You aren’t ready for this—mostly because you (probably) haven’t read the other books in my queer vampire series MASTER yet. But fear not, there’s time to catch up; and I’m offering Books 1-4 at such a deep discount, they might as well be six feet under. But hey, I’m up for the challenge of resurrection. 😉
Additional Reasons Why You Need to Practice “Safe Reading” on Melancholia (Other Than The US Supreme Court Took Away Your Basic Human Rights—See What I Did There?):
- The schmex is out of bounds. As my editor Angela Brown said, “This book is sooo raunchy.” I lost count of how many times she wrote a similar comment in the margins of the copy edit. Bonus: in flagrante delicto with Melancholia, you don’t have to worry about potentially getting arrested for having an out-of-state abortion, dying from pregnancy-related complications, being forced to deliver a baby without a brain (only to watch your progeny perish before taking a first breath), or bringing a disadvantaged child into this cruel world with limited resources and a piddly support network. Jes’ sayin’.
- Bodies hit the floor faster than a bot account leaves junk comments on your IG. Well, not really, but this book racks up the unfortunate demises like a priest tallies up sex offenses committed against minors. (If Hell exists, Satan’s keeping the bed warm for ’em.) There are several pitch-dark, gallows-humor moments that tickle the funny bone just so—like hitting the sweet spot with your favorite v******r.
- The one-line zingers just keep comin’. I wrote this book in the midst of NaNoWriMo fever last year. Apparently, all that typing made my characters deliriously slaphappy, deliciously wry, and punch-drunk witty.
- Justus, the vampire master Big Bad, is so deplorable in Melancholia, he’s actually become one of my favorite characters. Why? Because I can’t wait to kill him off—he deserves every single painful death imaginable. (If the day ever comes…the jury’s still out on that.)
- The dark horse, Naomi, is coming into her own … and it’s a joy to behold. When I started writing this series, I had no idea a female character would prove so central to the story arc, because I was basically craving heavily plotted M/M seggs, thus I based my entire creative energy on setting my Raiden/Gabriel Colin (Railin, OMG) ship on a circuitous course to sail into eventual bliss (but did they? and will they?). However, as I continued the series, I realized the story I thought I wanted to tell had more layers and nuance than mere glassy-eyed lust or a years-long wank fest. MASTER lacked emotional resonance until Naomi showed up. Although she’s a victim of abuse, she’s slowly shaping into a survivor; perhaps even a warrior. I’m waiting for her completed transformation with baited breath. Side note: I’m also having a blast writing Fagan, Raiden’s starlet onscreen lover—she’s vivacious, effervescent, and a hoot to boot. Balancing Fagan the firecracker with Naomi the slow burner helps keep the wet blankets at bay.
All in all, Melancholia is a good fit for Summer of Rage reading. Justus behaves so abominably, you want to impeach him (or worse). Naomi is still oppressed, but putting up a helluva fight. (See you at the next protest.) Raiden’s spiraling down into the depths of despair and Gabriel’s getting in touch with his feral side. (The ever-present frisson between the two lads gives off big OTP energy.) There’s drama, humor, pathos, the squick factor, a handful of is-it-a-sin-to-be-turned-on-by-this-kink? moments; and of course, enough blood to fill a few dozen buckets. Also: no risk of being forced into pregnancy by a power-hungry conglomerate of conservative zealots masquerading as Christians who would rather paint their billboards with your placenta than give up their crusade to control your anatomical autonomy.
US SC, eat your heart out.
Master, Book 5
A growing boy needs an iron-rich diet.
Reeling from grief, closeted vampire Gabriel Colin bites the hand that feeds. After a heart-wrenching tragedy, he goes on the warpath, leaving Raiden, his costar and maker, to lick his wounds solo.
Eager to enact the next phase of his Raiden-centric revenge, OG big bad Justus makes it his mission to seduce Gabriel. As Justus welcomes the bloodsucking newb into the fold, his spouse-cum-Stockholm-Syndrome-sufferer Naomi covertly flexes her mental muscles, testing the strength of her growing resistance to her husband’s tyranny.
All the while, Raiden takes greater public risks to fill the void of his sorrow—and unwittingly enters the crosshairs of Gabriel’s blooming wrath.
Warning: this book series is intended for adults only. It contains graphic violence and gore, explicit sexual situations, including rape and sexual assault, strong language, and other material readers may find objectionable. Reader discretion is advised.
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Raiden picked up the gun. “It’s come to this.”
“It’s come to this,” Gabriel repeated.
“I never thought—”
“You took my wife. Murdered my kin.”
Raiden cocked the trigger. “I did what I had to do.”
Gabriel pointed at his head. “If I could go back, I’d make sure she never laid eyes on you.”
“Do you think things would’ve ended differently?” Raiden smiled bitterly. “We’ve always been at odds.”
“I loved you, Akemi.” Gabriel fell to his knees. “You were like a brother!”
Raiden’s hand trembled on the trigger. “I felt the same.”
“Cut!” Baza yelled. “Merde! This long take is ridiculous. We need to break it down into sections.”
While he consulted with the cameramen about which angle to shoot next, Raiden put the gun on the prop table.
“You must be one of the only dudes I’ve ever met who doesn’t seem to enjoy holding one of these.” Fagan pointed to the weapon.
He shrugged. “It’s not really my thing.”
“You’ve been so low lately. What gives?”
She slung an arm around his neck. “Come hang out with me after work. I’ll give you something to smile about.”
She dropped her arm and cupped her hands around his ear. “It rhymes with ‘hot.’”
“Ah.” Raiden managed a ghost of grin. “Haven’t had ‘hot’ in a while.”
“I knew you’d be game.” She gave him a side hug. “I’ll ask Gabriel too.”
Raiden’s face fell. “Don’t do that.”
“It won’t help.”
“Are you questioning my people skills?”
“No. I’m saying the issues we have are not, um … We can’t just smoke them away.”
“You can try. Seeing y’all mope around is a total drag. We’ll be done with the shoot soon. It’d suck to end it on a bitter note, ya know?”
“It’s not bitter between you and me.”
“Yeah, but can’t we all just get a bong?” She batted her lashes at him.
Raiden shook his head.
Fagan pouted. “I’ll ask Gabriel and see what he says.”
“I wish you wouldn’t.”
“I don’t give a hoot! I’ll do what I want.”
“If you must.”
As she skipped over to Gabriel, Raiden felt the anchor dragging down his spirit grow heavier, especially as he lip-read his creation’s response: “Not a chance in hell.”
After Baza finished his finicky directions for the shot, Raiden and Gabriel repeated their lines. And again—from fourteen different angles. Weary of the mind-numbing repetition, Raiden started to drift off.
“Raiden! We need to finish this today.” Gabriel glared at him. “If you don’t pull yourself together, we’ll go over the time limit. We need to stay on schedule.”
“I know. It’s just hard to concentrate when you’re giving me the evil eye.”
“I’m supposed to. It’s in the script.”
“You’re supposed to be hurt, not hateful.”
“I can be both.”
“Buddies …” Baza wrung his hands. “Stop bickering. It is better to finish on a high note, n’est-ce pas?”
“See, Raiden?” Gabriel gestured expansively. “Everyone knows we’re not getting along. No need to fake it. Use it as inspiration for the scene.”
The color rushed to Raiden’s cheeks. “Fine.” He got into position and cocked the trigger. “Ready.”
“Take Forty-six. And … action.”
“I never thought it would be you,” Gabriel gasped.
“I never thought it would be anyone else.” Raiden pulled the trigger. The gun blasted. A single tear trickled down his cheek.
Gabriel collapsed, holding his chest. “You broke my heart.”
That wasn’t in the script.
“Cut!” Baza shouted. “Raiden, that was beautiful! I felt it right here.” He put his hand over his sizable paunch. “Right in the guts.” Holding out one hand to Gabriel, he offered the other one to Raiden. “Now let’s say a little prayer.”
Raiden placed the gun back on the prop table. “I don’t pray.”
“You do today, mon cher.” Baza grabbed his stiff fingers. “Now, sourpuss, tout de suite!”
Raiden dragged his feet as though he were walking to the electric chair. Gabriel, who had gotten up from his prone position on the ground, accepted Baza’s hand with a scowl etched on his face.
Baza brought their hands together. “Oh, Heavenly Father! Unite us in our mission to bring big bucks out of the multiplex.”
Raiden rolled his eyes. He glanced at Gabriel to see if his reaction was the same, but Gabriel’s attention was focused on the churning waves spraying saltwater below the Golden Gate Bridge.
“Amen,” Raiden said, to end his torture. He extricated himself from Baza’s grip. “Gotta bounce. I’ll see you next Tuesday.”
“Are you calling me a cunt?” Baza chortled. “Or is that your version of flirting?”
“Neither. My last scene with Fagan’s literally next Tuesday.” Raiden’s mouth tightened. “Break a leg, Gabriel. Or maybe a shoulder.”
His creation’s silence was more than he could bear.
MASTER Books 1-4 are deeply discounted through the end of July.
Bundle your books and save.
By day, Japanese rock star Raiden is an adored idol; by night, a vicious vampire. While preparing for his band’s summer tour in Detroit, Raiden stalks the streets for fresh blood—and tries to obliterate haunting memories of his fiancée’s murder. Meanwhile, famous TV actor Gabriel Colin is hatching an elaborate plot to recruit Raiden for the starring role in his first film. The two celebrities become fatally intertwined after an unforeseen encounter results in bloodshed, death, and rebirth.
A fledgling vampire needs a seasoned mentor to help him hone his
homicidal instincts. The scent of blood is both an incentive for murder, and a potent aphrodisiac…opposites attract.
As his rock band’s tour kickoff approaches, Raiden struggles with Gabriel’s growing resistance to his teaching methods.
Elsewhere, a ghost from Raiden’s past resurfaces—with an unlikely assistant in tow.
Unaware of their newly imperiled state, Raiden and Gabriel explore their altered alliance against the backdrop of palm trees and plentiful prey while vampire master Justus plots their downfall.