Most people see Chase Manning as the party-boy twink he seems on the surface. Only James, Chase’s BFF, knows the depth of his loyalty and the extent of the wounds Chase carries inside. When Chase meets Rhys Sayer things don’t go well, but he can’t shake his attraction to the huge, sexy man.
Rhys is a man of contradictions and fear—a strange combination for a PI and bodyguard. He’s in a bad place emotionally when he sets eyes on Chase for the first time. When Chase puts the moves on him, Rhys insults him, thwarting any possibility of a relationship. Rhys doesn’t see himself as a complicated man, but he dreads the very kind of connection he desires.
Just as they’re trying to overcome their uncertainties, Chase is put in harm’s way. Luckily Rhys and their friends have all the right talents to help Rhys save the man of his dreams.
“We, Carrington Enterprises, are beginning a new venture and hope you can help with designs. Companies I can manage; design and draw, not so much.”
James nodded at Seth’s pause.
“Let me start by explaining the project you will brand. We’re opening a new hotel chain. This will be a little different than your usual hotel, though. Each site will be more like a large bed and breakfast, but they will cater to the GLBT community. It’s often an issue when a couple wants to vacation. They have to consider the area, the hotel, the other patrons even if they want to do something as simple as hold hands. That is, if they don’t want to be met with hate or possible violence.”
James wasn’t sure which impressed him more, the wonderful idea behind the hotel or the deep, commanding voice that instilled confidence in everything he said.
Obviously unaware of James’s internal dialog, Seth continued his spiel. “With our liberal policies and views, we have decided to make a place where judgment doesn’t exist. At least, that’s the theory.”
God, that voice! He shivered.
“Also, each site will have a club, bar, or restaurant attached. So, this will be an ongoing project, not a one-shot deal.” When finished with his little speech, Seth seemed inordinately pleased with the idea.
No wonder Brian gave me the account. He didn’t realize he had spoken aloud until Seth glowered at him.
“Excuse me?” Seth snapped. “I was assured you have no personal issues or biases that might hinder your ability to provide the needed work. Was I incorrectly informed?”
“No. No, sir. I apologize for my comment. It was out of line,” James said in a rush, trying to smooth over the obvious irritation his thoughtless words had caused.
“Are you able to do the branding or should I continue elsewhere?” Seth demanded.
“You misunderstand, Mr. Burns. I had wondered why I was given your account, considering I’m not one of the senior designers and your account would normally be reserved for one of them. Now that I hear what the project is, I understand why I was chosen.” He knew he was babbling but he couldn’t help it. “You see, I’m the only openly gay designer here and my family runs a small bed and breakfast. This project is perfect. In fact, once we have the branding set up, I’m sure I can point you in the right direction for some specialized marketing. Magazines, newspapers, websites, etcetera. We will help you with all of that, as well.” James tried to restrain the extent of his excitement over the project, but was unsure how successful he was. He didn’t want to seem flippant or inexperienced after admitting he was a junior designer with Skye Designs.
Seth raised an eyebrow and smiled. “Excited, are we? Carl said you were the man for the job. I guess he was right if enthusiasm counts. I have a full write-up of what we need and what we do and do not want to incorporate into the brand.” His smile fell and he became all business again. “This is an upscale getaway, not a high-priced bathhouse.”
“Understood, sir. I think the idea will work in areas with a large enough population of GLBT and open-minded people.” His hands itched to begin sketching and planning.
“Good. Once you’ve read over everything and start your designing, I want you to visit the site we chose for the first hotel. It’s here in Milwaukee, so it shouldn’t be too far for you. Would you be ready by Friday?” At James’s accord, Seth opened his briefcase and began pulling out folders and large manila envelopes and setting them in front of James. He paused, peered up at James, and blinked hard. “I should call someone to carry these things for you,” he mumbled, glancing at the items and toward James’s crutches. “You can’t fit all this in your bag.”
James pinched the bridge of his nose while counting to ten in his head. Why do they always see the sticks instead of me? “Mr. Burns.”
“Seth, please,” he interrupted, giving James a soft smile.
“Seth, Chase acts as my assistant when needed. He will tend to anything I can’t transfer up to my office personally. There is no need to be concerned.”
A strange look flashed across Seth’s face, but his expression quickly returned to his previous in-command smile. “Very good then.”
They chatted a bit about ideas and plans before Seth shifted his coat sleeve back to check his watch. With a slight frown, he said, “Well, I need to head back to the office. I will leave this all in your fine hands, James. Please call me here.” He pulled out his business card and wrote something on the back. “I look forward to our next meeting.”
Seth held out his hand. James flexed his fingers and clasped the offering. He knew this was for work, but somehow it felt different this time. Warm and strong, the grip shot tingles up his arm. Seth seemed to hold on a little longer than necessary for business needs. It had been so long since a man touched him, at least without violence or pain. James shook off the thought he might be interested. Beautiful men like Seth didn’t waste their time on guys like him. Besides, he wasn’t certain he wanted to go down such a painful road again.
James stood in the doorway, watching Seth saunter out the main doors, wishing for something, though not really sure what.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
Desires’ Guardian in book two in the Desires Entwined series and before I was half wa through book one (Designs of Desire) I knew Chase’s story had to be told. By the end I not only was determined to write more about Chase, but had found his partner to be (even if neither man believed me at the time, lol)
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
The inspirations for my characters are people I know, stories I’ve heard from friends, things I’ve done/lived with/lived through, the news, or in one case, a challenge (that story comes out in December, lol).
I have traveled, met people from all over the world—though only been to two other countries than my home one—and suffered abuse, genetic disorders, and bigotry, so often the stories are twistings of things I’ve experienced but want to rewrite to give a happy ending to.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
OMG, yes! I know some authors manage not to, but for me it’s an issue off and on. I know part of the problem is I have chronic miagraines, which makes writing hard/impossible, but sometimes my characters decide to be onery and not talk.
I usually go read and try to focus on otherthings for a while before comeing back to the story and rereading what all I’ve written. It’s worked so far
5. Your all time favorite book?
Um… Absolutely NO clue. I love to read and have done so, voraciously, since I was in elementary school. I can’t even pair it down to a favorite author or genre, sorry.
6. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Oh, that would be the more than a year it took me to write Desires’ Guardian. I talk about what made me take so long below 🙂
7. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
Yes, I would. I have always loved to read (and do so constantly) but becoming an author has given me a great deal more understanding of the art form itself, the reasons things are done certain ways in books (editors/publishers have rules!), and more. It’s also made me more aware of the oddities of people I meet, situations I wind up in or hear about, and know that no matter how bizzare something in print seems, it might just have happened that way! Life is often much stranger than fiction, as I have come to realize.
Oh, and I finally found a use for all my weird word collecting, lol.
8. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
I think all authors hit that point at some time or another. I know I have. I almost gave up writing Desires’ Guardian due to backlash from my first book. I have the genetic disorder one of the MCs has, so getting reviews that bashed my portrayal of EDS (the disorder James and I have) or saying I didn’t research the “weird” illness was very hard on my creative work. It’s one of those, I breathe therefore I research kind of things and so I nearly quit. BUT, a couple of author friends refused to let me and other emails, especially the ones from others with EDS, thanking me for putting “them” in the book made me rethink and want to try again. I don’t want to be a disabilities author, per se, but knowing that I touched those with a specific or closely related disorder gave me the drive and hope to keep going.
I’m thankful to those that wrote me, as I cannot imagine not writing now that I’m working on the 4th in the Desires Entwined series and my Master Rave story (I’m still seeking a title for it, lol). Thank you to each and everyone that wrote!
9. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
LOL, well, as I have children in home still… I spend a lot of time working with them on school/homework. I do try to write everyday (right now I’m doing NaNo so I’m going a little crazy with the writing thing 😉 ). I also visit friends and family, help my temple as much as I can, beta/critique for a couple of other authors, and read (A LOT!).
But day-to-day… Hmm… Getting kids up and ready for school, start writing, visit/IM with friends and authors, write, help kids with school work, cook, read to little ones, hang out, write, pray the miagraines stay away, read, write (did you notice the repeated writing? Lol, yeah, I tend to write in bursts).
10. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
Depends on the reason for the bad/acid comments, honestly. When it was about EDS or abuse, I get really upset as those are very real issues to me. When it’s that they didn’t like what a character chose to do, those are easier to let roll off my back. Characters do what they want, not always what I think they should. As such, I know not everyone will love my guys, but I stand by them nonetheless.
As for my advice? Keep writing. Keep writing. If you read the reviews (which many authors don’t do to stop from being derailed in their writings) learn to pick the constructive criticism from the review and leave the rest. Eveyone is entitled to their opinion, but don’t give up or give in because someone doesn’t see things as you do. Oh, and ‘write the story that needs to be written’ not the one you think others want you to write.
11. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
Yes, Desires’ Guardian is part of a series! 😀 It’s book 2, actually. Book 3, Temptations of Desire, has been released already, and is the story of bisexual, Milwaukee PD Officer Dal Sayer (whom you met in both Designs of Desire and in Desires’ Guardian) and gender fluid chef, Alex Noble. Right now I’m finishing up book 4, Signs of Desire, which goes back to Desires’ Guardian slightly as that’s where you met Adrian, a man that Chase tries to date when he’s running from Rhys. I won’t tell you more though 😉 you’ll just have to wait ‘til it come out to find out all the yummy fun bits!
As for what’s next in the series… Signs as I said, the there are at least two more stories planned after that. It truly depends on if the guys I write decide to behaving and settle down or not as to if there will be more after that.
12. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
Oh… what does the future hold? Well…. in December I have a new book coming out that has nothing to do with the Desires Entwined world. Caged Sanctuary is a very different book for me, but one I loved writing and cannot wait to share. I also have another story in the works right now (thanks to NaNo!) and 3 others that are separate from any of the other books mentioned planned for writing next year. 😉
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
For my children to be healthy. All of my children have EDS and ½ have other health issues, so for me, if I could have one thing… it would be for my kids.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Oh, back to favorite books again… stranded? How about a survival guide 😀 So I’d have a chance to make it until rescued, lol
3. Name your favorite fruit.
4. Coffee or tea?
Only one? *pout* Have to go with tea then as nothing better than sweet iced tea, unless it’s a nice cup of hot tea with milk and sugar. Yummmm….
5. Favorite season?
Fall. I love the change of the season, the leaves, the coolness, the coming together of family and friends…
6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
Night. I love the dark and how the world seems to slow and take a breath at night.
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
I was! I was a girl scout and in 4H. actually, I was a Tiger Scout as well, so I can say I was both a boy scout and a girl scout, lol 😉
8. Favorite food for breakfast?
Eggs and grits (can’t tell I’m from the south, can ya?)
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
Healing by Grace R. Duncan (loved it!)
10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Books and children? I have hundres and hundreds (ok, a couple of thousand by now) books, mostly ebooks, but some paperback and/or hardback as well.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Huff! Only one? No no no. Purple (I know, you’re shocked), then black, then blue, then green, lol…
12. Drama or comedy?
That would depend on the day, time, actors, etc. I love all kinds of books and movies, so you just never know with me 😉
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” – Dr. Seuss
14. Cats or dogs?
Cats, I think. Sadly, I’m allergic so I can’t have meow-meows any more but of all the pets I’ve had, cats and teddy bear hampsters were my favs.
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Candlelight! I’m a romantic at heart and have mobility issues, so on no level does clubbing win with me, lol.
About the Author & Links:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud omnisexual / bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.
Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA.