Hello everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome back our friend J.L. Merrow to the blog. She is here today to talk about her new release, Damned If You Do. J.L. has also brought along a great giveaway. So be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. And please join me in giving her a big welcome! Hi J.L.!
Hi and welcome to the Damned If You Do virtual book tour! Today, Joyfully Jay has been kind enough to let me talk about my favorite character in the series, which was just released from Riptide Publishing. I’ve also brought along a giveaway— leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on 6/28 and you’ll be entered in a week-long contest to win a $10 gift certificate to Riptide! Follow the tour all week for more Damned If You Do celebrations, including more interviews, thoughts from editor Sarah Frantz, and, of course, more chances to win.
If I could meet any of my characters in real life, I’d love to meet Kitty, Rael’s four-foot pet salamander. Actually, I have met her: she’s based on Gaudi’s dragon in Park Guell, Barcelona. On the same trip, I also bumped into Levi, Rael’s envy demon ex, walking down the Ramblas. The street performers in Barcelona are fantastic! 😉 But Kitty is definitely a favorite—here’s an excerpt from Damned If You Do starring the feisty salamander.
The back street behind the pizza parlor was empty save for a few old burger wrappers blown along by a half-hearted breeze, and a couple dented garbage cans. And, of course, a four-foot salamander with a stump where its tail should be, munching on a lump of coal while being petted by Lars’s own little demon lover.
“Jeezus! Speak of the devil!” Rochelle burst out.
“Rael?” Lars could hear his voice cracking slightly.
“What are you doing—shit, Rael, just walk away from the salamander! You don’t know what those things can do!”
Still hunkered down by the salamander, Rael fixed Lars with a look almost as stern as the ones he’d been handing out the previous evening. “She is not a thing, honey. And the fire thing? That’s a defense mechanism. As long as she’s happy, she’ll be just fine. Poor baby,” he crooned to the oversized lizard. “The mean old detective didn’t mean to pull your tail off. You eat your coal up, sugar, it’ll make you feel a whole lot better.”
The sight of that scaly firestarter snuggling up to his lover was doing strange things to Lars’s brain. He had a whole bunch of questions of varying degrees of urgency, so it figured that the first one that came out was pretty damn irrelevant.
“Uh, I thought it was dragons that ate coal?”
Rael rolled his eyes. “Like it’s only big, blond detectives who eat steak? Coal is one of your basic food groups for all fire elementals.”
“Sorry to interrupt this fascinating discussion of infernal fucking fauna,” Rochelle put in sarcastically, “but now we’ve got the perp, what’re we gonna do with it?”
Rael beamed. “I figured we could let the little cutie come home with us, Lars, honey.” His eyes narrowed. “At least until her tail grows back.”
Lars stared. “With us? Rael, are you nuts? They have regulations about fire hazards in this city. Plus, I kind of like my apartment like it is—you know, not burned to a cinder with a couple of charred corpses inside!”
“Oh, honey, all we need is an old-fashioned kitchen range and she’ll be just fine. She only went critical ’cause she was scared, didn’t you, sweetie?” Rael tickled the salamander under the chin. It made a crooning sound and flicked Rael affectionately with its forked tongue.
Sexy male succubus Rael has an insatiable appetite for men that gets him into all kinds of trouble. And he’s just found his favorite flavor: hunky blond detective Lars Thornsson. When those cool Nordic looks combine with Rael’s smoldering dark charms, all Hell could break loose.
Lars’s job at the Paranormal Enforcement Agency means he’s supposed to be policing demons, not falling in lust—or love—with them. But there’s something about this feisty little sex demon that hits all his buttons.
With no shortage of deadly sinners in his city, from serial-killing succubi to drug-dealing demons, all Lars can do is try to keep his private life from interfering with his work. But Rael has a knack for getting mixed up in cases that threaten both their domestic harmony and their lives.
Damned If You Do can be purchased from Riptide here.
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.
She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.