Tag Archives: fangirl friday

It’s Fangirl Friday with K.A. Merikan! INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY!!

It’s Fangirl Friday!

*dances* This month I couldn’t resist the opportunity to gush all over writing duo, Kat and Agnes Merikan. (I’m seriously kicking myself that it took me so long to find these two!) Most of you probably already know them and are rolling your eyes at me. Well, I’m here now and that’s all that matters.

Here’s the cover and blurb for book one – it’s guaranteed to get you hooked.

— Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —

The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds, though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself—with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime
Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller
Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion
Length: ~110,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

(Just to add to this warning; it’s absolutely correct! I didn’t get it at the time, but these two will worm their seductive and dirty way under your skin. Just saying 🙂 )

Aaaaanyway, I’ve just finished binge-reading the Guns n’ Boys series, (and am hanging out for the next one) and have become totally hooked with Dom and Seth. Closeted, alpha mafia guys, who are brutal yet loving. I didn’t like either of them in the first installment, but I quickly fell in love. It’s a great mix. I’ve lost a lot of sleep with this series—no joke—so I felt compelled to contact the Merikans and asked very nicely if they’d like to come over to my blog so I can fangirl to all of you and get some answers to my questions. So, here we go:

RJ: Ladies, thanks so much for being my guests. I totally fell in love with Dom and Seth, even if I didn’t like either of them in the very beginning. Dom was a horrible arsehole and Seth was a whimpering doormat. However, I had to keep reading. There was just something about them that made me keep turning the page. Where did you find the inspiration for these two? They’re such a mismatched couple, yet they’re perfect for each other.

KA: Their story is very long and complicated ;D Seth was originally a side character in our first-ever story written together. His boyfriend was Peter, Seth’s ex in Guns n’ Boys. We decided to use him for a new project after Agnes watched some assassin-themed movie. In first drafts of the character, Domenico was a silent, brooding type, so obviously he got out of control very quickly. Their relationship developed organically, but when drafting out the currently published version, we added some more polish to its progress.

RJ: As an author, I’m always curious to know how other authors write. When you first started this series, did you know what would happen to Dom and Seth? Was it supposed to only be one or two books or did you have the entire series planned?

KA: We first started writing it in Polish and published it on our blog. At the time, our plans for the series weren’t concise and we came up with plot as we went along. When we decided to introduce this story to our English-speaking readers, we saw it as a chance to make it better, think of an arc for each book and improve the plot. The new version diverged so much from the original that despite sharing certain elements, it reads like a completely new story. It was when we were drafting book one in its current form that the rough plan for the whole series came about, but we keep adding new elements to make the story more interesting.

RJ: Any chance of getting Mark’s story? If not, what can I bribe you with?

KA: Yes, we love Mark too much not to give him one :D. His love story will be a part of the main storyline, but there will be up to 2 books focused on him.

RJ: Seth has grown so much over the series. Does he have any more lessons that need to be learned, and if so, will he keep hold of that sweetness that Dom (and me) loves so much. Seth seems to be hanging on to his innocence by his bloody fingernails.

KA: I cannot reveal too much with so many books still left to be written, but every book is a chance for a lesson for those characters. Each time they find out new things about each other, and they fall in love all over again when each conflict is resolved. What I can say is that after Bloodbath, Domenico will do everything in his power to spare what is left of Seth’s innocence, but will he?–we can’t tell ;D

RJ: How many more books in the series? Or is that a secret?

KA: At the moment, we are planning up to fifteen books, including spinoffs.

RJ: Can we expect to see more about Miguel? Will he get his own series? He’s so quiet but tough, he’s totally captured my attention so I’m more than willing to bribe you for his story too.

KA: You know what they say about the quiet ones. He’s definitely got some demons haunting him at night, and those will obviously (haha) be dealt with in his own book 😉 This one might actually come out before 2017 is over.

RJ: Okay, time for some quick-fire questions. No thinking!

Coke or Pepsi?
Agnes: Pepsi
Kat: Coke

Favorite colour?
Agnes: black and teal
Kat: purple, lilac

Favourite place to read?
Agnes: my room
Kat: Love listening to audiobooks on a walk

Cook at home or dine out?
Agnes: dine out – no cleaning ;D
Kat: dine out, hands down

Favourite non-alcoholic drink?
Agnes: elderflower cordial
Kat: fresh lemonade with mint

Favourite holiday spot?
Agnes: Croatia, Italy, and Cornwall
Kat: I’ll be copycatting Agnes on this one

Winter or summer?
Agnes: Summer!!
Kat: Summer.

Harry Potter or Twilight?
Agnes: Potter, obviously
Kat: Potter

Favourite author. (Both MM and non-mm)
Agnes: Currently, it’s KJ Charles
Kat: Lately I’ve been loving Kasia Bacon 🙂

If there were 25hrs in a day, what would you do with the extra hour?
Agnes: I would like to say “reading” or something reasonable like that, but it would probably be swallowed up by work ;p
Kat: Sport if I was being motivated, writing otherwise 😉 Nothing like some more words in the day

RJ: That’s it from me. A huge big thanks to Kat and Agnes for taking the time to indulge in my fangirling. If you haven’t checked out the Guns n’ Boys series yet, you are missing out!

And if you think this series sounds fantastic, it gets better because all books are on KU!

You’ll find the series buy link here.

 

Keep scrolling for the buy links and a chance to win your copy of the first two books!

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

To keep up to date with their new releases (and get a free book in the process!) sign up to their newsletter: http://kamerikan.com/newsletter

e-mail: kamerikan@gmail.com

More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com

FUN FACTS:
– We are Polish,
– We’re neither sisters nor a couple,
– Kat’s an artist, and Agnes is a psychologist but neither works in her field,
– Kat’s fingers are two times longer than Agnes’s.

One lucky person will win the first two books in this series. All you need to do is comment below and a random commenter will be drawn next Friday, April 21.

Good luck!

 

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An interview, some fangirling, and a giveaway with LETA BLAKE!

Today I’m going to unapologetically fangirl the hell out of Leta Blake. You’ll probably know her for her ice skating novel, Training Season, and also the Will and Patrick (Wake Up Married) series. But I’m fangirling all over her for The River Leith. Seriously peeps. This book kept me up all night. I simply could not put it down. I felt compelled to contact Leta (I gushed via Messenger. Can you imagine?) and asked very nicely if she’d like to come over to my blog and answer some questions. So, here we go:     (Don’t forget to check out the giveaway!)

RJ: I totally fell in love with Leith and Zach. Where did you find the inspiration for these two?

Leta: I often find inspiration in music and, this will make no sense, but this whole story showed up for me when I was listening to the Gaslight Anthem song “Here’s Looking at You Kid”.

If you can listen to that and tell me how this story lived in the song and then accosted me with a demand that I write it, let me know! Because I have no idea!

The other thing I was playing with at the time was the idea of falling in love with the same person twice. I’d been talking with a fellow writer pal about how people love to read first time love stories and how it’d be fun to write one where the people fall in love a second time, but not because they broke up. Amnesia seemed a good solution.

RJ: Okay, you’re right. That makes no sense. It’s a cool song, though. I loved how you gave us Zach’s POV, without actually giving it to us. (For those who haven’t read it, Zach ‘talks’ to us via his vlog) This was ingenious and I haven’t seen it done before. Why not just write his POV? Was there a specific reason why you did it this way?

Leta: A dear friend of mine actually suggested the idea back when she was beta reading the original draft, which had none of Zach’s point of view at all. She read the draft and said, “You know, this really requires Zach’s point of view, and you’ve already got this vlog thread in there, why don’t you write his point of view as him doing the vlogs?”

 If I recall correctly, though, I’m the one who decided to do it in script form, but it’s possible that was her idea, too. It was quite a few years ago now.

But I’m glad you liked the way Zach’s point of view was presented. I enjoyed pushing some boundaries with that!

RJ: Any chance of getting Arthur’s story? If not, what can I bribe you with?

Leta: Aw, Arthur! He’s a good brother! And, alas, no. I’m afraid this entire universe is off my writing radar right now. For some time after I’d finished it, I’d actually thought I’d write the story of their first time falling in love, and do it from Zach’s point of view. I was going to call it The Running Zachariah. But I’ve only written a few very, very short things for my blog, AO3, and Patreon account.

The Running Zachariah Meets the River Leith: https://archiveofourown.org/works/2601446

Are You a Runner or a Fighter? https://letablake.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/are-you-a-runner-or-a-fighter-the-running-zachariah-mmromance-amreading/

RJ: Leith’s story revolves around him losing three years of his memory and the implications, not only on his life, but on those closest to him. How much research went into the medical and emotional side of these events.

Leta: I did quite a bit of research but I tried to keep it more emotionally true than medically true. I wanted to explore the idea that love is more than memories and explore the grief of how a traumatic event can change people’s lives, leading them to make less than stellar choices (Zach) and yet also making them dig deep to find themselves again. I was more interested in telling that sort of story than making the medical details perfect.

I wrote a blog post about the choices I made regarding the amnesia here: https://letablake.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/amnesia-doesnt-work-like-that-research/

RJ: The title is reflected around Leith and Zach’s names but also around the loss of memory. How did you come up with the title? Did it come first or did the storyline dictate it?

Leta: Well, I specifically chose the name Leith because it was a great play on the River Lethe in Greek Mythology. That’s the river of forgetting that the dead cross through on their way to the underworld, making them forget their loved ones. I chose Zach’s name because it means ‘The Lord has remembered”, which sort of means like the one who remembers it all, yeah? So it made sense that there would be a lot of river symbolism in the story itself and, in the end, it just seemed to be the right title for the book. I actually love the title but have wondered if it is off-putting to readers since it doesn’t make it really clear that it’s a romance, etc.

RJ: Okay, time for some quick-fire questions. No thinking!

Coke or Pepsi?   COKE 4-EVA
Favorite color?  Red or green or yellow or blue depending on the day. 🙂
Favorite place to read?  The beach!
Cook at home or dine out?  Dine out!
Favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Seltzer water!
Favorite holiday spot?  Florida’s Gulf Coast
Winter or summer?  SUMMER ALWAYS
Harry Potter or Twilight?  Harry Potter!
If there were 25hrs in a day, what would you do with the extra hour?  Write! 🙂

RJ: Wow! Most of your answers match mine. We could be twins!

That’s it from me. A huge big thanks to Leta for taking the time to indulge in my fangirling. If you haven’t read The River Leith, or any of Leta’s other works, I suggest you step it up and check them out. I guarantee a great read.

Keep scrolling for the buy links and a chance to win an ecopy of The River Leith and the first three episodes of Will and Patrick, you lucky buggers. 🙂

Memory is everything.

After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain.

For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach’s choices may come back to haunt him.

Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer.

The River Leith Buy Links

iTunes   Amazon   Kobo   B&N   Smashwords

 

Giveaway details

A random commenter on this blog post  will receive an ecopy of The River Leith (you’ll be fangirling too after you read it) PLUS the first three episodes from Will and Patrick – Wake Up Married series. Winner will be drawn next week.

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

If you’d like to be among the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for Leta’s newsletter HERE or join her Patreon HERE.