Johnathan Brond is an intriguing politician in "Lovely: Elite Doms of Washington" so much so that I wrote down questions that HAD to be asked of Elizabeth SaFleur.
She in turn was gracious enough to answer my nosy poking into the world of Elite Doms where Washington gets the discipline it deserves! Here's a very short blurb:
College student Christiana Snow finds dominance and submission with Congressman Jonathan Brond adventurous—and ripe for scandal.
TRP Interview Questions for “Lovely”
1. What exactly is Jonathan Brond’s title/role in congress? I know he’s a congressman, but for who?
In Lovely, Jonathan Brond is a freshman congressman, representing Rhode Island. I purposefully kept his party and district vague because, well, a real person would hold that specific job. Plus, a bit of mystery is good, don’t you think? Okay, okay, it’s the first district, which includes his hometown of Newport, RI. He’s an independent but with strong Republican leanings.
2. What would be Christiana’s favorite drink, now that’s she had a variety with Brond?
Christiana is not fond of alcohol. Having an alcoholic father will do that to you. But at parties and events, she sips champagne or red wine because they both remind her of Jonathan. She only drank with Jonathan before because she wanted him to see her as more grown-up than she felt. She would have done anything to have him view her as a grown woman when she was nineteen.
3. Brond talked about working for the private sector, and that he was a lawyer at heart, what type of lawyer would Brond be or would he do something else?
Jonathan specialized in “Commercial Law” (business and corporate law) at UVA Law, the short title for the University of Virginia Law School. He wanted to focus more on the Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy programs, and was able to take some courses related to that specialty. But he got sidetracked and focused more on business law due to his father’s hopes of him becoming President one day. He believes in the power of the law, and that justice truly should be “blind.” What he finds on Capitol Hill, however, is that power and justice aren’t meted out evenly. This fact is one of the most frustrating parts of his jobs as Congressman.
4. How did Brond meet Carson Drake?
They met in law school. Carson was a third year law student when Jonathan was a first year. Carson’s girlfriend/almost fiancé, Diana, was a notorious flirt and (hidden) gold-digger. At a party, she made a pass at Jonathan, who was a famous Senator’s son at the time. Carson punched Jonathan. Jonathan punched him back. Diana ended up going home alone. Carson and Jonathan finished a bottle of Scotch at the tennis courts and agreed not to bring charges against one another. Carson broke off his engagement with Diana, who is rumored to have married a movie producer in Los Angeles.
5. What were Brond’s plans to help mental health reform and personal privacy as Congressman?
Jonathan wants people struggling with mental illness to have greater access to help and better privacy protection when doing so. First, he wants insurance to cover mental illnesses, therefore allowing more people to have access to mental health help. He also wants people to feel less ostracized when seeking help. His intense interest in ensuring people get help when needed comes from personal experience. When his mother was ill, HIPPA did not exist. If his mother hadn’t felt she’d have been shunned by society due to her mental health challenges, she might have gotten help and not died. Of course, Jonathan is concerned that mental health issues and the line between privacy and disclosure aren’t being handled well on Capitol Hill. His plans included introducing stronger legislation to bolster privacy around mental health challenges.
6. Can you tell us what happened between Carson and Yvette?
Carson and Yvette have something in common. They are both discreet and would never tell. But, as the proverbial “fly on the wall,” I’ll tell you. <wink> During the timeframe that Lovely unfolded, Yvette was going through an experimental masochistic phase. Experiencing pain seemed to lift the numbness she experienced during her divorce. Carson isn’t a sadist, but he is known as a “hard-ass” dominant in the D/s scene. Yvette had hoped he’d help erase the anguish she felt when her final divorce papers arrived. That day, Carson and Yvette’s last scene, was held in her suite at The Oak, and it didn’t go well. Yvette wanted Carson to cane her beyond her endurance, and he refused. A good Dom always looks for clues when working with a submissive, making sure she doesn’t act against her own best interest. Yvette grew very angry at Carson for not continuing. He put her to bed and she fell asleep. Of course, we now know that she wasn’t really okay. To this day, Carson feels guilty about leaving her that day. To his credit, he didn’t know she’d received divorce papers. Yvette is not always honest—especially with herself.
7. What is “adequate” in terms of a Dominant for Yvette?
Yvette needs to be shown her Dom won’t give up on her, even when she’s given up on herself. Despite her beauty and stature in the community, she’s rather insecure. Her Dom will have to reassure her with his actions—not let her get away with being bratty and “correct” her when she tries to defy him. She then knows he’s paying attention. Yvette’s tension level is a dead give-away for what she needs. When she adopts that gritted teeth, socialite, fake smile, she’s not okay. Her Dom is going to have to show her again and again that he’s not leaving her, and that he’s watching and cares enough to react to her. Yvette is rather needy in that way.
8. How did Brond and Mark meet?
Carson introduced Mark to Jonathan. Carson’s brother was killed in Afghanistan. He never talks about his loss. But he stayed in touch with his brother’s buddies. When Mark returned, he looked up Carson. Mark is also a Dominant so when he found out Jonathan was seeking a personal assistant, the situation was a win-win for both of them. Mark understands Jonathan and his proclivities. We learn about Mark in book four of the Elite Doms of Washington series.
9. Does Brond have a military background?
No, he doesn’t. He’s had a rather cushy life.
10. How did Brond get Mark to work for him?
Mark has a significant protection streak inside him. The job of personal assistant and bodyguard to a powerful man suits him perfectly. Mark is smart. Just standing around as a sentinel, waiting to throw your body in front of a bullet, wouldn’t have been enough for him. He needs a dual role—one that allowed him to use his brains as well as brawn. Also, being a Dom himself, he understands Jonathan in a way that someone else might not. Of course this means Mark is understood, equally. This appreciation provides comfort for them both.
I wanted to thank Elizabeth for answering my questions! This was a great story and more than just a BDSM Romance. It has so much more going for it than just how many positions we can restrain a girl in...I highly recommend this book for the adventurous reader who doesn't mind kinky sex with the story!
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One of the awesome sauces of being a publisher--I get to read them before anyone else! Okay, after the crit partners and some editing I get to read them.
While I'm reading, I always have questions. They are fired off in usually ten or more questions. This time it's only ten.
In this interview I'm not asking the usual questions about...blah, blah, blah. No I want to get in the author's head and seek more information about the world they created. Most of these questions will not make sense to those who have not read Hers to Claim. However, there are plenty of author interviews with PAK about how she started writing, how she got published, and you're welcome to view her tour HERE.
For those rabid fans who ponder the books, question this or that, these questions actually challenge the author and make them think about the world they created. There is so much background to this world people don't know about like...did you know that some cultures in Verdantia use cinnagin to punish a man who's force a woman to have sex with him? It's a grueling painful death. No, I don't thing PAK will ever show that, but it's an interesting part of her world. If you're a fan, don't miss these questions!
1. When Ari gave Adonia the mink coat, and she claimed to be a common woman, did Ari suspect about her family’s noble heritage? If so what gave him that clue?
Ari and Doral did some thorough investigation into Adonia Corvus when Sophi and Eric contacted them about Adonia's desire to pursue medical training at the High Enclave. (You know those two men would never let anyone they didn't trust near their beloved Fleur.)
The subsequent investigation came back with some very interesting questions posed about who Adonia's predecessors were—exactly. The report strongly recommended that one, "Adonia Corvus," be submitted to the High Enclave for genetic testing to determine whether or not she carried the gene markers necessary to interact with Verdantia, i.e., there was every evidence to suggest Adonia was highborn but since all of her relatives were dead, nothing could be verified.
Ari had a blood sample secretly given to the L'anziano (the geneticists of the High Enclave) and had only recently received the preliminary results. The L'anziano refused to say why...but they urgently wanted Adonia sent to them for further testing. No lover of the L'anziano and their arrogant way of viewing their subjects as animals to be bred, rather than humans with lives and loves of their own, Ari had not acted. He wanted time to feel Adonia out about her willingness to enter into an arranged marriage ... and then she left Sylvan Mintoth with Prince DeHelios.
2. How old is A’rken? How would he know what Isolde DeCorvus looked like?
A’rken is a very old man. No one really knows exactly how old. He simply appeared in Nyth Uchel one day with warnings of a coming disaster. He has a mystical connection with Verdantia. She shows him future events of great portent. She warned him about the Haarb invasion and forewarned him about the events chronicled in Hers To Claim. Those who are familiar with the seer think he dwells more in the ethereal plain than he does in reality. In truth, his ability to differentiate between a true vision, and what is only a product of the weird plants he ingests, is open for question. Ramsey DeKieran is right to question what is in the soup A’rken feeds them.
Because all Verdantians “live” through Her, even after death, Verdantia has shown A’rken the faces and names of those who will be instrumental in the events to come. A’rken has “seen” Isolde DeCorvus in the visions that Verdantia has given him.
3. What are the Tetriarch doing to find other noble women of Verdantia?
The Tetriarch has a fleet of starships that comb the galaxies for the enslaved Verdantians—men and women. Some of the ships are gone for years on their quest to return Verdantia’s stolen citizens. The starship captain, Magellan DeLan, in Hers To Captivate, is one of the Verdantian nobility searching the vast reaches of space seeking those vital to the Verdantian way of life.
4. What is Doral’s favorite weapon?
He takes exquisite care of a pair of finely balanced throwing knives that were a gift to him from his mother. He wears them on the inside of each forearm in a specially crafted sheath. His proficiency with them is almost mythical. The only man on the face of the planet who surpasses Doral in skill is Eric DeStroia. Their (mostly) friendly rivalry is well known.
5. What significance does Nyth Uchel have for Ramsey? He seemed to love the city as much as Hel.
Ramsey spent all of his boyhood and teenage years in Nyth Uchel and knew the DeHelios family well. As boys, he and Hel maintained an ongoing game of “one-upmanship” that carried into adulthood. When Ramsey’s family lost their estates and fell into disgrace, Hel was one of the few who continued to treat Ram as an equal. When all of Verdantia closed and locked their doors against him, Hel and Eric DeStroia, extended a hand of friendship, refusing to believe the charges against him.
Ramsey infuriated Hel when Ram ambushed him, knocked him unconscious and stole Hel’s prized stallion. Though Hel doesn’t realize it, Ramsey did it to save Hel’s reputation. A man found unconscious in the dirt cannot be accused of rendering aid to a known fugitive. Of course, Ramsey would never tell Hel that.
6. How did Steffania become a blue dagger? What significance does a “blue” dagger mean? (i.e. why not a “black” dagger or a “red” dagger?)
The term “blue dagger” comes from ancient times when the mercenaries used to carry a unique, scimitar-like blade of “blue steel.”
The youngest of eight children and the only girl, Steffania followed in the footsteps of her father and brothers, all of whom were Blue Daggers. It was the family business, as it were. Raised by her father—her mother being dead—she modeled herself after her father and brothers.
7. I know you explain a little about the politics of Verdantia, but I was wondering if all of the planet follows the Tetriarch or if there are some still loyal to Nyth Uchel?
There are many noble households still loyal to Nyth Uchel, but they obey their present sovereign as embodied in the Second Tetriarch. Many Houses would follow and fight for a DeHelios King or Queen should one rise up in violation of An Chairt Mór and demand the high throne of Verdantia.
At one time, Verdantia teetered on the brink of a bloody civil war—one faction maintaining that House DeHelios held too much power—another insisting the DeHelios line was chosen by Verdantia, Herself, to rule. King Aryn DeHelios revealed that She had shown him a grim future should proud House DeHelios not relinquish the high throne. In a stunning example of obedience to their Great Mother, King Aryn abdicated his crown and signed An Chairt Mór, The Great Charter, wherein all DeHelios were forbidden the high throne of Verdantia. His action averted civil war.
The capital moved south to Sylvan Mintoth—and House DeHelios withdrew behind the diaman walls of Nyth Uchel. Nothing could erase the magickal importance of Torre Bianca, however, and the DeHelios mystique grew into legend. As a reminder to all of Verdantia, the DeHelios banner is always flown side-by-side with that of the current ruling House.
8. Can you pronounce some of the names of your characters as you, the author, know them?
9. Do you plan on any specific vignettes? Perhaps one about when Ramsey and Steffania went to the western boarder to reset the diamon perameter?
Oh! That would be fun…I’ll put it on the list. These are the vignettes that are planned in the Verdantia series (so far)
Ramsey collars his Vixen.
Doral tops Ari
And??? I’m very open to suggestions from readers.
10. What is the next Verdantia story about?
Hers To Captivate is the next work-in-progress. It is the story of the relationship between Hel’s younger brother, Tristan, a young starship captain, Magellan DeLan and a doctor from Talleo IV, Angelica Giverny (who you might remember as “Pansy” from Hers To Cherish).
Tristan has finally been given an assignment that matters, that of preventing a lovely woman’s assassination. In the process he reconnects with a young man who was important to him years ago.
Can they come to love and bond as a three-some amid misunderstandings and murder attempts is the crux of this story.
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