Today I have several heroes here with me as guests. Thank you for joining me gentlemen. Of course, I have questions, but some of your fans have submitted questions as well. Let’s get started, shall we?
Questions for Christopher “Beast” Jameson:
I feel a sort of connection with you as a kindred spirit. You work out a lot, I’m a fitness instructor by day (and night). Do you work out to relieve stress, to escape reality for awhile, or to keep fit?
For a while I think I was addicted to working out. Going down to the gym was a way to escape. Running the treadmill and listening to some music is my comfort zone. It didn’t hurt that I have to stay fit for my…uh job.
Would your ideal woman seek exercise for the same reasons? Think you could hang in one of my classes? *grin*
Well Ma’am, I’d be mighty glad to attend one of your classes. I don’t have much time to workout in the underground gym. Well…I have time but my wife doesn’t like me down there. My wife thinks that since my surgery a lot of people come down more to see me than to workout. She might be right, I guess. My ideal woman—who is my wife Ashleigh, has learned to enjoy exercising but with our little ones she doesn’t do it as much.
Pepper tells me you’re a little shy. Do you think you’ll ever find comfort in the presence of other people?
No Ma’am, probably not. Not unless they are family.
Questions for Leandro Eduardo das Torres aka Lee:
I was drawn to you in a different way, Lee. I have a character who is blind, and like you, his other senses are more acute. Tell me, what does a person’s voice tell you about them? Their scent? Do you have any insight into me?
Olá, Nulli Para Ora andwhat a very good question!Most think only in terms of smell or touch, but sound tells an entire story. For instance, I can tell by the easy flow of your speech that you enjoy words. Your voice is deep and your tone soothing. I always equate that to one who thinks before speaking, who enjoys hearing a story as much as she enjoys telling one.
Did you know that men can smell a woman’s natural scent on an unconscious level? Well as a man that is blind, I can identify my woman beneath even the smell of her perfume and I can do this very clearly. I always loved Tory’s scent as she boarded our bus after running. I told her that I enjoyed the sound of her deep breathing—but I also enjoyed that smell that is uniquely her own. (smile) I think It would have embarrassed Miquerida If I had told her that.
In your story you experience a crisis of confidence. Do you think you could have gotten through it with someone else besides Tory?
Miquerida is who taught me what true confidence is. I thought that I was self-sufficient. But I had all of my brothers, sisters and friends available just at a hand’s reach whenever I needed assistance. And when I had my accident I realized that I couldn’t call on anyone to fix this. It did shake my confidence until Tory; Miquerida; my beautiful love showed me that I had always utilized ‘crutches’ but I didn’t have to. Inside of me was all the strength that I could ever need.
Did you ever hear a hint of deception in Rosalind’s voice? Do you ever think about what could have been if you and Rosalind had gotten together?
I did not know that it was deception that I heard in Rosalind’s voice…or maybe I did not want to know that. Knowing that would mean that a very good and trusted friend was manipulating me and as I depended on her I would not have wanted to imagine that there was some hidden motive behind her action. When I think about it now I believe that Rosalind was happy to have the close connection and the memory of our past love with the hopes that one day I would turn to her. But when Miqueridaentered the picture I believe that Rosalind saw the truth in my feelings and it pushed her to act in a way that she had kept hidden from me and my family. There is no forgiveness in my heart for the way that she manipulated my family against Tory. But I know that deep down she is a troubled and unhappy woman who was hanging on to a memory of a carefree past. And that is something that I can understand.
Questions for Jason Hamilton aka Top:
Between the band, college, and coming into your own, you have a lot on your plate for a young man. If you had to envision a relationship that would be the perfect complement to your schedule, what would it look like?
I’m not in college right now. You’re right, it is a pretty big juggle and would have been impossible. My recording schedule is unpredictable and might go on for a month or two and then nothing for weeks on end. Um…I guess the best relationship for me would be one where I’m married. I mean…yeah. Married.
Interesting. Amberly, the friend, and Robin, the girlfriend. Do you ever feel like you’d like to morph the two ladies into one ultimate woman?
Oh my god, no. Don’t get me wrong. Amberly is one of my very best friends in the world but there is nothing she has that Robin doesn’t already have in a higher degree. Besides, once Robin came into my life she made it kinda hard for me to even think about any other woman. And just to set the record straight, I did make out with Amberly that night at the pool party. And I did feel…something for her when I did it. But it was something that I would have read clearly if I hadn’t been fuc—messed up on drugs and liquor. Please don’t say anything to Robin about the drugs. I…was stupid. Anyways, I would have known that it was stupid curiosity and feeling that…well that someone wants you. Yeah, that’s the feeling. But if I wasn’t high I would have known that the only person that I want to feel that way about me is Robin. I don’t intend to forget that again.
Music is a large part of your life. Would you ever give it up to be with Robin?
(Smile) The best thing about Robin is that she would never want me to. But to answer your question, yep.
Questions for the group:
We’re going out to dinner, who would come to pick me up? Who would meet me at the restaurant? Who would bring a gift?
-(Lee)We actually are taking you out to dinner, mi amo and I got to choose the restaurant. Of course it is to my family restaurant. I hope you like Azorean!
I’ve never had Azorean. Can’t wait!
-(Christopher, with twinkling eyes) It wasn’t hard to figure out who was going to be doin’ the drivin’. My friend Lee can’t see and Top can’t walk…well he’s doing good with the crutches but…I think I’ll do the driving.
Sounds like a plan. *winks*
-(Top, while shaking his head) So yeah. I’ll meet you at the restaurant with a gift. You will be one of the very first to hear Feeling; The last work of Akita Tom. It was my honor to finish it…So yeah.
Let’s hear your best ice-breaker. What would you say to a woman you find attractive and would like to date?
-(Christopher with a faint red glow creeping up his face) I ain’t got much practice with this. I suppose I would smile at her and maybe I should tell her what I like about her? (Lee gives him an encouraging nudge and nod). I think I’d say, ‘Excuse me ma’am. I hope you don’t mind me saying but I noticed that you had about the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen. Uh…I thought I’d just mention that.
-(Top) Not that I would ever use this…but I’d say, ‘This band, this group, this singer is amazing!’ Because Nulli, I wouldn’t meet anybody that I was interested in if it wasn’t at a concert or something. Anyways, I’d say, ‘Hi I’m Top. I have a group, too; Wheels of Steel. Have you heard of us?’ Yep (smiling brightly) I would certainly use my group to score if scoring is what I wanted.
-(Lee) I’d say, “Ola Nulli,” as soon as you stepped into the room. You would look at me in confusion and wonder if I can see just a bit. I would smile and shake my head. “No, I would know you before you even spoke a word. I see you with more than my eyes.” Because the scent of a woman stays with a man.
You guys are something else!
Each of you live with what many see as disadvantages. If you could get society as a whole to understand one thing about the people they label as disabled, what would it be?
-(Top’s green eyes grew fierce) When you look at me see ME; not some poor kid that wants your sympathy, not a deaf person that needs you to yell at them or a mentally disabled person that you think you have to speak slowly to. If I’m acting like a shit then tell me I’m a shit. (He grinned) If you dare.
-(Christopher) Sometimes people that look the scariest are the most vulnerable. That doesn’t mean they want your attention just because they have a disability, but they—we want to be treated like we are just the same as anybody else. I don’t have the scars on my face but Ash can tell you that I will always wear them inside. People treat me so much different now. I really have no use for those people. When I thought I was ugly those people that treated me like I was important are the people I hold close.
-(Lee) People should stop thinking so hard about someone that they meet who might have a disability. If you ask me if I’d like some help with something I won’t be offended. I’ll say no politely and thank you and then we might end up talking. Here is the most important thing that our friend Pep has tried to share with you all; we all have disabilities. Just some are more obvious than others. How do YOU want to be treated?
Very powerful answers. I hope people get the message.
Let’s say I have a magic lamp that grants three wishes, one for each of you. What would you wish for?
-(Top looking down at his fist) I wish that the night at the pool party had never happened. I wish that I had stopped Robin from leaving the party and that…well the stuff that happened next had never happened.(looking up). That’s a stupid wish. I needed that to happen in order to grow up. Truth is, I wish that Akita Tom hadn’t been on the Shuto Expressway that day. That’s all, I guess.
-(Christopher) I wish…that I hadn’t let my friend and Commander; Bruce Koepketake my place in combat. We both lost something when I made that decision. People think that because I got a new face out of it that I consider myself lucky. But I don’t. I never needed it and Bruce lost a lot because of my choices.
-(Lee) I would like to see my son and daughter with my eyes.
Do you have any questions for me? *smile*
Q-(Top) Yes. Is there a meaning behind your name?
My name is Latin. It means, “Nothing By Mouth.” My stories are read and not spoken, so I liked the intent. Latin is also the root of all Romance languages. I write romance and I love languages. It just fits.
Q-(Christopher clears his throat) Ashleigh reads your books and she told me that I had to do this interview so that I could ask you a question. In Waves of Change you talk about soul mates. Daniel is drawn to Alicia because that was his soul mate. But do you believe that every person has a soul mate that is waiting for them?
I think there’s someone for everyone. Do I think that person is waiting? No. Sometimes, you have to fight for love.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
-(Top looks around) Well I’m going to Japan to finish where Akita Tom left off. Robin is coming with me this time.
-(Lee) We’re moving back to the states now that Tomaz is two months old. Tory and I want to raise our family around family. It was very good returning to the Azores to have my son and daughter but it will be wonderful living back in the States…where I’m sure we will have more.
-(Christopher) Ash and I now have four little ones. Well, we almost have four. The last one is still brewing in his Mom’s tummy.
-(Top) Pep says to tell everyone that Wheels of Steel book 4 is in the works and she will tell everyone about what has been going on with Me and Robin, Belinda and Peter, Amberly and Y, my mom and my Dad as well as Robin’s mom. Pep’s Mom has been sick so she hasn’t been writing as quickly as she likes. She has a lot of projects and thinks she has to get them all done at once. We tell her to slow down before she pops a blood vessel but she doesn’t listen to us as much as she should.
-(Christopher) Yes, please keep Pepper’s mom in your prayers. Miss Shirley is Pep’s muse—
-(Lee) …just one of her muses. But Pepperitofeels sick when one of her muses feels sick. You can send her a message telling her to feel better and that helps. You may contact her on her FB page, or at her blog. She does read her emails too.
-Top (looks around). Now it’s time for us to answer some questions from you the fans. (Picking up a card and begins reading the question aloud.)
Q. Jason, what happened after you got back together with Robin, was it happily ever after?
A. Nah. There was nothing happily-ever-after about it even though things are better. Robin was different; mean and she was drinking and doing a lot of drugs. I was different too. I figured out that being mean wouldn’t get me anywhere. We went down to Atlanta together to visit her Mom and things seemed to get normal again. Her Mom was happy and she was more like the Robin I remembered. But then we got the bad news about Akita and well…things changed again.
Q. Lee can you teach guys nowadays to be like You *dreamily hoping all the guys are as fabulous as Lee*?
A. (with a soft chuckle) Unfortunately querida, I cannot. You will have to find the one that appreciates your true beauty. Please do not settle for one that is blinded to the real you. There are many of us out there waiting just as eagerly as many of you ladies are.
Q. Christopher, where do you “really” get your recipe for those tasty pre-work out shakes that Ashleigh enjoys?
A. Ah, well Ash enjoys some that I can’t stomach. Usually that happens when I’m deployed and we are brewing a little one in her belly. Right now she likes ginger snaps crushed up in a food processor with thick cottage cheese and flavored coffee creamer…But ma’am, to answer your question I did some research on the internet and then I just did whatever the heck I thought might taste good. I like green tea. Ash and I like pretty much everything.
Q. Top, If Link hadn’t stopped you, would you have had intercourse with Amberley?
A. (Top shakes his head but doesn’t answer.)
Q. Top, why did you feel the need to humiliate Robin when she had done nothing but show her love for you?
A. (Top blushes.) Because I was a shit back then. Because I was hurting and I just struck out without thinking. Back then that’s what I always did. It was like…a way to protect myself.
Q. What are your feelings for Amberley?? Why do you keep Amberley close by when you know how much pain she has caused Robin? What made you decide to cheat on Robin? Was it a preemptive strike?
A. (Crumbles the paper and throws it to the ground with a scowl). I’ll only answer these questions because Pep asked me to be honest. But I’m going to tell you anonymous that the reason I acted the way I did was because I was a fucked up kid that had been fucked most of my life by caregivers, my own Dad, my Mom and well meaning people just like yourself!
-(Pepper Pace) Calm down Jason. You agreed to do this interview of your own free will. Anonymous is only asking what she is curious about.
A. (After a minute of scowling) Alright. So one of my first memories is watching my Mom leave the house each morning so that she could go to work. My caregiver would have the soft flower voice whenever Mom or Dad was around. But when they left, her voice…it became the real her that Mom and Dad never saw. Then she would finish giving me breakfast, pull my hair when I slouched or if food fell out of my mouth. She would take me upstairs to my room, put me in bed and leave me there while she watched television and talked on the phone. If she heard me get out of bed to play with my toys she slapped me and tied me up.
Once Mom saw the mark on my cheek and it was the first time that it occurred to her that when she wasn’t home bad things might be happening to me. My Mom picked up a coffee mug and beat the woman in the head with it. (Jason paused.) It made me feel good. And later, when I felt as if life got out of hand I struck out first. It was one way for me to feel powerful. As far as Amberly and keeping her around…well I won’t do that to Robin. I won’t force her to be friends with someone she doesn’t want to be friends with. But Amberly is my friend, as long as all she wants from me is friendship because that is all I want from her.(He reaches for the crumpled paper and reads the last question for himself.)
Q. Why didn’t you ever try to find Robin after you returned from Japan?
A. I did look for Robin. When I returned from Japan the first thing I did was to go to her apartment. But she had already packed up and left. Then I went back to our church. The pastor said that Robin and her mother had moved to Atlanta. I didn’t think a pastor would lie about something like that…but I came back a few weeks later just to make sure. They weren’t there and I never went back again. If I had, the pastor would have told me that he had made a mistake and that only Robin’s mother had moved. I looked…I just wasn’t looking in the right place.
Q. Chris, with his good looks will he be tempted by the new attention from females?
A. No ma’am. There is no woman out there that can give me what Ash has given me; unconditional love, my beautiful children, and a sense of purpose. People do look all the time, but they are just seeing what is on the outside. Ash sees what is on the inside.
Q. Chris, Based on all the things you went through as a kid with your appearance, what are you teaching your children about how to value themselves?
A. Kids know it in the beginning as long as they are nurtured. Even I didn’t realize that having a split face made me any less than anyone else until people began to shun me. What I teach them is simple; treat others as you would want others to treat you. They will face bullies and the ugliness of the world but Ash and I are giving them a foundation that is strong—that no person defines who they are by the way they look, the color of their skin, or the twang in their voice.
Q. Chris- Now that you had the surgery would you consider another career or job classification?
A. Ash and I talk about it because of the children—not because of my face. I may retire my commission at some point in the near future. But for now I am very pleased with my life.
Q. Lee, when you and Tori return to Ohio, how will you deal with Roz? And does your family know what she attempted to do?
A. My family knows everything even before I do. They knew when Tory became pregnant again. Maybe because my mother knew somehow and she shared that information before even my wife suspected. When we return to Ohio there will be no Roz. My family has cast her out without me having to ask. That doesn’t mean that some members of the family are not still in contact with her but she is no longer a part of our family. And that is a fact that will not ever change.
Pepper Pace: Thank you Nulli Para Ora for hosting this interview. And thanks to the readers for submitting some of the questions. You are appreciated!
I’d like to send a HUGE thank you to Pepper for joining us and for bringing our three guests. I loved the readers’ questions too. Where can you find these cool characters?
- Christopher – BEAST, by Pepper Pace
- Lee – They Say Love is Blind, by Pepper Pace
- Top – Wheels of Steel, by Pepper Pace
Questions? Comments? You know what to do!