BLOG TOUR – #INTERVIEW – Gage (Trenton Security 3) by J.M. Dabney – #Excerpt #AuthorInterview


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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author J.M. Dabney to Stories That Make You Smile. J.M. is here today celebrating the recent release of her fabulous new M/M Romantic Suspense novel, Gage. She very kindly sat down and answered a number of questions about her process in writing this book. 🌟

Gage by J.M. Dabney

The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Series: Trenton Security (book 3)
Publisher: Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: January 27, 2019
Length: 176 pages
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M Romance/Suspense

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The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.

Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?


Dishes rattled, and the low murmuring of conversations filled the interior as the lunch rush started to slow down at Heidi’s Diner. Typically, Gage ate alone before returning to the office, but today, he hadn’t turned out to be so lucky.

“How about I buy you dinner, Gage,” the confident young man across the table from him asked.

He stared at the boy as if he’d lost his mind. He slowly closed his laptop and calmly leaned back in the booth. The first time he’d seen Derrick Thorpe the kid was skin and bones, skittish from years of abuse by Derrick’s homophobic and racist father, the former Sheriff of Powers County, Georgia. The last time he’d allowed himself to be in the same space with Derrick, he had graduated from college. His boss, Linus, adopted Derrick and his toddler brother after the death of their father and, well, the mother hadn’t fought Linus when the man demanded she sign over custody.

Today Derrick was a man in his mid-twenties, and even with the pale blond stubble, he was still as pretty as the last time he’d seen him which had occurred Christmas a year ago. He’d made his excuses and went to stay with friends for the holiday. Fighting any of the Crews to get out of a family function always turned into a lost cause, and he’d found it easier to escape.

Gage forced a chuckle and a good-natured smile at the eager boy in front of him, but he felt neither of those actions. Because his greatest hell sat across from him and there was no way he’d ever allow the boy close to him.

“Not going to happen, kid.”

“Why not?” Derrick looked offended.

He wasn’t fucking around with some boy with Daddy issues. No matter how much he wanted to find out what his handprint looked like on the boy’s ass. Derrick wasn’t for him. Age difference aside, with Derrick’s history, he wouldn’t let the young man find out how interested he was.

“Go find someone your own age, Derrick.”

“What’s this got to do with age? I’m an adult, and I think I’m old enough to know what I want.”

He felt the muscles in his jaw clench. He didn’t like telling people no twice. When he made a decision, it was final. This little boy was asking for a spanking. A vision of Derrick over his knee came to mind, and he banished it as quickly as it appeared. This was getting out of hand. That’s why he’d avoided anything that had to do with seeing Derrick.

“And I said it wasn’t happening. I don’t like to repeat myself, Derrick.”

Derrick’s chin lowered to rest on his chest. There was a deep breath, and then Derrick looked up, his dark brown eyes shimmered with indignation.

“Yes, sir,” Derrick pushed the words through clenched teeth.

☆ Interview ☆

Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

Gage is the third book in the Trenton Security series, as with the other books that preceded it, Gage deals with some dark subjects. It’s about two men thrown together and trying to defeat their demons to accept each other. My favorite part of the story was when Gage is performing his self-harm ritual. Yes, that probably seems odd that I’d pick that, but as much as I could’ve glossed over the subject I wanted to show the readers a bit of why people self-harm or at least from my prospective. The scene was graphic and I worried how it would reader would receive it. I’m not a fan of trigger warnings, but I understand that some things need a bit of notice. Yet even with the warning, knowing it’s there and the act of reading it are two separate scenarios. Trenton series is very much about people accepting and loving beyond the demons. I don’t fix my characters, just like in real life, love doesn’t erase all. Recovery is a process and I love that when I wrote The End on Gage he wasn’t miraculously fixed, but understood his limits and was working on dealing with the issues that caused his need to self-harm.

What was the inspiration for your latest story?

I didn’t have an inspiration for Gage. I’m a pantser, I don’t plan anything out. When I begin the writing process, whatever happens…happens. I know what I want to accomplish and just hope it works out in the end.

Did your story turn out as you’d originally planned, or did it veer off in another direction?

My stories always veer off in odd directions, from how the story progresses I have a certain expectation of what happens next. My stories always end of morphing into something else halfway or a third of the way into the book. I just go with what feels natural.

Did any of the characters in this story lead the story astray of your original plan?

I’d written the backstory of Gage in the Prologue. That pivotal moment that shaped him into the man he became. His growth within the story was a lot of one step forward and two steps back. A man fighting his nature to accept that he could be loved even with how damaged he’d felt he was.

Do you schedule a certain amount of time for writing each day/week, or do you just work it in when you can? Would you like to change this, or does your current method work well for you?

I’m very much routine oriented, my schedule is insanely strict. I write in sprints, 45 minutes of writing and 15 minute breaks that allows me to move around, refresh my caffeine supply. I do this about ten hours a day. My daily word count goal is anywhere from 5000 to 10000 words a day, and in order to accomplish that I need to manage my time down to the second.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?

Writing the book was the easy part, stringing words together is always the simple part. As with any project I’m working on, rewrites/self-edits are always difficult. Only for the fact you need to distance yourself from the story you created and hopefully loved in order to tear it down to the basics, what needs to be fleshed out and what is best deleted. Breaking the attachment I have to the story and characters is the hardest thing I do with any book.

Meet the Author

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

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