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Guest Post: Ashe Barker, author of The Dark Side series

Today I’m excited to welcome my fellow Totally Bound author, Ashe Barker to my blog. She has just re-released her Dark Side trilogy.  See below for a link to get her first book in the series for free from Totally Bound and enter a Rafflecopter to win a free copy of the complete series!

 

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Hi Delilah, and a huge thank you for inviting me over here today to chat about my newest project which I like to think of as The Dark Side revisited. A few people have asked why I chose to go back and add in extra content, was the story not good the first time around? Here are some thoughts of mine on the revisions and re-editing

I loved the original version. The Dark Side was my very first published novel, and I was proud of it. That said, it’s not often we get a chance to have our time over, but I got exactly that when Totally Bound suggested a re-release with new content and new covers. Re-vamping the series was an opportunity to sharpen up the characters, add a few more scenes – spicy ones, naturally – and to round out the whole thing with a brand new epilogue. There are no fundamental plot twists or alterations, the story worked just as it was and I didn’t want to make major changes. But I seized the chance to turn up the heat more and allow the personalities of both Nathan and Eva to bloom.

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Darker The Dark Side has always been one of my favourite stories, and one of the most popular with readers. Eva Byrne is a sassy, bright heroine, who has no idea what she wants out of life but knows it when she sees it and grabs it with both hands. In contrast, Nathan Darke is a brooding alpha hero with a seriously soft centre. He’s quite certain of what he wants – out of life and out of his latest submissive – and he sees loads of potential in Eva. The two find themselves on a sensuous journey of discovery. What’s not to love?

Nathan Darke was the first Dom I created and he embodies all my fondest imaginings and more besides. He’s clever, successful, wealthy but not in the millionaire bracket, and a doting father to his small daughter. I never wanted him to have everything his own way though, so he meets his match in Eva Byrne, the socially inept violinist with an off-the-scale IQ. At first these two seem like a miss-matched pair and Eva might just be out of her depth, drawn to Nathan like a moth to a flame. As the story unfolds though her hidden depths start to emerge, and Nathan has his hands full trying to keep up with her. Eva is both fascinated and appalled by Nathan’s kinky repertoire in the bedroom – and in some other interesting locations too – but it never occurs to her to say no when he invites her into his world. Her artistic soul soars, the scientist in her is intrigued. Nathan makes her feel things even her fertile imagination could not conjure up, and she’s hooked.

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Darkest The Dark Side is an erotic romance – gritty, realistic, set in the UK. But I like to think it’s more than that. Each of the main characters is flawed, they have their demons to contend with and their own battles to fight. But against all the odds they are drawn to each other.  There are plenty of twists and turns and surprises on the way as they struggle to find their HEA, but it is out there somewhere. The new epilogue offers a peep in to that, so even for readers who read and enjoyed Nathan and Eva’s story the first time around there’s something in the re-vamped version to help put the icing on the cake.

Series Blurb

The Dark Side trilogy charts the sensual journey of academic musician Eva Byrne as she struggles to overcome painful shyness, sexual inhibition and personal tragedy. Lonely, unsophisticated, desperately seeking love and approval, Eva is easy prey for sensual and experienced Nathan Darke.

He wants her submission, and he knows how to go about getting it. Eva is quickly caught up by the whirlwind of his effortless seduction, though she has her own reasons for agreeing to join him in his world of pain and pleasure, on the dark side.

Inexplicably fascinated and at the same time totally frustrated by his new submissive, Nathan is increasingly drawn to her as she opens up in his hands and he realises there is much, much more to his latest playmate than he ever could have imagined.

The Dark Side charts the turbulent relationship between Eva and Nathan as their mutual fascination builds. They both discover what surrender truly means as together they explore the fragile bonds of desire, trust, risk and reward, and the destructive power of betrayal.

 

Fancy a chance of winning all three books in the revamped series? Then all you need to do is join in my Rafflecopter.

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Oh, and did I mention that the first book in the series, Darkening, is FREE at Totally Bound until 30 April?

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Here’s an excerpt from one of the new scenes in the second book in the series, Darker. Nathan and Eva are experimenting with a violet wand

“Comfortable?”

I nod. The length of the rope is sufficient for me to still kneel on the bed.

“Good. A little warm-up to start then. Are you ready?”

Again I nod.

“Miss Byrne, for the avoidance of doubt I’d prefer you to answer me with actual words during a scene. So, are you ready?”

Another rule to remember. I store it away. “Yes, I think so.”

“Remember, say red if you want me to stop, yellow to slow down.”

“Yes. I know. Oh!” I flinch at the sudden whirring as he starts up the wand. He hasn’t even touched me yet and I’m as jumpy as a cat.

“Try to relax, Miss Byrne,” he murmurs as he comes forward to kneel on the bed behind me. I look across the room, my attention caught by our reflection in the mirrored wardrobe door opposite—me naked and suspended ready for whatever he chooses to do. He smiles at me through the mirror, and I manage to smile back. More or less.

I watch, fascinated, as he raises the wand then brings it close to my arm. His movements are slow, unhurried, and just before the wand touches my skin the sparks fly.

“Oh! Oh that tickles.” I had steeled myself to expect something more…severe. The sensation is best described as lots of tiny pinpricks flickering across my skin. I am strangely disappointed.

He lifts the wand away. “Not painful then?”

“No, not exactly. More…odd. Is it supposed to hurt?”

“It can be used that way, but I’m not intending that today. We’re playing, this is fun. So you’ll tell me if it starts to feel unpleasant, yes?”

“It’s okay, I think. Could you turn it up a bit?”

He chuckles. “Miss Byrne, you have a reckless streak. How about this?”

He adjusts the dial on the side of the toy then strokes me again, this time drawing the wand down my arm and my ribs. I arch, savoring the slightly more intense champagne-like fizz it creates. The mauve glow and showers of sparks captivate me as I observe his progress in the mirror.

“Like it?” he murmurs.

“Yes. It’s…weird. But good.”

Nathan just smiles and continues with his work. I twist and writhe as he traces the wand across my shoulders, down my other arm, my bottom, then turns his attention to my breasts. The sensation as he caresses my swollen nipples is incredible and I let out a little shriek.

“Still okay?” He pauses, lifts the wand from my skin.

“Yes. Yes, it’s fine. I… Please don’t stop.”

“Let’s make this a little more interesting then.”

As I watch him in the mirror he tucks the still whirring electrode into the waistband of his jeans.

“Doesn’t that hurt?” I ask, perplexed.

He glances up, catching my eye in the mirror. “You know it doesn’t. I need to keep it away from my zip, though. Metal and electricity can be an unpredictable combination. You’ll have noticed there are no buckles on your cuffs.”

I hadn’t but now he mentions it…

He moves in close to me, then leans down to kiss the tip of my shoulder. A sizzle of electricity arcs across even before his lips make contact.

“Oh my God! You’re live!”

“Mmm, so now, every time I touch you, wherever I touch you…”

I let my head drop back between my shoulders, arching my back to thrust my breasts forward. Nathan takes the hint and reaches around me to cup my breasts in his hands. The sparkling ripple across my sensitive skin is exquisite, especially when he feathers his fingertips across my pebbled peaks. I turn my head to watch the stream of purple sparks reflected in the mirror, and marvel, not for the first time, at the wonders of physics.

 

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About Ashe Barker

I’ve been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres. I still love reading, the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.

I tend to draw on my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea.

I live in the North of England, on the edge of the Brontë moors. When not writing – which is not very often these days – my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, tortoises.  And a very grumpy cockatiel.

I have over thirty titles on general release with publishers on both sides of the Atlantic, and I have several more in the pipeline. I write M/f, M/M, and occasionally ring the changes with a little M/M/f. All my books feature BDSM. I write explicit stories, always hot, but they offer far more than just sizzling sex. I like to read about complex characters, and compelling plots, so that’s what I write too.

I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.

 

Buy Links

Darkening   Amazon US   Amazon UK   Barnes and Noble   All Romance   Totally Bound 

  1. Darkening is FREE at Totally Bound and All Romance until 30 April 2016

Darker   Amazon US   Amazon UK   All Romance   Totally Bound

Darkest   Amazon US   Amazon UK   All Romance   Totally Bound

 

Social Media Links and Newsletter sign-up

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Guest Post–O Dear…There’s A Woman in My M/M story

I’d like to welcome R.A. Padmos to the blog today. I met R.A. in the Totally Bound author FB group. I’m so intrigued to read The Bookshop and Unspoken. Leave a comment to win a chance to win one of R.A.’s books!

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Unspoken is the story of a married man who falls in love with another man. It’s not a very usual theme in more recent m/m and gay romance novels, and neither does it seem to be a very popular one. Most readers, at least from what I see and hear, don’t like a woman being part of the one man is hot, two men are hotter picture.

So why did I choose to write exactly such a story? I can perhaps best call it a challenge to myself to write a historical novel with some absolute rules. I wanted to write a story about a Dutch working class man living in times of economic crises followed by five years of German occupation. It had to be an honest story, even if that honesty would cost me a few readers.

I had to face the fact that in those days, a man who could pass as straight, would likely make the choice to get married and start a family. He might not even recognise his own feelings, until lighting hit him and there was no longer a realistic way of denying the truth. But what to do with his wife and their four children? The most popular choice would be to let her die during the delivery of the youngest baby, which would give us a ready-made two-daddy family long before that concept became popular. Or I could write her as an unpleasant character, standing between our heroes and their love. If she would be nasty enough, who would blame a man for leaving his wife for the man who turned out to be the love of his life?

That, however, would be lazy writing. Above all, I hate portraying a female character as a bitch simply because she stands between two men and their true romance. So I ended up with a story of a man who falls deeply in love with another man and expresses his feelings in as many ways as possible. It’s also the story of a man married to a loyal sweetheart of a woman with whom he shares the responsibility getting a family through hard times.

Often enough that’s how things were back then, whether we, modern readers and writers of m/m and gay romance, want it in our stories or not. I know I had to take a deep breath to write Unspoken.

I’m happy I did.

Now it’s up to the readers…

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What’s it about?

When Stefan meets Adri, it is love at first sight. It does, however, take some time before he recognizes his own feelings. He’s a married man—a family man—with a strong sense of responsibility. In Dutch society of 1935, sex between men over the age of twenty-one might be legal, but acceptance is still a long way off.

As a working-class man without a steady job, he doesn’t have the means to ignore society’s rules and create his own little paradise in which both he and his lover can be together, without his family having to suffer poverty and shame. Despite all this, the lovers find a way to carve out moments of intimacy and happiness.

Then the Germans march into Holland and nothing will ever be the same again. The occupation, which will last five long years, offers both danger and chances, but choices have to be made—choices of the head and choices of the heart.

Readers might be interested to know that Stefan, Adri and others also play a role in The Bookshop, the story of bookseller Jakoba.

 

A small taste?

They ended up on the floor together, with Adri full of impatience undressing Stefan, his eyes wide with delight.

“No one ever looked at me this way.” Stefan wasn’t even nearly ready to accept the other man’s gaze in a matter-of-fact manner. “Maybe it’s something women don’t like to do, only men.”

“What kind of way do you mean?” Adri asked with clearly feigned innocence.

“As if you don’t simply accept that I want you, but want me just as much. Marije—I shouldn’t even talk about this—she’s a sweet woman, but she never does or says anything that even hints that she’s really interested in me as a man. Doesn’t she have the same needs?” Stefan wondered aloud, but hidden there was another, unspoken question. Did I marry her for exactly that reason?

 

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Where can I buy this book?

Pride Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

A few words about me?

In no particular order: woman, writer, in a relationship with my wife since 1981 (though we had to wait until 2001 until we could actually get married), mother of two grown sons, owner of cats (I can pretend, can’t I?), reader and a lot more.

I write in different genres under different names. I’m also S.Dora for my M/M erotica and Ella Laurance for my M/F erotica.

 

Where can you find me?

My blog

My Facebook

Twitter

Care for a free book?

Anyone giving a reaction to this post between now and Wednesday has a chance of winning one of my books. Winner’s choice. I do need an e-mail address for obvious reasons.