Welcome everyone! I have a fantastic treat for you today. Author Kendall McKenna is my guest today sharing her book Waves Break My Fall. Not only did she bring an excerpt that will melt your panties off, she’s agreed to answer questions about her heroes Kage and Zach. Trust me, once you here about them, you will be begging to learn more!
Oh! I nearly forgot. Kendall has one more surprise for one lucky visitor: a free ebook copy of Waves Break My Fall. All you have to do is follow the directions on at the end of today’s post. It’s easy!
So let’s bring out Kendall and grill her a bit about her two hotties! Welcome to Behind Closed Doors, Kendall. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Kendall McKenna and I write M/M Erotic Romance novels. I’m very partial to U.S. Marines and law enforcement officers so they make up the majority of my characters. Today, I’m going to talk about my second title, Waves Break My Fall.
In one or two sentences, give the core premise behind your story.
A U.S. Marine is home from Afghanistan and he’s not settling back into his life well, so he flees to Puerto Vallarta for a time. While he’s there, he encounters a young man who seems to get what he’s going through and just how to handle it.
When and where does your book take place?
Present day, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
How does the time and setting weave into the plot and persona of the characters?
This story is part of Silver Publishing’s Summer Heat series, so the setting is a huge part of the story. That was part of the submission requirement. The ocean acts almost as a matchmaker for the two heroes, pulling them to the beach so it can push them together. There is even one scene that takes place in the water, and it’s a huge character moment for one hero, and lays the groundwork for the ‘rightness’ of the relationship.
Who is hero #1?
That is Kage. He’s a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps and less than two weeks out of Afghanistan.
What drives him?
Overall, Kage is driven by duty and honor. He’s good at being a Marine so he’s proud of being a Marine. More immediately, he’s suffering from PTSD, but has only just become symptomatic. He doesn’t feel at home in his own skin, so he can’t settle in at home, and it drives him to flee to Mexico.
What is he running away from (literally or figuratively)?
Kage is running from himself, the well-meaning and loving smothering attention of friends and family, memories, and nightmares.
What obstacles will he encounter in this story?
Kage’s PTSD symptoms are so powerful, and so new, they’re a constant burden for him. He’s also very aware that, while he’s proud to be a Marine and is not ashamed to have done his duty, he’s done some things in combat that would make civilians uncomfortable if they knew. As a result, he holds himself back to an extreme.
What draws him to the hero #2 in this story? What gives him that push away from him?
Immediately, Kage is drawn by simple, basic, primal, sexual attraction. His PTSD and his own insecurities have him pushing away.
What does he need to learn to make the happy ending possible?
Kage needs to learn that he’s worthy of being loved. That the man he’s falling in love with understands him, what he’s had to do, and isn’t horrified by any of it.
That can be a hard thing for anyone to overcome, especially someone who’s had to put his life on the line every moment of every day while in a war zone. What about Kage will make readers sympathetic to him?
He’s aware that he’s damaged, and he very much wants to overcome it, not succumb to it. He is also determined to conquer his issues because these issues stand between him and this wonderful man he’s just met.
So who is this wonderful hero #2?
That would Zach.
What drives him?
Ambition. Zach is a recent college graduate and he has goals and things he wants to achieve. He’s on the cusp of setting his plans into motion.
What is Zach running away from (literally or figuratively)?
He’s running from adulthood. He knows he has to go back at the end of summer and get is life started, but he’s really trying to prolong this period of his life.
Man, I remember that time in my life when it was finally time to stop being a student, put my big girl panties on and join the real world. What obstacles will Zach encounter in this story?
Zach keeps bumping into Kage’s issues! Kage’s PTSD and the emotional barriers he’s thrown up are difficult for Zach to overcome. He’s also got his own issues with past relationships and he’s struggling not to repeat his own mistakes.
What draws him to Kage? What gives him that push away from him?
Zach has the same primal sexual attraction to Kage that Kage has to him. It’s lust at first sight for them both. The push comes from Zach being a physically strong, intelligent, competent, capable, grown man, who likes his partners to be the same. He likes to be dominated in bed, but treated as an equal in life. His past partners haven’t respected that, and Zach is a little gun shy. Kage is about as big an alpha male as you can get, so you can imagine how nervous this makes Zach.
What does he need to learn to make the happy ending possible?
Zach needs to learn that Kage is the man who can dominate him in bed, but has no desire to dominate him in life. Zach has to realize that Kage doesn’t view him as weak because he likes a powerful lover. He also needs to learn that Kage is damaged and is going to be slow to heal, but Kage wants to heal.
What makes Kage infuriating to Zach, if anything?
Nothing. Kage frustrates Zach, because he’s emotionally reserved and a little insecure. Zach doesn’t understand why Kage doesn’t get just how awesome Zach thinks he is.
What makes this hero hot and lovable?
Zach is smart and sensitive and intuitive. He’s a tall, handsome man in a more traditional way, maybe a softer way than Kage is.
What about him will make readers sympathetic to him?
He’s a little bit embarrassed by his own sexual desires and it makes him endearing. He’s just so sensitive toward, and accommodating of, Kage’s issues, it’s hard not to love him.
Is the oppositional force in this story more external or internal or a little of both?
It’s all internal for them both. The ocean and Zach’s friends are all pushing these two together, but their own issues are the only real oppositional forces.
What is the theme at the heart of your story?
It’s about progress, not perfection. The right person will make you want to be a better person.
What message do you hope readers take away from this story?
Love yourself, warts and all, and others will love you, too.
That’s a lesson we all need to take to heart. It sounds like it would be the simplest thing in the world, but it is so much easier said than done. Is this book a part of a series?
Nope. It’s a one-off. And that’s a complete lie! A lot of reviews have asked to find out what happens when Kage and Zach get home, and that’s a story I can tell. Zach’s new job and Kage dealing with PTSD is truly an entire story itself. Now, ask me if I have time to write it!
Oh I know all too well having way too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. I’m sure you will find the time at some point. Something tells me that Kage and Zach won’t let you keep them on the back burner for too long. What is the theme of the overall series and how does this story fit into that?
Relationships are hard. You have to want to do the work, you have to compromise, and you have to give more than you take.
Will these characters show up in other books in this series?
If I write it, yes, it will be all Zach and Kage Part II.
How many books do you anticipate will be in this series?
That depends on how much of their story these two tell me at any given time. It’s up to them.
What are you working on now?
I’m winding up the sequel to Brothers In Arms, and I’m about to start work on a special submission call I was asked to provide to MLR Press. It’s got a newly awakened Ancient Vampire and a newly re-born Ancient Warrior. They’re thrown together in the middle of combat in Afghanistan and for some reason, would rather make love than war. 😉
What’s coming soon?
Marine Corps Werewolves, a story called The Strength of the Pack. Also, the Ancient Vampire battling it out with the Ancient Warrior.
Wow! Paranormal Marines? Count me in! For those who want to pick up their own copy of Waves Break My Fall, where can they find it?
It’s available from Silver Publishing, but is also carried at Amazon, B&N, and ARe. Just click on the book cover at the beginning of the post, and you will be taken right to Silver Publishing’s website.
Let’s not forget. One lucky person will win a free copy of the book by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post. A winner will be chosen randomly on September 14th and Kendall will contact you with your prize! But before we get there, Kendall has one more treat for us. I know you’ve all been patiently waiting, so without further adieu…
“I’m going to get you ready,” he whispered.
“I don’t need much.” Zach lifted his hips.
Kage shushed him, placing open-mouthed kisses along Zach’s jaw. Zach tilted his head back, seeking Kage’s lips. Kage kissed Zach, licking deep into his mouth. They were both breathing heavily now and the sound was loud in the otherwise quiet room.
Reaching into the drawer of the bedside table, Kage withdrew a small lube bottle and a condom. He steadied Zach with a hand on his hip and slid his fingers into Zach’s ass. If it was possible, Zach was even hotter than he had been earlier. His body opened easily for Kage’s fingers.
Twisting his wrist, Kage spread the slick inside of Zach’s tight channel. He slid his fingers out and pushed them back in to the last knuckles. Zach pushed back against him and groaned. Picking up the lube bottle again, Kage eased his fingers out of Zach’s hole.
“I’m good, I’m ready.” Zach gasped, looking over his shoulder as Kage added lube to his fingers.
“Not as ready as I want you to be,” replied Kage, pushing two slick fingers back into Zach’s ass.
Zach groaned like he was in pain and Kage almost stopped moving. “You’re gonna fucking kill me.”
Kage laughed softly. He worked his fingers in and out of Zach’s hole, ensuring a slick glide for his cock. This time, he pressed his fingertips downward into that firm gland he could find easily now.
“Oh, fuck,” Zach cried. He clutched at the pillow beneath him. “Kage.” His harsh whisper sounded like a plea.
Kage kissed the base of Zach’s spine. “I’ve got you.”
Withdrawing his fingers again, Kage lubed three of them this time. He pushed his fingers into Zach’s clenching hole, and it was like Zach’s body was drawing him in. He twisted his fingers and massaged Zach’s gland. This time, Zach shuddered violently.
“Oh, god!” Zach pleaded, “Now, please, Kage. I need you.”
Zach’s desperation hit Kage like a body blow. Blood surged into his own cock, and he was overwhelmed with the need to be inside of Zach. He eased his fingers from Zach’s hole and reached for the condom.
Struggling with trembling fingers, Kage rolled the condom onto his own hard cock. “Hold yourself open for me,” he said, trying to remember to breathe.
Zach pushed the pillow aside and drew up one knee. He hooked his arm behind his knee and pulled his leg higher, spreading his ass wide. Kage lay himself down on top of Zach, wanting to feel his heat.
“You’re so fucking gorgeous.” Kage breathed against the back of Zach’s neck. His cock ached, and he was desperate to push himself into Zach’s heat.
Reaching between their bodies, Kage lined himself up with Zach’s hole and flexed his hips. He pushed inward, slipping into Zach’s body. He groaned at the feel of Zach surrounding him and taking him in.
Zach fisted his free hand in the bedclothes. He moaned loudly, lifting his hips as if to get more of Kage’s cock inside. Kage braced his hands on either side of Zach and gave a hard thrust of his hips. He slid deep into Zach’s ass.
“Kage!” Zach’s cry was a desperate plea.
Once again, thank you for coming and sharing your writing and yummy heroes with us today, Kendall. I hope you will come back very soon and share your next release with us! Now for the contest. Some browsers will not show the full contest widget. Don’t worry! If you click on the link, it will take you directly to another page so you can get your entries. The only part of the Rafflecopter you have to do is leave a comment. Make sure you leave your comment BEFORE you leave the page, just in case. 😉 The other ways to get entries are totally optional. At the end of the contest period, one winner will be chosen randomly from all the entries. I will post the winner here and Kendall will contact you will your prize!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Where to find out more about Kendall
Saturday Spotlight at the House of Taboo