Author Saturday Spotlight Day is today and I am so happy to have author Luna David here. Her Custos Securities Series are one of my favorites. Her newest, Saving Sebastian, just released and it's outstanding. We will look at that book, my review, and look at the other books in the series as well. There's an interview and a terrific giveaway for three people. So, sit back with your coffee (Luna and I wouldn't have it any other way) and enjoy!
Gideon McCade—weighed down by memories of his previous life as a Navy SEAL and a CIA agent—has blood on his hands. He turns to his BDSM club, Catharsis, and Dominating submissives to get him through the daily grind of civilian life. Knowing his past is too much to inflict on a life partner, he keeps his connections brief and superficial. When his former life comes back to haunt him, his desire for revenge pulls him back into the shadows, darkening his hopes for a future in the light.
Temporarily sidelining his career as a tattoo artist, Sebastian Phillips works as a composite artist for the local police department. To alleviate the inescapable burden of a congenital medical condition, he immerses himself in his art and seeks the catharsis of submission. But with life weighing heavily on his shoulders and darkness encroaching, he yearns for a contract with a Dominant that sees past the protective barriers he’s erected to the vulnerable submissive within.
When happenstance brings Gideon and Sebastian together, their connection is undeniable. The knowledge that they are both too damaged to form permanent bonds of love causes them to rely on an impersonal contract to fulfil their physical needs. But staying emotionally detached becomes impossible, and breaking their contract seems the only option. Will Gideon’s need for vengeance and Sebastian’s declining health destroy what’s grown between them, or will they help each other find their way back into the light?
I want to start off by saying I have read all the books in this series. This is book three in Luna David’s Custos Security Series. Book one and two were about Braden and Zavier and this one deals with Zavier’s brother Gideon and Sebastian. You saw Sebastian in the previous book briefly and Gideon you have also seen. More of him because he’s Z’s brother. That being said I can say that this can be read as a standalone but I’d recommend reading one and two first. Why? Because you’ll get the connections better. You’ll understand why Braden says what he does to Sebastian and the overall feel will be much tighter and you’ll get more out of it.
Now, this is a long read and thank god for that. That may be a turn off for some and if it’s a draggy story I’d agree with you. Saving Sebastian is far from draggy. I actually never wanted it to end. I could read these guys and this family forever. Luna David grabbed the emotions by the balls and made it her bitch. She had me in tears quite a few times. And though there was frustration, it was placed perfectly. I was never bored and I never once questioned where the author was going with something.
I am a BDSM fan and have read, BETA’d, and proofread many BDSM books. I loved how Luna gave the respect the BDSM community deserves. She showed all sides of it. From the dark side to the light side to ultimately, the right side. She obeyed the rules without making it read like a manual. She brought life to the BDSM community all the while weaving a terrific storyline with Giddy and Sebby (Yeah that’s my nicknames for Gideon and Sebastian… deal with it)
Sebastian will tear your heart in two. And just when you’re repaired he will do it again. Eventually, he will have the life he deserves but hearing his life struggles broke me apart. Gideon shattered me just as much. His past is different but no less heartbreaking. These two guys needed each other. What Gideon gives Sebastian is unbreakable because it’s shrouded in the most powerful of all emotions… Love.
These two guys just sang to me and though I yelled at them a few times and swore the author to a life of pain occasionally, they were amazing. I adored every page of this book and just think this series is flawlessly outstanding. It is a MUST read!!!!
Other Books In The Series
At 38, Zavier “Cade” McCade has it all: a military career he can be proud of, a successful business, and a close knit group of family and friends. A former Army Special Forces Captain, Cade leaves the military to create Custos Securities, a burgeoning protection agency that provides unparalleled security for both civilians and corporations across the U.S.
After a string of disastrous relationships—and a narrow escape from an abusive partner—Braden Cross is finally putting his past to rest. Combining both his passion for baking and his knack for business, Braden owns the Sugar n’ Spice Café with his best friend who concocts exotic coffees and teas that pair perfectly with his decadent confections.
When a stalker sets his sights on Braden, the young pastry chef’s world is turned upside down. More frightened than he cares to admit, and not knowing where to turn, Braden is relieved when Cade steps in to offer his protection. Caught up in a maelstrom of threats, break-ins, and vandalism, the two draw closer together. Braden eventually realizes that he can trust Cade with his life, but he finds himself wondering… can he trust him with his heart?
Zavier “Cade” McCade, former Army Special Forces and creator of Custos Securities, finds himself in a situation he never thought he’d be in—he’s fallen in love with Braden Cross, the gorgeous pastry chef he’s guarding. Cade has lived his life as a protector: of his country, his family and friends, his clients, and now, the man he’s in love with. He thrives in dangerous and stressful situations. But nothing could prepare him for Braden’s decision to put himself in danger.
After a vicious attack from his stalker leaves Braden fighting for his life, Cade will stop at nothing to see the man responsible punished. Time passes, but Braden’s attacker hasn’t given up and Cade’s afraid he never will. As Cade and the most trusted members of Custos Securities track Braden’s assailant, Braden struggles to rebuild his life and re-establish the fragile trust he and Cade had worked so hard to build. Braden knows if he’s going to survive the chaos surrounding him, he’s going to have to give Cade everything he has—mind, body, and soul.
More determined than ever to hunt down the man that nearly killed the love of his life, Cade will do everything in his power to ensure that he and Braden will be able to live the life of their dreams with nothing and no one standing in their way. Meanwhile, hidden just out of their reach, an increasingly deranged stalker watches…and waits.
I remember when you popped up in my messenger box asking if Diverse Reader would be interested in reviewing your very first novel, Trusting Cade. Never would I have imagined that I’d end up calling you one of my dearest friends. That makes this so much more meaningful. Saving Sebastian, book three in your Custos Securities Series, is outstanding! I want to grill you a bit today, like any good friend should do. So, grab your coffee (not hot chocolate because eew) and let’s talk.
Oh, I agree, wholeheartedly, hot chocolate is the devil’s drink.
First, how do you come up with names for your characters?
I have a big excel doc—aptly titled, Name List, brilliant, I know—with pretty, color coded tabs (yes, I’m one of those people). The tabs are: boy names, girl names, unisex names, last names, pet names. Then, on each tab I have the headings: Name, Book: Couple, Character—where I’ll put the other half of their name, their job and/or relationship to MCs, and whether they’ll be a future MC.
It serves two functions, really. A place to put names I come up with or hear that I love, and a place to keep my info. I have a shit memory, so the list keeps me from mixing people/names up or reusing them.
So, whenever I think of, or hear a first name or nickname I love, I add it to the list. From there, while I’m plotting (in my most non-plotting way), I’ll picture what my character looks like and try to find a name on the list that best suits what he looks like and/or his personality. From there I start the search for last names and find a fitting one.
That’s really the only time I add last names to the last name tab, unless I find a great one I haven’t used and want to be sure I don’t forget. The pet names tab is the same. I don’t have a list of pet names unless I think of one I don’t want to forget. I think of pet names while writing, depending on the personality of the animal, or sometimes toss a giveaway up to get help naming them from my Facebook peeps.
Did you ever think your simple question about names would become such a diatribe? If there’s a way to clearly demonstrate my verbosity, I’m gonna find it.
Do you decide what couple is next to write in a series by which is talking to you or do you get out the whip and set the rules?
Oh, I am under absolutely no false assumption that I have any control whatsoever! Honestly, in my head I thought Jackson and Sawyer’s book would be Custos 3, and for that matter, Cooper’s book would be Custos 4, because I have big chunks of their stories roughly (very roughly) mapped out in my head. They were so prominent in Custos 1 and 2 that I thought it made more sense. But, damned if that Sebastian didn’t just wiggle his way into my heart upon his first mention in Custos 2. And while Sebastian pulled me into his story, Gideon basically ordered me about like the Dom that he is.
A couple people have asked if I have more coming in the series and the answer is yes, I actually have through book 9 mapped out with couples decided and very rough storyline overviews (in my head).
Saving Sebastian deals with a lot. Sebastian who has an illness and Gideon who has a haunting past. What research did you have to do for Sebastian’s illness and within the BDSM community to grasp not only the authenticity but the emotion?
I did a ridiculous amount of research for this book, which is partly why it took so long. I researched Sturge Weber Syndrome extensively, brain surgery extensively, and seizures as well. I researched torture, I researched rigging, BDSM, and contracts. I researched tattoos, tattoo artists’ practices, and scars. The amount of “favorites” I have on my web browser under “Book 3” is scary long.
I wrote this book over the course of a year, a year that was pretty hard on my family from a health perspective, so I’d often put it down and not come back to it for a week, or even a month so anything I’d researched prior to that point I’d basically catch myself up on so that I’d not lose sight of the facts, or at least as much as I could glean from the research and/or what I needed for the storyline. I’m sure there are errors, I don’t think I got everything right, but I did my very best to be as accurate as possible.
The emotions in the book were all Gideon and Sebastian. I’d often find myself crying and typing, crying and typing. I was wrecked by this book as much or more than many of my readers have told me they were. Gideon and Sebastian told me their story in fits and starts. I’d write big chunks of the book and then they’d quiet down, and then I’d start again. They had so damned much to say and I felt as if I’d do a disservice to their story if I took any major scenes out, so I went with my gut and let the story lead me rather than trying to lead the story.
Of my three books, this one is by far the one that gripped me most, emotionally. I have a lot in common with Sebastian and strangely enough, with Gideon as well. So, when the readers are feeling some kind of emotion, they can bet that I was too. I’d find myself laughing, crying, grumbling, and cursing while writing it and it left its mark on my heart.
This book was a true labor of love. It’s long, phenomenal, and highly emotional. How did you decompress afterward?
To be honest, I haven’t really decompressed. I find that hard in my everyday life, let alone my “working” life. This book took its toll on me and my family. I can’t even tell you how much I set aside or didn’t get to because of it. I have a stack of paperwork for at least the last several months to sort through. I’m hoping that doesn’t include outstanding bills, but I’m sure I’ll find a couple wedged in there.
I’ve probably never lived in a messier house. That’s not to say it’s dirty. We clean but we don’t necessarily “pick up and organize” much lately, and for my orderly soul, that too has taken its toll. So, I don’t really know the meaning of decompress. Hell, I went to Mexico with my family several weeks ago. I worked most nights because I was in the middle of edits and proofreading changes.
So, what I’ve let sit will now, hopefully, be worked on. And then I’ll move onto my next book and it all starts over. I think I need a house manager, life manager? A free one. I’m gonna look into that. But I guess it’s most truthful to say I don’t know how I’ll decompress, or even if I will. I don’t know that I’m built that way.
Obviously there will be more Custos but I hear you have other things in the works. Care to tell us about it?
Hahaha, well I just posted today that a plot bunny attacked me in the shower today, forcing me to use my aqua notes so I wouldn’t lose the thread of ideas. Every single one of which was for Custos 4 and NOT the book I should be, and want to be, starting on with SJ Himes. We’re working on a “Daddy Kink” series called The Boys’ Club. We’re pretty excited about it and now that I’m free of Custos 3, I’m hopeful to start discussing it in more detail with Sheena.
She’s one of those amazing authors that writes 5 books at any one given time. I can barely get 1 done in a year, let alone split my focus on 5. But I might have to have her give me some lessons on juggling two at the same time, because I don’t think Custos 4 will wait on the backburner until I’ve written a whole other book in a whole other series. We’ll just have to see what happens. 😉 Stay tuned.
Of all your characters you’ve written, which do you relate to the most and why?
I relate to Sebastian the most, for many reasons, some of which are very personal to me. But honestly, I relate to each and every one of my characters. I couldn’t write them if I didn’t. So, each of them has something unique that I relate to in some way.
Character development is one of the most important things that I try my best to provide. When I’m a reader, I want to know what makes a character tick. I want to know—while they’re doing what they’re doing—why they’re doing it, and I don’t mean the reasons behind plot points, but the emotional reasons behind their behavior. For me to feel emotionally connected as a reader, I want to understand who the character is at their core, so I try my best to give that to my readers as well.
How can your readers follow and stalk you? Twitter, Facebook, Website?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Luna-David/e/B01BR4HXQQ/
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorlunadavid/
Finally, what do you hope people take away from this book?
I hope they take away that love is for everyone, not just the chosen few. It isn’t about perfection, and it’s not limited to those that fit societies mold of perfect or beautiful. No one is perfect. We all have flaws, some of us more than others. If you’re lucky you’ll find that person that loves you and your flaws. But no matter your flaws, you are deserving of it and I hope you find it. I did, and I’m more and more grateful of it as each day passes.
Fast Fire Questions:
Lefty or right? Handed? Right Politically? Left 😉
Day or night? Night. I’m practically a vampire.
Favorite animal? Turtle
Favorite color? Olive green
Favorite alcoholic drink? Vodka Tonic, extra lime, but I love fruity drinks too.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Introvert or extrovert? Complete introvert but I can play an extrovert if forced. But then I go home and crash bc it exhausts me.
Okay, Luna, thank you for coming here and letting me torture you.
Thanks for having me! It was a bit torturous, but I’d do just about anything for you. <3
Luna David will be gifting 3 people copies of Saving Sebastian!
Simply fill out the rafflecopter below!
Contest will end on July 21st
Thank you and thank you to Luna for being here today!
a Rafflecopter giveaway