We are very happy to welcome back Tempeste O’Riley the Smoocher’s Voice blog today. Tempeste’s recent book release is the standalone novel Caged Sanctuary, released by Dreamspinner Press.
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual, gender fluid 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. She is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, yet 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 member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at one of the links below:
Jodi: Thank you, Tempeste, for joining us today. I enjoy reading your books, and the new one, Caged Sanctuary, is no exception. The story focuses on the two main characters, but for some of the scenes, the supporting characters are important in the character development of those main characters. In preparation for your books, do you outline the characters and plot together, or do you flesh out the characters before writing the plot?
Tempe: Thank you so much Jodi. Actually, neither. I don’t plot out my stories or characters much. I do as far as looks and occupation, but not personality. I let them develop as they may. I’ve tried forcing characters to do as I wanted, instead of how they choose to be, and it never works out my way, lol.
Jodi: Caged Sanctuary is a standalone novel featuring Kaden Thorn and Deacon James. Kaden is a wonderfully vulnerable character, and I think I fell in love with Deacon almost instantly. Kaden is a successful doctor. He is a submissive, and he also is wheel-chair bound. Tell us a little about Kaden and why he believes he does not deserve the love and acceptance of a Dom due to his physical limitations.
Tempe: Kade is loving, submissive, and at one time, had confidence. Then he was the victim of a sever gay bashing, and the only part that stayed the same was the loving part. He packed away his toys and tried to ignore a huge part of himself because he doesn’t believe a Dom would really want him; would be willing to modify things for him and still enjoy their time together.
One of the things that many with mobility issues face is how the able-bodied world around them treats them. This wasn’t something I really thought much of until I began having trouble walking. I got firsthand and up-close knowledge of how some act when you are using forearm crutches or a wheelchair. The way people acted and spoke to me changed. Whether they would meet my gaze or look over my head to speak to me. And may other things altered when my disability became visible due to my tools of mobility.
It’s hard some days to keep your faith in others when faced with others that treat you as less of a person. Then add in that Kade loved kneeling (something he can no longer do), caning (something many would be scared to do thanks to his part injuries), and more. Plus, he did try going to a couple of clubs, where the Doms ignored him. That’s a hard mix to handle and not take personally.It’s not that he doesn’t think he deserves love, but rather that he doesn’t believe anyone will ever look past his wheels to see the boy he truly is inside.
Jodi: Deacon seems instantly smitten with Kaden. From the beginning he is interested in a long-term relationship, but Kaden is wary and feels undeserving of Deacon’s attention. Deacon seems to be a very patient man. Tell us a little about Deacon’s background and willingness to do whatever it takes to help Kaden.
Tempe: Deacon is smitten! The sweet, shy, educated man he meets totally catches his attention. Deacon isn’t your club Dom, enjoying a different sub every night he goes out. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of life, but it’s not for him. He wants a boy that will be his and his alone. Well, he might share with his best friend, but no sharing of the heart, lol.
Kade is very frustrating to a man like Deacon. Kade is so confident in his work life but nowhere else, so Deacon has his work cut out for him. Deacon doesn’t see Kade the way others have or how Kade thinks other have. He sees a man he could love, or so he hopes. But Deacon is a patient man, willing to work for what he wants. It’s who he is and why he’s so successful in his work life. He’s an architect, a much respected and well-known man in Asheville, NC, where both men live. Working hard is natural to him, so he has no problems putting that into his pursuit of Kade. Besides, if it were too easy, it wouldn’t last. He goes into the relationship fully aware that he will have to fight Kade for Kade, but as his past unfolds in the story, you find out that he’s never the kind of man to give up on someone he wants.
Jodi: Kaden has faced discrimination and abuse in his everyday life and in the BDSM community. The homophobic attack against him resulted in his physical disability. Yet, it is the ostracization by the BDSM community that he has taken more to heart. Why is that?
Tempe: Simple, to him at least. The attack was stupid being violent. Being shunned by the community he loved and felt a part of, that was personal. I know that sounds a bit warped, but to Kade it makes perfect sense. His parents shunned him for being gay, only a few friends (Katie being one of them) stuck by him. Then he found the BDSM clubs and found himself. He was popular with the Doms, loved serving, felt at home there where who he was was perfect and no one looked down on him. That is... until he could no longer walk.
Truthfully, had he not pushed his best friend in the life away and/or tried again later, he might have found that there were Doms willing to still play with him. That there might have been other Doms willing to be more than a one-time partner, but fear and hurt got in the way. As I’ve said before, it’s the nasty loop of doubt and fear that is in our heads that hurts us far more than the words of others.
Jodi: The club Fierce appears to be a microcosm of the BDSM world. The characters at the club show both acceptance and intolerance. Is the BDSM world a microcosm of society in general, or is there more discrimination in this lifestyle?
Tempe: Whether you’re part of the Life or not, you’re still a person and people are not all are as we would wish them to be. Are Doms and subs more intolerant? Sometimes. Are they more tolerant? Sometimes. They are simply people.
When I wrote of those at Fierce, I wanted to show the different types of people out there, though my depictions have little to do with any specific club. Anywhere you go you will find good and bad, though because of the biases against BDSM so many vanilla people have, many in the Life tend to be more open and understanding. You also have to understand that even subs get jealous and even Doms can be asses, lol. It would be wonderful if that weren’t true, but...
I spoke to more than a few differently abled subs while writing Caged Sanctuary and found that each person’s experience was unique, but that all those I spoke with found ways to continue to serve as was their desire, and found Doms willing to accept their limitations. As one put it, it’s not that different from giving hard limits. The Dom has to respect that or he/she’s not the right person. Move on.
Jodi: Kade is fearful of telling his best friend, Katie, about his lifestyle, although he was open with her when he “came out.” Why does he fear she will reject him?
Tempe: That’s never addressed in the story, on page, but saying you’re gay and saying you love to be caned are not the same things. Many fear rejection by those that wrongfully believe BDSM is about abuse. After losing his bio-family, he didn’t want to do anything that might lose him what love and friendship he had left.
That said, I think Kade will eventually tell Katie and be pleased with the outcome.
Jodi: In Caged Sanctuary as well as the books in the Desires Entwined series, trust seems to play an important role with all of the relationships (Kade and Deacon as well as Kade and Jake). Was it a conscious decision to focus on this issue?
Tempe: LOL. No, trust wasn’t really the focus for me when writing any of my stories, though I know it tends to be a focus for me. Part of that is situational and part of author bleeding onto the page a little. I don’t trust others easily and once trust is broken, it’s darn near impossible to earn it back from me.
However, Kade’s trust issues with Deacon and Jake make sense, to me at least. Kade fears he’s not good enough for Deacon, so he pushes in odd ways and tends to jump to the wrong conclusions.
He believes he won’t be able to be a sub anymore, so he pushed Jake away, unable to watch his friend have and be what he no longer can (yes, I know Kade’s wrong there, but it’s his logic, not mine ;) ).
So realistically, trust had to be a big thing for Kade. Being thrown away by your family, and then loosing part of your identity thanks to hate and violence, combined to make him fear what he wanted and not trust that he had it even when he did.
Trust is not easy for many, especially those that have been victims of violence and hate.
Jodi: Have you participated in the BDSM lifestyle or is your story based on research?
Tempe: Um... as in clubs and full training? No, I have not. Into kink and love a bit of bondage and force, oh YEAH! I’m not the kind that could just up and go clubbing (never have been, even when I walked normally... too shy, seriously too shy), so that part is all based on research (talking to both subs and Doms – they tend to be very willing to talk when they know it’s for a book as they want their lifestyle shown for what it is, not what others try to label it as).
Some of the activities within the story... oh, I’ve had fun with some of it ;) but not telling which bits, lol.
Jodi: Let’s talk about the BDSM community as it relates to this story. Your characters state several times that abuse and submission are not the same thing. How does Deacon determine where that line is?
Tempe: When the action is done out of anger, violence, to make the other suffer (non-erotically) then it’s abuse. Beating your partner, holding them inside their home, spewing venomous words until they believe they’re worth nothing... that’s abuse. Giving erotic pain for joint pleasure, is just that... pleasure.
Deacon is always attentive, watching to make sure Kade is enjoying what’s done, cares for his welts, and more. They also talked beforehand about desires, interests, limits, and the all-important ‘safe words’.
How is Kade after each session? Is he fearful of Deacon’s anger? Is he in need of medical care? Or is he happy? Does he feel safe and loved?
Kink is not abuse, even though some of it appears that way to outsiders. But, it’s pleasure and pain for pleasure’s sake, not to hurt, abuse, or control (without permission) the sub.
There’s also a very simple way to determine... Kade has his safe words. At any point, he can use one and everything stops. In truth, subs have much of the power in a scene or in a relationship. They can say red/stop/cinnamon/or a plethora of other words and it stops. Abuse victims have no way to stop the abuse other than by escaping.
Jodi: What exactly is “sub space”?
Tempe: Each sub explains if slightly differently. It’s the floaty, nothingness that happens at a certain point, if the scene goes right. They are able to shift their consciousness where they feel nothing but pleasure, bliss... no life pains, no stress, just contentment and pleasure.
Not all subs go to sub space every time, some struggle with trust (without trust it’s hard to let go enough to get there). But when you do, there’s nothing else like it.
Jodi: Do you have plans for additional books with these characters, perhaps a novel for Sam and Jake?
Tempe: When I wrote Caged Sanctuary it was meant to be a standalone. Readers have asked me already for Sam and Jake’s story as well as a story for one other the other Doms in the book (one that makes a huge impact on Kade, though they only speak for a couple of moments). I haven’t decided yet if I will leave Caged Sanctuary as a standalone or give others a chance to share their story of kink and love... Only time and my muse can tell.
Jodi: What is next for Tempe?
Tempe: Signs of Desire is next. It’s part of the Desires Entwined series, featuring Simon as one of the two main characters. Poor man needs love. If you read the first three books, then you know he’s usually very outgoing and loves life... until his ex cheated on him. Signs is his hope to find the man of his dreams, though not quite who or how he expected. ;)
After that... I have a short (haha) list of stories I want to write, including a full-length story based on the short I wrote for Vicktor Alexander’s Birthday eXXXtravangaza. I can’t wait to jump into that one (and yes, it’s another BDSM, but very different from Caged Sanctuary).
by Tempeste O’Riley
M/M Contemporary BDSM Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: DWS Photography
Cover Artist: DWS Photography
Release Date: December 29, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 204 pages
Add to: Goodreads
Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.
Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.
Kade's fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he's learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon's determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.
AFTER WORKING all day in the office Monday, Kade was disappointed that Deacon hadn’t called or texted. He’d probably changed his mind already, though Kade had hoped this time would be different.
Shortly after Kade made it home Monday night, his cell rang. He set his takeout on the counter in his kitchen and fished out his phone. The caller ID said Deacon (Sir), speeding his heart rate considerably.
After fumbling it once, he managed to answer the call. “Hello?”
“Hello, Kade. How are you this evening?” Deacon’s rich voice washed over Kade, raising goose bumps along his arms and sending a shiver down his spine.
“I’m fine, Sir. I just got home. How was your day?” It sounded lame to his ears, but he didn’t know what to ask. He didn’t know the man well, so he wasn’t too sure what to do. Well, that and it had been so long since he’d had anyone interested in him, he didn’t remember how to do this part anymore.
“Long,” Deacon replied, humor in his voice. “You have very protective friends, by the way.”
“Uh, I do?” The only friends Deacon knew were Katie and Dane, and they’d been the ones who set them up, so….
“Mmm, you do. Dane stopped by my office today at lunch to politely tell me he doesn’t care if I am his boss; I am not allowed to hurt you or use you in any way. I wanted to ask if that included the use of floggers, ropes, cuffs, spankings….”
A moan slipped through Kade’s lips before he thought to control his reaction. Ropes? Floggers?
“Oh, that’s a nice sound. You like the idea of me using those on you?” While the words were a question, the tone was a demand, one that shot straight to his groin, making him deliciously hard.
“Please?” Kade thought about how he’d been bound previously, but again his lack of usable legs crossed his mind. “Can, can you do that with me like I am?” he asked, afraid yet hopeful at the same time.
“Can and will, once we know each other a little more. I have such lovely plans for you, Kade. I’m pleased you crave what I want to give.”
The matter-of-fact way Deacon spoke made Kade wonder what he had planned for Friday, but he worried about pushing for too many details, not wishing to displease Deacon or seem too needy prior to working out the rules.
“Will we be playing Friday?” Please say yes!
Other Books By Tempeste O'Riley: