Monday, October 1, 2018

Lovesick Titans NBtM

Not even a Titan can always stand up to a God.

Malcom Cho is in over his head, wrapped up in a love affair with his superhero nemesis Zeus, who most people in Olympus City only know as Detective Danny Grant.

Lovesick Titans begins where Lovesick Gods left off, after a heist gone wrong that ended with a museum guard dead and Mal and Danny beaten and exhausted from their fight with the new threat in town, Cassidy Ludgate—Hades.

Unaware that Ludgate’s true motivation is revenge for the death of his father at Zeus’s hands, Mal wants only to keep Danny close, while Danny races to solve the cases surrounding Ludgate to stop him from whatever he has planned for them next.

What Mal doesn’t know is that Danny didn’t pursue him with the purest of intentions but sought to break his heart in retaliation for not being there when he needed him in the fight against Thanatos. Even though Danny no longer seeks that end, the lies between them loom like a shadow about to descend upon them both.

And Hades has only begun to toy with them…

Danny let Mal hold his hand in place on his arm, while his other hand strayed, drifting down to Mal’s hip and resting at the edge of one of his larger scars. Mal had many, from years of abuse and a hard way of living. Normally, when Danny touched one, he pushed on with confidence, but tonight, the raised scar tissue made him snap to his senses like he’d been in a trance.

“Sorry,” he said and pulled both hands away.

But Mal reached for them, hung onto them, and brought Danny’s hands back to his skin. “It’s okay. Broken bottle one night when Dad got drunk. Now I get to add another knife wound to the collection.” Mal smirked as he nodded at his bandaged arm.

Danny smiled with him, but it was a sad, shattered expression. He teased the tips of his fingers over the scar tissue. “Are all these really from…” With a startle, he tried to pull away again as if he’d said something he shouldn’t.

“My father?” Mal said, refusing to let him go. “Not all. Most though. Some are from prison. Some dumb mistakes. Fights like tonight. But most…yeah, they’re his.”

Taking Danny’s hand still resting on his hip, Mal drew it upwards, guiding it across his bare chest until he reached his shoulder and the faint circular scar tissue near his clavicle. 

“Freezer burn. From his powers. Because I broke my leg when I was eight and I cried. He wanted to teach me a lesson. Teach me how to keep pain in and never let anyone see it. So he held the tip of a frozen finger there until it burned.”

Danny’s brow furrowed with indignant anger. 

Mal trailed the hand lower to a particularly bad scar across his stomach—his worst and the one he remembered the clearest. “First knife wound. Caught me with a boy in my room. Would have killed him if I hadn’t stood in the way. I took the brunt of it. Let him run off. Never brought a boy home again, not ‘til Dad was gone. Brought a couple girls home,” he shrugged.

“Girls?” Danny asked with a touch of humored skepticism bleeding through his concern. He splayed his hand flat against Mal’s stomach, warm and intimate in his touch.

“Occasionally. Not as often.”

Danny nodded but his smile quickly faded, his eyes trained on the scar and the affectionate way he traced it with his fingers. “Sometimes…I think my dad hates me because…” he trailed and the motion of his hand slowed. “There’s something I never told you. About the night I killed Thanatos.”

The smile dropped from Mal’s lips as well as he waited for Danny to continue. 

“He killed my mom.”

I often get the question – why M/M? Why a focus on male characters and male relationships? The simple answer for me is that I relate more to male characters, always have, and I connect more with the portrayal of male relationships, whether friends, family, or romantic. It’s difficult to express exactly WHY that is, but it’s been true all my life.

We live in a society now where questions of gender identity are as often discussed as sexual identity. There is a spectrum of possibilities and a spectrum of opinions about what it all means and what’s acceptable. I find it fascinating and embrace the studies that have gone into it, because at the end of the day, we all just want to feel a combination of belonging and being unique onto ourselves.

I, for example, identity as a demigirl with she/her pronouns and am bisexual. The how’s and why’s and what that all means to me are very personal. I don’t shake someone’s hand upon first meeting them and say all this, but it tends to be obvious the more someone gets to know me that strictly being thought of as feminine doesn’t suit me and I am attracted to people across genders.

I’ve also had the pleasure of knowing several transsexual and genderqueer people in my life, and I enjoy the discourse that arises when all parties are open-minded and courteous. It does take mental work to remember someone’s correct pronouns if it conflicts with your automatic responses, but it is hardly a feat to do so to show respect and care for that person.

It is also no one’s business what someone’s lifestyle is like in the bedroom and doesn’t hurt anyone as long as what occurs is consensual between adults, so marriage equality as well as simple acceptance of LGBTQ+ people has long been something I’ve advocated and fought for.

There were times in high school and college where I used M/M writing to express my feelings on these matters to a wider audience, such as writing for the Day of Silence that occurs each year, choosing to go mute in honor of all those silenced by oppression. While I would not speak for that day, I would take the time to reflect and write and maybe reach a few people with the stories I told.

I like to think that my writing continues to do that today, whether in the form of my young adult novel, Life as a Teenage Vampire, that portrayed coming out in high school and young love, or more adult perspectives on acceptance as well as the importance of mental health.

What writing does for me, whether fantasy based or otherwise since I dabble in many genres, is reflect how I feel about these issues in a relatable way through a lens that allows me to see even more perspectives than I can ever know as just me. Maybe that’s part of why I write more about men, because it’s a perspective that isn’t inherently my own but equally important to explore and that resonates strongly with me.

Sometimes that means tackling difficult issues in my writing, sometimes it’s about writing sweet fluffy scenes of domestic bliss. We need all of the above in our fiction and in life, and I’m proud to be counted amongst a subset of voices shedding more light on M/M relationships.

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Amanda Meuwissen has been writing and posting online for many years, including maintaining the website and blog for the software company Outsell. She is an avid writer and consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games, and is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their two cats.

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  1. Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

  2. Thank you for the stop and this wonderful prompt for a guest article. It was very interesting to tackle. And thank you to everyone stopping by!

  3. Really great post, thanks for sharing :)