You’ve seen the internet talking about The Untamed (available on Netflix and YouTube), and you kinda want to check it out, but you have no idea what’s going on. Fear not, gentle viewer, I’m here to help you.
What is The Untamed and where did it come from?
The Untamed originated as a Chinese boys love (BL) novel, written by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. The original title is Mo Dao Zu Shi (loosely translated to Grand Master of Demonic Cultivation), shortened by fans and in social media hashtags to MDZS. The author has two other stories that round out a trio of fantasy BL novels. MDZS seems to be the most popular of the three books and is currently the only one with both an animation and live version.
Who the heck are all these people and where did they get those amazing robes?
The Untamed has a big cast and they’re all introduced pretty quickly so it can be a little tough to figure out who is who. The two main characters are Wei Wuxian - who wears black, and Lan Zahn - who wears white. You’ve probably seen fan or official promo art for them. The majority of people are grouped into one of four big clans, identified by the color of their robes.
The Jiang Clan of Yunmeng
They are identified by their purple robes, although in the live version, they often mix in blue and a pretty sea green as well. Their family seat is Lotus Pier. They are a modest and well-respected clan, and their home has a beautiful and cozy feel to it.
The Lan Sect of Gosu
They are identified by their white robes, sometimes alternated with sky blue. They live in the mountains of the Cloud Recess. They are a strict clan (with 3,000 rules!) dedicated to studies. Cultivator students from other clans come there to learn and train.
The Wen Clan
This group is the big bad for the first half of the show. Their colors are red and black and they live in Sun Scorching Palace in Nightless City (named so because it’s so big the sun never sets on it. Brag much?).
Jin Clan of Lanling
These are the hoity toity rich bitches. Identified by yellow, gold and cream robes. They’re the second biggest of the main cultivating clans and live in Carp Tower. It’s gorgeous with open airy rooms, decorated in white, green, and gold.
They’re the newest of the main big clans. They’re smaller and a little rough around the edges. Their family home is Unclean Realm (I’m sure there’s something I’m missing in translation because the place is immaculate) the clan colors are a very pretty gray and silver and they use big blades instead of swords.
So that’s the who! And now, the what the heck is happening.
The Setting: Takes places in ancient fantasy China. In this world, demons, ghosts, etc. are a common occurrence. The nobility / upper class clans are cultivators – sorta like warrior exorcists – who fight these demons.
The Plot: As you may have noticed by the fandom’s screeching and fan arts, Wei Wuxian and Lan Zahn are the main protagonists. At the start of the show, Wei Wuxian is reincarnated in the body of Mo Xuanyu. Mo sacrificies his life to bring Wei Wuxian back from the dead in order to get vengeance against Mo’s enemies. The reason he picked WW for this is because in his first life, Wei Wuxian was a powerful demonic cultivator. The reason WW died? Because he was a powerful demonic cultivator and jealous hos were trying to steal his shine.
At the start of the show, Wei Wuxian has been dead for 16 years. When he’s resurrected, he wears a mask to conceal his identity from those who still hate him. Unfortunately, he’s thrown right in the middle of a dangerous mystery. Someone is manipulating ghosts and demons to harm people. As he tries to help a group of young cultivators fight these demons, Lan Zahn, a close friend from his old life, recognizes him, even behind the mask. The two start tackling the mystery together. But before they make much progress, Wei Wuxian passes out.
As he sleeps, he dreams of his first life, and the show turns into a big flashback where we see Wei Wuxian and his siblings attending the Lan sect cultivation school. It follows the time afterward, where we see all of the trials and tribulations that lead to Wei Wuxian’s powerful rise, fall, and death, as well as the growing close relationship between him and Lan Zahn.
When Wei Wuxian wakes from his coma, we are back in the present and they start working to uncover the mystery. This also leads them to discover events which lead to Wei Wuxian’s banishment, the cultivating world turning against him, and his eventual death.
And that’s what the show is about! But this wrap-up hardly does The Untamed justice. I’ve shown you the what. Next time I’ll show you why you should watch this amazing Chinese drama.
The Untamed is available on Netflix and YouTube.
Thanks for reading my The Untamed watch guide! If you'd like to check out my published work, pop on over to my Amazon page where I have lots of m/m romance, including BLAZE, book one in my superhero series!
Hello everyone. How are you doing during this stressful time? I'm doing my best to keep my worried mind busy with work, books, and Netflix binges.
This week for Fiction Friday, I have a free read. It's a little novella that I'd hoped to publish Valentine's Day weekend. Unfortunately things didn't work out as I'd planned but I still wanted to share it with you. Valentine's Day Hero is a short story that was inspired by several readers on Facebook, who shared memes featuring a superhero and a villain working together for the sake of a child and of course, falling in love in the process.
I actually have a hero vs villain story coming up in the Heartthrob Heroes series, but it's a few books away. In the meantime, I thought this would be fun to write. You can download this novella by clicking one of the links below, read it directly on the Valentine's Hero page, or purchase it on Amazon for .99.
Crimson Force believes in good and fights against evil, presenting a face of strength and honor to the grateful citizens of his city. But he has one weakness – the cyber-thief, Shadow Tech. Behind closed doors, Crimson Force becomes Tristan Alexander, and he lets the Shadow Tech aka Aiden Shaw, control him body and soul.
The physical connection between them is amazing, but Tristan wants more. Unfortunately, a superhero and a modern-day Robin Hood can’t be in a loving relationship together. Or can they?
Valentine’s Day Hero. A superhero romance novella from the Heartthrob Heroes series.
Tags: Holidays, Superheroes, Novella, Second Chance Romance, Light Kink
Heat Level: High/Explicit
Valentine's Day hero is set outside of the main Heartthrob Heroes timeline, so you don't have to read BLAZE first. But if you haven't read BLAZE, what are you waiting for? You know you want to read my sexy dark superhero and the adorable cinnamon role he tries hard not to fall for. Spoiler alert: he fails. BLAZE is available on Amazon and is free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Thanks for reading! I hope you stay safe and healthy. Enjoy your weekend!
Hi! Happy Friday! For this week's Fiction Friday I want to share the first three chapters of Bad Boys Need Love Too: Gage. Oh, and btw it's on sale this weekend for .99! If you haven't yet read this ridiculously sexy opposites attract bad boy romance, now is the perfect time to check it out. Take a look at the first three chapters and if you want more, Gage and Joseph, hit that buy button! Happy Reading!
Joseph rode his motorcycle into the repair shop his co-worker’s brother had referred him to. He killed the engine and set the kickstand, looking around as he dismounted. The place was clean and organized, bikes in different stages of repair parked in numbered squares painted on the ground. He noticed there were mostly standards and cruisers with very few racers.
He removed his helmet, brushing dust from the ride off his suit as he took in more details. The floor was polished and painted concrete, the walls decorated with framed posters of motorcycles. The typical curled-edge posters of bikini-clad chicks draped over bikes were nowhere to be seen. Nothing was out of place. The owner obviously took pride in his business. There was a service counter at one end of the shop, but there was no one behind it. He looked through a wide window that looked into a small waiting area. Someone was in there, but it was an older man flipping through a magazine. He looked like a customer so Joseph didn't bother to go in. As he walked around he finally noticed a man on the ground working on one of the bikes.
“Excuse me is the owner around? I'd like to have him take a look at my bike.”
The man looked over at him for a moment before he went right back to what he was doing. “Why do you need the owner? You too good to talk to a lowly bike mechanic?”
Jordan and Danny sleep in on Sunday mornings. Jordan is usually out late on Saturday nights – one of his busiest as Blaze. On Sundays, he sleeps in. Well, he does now. Before Danny, he used to get up at his usual time and work out for an hour, then go down to the underground garage and review his patrol reports from the week. But with Danny in his bed, he just can’t make himself get up.
You see, Danny instinctively curls up against Jordan, seeking the warmth of his bigger body. And Jordan can’t bring himself to wake his lover or disturb his sleep by taking away his heat source. So, he stays in bed, holding Danny close, keeping him warm. But eventually, he falls back asleep. After all, he got home just before the sun rose and his body could use the rest.
When he wakes again, it’s to late morning sunshine spilling across the bedroom and sleepy smiles and good morning kisses from his lover. They lay in bed, Danny using Jordan’s chest as pillow, lightly running his fingers over his pecs, while Jordan caresses the sweet curve of his lover’s bottom. They talk of all their plans for the day, full of morning optimism, even though they both know they’ll only end up doing one or two things on their list, while the rest of the day is spent curled up on the couch together, watching true crime docs.
And when Danny tries to leave the bed, Jordan pulls him back, sliding a hand around his narrow waist, tucking his back against his chest. He slips that hand down to grasp the erection he’d felt pressing against his thigh and gently strokes Danny to a soft, gentle orgasm. Danny is still trembling when he turns in Jordan’s arms, pressing kisses to his chest as he returns the favor. They’re drowsy again after climaxing, so they take a post-orgasm nap.
When they finally wake and leave the bed to shower, it’s nearly ten. The doorbell rings, announcing the delivery of the brunch Jordan ordered before falling into bed hours earlier. Danny throws on one of Jordan’s sweatshirts and rushes downstairs to answer it and collect the food. When he returns, Jordan’s eyes stay locked on the slender brown legs bare beneath his JW Autobody sweatshirt.
Danny pretends not to notice as he moves around the sunlit kitchen. Until he yawns and stretches, the sweatshirt riding up to reveal more of his thighs. The coy grin he flashes at Jordan lets him know it was on purpose. Jordan doesn’t say anything but when they take their plates out to the living room, he pulls Danny to sit on his lap. He says it’s to keep Danny warm, but really it’s so he can have one hand on those legs in between bites of French toast and strawberries.
Once the food is gone, they settle back on the couch, full and relaxed, fingers laced together as they watch TV. They’ve got plenty of time to get up and take care of their To Do List. And if they don’t, that’s okay too.
I hope you enjoyed this little flash fic of Jordan and Danny! If you’d like to read more of this couple, you can check out their story in BLAZE, Book 1 in the Heartthrob Heroes series. Available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited.
We did it, y'all. We got BLAZE out into the world. I say we because all of the kind tweets and comments you all left me while I was struggling really helped me to stay focused and publish Danny and Jordan's story. And I'm so happy I did! I wrote a sexy superhero romance! Can I make that my brand? Because I kind of want to make that my brand. =)
Anyhoo, BLAZE is now available on AMAZON. $4.99 to purchase and free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. Tell all your superhero loving friends so they can get some of that smexy superhero goodness too. If you need a little convincing, you can check out the first four chapters of BLAZE below. Happy Reading and Happy Friday!
Danny tapped a nervous beat onto the steering wheel with his thumbs as he turned into a small parking lot. The yellow glow of street lamps lit the night, moths drawn by the light flitting beneath them. This lot was unattended and several blocks down from where he planned to go. But cars weren’t allowed to park on the old cobblestone streets in this section of downtown St. Louis, and the lots closer to the club where he was headed were outrageously expensive.
Since his used Altima wasn’t worth stealing, and he didn’t mind the walk, he should be okay parking this far away. Danny pulled into a spot near the front, and stepped out onto the cracked asphalt. After locking the car, he tucked the keys into his shimmery, iridescent blue fanny pack, zipped it up, and set off.
Butterflies swooped and fluttered in Danny’s stomach as he walked. Tonight would hopefully be the start of a new and long-desired chapter in his life. He was about to check out one of the local BDSM clubs for the first time. After a year of researching and role-playing as a submissive online, he was ready to see the lifestyle up close and personal.
He hoped he looked okay. He’d gone for what he’d jokingly labeled a soft BDSM look when choosing his outfit earlier that evening. A sheer white tank top with gold ribbons sewn on in a pattern that mimicked a chest harness, tight black booty shorts, and glittery-blue, ankle-low combat boots. His artists’ soul enjoyed color too much to go with the all black style he often saw in fetish pictures online. There was a cute little choker he’d wanted to add to his outfit, but worried that it might give off the impression he was already in a relationship, he’d chosen a short gold chain with a handcuff pendant instead.
As Danny passed low brick buildings with their windows dark and doors locked for the night, he reassured himself that he would be fine. The D/s community was welcoming. No one would laugh at him for being a newbie. He hoped. It might have been helpful to bring a friend along but this was something he preferred to do on his own. He wanted to walk into The Stocks without worrying about making sure his friend was comfortable. Or worse, being judged by them. That would be too much stress for his first public foray into kink life.
His head down, Danny focused on his footsteps, one foot in front of the other, determinedly taking him to the place where he’d finally connect with others who had the same interests as him. The streetlights reflected off the shine of his boots, the twinkling glitter making him smile despite his nerves. When the glitter abruptly dulled in sudden darkness, Danny looked up in surprise. The street light above him was out, and so were the next several, all the way until just before the club.
Hi. First, I’d like to apologize for disappearing and not releasing BLAZE on the (many) release dates I had set. I thought long and hard over whether or not to write this blog post, explaining what happened and why. On the one hand, I know there are lots of readers who just want to get books and other content from authors, without getting too much of their personal lives – which is completely valid. On the other hand, I genuinely wanted to let you guys know what’s up. But on the other other hand (stick with me, apparently I’ve got three hands in this scenario) I didn’t want it to come across like one of those dramatic tales that always pop up in the book community either.
Ultimately the desire to be honest and upfront about the situation won out. For those of you uninterested in reading the tale – just know that I had several physical & mental health issues, got overwhelmed and needed to step back. BLAZE is now slated for release on September 6th. For those of you who would like to know what happened, read on past the cut.
Hello! For this week's Fiction Friday, I have the first three chapters of BLAZE! If you missed my previous announcement, BLAZE was pushed back to due to personal illness. My apologies! But I'm back on track now and excited to share a little of Danny and Jordan's story with you. You can read it here on my blog or on BLAZE's page.
Danny tapped a nervous beat onto the steering wheel with his thumbs as he turned into a small parking lot. The yellow glow of street lamps lit the night, moths drawn by the light fluttering beneath them. This lot was unattended and several blocks down from where he planned to go, but cars weren't allowed to park on the old cobblestone streets in this section of downtown St. Louis, and the lots closer to the club where he was headed were outrageously expensive. Since his used Altima wasn't worth stealing, and he didn't mind the walk, he should be okay parking this far away. Danny pulled into a spot near the front, and stepped out onto the cracked asphalt. After locking the car, he tucked the keys into his shimmery, iridescent blue fanny pack, zipped it up, and set off.
Butterflies swooped and fluttered in Danny's stomach as he walked. Tonight would hopefully be the start of a new and long-desired chapter in his life. He was about to check out one of the local BDSM clubs for the first time. After a year of researching and role-playing as a submissive online, he was ready to see the lifestyle up close and personal.
He hoped he looked okay. He'd gone for what he'd jokingly labeled a soft BDSM look when choosing his outfit earlier that evening. A sheer white tank top with gold ribbons sewn on in a pattern that mimicked a chest harness, tight black booty shorts, and glittery-blue ankle-low combat boots. His artists' soul enjoyed color too much to go with the all black style he often saw in fetish pictures online. There was a cute little choker he'd wanted to add to his outfit, but worried that it might give off the sign he was already in a relationship, he'd chosen a short gold chain with a handcuff pendant instead.
As Danny passed low brick buildings with their windows dark and doors locked for the night, he reassured himself that he would be okay. The D/s community was welcoming. No one would laugh at him for being a newbie. He hoped. It might have been helpful to bring a friend along but this was something he preferred to do on his own. He wanted to walk into The Stocks without having to worry about making sure his friend was comfortable. Or worse, being judged by them. That would be too much stress for his first public foray into kink life.
His head down, Danny focused on his footsteps, one foot in front of the other, determinedly taking him to the place where he'd finally connect with others who had the same interests as him. The streetlights reflected off the shine of his boots, the twinkling glitter making him smile despite his nerves. When the glitter abruptly dulled in sudden darkness, Danny looked up in surprise. The street light above him was out, and so were the next several, all the way until just before the club.
It's cover reveal day! This is always such a great day because it's the step that takes the book from something that's just in my head and makes it real. Sharing the visual representation of BLAZE with all of you makes it a BOOK not just a story. So I hope you're ready, because it's time to bring BLAZE into the real world.
Hello and Happy Friday! As I work on my BDSM superhero series, I keep thinking back to The Sergeant - my first self-published BDSM romance. That book is hella long (and I love every page!), but I still had scenes that didn't make it into the final draft. Wild right? Anyhoo, thought I'd share one of my favorite deleted bits. Since it never made it into the final book it's unedited and has not been updated to reflect my progress as a writer. Also, it's NSFW, so don't leave it open on your office computer. ;-) Enjoy!
Two nights later, Clay followed Logan into his bedroom. He’d come home with him after their shift. He watched as Logan yawned and stretched, groaning as his back popped. Clay couldn’t resist taunting him.
“Man, Logan, you must really be tired. You actually had to get in some foot action today instead of just bossing us around.” The suspect they’d been serving a warrant on hopped out a window and took off running. Logan had been one of the closest to him and chased him down. The guy hit the ground hard when Logan caught him and slammed him down.
“You’re probably going to want to take some time to rest and recover,” he continued in a mockingly sympathetic voice.
Logan turned around and gave Clay a look. Clay inhaled sharply. He had a feeling he’d just seen the look Tiffany was talking about. Logan crooked his finger at him and Clay obeyed the command, walking over to Logan even though he was a little leery about what he was going to do. He was confused when Logan didn’t acknowledge his comment but reached into his nightstand and pulled out something that flashed silver.
Pssst! Guess what? I’m writing a superhero romance series! What made me write a series about superheroes? Actually, a better question is what took me so long. I’ve been a fan of superheroes since I was a kid watching X-Men and then on to Batman the Animated Series as a tween. The interest faded away for a bit, but then the Marvel Cinematic Universe yanked me back in with Iron Man. And that was it. I’ve been immersed ever since. Recently I got the DC Universe subscription and I’ve binged so much Justice League content. I even came to like Superman, who I’d pretty much ignored for years. So yeah, I think it was pretty inevitable that eventually I’d be writing my own superheroes – except mine are the grown and sexy version. But wait, there’s more!
My superheroes aren’t just grown and sexy. They’re also into bondage. Catwoman runs around with a whip, sexily snapping it at Bats but bondage might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the brightly colored spandex wearing heroes like the Flash. How’d the idea come about then?
Two things kind of merged in my mind last year. One, I hadn’t written anything of substantial length involving bondage in a long time. And I freaking missed it! So it was no surprise that nearly every story idea I had involved bondage in some way. Then someone posted something online that caught my eye. It’s been at least a year since I saw it so I don’t remember who or where but it basically boiled down to I’d like to see something with BDSM that’s also fun and bright colors. And my brain went ding! That’s it. D/s superheroes. That’s what I want to write. And now, here we are.
Researching the subject to help with my world building and storytelling was no hardship. I just plopped down on the couch and binged cartoons and read comics – something I do every weekend anyway. There’s a million ways heroes can come into their powers so pretty much anything I came up with would work. My favorite superhero overall is Batman (Cap is #2) so it’s no surprise Book One features a quiet loner hero who fights crime in the dead of night. But instead of batarangs and grappling hooks, Blaze uses electricity-based powers to take on the street-toughs of St. Louis.
I actually had a funny moment on one of my research days. Blaze is bi-racial - Black and Caucasian. And I didn’t realize that it’s a running joke in the comic world that Black superheroes often have electric/lightning based powers. I only knew of Black Lightning, Storm and Static, but apparently, it’s more widespread than that. There’s Black Vulcan, Juice, Soul Power, Volt... Adding another Black hero with electric powers to the list wasn’t intentional but I’m happy to have Blaze join that roster.
I set the series in my hometown of St. Louis rather than a fictional city, because I remember years ago watching X-Men, and there’s the scene where Wolverine is fighting Sabretooth on top of the Statue of Liberty. He swings around her crown with his claws, slicing off the tip. I thought that was really cool. But I also thought, Hey! St. Louis has cool monuments. Why isn’t anything ever set there? No one gave me what I wanted, so I had to go Thanos mode - “Fine. I’ll do it myself.”
Okay! You want dates and details, yeah? I got you. I’ve planned for a six-book series. Book One is titled BLAZE and features Blaze and Danny – a popular superhero fan artist. I’ll have the cover, blurb, and Goodreads link for you next Tuesday. The release day is set for May 31st.
I am ridiculously excited for this. It’s nice to be able to put years of nerd-dom to good use. I’m having fun telling the type of stories I’ve enjoyed seeing on screen and in comics – except with the smutty bits added in that you’d usually only get to see in fanfiction. Speaking of which, over the next few weeks I’ll have recs for other m/m superhero romance stories - both fic & pub’d - because they are out there and if you haven’t enjoyed any yet you should definitely give them a try.
Thank you for reading!
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My rambling and not at all edited thoughts on romance novels, writing, wrestling, shoes, dogs, roller derby and whatever TV show I'm binging.