We are so pleased to welcome the two lovely ladies that make up the writing team of K.A. Merikan to Sinfully today. They have popped in to chat about their latest release No Matter What, book #4 in the Sex & Mayhem series… and also how bisexuality is a part of that story.
You can also enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of this book.
We finished The Devil’s Ride with so many new book ideas. Some secondary characters simply have stories that need to be told, and it’s something almost impossible to plan. We knew we wanted to come up with a book about Ghost before we even finished TDR, but the idea for the story only came after we wrote the last few chapters. Ghost does mingle with bikers, he loves bikes, but he’s not a ruthless hardass like the others. He’s a good guy, who wants to do the right thing but keeps getting pulled into morally grey situations, because of his friendships and family connections. Even more so when he gets to fight for his and Luca’s love in No Matter What. Will he be able to stay true to what he believes in among all the mayhem?
Bisexuality can be a tricky subject to include in romance. Both straight and gay people frequently express their disbelief about its very existence or share negative stereotypes about it, and in fact, some studies suggest that it is the rarest sexual orientation. The opposite view is that everyone is naturally bisexual, and it’s society and individual experiences that shape our sexual preferences. The Kinsey scale, even though now considered outdated, sheds some light on the many shadows of sexual preference - the degree to which people prefer one gender or the other can vary. And if, say, a man feels slightly more interested in women than men, is he still bisexual or is he straight?
Our brains are wired to categorize and label--that’s how we learn and form automatic reactions to potential threats--but in some cases, this natural tendency can stifle some of our potential. Whether we like it or not, sexual preference is categorized, and those who don’t easily fit into what is understood under the concepts of “gay” and “straight” frequently have to take more time understanding their sexuality. And everyone gets even more confused when people have a ‘change of heart’ at some point in life. I don’t mean those who had been so far in denial about their sexuality or decided to “stop living a sinful existence”, but those who genuinely become interested in the gender they previously didn’t find sexually appealing. I suppose this would explain the Gay For You trope, but we as K.A. Merikan have always been more interested in bisexuality as a theme. In fact, both No Matter What and Red Hot, a Sex & Mayhem book we are currently writing, have bisexual protagonists.
In case of people who are to some degree interested in both sexes, self-labeling plays a big role in sexual identity. People who live in communities that are very queer-friendly, or value same-sex love, will be more inclined to embrace a bisexual identity, even if their interest in one of the genders is minor. In contrast, bisexual people living in homophobic societies are more likely to reject this identity, more or less consciously.
Ghost, the main character of No Matter What, is aware of his interest in men, but he’d been actively pushing it to the back of his mind. Most of his friends are outlaw bikers, and his father is a prominent member of a one-percenter club. It just seems like an easier option for Ghost to keep his interest to girls, and why not, if he honestly likes women a lot? It was very interesting for us as writers to confront him with the other side of his sexuality. At the beginning of the book, he’s in love with a girl he met online, and determined to make their relationship work in real life. Turns out she had been a man all along. Coming to terms with having feelings for a guy is not easy for Ghost, but at the same time, he is capable of liking men sexually, and he knows it.
It’s the genuine love he feels for Luca that makes him open up to admitting to himself that he also likes his online lover’s masculine body. He embraces his bisexual identity because of the person he loves, but it’s just as important for him to be seen as who he is. He also fights for his friends to acknowledge him as who he really is. This brought a different kind of conflict into the book, and at some levels this theme is very relatable even to people who are confident about their sexuality. The angle in Red Hot will be different, it will deal with a character in denial about his bisexuality.
Are there any M/M books with a bisexual MC that you liked? How did they handle the issue of his sexuality?
No Matter What (Sex & Mayhem #4) by K.A. Merikan
Publisher ~ Acerbi & Villani ltd
Published ~ 25th April 2015
Genre ~ M/M Erotic Romance
--- A gentle heart has no place in an outlaw’s chest ---
Ghost. Not a member of the Coffin Nails MC. Not a doctor anymore. Not gay.
Luca. Bent, not broken. Will not let go of Ghost. No matter what.
Ghost finds out the hard way that people you meet online aren’t always who they seem to be. When he met ‘Zara’ five years ago, they became inseparable. She’s been with him through the rough and the smooth. He’s been there for her when her abusive boyfriend had her in tears.
She is The One, and despite all his friends considering him crazy, Ghost is about to propose.
But ‘Zara’ turns out to be Luca, and Luca is most definitely a guy. Yet Luca is the same person with big dark eyes, so desperate to be saved that Ghost can’t help but fall head first.
Luca’s so-called boyfriend is not just abusive. He is a Sicilian drug lord, a man dangerous and ruthless. If Ghost is to ever save the person who wreaked havoc on his heart, he has to make a deal with the Coffin Nails MC. But being a member is a destiny he’s always tried to avoid. And when a life of violence becomes too much to bear, he might be the one needing Luca to catch him when he falls.
Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, criminal activity, hurt/comfort, abuse, catfishing, independence, sexual orientation issues, mafia, PTSD
Genre: M/M erotic romance, suspense, drama
Length: ~100,000 words standalone novel
WARNING: Adult content. Explicit gay sex, strong language, violence, potentially triggering sexual abuse scenes. Reader discretion advised.
And you can check out some inspiration images for No Matter What here on Pinterest
Sex & Mayhem
Series Reading Order
Book #1: Road of No Return
Book #2: The Devils Ride
Book #3: Stripped Raw (This is an M/F title)
Book #4: No Matter What
A photo came through. It was a red square plate of some vegetable rolls with a brown sauce. Ghost raised his head to have an even better look around. He frowned at the plate in front of the guy, and had a discreet look at him. He was close enough to see it was a very similar dish, but that could be a coinciden― Ghost’s heart stopped beating completely when an onyx bracelet slid lower down the guy’s forearm.
And then it hit him that the guy actually had a similar coloring to Zara in the picture: dark olive skin, wavy black hair that reached past his shoulders, and dark eyes. Only other than that, he was nothing like Zara. No softness in him, just firm jawlines and broad shoulders hidden in a coffee-colored shirt with rolled-up sleeves. As striking as he was, he was most definitely not the girl from the picture.
Ghost got up even though his legs were like made out of Jell-O. Five years. Five fucking years. This meant he’d had webcam sex with a guy. Many times. He couldn’t breathe, the ring in his pocket somehow burning like acid. How could he have been so stupid? He made his way toward the table as if it were a lucid dream. A nightmare he was about to wake up from.
With the young guy busy with his cell phone, one of the middle-aged businessmen noticed Ghost first. He straightened up and narrowed his eyes, tapping the chopsticks against his plate.
“Can we help you?” he asked in a heavily accented voice.
‘Zara’, or whatever his name was, raised his eyes, and the small smile he was sporting fell from his lips like slush on a sunny day. God, he was even prettier up close, with thick eyebrows and a straight, shapely nose. His mouth dropped open, but he made no sound as he stared at Ghost, wide-eyed.
Ghost ignored the older man, and looked straight into the eyes of someone whom he knew so well, yet didn’t know at all. “How could you do this to me?” was all he managed to choke out.
Meet K.A. Merikan
K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.
They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of - it will be full of surprises. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan will be gifting one lucky reader an e-copy of No Matter What.