We’re so please to welcome author Marie Sexton today on the Countdown to GayRomLit 2015 blog tour. Marie’s here to chat books and to tell you all about how you can get a FREE book this week only at Amazon.
Darkness and Light
Hello, everybody! I’m Marie Sexton, and I’m thrilled to be here on The Novel Approach as part of the GRL blog tour.
Today is kind of a big day for me, being the culmination of over three years of work. See, back in early 2012, I became obsessed with a new story idea. It was a dystopian fantasy set in a universe that looked a lot like Dickens’s London, but with a bit of cyberpunk thrown in. It centered around a pickpocket-turned-whore named Misha who fell in love with an abused sex slave. I spent the next two years beating my head against that book, trying to make it take shape. It was by far the darkest story I’d ever tried to write, and I swear it almost killed me, especially when I realized the story was too big for one book. After all, if I couldn’t finish one story in this bleak universe, how would I ever manage to finish two?
I gave up on it many times, but I kept going back, partly because there were pieces of the story I loved too much to let go, and partly because certain friends cheered me on, telling me it was too good to give up on. Finally, in June of 2014, I published the first part of that story, Release. (You can pick it up for free on Amazon, this week only!) And today, the last part of the story, Return, is available too.
I mentioned before that the Davlova series was the darkest story I’d ever tried to write, and that wasn’t an exaggeration. It was so dark and disturbing that one of my beta readers flat-out said, “Your readers aren’t ready for this, Marie,” and so I decided to publish these books under a slightly different pen name, A.M. Sexton. I wanted it to be absolutely clear that this series is very different from Coda or Tucker Springs. It’s different even from Blind Space or Oestend. Davlova is a brutal and violent slum of a city (although I promise, the second book is significantly lighter than the first). But those who are willing to venture into this seedy world will also find a rather sweet, gentle love story buried under all the filth.
And man, after three years of struggling with these books, it feels amazing to finally have them finished!
But if you prefer your reading a bit lighter, don’t worry! I have something for you, too. You see, the world of Davlova was too dark to live in for three years straight. I put the story on hold several times in order to write sweeter, fluffier things like Lost Along the Way, Shotgun, Apartment 14 and the Devil Next Door, and (the one I’m dying to tell you about!) a fun, whimsical little Christmas novel for Riptide called Winter Oranges.
Winter Oranges is about a frustrated actor named Jason who tries to escape Hollywood by moving to Idaho. He hopes for a bit of peace and quiet (and a break from the paparazzi!), but instead finds a mysterious man nobody else can see living in his guesthouse. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say this: I haven’t been this excited about a story in a long time. Of course, I’m always more excited about the story I have coming up than the one that just came out, but this book truly holds a special place in my heart. Winter Oranges won’t be available until November 30, but it’s available for pre-order now.
So, there you have it! One day, but two very different worlds to choose from – the dark, dangerous alleys of Davlova, or the bright streets of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, all decked out with holiday lights. (Of course, you could always try them both!)
Release (Davlova, part 1) (FREE this week only!)
Winter Oranges (pre-order)
Thanks very much to The Novel Approach for having me today, and for everybody headed to GRL, I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego!
Misha is a common pickpocket until his boss gives him a new job. Disguised as a whore, Misha is sent to work for one of the most powerful men in the city. But his real task is far more dangerous: get close to Miguel Donato, and find something – anything – that will help topple Davlova’s corrupt government.
Misha is plunged into the decadent world of the upper class, where slaves are common and even the most perverse pleasure can be found. Although he’s sure Davlova’s elite is involved in something horrific, proof is hard to come by, and Misha begins to fall in love with the man he’s supposed to betray. Then Misha meets Ayo – a sex slave forced by the neural implant in his brain to take pleasure from pain – and everything changes. As the lower class pushes toward a bloody revolution, Misha will find himself caught between his surprising feelings for Donato, his obligations to his clan, and his determination to save Ayo.
Fire rages through Davlova in the wake of a bloody revolution. The tyrannical upper class has been overthrown. In the midst of the chaos, Misha and Ayo escape on Miguel Donato’s boat and flee across the sea to the distant city of Deliphine.
All his life, Misha has dreamed of leaving Davlova behind, but now the only thing he wants to do is go home. He has no idea if the city still stands or how many of his friends have survived. But before he can return to Davlova and find his place in the wrecked landscape of the trenches, he’ll have to face a new threat in Deliphine – the Dollhouse.
Even in Deliphine, most people think the Dollhouse is a myth, but Misha knows the truth. The Dollhouse is real. It’s ruthless. It has an agenda.
And now, it wants Ayo back.
Winter Oranges Blurb: Jason Walker is a child star turned teen heartthrob turned reluctant B-movie regular who’s sick of his failing career. So he gives up Hollywood for northern Idaho, far away from the press, the drama of L.A., and the best friend he’s secretly been in love with for years.
There’s only one problem with his new life: a strange young man only he can see is haunting his guesthouse. Except Benjamin Ward isn’t a ghost. He’s a man caught out of time, trapped since the Civil War in a magical prison where he can only watch the lives of those around him. He’s also sweet, funny, and cute as hell, with an affinity for cheesy ’80s TV shows. And he’s thrilled to finally have someone to talk to.
But Jason quickly discovers that spending all his time with a man nobody else can see or hear isn’t without its problems—especially when the tabloids find him again and make him front-page news. The local sheriff thinks he’s on drugs, and his best friend thinks he’s crazy. But Jason knows he hasn’t lost his mind. Too bad he can’t say the same thing about his heart.
About the Author: Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
Marie also writes dark dystopian erotic fantasy under the name A.M. Sexton. You can find her at http://mariesexton.net/, and on Facebook and Twitter.