Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Lynn Kelling joining us today to talk about their blog tour on new release “Arctic Restitution”, part 3 in the Arctic Absolution series.
Believing in the Bad Guy
Who’s your favorite villain? Someone with style, or maybe a redeeming quality hinting at hidden goodness, or even someone who you just love being scared by? Personally, I’m a fan of villains who clearly evolved from the more benevolent end of the spectrum and were pushed into their wickedness by emotional or impossible choices. I’m also fascinated by characters like Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy, who carries the story but can’t really be labeled as a good guy after everything he does.
In my new release, Arctic Restitution, part of the Arctic Absolution series, the character Cash definitely falls in line with Jax’s breed of bad guy. Cash first appeared in the prequel novel, Caged Jaye, as the man in charge of running the prison gang, the Disciples. He’s the person the main character—sweet, teenage, skinny, too-pretty-in-a-feminine-way and long-haired Jaye Larson—appeals to for protection in order to survive his prison sentence.
I knew while writing Caged Jaye that I needed Cash to lure us in as much as he terrified and intimidated. There needed to be something in him worth believing in. He’s in charge for a reason. He commands respect and keeps everyone in line—ally and enemy. But he’s also Jaye’s savior. He’s the only reason Jaye gets to wake up every morning, alive and able to fight for his life once again. There’s no doubt Cash has done, and continues to do, things that are monstrous and unforgiveable. That doesn’t mean his heart isn’t in the right place when it comes to doing for the people he cares about.
There are some dangling threads in the relationship between Jaye and Cash after Caged Jaye ends. Jaye’s feelings for Cash are hard to quantify, especially given the duress of his circumstances in The Federal Corrections Institute of Sheridan, Oregon. How do things hold up to the light of freedom and retrospect?
The nature of their parting is clouded in mystery. Because of this and other curiosities, I was really excited to revisit Cash a year after Jaye’s release in this novel, Arctic Restitution. Because Jaye is in a committed relationship with Dixon Rowe, an Alaska State Trooper with a lot of specific personal issues with bullies and abusive lovers. Pitting lawful, big-hearted Dixon, who can get intimidated by vicious alpha men, against the fearless, lawless mystery of Cash was something I knew I had to do.
But it’s not so cut and dried as good guy versus bad guy. Despite the negative ways Cash is painted from outside the walls of the federal penitentiary, I still want my readers to believe in him. I want them to sense why Cash does what he does while existing in a cage he knows he will never escape. I want them to understand the hidden layers of his personality, some of which no one on the whole planet have seen, other than our scrappy young Jaye. I also love the tug of war that is the loyalty Jaye has to Cash and the Disciples, versus the loyalty he has to Dixon. They exist in different worlds, circling in orbit with only Jaye as the living, breathing conduit between.
I want my readers to wonder, how much of a bad guy is Cash? Is there as spectrum of evil, on which others are more terribly afflicted, and which helps us see him as a hero in his own right? Or is he too far gone? Is he just a monster after all?
Sometimes there are jobs that need doing, which a good guy like Dixon could never stomach. That’s what Jaye learned, long ago, and what Cash has known a whole lot longer.
Sometimes the only one able to save the desperate is someone willing to go out on a limb, risking harm to himself and others, just to make the impossible possible. I invite you to read and decide for yourself, if the bad guy can be worth believing in too.
About Arctic Restitution
As he approaches his twenty-second birthday, the three-year anniversary of the brutal attack in an alley that nearly cost him his life in a few different ways, Jaye Larson thinks he’s left behind the ghosts from his years spent incarcerated, but when he’s delivered a mysterious letter with terrifying implications, old monsters rear their ugly heads. His normal new life in remote Zus, Alaska, with his lover, Dixon Rowe, the heart of a found-family that supports Jaye in ways he’s never before dreamed possible, is threatened by old deals and ties he begins to fear may never be broken. While old alliances strive to draw Jaye backward, Dixon and the rest of their family are called to step up to keep him steady. When the letter turns out to be just the first clue in a chain leading both Jaye and Dixon back inside the walls of the Federal Corrections Institute of Sheridan, Oregon, all of them are left facing carefully-held secrets and terrible new truths that refuse to be ignored. (M/M)
Now available from:
About the Arctic Absolution Series
Jaye Larson is an ex-con with a troubled, terrifying past. Dixon Rowe is a good man in a hard world, a cop with a soft spot for saving bad boys. Things change for both of them the night Dixon nearly arrests Jaye for petty theft and decides to help him go… Well, not straight, exactly. As it turns out Jaye is just Dixon’s type, and Dixon’s interest quickly rises beyond the professional.
As if their growing romance wasn’t complicated enough, Jaye’s history won’t stay behind him, and it turns out that Dixon has a skeleton or two in his own closet. In order to build a future together, the two men have to put the past to rest.
Lynn Kelling draws intense emotion and raw, kinky sex from these characters and their lives, creating a multi-layered romance with deep history and real warmth. She makes Jay and Dixon work hard to earn their happy ending.
About Lynn Kelling
Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over fifty works of
erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.
Connect with Lynn:
- Website: http://www.lynnkelling.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-Kelling-245075342173700/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnKelling