Blog Tour: K.A. Merikan - Guns n' Boys: Swamp Blood

CALLING ALL KA MERIKAN FANS! *stands in line* They're here to talk about their newest release in their Gun n' Boys series and a peek at the amazing cover.

It's time for Guns n' Boys book 3, and to celebrate the release, I want to discuss difficulties of writing a single-couple series. In most romance books, it’s all about the development of a new relationship, but while slow burn technically makes it possible to stretch this kind of romantic plotline across more than one book, this only works for series where non-romantic storylines are equally or more important. Still, many readers can find this frustrating, and so usually the relationship is established in some way by the end of book 1.

But there are some books where the MCs have a strong HEA ending in the first book. This can happen intentionally, or when the book becomes popular and the author decides to develop a whole series around the couple. I think that the most effective way of doing this is creating separate arcs for each subsequent volume. It could be a monster-of-the-week type of scenario, especially if the MCs are involved in an organization such as a detective agency. The reader can then follow the couple through different stages of the relationship (hardship, being outed, marriage, etc.).

But that’s a bit too fluffy for me :) I enjoy reading about relationships that struggle with internal conflict, and so I don’t want this element to be gone following book 1. People can be deeply in love, but feelings don’t automatically resolve the troubles the characters might have, and in case of Guns n’ Boys, this is very true. Domenico and Seth are very temperamental, and sometimes, their personalities clash violently, especially that they are mafia men, both macho in one way or another. They don’t find it easy to open up and just talk, and so many of the issues they have stem from miscommunication, or shame to admit to vulnerability. Yet at the same time, they have deep feelings for one another, and those show through their actions.

Because we want to keep the conflict going along with the overarching mafia storyline, as well as the plots of the single episodes, there is a lot to juggle, and planning can take ages. A few years back, when we were much less experienced, all our stories were based on chapters with cliffhanger endings. Plots started and began, so there was no real pacing, no structure. I now believe that this kind of writing drags on and is ultimately tiring for the reader, so each book is carefully planned for the tension to rise and fall in the right moments.

There needs to be an overarching plot that will be resolved in the final volume but is built-up throughout the whole series, as well as plots for particular volumes, but since I’m talking about romance, this element is crucial for a great reader experience. The relationship needs to feel fresh each time, even if it’s already well established. If the relationship is between good people who are excellent communicators, it makes sense for the tension to be external, but what I’m most interested in is at least a bit of internal conflict, which can organically appear in the presence of external events.

For Domenico and Seth, life is constantly changing. They are on the run from the mafia, recovering from torture, and inevitably there will be high tension.There are feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, anger, and yet they have this kind of desperate need for each other that will never let them grow apart. Let me just say that there will be a lot for them to rediscover in Swamp Blood ;)

If you want to see our inspiration photos for this book, check out the Guns n’ Boys Pinterest board:

--- Faking their own death was the easy part. ---

After months of recovering from his injuries, Seth struggles with who he has become. Afloat in a reality he never planned, he tries to find the lost pieces of himself again. Find the purpose, motivation, and strength to get back into shape. He is sick and tired of being a burden for Domenico, who seems to have it all together. When Domenico’s jealousy pushes them into the spotlight of a biker gang with connections to their former mafia family, Seth decides to step up, and make his own decisions, no matter what risks they might entail.

Domenico Acerbi can’t trust anyone. Nightmares of Seth’s torture are still haunting his dreams, and if he and Seth are to leave the country quietly and disappear off the mafia’s radar, he needs to stay in charge and keep everyone under control. What he doesn’t need is Seth giving him attitude, keeping secrets, and distancing himself for no reason. And as if Domenico didn’t have enough on his plate already, Seth forces him to help some hooker. Being stuck in the swamp with a kid hunted by a bunch of bikers is not Domenico’s idea of laying low.


Themes: mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime, outlaw bikers, human trafficking, runaway, trust issues

Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex

Length: ~117,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.


About the author

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of - it will be full of surprises.

For more information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page:
Sounds awesome! And that cover *drools*. As always, thanks KA Merikan for stopping by!

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