to California for two weeks to start a book with Cat Grant and ending up writing 55,000 words in that time span, and finally releasing Crescendo, which represented the culmination of three years’ worth of work and a story arc almost a quarter of a million words long.
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
So many things! Life is really, really good right now :) Hmm, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where Riptide will go in the upcoming year. We’ve got some absolutely amazing authors signed on for our Second Wave, and lots of our wonderful First-Wavers coming back with exciting new material. I’m also looking forward to releasing this Big Kink Book I’m writing with Cat Grant; it’s the only release I have planned so far for next year (though I’m sure there will be others; I just don’t know what they’ll be yet), and right now the story is eating my brain, so it’s actually kind of tough to think of anything else.
Are we going to see more of Devon and Nicky (from SUBlime and Master Class) in the future?
Definitely. I actually have their whole development in my head—the whole “training of Nicky,” so to speak, and I suspect I’ll be writing them in short or novella form over the next couple years: titles that share a common thread but aren’t a contiguous story, and that may not be released in the order in which they would actually have happened in Nicky’s and Devon’s life. For instance, right now I’m about 30 pages into a story that would slot fairly late into Nicky’s training, where he’s being deliberately provocative and it bites him in the ass when, instead of punishing him himself, Devon outsources it to a pro. It’s seriously hardcore and throws Nicky completely off his game, out of his element—genuinely frightens him in the best possible way. I suspect I’ll try to wrap that up when I’ve finished the Big Kink Book.
What can you tell us about the Big Kink Book?
Well, it’s definitely going to be big. Cat and I banged out the first 55,000 words in just over a week in a fit of what I can only call character possession; I have never written so much so quickly that still worked so well for me when I read it again later—and all kudos to my co-writer for that! I think we’re just starting to squeak toward the midway point of Act 2, so this book may actually end up being two books, or at least one very, very long book—like, four or five hundred pages long.
Basically, the BKB is about a filthy rich, super-brilliant guy named Jonathan (though he’s of humbler origins than you might suspect) who gets bored with things and people very easily, and who’s been burned by love enough to have come to the conclusion that all anyone will ever want him for again is his money. He’s super-kinky, a hardcore sexual sadist, and a social do-gooder of fairly epic proportions. Wary of being hurt again, he’s taken to “slumming it,” so to speak—having sexual encounters with guys in dive bars who are unlikely to know who he is. Occasionally he takes on a submissive in a total power exchange contract for some pre-defined period of time, with no expectation other than mutual pleasure.
At the start of the story, we see Jonathan trying to pick up Brandon, a loner construction worker with a difficult past and an independent (and distrustful) streak so fierce that he doesn’t really even understand what intimacy means. He can get sex whenever he wants it, but he never lets it move beyond that. He’s too busy protecting himself and trying to make a better future—trying to find time and money to finish his bachelor’s degree, trying to find a way to buy the business his boss is selling at the end of the year so he can maybe stop using dial-up internet and eating dinner cold from a can over the sink.
Brandon and Jonathan hook up that first night, and Jonathan’s so taken by all of Brandon’s untapped potential (of both intellect and submission; he sees a craving to submit that Brandon wouldn’t recognize or admit to in a million years) that he starts really actively pursuing him. He reveals himself to Brandon, makes him an offer he hopes Brandon can’t refuse: six months of your life with me, letting me uncover the submissive within you, and I’ll give you the money you need to buy the business. Eventually Brandon says yes, but there’s just one problem . . . his submissive side is buried so deeply, it might not actually exist.
Care to tell us about your coming attractions and latest releases?
I’d love to :) This is actually a pretty busy winter for me; I have three new releases in November and December: Master Class at Riptide, Crescendo: Book II of Song of the Fallen at Storm Moon Press, and Break and Enter (co-written with Aleksandr Voinov) at Samhain Publishing on Dec 20. Here are some blurbs and cover art:
Master ClassGenre: BDSM, contemporary, gay erotic romance
Performing before a crowd of thousands? No problem. Baring his heart before a crowd of one? Better tie him down first.
Broadway darling Nicky Avery is a shooting star by night, but by day he bounces from one heartless one-night stand to the next. A quick flogging, a rough lay, a new whip-hand to manipulate—yet still he yearns for something he cannot even name.
He finds his first true hint of satisfaction in Devon Turner, a self-possessed film star and expert Dom. Devon knows what he wants the moment he sees it, and what he wants is Nicky Avery. Nicky’s never learned to trust and has a nasty habit of topping from the bottom, but he learns fast that in the bedroom, Devon won’t tolerate his actor’s masks.
Nicky's a broken boy, but Devon knows exactly how to put his new sub back together. With patience, care, and all the punishments his little pain slut can handle, Devon breaks Nicky down one scene at a time, revealing a mind that yearns to trust and a heart that hungers for the ecstasy of true submission at last.
Length: 16,700 words (57 pages)
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, 1PlaceForRomance, 1EroticaEbooks, Rainbow Ebooks, Goodreads (epub only), Xinxii
CrescendoGenre: Fantasy (high fantasy / epic fantasy), gay erotic romance
History made them enemies. Chance made them master and slave. Love overcame it all. But love isn’t always enough . . .
Bridging the hatred of centuries did not come easy for Freyrík Farr and Ayden Vaska. As prince of a war-torn human province, Freyrík could ill afford to fall for an enemy. And Ayden, and elven warrior with three-hundred years of bitterness in his heart, wanted no part of love—not elven, and especially not human. Yet they came together despite themselves and despite the will of their peoples, joining heart and mind to fight a race of Dark Beasts threatening the extinction of mankind.
But the Dark Beast threat pales beside the dangers of the human High Court, home of the Aegis Exalted and the harshest test yet of Ayden’s and Freyrík’s fledgling love.
While Ayden is stripped of his magic, Freyrík is forced to choose between his love for elf, Aegis, and brother, all the while seeking the one uncertain path that might save his doomed race. Time is fast running out for mankind, and only by making peace amongst themselves and with their ancient elven enemies can they end the Dark war—and undo the tragedy that’s plagued humans, elves, and Dark Beasts alike for the last three-hundred years.
Length: 107,000 words (approx. 350 pages)
Available at: Storm Moon Press, Amazon.com, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes and Noble, 1PlaceForRomance, Smashwords
Break and EnterGenre: Cyberpunk, gay erotic romance, action/adventure
Ex-Green Beret Victor “Cyke” Kellermann is on the run for a crime he didn’t—well, okay, did commit, but he didn’t realize it at the time. He’s a good guy, a “white hat” hacker for hire. He’s also more teched out than the Bionic Man, though his ailing ’ware creates as many problems as it solves.
His latest series of break-ins are proving…difficult. Sentinel Tech’s security is cutting-edge, and the cops are hounding his ass. He sees only one reason why his employer hasn’t called off the dogs: someone inside is stealing data for real and setting him up to take the fall.
Paramedic-cum-tech-phreak Bear keeps scooping an increasingly battered Cyke off the sidewalk, and each time, his fascination for the fugitive and his mysterious ’ware grows. So does the attraction that makes him reluctant to turn Cyke in. Every time they touch, barriers fall. Before long, they're both laid bare.
Cyke can handle losing blood, even losing consciousness. What he can’t afford is to lose his heart. Distractions like that get people killed—and if he succeeds in unlocking Sentinel Tech’s ugly secrets, he won’t be the only one in the line of fire.
Length: 27,000 words (approx 90 pages)
Publisher Link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/break-enter-p-6570.html
Glad to have you visit, Rachel!
Now for the prizes!
First: Check out Riptide's blog tour schedule every day until December 31. Visit the sites where the authors are guest blogging or being interviewed, and leave a comment. It’s as easy as that. Each comment earns you one entry in the grand prize drawing for an iPad. Other prizes are a Nook and a Kindle.
In addition, comment below and get a chance to win a back list book from Rachel, excluding Crescendo and Riptide releases. Be sure to leave contact information (either in the comment or through Disqus). The winner will be announced December 20.
Thanks for stopping by!