Hi Grif, thanks so much for joining us today. I’ve read your story, but thought it would be fun to give others a taste of what they might expect from reading it.
Grif’s Toy has a few significant meanings in this book. I’ll go easy and ask about how you came up with that name for the boat.
Yeah, umm…it does have several meanings—and the boat is probably the least embarrassing to talk about. *blush*
Tate’s father, Juan, had christened the boat Cielo De Maria – or Maria’s Heaven. Maria was Tate’s mother’s name. I was relatively young when I inherited it, along with the Diaz estate, and saw everything through rather immature eyes. *chuckles* The sheer size of the legacy was mind-boggling. So initially, I occupied myself with rather mundane tasks—like renaming many of Mr. Diaz’s toys. You probably don’t want to know what I renamed his classic Bentley S1. *wink*
How did you keep yourself from being overwhelmed with all of the Estate duties? Does Matthew handle most of it or are you more involved with that now?
Overwhelmed is an understatement. I was completely lost—and terrified. And, at least in the beginning, the more I learned, the more frightened I became. I didn’t know the first thing about running a multi-million dollar estate. Hell, it’s been almost five years now and I’m still learning—daily—from Matthew.
Matthew is a pretty awesome guy. He seems pretty open about relationships. Have you talked to him about your relationship with Wes at all?
Matthew is…completely amazing. As people learned in Grif’s Toy, he’s had relationships with both men and women, so Wes and I being a male couple isn’t an issue with him at all. However, if you you’re asking if he knows the more intimate details of our relationship…. Well, if I were to take a guess, I’d say he has a pretty good idea.
I can’t believe I’m actually going to share this, but I know Wes is working on his own book—and although I don’t know exactly what will be included—I can’t imagine he won’t talk about this. Wes frequently has me wear a chastity device—a cock cage. Initially, it took a bit of getting used to. One evening he’d removed it, to give me a break, and set it on the coffee table while we watched a movie. Unexpectedly, Matthew dropped by to have me sign some papers, and there it sat in all its shiny chrome glory. A slightly awkward moment was shared when all of our eyes settled on it before Wes discretely slipped it into a nearby sideboard. Soooo, *embarrassed chuckle* yeah, I think he has a pretty good idea.
Speaking of Wes, did it take you guys very long to balance your roles in both Vanilla and Chocolate, or did things just naturally fall into place?
Overall it’s been pretty smooth. I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve found my soulmate in Wes. That’s not to say that we haven’t had a few bumps along the way, we have.
However, that’s why we have agreed upon guidelines—what we refer to as our ‘rules’. One might think they only apply to me, being the more submissive one in our relationship, but they don’t. They apply to both of us equally. They ensure we both know what’s expected of us, and hopefully, prevent misunderstandings. I’ll share something else with you. I occasionally, and very intentionally, break the rules—punishment can be a beautiful thing. *mischievous grin*
You never thought you were talented enough to make anything with your own artistic career. Have you given up on this completely?
As a career? Yeah. Toward the end of college I finally accepted that I didn’t have that kind of talent. I still draw—quite a lot actually—mostly with charcoal and acrylic, but when I was young I had dreams of making a living as an artist. Even after I realized I’d spent my entire college career focusing on something I wouldn’t be ale to use to feed myself, Tate’s support of my ‘talent’ never waivered. When he passed and left me the estate, I wanted to do something philanthropic to both honor him and also something that tied into my love of art. The end result was Tate’s Place.
I love the idea of Tate’s Place. I’ve no doubt he would be proud of what you’ve accomplished. What do you think Tate would say about it?
Tate was an awesome guy. One of the kindest people I’ve had the chance to know and have in my life. But, despite his chosen career path of psychology, he wasn’t incredibly revealing when it came to his feelings or emotions. So he’d probably say something casual like, “This place rocks, Big Guy.” But, he’d likely feel a whole lot more. He was an amazingly generous person and helping people achieve their artistic ambitions—their dreams—yeah, he would’ve really got off on Tate’s Place.
I fell in love with sweet Lance, who obviously cares deeply for you. Does he save his “outfits” for when you’re around? Did it take him long to warm up to Wes or was there a bit of a getting used to the idea period?
Ahh, Lance. He’s one of the sweetest people I know—and perhaps one of the most mischievous as well. He and Wes get along now. Their relationship is…complicated. Wes knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I belong to him—he’s confidant in that. However, the more secure Wes becomes in our relationship, the more provocative Lance is with me whenever Wes is around. Wes doesn’t hide his possessive nature very well—I’m not sure he even tries to—and Lance finds it endlessly entertaining to flirt with me just to get a rise out of Wes. Hell, the last time we took the boat out he wore this pair of lime green swimming trunks that left nothing at all to the imagination. Lance is fully aware of my underwear and swimwear fetish, so he knew parading around—in what I later found out were a pair of underwear—was far sexier than if he’d simply been naked. Needless to say, Wes was not amused…which was Lance’s goal, I’m sure. *laughs*
Does Lance generally spend all of his time on Grif’s Toy? What does he do when you’re not on board? Do you think he will be strong enough to tell his story some day?
I’ll admit I find it a bit difficult to talk too much about Lance’s personal life—he’s a very private guy and I want to respect that. But, I don’t think he’d mind me sharing that he’s an avid rock climber and hiker. He also spends a fair amount of his off time at a local animal shelter.
I’m so proud of the progress he’s made…but again, he’s a very shy and private person. Telling his story? I honestly don’t know if he’d ever do that.
Now for some fun stuff. You have quite the jock collection. What are your favorite colors? Do you have a favorite brand?
I think I probably have at least one from every line. My last two additions were a pair of Rotica by Good Devil and the Boho Natural by Modus Vivendi. Oh, and Wes recently bought me the Streak by Go Software. It has a transparent pouch, which he thought was cute. I mean, it’s a very nice jock, but it sorta defeats the whole point of why I wear them in the first place. *laughs*
How are the piercings? Do they make it harder to deal with the denial, or do they add to the deliciousness of the struggle? Do you have any desire for other piercings on either you or Wes? Did Wes ever get his PA?
The piercings are awesome. I’d read up on the procedure and the aftercare before getting them, so I knew what I could expect. Surprisingly, they healed very quickly and I didn’t have any of the discomfort I’d read so much about.
Without a doubt, they add an entirely different—amazing—element to tease and denial. Aside from the milestone of finally being able to be nude in front of Wes, the piercings are the single most agonizingly addition to our sex life. I never would have guessed how much pleasure—and pain—they could provide.
I don’t have any plans on getting any additional piercings. As for Wes, he sill occasionally mentions getting a PA, but sadly, he hasn’t done it yet. I’d love to see him get one though. I find them incredibly sexy.
Does Wes always wear his bracelet? Is that always brought into play as part of making the transition into Chocolate?
I’ve never seen Wes without his leather bracelet. Although he often takes it off to use on me, he doesn’t always. In fact, I find it hard to believe there’s a more creative lover out there than Wes. He is always surprising me with his inventiveness; I never know what’s coming next—which is thrilling to say the least!
Your bathroom sounds amazing. Is that a fairly regular playroom? Are you able to go in there without memories taking over?
Thanks! It’s probably one of my favorite rooms in the house. I find there’s something very sensual about water. The softness of it flowing over skin, the sounds it makes…that people are usually scantly dressed or naked around it. Yeah, water is a big thing for me. When I redid the bathroom, my goal was to create a room—particularly a shower—where I could spend hours, not minutes. However, it is the single most challenging place when it comes to abiding by our no touching rule. To my supreme delight, Wes keeps me in a near perpetual state of arousal. However, combine that hyper-aroused state with my inability to provide myself any sort of physical pleasure and the shower room can be a dangerous place to spend time alone in.
I’m very excited for the next book, being told by Wes. Are you worried about that or are you excited given the positive response to your story?
Well, there are certainly things I’d prefer he kept between us, but knowing Wes, that’s not likely to happen. I am excited for people to get to know him better though. I find his past intriguing; his time in the Marines, his experiences with the BDSM world before we met, and just how he looks at things so much differently than most people do. Yeah, I think he’s a very interesting guy.
Thanks again for stopping by. It has been great getting to know you and your story. I’m looking forward to learning more in Wes’ book, and I’m sure others are excited as well.
The pleasure was all mine, Jen. And happy holidays!
About Grif’s Toy
Grif believes he’ll live his life as a virgin. After all, who would want him? How could anyone find him, a guy who came with less than man-sized equipment, worthy of their love?
What he hadn’t counted on were the two amazing men who would change his life. After entering college, he meets Tate, his fun-loving, roommate. While years later, with Tate now just a memory, Wes, a handsome, rugged ex-marine who runs his own security firm enters his life.
Both men lead Grif through a twisted mesh of pleasure, pain, and denial, as they force him to see his value, despite his size and insecurities.
Available at: Amazon and Smashwords
Add it to your shelves: Goodreads
About Joseph Lance Tonlet
Joseph is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.
A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.
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Joseph has graciously offered up an ebook copy of Grif’s Toy to one lucky winner!! The giveaway starts now and ends January 7, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
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And don’t forget to check out JustJen’s review of Grif’s Toy to see what she thought of it!
Thanks for the great interview! I’ve heard so many great things about this book and now I really need to get a copy and read it. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!