Lisa: We’re so pleased to have the writing team of Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott here with us today to celebrate the release of the fourth book in their Unbreakable Bonds series, Devour.
Welcome to TNA, Jocelynn and Rinda! I want to start with a question about the series title. What does it signify—is there a deeper meaning to Unbreakable Bonds other than what we might infer?
Jocelynn/Rinda: Unbreakable Bonds represents the bonds the four men feel for each other as well as the bonds they create with each individual love interest. Made families can be the best kind and when we picked the series name, we knew this series would be about the main four as much as it would be each romance.
Lisa: Along the same lines, how do the titles of the books—Shiver, Shatter, Torch and Devour—each play into their respective storylines?
Jocelynn/Rinda: Shiver-Represents the name of the nightclub in the opening of the story and the physical reaction Lucas and Andrei have when one touches the other.
Shatter-Represents what happens to Snow’s world when a psycho from the men’s past returns as well as how the walls he’s built around himself disintegrate when Jude smashes through them.
Torch-Represents what happens to the men’s world as pyromaniacs are setting their places on fire and the love that Rowe and Noah have carried for each other for many years.
Devour-Represents what finally happens to the main villain’s entire world. This one has two other meanings as well. One, it’s a word we associate with food and Ian’s life revolves around that. But it also perfectly explains the all-consuming passion between Ian and Hollis.
Lisa: Tell us a little bit about Ian Pierce and Hollis Banner. What makes them tick? And, for that matter, what makes them click?
Jocelynn/Rinda: Ian has had a horrific past and he used cooking to get through it. He left that past behind, but not his love for cooking and instead of using it as an escape as he did then, it’s now his way of caring for those he loves. He has a big heart, a strong sense of right and wrong, he loves to cuddle, and he has a deep well of strength that’s kept him going even in the worst of times. He also has a thing for expensive clothes—something Hollis teases him about but secretly loves.
Hollis feels like he’s the opposite of Ian. He’s a Georgia boy who isn’t into clothes and can’t cook. He loves old cars, classic rock, and casseroles. He became a cop when his best friend, another gay teen, disappeared and the police didn’t seem to care. He worked in missing persons until he worried it was tearing his soul apart and though he moved to another section of police once he settled in Cincinnati, he’s inspired to return when he has a chance to get back at the man who hurt Ian.
What makes them click? Attraction, respect…and a LOT of passion. 😉
Lisa: The last time you were here with us, I asked if you had the series plotted out to a specific number of books. At the time, you’d said your plans were for four books, for sure. Is that still the case? Is Devour the final book? Or in the writing of the series, have you come up with inspiration for more?
Rinda: Yes, Unbreakable Bonds had an overall story arc that concludes in Devour. We still have two short story compilations for Rowe and Ian that will be coming out later this summer. But we love this world we’ve built so much, we’re doing a spin-off series called Ward Security. And…well…we’re kicking around the idea of more books featuring our main Unbreakable Bonds characters. That’s not for sure—it’s just talk at this point. We’re just having trouble letting our boys go.
Jocelynn: Oh, come on! You know that you want that one thing to happen Ian and Hollis, and we really need to see Lucas with that one thing. And well, Snow…
This is how it goes with us. Every time one person starts to maybe think that we should close the book on the Unbreakable Boys, the other thinks of a fantastic reason to maybe, possibly do another round of books for each of the boys. We love them very much and they are hard to let go of. I think after we write a few Ward Security books we’ll be able to make a “final” decision regarding more Unbreakable Boys books.
Rinda: See? I send this to her and she’s GOTTA argue with me. (We live for that…)
Lisa: Is there a scene in Devour that stands out as one that was particularly satisfying to write? If so, tell us a bit about it and what made it so.
Rinda: Oh, hard question. I love the way Hollis likes to cart Ian around. So sexy. There are actually many scenes I love! But probably the final scene because it’s one that will tug the heartstrings and involves every man in this unconventional family.
Jocelynn: I think I’m torn on this one. Lucas and Andrei are my heart and soul, so I think the most heartbreaking/satisfying one is where Lucas finally faces Andrei after the events of Torch. But I have to admit the scene where Ian faces down Jagger is tied with it for heartbreaking/satisfying.
Lisa: Okay, let’s go off topic a bit and have some non-writing fun.
If you had to choose between becoming a superhero or supervillain, which would you choose and why? And, what would your superpower be?
Rinda: I’d be a superhero. I’m a fixer and way too freaking nice to be a villain. Trust me, it can be a problem. My superpower? I’d love to be able to heal but I can imagine that’s one I’d have to keep very secret. Maybe heal in a way that wouldn’t reveal I was the one doing it. Otherwise privacy would be gone. I’d stealth heal. Hahaha
Jocelynn: And this is why we’re so perfect together. I’d definitely go supervillain. And my superpower would be pyromancy. Yeah, I’d be able to burn anything and everything with just a wave of my hand. Cuz sometimes you just gotta watch the world burn.
Lisa: If James Corden invited you to Carpool Karaoke with him, what song would you sing, and why would you choose it?
Rinda: And now, I’m contradicting my last answer. “Criminal” by Fiona Apple. I love the song, know all the words and it’s in my limited voice range. (I can pretend to be a bad girl!) Or “The Pot” by Tool. I’d mangle it voice wise, but I’d do my best to wail because I love all things Tool.
Jocelynn: HA! I have zero voice, but if I could belt out anything, I think it would be “Silent All These Years” by Tori Amos, “Try” by Pink, or “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters.
Lisa: If you could be any fictional character in the history of literature, who would you like to be and why?
Rinda: I’m going with my gut answer and he’s technically a television character, but there are novelizations… Doctor Who. Live forever and see if the future does in fact, get better. Like it is in TNG. Uh oh, my SF nerd is showing…
Jocelynn: From classical literature, I’d have to go with Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. I love her strength mixed with a quiet vulnerability and her deep love of her sisters. From something more current, I think I’d have to go with Mira from my own Dark Days series. She’s a badass vampire, she can wield fire, and she has a madly passionate love affair with a super sexy vampire hunter. What’s not to love?
Lisa: Thanks so much for being here with us today, ladies. It’s been great chatting with you, and congratulations on the release of Devour!
Jocelynn/Rinda: Thank you so much for having us!
About the Book
Ian Pierce is the chef and part owner of the hottest restaurant in Cincinnati, his chosen family is full of happy relationships, and the scruffy, snarky cop who has been haunting his dreams is one step closer to being in his bed. But everything comes crashing down when the past he narrowly escaped nine years ago comes to a deadly head.
Hollis Banner was enamored of Ian at first sight. He’s kept his distance, knowing the gorgeous, self-confident man is out of his league. Yet there’s no standing aside when Boris Jagger escapes a raid. Jagger’s world has been nearly destroyed and this time, the crime boss is coming after Ian and his friends personally.
Hollis will do whatever it takes to keep Ian safe as they escape to a safe house with a couple of Ian’s overprotective friends. And Ian finds himself in a race to unlock painful memories—memories containing information that could take down the very last of Jagger’s illegal operations forever.
Trigger warning: Flashbacks to abuse could be possible triggers for some.
About the Authors
Rinda Elliott: I write in many genres, always with a love story in the mix. That love story can be M/F, M/M, or M/M/F. I tend to read more M/M than anything else and am slowly transitioning to writing a lot more of it. I’m also an AVID reader and even follow a few fandoms. I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children.
Jocelynn Drake: A former Cincinnati native, Jocelynn briefly lived in the wintery wonderland of Wisconsin before mounds of snow had her running for the sun-kissed beaches of South Florida. She started writing when she was 12, spending one summer re-writing the story of Robin Hood because it really needed a kick butt female character. Since those early days, she’s written fantasy, romance, horror, science-fiction, and just about everything in between. It’s all about creating a great story.
When not writing, she can been found with her nose buried in a good book, fulfilling the role of evil Dungeon Master for her D&D group, traveling to interesting locations, or relaxing with family and friends.