Welcome to my corner of the world! Today I have a real treat for you, author J.L. O’Faolain has stopped by to share a little from his newest release, Scratch & Sniff.
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J.L. O’Faolain was born the youngest, with four older sisters, in the backwoods of the Deep South. Those that have braved getting to know him have attributed this to being the root of his growing insanity. A teased bibliophile in his youth, O’Faolain spent his years prior to getting published as a cook, laundry man, delivery boy, grease monkey, and retail stocker. He has a plethora of skills and abilities, none of which would work well on a job application.
In his spare time, O’Faolain enjoys weightlifting, philosophy, deconstruction, reading, writing, porn, and the Internet in general. Aside from becoming a successfully published author, he would very much like to pilot a giant robot while Two-Mix’s “Rhythm Emotion” is playing in the background. Either that, or travel the world in a dirigible. In short, the general consensus by all, including himself, is that he is a mighty strange fellow.
Scratch & Sniff by J.L. O’Faolain
Sequel to Push Comes to Shove
No More Heroes: Book Two
Being a hero has its drawbacks.
Real-life superhero Push knows that better than anyone. When the Cape Cabinet decided to boost their numbers and commissioned the release of Wrath, a former supercriminal, Push and his best friend, Scratch, got the arduous assignment of rehabilitating Wrath and showing him heroism’s ropes.
Now all three are stuck in Shove Point, Arkansas, lying in wait for one of Wrath’s evil villain ex-buddies. Between the mysterious plane crash in the center of town and the spacecraft that self-destructed, Shove Point is weird enough. Then the utterly straight Scratch suddenly professes his undying love for Push.
As the situation heats up—between him and Scratch and in Shove Point—Push decides to call in reinforcements. Giant robots stomping all over the small town do not help matters, nor does a rampaging cyborg, nor Push’s unresolved attraction to Wrath. Then they discover there’s a mole in the Real-Life Superhero association. Whatever their differences, the newly formed team must put aside their baggage and work together to prevent an even greater tragedy.
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press
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What do you find the hardest part of being an author?
Compared to other jobs I’ve had (like Wal-Mart and working in a hospital), writing is a cake walk. Just about the only thing I find frustrating is when I get too obsessed with finishing a story and don’t enjoy myself. That’s still a piece of cake compared to previous forms of gainful employment.
What’s you favorite thing about writing?
Just… writing. I’ve never been able to compose why I felt compelled to be a writer. I just did.
Just how H.O.T. are most of your books?
I have to reign myself in sometimes. I can go all ‘alpha male’ if I’m not careful, and that bothers some people.
Hot sweet or romantic do they tend to be?
It varies. I try to side-step the flowery prose, but as critics will point out, that isn’t successful all the time.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure exactly. I just write what I feel and how I picture it. I don’t know how that constitutes as a ‘style’, but it is what works for me.
Which is you favorite storyline/angst situation and why? What inspired you to write about it?
Push’s feelings for Scratch in ‘Push Comes to Shove’ hit a deep nerve, honestly. I’d read two different stories before based on two different bisexual men’s personal experiences and drew from them, as well as my own. I placed it in a superhero setting because I’m a dork who loved comics.
Boxers or Briefs? I know which I prefer . . . *wink*
Commando. Except when I review porn.
"If humans don’t want me, then why’d they create me?" Naomi Armitage, "Armitage the Third"
What’s next for you?
Big things, I hope! I can dream, can’t I?
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Now, how about a little taste from Scratch & Sniff
“ARE we clear?”
Scratch stuck his head up and gave a quick look around. “Clear,” he said. “Wait, there’s a security camera up at the corner.”
Push went perfectly still. “You’re kidding, right?” he asked, anxious to get out from under the burlap covering them. “This place has a security cam?”
“Um, one sec,” said Scratch, picking a small rock out of one of the metal grooves of the Pussy Wagon’s bed. “I’ve got this.”
It was getting harder to breathe underneath the burlap blanket as Push watched Scratch lift the side so he could take aim with the rock. Scratch gave the stone a hard flick with his thumb, sending it flying through the air off the lower fender of a car, the edge of a trash bin leaning heavily against the building’s side, and finally upward toward the camera. The rock struck the camera’s side, knocking it away from them.
“Done,”Scratch told him. “And I don’t see anyone else.”
Push practically jumped out of the back of the truck. “I cannot believe he talked us into doing that,” the telekinetic gasped. “I’ll be tasting dirty burlap in my mouth for a week.”
“It can’t be any worse than the taste of cock,” Scratch replied.
Push froze, his eyes wide enough to be saucers. “Dude,” Scratch gently reassured when he saw the look on Push’s face. “I was only kidding. Let’s get inside before you have a heart attack.”
Push had to order his feet to move a couple of times before they complied. The Route Nine Arcade, as a dimly glowing sign by the road named it, was covered in aluminum siding and looked ready to fall over. Cars were scattered haphazardly across the parking lot in what could hardly be considered a pattern. Only the front of the building was adequately lit. The duo made tracks for it, Push catching up to his partner before they reached the doors.
“You okay?”Scratch asked hesitantly.
“Yeah,”replied Push stiffly. “Let’s just go inside and get this over with.”
A man was watching them from behind the counter directly in front of the door as they entered. Push spotted a wisp of long dark hair disappearing through a door on the other side of the room. Apparently, the meeting place with Sloth was in the back part of the building somewhere. As the front door swung shut on its own, Push wondered how much trouble they would have to cause to get back there.
However, Scratch beat him to it. “What’s back there?” he asked the man at the counter, pointing to the door Wrath had gone through.
The man didn’t bother turning around. “Not much,” he said, giving Scratch an amused look. “Just a place for the locals to blow off steam.”
“Is it a problem if we check it out?”
Discreetly, Scratch slid a fifty across the counter toward the guy, who eyed it a moment before palming it.
“Help yourselves,” the man said, pocketing his prize.
“Thanks.”Scratch gave the man a small nod as he and Push passed around the counter together. “Much appreciated.”
“You’re starting to go native,” Push warned. “Next you’ll be asking the Association accountants if there’s room in the budget for a tractor.”
Scratch snorted and rolled his eyes. “Let’s see what our boy’s gotten himself into.”
Push did not have a good feeling about the place. The patrons were obviously locals, and each one of them watched him and Scratch like hawks as they crossed the room, dodging the obstacle course of pool tables.
“I’m surprised you don’t want to play,” Push noted.
“Later,”Scratch said. “Something tells me these guys wouldn’t react well to having an out-of-towner take all their cash.”
Push caught the look of one rather large man in flannel watching them. “You’re probably right,” he said softly as they reached the door.
It was supposed to be a simple plan. Wrath had wanted to go first and meet with Sloth for a few minutes before they busted the former crime boss. Scratch and Push had opposed this at first, until Wrath pointed something out.
“I watched Sloth for years,” he had told them as they sat together around the poker table.“I know how he thinks. It’s one reason why we’re all stuck here for now. The Association believes I’m the guy who knows him well enough to help you two bring him in.”
Push and Scratch had shared a look while Wrath continued. “This isn’t like Sloth,” he’d insisted. “Sloth is careful. He plans things weeks, maybe months in advance. He doesn’t get his hands dirty. He’ll go out of his way to avoid doing the grunt work.”
“Maybe he doesn’t have a choice,” Push offered. “If he doesn’t have anyone else working for him, there’s not many options left.”
“He’s still better than this,” Wrath pressed. “This is some kind of setup. Whether it’s me he’s planning to set up or the two of you, I haven’t quite figured out. Sloth will have some sort of plan when I meet with him. Make no mistake about that.”
“Okay,”Scratch had said. “So, um, what are you suggesting?”
In the end, they’d agreed. The plan was to wait and let Wrath conduct business with Sloth, then follow him back to his hideout. As Wrath had said, a place like the arcade was probably not the best location for super-powered battle anyway. They could find out where the man was located and maybe even get a little information out of him before moving in. All in all, it wasn’t a terrible idea, except that Push was convinced something would go wrong.
The idea of leaving Wrath alone with a man like Sloth worried him, and not out of concern for Wrath’s personal safety.
The door opened up into a cramped area that smelled like piss. One look around, and Push was certain he knew what sort of establishment the arcade served as a cover for.
“Maybe you ought to wait outside,” he said nervously to Scratch.
“Um, what for?” Scratch gave him an odd look as a red-headed young man with freckles walked past them, looking slightly put out. “Since when do you get the itch to fly solo?”
Scratch took a quick glance around. The space was visible, thanks to the dim light coming from the actual arcade area behind them. His eyes landed on several holes in the wall across from them.
“You think I can’t handle something like this?” he asked, giving Push a wry look.
Push wasn’t sure what to say in answer. “Let’s find Wrath,” Scratch suggested. “We can talk after we’re finished here.”
It was a good thing they’d come in their civvies. Spandex would have made them stick out like sore thumbs. That, or be mistaken for employees.
Scratch walked over to a set of doors on their left. The first one was closed but not locked. Scratch took a quick look inside, moving back as the sounds of deep groaning spilled out into the hallway.
“Sorry,” he apologized in a calm, amused voice. “Wrong room.”
The second room, it turned out, was empty. The door to it had been left cracked open, so Scratch peeked through it as he moved past. Number three was locked, but whoever was on the other side clearly had no qualms about letting the world know what was going on inside. Scratch boldly knocked, cutting someone off inmidgrunt. A minute or so later, the door opened, and two men emerged, looking irritated.
“Sorry,”Scratch apologized, like he’d just interrupted their tea time. “Have you seen a guy with long black hair and creepy-looking eyes?”
The men looked at each other. “This ain’t a hotel, son,” one said in a thick accent.
“My bad,”said Scratch, backing up.
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Push Comes to Shove by J.L. O’Faolain
No More Heroes: Book One
Super-powered superhero Push and his human partner, Scratch, have been best friends and roommates for years. Push is the gay posterchild for the Real-Life Superhero Association. Unfortunately, Scratch is straight, which makes Push’s suppressed feelings for him problematic—but not as problematic as their next assignment.
Push and Scratch’s job: rehabilitating Wrath, a recently released supervillain, complete with super powers of his own. It’s not easy to trust someone who used to be on the other side, and Wrath’s presence creates just the wrong kind of friction.
When a bank-robbing practical joker throws a wrench in their plans and leads them on a wild chase across the southern United States, Push, Scratch, and Wrath have to leave their baggage behind and work together. But there are more secrets and danger awaiting them, and super powers may not be enough.
Purchase from Dreamspinner Press
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