Greetings readers. Today I am very excited to have one of my favorite people, Ann Mayburn, here to tell us a little about the unlikely heroes from her Submissive’s Wish Series. In this contemporary BDSM romance series, her heroes are members of the Russian bratva (Russian Mafia), and they have very dark sides. I’ve read both books in the series, and I’m intrigued by these men – what drives them, how they function in their dangerous world, etc. I have
begged Ann to tell me all she knows asked Ann to share with my readers more about the nature of the bratva and why she picked such unlikely men as romance heroes. Please help me welcome Ann Mayburn…
For anyone who has read my work I love writing about flawed characters, people who don’t quite fit into societies’ mold of how we are supposed to think, act, and look. People that on the outside seem odd and sometimes scary, but once you get to know their history, the environment that they live in, you begin to understand why they are the way they are and it makes sense. See, I believe all human beings are profoundly screwed up in our own way. We are, by nature, savage creatures bent on our own survival. Don’t believe me? Well, the history of mankind would beg to differ. Inside of all of us there resides a killer, a natural instinct to survive even if it means at the expense of another. People in civilized countries may try to deny it, may argue that humans rise above their base natures, but that is really bullshit.
All of us have a killer that lives deep in our genetic heritage, some just hide it better than others.
In the States we have, for the most part, been born into a life of safety and security. Yes, there is poverty, and crime, and corruption but we can go stand at a bus stop knowing that the chances of a suicide bomber killing us on the way to work are very slim, or go out with our girlfriends and not worry about being kidnapped and sold into prostitution. Or we can go to the police with a problem and not have to worry about being thrown in jail until we pay a bribe, or are beaten, or are flat out ignored. If any of those things happen we can go to the press with the story where it will most likely get run and the corruption exposed. This leads to a warped sense of what the rest of the world is like, places where corruption is a way of life and violence is just something people deal with.
When I decided to write about the Russian Mafia the first thing I tried to do is to put myself in the place of a member of the bratva. This means immersing myself not just in the criminal hierarchy of the organization, but also the lives of people living in Moscow. I needed to research the history of the bratva, which stretches back generations and generations, and how it evolved during Russia’s turbulent political history, and the world I found absolutely fascinated me.
The Russian people, often misunderstood and cartoonish vilified in American media, live in a very different world than the one I live in. Yes, there are more similarities than differences, but those differences lead to a different way of thinking than most people in the United States. They live in a world where what we would call corruption is just a part of life, something that is dealt with like taxes, and the criminal underworld might as well be another Russian political party. While the bratva is feared, and with very good reason, they are also part of the social fabric of Russia to the point where once you start looking you can see the bratva’s influence in every part of the Russian political system. This is neither bad nor good, but rather just another part of their daily life.
Without even going into the fascinating power structure of the bratva itself, I will say that it is run more like a corporate empire than the US street gangs. While the bratvas of course have average street thugs among their members, the people they try to recruit, the ones that rise to the top, are for the most part educated and intelligent men. One of the ways the West first became aware of the changes going on within the Russian mafia were large concentrations of highly educated Russians in foreign cities. We’re talking multiple PHD brilliant men and women working on the behalf of the bratvas and assisting in criminal activity so brilliant and complex that it makes the gang from ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ look like a bunch of rank amateurs.
In the Russian mafia, a man’s worth is based largely on the strength of his word and his standing as a ‘man’ among the bratva. Here courage and strength are rewarded while any show of weakness is like throwing chum in a shark tank. This is not a world where the soft and innocent survive, the weak are killed and eaten in this concrete jungle. Only the most brutal make it to the top and it is those men that I write about in my Submissive’s Wish series. Strong, powerful, ruthless men that will do anything to protect themselves and those they love.
Yes, even people that we view as monsters can love.
I could go on for hours and hours about all the different aspects of life in Russia that I’ve put into my books, along with the fascinating history of the bratva, but this isn’t a lecture hall. 😉 Instead I invite you to take a look at my Submissive’s Wish series if you’d like to see how I’ve interpreted the amazing and deadly world of the Russian mafia, and how some American women managed to capture the hearts of the men who are at the top of the bratva food chain. This is, of course, fiction, and romantic fiction license has been taken with many aspects of the world, but there are heavy threads of truth as well.
Because this series is one huge epic Russian mafia romance with a background storyline arching from book to book, I suggest you read it in order though you don’t have to. The men of this series aren’t your regular heroes, they do bad things without apology because this is their world and they will rule it how they see fit, but they love their women with everything they have. Some may see my Russian mafia heroes as cruel, abusive, and heartless animals while other will look at these men and see how much they love their women and how they will do anything to keep them safe and happy. In Russia men don’t show emotion but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. While you’ll never see one of my bratva heroes grabbing a guitar and singing love songs, you will see how they cherish and adore their women…just in a different way than what we’re used to in the west.
I hope I haven’t bored you to tears, and if you’re interested in taking a peek at the world I’ve created, the first book in the series is Ivan’s Captive Submissive. It is a BDSM series, and I would highly suggest you read the warnings if you aren’t used to uber kinky sex. However, if you’re in touch with your inner freak, you’re gonna love this series.
One of the best places to start, in my opinion, with the Russian mafia is the background of their tattoos. I know it sounds silly, but once you learn the history of these tattoos, what they represent, and what they mean you will have a whole different way of viewing the daily life in Russia. It isn’t a nice happy fluffy kitten story, but it is fascinating and more importantly, it reflects a culture that so beyond what we experience during a daily life that it almost seems like another world. The documentary below is fabulous, but brutal so be prepared.
THANK YOU ANN!
Admit it, readers… you are totally fascinated now, aren’t you?! If you like super hot and sexy stories, I recommend checking out Ann’s Submissive’s Wish series.
About the Books:
When Gia Lopez signs up for the Submissive’s Wish Charity Auction she has no idea that she’s about to be bought by a Russian Dom who will do anything to make her fantasies come true. Including staging an elaborate kidnapping that Gia believes is real. Ivan is instantly drawn to Gia and he wants to be the best Master she’s ever had. As he spends time with Gia he begins to have intense feelings for the strong, independent, and sexy American woman. He’s only won a week of her service but wishes to keep her forever.
Unaware of Ivan’s true feelings, Gia fights her growing emotional attachment to him. All she wants is to settle down with a nice Dom in the United States, continue her career, and live a normal life. However, Ivan sets a plan into motion that will push Gia to all of her limits and take her on a global journey of self-discovery, extreme pleasure, and love.
As the daughter of an outlaw biker, Rya DeLuca is used to living a wild life, but nothing could prepare her for the danger of falling in love with Dimitri Novikov. To Rya he’s a warm, loving, sexy as hell Dom who gives her exactly the kind of bondage and discipline she craves in the bedroom, but to the rest of the world Dimitri is a feared man, a cold blooded, heartless killer who is at the top of the Russian Mafia food chain.
While her hard and Dominant Master is her perfect match in every way that matters, their love can never last longer than a few days at most. Every moment Rya spends with Dimitri puts her life in jeopardy from rival gangs and Dimitri’s own family.
Dimitri will have to decide if he loves Rya enough to walk away from her in order to save her life, or if their love is worth starting a war that could change the world of the Russian mafia forever.
And Coming Soon… Alexandr’s Cherished Submissive (Book #3)
Want to give one of these hunky Russian men a try?! I’m giving away winner’s choice one (1) digital copy of either Ivan’s Captive Submissive (Book #1) or Dimitri’s Forbidden Submissive (Book #2) to one (1) lucky winner. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form AND leave a comment at the end of this post answering the questions: What is the most unlikely hero you’ve read or would want to read about? The giveaway is open during the time specified on the Rafflecopter form. Winner chosen at random from all eligible entries. This contest is open internationally where not prohibited by law and may be subject to geographic restrictions. Open to participants, 18 years or older, who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. This blog nor its reviewers or owner are not responsible for items lost in the mail. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to abide by these terms.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you have problems with the Rafflecopter form, please email me at twimom227 (at) gmail (dot) com.