Saturday, August 29, 2015

I’m Not Mary Fucking Poppins!

By Kayleigh Sky (Guest Blogger)

My name sounds sweet, doesn’t it? Kayleigh Sky. Do you see me skipping through fields of wildflowers and dancing under puffy white clouds?

I need to take out an advisory. Check with your doctor before starting this or any of Kayleighs books! Proceed at your own risk!

That last statement I kind of do advise. I put it point blank on my author bio, my Facebook page, my twitter profile, and my website that I Write Dark Intense Stories. What part of that statement makes it sound like I write fluffy little love stories? None, right? So if people pick up my book and still come out scared to death of the world they’d just inhabited, what does that say about my level of darkness? Darker than dark? Darkness squared?

Okay. Just so we’re on the same page here. I. Am. Dark. In high school, I was the kid who’d pick Fahrenheit 451 over Catcher in the Rye, or A Separate Peace over Pride and Prejudice. Not that there wasn’t lovely angst in all four books, but the first of each pair offered a world just like our own, except… not. I do that in Backbone. It’s a future world but still ours. Are you scared of your world? Probably not. Hopefully not really scared. Maybe a little uneasy. Imagine you’re walking down a busy street in a familiar city or town. You have errands, a job to get to, a friend to meet for coffee. You know this place. It’s broad daylight. Pedestrians surround you. A cop is parked on the street, maybe standing on the sidewalk, talking to a shop owner. The sky is clear. All is well in the world. Then you turn the corner and… it’s all the same. Shops and cafes and people. But there’s something slightly off. You slow and people flow around you. They look back as they move on. You see the knowing looks in their eyes. You can’t see what the difference is. Maybe the sides of the buildings lean imperceptibly. Or maybe the doors are a little too narrow, the parking meters slightly out of alignment, the colors a little dull or a little too bright. The changes are minuscule, but you can sense them. A feeling of terror crawls along your skin. The eyes watching you brighten in amusement. You whirl around and race back to the other street where everything was right and good just a moment ago. You breathe in incredible relief to be back in your world again.

Do you like that sensation of instability? Of being immersed in something that isn’t what you thought it was? Then I’m looking for you, my kindred spirits. I’m on a search for my tribe. The dwellers in the dark. I wrote a post for my own blog recently called Who Wants To Brave The Dark with Me? I write stories that distress people. I am grateful that I can pull people so deeply into a story that they emerge back into the real world with relief. That means that they have felt. Maybe not what they wanted to feel. Maybe they wanted a few more spoonfuls of sugar to go with their very dark coffee, but as the title to this post clearly states, I am not Mary fucking Poppins. We all don’t want the same things. I get that. But I also know that I’m not the only dark soul out there. Come out, come out, wherever you are. You are the ones who can bear the pain and the fear of a character’s dark journey because the experience of his salvation is so blessedly joyful. An exquisite pain! You, my fellow tribe members, celebrate the power of love to open the iron gates between heaven and hell.

Do I write romance? Yes, I do. I believe that love saves and redeems. That’s the kind of love I write about. I will take you to a world where salvation is always in doubt because that’s where my guys live. But I also write Happy Ever Afters! The guy always gets the guy and all he ever dreamed of. All he was afraid to dream of. All he never had the courage to believe in. The dark is the place where the heart purges itself of all but the essence of truth. What do you really want? When you turn that corner onto a world you never imagined, what is the thing you most long to hold onto? Will you fight for it? Will you rejoice that the struggle was worth the prize? Then welcome to my world… I’ve been looking for you. :)


Blurb

Struggling to survive in a deadly new world, Brey Jamieson soon discovers that the man who holds his heart might not be willing to set it free.

A universal vaccine eradicates all known viruses from the human population, but in the wake of this miracle, a deadly new virus suddenly surfaces. As the death toll rises, people riot in panic and civilization collapses. 

Brey Jamieson, a convicted felon, is suddenly set loose in this violent new world. Desperate to reunite with his family, he sets out on a journey across the country but is captured by a brutal man who plans to sell him into slavery. 

Hank Kresnak is a cop in the new world. It is his job to preserve the law. But when he sees Brey, his belief in everything he has built his new life on begins to crumble. Memories of a dark and terrible time reawaken. He was the cop who arrested Brey, and with one look into Breys eyes, he knew his life would never be the same. He was a married man with two daughters, but he couldnt forget a man he barely even knew. Now his wife and daughters are gone, and he must struggle to save the man of his dreams from a nightmare fate.

Excerpt

The man was bent over inside the gas station. Naked. Tied down.

Fuck. A slave.

Hank gave a tug on Trixie’s reins and pushed on through scrubby brown hills. The sky was a high, flat blue and a dry, astringent smell filled the air. Hank breathed deeply, inhaling a faint tickle of dust. Below was a spit of a town—just a gas station and an unused diner.

All familiar.

His life now. But, fuck, he didn’t want to see this. He was a cop, for godsakes. He was supposed to break up fights and put bad guys away. In his old life, he knew the homeless man who rummaged in the alleyway behind the Thai Palace by name. He guarded a social worker named Joy who came to take a five-year-old in pink barrettes out of a crack house where her daddy knifed her mommy to death for forgetting to put ice in his Pepsi. He dodged a TV somebody tried to drop on his head out of a fifth floor window. He took complaints and made reports. He hauled in pimps, drug dealers and drunk and disorderlies. He went after bad guys.

Guys like Thom—who bounced and wobbled in the too-hot sun. Animated. A friendly salesman.

Laughter floated in the air.

Christ, he wanted to go get that naked man. Wanted to grab him and run off with him.

Save him.

Like he couldn’t save anybody else.

He wanted his old life back. The life with the dance recitals, soccer, movies with Beth, game night with the girls, work, bills.

He liked that life. It was a good life.

Then a company called Bio-Gen Tech came out with a vaccine called Pox Vac and for only pennies a shot, almost all viruses—flu, colds, HIV—disappeared. Conspiracy theorists claimed that Pox Vac was really nanotechnology funded by corporations to control the purchasing habits of consumers. To them, that was the only way Pox Vac could make sense. Otherwise, it was un-American. There was no profit in cures. Hank scoffed at that. The girls got their shots. Beth too, but he didn’t. Lazy, he guessed.

It didn’t matter. Life went on—piano lessons, school plays, a trip to the Grand Canyon, work.

Then Beths affair.

He didn’t like to think about that, but it was a part of the end—like summer’s last barbecues and early twilights.

Then people began to die.

They called the new virus Eve. By spring, shell-shocked survivors scattered out of almost-empty cities. Now, three years later, he lived in a half-dead world with people like Thom Donnell, the bulbous, waddling former insurance salesman, because that’s what Thom was before—a salesman. Still a salesman. Gesticulating avidly to his customers between slaps to the naked man’s ass.

It made Hank’s blood boil.

* * *

Brey didn’t know where he was anymore. He thought he used to know. But now he wasn’t sure. His face scrunched up, but he didn’t feel it. All he felt was that bar under his belly, and he wanted to get away from it, but he couldn’t. His position confused him. He didn’t like it. He couldn’t get a good breath in, and his legs shook. He was hot, too.


Lemonade, he thought. That would be good. Under the veranda by the pool. A ball game on TV.

Giants an’ Dodgers.”

No Dodgers.”

He didn’t like that voice.

Metal clanked.

Fuck, that bar hurt.

Sweat stung his eyes, and he blinked grit away. There was concrete beneath him. A concrete floor. Oil stains. Oh yeah. A garage.

His legs shook again. Fuck. Fuck. “I have to go!”

Nobody looked at him, though. His voice wouldn’t come out. Only a raspy breath that he couldn’t quite catch. Noise rang in his ears—booming, raucous, shrill.

Fuck!

He struggled, metal bit into his wrists, and the pressure on his belly made his head swim. He was tired. Too tired for this. He didn’t want to do it anymore. Shame flooded him like hot water—itching, burning and stinging. Surreal. Out of nowhere. His memories of getting here swirled with images of swimming pools, orange and yellow leaves, a cell with bars, a blue strobe light, bare dry hills and a fat man smiling brightly.

Thom.

He couldn’t remember coming here, undressing or bending over the bar. Panic fluttered inside him, and he began to pant again. Please God, please. I don’t want this. I don’t. But he wasn’t really sure of that anymore.

Stop!”

His breath rasped, and that laugh came again. High-pitched. Shrill. “Wakey-wakey.”

He thrashed. No!

One of the men grabbed onto him and slammed him against the bar. Pain burst inside, and his thoughts scattered again. He tried to grab on. Imagined a pool, lemonade, Goldy chasing tennis balls.

Sunshine.

The drone of a TV.

Beautiful things like autumn leaves.

His breath exploded. Oh please, God. Please. I wanna go home! Please, please.

But all that came out was a rasp, a whisper—“Help me”—followed by a voice that grunted in his ear. “Who’s gonna help you, pretty boy?”

Him, he thought, painlessly now, floating away again. Him.
About Kayleigh

Kayleigh Sky is a m/m erotic romance writer.

Kayleighs stories are tales of struggle and pain, loss and despair. Love is won in the battle to rise out of the depths of darkness. Victory is in the sweet bliss of happily ever after.

Once upon a time Kayleigh hid out in a cold dark garage reading a book her parents forbid her to read. She was nine years old. The book? Giovannis Room by James Baldwin, a story of love between two menwell, actually the story was a little more complicated than that, but hey, she was nine.

In the dark of the garage, a light, a passion, a sheer joy for love in all its manifestations awoke.
And love between two menHot!

Kayleighs men are often broken, always brave, and always memorable.

Social Media Links

kayleigh.sky.write [at] gmail [dot] com

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