Saturday, March 12, 2016

Author Spotlight: Donovan J Brooks

A Dame to Die For
Donovan J Brooks

1946, New York City
I missed her. Five years in the army and I wanted her more than I had before I left. When she sent for me, I should have said no. Maybe I’m still a dumb kid with a soft spot for dames in a jam.
Lily knew it. When her dancer sister went missing from the Burlesque joint on 52nd, she banked on me coming to her rescue. But the past caught up and pulled us both under. I keep asking myself—is she worth dying for?

A glance over my shoulder allowed me to catch her movement as she slipped on the shimmering blue silk evening gown. It hugged every inch of her body, accentuating every asset she possessed. Goddamn it. Smart and sexy. I'd never met a woman who drew me in as she did.
I looked away before she caught me watching, pinched my eyes closed and took a few breaths to calm my pulse and my raging erection.
"How do I look?" she asked.
I turned around. She pulled the pin from her hair and let the mahogany curls drape across her shoulders.
My perusal began at her feet and slowly traveled upward. By the time I met her eyes, I was aflame. I wanted to touch every single inch of her, exploring with my fingers and mouth. She tilted her chin up and smiled like she could read my mind.
"Blue's always been a good color on you." I brushed invisible lint off my sleeves in an attempt to redirect the fire burning hot between us. "When do we go on stage?"
She winced at my brusque tone but quickly masked what looked like disappointment. Without hesitating, she crossed to the vanity and sat down to fix her lipstick.
A knock at the door, then a shout through the wood. "Five minutes."
"Thank you, five," she replied absently before glancing at me in the mirror. "That answer your question."
"Yeah." I picked up the mask.
"Put it on." She dabbed the red onto her lips.
"It's better if they don't know who you are." She set the lipstick down and turned to face me.
"I'm beginning to wonder if you're playing games with me here, Lily."
She stood and took the mask from my hand. Stepping close, Lily reached up to fasten it around my head. "If they know I brought you here, I'll be out on my ass faster than you can say strip."
I caught her by the wrists. "Why me then?"
She met my stare and held it, her lips quirking. "Because, you're the only I can trust to can find Ginger."
"I don't think that's the only reason." I leaned closer, my lips hovering over hers.
"I need you, Jack."
"Never thought I'd hear you say those words." The double meaning didn't escape my notice. My gaze dropped to her mouth. "You're lucky you're wearing that shit on your lips right now and that we have to be on stage in a few minutes."
"Why's that?" she asked, her eyes glinting in challenge and amusement.
"You and I have unfinished business." I released her wrists and backed away. "Remember that."
Lily would break me, one way or another.
She snatched the hat from the couch and set it atop my head.
"Just try to keep up."
She led us out the door, and I hoped she wasn't leading us both to slaughter.
The sway of her silk-clad hips drove me to distraction. I was supposed to be finding a missing girl, not falling into the same goddamn pit I'd dug my way out of five years ago. Taking a deep breath, I followed Lily.

Inspired by characters such as Captain Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter, black and white films, and vintage burlesque, Donovan seeks to capture the forbidden and erotic side of a decade rich with vibrant hues.
He has an affinity for the 1940s, parboiled detectives, murder mysteries, and sexy, sultry dames. Erotic moments can be triggered by a brush of the fingers, a heated glance, or a daring confession. Donovan seeks to capture these scenes and paint them with words. Romance varies but should never be limited, especially when the characters speak in authoritative tones.

1. Tell us about your book/books?

My books are noir styled erotica. They're set in the 1940s. 'Til the End of the Line and A Dame to Die For are very different in tone just because 'Til the End focuses on two soldiers caught behind enemy lines during World War 2. A Dame to Die For has a much different vibe. It's much more in the hard-boiled detective noir style of storytelling.

Both use the rich history of the '40s as a backdrop and the characters from 'Til the End of the Line make an appearance in A Dame to Die For.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

During a conversation with a fellow writer, I found myself being challenged to write a story. An erotic story inspired by one of the other writer's favorite actors...who just so happens to play Steve Rogers aka Captain America.

I'm a huge fan of Cap and Peggy...of course, so I decided to accept her challenge. Jack and Lily are definitely inspired by those two characters...but the first story was more inspired by the bond between Cap and Bucky. And no, I didn't intend for it to have m/m sexual tension, that blame I place squarely on the characters who evolved as I wrote their story.

Needless to say, my fellow author who issued said challenge is quite enamored of my tales.

3. What inspires your writing?

Film noir, detective stories, vintage burlesque shows, pin up girls, vintage comics, Captain America, the incomparable Peggy Carter, and of course, a good hard liquor.

4. What’s a typical day like for you?

I try not to step out into the sun, it hurts my eyes. *laughs* Just kidding. To be honest, none of my days are typical. I take each one as it comes and I try to fit in a little writing time. That's about as exciting as it gets. Every now and then I'll go out with friends for a drink or venture to the movies, but for the most part, I like being home with my nose buried in a book.

5. Describe your workspace

It's not very exciting. Just a desk with a computer and notes littered around the keyboard. I always have a or something stronger. Music helps me write.

I'd put a life-size poster of Peggy on my wall if I could. Might help motivate me to write faster.

6. Favorite books?

Anything by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm a sucker for a good mystery too.

7. Tell us 3 interesting things about you.

One, I drive an old jeep...'57 Willy's Jeep to be exact. Two, I've never been out of the US. Three, I've never had a one night stand.

8. Favorite quote:

"You see, but you do not observe." ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

9. Best and worst part of being a writer? 

Best is being able to purge the voices in my head. Worst is when someone hates my story. I guess I shouldn't take it personally. Not everyone's going to like it. I may be an acquired taste.

10. Advice to writers?
Don't be afraid to challenge yourself. You never know what will come from taking the chance to do something new and exciting.

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