Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 4

January 3, 2015


Good afternoon and welcome back to our Sweet Fire release blog party.  Thanks so much to the folks at Dreamspinner to let us pig up so much time here.

Shannen and I love to go to writer conventions. Gay or straight, romance or scifi, we enjoy them all. Besides soaking in all the information and the creative energy floating around those places, we love basking in the reflected glory of our favorite authors and we get a charge out of doing our part to pull LGBTQ fiction into the mainstream light. This is us at the Emerald City conference in Seattle in October.

Ecw 2014 book fair 2

Unfortunately the only picture we have is a little too close and you can’t see the other end of the table, where our Sweet Fire cover presided in full poster size glory over our pile of cream puff recipe cards. (And yes, the color of the photo is true – Shannen really does have purple hair. It matches her Edge of Chaos tattoo.)

Sitting there at our little split personality table with m/f on one end and m/m on the other, we got a lot of questions about why we would choose to write both, or why two women would choose to write m/m at all.  The answer to that is pretty easy.  We write love stories. Not gay love stories or straight love stories or LGBTQ love stories.  We just find characters we like bouncing around in the chaos of our brains and we write the stories they need us to write.

Our first novel, Healer, is m/f and that female character had been in my head in one form or another for decades.  In the process of writing that book, we discovered Aaron Flores.  Aaron was our heroine’s cousin, a secondary hero with awesome pyro-kinetic power who risked his life and his freedom so his beloved cousin Alex could have her own freedom and a chance at love.  He wanted that Happily-Ever-After for himself too and before we even finished the first book we were looking for ways to get it for him. As Aaron is out and proud, that’s where the story needed to go.  It really is that simple. We love Aaron. Aaron loves men. We found him a hot one.  The fact that the studly Ramón Del Rio, Alex’s EMT partner, was available was Aaron’s lucky break. Lucky in more ways than one, as Ramón turned out to be a bad-ass martial artist in his own right and didn’t hesitate to step up and play guardian angel as needed.


The oven turned out to be too old and battered for Aaron to bother with, and something about the owner made Aaron pat his pocket to make sure the cash he’d brought to buy it was still there when he and Ramón stepped back onto the sidewalk.

“I’d say I’m sorry for dragging you down here for nothing, but that would be a lie.”

Ramón stopped walking. Aaron kept going for a couple of steps before he realized he’d left his companion behind. Turning around, he found Ramón staring at him, a troubled expression on his handsome face. Aaron wanted to brick his own mouth shut.

“Aaron, I don’t….” A movement behind him had Aaron reaching out a hand to stop him. Ramón stared at Aaron for a minute, then followed his gaze over his shoulder and turned quickly around.

Two young men swaggered down the sidewalk toward them. A quick glance the other way showed a third crossing the street and closing in on the other side. All three men wore baggy jeans and dark hooded sweatshirts, and Aaron doubted very much they were headed for the theater. Shit. I guess they weren’t kidding about this neighborhood at night.

Once again Ramón took on his bodyguard role, reaching back to ease Aaron behind him as he turned his back to the wall so he could keep an eye on all three men. Cars sped by, oblivious, on Third Avenue a block away, but not a single car moved on their silent street. As the three men closed in, one of them put a hand conspicuously in his right jacket pocket. Aaron leaned forward and laid a hand on Ramón’s back. He kept his voice to a bare murmur.

“Maybe a gun, on the right.”

Ramón nodded slightly. “Got it.”

“It’s just money, Ramón. I don’t want you getting hurt over it.”

The man in the center, his hair caught in a ragged red braid, grinned a nasty, jagged smile. His voice was as rough as his teeth.

“Listen to your boy toy, big man. You wouldn’t want to get hurt now.”

The goon to the right moved his hand in his pocket, making sure again that they didn’t miss the motion.

“I think you boys got somethin’ we want, yeah? Give it up.”

Aaron pulled out his wallet. Ignoring Ramón’s attempts to corral him behind his bigger body, Aaron removed a fifty and held it out to the man on his left. The man sneered at the cash with contempt.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure you got more than that, pretty boy. Where’s the rest of it?”

Ramón growled. “Fuck you. Take it and go.” He reached back without looking, took the money, and held it out in front of him, again putting himself between Aaron and the other men.

Damn, that’d be annoying as hell if it wasn’t so hot. Behind him, Aaron braced himself, all his attention on the pocket of the creeper on the right. If that gun came out, he wanted to be ready.

The thug in the center stepped forward one more step. “Don’t bother handing over the money, asshole. I think we’ll just take what we want.”

The gun came out, and, predictably, Ramón shifted to the right. Goddammit, you’re not taking a bullet for me. Aaron stepped right too and reached out with his Gift.

“Fuck!” the gunman swore as Ramón moved. The gun clicked impotently even as a large brown hand closed over it. Almost faster than Aaron’s eyes could follow, Ramón’s right elbow hit the gunman hard across the face, followed even faster by the back of Ramón’s right hand, now weighted by the heavy black weapon. Aaron turned his attention to the other two goons, and while Ramón’s brutal kick to the reeling gunman’s gut sent the man sprawling on the sidewalk, two small blue balls of fire came to life on Aaron’s open palms. Ramón shifted rapidly to face the two men and keep himself protectively in front of Aaron.

The two remaining muggers scrambled to stop their forward motion, staring wide eyed from the impossible fireballs burning on Aaron’s hands to the still form of their buddy sprawled on the sidewalk. Ramón brought their own gun to bear on them with both hands, and that was all it took. The two goons pelted desperately back down the street away from their targets, abandoning their partner without a backward glance.

Aaron closed his hands, dousing the small fireballs even as his valiant defender lowered the gun and turned to face him. Aaron didn’t give Ramón so much as a moment to catch his breath before he threw his arms around the man’s neck and pressed their mouths together in an exuberant kiss.



My son, Shannen’s younger brother Derek, is a martial artist himself, which has turned out to be pretty handy for us.  He choreographs all our fight scenes so we know we’re using moves that would actually work in real life and he’s started doing the same for our author friends.  Fun stuff. Any other martial artists out there?  Tell us what you practice and why you like it for an entry to the drawing.

Check out Healer and see where Aaron and Ramón started out.

SMP_Healer_SarahShannenBrady_200x300 50 percent       SweetFire Cover small

I love how these two covers, by different artists and publishers, fit together.  The two books are the beginnings of two related series.   Click on the covers for buy links.

7 Responses to “Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 4”

  1. Trix says:

    I’ve never done martial arts, though I’m fascinated by capoeira and other forms that have a dance element…

  2. H.B. says:

    I’ve never done martial arts. I’ve thought about it but it always seemed like a lot of work and effort. Also I don’t think I would feel comfortable in a room full of people also training.

  3. Angela says:

    I don´t practice martial arts either, but i love films that have a martial arts theme.

  4. JJ says:

    I’ve read some stories with actions scenes that were confusing to me, and which could have used research such as what you did with your brother. I like to watch or read about martial arts in books or TV, but I have no training in it.

  5. missy1980 says:

    Loved the excerpt and I wish I could go to destroy guys next year. I really like the book cover

  6. Missy1980 says:

    MEET not DESTROY!! **facepalm**
    I know kung fu so I love books/movies about art martials:)))

  7. SBradyBooks says:

    If you like to watch self defense stuff, check out this video on youtube. It’s a self defense class taught by my son Derek and his Martial Arts master. Derek is the guy in the gray camo shorts and I’m the big woman in burgundy who gets to beat up his padded self. (There’s something therapeutic about being encouraged to smack your teenager as hard as you can. Makes up for all the times you want to and can’t.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWiNlnnNapg

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