Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Tour, Guest Post, eARC Review, Excerpt & #Giveaway: Bad Things by Varian Krylov

Since her girlhood in a sunny coastal town in California, Varian Krylov has nurtured a love of
words and a curiosity about the deep, dark forces at work in human nature, especially sexuality, and how they often paradoxically twine with our tenderest impulses. Her stories tend to explore the sometimes fine line between what arouses, and what frightens, what we’re driven to, and what we’re ashamed of.
As witty and seductive as I am sarcastic and self-deprecating, I spend as much time as possible thinking and writing about sex. No, not dense, inscrutable post-feminist texts on media representations of gender and the body--that was grad school. I write stories--short stories, novels, and starting a few weeks ago, screenplays--most of which poke and prod and the dark little corners of human sexuality. In a sense, nothing's taboo, anymore. There's no act, no fetish that hasn't been made utterly banal in the proliferation of porn. What intrigues and excites me is the exploration of the conflicting impulses, the twisted psychology and turbulent emotions of people who find themselves unable to resist desires that lie beyond their own moral boundaries.

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Bad Things
by Varian Krylov
Publisher: Smashwords

Cover Artist: Photographer: Ekaterina Zakharova; Cover design: Jay Aheer
Xavier makes a lot of people nervous. The rest, he flat-out scares. More than his hulking, tattooed body, it's his predator's gaze that makes people feel vulnerable, as if he had the power to read their thoughts and see their soul. For his lovers, it's Xavier's ravenous appetite for all things carnal—for the taste of flesh under his tongue and the feel of a trembling body under his control, for whispered pleas and muffled cries—that makes him dangerous.
But recently, driven by a festering rage against the men who attacked his sister a decade ago, Xavier has developed a taste for a different kind of hunt and conquest: stalking men who do truly bad things and punishing the predators he sniffs out. The problem with vigilante justice, though, is sometimes the man in your trap is innocent.
Carson suspects he's playing a risky game with dangerous men. But the lies are convincing, especially when they're slipped to him among hundred dollar bills. He never guessed how big and dark the secret hidden under all the lies and money could be. And he has no idea he's not the predator, but the prey, until it's too late.
And you can't beg for mercy when there's a gag in your mouth.
But when Carson escapes from Xavier's trap, he's forced to accept that Xavier is far from his most dangerous enemy. Xavier may even hold the key to overcoming the painful past that has kept Carson prisoner for almost two decades.

Erotica & BDSM Lovers
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Exceptionally Intense.

These are the words that come closest to what I have just read.

The intensity is not so much the writing  but the events that unfolded in this latest book from Varian Krylov. This author, I have no words to describe her writing style but do recognize that her use of the written words is such that it does not leave much to the imagination. The worse thing about this story is that the main man is an anti-hero who I cannot help but be scared of, be in awe of, and just fall in love with. This is a man I could not stand in Dangerously Happy for he was a scary enigma I would not want to meet in a dark place alone or with a gang of friends. And yet I absolutely love him.

This is a story that unfolds slowly but with such surety it was hard to put down. But I did put it down. I had to take time off and take stock of what was going on, opened a few lightly written romances to buffer me from the incredible scenes that kept developing. This is a plot that is all too real and the characters are written in such a manner that it is hard to realize they are fictional. 

Why bad things?

First, it is Xavier and everyone who had met him the first time know that he is bad. And he does a lot of bad things.

Second, the whole situation of his sister and his quest to give her justice. That was just plain bad what happened and Xavier holds nothing back to get that revenge realized.

Third, Carson. Wow! I cannot reveal much but just know that his is a journey into a life that was totally unexpected and with Xavier right there with him? Whoa!

Fourth, the whole idea of human trafficking. This is an all too real subject that is scary to think about but needs to be addressed. This is a really, really bad thing.

Fifth, Xavier. It all ends and begins with this man. And his developing relationship with Carson. Their life as it unfolds in this read is such that was not only painful to read but to think about. Thing is, I recognize that this is what they both needed even if I don't like it. And that is simply what makes this work so incredible.

All the bad things happen here and yet it is impossible not to keep reading. Not to keep being scared. Not to keep going to find out the end and speculate.

Varian, you are one extraordinary writer and you scared me s****less. Yes, you really did. 

But I just loved reading this, so Thank You!



When Xavier moved in, Carson struggled against the restraints. “Fucking . . . Come on. This shit's not funny anymore.” Pleading gaze upturned from under his dark lashes.
Xavier laughed. “What's that look?”
“Come on, Xavier. I know I fucked up. Of course you're mad. But . . . come on. We're . . . ”
“What are we, Carson?”
“I thought we were . . . ”
“Did you think we were friends?” Xavier laughed. “Did you think that you sleeping on my couch and cooking me a couple meals makes us friends?”
He breathed in the smell of him. Nervous sweat rising over the scent of soap. He caressed his cheek.
Carson went dead still, then tried to mold his frightened expression into sternness. “You could go to jail for this.”
Carson's whining was getting on his nerves. Xavier lifted the lid on the chest of dark brown leather and took out the ball gag. Too funny, that perplexed expression on Carson's face, then horrified incredulity as he figured it out. Sitting on his thighs, gazing into those shimmering blue pools of terror, Xavier got it on him before he could complain much more.
Xavier grinned. “You're not the first guy I've had cuffed to this post. And that gag in your mouth isn't the only toy in my box of treasures. But it is one of my favorites, because it means I don't have to listen to a bunch of whining and begging. I mean, I love whining and begging. I get hard for whining and begging. But only for the first few minutes. Then it gets incredibly fucking tedious.
“But the thing I really love about the gag is, it's so much easier to get to know someone when they're being quiet. Just watching their face. Looking into their eyes. Without a bunch of blah, blah, lies, blah, blah rationalization to muddy the truth.”

Varian Krylov Talks: MM

What I gained – and lost – by taking a risk in writing for the MM genre.

The only reservation I had about writing Dangerously Happy—my first m/m novel—was that I might be leaving behind the faithful readers who'd known me for my het and menage writing. Not only was I anxious about being an unknown author in an untried genre, but I felt a little sad and even guilty, thinking I was writing a book that some of my longtime readers wouldn't enjoy. 

But then again, even my het and menage novels have always had elements of gay relationships and gay sex, so I hoped a lot of the people who liked After and Hurt, for example, would like Dangerously Happy and Bad Things, too. And many have.

Of course, the flip side of that is the adventure of finding a whole new circle of readers, fellow-writers, and other fans of the m/m genre. There's a fabulous, dynamic, supportive and playful community of people on Facebook, and I feel like my entree into the world of m/m has given me lots of new friends.

As for the writing, itself, as an author I thrive on exploring diverse dynamics and new situations, so it's been a blast diving into the minds of Aidan Dario, Xavier and Carson, and doing the mental dance of these relationships. One of the most interesting things about writing gay rather than hetero relationships is, I get to shed all the tropes of guy/girl sex and romance, and play with what happens in a relationship between two people free of any expectations arising from gender differences. You're stripped down to the essentials of personality, what these people want and need, and how the conflicts and affinities arise between them.

And of course, now gay porn is an important aspect of my research, so that's a bonus!

Rafflecopter Prize: Ebook copy of ‘Bad Things’ by Varian Krylov

Tour Dates/Stops
9/22: Rainbow Gold Reviews
9/23: Velvet Panic, Multitasking Mommas
9/24: Elisa - My Reviews and Ramblings
9/25: Cathy Brockman Romances
9/26: Michael Mandrake
9/29: My Fiction Nook
9/30: Amanda C. Stone
10/1: It’s Raining Men
10/2: Romance the Night
10/3: Queer Town Abbey
10/6: Decadent Delights
10/7: Wake Up Your Wild Side
10/8: MM Good Book Reviews
10/9: The Novel Approach
10/10: Parker Williams, Iyana Jenna
10/13: Nephylim, The Blogger Girls
10/14: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
10/15: Love Bytes
10/16: Inked Rainbow Reads
10/17: Prism Book Alliance, Dawn’s Reading Nook

Related Link:

eARC Review: Dangerously Happy by Varian Krylov