I’m here in my imagination with the men of the Destiny of Dance Series: The Velvet Room Boys, as I’ve affectionately named them These are the gentlemen that have captured the hearts of my beuatiful dancers—or rather whose hearts have been captured by them. Either way, it’s not been easy for my guys to navigate a relationship with these strong, talented and gorgeous women, especially when they are baring their creative souls (and sometimes a lot more!) on stage every night. So I asked them to come to life for a special character interview for the future fans of the Destiny of Dance Series.
There's Danny, the tough ex-Marine and right hand man at Rockford Security; Rett, the bar tender at The Velvet Room with another special skill set; Lex, the smooth stage manager who's interested in one dancer in particular; Lloyd, the secret service agent who's spellbound by the mysterious songbird on stage; and Barry "Bear" Rockford, head of Rockford Security, and holding steady for the woman behind the dream of The Velvet Room.
We’re gathered at the bar of The Velvet Room, and we have just enough time before the ladies arrive for tonight’s show. So pull up a chair while Rett pours us all a round, and let’s find out how these gents fell so hard for their these goddesses.
NDG: Hey boys, thanks for taking the time today to speak to my readers.
Bear: It’s our pleasure, Nina. After all, you created us.
NDG: Always so gracious, Bear. That may be true, but I’m constantly on the listen for how to make this series better as I roll out each book. Anyway, I’m sure the first question on my readers’ minds is are you all really and truly okay with your women doing burlesque?
Danny: Well, let me be the first to answer that. As I said right before their first show—
All: “F*@k NO!” [laughter]
Danny: Now wait a minute, there was an addendum to that! It’s never easy to watch the public watch the woman you love doing burlesque. Because when she’s really tuned in to her art, she’s revealing her soul for all to see for just that short interval. But it’s also a beautiful thing to see. And it’s part of who Sioban is, and I love her. Therefore I support her.
Lex: Yeah. From the front row. At almost every show.
Danny: I don’t know why you all are acting like I’m the only protective beast in the bunch. RETT… your little outburst almost cost you your hand.
Rett: Hardly—I wasn’t hurt. And as you all know, Chyenne is the youngest dancer. I just felt especially protective of her, and took it out on a whiskey tumbler.
NDG: Let’s talk about that for a minute. You had to take it slow with Chyenne because of the age difference.
Rett: My feelings very quickly went from brotherly protection to something deeper. But I had to keep my head on straight, make sure we were both ready for that.
NDG: And Chyenne’s story is the second book, Burlesque Baby, so readers won’t have to wait too long to get the details. But back to the first question. Lex and Bear, you seem the most calm about being in a relationship with a burlesque dancer. Lex, obviously your experience in show business prepared you to some degree.
Lex: True. But I’ve never been the mad jealous type, either. With Solange, it’s always been more about protecting her emotionally, as your readers will see in our book, Burlesque Dreams.
NDG: Her journey as a dancer has certainly been an emotional one, she’s been lucky to have a solid partner who understands show biz. What about you, Bear?
Bear: Well, you’re right, I was calm, too calm in fact. Vonda mistook that for disapproval. I had to explain to her—in depth, if you catch my meaning—that words almost couldn’t express what I felt watching her. Much the way you describe Danny’s experience seeing Sioban dance in the first book.
Danny: I can vouch for that. Absolutely breathtaking.
Bear: I knew almost instantly that Vonda was the one. But even though age wasn’t a factor like it was for Rett and Chy, we had so much to overcome. It’s no wonder our book is last!
NDG: It’s true, yours and Vons story has many obstacles throughout the series, but the rewards are great. Now Lloyd, we don’t even meet you officially until book four, Burlesque Nights. That is partially by design, but is also fitting for both you and Sahara. And as far as performing, she is mainly a singer, so you didn’t really have any concerns about performance.
Lloyd: Right, well it’s much different for Sahara and me. Because of who she is and where she comes from, she held so much back. She told me once that when she caught my eye the first time I came into the club, it was like I could see into her soul. I’m not sure about that, but I definitely sensed her vulnerbility, and also the passion that she had locked inside on many levels. I guess my jealous streak showed itself when I imagined some other guy being the one to coax it out of her.
NDG: There is indeed so much about your story that I’ve saved just for your book. The book is unique, as are you and Sahara. It’s also one of the reasons I’ve chosen a different color scheme for the cover, and created Sahara as a singer, rather than a dancer. It’s not just because I’ve seen singers in several burlesque shows. But I really wanted one of the books to stand out, and almost read as a standalone piece in a way...next I’d like you to ask you a 2-part question. First, how do you think each of your ladies would describe you as a hero? And then how would you describe yourself as a hero and/or a good partner for her?
[they seem stumped, but Bear, ever the leader, breaks the short silence]
Bear: I think if you ask almost any man, none of us imagines himself a hero, not in the sense that most people mean it. We’re just all trying to get by, really, and that usually means earning a decent living, having a little fun, and hopefully making the world a better place in which to live. Given that, if and when the right woman comes along, I guess we do like to think of ourselves as protectors and providers. But beyond that, I think Vonda would say that I’m steady. In spite of all the trials we’ve both been through, I try to just be there, so that when she comes off stage, or out of a rehearsal, or steps away from running the club, I’m just here—whenever and however she needs me. In that respect, I think I’m a good match for her. She’s always running in 20 different directions, and I can be that calming influence.
Lex: Bear is reminding of another facet of what we touched on before. My background in show business means that I know how to make Solange’s creative space safe, not just in terms of the audience, but a space and a place in which she feels free to express herself as a dancer, that she’ll have the right sets, the right lighting. I took that on from day one, her audition for Vonda. As for how she’d describe me, I hope she say I’m someone who can laugh with her and make her laugh, and given the one dream she’s always had as a performer, someone who will go on any adventure with her.
NDG: Well said, both of you. Lloyd, I’m anxious to hear what you have to say,
Lloyd: Well, like the other guys, the nature of our work demands certain things of us that by nature are traditionally defined as heroic. But like Lex, I see myself as being a great protector of Sahara’s emotional and spiritual health. I want to provide a safe place for her to be who she really is. Other than that, she’d probably say I’m too brooding and quiet most of the time. But she does get me to smile more than anyone else ever has.
Danny: Hey, that’s a good word, man. Brooding. Sioban accused me of that when we first met. Now she’d just say that I drive her crazy. She’d also say I’m overbearing, which I’ll own. After what happened, it’s part of a need I’ll always have to make sure she’s safe. Other than that, I think it’s also my job to make sure she understands how beautiful she is, inside and out, and how special she is.
NDG: And what about you, O strong and silent Rett?
Rett: I think it goes without saying that I’ve always got my eagle eye around Chy to make sure no harm comes to her. Like Lloyd was saying, the nature of our work makes us that way. Your readers will soon find out, I wasn’t hired for my bartending abilities alone—I have a special skill set that allows me to help take care of any security needs that arise here at the Velvet Room. Anyway, I feel like there’s so much I’ve learned by being with Chy, that she’s taught me and rescued me as much as I may have done that for her. But just like Lex was saying about Solange, I want help lift up Chyenne as high as she wants to fly, as far as she wants to go in any direction. Family is important to her, as the readers will see in our book, so I’m always mindful of making sure I support whatever goes on in that regard.
NDG: Well, thank you so much, gentlemen, for your insightful responses, and for being the best heroes my imagination has been thusfar blessed with!
Look for Book 1 of my Destiny of Dance series, Burlesque Bad, soon on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and in print! For more about me and my books, including my first romance novel My Brother’s Keeper, click here.