Hi, Everyone! I have the fabulous Julie Hayes here with me sharing a fabulous post and excerpt! Enjoy!
I’d like to start by asking a question of everyone, food for thought.
Have you ever had a crush on someone?
Of course you have, everyone has, at one time or another. Maybe lots of crushes. They’re fun, exciting. Make our hearts race and our blood sing. They make us come alive and keep us young!
It usually starts in grade school. You see a cute boy or girl and zing! An arrow straight to the heart. Suddenly he’s all you can think about, his image fills your mind even when he’s not around. Even if you don’t know his name. Or, if you do, and you’ve never spoken to him because you’re invisible to him. None of that matters. What matters is that he’s the object of your crush, and that makes him the most important guy in the world. The guy of your dreams.
Do you tell anyone? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. You certainly don’t tell the boy in question, but your best friend? Of course! That’s something you share (unless it’s her boyfriend or brother, that’s another matter entirely). Something you bond over, giggle over, plot, moon, and dream over. Because she probably has one too, so it becomes shared fodder for girl talk.
You plan romantic dates with Mr. Secret Love, and dream of being married, even before you know what being married is all about. And you know he’ll be the best husband in the world and love you more than anyone has ever been loved before. Visions of a cute little house with a picket fence, or your own personal version thereof, fill your dreams. And you doodle his name all over your notebooks, preceded by Mrs.
Crushes can also be painful, especially if pulled into the light of day by cold-hearted peers. Sometimes it’s a friend who means well but has a big mouth. Or a sibling who’s read your diary and knows all—and tells it. Or the boyfriend/girlfriend of the object of your fantasies, who objects to your worship of someone they consider theirs. Or it can be by the crush himself, who laughs at the idea of even being with you. Yes, crushes can be painful.
When I was in seventh grade, I crushed on my science teacher, and fantasized about him 24/7. I dreamed about marrying him, and I even told people that the huge ring I wore was an engagement ring I’d gotten from him, caught up in my own fantasy. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. In fact, as I later learned long after I’d grown up and moved on, the object of my crush was and is gay. Figures, right?
So, what sort of crush is safe to have? One that won’t get you beat down by everyone around you?
Movie and book crushes, of course, pop to mind. I’ve crushed on so many actors it isn’t funny. Usually a lot older than me, at least while I was growing up. When I was twelve, it was Burt Lancaster. And Barnabas Collins, from Dark Shadows. James Mason. Richard Burton. Count Dracula. But then I discovered a different kind of crushing, one which isn’t often admitted to.
Have you ever crushed on someone from history? An actual personage, someone who’s now left the stage for the next life, someone whom you fantasize about what it would have been like to love?
Oh yes, been there, done that.
I think I didn’t even realize my early crushes for what they were, men like Henry VIII and Napoleon Bonaparte. I just knew I couldn’t get enough of them, in fact or fiction. It wasn’t until I had an erotic dream about Napoleon that I realized it was something more than simple admiration.
Now I’ll freely admit that I have a huge crush on Cardinal Richelieu, so it’s not unexpected that I’d incorporate him into my writing somehow, which I’ve done with Captivations. Captivations is set in New Orleans, and it concerns two brothers who own a night club by that name. But these aren’t ordinary brothers—they’re vampires, one time protégées of Cardinal Richelieu. Now it’s the present day, and when Jillian Nichols arrives, sent by the Church to be their new daykeeper, all Hell breaks loose. This is a WIP, which began as a monthly series at a publisher who went under, so now I’m finishing it on my own and hope to release it this year.
The acorn doesn’t fall from the tree, as I discovered when I learned that my twenty-one year old daughter had (or maybe still has)a crush on Benjamin Franklin. I shouldn’t have been surprised—her taste in men has generally run to guys that are too old for me!
A historical crush is safe because there are no jealous boyfriends or girlfriends around to get in the way, although I would advise withholding the information from siblings and most peers, for good measure, at least until you’re an adult. I love history as well, so imagining myself going back in time, to meet and talk with my historical crush—well, that’s a fantasy worthy of a novel.
Secret Blessings: Forbidden Two is the newest chapter in my Forbidden series, with the third part releasing on March 1st. The year is 2056, twenty years after the Armageddon everyone had expected. The world has changed. The United States is now the Alliance of States, having taken control of Canada. And the church is more closely entwined with the government. Jerico James is young, handsome, rich and spoiled, but he’s gone too far and gotten in trouble with the law one time too many. Rather than being put into prison, though, he’s being sent to Sanctum, one of the government help centers whose business is to get the people of the A of S back on their feet. Sanctum is run by Father Sergio de Basco, who knows a lot of influential people When he picks up Jerico to bring him to Sanctum, Jerico falls into instant lust. Will he succeed in bedding the handsome priest? And will he further succeed in evading incarceration at Sanctum?
Forbidden II: Secret Blessings
Jerico hadn’t expected his jailer to be someone as dark and sexy as Sergio, it’s just a shame he’s a priest. Will that put a damper on his desire to seduce the handsome man, maybe find a little fun in Sanctum? Perhaps before they arrive? Things happen on the road all the time, after all, delays occur. Maybe Sanctum won’t be as bad as he’d thought, not with the handsome priest to play with?
Maybe his coming to Sanctum will turn out to be something of a secret blessing in disguise? Assuming he ever arrives there.
“Do I get to know your name or do I just whistle for you when I want you?”Jerico smirked, his eyes running cheekily up and down the well-formed body of the other man. Normally, he wasn’t quite so blatant about making his interest in another male known, but there was just something about this good-looking man that was making him throw the rules of subtlety out the window. Not that he was inclined to follow anyone else’s rules, preferring to live by his own. Which was also why he was in the position that he now found himself in.
If Jerico thought he would rattle the newcomer’s cage with his blithe come-on, he was quickly disappointed, for the other man showed no response, either of disapproval or anticipation. In fact, Jerico thought he seemed amused, not quite the reaction he was going for.
“You can call me Sergio. Except on Sundays, of course. This yours?” Without waiting for an answer, he hefted one of Jerico’s suitcases, motioning for him to take the other, then turned and walked away.
Jerico stood there for a moment, gaping after him. And admiring the magnificent view encased in the cheap trousers. Man, this guy had an ass to die for. He would surely love to make a meal out of that. Even clothed, it was an awesome sight. What must it look like without such a hindrance? When he realized that he wasn’t being waited for, he grabbed the luggage and hurried after Sergio, catching up to him just as he reached the bus station exit.
“What do I call you on Sundays?” Jerico asked, intrigued in spite of himself.
Sergio turned and gave Jerico the full benefit of his beautiful smile. “Father Sergio.”
A lesser man would have been dismayed at the knowledge that this gorgeous man was a priest, as well as his jailer. A double taboo by anyone’s reckoning. But Jerico James was not any man. And he considered Sergio’s priesthood to be a challenge, rather than a problem. He wondered just how seriously the priest took his vows. Not of celibacy, of course, those were long since abandoned. The other ones. The ones that said thou shalt not commit sodomy. The vows with which the church had burdened their prelates, citing homosexuality as counterproductive and sinful.
Among Jerico and his circle of intimates these same vows were referred to as thou shalt not suck cock banns—a deliberate reference to the antiquated marriage announcements—and they paid homage to them every time they blew a priest in the sanctity of his church. It had become a badge of honor to bring a prelate to his knees for the glory of their cause.
Jerico followed Sergio from the building. A battered white cargo van sat waiting for them at the curb. Emblazoned upon its side was the simple notation Sanctum in a modest dark blue script. Sergio pulled a key from his pants pocket and pressed a button, pulled the side door open and set the suitcase inside, motioning to Jerico to do the same. He went to close the door, but it hung up on the track, refusing to close.
“Here, let me help.” Before Sergio could respond, Jerico had stepped into the breach. He reached for the door handle, laying his hand atop the priest’s. He leaned in to use his own strength to jar the recalcitrant door into obedience. The two men were of similar height. Jerico found himself standing close enough to Sergio to be able to inhale him. Whatever scent he was wearing, Jerico found it alluring, and his proximity to the handsome man was manifesting itself in his burgeoning erection.