Aiden Cole can be anything men want—naughty schoolboy, palace slave, virgin twink, or slutty secretary. He’s a gifted actor with a gorgeous body who gives legendary head. Aiden could have his pick of any Top in the local leather bar, but is drawn to Scott Runge—a cruel, sexy Dom who pushes Aiden to his limits, allowing Aiden to experience the excitement and danger of the BDSM lifestyle to a degree he never has before. But when Scott goes too far, injuring Aiden, Aiden withdraws from the scene completely. Until he meets Keaton Hughes.
Keaton’s looking for something he can’t find in any dungeon: A domestic discipline relationship, in which he can provide his partner with guidance, support, and loving discipline. When Keaton takes Aiden in after Aiden’s traumatic encounter with Scott, he vows not to pursue any sort of relationship with the troubled sub. But as Aiden struggles to overcome the damage Scott has done and get his life back on track, Keaton’s rules might be just what he needs.
Note: This is a revised second edition.
Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and I’m touring the internet to celebrate the re-release of By His Rules, my first published romance novel! Leave a comment with your contact info in the comments section to win a copy of the new version of By His Rules and a $10 Amazon gift card.
Hey JA! Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with us for a bit today. I have to say, anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a huge fan of BDSM books (I know, I know, but you can go ahead on pick on me until the end of this sentence.) But for some reason, I seem to enjoy your books.
Awww, thank you for having me here! I think I do have to pick on you though. But I can wait until later.
Enough about me though, let’s talk about you. Because that’s a lot more fun!
I do admit, we have bonded over the whole “pantless convos” that seem to confuse people. So my first question is this:
When did you first discover the love of going pantless?
When I took off my pants after eating a large buffet-style dinner, and I wondered why I couldn’t feel this way all the time.
Okay, true story—my mom’s gone pantsless around the house most of my life, and I always made fun of her for it. Then I tried it and realized that she really is the wisest woman in the world.
And on the note of pantless, did you really write By His Rules pantless?
Actually, no! This was before I discovered my love of pantlessness. I think you and Lisa Henry influenced me on that front, and I didn’t know the two of you back when I was writing BHR. I did most of the re-write pantsless, though.
Onto some serious questions, not that the pantless questions weren’t serious… they were more curiosity sake.
Any pantsless question is a serious question.
Where did the idea for By His Rules come from?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I wanted to see if I could write a romance novel—it wasn’t a genre I knew much about beyond the secret baby books I’d see in Kmart and on my grandma’s shelf. But then I looked on Amazon one night and saw that gay BDSM romance was a thing. I really wanted an invitation to that party. And since I’ve always been fascinated by the domestic discipline lifestyle, that’s what I ended up focusing on.
I do know that this is a re-pub story, but did you do a lot of addition to the story compared to the original released version?
I did! It’s about 15k longer now, and I think one of my favorite things that happened as a result of the rewrite is that the characters feel more like they’re on equal footing now. In the original version, it felt kind of like Aiden needed to be rescued, and Keaton always knew just what to do for him. Now there’s a sense that Keaton is, in some ways, as lost and confused as Aiden—and sometimes Aiden’s the one who knows what’s best for both of them. I think that dynamic was always there beneath the surface, but because the original version focused so much on Aiden, we didn’t see it as much. In this edition, Keaton gets more of a chance to shine.
Can you share a little excerpt from your story?
Aiden checked the Recycle Bin on his laptop one more time, in case by some miracle he hadn’t wiped his personal statement from the computer. No such luck. He shut the laptop and headed upstairs. Better get this over with. He had to be at Zippy’s in an hour, and his ass would need time to cool after Keaton was done with him.
Keaton was in his studio, hands dark with clay, classical music playing on the radio. He wore an apron splattered like a butcher’s, but with gray instead of red. He didn’t hear Aiden come in, so Aiden waited by the door, watching him, a mix of tenderness and discomfort tightening his chest. Keaton was beautiful. So beautiful. So calm and confident and content. What did Aiden have to offer someone like him?
Keaton finally noticed him and smiled. “Hey,” he said, turning down the radio.
“Hey.” Aiden went to him, threw his arms around him, and nuzzled the crook of Keaton’s neck and shoulder.
“I’ll get clay on you,” Keaton warned.
“I don’t care.”
Keaton’s arms closed around him. Aiden savored the moment as long as he could, then pulled away.
“I did something bad.”
“How long do we have before the planet implodes?”
“Like two hours, tops.”
Keaton wiped his hands on a clay-stained towel. “Hit me with it. Maybe there’s still a way we can save humanity.”
Yeah, by sacrificing my ass. Aiden stared at his feet. “I deleted my personal statement from the computer. And I shredded my print copy.”
“I was reading over it, and I just…hated it.”
“I looked over the statement yesterday and thought it was great.”
“Yeah, I thought it was okay. But it wasn’t.”
“Do you think it might have been a good idea to talk to me before you deleted it?”
Aiden kept his gaze on the floor, his stomach fluttering with excitement and embarrassment at the gentle, indirect scolding. “I didn’t know I was going to delete it—it just sort of happened.”
“Look at me, please.”
Aiden looked up reluctantly. It was always rough looking Keaton in the eye when he was in trouble. But as usual, there was no censure in Keaton’s expression, and Aiden calmed in spite of himself.
Keaton set the towel aside. “What are you going to do now? Write another one?”
Aiden didn’t know whether to be relieved or frustrated that his disobedience hadn’t prompted immediate outrage on Keaton’s part. “I don’t know. Now I wish I still had the old one. It wasn’t that bad.”
“No, it wasn’t,” Keaton agreed.
“So…what happens now?”
“Well, you’ve got another—what, week?—to write one you like better.”
“Aren’t you gonna punish me?”
“We’ll deal with it when you get home from work.”
Shit. “But that’s not fair! I can’t work for six hours with a spanking hanging over my head.”
Keaton kissed his forehead. “Go on. Get ready. Don’t fret so much.”
Well, this is a new one, Aiden thought as he left the studio. He’d anticipated a thorough spanking, a lecture on not sabotaging himself, and possibly some time studying his favorite corner. It would have sucked, but he’d have gone to work feeling better. This was going to be torture.
His shift passed slowly. He tossed pizza dough and tried to take some consolation in the fact that his Case audition this weekend might not be a complete disaster. He’d given in last week and let Keaton see his monologues. Keaton had seemed impressed—not condescendingly impressed, not oh good boy, you managed to do one fucking thing without having a meltdown impressed—but genuinely impressed. And it had helped Aiden to have someone to deliver the monologues to—especially his Shakespeare monologue, which dealt with the nature of love.
Not that he loved Keaton. Nope. Not even a possibility.
Now let’s do a little bit about your other books as well:
Is it true that the Sub’s Club series isn’t really about hoagies like you had said that it was in the video you released?
Of course it’s about hoagies! What else would it be about?
Look, all sandwiches are metaphors…
If you had to pick one book or character set that you have written, which ones are your favorite?
Solo books, my favorite is Minotaur, but my favorite characters to write were probably Jayk and Amon from the Wacky Wednesday series.
Co-writing with Lisa, When All the World Sleeps, for sure. And Henry and Mac from the Playing the Fool series might be my favorite of our characters.
Can we be expecting more books from you in the future?
No. I’m done. *puts on pants and walks away.*
*three minutes pass*
*walks back, taking off pants* I’m just kidding, of course there will be more. I’m currently working on a lesbian/genderqueer adaptation of As You Like It as part of Riptide’s Classics Queered series, and I’m co-writing Covered Up with Katey Hawthorne—it’s part of a multiauthor lesbian series set in contemporary Hollywood. Lots of awesome authors involved, and it’s such a fun universe!
Well thank you so much for stopping by with us today! It was great fun to spend some time with you!
Oh, before you leave, I must ask… are you pantless during this interview?
Why yes. Yes I am.
And I trust that you are too?
Thank you for having me!
J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
Leave a comment with your contact info to win a copy of the new version of By His Rules and a $10 Amazon gift card! A tour winner will be drawn at 11:59 p.m. EST on September 17th.
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