Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank J.A. Rock for stopping by today.
Title: Manties in a Twist (The Subs Club #3)
Author: J.A. Rock
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary
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.
Comedy and Grief
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 Subs Club is an interesting series to work on, tonally speaking. The books are comedies, for the most part, but the series is set in motion by a death that affects the four MCs in different ways.
Kamen was a particularly interesting character through whom to explore the juxtaposition of comedy and grief, because he’s so…happy. Almost all the time. He, perhaps more than the others, has figured out how to move on without feeling like he’s forgetting about Hal, and in a sense, it puts him at odds with his friends: with Dave, who’s still angry and afraid, but covering it with sarcasm. With Miles, who has attempted to detach himself from Hal and from the past. And with Gould, whose grief is still so raw that at times he can barely function.
And because of that, it was really rewarding as a writer to try to find Kamen’s serious moments—the times where he examines what he’s feeling and discovers deeper, more complex emotions than he expected. He’s used to being treated like he’s not very bright (and therefore unlikely to feel things as deeply or to grasp the seriousness of a bad situation), but what he learns throughout the series—and particularly in this book—is that he doesn’t feel any less deeply than his friends. He just chooses to do different things with those feelings.
It’s possible that my view of comedy in general is a little skewed. I come from a family that loves dark humor, and in my writing, I vacillate between dark books and lighter fare. I called Take the Long Way home a “dark comedy” in the months before it was published, until I was politely informed that most people weren’t going to see it as a comedy. But even when I write something like the Subs Club series, which mixes elements of farce, satire, and drama it’s usually done with the understanding that the comedy is part of a larger patchwork of human emotion—that, in real life and in fiction, comedy often stems from anger, anxiety, pain, and uncertainty.
I’ve dealt with grief more in-depth in Take the Long Way Home, The Grand Ballast, and Lisa Henry’s and my co-written Another Man’s Treasure. I have a massive amount of respect for how loss can upend lives, and it’s certainly not my intention to take death and/or grieving lightly in the Subs Club series. But I believe it’s very human both to find comedy in dark places, and to use humor as a weapon, or as a shield. In Kamen’s case, it’s about honoring Hal by continuing to live a life full of fun, love, and adventure, even though he and his friends have all changed as a result of their loss.
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!
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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One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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