Please join us in welcoming author Amelia C. Gormley today, on the tour for her new novel, Risk Aware. Enjoy this exclusive excerpt, and then be sure to check out the giveaway details below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of the Strain series.
Hi, and welcome to the RISK AWARE blog tour!
RISK AWARE is probably the longest single writing project I’ve ever undertaken. I started working on the concept in the spring of 2013, not long after I finished writing SAUGATUCK SUMMER. Geoff and Robin first appeared as minor characters—already in an established relationship—in SAUGATUCK SUMMER and I wanted to pursue their backstory.
Disabled people aren’t generally featured in BDSM fiction, and the sorts of BDSM usually portrayed is largely focused on activities that could be injurious—if not actually fatal—to someone with Geoff’s condition. The story concept gave me an opportunity to examine several things we don’t often see in erotic romance. But it also meant I had to step far outside my own personal sphere of knowledge and experience on multiple levels. Which meant research was required.
Lots and lots of research.
The upshot is that the book took me over two years to write. If you’ve followed my posts on other blog tours in the past, you’ll know that’s highly unusual for me. I wrote SAUGATUCK SUMMER—a longer book—in about fifteen days. A lot of this is because I kept setting the manuscript aside to work on other projects and then taking a while to get back into things. But most of it is that getting it right required so much effort. So it’s particularly gratifying to finally get to share it with everyone who has been waiting for Geoff and Robin’s story, and also with people who may just be coming into the Saugatuck universe.
So thank you for being here!
About the Book
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 310 Pages
Categories: BDSM, M/M Romance, Contemporary Romance, Drama
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Blurb: Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?
Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.
Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.
I had pushed my knee to the limit, but it hadn’t turned into a bleed, thank God. I gathered up my supplies: the factor in the refrigerator, the sterile water, the alcohol swabs and tourniquet and butterfly needles. It was a lengthy process, gently mixing the factor with the water, filling the syringe, locating a vein without too much scarring, and inserting the needle with practiced ease.
Jace returned to the room, flushed and sweaty but alone, as I was putting everything away and cleaning up. He took one look at my face and blinked.
“Have a good time?” I asked mildly.
He snorted, his dark eyes dancing. “Not as good as you, apparently. How long since you did your prophy?”
I closed my eyes and hung my head, laughing softly at myself. “Um, I think it’s been three days. Maybe four.”
Jace sighed. “Okay, I’m not your fucking babysitter, but come on, dude.”
“I know. I just can’t seem to get into the habit of remembering to do it every other day. Hemo kids nowadays grow up with that routine, but I didn’t.” I was courting a lot more trouble than I needed to by forgetting. The reduction in spontaneous bleeds that came with having factor levels approaching normal meant, among other things, far less joint damage early in life, less arthritis later on. But acquiring the habit and following it with diligence was only part of my problem.
I was tired enough of my own bullshit to admit that was an excuse. The fact was, each time I infused, I was conceding that I was different. That I couldn’t function normally without my medication. Instead of accommodating that reality, I lived like I had when I was a kid—restricting my activities, favoring injury prevention over prophylaxis.
I crossed over to the sofa and stretched out on it, curled up on my side. After watching me for a beat, Jace urged me up and sat down, letting me lay my head on his lap. He smelled like sex, but then I probably did too. I was tired, both from the sex and the sleepless night before, and I was feeling absurdly fragile. I’m not ashamed to admit I can be a cuddler when I get to that place, and Jace is mellow enough to indulge me. For all that he was younger than me, in some ways he felt like the doting older brother I could pour out my heart to. Maybe because he always saw so much and nothing seemed to put him off, so there was nothing I couldn’t say to him.
“What’s going on?” He stroked my hair. A moment’s hesitation as he examined my part told me I had a bruise on my scalp where Robin had pulled. He hadn’t even been that rough.
“Same shit.” I sighed. “How do you stop being humiliated by the fact that you can’t do what everyone else can, at least not without a lot more hassle? More importantly, how do you convince people not to see you as broken or defective because you can’t?”
“Looks like you solved that one at least.”
I flicked a glance over my shoulder to see him grinning.
“The dark of night hides many sins.” I smiled ruefully. “If he were to see me now, he’d run screaming for the hills.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Yeah, I do. Past experience. Should I regale you with tales of some of the ridiculous boo-boos that got me sidelined in gym class as a kid because my mother put the fear of God—or at least a lawsuit—into my school principal?”
“There are always exceptions to every rule.” Jace shrugged. “How will you ever find them unless you keep testing it?”
“I dunno. Sometimes I’m not sure the letdown is worth it.”
“Yeah, but is the potential reward?”
“Maybe?” I rolled onto my back, elevating my legs on the arm of the sofa, stretching out. “If I ever find one of those exceptions, I’ll let you know.”
He tapped once on the bruise on my scalp.
“Why not start here?” he asked. “Clearly there’s already someone out there whose default position is that you won’t break.”
I touched my lips, feeling the swelling there. “And if he is turned off by the reality?”
“Well.” He shrugged again. “What do you have at present that you’ll have lost, in that case?”
“Just my pride.” I sighed and closed my eyes, falling silent until Jace nudged me out of my half sleep and urged me to bed.
About the Author
Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the 4th grade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice issues, and pretty men.
When her husband and son aren’t interacting with the back of her head as she stares at the computer, they rely on her to feed them, maintain their domicile, and keep some semblance of order in their lives (all very, very bad ideas—they really should know better by now.) She can also be found playing video games and ranting on Tumblr, seeing as how she’s one of those horrid social justice warriors out to destroy free speech, gaming, geek culture, and everything else that’s fun everywhere.
To celebrate the release of Risk Aware, Amelia is giving away an ebook copy of the Strain series. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 14, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!