Here’s the blurb for Yuletide Slay Ride… It’s coming out HOPEFULLY next Wednesday (the 13th) but no later than the 20th. I’ll keep you posted!
“I turn slowly toward her, and that thin frail hope that I’d held onto… the hope that I could sate the demon raging within me and cool off my simmering rage by hacking up Gregor… that I could spare Mina my evil tonight… that hope is gone. What will I do when I catch this little rabbit?”
The events of Halloween haunt me. I can’t get them out of my head.
I wanted to remove Mina from this world. But it wasn’t me… I don’t want her gone. I’m not some crazed jealous abusive boyfriend. I wasn’t mad at her. I know she did nothing wrong.
It was the wild in me. The dark in me. It was the other, the something else that isn’t me, the broken shards of what I became so long ago.
The animal. The monster. That inhuman thing.
There is no saving me.
A Brief History of Brian…
Brian’s first appearance is in my 2010 book, Guilty Pleasures, the first book of the Pleasure House series. Originally I wrote him as a complete stereotypical/cardboard sort of horror movie villain.
Dark Romance wasn’t an actual subgenre yet. It was still early days, and I wanted readers to let themselves go and relax into the fantasy I was creating in Guilty Pleasures. So Brian acted as a foil to allow women to read this book and think the other trainers were amazingly wonderful and merciful and hot and sexy by comparison, whereas Brian was just a straight-up damaged psychopath. That was his role, and he did it well.
Soon after Guilty Pleasures came out though, Brian started nagging me for his own book. I was like “No, get away from me, you psycho! You are absolutely NEVER getting a book.”
But he stalked me for about 3 years and kept pleading his case. I held firm until he dropped some knowledge on me about his backstory. Talk about sympathy for the devil. Then I found his other half, Mina… and wow… she was just so broken in all the right ways, and her jagged edges fit into his jagged edges to make a perfect puzzle.
So then I was on board (With Brian smugly saying ‘I told you so’) and started writing Broken Dolls, the second book in the Pleasure House series. (Broken Dolls also works as a standalone. So if you want to get caught up with the Holiday Hits, start with that one. You don’t have to read Guilty Pleasures first.)
I started to get really excited about this book and started telling my readers about it. I said: “I’m giving Brian a book, you’ll love it!”
And the readers are like “Brian!?!?!” “Guilty Pleasures Brian?” “Ewww no, he’s terrible. He’s evil. I hate him. No way can you make me love Brian.”
And I was like… Challenge accepted. But what I actually said was… “Trust me, I’m going to make you want to have Brian’s babies.”
And they did. “I will never doubt you again, Kitty,” I believe was what some said. 😜😜
As the Pleasure House series progressed, Brian and Mina would make cameos, and due to a big thing that happened at the end of Broken Dolls, Mina starts to become more and more dark, mirroring Brian. Something inside her cracked open after the last straw bit of trauma she suffers (not at Brian’s hands). As a result, something releases inside her, and she ends up becoming a lot darker.
By the third book in the Pleasure House series, Surrender, Mina is going out on these hit jobs with Brian. And she’s basically completely changed. Her wardrobe becomes less “damaged flower” and more “Queen of the Damned.”
I kept wanting to give readers the backstory of how exactly she became that. And while Brian and Mina are obviously together, the way Broken Dolls ended, their HEA sort of happens “off camera” so to speak. I think they had a big moment at the end of Broken Dolls which was about as much emotion as Brian was capable of in that moment, but I always wanted to explore this whole thing with them further.
I had an idea percolating in the background for years about how I wanted to do a novella series for Brian and Mina and it would be these sort of hit jobs they go out and do together and basically how Mina becomes a badass and how the two of them find their complete and full HEA.
But that was all I had, the desire. I had no actual plot or structure or anything for any of it. Then in late 2021, The phrase “Brian and Mina’s Holiday Hits” popped into my head, and I thought it was hilarious, because I find strange things hilarious. You hear that and you think you’re about to listen to an album of Holiday songs, but no it’s these different hit jobs these two psychos go on during holidays.
I had wanted to get the Christmas one done in time for the holiday that year but there was NO inspiration. It’s like… hey thanks Writing Gods, get me all amped up about this and then… crickets.
And by the time Valentine’s Day rolled around, there was still nothing. But… Easter was a different matter. I had an idea and a whole story arc for the series by this point. And I began to get very clear on exactly WHY the stories had to happen in THIS order. Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.
There’s a lot of symbolism and various important story elements that must happen at certain times. I didn’t know that at the time, it was only in partial hindsight that I started to see it.
Yuletide Slay Ride, the fourth installment, is coming VERY soon. And I’ve got the whole plot for the Valentine’s story and I’ve written the epilogue (Because I write shit out of order). It’s epic. You guys will LOVE it so much!
If you haven’t read this couple yet, you need to start with Broken Dolls. And here’s the page with all the books
Some readers have worried this series will “turn Brian too soft” but keep in mind that Twisted Fates in the Pleasure House series occurs in the timeline AFTER this entire series I’m writing right now. There’s some crossover with Surrender in The Massacre Ball and Yuletide Slay Ride, but Twisted Fates occurs years after the events of the Holiday Hits and Brian is still just as dark in Twisted Fates as he ever was.
Anyway, nobody wants a man who is dangerous to THEM. The entire appeal of Brian is that he’s so dark and terrifying but Mina is safe with him. She lives in a special bubble of protection from his darkness. And that’s really sort of the universal fantasy and the real reason women like bad boys. They don’t want to be hurt, they want to be the one who is spared because they’re just that special that he can rise above his inner beast for her.