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Breaking Bonds by Ari McKay

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I’m the McKay half of Ari McKay, and I’m happy to be with Divine Magazine for this stop on our book tour! Our newest release is Breaking Bonds, which is the second book in our Walker Boys series.

I’ve seen several other authors discussing inspiration during their blog tours recently, so I tried to remember what inspired us to write Breaking Bonds. I can’t really pinpoint anything specific, though. Our inspiration comes from all over the place – photos, movies, TV shows, things that happen to us in real life, or things we see online, etc.

Photos of actors are a common source of inspiration for us. For example, I recently saw a photo of an actor I wasn’t familiar with. I showed it to Ari and said, “He looks like he should be a lawyer in our Undercover series.” Next thing you know, I’ve spun out a whole backstory for this guy, and now we have a new plot elements and a fourth book for that series. Another example is the character I wrote in Out of the Ashes, which will be released in October. I developed Eli after Ari showed me a photo of Brock O’Hurn, who struck me as an excellent basis for a hunky alpha werewolf character.

For Breaking Bonds, I think the basic elements of the story developed from one of our brainstorming sessions. Typically, we go back and forth, throwing out ideas until something clicks. We knew we wanted to write a follow-up to Striking Sparks, and we came up with the idea to have two common elements in the series as a whole: the Walker family and cooking. So each book in the series will feature a man from the Walker family as one of the leads, and he’ll be involved in the culinary industry in some way.

We wanted to make Liam Walker significantly different from Beau Walker, who runs a BBQ joint in Texas. We thought maybe unlike Beau, Liam wasn’t content to stay in his hometown. Thus Liam ended up an executive chef in New York City. Ari created Liam’s backstory, so it was time to create his love interest. The Dreamspun line is based around popular romance tropes, so we decided to go with “vacation romance,” and from there, we developed a hot resort owner who needed Liam’s help.

Ari and I don’t live close enough to each other that we can visit in person, so our communication is via chat, and our brainstorming sessions can get quite odd, especially if a character decides to speak to one of us, and we start throwing out bits of dialogue from that character. After thirteen years of writing together, we’ve gotten good at riffing off each other and running with ideas, and we aren’t afraid to give our opinions about things we don’t like or that we don’t think will work.

We hope people enjoy reading Breaking Bonds as much as we enjoyed writing it! We’re working on the third book in the series, which features a different couple, but inspiration has recently struck about a potential fourth book which would involve Liam and Carter, so you might be seeing them again!


From the frying pan into the fire.

After a critic’s review attacks both Chef Liam Walker’s culinary skills and his personal life, Liam can no longer take the heat of the cutthroat New York City restaurant scene. He needs to get out of the kitchen—at least long enough to cool down and regroup.

At the Overlook Resort in North Carolina, Liam meets owner Carter Galloway. Carter has a passion for the hospitality business to rival Liam’s own, and it’s not hard to see where their shared interests—and attraction—could lead. But Carter has no interest in a fling, and Liam has no intention of walking away from the career he fought so hard for. If they want a taste of happiness together, they’ll have to find the courage to break the bonds threatening to pull them apart.

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Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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