Release Party ~ Hidden Gem ~ Boundaries

September 26, 2014


This book was a step outside several comfort zones for me. First it’s in third person, which I find very challenging because I really want to delve deeply into each characters head but find a lot of characters in one story confusing. I actually began writing Hidden Gem as first person but later changed it because I wanted to show Shane’s point of view as well as Aki’s since Aki is a very unreliable narrator.

The second challenge was the D/s portion of the book. I chatted a long time with several people in the life and perfected as much as I could before taking those things back to them to ask if I was close. Any mistakes I made in this is purely my incompetence not theirs. This is in no way meant to be a BDSM book. However Aki needs structure in his life, someone to take care of him and keep his feet on the ground. J

Paris trains all the companions and believes structure is necessary to their safety and happiness. He is also faced with the task of disciplining those who break the rules. Including the Hidden Gem’s number one companion:

The guards led him inside and up the stairs to Paris’s immaculate suite. They left him standing in the doorway and disappeared back down the stairs. No reason for them to stay. Aki wouldn’t be in this room long. Not if Paris truly meant to punish him. The dungeon was down two floors and tucked away where no one would stumble across it by accident.

Paris sat on the white leather couch, feet up, facing away from the door. The lights cast a reflection of Aki in the window as the sun was beginning to set. He glanced over his outfit again. Would Paris approve? He probably should have worn something easy to strip out of instead of dressing to impress.

“You’re early.”

Aki frowned and lowered his eyes. “I’m sorry. I can wait downstairs until you’re ready.”

“I’m not the one who needs to be ready, Misaki. I’ve been hearing a lot of not-good things about your exploits of late. Care to give me your version?” Paris rose from his seat and crossed the room to stand in front of Aki.

“I stayed out one night. I got lost. Didn’t have my phone—”

“Sounds a lot like excuses to me,” Paris interrupted. He reached out and traced Aki’s face with his fingertips. Aki closed his eyes as the feeling of a gentle rain caressed his mind. “You dressed nice.”

Aki didn’t reply.

“What do you say?”

“Thank you, Master.”

“You haven’t earned the right to call me that.”

“Sir, sorry, Sir.”

“What are your safewords?” Paris asked, probably more to remind Aki he had the option than because he didn’t know them.

“Red and yellow, Sir.”

“Hard stop and pause. I know your limits, Misaki. Do you?” Paris ran his hands across the shoulder of the sweater. “I see this couture has become your armor. That is well and fine for work, but not here. Strip and present.”

Aki moved without even contemplating the order, removing his shoes, his top, his skirt, and finally the delicate underwear he’d chosen. He folded everything in a neat pile and left them on the floor beside his feet, his phone on top of the stack. He stood shoulders straight, head down, hands gripping his elbows behind his back. The numerous windows open to the world had a flush heating his skin. Anyone could see him. Sure, they were on the second floor, but Paris had guards everywhere. Anyone could be watching him. Even the South. The nasty thought whispered through his mind as he remembered the chip that was supposedly embedded in his back.

“You’re shivering. Are you cold?” Paris asked.


“No, what?”

“No, Sir.”

“Hmm.” Paris walked around him, examining him as he had that first day. Aki had been so scrawny then and covered in scars they thought they could never get rid of. His skin had been stretched tight across his bones from starvation, making him little more than a skeleton masquerading as a person. “You’re afraid? You are afraid. Yet unapologetic.”

“I’m sorry, Sir,” Aki said quickly. His heart hammered in his chest. He’d been through this a hundred times, knew the drill, the rules. Paris couldn’t really hurt him unless Aki let him. Why was he so afraid? Memories of the camp and the torture kept filling his mind, but that was all before….

“What are you sorry for?”

“For staying out.”

“Try again.”

“I’m not sorry for seeing McNaughton.”

“Hmm.” Paris disappeared for a moment only to return with a blindfold. Aki didn’t try to stop him from tying it in place. No light filtered through the cloth at all, and for a moment Aki was disoriented.


The book has very mild D/s. It is more about Aki’s mindset and how he has chosen to survive all that has been done to him.

We all like to stay in our comfort zones. What have you done lately to push your boundaries and open up your world? How did it turn out? Best answer wins an ecopy of anything from my backlist. Winner announced at 7pm CST


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7 Responses to “Release Party ~ Hidden Gem ~ Boundaries”

  1. tea58 says:

    I cut my hair short (always had long hair). My mother didn’t talk to me for a whole month but you know what they say: when someone wants to change, hair is the first to be touched. I feel free.

  2. *Dreamer* says:

    Telling to my godson that I love him. It’s been years since last time I said it. Talking about my feelings has always been my Kryptonite but saying “I love you, too” to him, really moved me.

  3. H.B. says:

    I’m extremely introvert and not a people person but I ended up taking a job dealing with a high capacity of people. I’ve been doing it for a year and I’ve been told its opened me up a lot more and I seem to be more talkative than when I first started. I do still feel uncomfortable but the people are nice.

  4. LissaKasey says:

    Sometimes pushing ourselves to do something that makes us uncomfortable has great rewards. Sounds like you have all had a taste of that. :)

  5. alex says:

    Bying my first m/m. I’m Catholic and I’ve grown up with all the things about being gay/black/green/blue, ect.
    My parents are not racists or something but not very open-minded. I’ve always looked at people for who they were but before living and studying in another country, I had the chance to meet my BFF, my gay BFF. My father wasn’t very happy about it and for the first time in my life, I said NO! to him. He didn’t take it lightly but I’ve never looked back. I’ve more than 250 m/m books and my father thinks I’m a lesbian.
    But, who cares?

  6. Trix says:

    I’m going to have to set up a website soon, which unnerves me…aside from commenting on book blogs with a nickname, I generally dread that stuff! :-)

  7. Kejara says:

    Dancing on the theaters has always been my dream but before, I had to go to a therapist for four years because I was scared to death: failing was something that would have killed me. I still am a bit scared to fail or worse, FALL! but, dancing is something that makes me feel alive.

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