Today we welcome author J.A. Rock to 3 Chicks After Dark. We’re thrilled to be on her tour for Manties in a Twist and learn a little more behind the making of Kamen’s music and the friendship shared between the four men in the Sub Club!
Welcome, J.A. Rock! thanks for being with us today!
Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release Manties in a Twist—Book 3 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!
The Songs of Manties
When I originally gave Kamen his penchant for guitar-playing and spontaneous songwriting, I did it because it I feel like many of us have had that one friend who brings a guitar everywhere, right? And because I liked the idea of Kamen as someone who’s genuinely creative and unique, but whose talent sometimes goes unrecognized because he’s such a goof-off And because he’s writing songs called “Squirrel Gravy.”
But as happy-go-lucky as Kamen is, there’s a lot going on under the surface, and I have my best friend to thank for inspiring some of Kamen’s more poignant moments.
I’ve mentioned that the Subs Club is loosely based on the very intense, codependent friendship I have with four people I’ve known since childhood. In our early twenties we all lived in the same town, and we’d hang out almost every night. My friend Brian would always have his guitar. Brian’s nothing like Kamen personality-wise, but he’s a fantastic singer, and he’s always making up funny songs, or doing beautiful covers. When I moved away, one of the things I missed most was listening him sing and play guitar.
A couple of years ago, though, he started filming some of his song covers and sharing them, which made me so happy. Right when I was starting Manties, he sent me a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” that was so gorgeous it made me cry. So when I was trying to determine Kamen’s contribution to the “memories of Hal” motif that runs through the series, I ended up using that: Kamen admits that the reason he regularly covers “Fast Car” at his bar gigs is in honor of Hal. And it’s one of the few serious songs he performs amid the ballads he’s made up about Lysol or vampyre detectives or kids getting lost in the snow.
I feel like I owe a lot of this series’ heart to my friends, who’ve found ways of making sure we stay connected even though we now live in different places. If you want to check out some of Brian’s work, I highly, biasedly recommend it. Unfortunately he hasn’t made “Fast Car” public yet, but I’m working on him.
About Manties in a Twist
Look, I’ll never stop missing Hal, but this Subs Club my friends started to review suck-ass doms isn’t gonna bring him back or give him justice. For me, it’s just another chance to hang out with my friends, even if they think I’m too dumb to understand the important work we’re supposedly doing.
But maybe I’m not as dumb as they think—at least I know when I’ve got a good thing going. Which is why I just moved in with my dom. Ryan’s awesome possum. He’s really short, never makes me feel stupid, and is up for anything. One word: costumes. Two more words: women’s underwear. We’re all about the lace, no leather.
Except when we do pony play. We first tried it as a joke, but turns out I’m ballin’ at it. Now PetPlayFest is coming up, and I wanna take down the Subs Club’s archrival, Cinnamon the ponygirl, in the horse show.
My friends think I’m spending too much time with Ryan and ignoring my obligations to the group. But since when is friendship an obligation? Ryan’s my first serious relationship, and I want to take it . . . seriously. At some point I need to think about my future, not my past.
About the Subs Club series
After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.
From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.
About the Author
J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including By His Rules, Take The Long Way Home, and, with Lisa Henry, The Good Boy and When All The World Sleeps. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
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Manties in a Twist was everything! I laughed and smiled so much my family asked me several times what I was laughing at. Kamen. I was laughing at, or with, Kamen every single time. His boisterous nature along with his comical charm just oozed from the pages.
Kamen’s a pretty smart guy. He isn’t given much credit for the fact he’s well-adjusted and ‘adulting’ more than most of his friends. They still think of him as the same fun-loving, joker from high school. Actually, Kamen is coping with life a bit better than Dave and Gould. Miles is über adulting with Drix and little Zac. Kane has moved in with Ryan. Legit living together with a laundry room, drapes and a freaking juicer!
The biggest challenge for Kamen’s friends is moving past Hal’s death. Everyone just can’t let it go and move forward, but Kamen has been able to do this well before the rest of them. He’s known from the beginning that fault was with all parties involved but at some point it’s okay to let go and accept what happened and live life. Adulting!
Kamen has a lot of profoundly serious moments. He’s great at introspection and working through issues. He’s super in tuned to his feeling and others. That’s what makes him a great friend and lover. Ryan is a perfect match for Kamen because they both know how to have fun. Through the goofing and ADHD type moments they truly bond but they can also be serious. They’re not afraid to try new things together and just go with the flow. Some of those new things are amusing kinks that turn them the freak on! Like who-knew-they’d-get-this-hot-and-worked-up kinky with costumes, lingerie and then later with pony play.
Pony play is a big part of the book. I’ve read a few books with pony play and they’re more intense than Kamen and Ryan are. Kamen and Ryan approach this more as a challenge and then hilarity ensues! Through practicing for a competition they manage to discover that this is the one type of dominant/submissive play they both like. Any other time, they just want to role play and have fun- be carefree. When in pony play mode, it’s more about the connection between them and Kamen’s head space than any other time for them.
I’ve truly enjoyed all the novels in this series so far. Every friend has been unique in their healing process and their kinks. I found Manties to be super enjoyable. Kamen’s voice is strong and entertaining. I’ll miss his humor for some time.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!!
To celebrate, J.A. is giving away your choice of two ebooks from her backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 9, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!