First off, I want to thank Jaime for having me today! I'm thrilled you could stop by, and I feel I must apologize for the late posting of this. I've been under the weather, so I'm behind on everything!
I’m out on the Internet this month promoting my new book Bound: Forget Me Knot, a very kinky little romance about two guys who meet at a science fiction convention. Jason Kennley is a sweet, geeky kind of kid, with an interest in BDSM—but even he doesn’t know how deep his interest runs until he gets “roped into” helping leather booth owner Henry Durand in a bondage demo. I got the idea for these two characters while I was sitting in a science fiction convention dealers’ room watching the people around me, and started writing it as soon as I got home. But within a couple of thousand words something interesting happened. I realized I wasn’t telling Jason and Henry’s story, I was just telling Jason’s story. The entire novel is told exclusively from Jason’s POV—which is unusual for me. In my fanfiction, I was something of a head-hopper (at least where the main characters were concerned) and my first novel flip flops pretty steadily between the two main characters’ heads throughout.
But sometimes you just have to let the story write itself…
Now that Bound is out I thought it would be fun to go back and re-write a few of the scenes from Henry’s POV… here’s the opening scene as Henry remembers it…
Henry frowned when he saw the kid standing smack in the middle of his setup. So far the weekend was not going at all according to plan. He snorted; he was sure David would say that was because he planned too much. Still, even David would have to agree that Derrik getting a migraine halfway here was…. He sighed. It wasn’t Derrik’s fault. And it wasn’t like Henry had never setup the booth by himself before.
Henry smiled when he saw the collar the kid was so taken by. It was one of his newer pieces, made of thick gray leather with four hand forged D-rings and a clasp that could be padlocked shut.
Not that there was anyone in Henry’s life he was even close to considering collaring. There hadn’t been in a long, long time. Life’s easier this way. Relationships, even the kind with clearly defined roles and expectations, only got muddled up in the end.
Henry considered clearing his throat to get the kid’s attention, but instead said, “Nice choice.”
The kid jumped and whirled around to face him—Henry had to bite back a chuckle. The poor kid looked like a scared rabbit. Or maybe somebody who’s gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Henry smirked. He was pretty sure this was one kid who liked to get his hand caught in the cookie jar. Besides the fishnet shirt that clearly showed of pierced nips, he wore jeans that looked painted on an a pair of gray bandanas looped through his belt. Left side. Assuming the kid knew what they meant, he was advertising that he liked to get himself tied up.
Or it’s just the eighties come to haunt me.
And suddenly he realized he wasn’t the only one staring. “See something else you like?” he asked the kid.
Crimson tinted the guy’s cheeks. “Yes. I mean no! I mean…” he floundered, dropping his gaze and looking more embarrassed than ever. “Sorry, I know you’re still setting up. I saw this and I guess I couldn’t resist.”
“I know exactly what you mean.” The statement came out before Henry had the chance to censor himself. This was his first time at a Michigan con and if he pissed off the wrong guy…but the kid didn’t look pissed off. If anything he looked…hungry. He was pretty sure he knew exactly what for, too.
Henry took the kid by the shoulders and turned him back around. “C’mon, let’s try this on for size.” He lifted the collar out of his pliant hands.
“Jesus, boy, you got enough hair?” he snapped. “Lift that mop outta my way.”
“I… huh? Sorry, I…I should get back to work. I’m supposed to be helping with setup.”
Hoping he hadn’t totally miscalculated, Henry leaned in close. “I’m sure you can play hooky for a few more minutes.”
“Let’s see what this looks like on you.”
“I… yeah… okay.”
In a gentler tone, he said, “Hair, boy.”
“Right. Sorry.” The kid obeyed at once this time, lifting the long curly black hair up off his neck. He practically moaned when Henry buckled it into place.
So he responds to a soft approach. Interesting. He laid his hands on the young man’s shoulders. “There, how’s the fit?”
Sir. Henry smiled, wondering if his weekend had just taken a turn for the better. Assuming he doesn’t already belong to somebody. It was hard to imagine such a pretty little thing unattached. But damn, if he was mine, I wouldn’t let him out of my sight for a second!
The boy’s soft voice brought him up from his thoughts. “I’m sorry, sir, but I really can’t afford something like this. I didn’t mean to waste your time.”
The guy was kidding, right? “Who says you’re wasting my time? ’Sides, last time I checked, looking was free.”
The saucy grin the young man shot over his shoulder caught Henry completely off guard. “I can’t actually see anything, you know.”
Jesus Christ, sugar and spice. This guy was going to keep some Dom on his toes, that was for sure. “I think I’ve got a solution for that,” he assured the boy and reached around to the table behind him for a hand mirror. “There you go. What d’you think?” Henry couldn’t help the warm feeling of pride that spread through his chest when he saw the way the kid marveled at his own reflection. “Kinda makes you look like you belong to somebody, eh, boy?”
“Yeah. I was just thinking… I erm…just…out of curiosity, how much is it?”
Henry hesitated. It was supposed to sell for three fifty. Three hundred to friends and family…but the kid looked so hopeful. So eager. And damn if he didn’t look good in that collar, too. “The hardware on there is all hand forged. I can’t go any lower than two hundred.”
“I really wish I could afford that, but I…I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to afford to school next semester.”
College kid, he should have figured. “Gotta have priorities, boy.”
The kid shot him a questioning look.
“School first,” he elaborated. “You’ll have time for stuff like this later.”
“Yeah. I guess.” But he looked positively heartbroken when Henry took the collar off his neck. He smiled anyway. “Thanks for letting me try it on…” his gaze flickered toward Henry’s name badge. He grinned when he read it.
Henry held out his hand, “Henry Durand,” he introduced himself properly.
“Jason Kennly.” The kid accepted his handshake. His grip was light, but not soft. It only served to confirm Henry’s notion that there was some spice mixed in with all that sugar. The only thing he didn’t know was which side he wanted to see more of. Which is getting a little presumptuous, he chided himself. Jason looked like he might be twenty five / twenty six—maybe. Henry was forty. What were the chances a kid as pretty as Jason wanted to hook up with some old dude at a con?
“Good to meet you, Jason,” he said anyway.
“You too. Well, I… guess I should get back before somebody realizes how long I’ve been gone. See you around the con, Sir,” he added with another puckish grin.
It sent a jolt of electricity straight to Henry’s cock. Damn. He just laughed and shook his head. “I’ll be right here, boy.” He couldn’t help the wink he shot at Jason as he added, “I might even let you model a few other things, if you like. Got a set of cuffs you’d look good in.”
Jason’s cheeks were as red as the ballroom carpeting beneath their feet as he beat a hasty retreat.
Henry chuckled softly—and then he tucked the gray collar back into one of the plastic bins under the table. If Jason still wanted it at the end of the weekend, he’d offer to set up some kind of payment plan, because after seeing the way Jason looked in that collar, Henry couldn’t imagine it on anyone else.
He didn’t want to.
And maybe that made him the world’s biggest idiot, because he didn’t know this guy from Eve’s housecat, but there was just something about the boy that tugged at his…loins. Or at least that was what Derrik would say. He’d probably be right, too.
But what was the harm in offering a potential customer a payment plan? Repeat business and customer loyalty were what paid the bills.
I love that we get to see another side to this story. I've bought the book. I can't wait to read the whole thing.
(you can read the original version here http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3238)
Just click the little button that says “read an excerpt”)
Before I head out, when Jaime and I were talking about what I might blog about, I mentioned that I usually include a recipe in my weekly blogs and she asked if I’d share one here. This is for my grandmother’s very hearty (and very easy) chicken soup (which always causes fights in my house. My wonderful husband is a chef, and makes a very “restaurant style” chicken noodle soup. I make…well, this….)
When Helen mentioned recopies I told her that I don't cook. In fact, I've often been asked to just slowly back out of the kitchen and let someone who knows what they're doing take over before everything goes horribly wrong...
So I'm glad she found me an easy recipe. With the way I've been feeling this weekend, chicken noodle soup is the perfect idea, too!
Like my grandmother, I don’t use a whole lot of exact measurements and I take a very easy going approach to most dishes. Most of the time, I use what I’ve got on hand, not a bunch of fancy ingredients.
With that in mind, you’ll need:
4-8 pieces of chicken; I prefer legs and thighs or even a whole fryer. Bone in, skin on. (This is the kind of soup you eat with a spoon AND a fork).
6-8 large carrots, “rough cut” (each carrot should end up cut into about 8-10 chunks)
1 medium/large onion cut in half (yellow or white are best, but red will do just fine)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, cut in half
2 cartons low sodium chicken broth (I think they’re usually quart sized or there abouts)
2 Tablespoons parsley
1 Tablespoons dill (I probably use more, but I *really* love dill)
2 stalks of celery, chopped OR a half a teaspoon of celery powder OR a teaspoon of celery seed. (I don’t use stalks because I’m not crazy about celery and the rest of the head would just rot in my fridge; if you like celery, definitely opt for the celery over seeds of powder)
1 package of your favorite noodles; I prefer thick egg noodles, but whatever you like best will work just fine.
Thanks for this simple recipe, Helen!!! Even I can make this one, I think.
Start out by browning the chicken in a skillet; this adds a little color to the meat and also gets rid of some of the fat because I drain it off (although if you really wanted to, you could just throw the chicken into the pot and let it cook).
Now, this is where my husband and I come to verbal blows. Grandma taught me that the best part of the chicken was in the bones, so she made soup with bone-in chicken. Hubby does NOT understand why I continue to cook it that way. I could say “tradition”, but seriously, I think it tastes better…or maybe it’s just nostalgia. *g* (He uses boneless skinless chicken breasts and cuts them up into small pieces….which is fine, but it is not what I want.)
For the rest of the process, put everything EXCEPT the noodles into a big pot and let it simmer, covered, for the next hour or so on very low heat. Because it’s a broth soup, it shouldn’t need too much babysitting—you could even put it into a crockpot if you had one big enough. The end result is a hearty “soup that’s a meal”. I pull out the onion and garlic before I serve it.
The trick to a good noodle soup is to cook the noodles separately and add them to each bowl as you serve it—otherwise you end up mushy pasta and cloudy soup.
If you’d like to see more of my family recipes, check out my blog—I update every Wednesday. Usually I talk about the nuts and bolts of writing or living the “creative life” (it’s not half as glamorous as it sounds!) or host guest authors. Find me on the web at helenpattskyn.com.