Today the Smoocher’s Voice Blog welcomes Draven St. James, who is celebrating the release of Fused by Fire, book three in the Firehouse Six series.
Draven was a born and raised in Oregon. Draven has travelled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill the pages of each new story. Draven’s ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of tales. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where Draven finds peace.
Thank you for taking the time to visit with us at the Smoocher’s Voice blog, Draven.
Jodi: Tell us a little about yourself.
Draven: I’m a born and raised Oregonian. I’ve traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill my books. My ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories both sexy and humorous. It gives me a great excuse to do some crazy stuff in the name of research. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where I find my peace.
Jodi: How long have you been writing in the m/m genre?
Draven: I've been writing books in the m/m genre for the past five years, but only worked up the courage to submit one May of last year. Prior to writing the stories I read voraciously in the genre.
Jodi: What made you choose this genre for your stories?
Draven: I chose this genre because I really enjoy writing about strong male characters falling in lust and then stumbling into love.
Jodi: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Draven: That is a very difficult question. I have a lot of favorite authors and I don't think there is space for all of them to be listed. My most recent reads have been from Whitley Grey, Stormy Glenn, Lynn Hagen, Gabrielle Evans, and Charlie Richards.
Jodi: The Firehouse series of books is hot (no pun intended). What inspired you to write about firemen?
Draven: I find with firemen I love the bravery and intensity that I see in the firefighters that I know. I wanted to bottle that up and release it onto a page to share with others.
Jodi: Are your characters complete fiction or are they modeled after real people?
Draven: My characters are not "complete" fiction, as there are bits and pieces of various personalities that I know, which end up on the page.
Jodi: The first two books in this series focus on Greyson Hayes and Mica Cruz. Hayes is securely in the closet, while Cruz is a little less hidden behind closet walls. How does this affect the tension in the book and in their relationship?
Draven: I think that the tension is there primarily due to the fact that Grey is trying to deny he even has feelings for Mica because Mica is a man. Grey is confused by what he experiences with Mica, as it is more intense than any relationship he has had with a woman. It is that intensity that magnifies the tension because you get to see Grey releasing control and having the truly passionate moments that he had never experienced before. The reader gets a front row seat to that journey.
Jodi: The scene when Mica tells Grey about his jack-off fantasy is very hot. It also is a turning point in the book. Why did you choose that particular method to let Mica know Greyson wasn’t as straight as he thought he was?
Draven: I chose to reveal it in that fashion because fantasies are so much a part of who we are. By sharing that private moment with Grey, Mica was able to pull Grey's hidden fantasies to the surface. It was the resurgence of those private fantasies that sparked Grey's curiosity and opened the door to reveal the part of Grey that Mica hadn't been allowed to see before.
Jodi: In the new book, Fused by Fire, readers will learn more about Simon Winters and Michael Donovan, who we are introduced to in the other books. Is either of these men open about their sexuality?
Draven: Both of the men have lived their work lives under the idea that if they were asked then they would be truthful about their sexuality, but otherwise they have compartmentalized those aspects of their day-to-day lives. So, while they are not completely out there about their sexuality, it isn't something they fight to hide.
Jodi: Will Greyson and Cruz appear in this third book?
Draven: Yes, Grey and Mica do appear in the book.
Jodi: Are Greyson and Cruz and catalyst for Winters and Donovan?
Draven: No. While Grey and Mica do play a small role in getting the two guys together, their relationship doesn't really enter into it.
Jodi: Will there be more books in this series?
Draven: Yes, there will be more books. Right now I'm working on Taber's story.
Fused by Fire: Firehouse Six Series (Book Three)
Published by Loose Id
Release Date: May 20th
Michael prides himself on being the man that everyone can depend on until one of his firefighters is severely wounded on the job. Will he be allowed to process the situation alone? Not when a loud and persistent Simon Winters shows up on his doorstep. The man hasn't met a boundary he didn't skip across.
Simon has had the biggest crush on Lieutenant Firefighter, Michael Donovan since the first day he saw him. Which just happened to be at an interview for a job to work as a firefighter. Before his desire to lick the gruff older man from head to toe affects his work, Simon transfers over to being a paramedic. Just when he's begun to build a life that doesn't include hot shower fantasies of Michael, the object of his angst is thrust into his path.
All too quickly, Simon begins to barrel through Michael's defenses and dig up the desires Michael has fought so hard to hide. As passions flare out of control, tragedies collide from every side. Michael's struggle to keep Simon at a distance starts to crumble beneath the weight of the secrets that Simon is hiding. Will Michael be able to protect Simon when he needs it the most or will he lose Simon forever?
Simon knocked on his door. “Hey, all done out here. Want to come check my skills? We can play sexy maid and naughty boss.”
Michael bit back a groan, shocked by the words. He’d really love to do that. Did the man know how much his offer tortured him? When did Simon become an overt flirt?
With a fortifying breath, he opened the door and stopped short. Simon stood directly in front of him with a mischievous smile on his face.
“I found something.” Simon nibbled on his lush bottom lip.
Michael racked his brain for what Simon might have discovered that would warrant such a teasing expression.
Simon’s lips curved into a huge grin as he produced a half-empty bottle of lube from behind his back.
“Shit,” Michael muttered.
“Yeah, I was vacuuming out the couch cushions, and imagine my surprise.” Simon arched a brow. “Did you buy this at a wholesale supermarket?”
Michael’s face heated. Not because Simon had his lube, but because the last couple of times he’d used it, images of Simon in the firehouse showers had slipped unbidden into his thoughts.
He reached out to grab it, but Simon held it away from him.
“Tsk-tsk. Now, where do you hide your…material?” Simon brushed past Michael and into the bedroom.
Michael watched from the doorway as Simon rummaged through the drawers on both nightstands before coming away with a strip of condoms.
“Oh.” Simon’s face fell. He glanced from the bed to Michael, and his face reddened. With a loudly exhaled breath, he moved past Michael and walked back out into the living room. Michael followed along, only to be brought up short when Simon turned to dangle the condoms in front of Michael. “I guess you don’t need any additional inspiration.”
Michael finally managed to shake himself out of his frozen state. He snatched the condoms and lube away and tossed them on the couch. Simon just kept pushing and pushing, burrowing his way into all the crevices of Michael’s life.
Michael stepped forward and grabbed Simon by his shoulders. “Why are you really here?” he snarled.
“Because you’ve locked yourself away?” Simon whispered and gazed at him with eyes filled with concern.
That look stabbed into Michael. “And you care why?”
“Because…” Simon shrugged, dislodging Michael’s hold, and then cupped Michael’s face with a trembling hand. “What happened wasn’t your fault, and you needed someone to come and shove that truth into your face.”
“You picked the short straw?” Michael hated that Simon’s hand on his cheek brought him more comfort than anything else had. Just like at the hospital.
Simon shook his head, and his gaze fell to Michael’s lips. His hand came down to brush against the edge of Michael’s bottom lip. A pink flush rose along Simon’s cheeks.
Michael felt that innocent touch like a jolt through his body. He tilted Simon’s face up, and the sensual invitation in his eyes shocked and inflamed him.
He didn’t have the energy to fight against what he wanted, and right now that was Simon. With a groan of defeat, he smashed his lips to Simon’s and took the sweet oblivion that Simon offered. Simon melted into him, and a shudder worked its way through Michael’s body. Michael grasped the backs of Simon’s thighs and jerked until Simon jumped up and wrapped his legs around Michael’s waist.
Brief astonishment that they were really kissing filtered through Michael’s head as he stumbled back to sit on the couch. He traced his tongue along Simon’s bottom lip and thrust inside.
Grey's Hidden Fire/Amazon
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