Hi guys! We have debut author Chris E. Saros stopping by today with her debut release Semblance, we have a brilliant guest post from Chris where she chats about writing, we have a great excerpt and a fantastic comment giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! ❤ ~Pixie~
Chris E. Saros
Drake isn’t looking for justice. He’s not interested in doing what’s right. He’s after one thing and one thing only: revenge. That means taking down the Boredega drug cartel—and the shadowy, seemingly invincible man who heads it—even if he goes down with them.
Drake plans to destroy the cartel from within, and he uses his nightclub, Semblance, as a front for money laundering and drug trafficking. He’s sacrificed almost everything to complete his mission, and just as he’s getting close, he’s derailed by flirtatious bartender Scotty, who offers Drake a glimpse of the happiness he’s missed by pursuing a personal vendetta. Scotty might be irresistible, but Drake has come too far to turn back now. He’ll have to find a way to keep Scotty safe, fend off persistent prostitute Natasha, feed tips to the authorities, and edge his way closer to the upper echelon of the cartel, where he can finally strike. He’ll need to do it all while keeping his intentions covert—and he’s not the only one at Semblance with secrets.
Chris E. Saros!
Hello everyone, Chris E. here to introduce myself. Thank you, Pixie, at MM Good Book Reviews for this wonderful opportunity! I am very excited to introduce Scotty and Drake to the world. I hope that you love them as much as I do.
So many people ask artists, writers, and creators of any sort, “Where do you get your ideas?” I think that it is a difficult question to answer for many of us because honestly… Nowhere and everywhere is the answer, and that is the least satisfying answer possible. It sounds like a cop out. People want to hear about the nightmares that woke Stephen King or about the divine intervention that led to Da Vinci’s flying machine. No one wants to hear…”um, I dunno, my head?” But it’s true; I have no idea where I get my ideas. Sometimes, I fantasize about a muse, a small little wisp of a girl who lives in the shadows on my walls, who whispers ideas to me while I sleep. Sometimes the inspiration is much more obvious, TV shows, movies, videogames, family and friend retellings of stories. But I feel like more times than not, the idea is so random, so completely off the wall and out of the blue, that its creation is unexplainable.
Semblance was a mixture of these things for me. I started with a scene I randomly wrote in high school. I wrote another, totally unrelated scene when in college. (I tend to write little snippets of stories when I am bored, so I had hundreds of these little ideas half written in notebooks across the years). It wasn’t until many months after that college snippet, I discovered that those two scenes, written several years apart, actually belonged together. They were two scenes in a much larger story. It was only then that the story really started to move forward. I had a plan, I had characters that I was really starting to get to know and I had villains that I was relishing creating.
But, it wasn’t long before I suddenly started to hit speed bumps in the road to telling the story. For one, I could not get the characters to do anything that I had preplanned to move the story along. I tried to force them into situations. I tried to write their dialog as a means to an end, but that never works, especially with an obstinate character such as Drake Clane. I was hitting my head against a wall not understanding how I was so stuck! I had these two characters who had great chemistry. They were celebrating the bromance of the century! They were all up in each other’s business and were devastated by the thought of possibly losing each other – no homo though.
That’s right, I had zero intention of having gay characters in this story. I had zero intention of writing any romance in Semblance. In fact, when I started writing this, I hadn’t even known the amazing MM romance community existed. I had watched Brokeback Mountain, and while I had been intrigued by the concept and the intense emotions, I had never really allowed myself the opportunity to delve deeper into that world. The subject was taboo, and I am not one for conflict, so therefore I swept those feelings right under the rug.
I was struggling to write Drake and Scotty’s story. I’d hit a barrier and was getting so frustrated that I was contemplating simply shelving the story altogether, putting it away for a rainy day, probably never to see the light of day ever again. It wasn’t until I sat down and actually asked myself, “where do I get stuck? What exactly is keeping the characters from moving forward?” And then it hit me. What if the reason these guys have so much chemistry, why they are so close and so involved, is because they are actually in love?
It was amazing. One moment I was stuck in the mud, no hope, ready to give up and move on, and the next – the world was suddenly open, hopeful and bright. Of course, they were in love! After I figured it out, I couldn’t believe it had taken me that long to get there. After their relationship was realized, the words started writing themselves and honestly, I think Drake and Scotty were relieved that I finally came to my senses. Even though their story is not a coming out – they both are very comfortable with who they are, their relationship was a revelation and a coming out experience for me. These fictional characters, these figments of my imagination, have taught me more than I thought was possible.
So, I can thank Drake and Scotty for the introduction into the MM world, because now that I have found it, I don’t think I could ever go back. It’s an amazing, welcoming, hot and steamy community and I absolutely love it.
Thank you for being there for me and especially for Drake and Scotty so they have the opportunity to tell their story to people who will appreciate it and love them for who they are!
He found him in the back room leaning over a shelf, reading the labels on a couple of bottles. Drake took a second to admire the scene, drinking in the long powerful legs and the nice tight ass showcased by the black pair of slacks that pulled snugly in all the right places. It took everything he had in him not to reach out and touch Scotty. The lure to do so was strong, but he squelched his temptation. There wasn’t time for such distractions.
Clearing his throat, he stepped into the room and leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest. Scotty quickly stood at the sound and picked one of the bottles he had been reading.
“Yes, my liege?” Drake asked. He couldn’t keep the amusement from his voice.
Scotty’s brow shot up into his hairline. “Are you really going to act like there isn’t a big problem hanging out behind the bar?”
“Big problem?” Drake said, playing dumb.
Scotty’s glum look didn’t lighten at all with Drake’s humor but instead darkened a degree. He took a step toward Drake and pointed the bottle at him like a large scolding finger. “That kid shouldn’t be behind the bar! He doesn’t have the first clue about what’s going on. He’s never mixed a drink before in his life, and he thinks he’s Jerry Thomas.”
“Jerry Thomas! Blue Blazer? He used to…. No, never mind. It doesn’t matter. The point is, the kid shouldn’t be behind the bar. He should be out waiting tables or something.”
“Aw, give the kid a shot. He’s only been at it a few days. I’m sure he’ll catch on. Besides, I don’t foresee him staying on the job for a long time.”
“Great! So he’s another one that I get the pleasure of training and as soon as they start to catch on, they up and leave? Really?”
Drake shrugged. They always did fine even with Tony’s boys cluttering up space. He made sure to schedule an extra hand while they were working to pick up any slack.
Scotty sighed at Drake’s shrug. “If you were just going to hire whatever crazy wackadoos that wanted a job, why did you take all the time and effort to interview me?”
“Wait,” Drake said, holding up a hand, “can we take a minute to appreciate the fact that you used the term ‘wackadoo’ in a sentence?”
“Okay! I’m sorry. I am. But I told Frankie that I would give the kid a shot. Besides, he has been helpful on the busy nights at least busing. He’s only broken about six bottles and four glasses. And I took half his tips to pay for those. So, I’m sure he will start to get the picture.”
Scotty let out another drawn-out sigh and grabbed another bottle to go with the first.
“I took so long interviewing you for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I wanted someone who had excellent skills behind the bar and would be able to handle any crazy ‘wackadoos’ that may end up back there with them. I needed someone with both a great disposition and work ethic to handle whatever problems may transpire. You fit the bill. I have faith that you can handle any piece of work that comes trotting into this club.”
Scotty’s face slowly lost the tight lines creasing his forehead as Drake spoke, his glare lessening into more of a frown than a full-on glower.
“Fine, I’ll put up with him for a while longer.”
“Okay, good, because I wasn’t really giving you a choice,” Drake said, a teasing lilt to his voice. He started to head back out front to make sure everything was set for the day but turned when Scotty said his name. “Yes?”
Scotty was looking down, kicking at a piece of paper or some other speck on the floor. He looked like a small schoolboy playing innocent. After a moment of silence, Scotty lifted his head just enough to peer through his bangs with a face that belied any innocence Drake might have seen in him. The look was pure seduction.
“Don’t think that I don’t remember about our unfinished business.”
“Un-uh.” Drake had to clear his throat before continuing. Man, he had the most beautiful eyes. He could get lost in them. Scratch that—he was already lost in them.
What was going on? Oh, right. “Unfinished business?”
Walking close enough to put a hand on Drake’s chest, Scotty smiled. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. You said you had a lot on your plate, so I’m giving you time to work through it, but we’ll finish what we started.”
Chris E. Saros lives in the beautiful Mitten State, surrounded by the exhilaration of the Great Lakes. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, reading, ministering to her cats’ needs, and watching TV. An avid traveler, she loves immersing herself in different cultures, discovering new foods, and meeting new people. Always game for a new adventure, she covets stimulating experiences such as working on locally filmed movies, coaching students in after-school activities, and spending time spoiling and sugaring-up her nieces and nephew to keep her status as “the fun aunt.” Though ideally an optimist, Chris E. is intrigued by the darkness life has to offer. Using writing as an outlet for her darker nature, she loves constructing characters and tossing them into dangerous situations, just to see what happens.