We’re so pleased to welcome author Lynn Kelling today, on the tour for her new book Caged Jaye, the prequel to Arctic Absolution. Enjoy Lynn’s guest post, and then be sure to check out the giveaway details below.
Beyond Good Vs Bad
Some stories separate the characters into two groups – those who are good, and those who are bad. The good guys always strive to do the right thing, they have pangs of conscience when they make a mistake, and regret doing wrong. On the other hand, the bad guys might have some positive qualities in order to make them more sympathetic to the reader. But mostly? They suck.
My latest release, Caged Jaye, goes way beyond these neat distinctions. One reason for this is because real life isn’t divided up this way either. Everyone has done things they’re not proud of, things that might even horrify those who think they know us well. Even someone guilty of the most evil acts imaginable might also be a devoted spouse or a diligent provider for and caretaker of their family, along with any number of noble characteristics. Individual acts don’t – and shouldn’t – solely define us. Is a single bad choice enough to condemn someone to a lifetime of the harshest criticism and punishment?
Our legal system thinks so.
Whether we like it or not, our society is set up in such a way that one incident can mean long-term or even lifelong incarceration in a federal penitentiary. This dynamic is why the main character of Caged Jaye – Jaye Larson, himself – is ripped away from his life as a hardworking, impoverished boyfriend, son, neighbor and teenager. One attack sends his life into a tailspin. Without warning or a single way he could have avoided his fate, he’s faced with a daily fight for his survival.
Jaye starts out as a good guy, but life behind bars places him in many situations that test his resolve. When the only options are to fight or die, and fighting back might mean crossing several moral lines, the clear divisions between right and wrong melt quickly away. Does Jaye finish the story as a good guy? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
On the other hand, we have Cash and the Disciples, a prison gang with its roots deeply entrenched in FCI Sheridan, the federal penitentiary where Jaye carries out his sentence. They’re thugs and proudly identify as such. Their crimes are badges of honor which reward them with wealth and respect. Are they bad guys? By most definitions, sure. But as the story builds, and Jaye learns more about who the Disciples are – and Cash in particular – paper-thin labels are torn away to reveal a more complex truth hiding beneath. Cash is the boss of the Disciples, to whom Jaye barters himself and continued full use of his body in exchange for protection. Cash bears scars, brands and tattoos as proud makers of his acts. He’s a scary guy whom the others fear, and with good reason. But when Jaye is pushed past breaking points, and there’s nothing holding him together other than his faith in Cash, deeper layers of who Cash is are revealed for scrutiny.
My goals in writing this story were several. One was to present Jaye’s story in a way that was as pure, unfiltered and raw as possible. I wanted my readers to be there with him, in the dark confines of his cell, without a spark of hope that someone else was coming along to save him. Another goal was to have my readers questioning everything and everybody – the people Jaye leaves behind, his attackers, the guards, the other inmates, the Disciples, and Cash most of all. Every single one of them does some awful things. Who will be forgiven? Whose actions are understandable? Whose aren’t, and why? Who are we to judge, after all?
Does Cash do terrible things? Yeah, all the time. Do those actions define who he is? No, not really. I went into this wanting my readers to question their initial dislike of Cash. I want them to break him out of his box and let him be bigger and stranger than that. I want them to question the ways we allot forgiveness and judgment. Most of all, I want them to see that no matter who people are, or what might lurk in their past, by extending just a little more kindness and compassion, it lifts us all up into a better place.
About the Book
Book Title: Caged Jaye
Author: Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Book’s Publication Date: 4/12/16
Blurb: It’s Jaye Larson’s nineteenth birthday, and all he wants is to spend time with his boyfriend, Kris, and his mother — the people he loves most, who make life worth living. But faced with his mother’s demons, the imperfections of his relationship with Kris, and dangerous, homophobic strangers, one by one, all of Jaye’s dreams are soon derailed. Plunging into a waking nightmare, shortly after going to bed alone, Jaye wakes in an alley, pinned down by two men with slow, bloody rape and murder in mind. It’s just the start of Jaye’s fight for his life, and his sanity, as time and time again, he’s forced to make impossible choices to survive, no matter what it costs.
Also in This Series
Arctic Absolution: Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon is seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. He tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart—not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance. But temptation entangles them as the malicious ghosts of Jaye’s past return to haunt their every step. Jaye’s ghosts are bad enough, but the demon from Dixon’s past is real enough to put both of their lives in danger.
Story Page: Forbidden Fiction
About the Author
Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over seventy works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.
Follow the Tour
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