Blog Tour Stop, Guest Post & Contest: Damned If You Do by JL Merrow

Hello and welcome to the virtual book tour for Damned If You Do! Longtime readers may be familiar with Rael and Lars, which is why I want to start the week by talking about the collection and why I decided to re-release it through Riptide Publishing. I also brought along a giveaway—leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on 6/28 and you’ll be entered in a week-long contest to win a $10 gift certificate to Riptide! Follow the tour all week for more Damned If You Do celebrations, including interviews, thoughts from editor Sarah Frantz, and, of course, more chances to win.

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The Rael and Lars stories were some of my earliest publications, and although I love the characters now as much as I always did, when I re-read the stories there was a lot in them I knew I could do better with the benefit of a few years’ experience in the writing business. The first story, A Calling for Pleasure, was originally written to a strict word count to fit into an anthology, and it was such a relief to be able to give it the space it really needed—it’s now a whopping 75% longer than the version first published!

I had a great time revisiting the first three novellas, aided by the ninja editing skills of Riptide’s Sarah Frantz. The stories are all stronger now, and more importantly, they’re more fun! One of the things I love about writing is the way it takes you in unexpected directions, and the editing process can be just the same. Has your editor found a plot hole? Well, you could just fill it in with rubble and tarmac over it, but on the other hand, what about making it into an ornamental pond, adding a suggestively-shaped fountain and some razor-toothed, predatory fish, and having your character fall in and need rescuing at a dramatically appropriate moment? 😉

Sharp-eyed readers will notice there’s now something of a theme to place names in the series. If you’re wondering if there’s a reason behind Montague Street, Warren Street, and Eymeric General Hospital—and many others—well, yes, there is! (See below.) Sarah also encouraged me to flesh out the world the stories are set in a little more—and to expand on how our sexy little succubus actually feeds on his lover, leading to a more, ahem, sensual experience all round. 😉

I’d always intended to write at least one more story after the three originally published, but other projects jumped ahead and it got shelved for a while. However, having written the Devon’s Plate song, there was no way I was going to leave it languishing unpublished forever! Readers of A Wish Too Far will know I leave Rochelle in a bit of a situation at the end of that one—rest assured that it gets resolved in satisfactory fashion in A Glutton for Punishment! And Rael and Lars’ story feels more rounded now and, dare I say it, more romantic.

I hope readers will enjoy these fresh, expanded versions of the first three stories, plus the fourth (and longest) novella, now available for the first time from Riptide Publishing.

Notes: Montague Street is named for Montague Summers, author of (amongst others) The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, which inspired Rochelle to utter the immortal words, “Ab insidiis diaboli, LIBERA NOS, motherfucker!” Was Buffy Summers also a nod to dear old Monty? I think we should be told.

Warren Street: For over fifty years now, Ed and Lorraine Warren have been considered America’s preeminent experts on the subject of spirits and demonology. According to their website, at any rate, so it must be true.

Eymeric General Hospital is named for Nicholas Eymerich, 14th century Inquisitor General of the Spanish Inquisition. You weren’t expecting that? Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition… 😉

Title: Damned If You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, M/M, Erotic, Romance


Some sins are worth the price.

Sexy male succubus Rael has an insatiable appetite for men that gets him into all kinds of trouble. And he’s just found his favorite flavor: hunky blond detective Lars Thornsson. When those cool Nordic looks combine with Rael’s smoldering dark charms, all Hell could break loose.

Lars’s job at the Paranormal Enforcement Agency means he’s supposed to be policing demons, not falling in lust—or love—with them. But there’s something about this feisty little sex demon that hits all his buttons.

With no shortage of deadly sinners in his city, from serial-killing succubi to drug-dealing demons, all Lars can do is try to keep his private life from interfering with his work. But Rael has a knack for getting mixed up in cases that threaten both their domestic harmony and their lives.

Damned If You Do can be purchased from Riptide here.

Author Bio

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: Website * Twitter * Facebook


Leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on 6/28 and you’ll be entered in a week-long contest to win a $10 gift certificate to Riptide! Here’s how to enter:

You must Do TWO of the Following:

1. Sign up for e-mail updates (upper left corner). One email daily with the day’s posts.


2. Be or become a fan of Book Reviews & More by Kathy Facebook page


3. Follow me on Twitter (@BookReviewsMore)


4. Friend Book Reviews & More by Kathy on Goodreads

Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

5. To be eligible to enter contests on Book Reviews and More by Kathy you MUST fill out the contest entry form (found HERE). This form only needs to be filled out ONCE. Your privacy is important to me, and I will not share your information.

And don’t forget to:

6. Leave a comment below by 11:59 pm on 6/28 and you’ll be entered in a week-long contest to win a $10 gift certificate to Riptide!


Filed under Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Blog

30 Responses to Blog Tour Stop, Guest Post & Contest: Damned If You Do by JL Merrow

  1. laurie goudge

    oh thank you so much for talking to JL. i love JL’s books!

  2. Laurie, I’m glad you enjoy my books! Thanks for commenting 😀

  3. Jess1

    Please count me in.

  4. Suze

    I love JL’s writing too – interesting to see how revisiting early works gets a better end product!

  5. Suze, thank you. 🙂
    I like to think everyone gets better at what they do, the longer they do it for, but the stories have also really benefited from a very thorough edit by Riptide’s Sarah Frantz. 😀

  6. Urbanista

    These stories sound great! I’ll bet they’re awesome, and I want to read them.

  7. Sin Chan

    Thanks for the giveaway. I’d love to read more of your works. Please count me in.

  8. Maya

    Yes please, count me in! Thanks!

  9. Laura

    I never read the originals, but I’m glad the fourth was added, it feels like it rounded it off.

    • I was really glad of the chance to go back and tie up the loose ends, not just for Rael and Lars but for the supporting characters, too. 🙂
      It really wasn’t kind of me to leave Rochelle the way she was at the end of #3! 😉

  10. Penumbra

    I like how you come up with the street names and the hospital name 🙂

    • I had so much fun with all the names. I think my personal favourite is Baring-Gould Boulevard, because of the way it rolls off the tongue, but I also have a soft spot for Sheol Avenue, where Rochelle grew up! 🙂

  11. lawless

    Thank you for bringing J.L. Merrow here! She’s one of my favorite authors, and I own most of her books.

  12. Karl

    Please count me in. I enjoy all of Merrow’s books. Thanks.



  14. Carolyn

    This is my first exposure to Rael and Lars, and I’m excited by what I’m reading about them. Thank you so much for the chance to win, and all the best on the re-release.

  15. I read the four books one after the other. Great job!

  16. Trix

    I’ve enjoyed JL’s paranormals a lot, and this one looks fun!


  17. Jennifer Crawford

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway opportunity!!

  18. Sydney W

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us
    Appreciate it!!!
    Sydney W