Please say hello to Alexis Duran with
Order Of The Black Knights #2
Hi. I'm here to talk about my new release, Matthias, the second book in a multi-author series titled Order of the Black Knights. Matthias is a contemporary thriller with a hint of fantasy, and it's also a romance. Several years ago I never wrote romances and I have to admit, had equated them in my mind with the simpering heroines and jerk heroes who overpopulated the bodice-rippers my mom used to read. It hadn't occurred to me yet that the gay men cavorting in my head could be corralled and put on the page. Once this happy realization did strike, romance suddenly held much more interest for me.
I've been a much happier and productive writer since I've been writing gay romances. Why? First of all, blessed honesty. I get to be true to the characters in my head. I love men who love men, and now I get to express that in my stories. Second, having a romantic interest at the core of any story adds a clarity and focus that were lacking in my earlier efforts. The goal of true love is so powerful and compelling, we can never doubt what the protagonist needs in order to be whole, even if he doesn't know or accept it himself. This makes for wonderful opportunities for characters to grow, face their demons, and overcome whatever is holding them back from happiness. There are many more reasons for troubled people to avoid love then there are to risk it, making romance a natural hotbed of conflict, suspense and self-inspection. I wish I'd known this before I wrote my first six (unpublished) novels!
Now I'd like to tell you about Matthias specifically and let me tell you, this guy really challenged my goal to get him to his HEA. Not only is he naturally suspicious, contemptuous of love, and uninterested in being vulnerable in any way, he's cursed to always kill the one man who can save him. That's a lot to overcome. Luckily, at his core, Matthias is deeply human and his self-imposed isolation is rubbing hard against the need to love and be loved. Of course, even if he were conscious of this need Matthias would never admit it, but when he meets Dylan, the sparks ignite his flame and it’s all he can do to hold himself aloof. He knows Dylan is the enemy, knows he's out to bring down everything Matthias has built, but he wants Dylan bad. So he thinks, what can a little hot sex hurt? Ha! Now I have him where I want him, in the throes of passion with the one man who can break through a lifetime of fear and deceit.
The man on the other side of the coin, Dylan, is no pushover either. On top of having been rejected by Matthias back in college, Dylan now suspects Matthias of being not only a con artist, but a murderer. Although he’s irresistibly drawn to Matthias, he’s much too sensible to fall for him. Can I just say that sensible characters are the bane of a writer’s existence? We want them to do the wild and reckless things we as sensible 3-D people will never do, and yet when they jump off the cliff and fall in love with Mr. Wrong, we have to make these actions convincingly inevitable. Therefore, in spite of being raised in an upright military family, Dylan is not only a rebel, but the sensitive one among rough and tumble brothers. He’s too clever to be totally deceived by Matthias’s dark man of mystery façade, and that is his undoing. If he could just take Matthias at face value, he could hate him, but instead the lure of Matthias’s true, long-buried self lies tantalizingly within reach- if only he can get a bit closer.
It’s great fun to create strong, clever characters and then try to outwit them. Matthias and Dylan might have been my most challenging couple so far. I hope this makes for a compelling, satisfying read.
About the book:
From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall has spent his life clawing his way out of poverty, using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s got Matthias’ number and is determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud, but a murderer.
Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut telling him the man is a threat, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy the power his enemy holds over him once and for all.
Get the book:
About the author:
Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She's worked in museums, finance, film production and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several stand alone romances. Her fiction has won awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is currently working on the next Edge of Night novel and always has several new ideas brewing.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.