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We strive to bring you the latest news with PRIDE. On the Blog today, A Divine Tour Stop for Michele Micheal Rakes, Trainwreck. Get all the saucy details here!
Author Name: Michele Micheal Rakes
Book Name: Trainwreck
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Publisher: Michele Micheal Rakes
Cover Artist: Drai Bearwomyn
Cover Photography by Dan Skinner
Editing: Tina Adamski
Pages or Words: 374 pages
Categories: BDSM, Bisexual, Crime Fiction, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Ménage/Poly, Romance, Thriller
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28644673-trainwreck
Buy the book: http://amzn.to/1Phfps1
Detective Sergeant Vincent Sweetwater hates dead bodies. That’s why he’s an undercover narc and not a homicide dick. So why is he standing on a sandy beach in California staring at a lifeless body—oh yeah, the suicide attempt. Lieutenant Hanson is making a statement. Something about life worth living. Shows what he knows.
As Vince examines the tortured body, he feels an empathy and déjà vu for the victim, her wounds are similar to scars he has only a vague memory receiving. An intense desire to find her killer fills his queasy belly as a dark game of cat and mouse begins.
The young woman’s death forces Vince back into a secret life dominated by sex, perversion, and sadomasochism. Estranged from his wife he still loves and longing for the man who possessed him once, Vince buries his torment deep inside meaningless sex.
*Warning: This book contains adult content and situations. NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.
Vincent Sweetwater twisted the Harley’s throttle. The power in the motor thrummed between his legs. The bike seemed heavy, angry; like she wanted to fall flat on her face. Like she yearned to drag him across the gritty asphalt. Vince needed to feel the pavement shred his clothing and bite into his skin. Punishment for being a man who thrived on suffering.
Why can’t I control myself, damn it?
-You’re supposed to be one of the good guys.
-Stop drinking, Sweetwater.
Vince envisioned choking the life out of his conscience. The damn thing made it difficult to be an asshole, yet somehow he didn’t let it stop him. Nothing stopped him from being a dick to his wife. Vince squeezed the throttle. The speed would numb his mind.
The machine growled beneath him, giving her two fucking cents, and he ignored the wanton slut. Vince was too malicious to give her what she craved. If he did, there would be no turning back.
Still, the iron bitch demanded more power. Urged by a quiet whisper from somewhere in the darkness of his mind, Vince let off the throttle long enough to grasp the clutch and toe it into sixth.
What inspired you to start writing?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve been writing stories since I was quite young. My mother and brother were artists, and my sister a sculptor. My mother told me writing was my gift. I could never draw or sculpt like my family, but I can tell stories. When I was small, I’d have seizures, and would sleep walk, so my mother had me sleeping with her for a long time. We would make up stories to occupy me until I’d fall asleep. I also suffered from insomnia, so my brother would let me read his comic books.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Join a critique group, either online or locally, and try to absorb as much as possible. Also, grab up some books on writing. There are so many good ones to choose from and critique your favorite authors. Deconstruct the elements that you find works well and pick a good book on editing. Read. Read. Read.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I’ve never really suffered from writer’s block. What I suffer from is a full-time job that demands overtime and Saturdays, which take over much of my writing time. If I do get stuck, I just move on to a different scene and eventually I’ll come up with a solution to my problem. If that doesn’t work, I sit down and write longhand on a legal pad. Sometimes, I’ll take a break and do research for another project.
Who is your favorite author and why?
When I was a kid, I adored Agatha Christie. As a tween, I was in love with Terry Brooks’ Shannara series. Loved Lillian Jackson Braun Cat Who series. Koko and Yum Yum were the best cats and they reminded me of my Siamese Zee Zee and Yingles. Again it was the mysteries, but also the characters they created. I guess I don’t have a favorite author as much as I have favorite books. David Stone’s spy Micah Dalton is awesome. I fall in love with characters more than anything else. Characters are the most important part of a story for me. I have to care about them. That’s something Terry Brooks does so well. Been in love with Allanon for a lot of years. I guess I don’t have a favorite author. I also read a lot of non-fiction.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Editing is high on my list but for me the characters. The need to develop characters that have many layers is of great importance to me. I like to figure out what makes a person tick and what kind of character will react to certain situations. As for a character’s arc, they still need to stay true to their base characterization. People don’t change. Tigers don’t change their stripes. Somewhere inside a character who needs to change must be embedded the ability to garner redemption. Scrooge changes drastically by the end of A Christmas Carol, but as we see thanks to the Spirit of Christmas past, we understand that at one time Scrooge was a good soul. That ability of change was rooted deep inside the character we first learn to loathe and then love.
Review by Elaine White
Book – Trainwreck
Author – Michele Michael Rakes
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 374
Cover – Fitting
POV – 3rd person, multiple people, all confined to their own scenes
Would I read it again – Definitely.
Genre – Crime, Dark, Suspense,
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
TRIGGER WARNINGS: eludes to child rape, with some scenes on page. Torture, kidnap, suicide, drug use, alcoholism, child abuse, pain play, erotic asphyxiation, violent drunk, dead child, BDSM, cheating
Warning #2: This is the first half of a story. I don’t mean part 1, but literally one-half. It stops abruptly, with a cliffhanger. So, be warned.
Okay, so this is a bit darker than some of my recent reads, but it totally takes me back to some of my early reads from this year. The pain and torment of the main character are the driving force. But, you know what? The first thing that really struck me when I started this book was the brutally honest and touching Dedication and Acknowledgments. They made me want to love this book and the author. And, I do.
Forget romance, forget all those mushy feelings you want from an MM romance. This isn’t it. This is a super hard hitting, edgy, dark read, with one heck of a twisted main character. But, amongst all of that – buried beneath the pain and the torture – is a man who is crumbling to pieces and who isn’t quite sane anymore. And he hasn’t been for a long time.
Vince’s past is an enigma that takes a long time to figure out. As the case progresses, so does our understanding of this very complex man. Sure, he’s a total manwhore, but I love how the author makes it very clear why he’s like that. He has desires and needs that he feels he can’t share with his wife, which is perfectly understandable. As is his fear that to tell her would mean the end of their already fragile relationship.
At heart, Vince is supremely complicated – dyslexic, suicidal and prone to self-harm, he’s a man who can’t control himself. From a young age, he’s done everything to protect his wife, even when that meant taking so much worse than beatings, to keep her safe. He’s a broken child, suffering as an adult. Not only the loss of his child, a fractured marriage and a case that hits far too close to home, but he suffers sexual secrets and mental and physical scars that he can’t explain.
Vince and Nick are brilliant characters. So vast and deep; they both have these tangled webs of emotions that are slowly explored throughout the story. The contrast is almost painful. Nick is living the perfect life – married with kids and a career he loves – that Vince has always wanted. And almost had.
When it comes to the other characters, I really like Mattie and Momma. I really hate Angela, the judgemental ass that she is, and Beck. Obviously, I hate the bad guys (not telling you who they are!), but I find it really creepy and interesting that we get their POV. I’ve read the POV of sadists and rapists in stories before and normally it just makes me want to scream and throw the book away. But, somehow, this one delves deep into that psyche and makes you curious enough to keep going. At the same time, we’re given the POV of the victims, as they’re being tortured, which is also new.
At 5% I was already in tears. Reading how much Vince missed Mary, his daughter, really made an impact. Not only because it was so powerfully written, but also because it reminded me of the dedication and how real all these emotions are. This isn’t fiction; it’s one person’s soul poured out onto paper. And that’s moving. Then again, I also cried at the Momma and Vince talk on the porch.
Quite honestly, I haven’t seen any MM sex here. This isn’t an MM story, at all. I wouldn’t even class it as anywhere in that genre. The MC just happens to be bisexual and has had sex with men before. So, if you read this expecting a big sweeping MM love story or even the hint of one, you’ll be disappointed. It doesn’t happen. There is, however, a mass of MF sex scenes and all are explicit.
Overall, this book tackles some seriously hardcore issues, with one seriously messed up trainwreck of a man. It’s masterfully unapologetic in depicting the dark lives it delves into and exploring the harsh realities of abuse victims and the lasting effects that abuse can have on a child. It’s a fantastic, dark, twisted story about child abuse with a strong criminal investigation woven into the tale. This book deserves to be read by everyone.
P.S. If there’s one negative thing I’d say about this book it’s that it’s not placed in the right genre. I don’t see any MM relationship even close to forming, so I wouldn’t class it as MM, gay romance or anything like that. At a stretch, it’s an LGBT book because of a bisexual MC. But, I have assurances that the MM relationship will come in book 2, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.
Oh, and I liked it so much that I bought book 2 before I’d even reached 80%. Now I get to go straight into the continuation of the story.
“I’m afraid you won’t love me,” he said to the empty room. “If you really knew me, you’d run.”
Meet the author:
Michele Micheal Rakes lives in a small town in the shadow of a big mountain and works as a surgical technologist assisting in the removal of tonsils and testicles. Three grown children, a one year old granddaughter named Thrasher, two psychotic Egyptian Mau’s, a husband with hair down to his knees, an Amazon for a wife, two Harley’s, and a ferret named Teeny Tiny Ferret Feet (husband insists her name Little Feet, we all know he’s wrong) life is gets pretty wild.
Note: Wife recently passed away from cancer and this book is dedicated in loving memory of Mary Louise Castleman. Love you babe!
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/michelemichealrakes
Rafflecopter Prize: Three separate prizes: $15 GC, A copy of Trainwreck, Saving Kane/Fourth and Long gift pack.
Tour Dates & Stops:
Love Bytes, Mikky’s World of Books
Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings