My international guest list is overflowing with talented authors. This week is no exception as I welcome Sage Marlowe to On the Bench. I first became aware of Sage’s books through our links with Total E Bound and very soon I had placed Sage on my ‘must read’ authors list.
I would appreciate it though if Sage would hurry up and finish Book Three in the Romeo and Julian Series – I need to know what happens! So please welcome the newest member to the team…
Sage Marlowe is on the Bench
Sage is a multi-published author of gay erotic romance and loves taking romance to the edge. The edge of passion, the edge of pleasure, the edge of propriety.
Hopelessly in love with books from a very early age on, Sage has dreamt of writing one for years while working on the day job instead. It took a very persistent character in the company of a much-adored Muse to finally get the first novel going. The fact that this gorgeous guy was gay came as a bit of a surprise, but it explained a lot.
Ever since, Sage has been the willing slave to all the fascinating guys who just keep queuing up and want their stories told. This has resulted in several published books and countless manuscripts at various stages of completion, so there’s always something to work on—preferably at night when the rest of the house is asleep.
Sage’s characters often have a dramatic and sometimes traumatic past and need to battle some demons to be with the one they love. But don’t worry, they get quite a lot of naughty action along the way to keep them happy and there will always be a happy end!
When best-selling author Chester Banning requires inside information on the life of a forensic pathologist, he comes across an enticing yet rather unwilling study subject in the shape of sinfully attractive Dr Nicolas Sheridan.
After a hot and slightly unsettling one night stand, Sheridan turns out to be as inapproachable as he is intriguing but clearly not interested in intensifying the liaison. Chester however finds himself falling head over heels in love and doesn’t rest until he succeeds in cracking Sheridan’s icy shell. What he discovers underneath is a man who is well capable of love and affection but caught up in a web of lies spun by his abusive and possessive partner, Jake Simmons.
Led to believe that he is responsible for the death of his past lover, Sheridan’s sense of guilt makes him tolerate the mistreatment he receives from Jake and seek punishment in self-harm.
Will the love and support Chester can give be enough to help Sheridan free himself from the demons that haunt him or is all Chester can do watch him go further down the road to self-destruction?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, self harm and sexual aggression
Chester Banning was in a good mood. He loved it when things went according to plan and, so far, everything had gone exactly as planned. Travelling had, as usual, left him with lots of new impressions and a few ideas and the hotel he’d booked himself into was just the way he liked it. Now all he needed to make the day perfect was a decent drink or two and some less decent company.
He dressed in his favourite jeans and shirt, left the hotel and the day started going downhill. It took him half an eternity to find a promising location and, when he finally did, the place was far from his usual venue. It was dodgy and run-down, with a clientele to match. Chester went to the bar anyway, ignoring the curious glances that checked him out, and ordered a vodka martini. He met the bartender’s smirk with a smile and a shrug. Awfully cliché, but still his favourite. Leaning on the bar, he took some time to scan the crowd. He wasn’t too impressed with what he saw and was already halfway through his drink and two-thirds on the way to just calling it a night and leaving when he spotted exactly what he was looking for. Tall, dark-haired and dressed in clothes that had probably cost more than the average weekly income of any of the other guys present, the man was as much out of place as Chester himself. A perfect match. His most charming smile fixed to his face, Chester leisurely walked to the quiet corner of the bar where the man sat, broodily nursing his drink. He took a moment to study the profile in close-up and found he still liked what he saw.
“Hi, there,” he said when he had waited long enough to be sure that the other man was aware of his presence and must be expecting him to say something. “You had me wondering, you know.”
A sharp inhalation of air was the only sign he got that the man had even heard him. Not the reaction he’d hoped for but he decided not to let that stop him.
“I couldn’t help but notice you. Seems we’re both in the wrong place.”
At last the man turned his head and glared at him, making Chester flinch with the indignant annoyance he displayed. Chester was pretty sure his gaydar had picked up the signals correctly, so maybe the guy was just a bit weary of being hit on. The way he looked he could have had men queuing for a chance to chat him up if he made a little more of an effort. His hair was a bit past the right time for a cut and he hadn’t bothered shaving but he was undeniably handsome. A delicate bone structure with high, well-defined cheekbones set the perfect frame for a pair of the most striking, silver-grey eyes Chester had ever seen. The man rested those amazing eyes on Chester with an expression of stony amusement and a hint of curiosity before he finally said, “You are definitely in the wrong place. A couple of hundred miles considering your accent.”
Chester smiled and nodded. “Yeah, I know. I’m here because of my job. I’m a writer, you see, and I’m doing some research for my new book.” Chester didn’t usually brag and found it a bit cheap to rely on that line, but it had got him laid more than once before.
“Must be a brilliant book if it’s anything to do with this place,” the man grumbled under his breath, his words dripping with sarcasm.
“Well, I hope it will be.” Chester held out his hand. “I’m Chester, by the way, and you are…?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. My mistake. I didn’t realise you were bored. Maybe I can help you change that,” he said smoothly.
Surprised, the man blinked and then, to Chester’s relief, his mouth curved into a reluctant smile. He gave a tight, appreciative nod. “Nice one.”
“I really hope you’re talking about me.”
The man’s smile widened just a fraction as he gave Chester a quick once-over. He was clearly trying not to let on what he thought but there was a giveaway glitter in his eyes. Just a moment later, he shook his head. “You’re wasting your time.” He picked up his drink again, a signal to Chester that he was dismissed.
“Too bad. I could’ve made it worth your while.” About to turn away, Chester hesitated. He just couldn’t resist.
“By the way, considering your accent, you got misplaced by about four hundred miles yourself. What is it? London, right? Somewhere in Norf London unless I’m very much mistaken.” Probably followed by a rather expensive university.
Something flared up in those grey eyes. It might have been regret or even hurt but it was gone too fast for a definite identification. “Not bad.”
“Oh, come on, I deserve more than that. You didn’t exactly say much.”
“Finchley.” There was a trace of gloom in the sigh that made up these two syllables.
“Nice place,” Chester smiled. “I used to have a boyfriend up there.” No squirming at the word. So I did have you right. Maybe we’re getting somewhere, after all. “Sure you don’t want to change your mind, Mr Finchley?” Chester asked eventually.
Review from TwoLips Reviews (5 Lips):
“…This story has a great pace and storyline; if you’re a bit squeamish, you might cringe in a few places, but I really felt this story needed the grittiness and darkness to work…”
Now for the fun bit with my usual Author interview Questions.
What was the first book you had published?
My debut novel was Sub-Mission, a story that raises the question of how far a person is willing to go to save the one they love in more ways than one. There’s Noah, a devoted single dad who would do anything in his power to rescue his daughter but ends up being traumatised by what he does. Then there’s Pierce, the secret romantic who falls for Noah. He is willing to take a lot to help Noah fight his demons but has to realise that what Noah needs is more than he can give. It’s a powerful story about love and devotion, with beautifully flawed and broken characters.
What was your initial reaction when offered that first contract?
Something close to having a heart attack, I think. Breaking a sweat, heart pounding and slight dizziness. *D – Lol!
Of the books you have written is there one that hold a special place in your heart and why?
All my books hold a special place in my heart, but each one for a slightly different reason. Sub-Mission will always be special as it was my first and Noah’s strength in the face of his ongoing battle never fails to humble me. The Ink, Sweat and Tears series also stands out. The first book had only ever been intended to be a stand alone novella but I ended up writing two more volumes because the story just wasn’t over yet. And yes, I had and still have a huge crush on Caelan, as apparently most people have who read the books. Knives & Feathers is special because it was one of the books where the plot and characters grabbed me to an extent that was scary. Sheridan’s pain and despair made me ache for him and both my editor and I cried over it. I think I better stop here but really, all my stories are special in their own way.
Are you a disciplined writer or do you have to wait for the muse to arrive? Do you have a ritual that gets you in the mood?
I’m very lucky as I have a generous muse who requires nothing more than my attention to come out and play with me. Well, and sometimes he gets impatient and just grabs me and makes me write regardless of what’s going on. I’ve been known to write steamy sex scenes in the doctor’s waiting room.
What was the last book you read?
Stolen Summer by the very talented SA Meade.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just completed a novel titled Fantasy for Sale. It’s a fairly sinister story about a male escort with a serious trauma in his past and his way back into the light, so to speak.
One of the next projects for me to work on will probably be a follow-up on the story of Tyler and Connor who had a promising start in Re-Submission as well as a new MM paranormal series with the working title Nightmares. *D – Not happy Sage, what about Romeo and Julian? Where is book 3?
What genre would you like to try and write that is different from your own?
I’d love to write a good, old-fashioned who-dunnit with lots of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the end.
When you receive edits are you Teary and Disillusioned or Feisty and Focussed?
I love edits. I enjoy constructive feedback on my work and consider editorial criticism a great chance to fix an error I might have made. Also, as I don’t use beta-readers, my editor is the first person who gets to read my books and it’s good to know if what I’ve written actually makes sense for someone else.
What is the one thing in your books you’d like to try?
Hm, I think I can safely say that I have tried everything in my books that I would like to try…
Now for some hard hitters with an Aussie flavour!
A sport /sportsperson that you watch? (C’mon there must be one) OR An embarrassing sporting memory.
Hmm. Sport I watch? I try to avoid sport wherever I can but I like figure skating and love eventing. Sadly, there is no sportsperson I keep an eye on—oh, wait there is. Stuart Reardon, although I’ve only ever seen him in modelling shots. Ahem. *D – A rugby union player, nice choice Sage.
Favourite Aussie Author/Actor /Musician?
Oh, good one—Hugh Jackman (I hear he gets mentioned a lot…) *D – I think if I did a poll on that question he would be well in the lead.
Your view on Vegemite?
I don’t know it. If its anything like Marmite then my view is very uh, unfavourable. * D – Tsk Tsk!
Formal dinner party or backyard barbeque?
Totally backyard barbeque.
Adventure holiday or relaxing by the pool?
A mixture of both. Exploring the area in the mornings, then a few hours relaxing by the pool, preferably with a book.
Favourite Aussie holiday place or one you’ve always wanted to visit?
I’d love to visit any place in Australia where there are no spiders, giant bugs or poisonous snakes. I’m a bit of a whimp when it comes to creepy crawlies. Okay, seriously, I’d love to visit Australia. Period. * D – you mean like this one? Wimp!
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