Okay, confession time. I write M/M Dark Romance, Dark Erotic Romance, and Dark Erotica, but I don’t read a lot of M/M. I read even less M/M Romance. I know, I know, it’s blasphemy, especially with me coming in here and talking about what it’s like to write in this genre, but there you have it. I read everything, and I’m just as likely to recommend an epic fantasy novel as I am a M/M dark erotica novella or a YA contemporary book.
When I do read Romance/Erotica, I prefer M/M. I can’t even pinpoint why. I started writing almost exclusively male characters about a year ago, and since then, I’ve had a difficult time writing female ones. I’ll give almost anything a chance, though, because I believe everyone has a story to tell, and I want to see what it is. I have a fascination with characters and how they develop; the more flawed they are, the more I love them. The more nuanced they are, the more I want to read them.
I adore a good plot, and I am awed by good world-building, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the characters–which is probably why that’s where my focus is in my own books.
In my series, “Ripples in the Status Quo,” supernatural beings (aka supernaturals or “supes”) got uppity and decided they were too good to keep hiding. They weren’t interested in fighting for their rights or risking being massacred, though, so they did what any good villain does: they cheated. Vampires, werewolves, and witches worked together to ensure that there would be no resistance; they claimed roles of power, they bribed, blackmailed, and otherwise ensured that they’d have the right people on their side.
And then they struck down humanity in one fell swoop.
This was a decade ago, and the past ten years haven’t been kind to humans–or anyone who tries to protest how they’re treated: as pets, toys, food, entertainment, and all manner of terrible things. It’s considered treason, and sympathizers risk being declared legally human. It’s one step below actually being human, as slavery and death (rather than being sent off to live in some hellhole) are the only real options. Most don’t dare.
The RISQ works center around characters who put themselves on the line and against the status quo. “Love is a weakness,” a character remarks in the first book. “Everyone claims they’d do anything for it. Let’s test the theory, shall we?” And that’s really what the books are about at their core. What would you do for love? Would you risk everything? What horrible things would you put yourself through to have even the chance for love in this sort of fucked-up world?
The first three books introduce some of the main characters–Jace and Elias, Ashton and Reese, Khaz and Noah–and they can be read as stand-alones in a longer series or in order. There are brief nods to the other characters in the first three, but their stories start to converge in Owned, which is the fourth book.
Each of my boys (except Elias because reasons) gets a chance to speak from his (third person limited) POV; we see the world through their eyes, and that’s the fun part for me as an author. I don’t want any of them to be perfect.
In Ravel, another character makes this observation:
“Humans didn’t dare experience love when a loved one could be easily taken away. They might go for a quick fuck in an alley or spend a night together beneath tattered blankets, but lasting relationships weren’t feasible. How could they be, when at any moment a vampire could come along and decide to turn one of them into his own personal juice box?
They’d end up falling prey to the same fate: sucked dry with the empty container tossed carelessly away.
Ash knew it and didn’t bother to deny it, but he hadn’t been able to eschew human contact completely despite his brave words. He had his close friends, and helplessly watching the number dwindle over the years hadn’t obliterated his need for some form of connection. It didn’t have to be sexual. It didn’t have to be perfect.
It simply had to be real—real, and powerful, and capable of giving him memories that would make the risk and heartache worth it.”
Ravel is the light in the darkness in particular; it’s the only book in the series right now that’s straight-up — er, well, not so straight, but you get the point — (Dark) Romance. (Bought and Owned are Dark Erotica; Recoil is Dark Erotic Romance.)
The fifth book, Go, will introduce two new characters and give a little more background on the world; it’ll also bring in characters from the earlier books as well as continue to slowly advance the plot. Make no mistake: the series is primarily about the characters and their stories, with the overall “world plot” happening in the background. Because of this, please don’t expect any happily ever afters.
…I plan on writing several in the series, and I want to have more opportunities to torture my lovely darlings.
Thank you for reading! If this sounds like it’s your sort of thing, I hope you’ll check out the books. I hope, too, that you’ll love them and the characters as much as I do. (And stop threatening to set them on fire, damn it!)
About the Ripples in the Status Quo Universe:
Dark M/M Paranormal Erotica, Erotic Romance, and Romance
The Ripples in the Status Quo works are set within a world where supernatural beings seized control from humans and relegated them to the bottom of the food chain. Used for food, entertainment, and worse, nothing protects them from the hands of those who claim them as slaves. But not everyone adheres to the status quo the world at large has accepted…
Please note that the RISQ world has little place for humanity, and as a result, content in these works may be offensive to some readers.
They can be read as stand-alones or as serials in a larger story.
The suggested reading order for the RISQ books is:
1. Bought. [Dark Erotica*]
2. Ravel. [Romance]
3. Recoil. [Dark Erotic Romance.]
4. Owned. [Dark Erotica*. Follows events in Bought and Recoil.]
*(This dark erotica work caters to those who cheer on the villains as they pursue their goals…no matter what it takes to get there. This includes Very Bad Things as well as Very Sexy Things.
Those with sensibilities will likely be offended and want to attack the author with flaming pitchforks. If this applies to you, save an author. Step away from the button.
Lightheartedness aside, this is dark erotica, and it does contain elements of depravity and cruelty that will be offensive to some readers. Please proceed with caution or skip this read.)
Excerpt from Ravel: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story
When he fell right onto his ass in the middle of the floor, Ashton realized he’d ignored every single rational thought in his mind. Apparently, his instincts had had enough of him second-guessing them, because he hadn’t even decided to run!
I’m going to write a sternly-worded letter to the people who said these shoes were slip-proof!
At least, he would if he still had fingers to write with when he got out of this.
Of course, no one gives a fuck what a human thinks. They’ve made it crystal clear we’re only good for food, entertainment, or doing their dirty work. Maybe they’ll at least get a laugh out of it, because I sure as fuck won’t.
Then again, he did feel like he was going insane, so he might.
The fall had knocked the breath from his lungs, and stars danced before his eyes as he tried to figure out where the window had gone off to. Right as he remembered how to breathe, he heard a low growl emanating from a few feet away. The light flicked on overhead, blinding him all over again, and he yelped and started to scramble to his feet in the direction he thought his escape route was in.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck! For fuck’s sake, when I said I needed to be fucked in a bad way the other day, it was a figure of speech, not a request!
“Oh, no you don’t,” a deep masculine voice rumbled, and before the last syllable could reach his ears, he felt the subtle weight of a foot atop his ribcage. At least, he thought it was a foot, even if he hadn’t thought they came in size behemoth. He slowly dragged his eyes up the body of the man it belonged to as they adjusted–again–to the shift in lighting. He realized with a sinking feeling it took longer than it should have to finally peer up at the man’s face.
He braced himself for seeing a creature of nightmare and legend; he thought he would see something truly hideous. When his eyes finally lifted enough to see the source of that voice, they widened and his mouth fell open.
Holy shit. What is he, a fucking Viking? Damn, I’d get down on my knees and worship him like he’s the motherfucking god of thunder.
If he stood on his tiptoes, Ash could probably run his fingers through the man’s tangled blond hair until every knot came loose, and then he could see if those pecs were worthy of being held to such a high standard. And after that…
Ash went still as the pressure on his chest increased in what he didn’t have to be a genius to know was a warning–which was a good thing, considering he obviously wasn’t. He could barely breathe, but his breathlessness had little to do with the pressure of the bare foot and everything to do with the sight of the face he could see in the dim light of the kitchen. “Do you model?” he asked weakly. “Because if you don’t, you really should.”
The man—the delectably muscular, rugged epitome of masculinity…damn it, Ash, he’s a fucking supe, and you’re about to die. Stop trying to guess the size of his dick because it ain’t what’ll be fucking you!—made a sound suspiciously like a laugh, and the weight of the foot on his chest lessened enough to let him suck in a much-needed breath.
“Want to tell me why you’re in my kitchen, little mouse, or should I just skip to playing exterminator?”
Bought: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Dark Erotica]
When he agreed to take the fall for his pack leader’s failed attempts to help the Rebellion, Jace knew he wouldn’t live long enough to regret it. However, instead of the noble end he envisioned for himself, the werewolf finds himself at the mercy of a witch and his depraved games. Though he clings to his conviction that he can withstand anything his new master can dish out, it isn’t long before he realizes pride has no place in his life as the pet of the controlling Elias Ivers.
All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/1q5WtBN
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1UQzTs4
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/22NLWsQ
Ravel: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Romance]
For the past few years, Reese has hidden away in his home, refusing to venture out where he might have to face what reminds him of all that he’s lost. When Ashton, a human thief, breaks into his home one night, he doesn’t have a choice but to face the harsh truths of the world he’s turned his back on. He knows he supports the society monsters of myth and lore built upon the backs of humans through his silence, but the new leaders don’t tolerate sympathizers.
If a werewolf can’t act against the status quo without facing severe consequences, a human with Ashton’s cunning and experience circumventing supernatural predators certainly can’t risk drawing their attention. Their chance encounter leaves them both shaken and questioning whether they are living life as they were intended–or if surviving is really living at all.
All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/1WTvG5Y
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ShWKrT
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1W2c81c
Recoil: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Dark Erotic Romance]
In a world flipped upside down where the supernatural now rule over humans, a financially struggling vampire must face the ultimate attack on his humanity: breaking a mortal to slavery. Groomed to fight, the human is no easy picking, but Khaz has an ace in the hand in the form of an alluring magic many find impossible to resist.
Noah has spent the past ten years since the Takeover on the run. His entire life has been one of hardship and hatred, and he’s only survived by giving himself over to both. When a slaver gives him to a vampire to prepare him for auction, he’s sure he’ll hate his new captor every bit as much as he hates every other supernatural creature. The problem is…even the harsh lessons the Rebellion taught him couldn’t prepare him for someone like Khaz.
All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/1MQP0AF
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/22aqgVu
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qyfhtL
Owned: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Dark Erotica. Follows Events in Bought & Recoil]
Release Date: 4/29/2016
Elias Ivers was promised a slave recently captured from the Rebellion, and it would have only been a matter of time before the witch broke a mere human. His new pet would have been a beautiful match to his already enslaved werewolf, and the potential information gain was not something he was willing to pass up. However, when Malkhaz takes what should have rightfully been his in a single hasty decision, Elias is determined to make the vampire pay. No one denies an Ivers witch what he wants–especially not someone who’s little more than dirt beneath his expensive shoes.
All Romance Ebooks: https://goo.gl/P5kYIR
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/Af9P4w
Barnes & Noble: (Not Available for Pre-Order/No Link Available Yet)
Smashwords: (Not Available for Pre-Order/No Link Available Yet)
R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slavedriver who thinks it’s terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers.
If she had it her way, she would describe the books in her “Ripples in the Status Quo” world as: “Supernatural creatures take over the world and turn humans into pets and food. There’s some sex between guys. And… um… fucked up things happen.” It’s probably a good thing she has people around her to remind her that she actually wants people to read her books. (They should really be more diligent, especially when they know she’s writing her author bio.)
She’s an author, stay-at-home mother, housewife, second time college student, and duck herder extraordinaire. She’s learning how to cook without burning the house down, her garden is somehow neither drowning nor drying up, and one day she might remember what that mythical thing called “free time” is. She’s starting to wonder who thought it was a good idea to write bios in third person.
She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. Really, it’s not you. It’s her. All the same, she’d love it if you’d say hello, because it makes her day to hear that someone read something she wrote. If they enjoyed it, there’s usually an awkward happy dance and embarrassing sounds of joy to accompany it (no, not that kind of sound, you perv).
If all of that hasn’t scared you away, please visit her website at http://rphoenix.theupsideis.com/.
Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/raissaphoenix
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010806072760