Title: Dancing Men (Hunter Dane Investigation #2) (Book 3 of 3—and counting—in the Hunter and Cam 4 Ever series)
Author: Adira August
Release Date: November 1st 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, BDSM, Police Procedural, Murder Mystery, Gay erotica
Length: 70k words/385 pages
You have to bury the past, or the past will bury you.
An ancient burial urn, empty for millennia, is suddenly not so empty.
When Detective Lieutenant Hunter Dane probes the murder at Natural History Museum, it’s his own past that haunts him. To solve the complex case, Hunter needs the talents of Camden Snow, the brilliant, beautiful, “no limits” Dom who’d helped him unravel a very peculiar, and very personal, murder.
But now, Cam’s ready to kill Hunt, himself! Their high-intensity D/s relationship that began in a playroom, ended in an emergency room.
Detective Dane is about to discover that history does, indeed, repeat itself. And his brain and body—humming with suspect information and sensual anticipation—want so much more than a killer behind bars.
“If you want to be with me, you’ll have to do more make some big re-entry gesture,” Cam said. “That’s just more drama. You’ll have to work for this, Hunter.”
“All right. What work would that be?” Hunter asked, eager to perform any penance Cam gave him.
“You’re the champion puzzle-solver and ace detective. Unravel a mystery.”
Hunter’s brows pulled together. “What mystery?”
“You are familiar with the Tamil burial jars case I’m hearing?” the judge asked as she led him into her chambers.
“Enough to know the case exists,” he said, putting his professional face on. Why would they need a homicide investigator for an international property dispute? “I should mention I’m acquainted with Doctor St Clair who was appointed head of the research team.”
“I see,” she said, taking her chair but not inviting him to sit. “Do I have to go over confidentiality? I was informed with you it wouldn’t be necessary.”
“It isn’t,” he said.
“Good.” She sat forward and clasped her hands on the desk. “Expert testimony the Court finds to be compelling establishes the impossibility of determining the geographic origin of the jars or when they were created and sealed without extensive testing. There will be a problem of international relations if I award the urns to the Denver museum and later testing reveals clearly that the plaintiff did have standing.”
Hunter nodded. The judge cocked a skeptical eyebrow at him. “You understand the issue?”
“It will look as if we must have known all along and used a technicality in the law to keep the jars here. I imagine they have more than scientific value?” he said.
A slow and very small smile appeared. “Have a seat,” she told him. He did.
“At my request, Doctor St Clare sent a doctoral fellow to take air samples from the jars to determine how long ago they were sealed. That was ten days ago. I received the results on Friday. So did the attorneys. After which, I issued a gag order.”
Hunter waited for her to get to the point.
“I’m curious, detective, what you would guess the tests showed?”
“At least one of the air samples had a much higher level of carbon dioxide than would be present when the jars were made. And traces of methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and nitrogen. Decomp gases.”
Her Honor nodded.
“There’s flesh rotting in one of those jars and it wasn’t put there a thousand years ago,” Hunter said.
GUEST POST FROM ADIRA AUGUST
HUNT AND CAM – WHERE ON EARTH DID THEY COME FROM?
I was happily exploring the world of m/f sexuality, when Detective Sergeant Hunter Dane entered the River Hart world in Desire for Bliss. I’d been a cop, so he came naturally. I knew what his offices looked like. What his weapon of choice was.
I was surprised when Avia (who Hunt and Cam readers will meet in Dancing Men) recognized him from the cover of an eBook she’d read. But I recalled a cop I’d known who did pose nude for stock photos. He never had to work off-duty like a lot of the guys. And he’d get hooked up to be an extra or have a few lines in a locally shot film. Since it had a basis in reality, I left it in.
After Bliss, I wrote a series of shorts featuring different characters from the River Hart world, exploring other aspects of sexuality. But I never thought of writing m/m. It isn’t that I rejected it; it just never occurred to me.
I knew Hunter was a switch, that he switched between Dom and sub. I knew which of the prosecutors was the Domme. I’d begin with Hunt at work. Establish him as the Alpha male in the bullpen. Then have him seek out the Domme.
Only, when I sat down to write, Hunter was in the shower. I have bits and pieces of story that I write down in no particular order that come to me, sometimes. I thought this was that. The transitional scene between the end of the day and meeting the woman.
Sometimes writing is like being possessed. I wrote the first two-thousand words in one long stream of consciousness. Or unconsciousness. It ended with “I dropped to my knees.” And I knew the title.
And I thought, I can’t write this. It freaked me out a little bit. A lot. Every time I opened On His Knees to work I was terrified. What the fuck am I writing? This was the first time in years I’d felt compelled to write a specific thing.
Even knowing I could not write this story, I knew Hunter could. Cam could. I just got the hell out of their way. When they’d finished, it was mine. To research and clean up and do the things you do when rewriting. I kept thinking I can’t publish this. It was Cam who said, “You have to.”
Matchstick Men was a no-brainer. I’d always wanted to do a detective series. Hunt and Cam are my Sherlock and John. Chez is Mrs. Hudson, I think. But Scene and Not Heard can’t be the Diogenes Club. Too much talking!
Exploring the Dynamics
The great thing about having the three books out, now, at the same time, is the reader will not have long waits for the next part of the relationship to reveal itself. They’ll have a better sense of what happened.
I think so many original readers forget, because it was months between books, that Hunt and Cam were only together for a night and morning at the start of Matchstick Men. Knees happens on the previous Friday night into Saturday morning. The next time they lay eyes on each other is during the Matchstick game at the club on Wednesday. They barely knew one another.
But now the timeframe will be more obvious and Hunter’s approach to the relationship makes more sense.
OMG! Me and books covers. I bet I make 100 covers before I settle on one. And then I might replace it. The thing about me is, I’m visual. I make no outlines before I write, I don’t have a blurb, but I have to have a cover. I have to have this visual thing that makes that world real in my world. Like a window.
One of the reasons Knees was written at all, is that I loved that cover picture. I wanted to know that man, why he was kneeling, what he was feeling. Who was around him. What was going to happen to him.
But once the book is written, what’s the true essence of the story? That’s when the hard-core cover-making comes. Answering the question: Just what the hell is this book about? is a lot harder for a writer than people might think. For some of us, it’s almost impossible. Because we’re inside everyone, we know so much more than is on the page, it’s about everything!!
Not helpful to the reader when choosing a book. The first cover and the last are essentially the same, but the figure is more powerful and mysterious on Dancing. And the middle cover, Matchstick, is all Cam, what Hunter is most concerned with, through the investigation.
My Writing Process
I keep saying it: I’m just taking dictation here. The boys reveal the story to me as we go along. I didn’t know the big secret in Dancing until pretty far in. I didn’t know when I started writing there’d be a big secret.
Writing for me is a process of being serially possessed by the characters. It’s why the POV switches happen when they do. It’s why we experience the sex from both perspectives. It’s intense and powerful and the energy flows back and forth like a tide pool in a hurricane. And takes me with it.
I didn’t make a decision to write as explicitly as I do. My books aren’t designed to be stimulating to the reader, though I know that happens quite often. It just is what it was. I rewrite those scenes more than any others because there’s a much deeper engagement and I lose all writer perspective. Sixty to 200 word sentences aren’t unusual. The writing is initially the worst I do.
And there’s always the moment of being overwhelmed by the story, adrift on a raft in a sea of words and images and events. I’m always sure I’ll never make sense of it for the reader. But it’s sort of like a tangle of shoelaces. They need to be unknotted and taken out and straightened and threaded careful back through the holes.
So far that’s worked. But it follows hanging onto the raft for dear life until it bumps onto the shore. That’s the first draft. Then the writing begins.
On His Knees (#1 Cam & Hunter 4Ever)
Author: Adira August
Length: 13k words/76 Kindle pages
Genres: Contemporary gay, BDSM, erotica
Sometimes it’s the cop who needs to hit the floor…
As a homicide cop, every blood-soaked crime scene settled in my bones and snaked around my spine. There was only one way to exorcise the images from my soul …
Inside the club, I stopped to scan the room. He was here, Camden Snow. A Norse sex god in the guise of unpretentious youth. Only his ice-blue eyes gave evidence of the Dom who took whomever he wished, whatever way he wanted, with a look and a nod. Merciless.
Cam found me watching him and fixed me with his arctic gaze. This time, I didn’t walk away. He cocked an eyebrow. Well?
The last thing I needed was mercy.
I dropped to my knees.
A frank exploration of the D/s dynamic between two powerful men. Consensual. Adult. Intense.
It was an early summer evening, the sun half set. I was making my way to the door with one of the club’s boozeless Bloody Marys to find a deck chair and keep an eye on whoever came up the stairs. Decide what I wanted after sunset.
The door opened before I could touch it. He paused, backlit by the setting sun. Golden. Glowing. Idealized male beauty wrapped in an invisible cloak of incredible power. He was so careless of it. He scanned me and grinned. As if the sight of me delighted him. No one grinned here. Not with genuine pleasure.
He passed close to me, still scanning. It was the kind of moment that called for locked gazes and hardening cocks. Instead, he happily looked me over like I was a pastry display and he was deciding which succulent treat to select.
Cam was fresh from deep powder and Olympic triumph. Exuding health and vitality and bonhomie and danger.
I wanted to give him everything, simply because he existed. And looked at me.
He reached out and put a hand on the side of my neck, his thumb skating lightly along my jawline and down, across my larynx. My insides turned to water.
Don’t pick me. Please.
His eyes narrowed a little as if he’d heard. His hand tightened – scarcely, definitely – and withdrew.
“Kneel for me when you’re ready,” he said. And was gone.
Matchstick Men: Hunter Dane Investigation 1
(Book 2 of 3 in the HuntandCan4ever series)
Author: Adira August
Genre/s: Police Procedural, Murder Mystery, Contemporary Gay Erotica, BDSM
Length: 48k words/ 274 pages
SEX, GAMES & MURDER Want to play?
It was munch night at the most elite underground BDSM club in the Rockies. Relaxed and informal, highlighted by the weekly Matchstick Challenge game. Detective Sergeant Hunter Dane, reigning champion, looked forward to a relaxing evening to start his 3 days off. A few beers on the deck. An interlude with a sweet sub. Stumping a challenger with a new puzzle. Home early for a decent night’s sleep.
Some people are SO deadly serious about their games.
Now Hunt has a fresh body and a new puzzle to solve in twenty-four hours if he wants to find a killer.
A 48k police procedural with a liberal dose of M/M hotness. Which means our fave full-metal Dom shows up to collect on Hunter’s offer of his … coffer. So to speak.
There are puzzles for the reader and mysteries to be solved. Based on characters introduced in the short story On His Knees.
Cam looked out the window, leaving me to myself while I drove us through the quiet dark of the Capitol Hill streets. I wondered why this killer wasn’t perfectly obvious to me. I wondered if it was impossible for me to see them, being so close that everything blurred at the edges and melded together.
“Did anyone ever tell you, you think too much?” Cam asked.
“Did anyone ever not?”
“Take the next alley,” he told me.
“You need to stop thinking.”
“Cam,” I put a warning in my voice. “There’s not much time-“
The bastard grabbed the wheel and cranked it hard right.
I lifted my foot off the gas, or tried to. He had his left hand on my thigh just above my knee, digging in, pressing down.
“Stop it, goddamn it!”
“Pull into that parking lot.”
“Alright! Just let go, for Christ’s sake!”
He released me instantly and sat back. I managed to miss the light pole and the dumpster and slide into a parking space behind a converted Victorian housing psychologists’ offices. An appropriate place to stop when riding with a no limits lunatic.
The offices were dark, now, but the mosquito bulb over the back door and the security lights at the rear of the building illuminated the lot. And the car’s interior. Anyone walking by could see us. If they saw us in flagrante delicto, they’d call the cops.
Cam had gone too far. I shut off the engine but before I could turn and bust his ass, his fingers found my seat belt release and he launched himself up and over the console into my space, his big hands slid down my arms toward my wrists. I twisted sideways and we wrestled for control of my hands.
I was at a distinct disadvantage under the steering wheel. He bent me toward him and my head was on his thigh.
“Stop it, Cam! Not now, we are not playing!”
He fell back into his seat, taking me with him and manacled me with one hand. But we were sweaty from the struggle and I managed to break his grip, freeing my hands.
He didn’t try to regain them. He simply raised himself and laid his body over mine. My head pressed into his crotch, his weight forced me onto the hard lump of the console.
“You can always safeword you know,” he said. I heard the challenge. The taunting. He was having fun.
“Fuck you,” I grunted underneath him.
I’d never safe worded in my life. Not to “red,” anyway. “Yellow” a few times when I had a cramp or was on call and my cell went off with a dispatch tone.
Safewording might have been an option for me now, if his power and the idea of being at his mercy, of which he possessed none, hadn’t given me a blazing erection.
He’d been betting I wouldn’t go there—confident I wouldn’t safeword. He really was good at this.
I felt his hand at my belt in back. Handcuffs. A thrill of fear and excitement made me choke on air. I struggled again, just enough to feel my inability to stop him from doing exactly what he intended. Jesus, I was hard, weeping against my thigh, trapped by the elastic briefs.
My legs were twisted and caught under the steering wheel. His body locked my right arm against the seatback. He deftly handcuffed my left wrist and calmly found my right and ratcheted the other cuff around it.
This was not the infamous Dom of the club, calculatedly giving me what I needed. Not the sexual virtuoso of last night, expertly bringing me everything I never knew I wanted. Pleasures I never thought existed.
This was the sadist in his element. Loving what he did to me because of what it did for him.
Then, suddenly, I knew who the killer was.
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About the Author
TYPOS ARE MY TRADEMEARK
I write mostly BDSM EROTICA because I love exploring the power dynamics in terms of the love relationships. The work is explicit. It’s always consensual. If you have triggers about certain kinds of practices, use discretion. I do not make kink lists for my titles.
I went to school interminably, it seemed like. I studied anthropology and paleontology and genetics and literature and theology and ancient Greek. I chased down bad guys, raised children, climbed mountains, played poker, searched for dinosaurs and have had a rather large number of lovers. (I’m not giving up any numbers because TMI) Through it all, I wrote.
No wonder I’m so tired.
You can read all my books stand-alone. There’s plenty of information about what happened previously in Hunt and Cam’s story for you to easily follow their relationship arc. The mysteries are always complete within the stories.
BUT if you’re a romance lover, the relationship story is not a romance. It is a love story. But it’s also the story of two independent Alpha males: one gay and one bisexual, one Dom and one switch with a preference for BDSM. And they aren’t simple, take it from someone who shares headspace with them.
I love these guys. They surprise me and challenge me and break my heart, sometimes. They inspire me.
(Just some FYI for the new readers. Hi. Welcome.)
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