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INTERVIEW with GIVEAWAY: Becoming His Master by M.Q. Barber

Title: Becoming His Master
Series: Neighborly Affection #4
Author: M.Q. Barber
Genre: Adult, M/M Erotica
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Published By: Lyrical Press
From rescue to romance…
Teach a wounded submissive the value of his service. The task ought to be an easy one for an experienced dominant like Henry Webb.
But novice Jay Kress challenges his teacher like no other. Still bearing the bruises of an encounter outside the bounds of safe consensual play, Jay is desperate to submit to the man who saved him—and shamed by his desires.
Henry recognizes the dangers of a relationship built on hero worship. He’ll teach Jay how to stay safe, that’s all. He won’t take advantage of the younger man’s trust. He won’t share his fantasies about his dark-haired, athletic student. He’ll never claim this submissive for his own…

Interview

Congratulations on your new release. It’s great to have you visiting us at Two Men. Thanks for providing us with the opportunity to ask you a few questions.

This is the fourth book in the Neighboring Affection series. The other stories highlight the menage relationship between two men and a woman. This story is focused on the m/m relationship. Why have you focused on Henry and Jay this time?

M.Q.: Henry insisted. Becoming His Master is the origin story for Henry and Jay’s relationship; it can be read as a standalone or before or after the other books in the series, which are narrated by Alice, the woman they invite into their relationship later.

Jay shares bits and pieces of his background in the other books, but as I was writing those scenes, Henry began demanding to tell the whole story from his point of view. I couldn’t help but give in; Henry can be very closed-off with his emotions, and the opportunity to get inside his head and heart for a whole book was too exciting to pass up.

Falling for Jay fundamentally changed the course of Henry’s life at least as much as being rescued by Henry changed the course of Jay’s. Over the years, the two of them have built an incredibly strong, loving relationship. How they got there is a story that deserved to be told.

Jay or Henry? Does one of the characters hold a special place in your heart?

M.Q.: Oh, they both do, absolutely. Jay’s the sweetheart and Henry’s the stoic.

I can count on Jay to lighten a heavy moment or to drop a stunning bit of intuitive knowledge that changes the situation entirely. He’s as restless as Henry is reserved. But his charm comes in two forms – the fidgety-flirt surface kind that deflects strangers and the deeper contentment he finds in submission to Henry. Jay grows so much stronger over the course of the series, and I’m proud of his evolution.

Henry, on the other hand, is the seductive dominant gentleman. He’s constantly observing others and refining his impressions. He gives little of himself away while he’s gently, insistently coaxing information from his quarry. He makes mistakes, but he’s confident enough and honest enough to admit when he does and to correct them. He’s devoted to the health and welfare of his submissives, and they love him for it.

I love the sound of the blurb. It sounds like just the type of story I like reading – something to tug a little on the heartstrings. How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

M.Q.: I write in short bursts, one scene at a time, and whenever possible I make sure I have some emotional recovery time afterward. I try to sink deep into the characters’ headspace when I’m writing. Coming out of that mode is foggy sometimes.

But the thing I like to remember is that pain can lead to character growth. I often write the last scene of a book first, and I’ll re-read that scene when I’m having difficulty, because it reminds me that the characters’ struggles are meaningful and bending toward a beautiful outcome.

What book is currently sitting on your bedside table?

M.Q.: Actually, I never have a book on my nightstand – I have a notepad, a pen, and a small flashlight. The time right before falling asleep is a fertile one for ideas, and I’ve long since gotten tired of traipsing out to my desk to write one down before I forget it.

But the books I’m itching to read next are the newest ones from Jim Butcher, Scott Lynch, and Elizabeth Haydon. I’ve been a fantasy reader since I was young, when I’d lose myself for hours in Pern and Valdemar and a dozen other worlds.

What’s next in the series? Can your readers expect another installment?

M.Q.: They can! I recently finished writing the manuscript for the fifth book, and I’m editing that now. I also write a short fiction exclusive every month for newsletter subscribers (www.mqbarber.com/newsletter); the Tuesdays with Jay stories are from Jay’s point of view and cover events that aren’t shown in the main novels.

Are you able to surprise us with any little snippets or teasers about the story that aren’t in the blurb?

M.Q.: Readers of the series so far know Jay’s safeword, but they don’t know his reason for choosing it. Henry gets the story out of him in Becoming His Master. And those who’ve read the series short story Three-Way Tie might recognize a familiar toy the first time Jay gets to play with it. Becoming His Master is structured so that you don’t have to read any other part of the series to enjoy it as a standalone, but it’s particularly rich and rewarding for those who want to immerse themselves in the Neighborly Affection universe.

Becoming His Master (R) Excerpt © M.Q. Barber 2015
Henry’s watch
showed quarter to eight as he mounted the stairs toting carryout meals for
himself and his submissive. The hour found the second floor a modest hive of
activity as players donned their preferred personas and headed upstairs to the
sandbox. Eventually, he too would join the procession, with Jay in tow. For
now, he turned right and stepped through the wide double doors into the salon.
The area set aside
for himself and young Mr. Kress showed Emma’s unmistakable influence. Tucked
into the farthest corner of the room, a three-panel screen of wood and fabric
created a private dining nook. Best pray the younger man didn’t recognize the
scenes depicted, though the intent shouted for all and sundry to pay heed.
A pair of
yellow-ribboned women cast admiring glances his way. Muting his growl, he
stepped past them with a curt headshake. Won’t
interfere, my ass.
A paean to Greek
mythology and literature graced each panel. Achilles and Patroclus circled each
other with shields and spears, their sandaled feet the only flesh not on view.
Apollo strummed his lyre while a boy—Hyacinth, given the field of flowers—lay at
his feet. Beautiful Ganymede proffered a cup beneath the sheltering wings of
Zeus-as-eagle.
Stalking across
the room, he considered the ready excuses sure to be on Emma’s lips. A shield
to keep the boy from prying eyes, lest his table manners prove less than
impeccable. Hadn’t he himself insisted on protecting Jay from possible
criticism? No, of course the scenes hadn’t been deliberate. Convenience had
dictated the choice. In no way had she meant to imply Jay Kress was his eromenos.
His beloved boy.
His to mentor and protect. His sweet lips to kiss, his beautiful thighs to
fuck.
Cock pressing at
his fly, he swore in silence. Was there no mercy to be found?
He rounded the
screen.
Jay sprang to his
feet.
No. No mercy at
all.
Despite Emma’s
claim, his student wore a suit as well as he wore leather shorts. Temptation
beat at him, an unrelenting pressure, the image of his submissive on his knees
with the same earnest delight on his face.
He forced himself
to turn and deposit the bag on the table. Slow and easy.
“You’ve set a
lovely table.” He told himself navy wasn’t Jay’s color, despite the good sense
he’d shown to pair his suit with a solid white shirt and a pale blue tie with a
diagonal thin-stripe in white. “I trust your wait has been a pleasant one?”
“Yes, Master
Henry.” Jay stood straight and tall, a slender vision of grace. “Mistress Emma
showed me what to do.”
“It’s just Emma,
my boy. No title. She’s a submissive here, as you are.” He unpacked the tote.
Salads first, the light containers atop the others.
“But she’s in
charge of things.” Jay tilted his head. He started to roll his shoulders before
stopping himself.
Warm foil
container deposited on the table, Henry paused in his work to study his
submissive with more care. “Yes, she handles some functions at the club.” The
neat half-Windsor had to be Emma’s doing. “She also submits to her husband.”
Likewise, the white rose boutonniere pinned with Jay’s red ribbon, the symbol
of his ownership. The younger man’s purity and innocence bound under his protection
and control.
Pinned. Of course.
“Tell me, how many
pins did it take until Emma was satisfied with the drape of your jacket?”
“I’m not sure,
Master Henry.” Jay half-smiled, his eyes shining. “She made me stand still for
a long time, though. Do you like it?”
With such an
enticing invitation, he smoothed the fabric from the lapel to the right
shoulder.
Jay caught his
breath and rocked his hips.
“Quite handsome,”
he murmured. Such promising responses his pupil gave, eager physicality
impossible to miss. “But you cannot relax, can you? Afraid you’ll disrupt her
handiwork if you so much as breathe too deeply.”
“I don’t mind,
Master Henry.” If you like it, he
didn’t say, though the worship in his gaze made the words unnecessary.
Humming, he traced
the edge of the lapel downward and unfastened the button holding the jacket
closed. “I mind.” Hanging the jacket on the chair back wouldn’t do any harm.
“Your comfort is my responsibility during our time together.”
He pushed the coat
from the boy’s shoulders. He’d remove his own to ensure his dinner partner felt
no awkwardness.
“No, no, please.”
Jay clutched at the fabric, fighting the motion, his voice rising. “Master
Henry, please.”
What the devil was
he—
“Please don’t take
my ribbon, I’m your good boy, I’m yours—”
Henry kissed him.
He knew the
instant their lips touched he ought not have done it.
Soft and pliant,
the younger man opened his mouth with a throaty little whimper.

 

Irresistible. A
possessive haze descended, snarling heat pushing out from his center. He ground
his cock against his submissive and claimed his mouth.

 

USA Today bestselling author M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again.
Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy.
She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre.
The former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.
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One comment on “INTERVIEW with GIVEAWAY: Becoming His Master by M.Q. Barber

  1. Pingback: Becoming His Master tour and giveaway – M.Q. Barber | Author

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