A big thank you to A.M. Arthur for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit with 3 Chicks After Dark today. I think we like her even more after she addressed our guest post topic… more blue-collar/relatable guys is alway a win. Welcome, A.M. Arthur!
Hey, y’all, A.M. Arthur again, happy to be broadcasting today from Three Chicks After Dark! I’m excited to be here to promote my new book, THE TRUTH AS HE KNOWS IT, which kicks off a brand-new series, Perspectives.
My gracious hosts provided me with a great topic for today’s post (for which I am ever grateful, because I truly do suck at coming up with these things myself). They wrote: In the Belonging series you have abuse, loss of a partner, Street Feed bringing homelessness into light. In Cost of Repairs most of the men had haunting pasts as well. Your men are middle class, hard-working guys who are facing their struggles head-on and trying not to drown in the wake of it all, which makes them very real and relatable. Why the struggles over the ‘fantasy swept away by the Prince’ romance?!
I had a giggle over the combo question mark-exclamation point on the end.
The simple answer is: I don’t like reading the “fantasy swept away by the Prince” type romances, so I’d have a hard time writing them. There is a good market for that kind of romance, and there are plenty of talented authors producing those stories, so no one is going to miss out. The great thing about the m/m world right now is the diversity of folks reading and writing in it.
And the question was kind of answered within the question. I like writing heroes who are “very real and relatable.” I grew up surrounded by blue collar workers and small business owners. People who worked paycheck to paycheck, and who didn’t take extravagant tropical vacations. The folks who go out to dinner once a month because it’s a special treat and too expensive to do every week. Those are the kinds of people I know, so they’re who I write about.
But never say never. I write the characters who show up. Maybe one day some handsome, closeted heir to a fortune will pop into my head and ask for his own romance. If he does (and if he pushes hard enough) I’ll write his story. But for now I’ll stick to the cops, cooks, bakers, and bartenders that I love so much.
What’s your favorite blue collar/service industry worker hero to read about?
Meet the author:
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.
Where to find A.M. Arthur:
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org with your cooking tips (or book comments). You can also find her online (http://amarthur.blogspot.com/), as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/am_arthur), Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur), and Facebook (A.m. Arthur). A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Musa Publishing.
Released 10 February 2015
Published by Samhain Publishing
Cover art by Lyn Taylor
Perspectives, Book 1
Officer Noel Carlson isn’t out to anyone in small-town Stratton, Pennsylvania, only to distant friends and family, so a relationship is out of the question. That doesn’t stop him from wanting one, though.
When a night-shift call brings him face to thonged butt with a hired stripper whose girl-party gig went terribly wrong, Noel takes pity on the guy and lets him go. But he can’t get the encounter out of his mind.
Shane has big-time debts to repay, especially to the brother who sacrificed nearly everything for him. His two jobs, in a deli and as a stripper, leave him no time for a social life. But a non-date of hot sex and takeout food with Noel? He can squeeze that in.
The bond they form is stronger than either expected or wanted. Especially since the step Shane’s about to take to put his brother—and his soul—back in the black isn’t quite legal. And he never calculated just how much his determination to make things right will cost him in the end.
“I want to see you again,” Shane said.
Noel grinned, flashing those dimples. “I’d like that too. My work schedule is pretty weird, though. I’m first shift, which is eleven at night to seven in the morning, five days, starting tomorrow.”
Shane worked that one around. It gave them daytime hours, and evenings on Wednesday and Thursday. He worked at the deli tomorrow, and Saturday was off the table. Probably Sunday too, for good measure. “When do you sleep?”
“Usually when I first get home, from about eight to two or three. Sometimes longer, depending on the night.”
“So you’re usually free dinnertime until like ten?”
“Pretty much.” Noel cracked an unexpected yawn. “Sorry, my schedule is a little off after spending the day with Tristan. I try to keep similar sleep times on my days off so I don’t get too screwed up.”
Shane stood, surprised. “How long have you been awake?”
“About thirty hours.”
“Shit, why didn’t you tell me that?”
“Because I wanted to do this tonight. I’ve been thinking about you all week, and I’m glad I saw you at Mineo’s today. Really glad.”
“Me too.” Shane draped his arms around Noel’s waist. “And since this has been a fantastic night, I’m going to go before you pass out from exhaustion.”
“Do you want to get together tomorrow?”
He considered it for about two seconds. “My weekend’s pretty booked with work and stuff. Monday? We could maybe go out for real this time?”
“Sounds good. I’ll call you when I get up Monday and we can hammer out the details.”
Shane collected his clothes and dressed, taking his time because Noel was watching. The opposite of a striptease, and Shane kind of loved the novelty of it. He meant his good-night kiss to be soft, quick, but Noel held him tight and devoured his mouth until Shane was breathless and half-hard. God, he could kiss Noel for hours and not get tired of it. But he saw the fatigue in Noel’s eyes, and it was time to leave.
“See you soon,” Shane said. “And thanks for dinner.”
“You’re welcome, cowboy.”
Shane strolled back to his car with a bounce in his step, positive he’d never be able to hear the word “cowboy” again without thinking of Noel Carlson.
This book really ripped my heart out. By the end, I was a crying mess. It’s hard to read so many pages of hurt, pain, lies and devastation. The happy, breathtaking, light bulb moments really make it worth the journey.
Shane is a broken soul. Seriously broken. He’s one of the most damaged MC’s I’ve read in a while. Hurt and struggles are something I actually like reading. It brings it down from fantasy and cheesiness to real life trials and tribulations.
No one has a perfect life (okay maybe some rich person somewhere who’s living the high life with no stress or worries). That’s one of the big draws for me to AM Arthur books. The people on her pages live in smaller towns, with low paying jobs, and consuming debt. This is more real life than big execs and carefree lifestyles. They struggle and fight to survive. For Shane, his struggles are tough and never-ending. Abuse as a child, bullying, suicide attempts, depression, debt and secrets that are eating away at his grasp on sanity. Also, a warped sense of feeling responsible for all the bad things that’s happened to him and his brother, Jason.
Noel, the sexy police officer he crosses paths with during a job that goes terribly wrong, seems to be an escape Shane would like to try out. What Shane assumes will be a one-off is so far from it! The attraction and desire to actually date overrides Shane’s better judgement and quickly becomes an addiction. One of Shane’s more healthy pursuits, by far.
These two heat up the sheets. Their chemistry is through the roof. They dance a sensual dance in the bedroom with just enough kink and power to make the nights sizzle. Versatile in all aspects, they’re hot, hot, hot. The problem isn’t their lust for each other or their compatibility and ease of conversation. Their troubles are in the secrets and lies that hide all the ugliness that both Noel and Shane have endured.
Just when we think all the issues have come to the surface, been revealed and the guys can move on and enjoy life together, AM Arthur throws one more curve ball and rips our hearts out one more time. Sadness. Loss. After all the pain and hurt, Shane finally gets it. Out of the black comes a renewed spirit and self discovery. The butterfly finally emerges from its chrysalis.
Noel is extremely understanding. He cares for Shane and never gives up on them. Even when he is tested and pushed away over and over, he always comes back around. He is rock solid, someone to put up with Shane’s neurosis, put him in his place when needed but also willing to bend at the right moments.
This new spinoff series from The Cost of Repairs is one I will be tracking. I’m hoping to see more of Tristan and Gabe, they deserve a little happiness too.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!
There are a lot of triggers for this book so be aware: adolescent molestation, hate crime, murder, exploitation, and pornography.
E-book of Truth As He Knows It plus an additional book from A.M. Arthur’s Backlist!