We are absolutely delighted to welcome a new author to Sinfully …Bey Deckard.
This incredibly talented author has completely stolen our hearts with the first book in the Baal’s Heart Trilogy …Caged. We are so happy he was able to stop by and chat to us today about Flashback’s … love ‘em or hate ‘em, let us know what you think and also enter the giveaway for your chance to win an ebook of Caged. And, don’t forget to check out our review to find out exactly why this book just blew us away!
Because I started writing out of the blue and in a genre I had never read before, every step of the way has been a learning experience. Add to that the fact that I had never really read book reviews before… Well, I made some pretty fascinating discoveries when I started reading reviews of my own books.
The first? Most folks who read MM don’t like any F in their sex scenes. At all. Total deal breaker for some. Second? That what I write (Baal’s Heart especially) is dark. I honestly didn’t think what I was writing was particularly dark, but then again, I’m too close to the story to see it objectively. Third, and the one that I’d like to talk about here, is flashbacks.
A lot of people just don’t like ‘em.
Personally, I love flashbacks. In movies/TV, I’m the one who gets a little bit excited every time I see a sepia-tinged, fuzzy-filmed flashback. The bad wigs and terrible clothes to signify that these middle-aged ladies and gents are younger versions of themselves make me smile. The sudden drop into an earlier time to reveal an interesting or critical piece of information makes me happy. I especially like it when something zips back and forth along a timeline, like HBO’s True Detective—and, judging from how popular that show was, so do a lot of other people.
So why aren’t flashbacks as welcome in books? I don’t know.
Human beings do not live in the present unless suffering from profound anterograde and retrograde amnesia, where existence becomes a series of jumps in time. The minds of most people race along their personal timelines, grabbing fragments of memory and meshing them together with new information to create a logical narrative. At the very least, this is how you’re able to perform daily tasks like reading, or buying shampoo for your hair instead of dish detergent. Then, there are the memory jumps that are triggered by your senses:
Walking down the street, you smell the cologne of an ex and are instantly transported to a memory of your lips against their throat while under an umbrella in the rain.
You see a billboard for a revamped model of an older car, and you’re suddenly a child again, sitting on the hard, carpeted bench that served as a backseat for the bright-orange Bug your dad drove.
You take a sip of Jack Daniel’s, and you remember when, at fourteen, you drank enough JD to run down the street almost naked before being the sickest you’d ever been in your young life.
I love these flashbacks in my life… they make up who I am.
When I sat down to write Caged, I knew that it had to be told in different POVs and, most importantly, flashbacks would be a way to show rather than tell the story in my head. As I bound Jon, Baltsaros, and Tom together, their pasts had to be the weft and weave that pushed the story forward. The flashbacks are important to the characters, triggered by something in the present, and an insight into what drives them. The way they are presented is also important; if it’s jarring, it mirrors the way the characters are feeling… stressed, anxious, or annoyed. The past also had to be pulled up, time and time again to show the layers of who they once were—something that becomes more important as the story progresses through the trilogy.
Since Caged lands Jon in the lap of an established “couple” (I have to put that in quotation marks for a reason, heh), there is a lot of backstory that needs to unwind over the trilogy. In each subsequent book, the pendulum of time starts to swing in bigger arcs—where you mostly have days- or weeks-back jumps in the beginning, the further you go in the story, larger jumps become more frequent… layering history and paving the way for the events that take place in the third book of the trilogy, Fated.
I don’t think I could have written it any other way, and I am ridiculously happy with the results… and, maybe, I can make some folks at least appreciate the value of a flashback, if not full-out enjoy the beauty of them as a storytelling tool. ;)
Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas by Bey Deckard
Published ~ 11th February 2014
Genre ~ M/M/M Romance, Fantasy, Historical
Sheltered and lonely, Jon's life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love and jealousy, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal's Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.
Deckard's first novel is a masterful portrayal of sorrow, hope, and passion, with a narrative that twists the reader through a world set in the Golden Age of Piracy. A thrilling look into the darker side of human nature, Caged effortlessly melds serious historical fantasy with five star erotica.
Monique & Macky Review
Monique: Macky and I have no words for this series… we were both completely awestruck with the superb writing of Bey Deckard and blown away by the brilliant story line he so cleverly captivated us with. If you like a sexy pirate or two… well actually three, with an unconventional love story and adventure on the high seas, then this book is a MUST READ. Occasionally, we come across a book that totally outshines even those five star reads, or those that sit on our favourites shelf, because there is just something about them that sits head and shoulders above all else… and Caged is a shining example of just that.
Macky: Yes, this book did shine Mo! WOW... I know it's a reviewers cliche but it really did blow me away! When you told me how fantastic it was I had to drop everything and read it with you, and oh boy did I get hooked from the moment I picked it up. I am soooo in love with pirates now!
Monique: OMG… YES!!! Pirates are now officially the new bad boys with tattoos, and It takes a pirate book to find real treasure and this book is a veritable gold mine of epic proportions. It was bloody brilliant Macky and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t tend to gravitate towards historicals, although personally I wouldn’t class it as such, as it’s not in a world we are familiar with, what would you call it.?
Macky: Honestly...I don't really know Monique, it's not that easy a book to pigeon hole. I must admit in terms of picturing the world Bey created, I was channelling vintage pirates like Blackbeard and Henry Morgan, even Long John Silver...that's how I visualised the look of them all, but you're right, it didn't really feel like a historical. It was just so exhilarating, and fantastical, that it transcended reality and the experience became a vivid, full HD buccaneer cinematic experience, so dramatic and exciting.
Monique: You are so, so right! Visually as well as literary this book was stunning, stimulating and fast paced, with twist and turns that certainly kept us on our toes, with no cliches. This definitely doesn’t fit in the formulaic fiction section. It’s like a storm at sea, dark and treacherous with the swell of emotions, and the pit of my stomach sick with compassion. These men are complex characters and Bey Deckard gives us an understanding of their complexities which enables us to understand and feel for these broken men…. it’s a beautiful disaster, a love story so profound, and their journey fraught with danger, treachery, and wanton passion… oh the passion of these men and their desire and lust was palpable. The depth of emotion floored me at times. What about you Macky, which one of these bad boys stole your heart?
Macky: Actually I don't have to think too hard about that Monique. Although I found Baltsaros charismatic and disarmingly charming, and Jon beautiful and endearing, my heart belonged to one pirate alone, and that was Tom! I loved Tom, I wanted his pirate babies I loved him so much! There was something about his cheeky yet damaged character that called to my heart. On the surface he was Jack the lad, but he was so complicated and conflicted. Sexually deviant, with an air of unpredictability and danger, he was a loose cannon, but underneath all that he was also a sad soul. His relationship with the captain was convoluted and at times hard to get a handle on. What they had was a twisted intimacy, lead by Toms need to be loved by the man who had saved him, his loyalty never in question. Yet he was also attracted to Jon even though he was a threat to his somewhat volatile relationship with Batsaros who did begin to pull away from him in favour of his beautiful young captive.
Monique: Aww Tom…bless him. He is rough around the edges Macky and seems to have no filter or understanding, and as an ex-slave his life had been a sad one, which I felt left him almost like a child, unable to reconcile his emotions with reality, having a warped sense of what’s right and wrong, constantly seeking acceptance, recognition and affection from the man he so reveres… his saviour... and you're right, his devotion is heartbreaking to watch. I found his character so misunderstood and damaged, it hurt, which is something I thought was exceptional, in that we don’t get his POV at all, only that of Baltsaros and Jon.
Macky: Absolutely. You've hit the nail on the head there Monique! And don't forget that for most of this book, the focus is mainly on Jon and Baltsaros, Jon really the central character overall.
Monique: Yes, and despite Jon’s tragic start in life Macky, there is an inner strength to him, which is probably what kept him dreaming of those far off lands that seemed so out of reach to him… but watching him grow in confidence, physical strength and playfulness, which only complimented his empathy for others, was so uplifting, it made me smile. He’s such a gentle sensitive soul, like an angel amongst demons, slowly melting their cold hearts, but at the same time absorbing some of that fire and debauchery into his own. He balances the good and the bad, looking deep into his soul to understand how his life has now changed to the brutality of the existence he now lives, which is something that excites him… namely that deliciously dark and devastatingly handsome pirate captain Baltsaros, who I know we were both drooling over when he appeared on page… the vision he conjured left me all of a dither, is that what you’d call it Macky?
Macky: OMG! That man was sex on a pirate stick Monique. Bad to the bone yet so enigmatic and with such a sensual presence, I'd definitely have marooned myself on an island with him! You could see why Jon let his defences down around Baltsaros; his charm was palpable, but he's also a man with secrets that fuel his actions. A ruthless killer… he’s an honest to goodness bloody pirate at the end of the day. Detached and callous in a world where being seen to be emotional could get you killed in an instance, he was darkly seductive.
Monique: On the flip side Macky, Baltsaros is also surprisingly gentle, well educated, and likes the finer things in life, he’s a fascinating and compelling character, deeply flawed with his bitterness and hatred stemming from his own past, none of which was his own choosing. Originally wanting to use Jon for purely mercenary reasons he ends up feeling sympathy, but what he didn’t expect was for the boy to have such a profound effect on his humanity… feelings he was unaccustomed to. And as perceptive as Jon is, he can’t read the Captain and doesn’t understand his growing affection for the man that seems to give him a confidence he’s never had. I think the man we see caring for Jon is a far cry from the ruthless pirate Captain he is. Although there is also that deadly darkness and brutality behind the composed and controlled facade that Baltsaros uses to maintain his air of indifference.
Macky: I was totally drawn into this world of Bey Deckard's Monique. It was actually hard to pull myself back into real life, I was so invested in their tangled love triangle and fascinating adventures.
Monique: I think we can both agree Macky, the empathy we felt for the characters was astounding. There was a lot of soul searching, where we saw them questioning themselves and their actions. Bey Deckard brings us three dimensional characters and captures so much raw passion, desire and emotion in his writing, all enhanced by a visual stimulus, in this breathtaking graphic adventure on the high seas. It’s as though the characters and story are part of the authors very DNA, such is the impact, growth, understanding and insight to these multifaceted men with their multilayered unconventional relationship we became so attached to. Intrigued by their strengths and weaknesses, captivated by their nuances and enthralled in their story.
All in all Macky, at the end of the day this was just a FUCKING amazing book!
Macky: Fuck yeah! Bring on Sacrificed and let's get lost in our pirates again. Monique...We NEED that book and we need it NOW!
Baal’s Heart Trilogy Reading Order and Buy Links
Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas
AMAZON GLOBAL LINK
Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires
AMAZON GLOBAL LINK
Release Date: 11th April 2015
Fated: Blood and Redemption
AMAZON GLOBAL LINK
Meet Bey Deckard
Born and raised in a small coastal town in northern Québec, Bey spent his early summers on his uncle’s boat and running wild on the beaches of the surrounding islands, lighting fires and building huts out of driftwood and fishermen’s nets. As an adult, he eventually made his way to university and earned a degree in Art History with a strong focus on Anthropology. Primarily a portrait painter and graphic artist, Bey sat down one day and decided to write about the two things that he felt most passionate about: sex and the sea.
Bey currently lives in the wilds of Montréal with his best buddy, a spotty pit bull named Murphy.
Bey Deckard is gifting to one lucky reader an e-copy of Caged… seriously, this is the best book gift you will get this year, an introduction to this simply fabulous series. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.