Today I am so pleased to welcome Brien Michaels to Joyfully Jay. Brien has come to talk to us about his latest release, Anyone But You. He has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Brien a big welcome!
For anyone who is new to my particular brand of…er…crazy, my name is Brien Michaels and I write erotic romance. And dark erotic romance. And sometimes even all out horror. I grew up reading Stephen King, so I can be a little twisted at times. Welcome to my Anyone But You blog tour! I’ll be checking in all day, so absolutely feel free to comment if you’d like to chat. J
Today I want to talk a little bit about secrets in the workplace. Both of my heroes in this book (Jack and Ryan/Sheila) are lawyers, so they have to maintain a certain level of professionalism while they’re at work. As we all should. And during the course of writing this novel, I learned firsthand just how much perception can damage your image in said workplace.
Ryan also performs as drag queen Sheila Saltue, and he is dead set on making sure no one in his office finds out about his other identity. Partially to keep up that air of professionalism, but also because he’s afraid how his colleagues will react if they find out the truth. That was always the plan from the first time I started writing the character. But during the course of writing, for the first time in my life I got an office job. A proper 9-5 that I promised myself I would never get. But my mother pressed me. “How will you know that it’s not for you if you never try?” she asked me. And I would always think, “Because I know myself.” But finally I gave in and tried it out. I lasted five days.
I thought it had been going well. I actually like my co-workers, and they seemed to like me. I felt myself coming out of my shell, which almost never happens. So Thursday night I scoured the dress code because I wanted to let a little bit of the real me out to the people who worked most closely with me. On Friday, I walked into the office in a button-up, a tie (which I never wear), a pair of dressy jeans, and a four-inch pair of heels. I thought I looked fierce. Shortly before it was time for me to leave, I was called into HR and told that they needed to make that day my last day. The HR lady cited the company’s zero tolerance policy for harassment of any kind. I’d been there for four days. I couldn’t for the life of me figure who I’d had time to harass, but I took my termination, and walked out with my head held high. Because I suspected what the real reason was, so I went home, and funneled my frustration into my writing. Into Ryan and the very real fear that he’d been facing his entire career that I suddenly understood better than I wanted to.
At the end of the day, it was for the best. And I think it added a layer of realism to the story from my standpoint, but I still wish it hadn’t happened. Because now I’ll definitely never put myself in that situation again, because I know I won’t be able to be myself. But I can when I’m writing. And when I’m talking to readers. Which is why this is a million times better than some stuffy old office job will ever be.
Jack Kieza has a problem. He’s deeply attracted to men, but his homophobic family has left him too afraid to act on it. With his thirtieth birthday around the corner, his curiosity gets the best of him, and he finds himself at a gay club. After spending a fiery night with drag queen Sheila Saltue, everything changes. Especially when he discovers her alter ego: his boss, Ryan Swift.
Ryan knew he should’ve said no the second Jack approached him. Now he can’t stop himself from texting Jack every chance he gets. But Jack won’t let him take the wig off during sex, and being Sheila off-stage is wearing thin.
The more time they spend together, the more intense their feelings get, but Jack isn’t ready to date a man yet. When drag queens start turning up murdered, it forces Jack to reexamine his feelings, because what if Ryan is next? While Jack wants their burgeoning relationship to work, it would mean having to admit who he is to the world. And that’s an idea as frightening as death.
Brien Michaels was hatched shortly before the turn of the century. He grew up in the DMV area and has been creating characters for as long as he can remember, starting with an imaginary friend named Farquad Beaverhausen. Before turning his considerably wicked imagination to writing, he was an actor, aspiring film student, movie theater concessionist, and the first human to enter the seventy-second dimension. Though it is unclear whether he made it back or if Farquad’s evil twin, Brad, has taken control of his body. He’s currently on the run from the Secret Police, who want to bring him in for questioning regarding the whereabouts of erotica authors L.A. Witt and Lauren Gallagher. If you encounter him, please contact his publishers immediately, as he likely should be chained to a desk writing and not out walking children in nature.
To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win a $10 gift card to Riptide. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 14, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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