I’ve been working hard on the fifth book in the White House Men series, and I’m excited to share the first teaser with you all. But first, a little background on how this series came to be.
It took me a few years after the first season had aired to discover The West Wing, but once I saw it, I fell in love with it. I was still living in The Netherlands at the time, and the only way to watch this series was to buy the DVDs. Amazon didn’t exist yet in the Netherlands (and I don’t think Germany was that big yet either), so I had to order the DVDs either from the UK or from the US. The latter was a challenge because Europe uses a different region for DVDs, so I actually needed to “break” my DVD player and make it “region free”. The things we do to be able to watch what we love, haha.
I freaking loved that series. It’s still my most rewatched series ever, with Dawson’s Creek as a second. I know, don’t ask, LOL. But the idea to write something set in the White House had been bubbling inside me for a while when the idea for this series came to me. The gayest White House ever, with an openly bisexual president. But I also wanted a suspense plot, and that’s how the White House Men series was born.
Usually, I’m not a big plotter, but in this case, I had to be. I plotted out the entire suspense plot because I wanted it to be solid and not have to make things up as I went along. I still added details to it I hadn’t originally thought out, but the core plot was established before I ever wrote the first word. I also had it checked by a federal agent to make sure it was feasible, and she had some great suggestions on how to make it more realistic and airtight.
Then I started writing, and I loved it from the first word. It’s definitely a challenging series to write, both because of the intricate plotting, the continuing storylines, the number of characters, and the emotional rollercoaster that it’s become. I’ve cried buckets while writing it! But man, I love working on this series.
In book one, we met press secretary Levar and watched him fall for the one guy he couldn’t have: reporter Henley. Those two were hawt together! Book two was about out-and-proud Secret Service agent Seth, who built up a beautiful friendship with supposedly-straight FBI agent Coulson…only to fall hard for him. Luckily, Coulson turned out to be not quite so straight, haha. Then we met Chief of Staff, Calix, and Rhett, the official White House Photographer. Both were still dealing with the effects of a terrorist attack and found healing with each other…and love. And in book four, we watched Milan, the president’s brother-in-law, stumble his way into a triad with Secret Service agent Asher and sweet Denali, a White House server. That last book was the kinkiest one so far.
That begs the question: who’s next? We have a few options, of course, including Branson aka SpookyBigDick, the well-endowed CIA analyst. Many of you have messaged me for his story. He’ll get one, I promise, but this book is not about him. I thought it was about time that Kennedy Delano Shafer, aka Kenn, got his book. The president’s son has been though a lot, don’t you agree? He needs some happiness…and a man who will take care of him. Right? Luckily, he has a tutor, Professor Warrick Duvall, who seems like the right candidate for that job…
I’m excited to share the first teaser with you. I’ve picked a bit of a longer snippet because it so beautifully shows all the emotions Kenn is feeling. At the start of his book, we go back in time just a little so we can see how Kenn and Warrick met. This scene takes place after Kenn comes back from the funeral.
Kenn’s shoulders dropped. “I’m scared… I’m so scared. For my dad, mostly, but also for me. If they could get to my mom and Mrs. Markinson, I’m not safe either.”
Neither was anyone around them, including Warrick, but he kept that thought to himself. “That must be a terrifying thought.”
Kenn stared at him, his blue eyes wide open. “I don’t want to die…and I don’t want anything to happen to my dad. I’m already feeling so alone. Without my dad, I’d be…”
His eyes filled with tears. Warrick put a hand on his shoulder. “Sshh, try not to think about that… I know that’s hard, but it won’t help you. Try to concentrate on things that distract you, that still bring you joy.”
Kenn leaned into his touch. “I’m so happy you’re here.”
Those simple words energized Warrick and fired him up in a way he’d never experienced before. “I’m happy, too.” He checked his watch. “Have you had something to eat yet? You must be tired from everything.”
Kenn sent him a watery smile. “I had snacks onboard Air Force One.”
“Right. Of course you did. I bet they were pretty amazing, too,” Warrick said dryly.
Kenn’s smile grew stronger. “Sometimes, they have little bags of peanut M&Ms with the presidential seal on it.”
“Talk about a collector’s item. Some day, you’ll write your memoirs, and you’ll be able to tell you had M&Ms onboard Air Force One.”
“I’d rather write about something I did myself, about an area where I made a difference…”
“And you will. I have high hopes for you, Kenn.”
Warrick frowned slightly. “Why would you doubt that?”
Kenn looked at the ground, ruffling his feet. “Most leaders are strong personalities. They lead others and inspire them. I couldn’t even speak at my own mother’s funeral service.”
The downside of your father being the president: you were always compared to him. In Kenn’s case, that comparison didn’t do him any favors as he took much more after his mom, Warrick had discovered. “That last thing is utter BS, and you know it. You are allowed to grieve your mom in your own way, and not speaking doesn’t mean you didn’t love her or that you’re not a leader. You’re young, Kenn, and you went through some life-altering events over the last six months, even the last years. Give yourself some grace there.”
Kenn sighed. “I know. Rationally, I know that, but it’s really hard not to let all the sharp comments get to me.”
Much to Warrick’s surprise, he discovered he still had his hand on Kenn’s shoulder, so he squeezed it again. “Maybe don’t read or listen to those comments, then. Reduce the number of people you allow yourself to be influenced by.”
Kenn nodded slowly. “Yeah, I think that’d be smart.”
“For now, I’m starving, and I’m sure you can tell me where to get some food. Any good restaurants around here?”
The tension left Kenn’s body and he giggled. “Mrs. Morelli made Mac and cheese…my mom’s favorite. She said it was fitting. Usually, we eat in the Laurel Lodge, but my dad and the others are all in a meeting because of that radio show leak, so maybe we could eat in the Aspen Lodge?”
“That sounds wonderful. Lead the way.”
I’ll reveal the title and cover of this book soon, so stay tuned!