Polyester Prince and Paid Leave both take place in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM. Albuquerque is 180 square miles of land with 555,400 residents. The Sandia Mountains are to the east, the Kirtland Air Force base is to the south, and the Pueblo of Sandia is to the north. Albuquerque is abbreviated to ABQ, and the city is nicknamed Burque and Duke City.
When I set out to write Paid Leave, Albuquerque Police Department was under constant fire from the media over police related shootings. My frustrations at the unfair media criticism went into Benji’s story, but Polyester Prince was written to expand on a side character from Paid Leave and has no political motivation behind it. Polyester Prince is meant to be a light-hearted humorous story about one man’s journey chasing the perkiest pair of cheeks in a polyester blend in all of Albuquerque.
Kyle Edington is flirty and a bit flighty when it comes to relationships. He doesn’t plan for the future and views the boyfriend title as a death sentence. But his summer of 2013 changes more than just his career.
Personally, I prefer to read drama with a sprinkling of humor to help break up the heavy parts. But I also like some hard times in my comedy to break up the laughs or to soften the blow. Polyester Prince is light on drama, which compliments Paid Leave’s more serious story.
Do you like reading drama in your comedy?
“It can’t be that hard to find one cop out of a thousand.” Kyle leaned against the kitchen island and looked at Benji standing at the sink. “Hey, Benji. Name the officers with the hottest asses on the force.”
Benji turned from rinsing dishes with a look of confusion that made Kyle grin. Teasing Benji would never get old.
“What is he talking about?” Benji whispered to Neal.
“Kyle mentioned it before. There was an officer at the Pride parade who could apparently win a cutest-butt award,” Neal explained with a chuckle. “That’s all Kyle remembers about him. You suggested he get the report to find a name.”
“Right. That.” Benji looked at Kyle. “I don’t work that area of the city. I also don’t know every officer in all of Albuquerque. If his name isn’t on the report, I can’t help you.”
“I figured.” Kyle shrugged. He already had a new plan. “All I need to do is wait around in Nob Hill until I spot an officer with a matching butt. I have free time now anyway.”
“He might not work that area.” Benji grabbed a towel to dry his hands. “Officers from other command centers are pulled in to work the parades on Central or events that require extra hands. He could be from anywhere in the city.”
“Don’t go ruining my newfound good mood, Benjamin.”
Benji glowered at the use of his full name. “I’m just giving you all the facts.”
“You can be the biggest killjoy.” Kyle exhaled a dramatic sigh. It wasn’t Benji’s fault, but Kyle concealed his disappointment with flair.
“Sorry,” Benji murmured and glanced at Neal, who smiled reassuringly at him.
“Ignore him. Kyle is just being a queen.” Neal squeezed Benji’s arm.
“If I called all the police stations and asked for a list of best butts, would I be laughed at?” Kyle asked, and Neal chuckled.
“If you try that, please use speaker and let me listen.”
“You whore,” Kyle muttered. “I’m trying Nob Hill scouting, anyway. J-Roe said my prince was on a bicycle. It can’t be that hard to find a cop on a bike.”
“If he was on a bike, it narrows your search down to only a few beats, and most likely he works the day shift,” Benji offered. “If you could remember the name from his badge or physical characteristics, asking any cycle officer would reward you with solid information. There are only about thirty of them in the city.”
“Only thirty?” There was hope after all. “And you can’t ask a cop buddy for a list of officers working Pride parade or just all officers with a bicycle?”
“Seriously?” Benji raised an eyebrow. “What do you think APD is?”
“An organization with a payroll division.”
“With records just anyone can access?”
“Sometimes I don’t like you very much, Benjamin.”
Benji laughed and rolled his eyes. “I’ll ask Hill to ask her friend. I think he’s still on a bike and might know who was at Pride. I’m also willing to bet you left quite an impression on this mystery guy of yours for him to share an interesting story with his unit.”
“I aim to leave impressions. Usually one from a mattress or pillow. Or my teeth.”
Benji cleared his throat and turned back to the dishwasher. Neal smiled at Kyle. “Are you serious about this? How do you know for sure this polyester prince is gay?”
“That’s the impression he left on me.” Kyle studied the granite countertop. “Even if I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first straight tree I’ve barked up, so no harm done to my pride.”
“I hope you find him, or at least a name. There’s something weird about referring to him as polyester prince.”
“Officer McGorgeous-Ass doesn’t have the same ring to it,” Kyle said, and Benji dropped a plate into the sink.
Neal ignored Benji’s slip of composure. “If you do find him, what do you plan to do with him?”
Benji closed the filled dishwasher. “Don’t ask Kyle a question like that. We both know what his plan is.” He looked at Kyle. “No offense, Kyle, but I don’t want to hear about your sex life.”
“I’ve picked up whipped cream in preparation. And I figured we could use his handcuffs.” Kyle was strictly teasing just to see Benji’s expression fall. The man was such a prude.
“You really shouldn’t use those handcuffs for that.” Benji slipped out of the kitchen.
Neal waited a moment before whispering softly to Kyle, “He’s right. The regulation handcuffs chafe.”
Visit my website www.hayleybjames.com and like my Facebook page www.facebook.com/HayleyBJames for updates! I'll also be chatting with readers on the Dreamspinner Press Facebook page on January 26 (11am mountain time): https://www.facebook.com/dreamspinnerpress
Polyester Prince (ABQ Heat #2) by Hayley B. James
Kyle Edington built his life around clubs, alcohol, nameless sex, and turning a blind eye to his future, but having front row access to his best friend’s perfect relationship leaves him wanting something he doesn’t understand—the white picket fence. After an ankle injury hinders his plans for PrideFest and puts his day job selling furniture at risk, Kyle attends Pride anyway to cheer himself up. Leaving his crutches at home was a mistake, though, and he’s shoved off balance and hits his head.
A bike officer keeps him safe until the paramedics arrive. Kyle’s memory of the event is foggy. He doesn’t recall the name or face of his guardian angel, but he definitely remembers the finest polyester-covered ass in all of Albuquerque.
But when he goes in search of his polyester prince, Kyle realizes relationships take hard work. After he learns the name of that perfect ass, a lifetime of avoiding serious boyfriends leaves Kyle second-guessing himself and making difficult decisions about what he wants for his future
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hayley B. James is a lifelong resident of New Mexico with no plans to pack up and leave just yet. Writing is her part-time job and full-time hobby. She works in a small office during the day and lives in her written worlds at night.
When she isn’t writing, Hayley is reading m/m romance, mystery, real-life crime, fantasy, and yaoi novels, and can be found cruising Tumblr and webcomics. She may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with police officers. It's still up for debate.
GIVEAWAY: Winner’s prize – A set of paperback copies of Paid Leave and Polyster Prince
A “Paid Leave” coffee mug
Runner Up will win – An ecopy of the book
Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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