M.J. O'Shea is here today to talk about her contribution to the Flufftastic Dreamspun Series, Marriage of Inconvenience.
Hi guys this is MJ O’Shea here!
I wanted to talk a little bit about Kerry, one of the two main characters in Marriage of Inconvenience. Kerry hasn’t had an easy time of it lately. He went from being the guy at the publicity firm that did busywork and updated clients twitter feeds and facebook pages. All of a sudden he’s been dumped into the deep end and is now about to be front and center in one of his firm’s publicity stunts… as badboy actor Jericho Knox’s supposed secret, but long term, partner. He just met the guy a few hours ago.
Kerry hasn’t ever wanted to be in the spotlight, and he’s feeling pretty unsure about the whole thing, but it’s been made pretty clear to him that he’s expected to go through with it if he wants to be seen as a team player.
He’s kind of… screwed.
Here’s a little bit of the part where Kerry has to tell his brother Cole that he’s been assigned to fake fiancé duty for TV star Jericho Knox. Cole is definitely not happy about it, Kerry’s not very happy about it, Jericho isn’t very happy about it…but the show must go on and Kerry has to explain that to his brother and get him on board with the whole program.
“HEY, man,” Kerry said when he walked in the door. He was glad it was just Cole in their apartment. They had some things to talk about, and their roommate Robbie didn’t need to get involved in them.
“What’s up, Bro?” Cole paused his video game and tossed the controller onto their thrift shop coffee table. It always felt weird for Kerry to come home to their very humble apartment after a day dealing with the rich and fabulous in a very expensive of places. Mostly a relief, to tell the truth. He plunked down the box of papers he’d brought with him along with the two suitcases he’d dragged up from their basement storage locker.
“I’ve got something to talk to you about.”
“That doesn’t sound good. You’re not moving out, are you?” Cole eyed the suitcases.
“No. Well, sort of, but not really. It’s just temporary.”
“What?” Cole shot out of the slouchy position he’d been in, his spine ramrod straight. Cole had chosen specifically to live in an apartment instead of the dorms or the frat house because he wanted to live with family. He’d always been that guy. They both were.
“I’m not moving out,” Kerry promised. “I just have to go stay somewhere else for a while.”
“Let me start at the beginning.” Kerry took a deep breath, which was mostly just pausing. Or stalling. He had serious doubts Cole was going to be okay with what he was about to do. Hell, he had serious doubts that he was okay with it. But it was part of the job. Right?
“I’m waiting.” Cole didn’t look like he was waiting... more like he was deciding how pissed he was about to be.
“So, you know how we deal with celebrities and publicity, right?”
“Yes. Because you work for a publicist. I am in college, Kerry, not kindergarten.”
“Okay. Sorry. Anyway, one of our clients has gotten himself into a bit of trouble lately.”
Technically he wasn’t supposed to say much, but he’d gotten a pass for Cole; well, that, and a huge NDA for him to sign, but he’d get to that part later. “Jericho Knox.”
Cole’s eyes flew open. “You work for him directly?”
“Yeah. I do now. I think you can guess why.”
“Man, he’s in trouble for that picture. It’s all anyone on campus is talking about.”
Kerry could understand why. It wasn’t every day that Hollywood’s most famous skirt chaser got caught being very publicly, well, gay. Gay and with his pants down.
“The company has come up with a plan to turn that around, make people talk about some good things instead of his indiscretion.”
“What’s the plan?”
Cole knew. He knew the plan was going to involve Kerry somehow, and he wasn’t going to like it. Kerry could see it in his face.
“They decided Jericho needs to have a serious partner nobody knew about who could’ve been the guy in that picture. A fiancé. One who is slight... and has dark hair... someone they could trust who wouldn’t blab to the tabloids and screw up the story. They want it to look like a serious couple who had their privacy invaded.”
Cole froze. “Don’t even say it, Bro. You’re not doing this.”
“I am. It’s going to be me. I’m Jericho Knox’s new fiancé.”
“No. Hell no. My brother isn’t going to be all over the Internet as the guy who blew Jericho Knox in public. You didn’t, did you?”
“Screw you. Of course it’s not me. I’ve met the guy twice, and I didn’t exactly like him. Plus, we met in a boardroom, not a bar.”
“Okay. Just making sure. I don’t like this. I don’t want that for you.”
“They’re going to spin it, blame the person who took the picture for abusing our private moment. As of tomorrow, Jericho Knox and I are going to be in love. And engaged to be married. Engaged people have sex. People will... forget about the picture eventually.”
“Hell, man....” Cole just sank into the couch like the shock was too much for his stomach muscles to handle. “And you have to move in with him?”
“Yeah. There are paps camped out in front of his house trying to get a reaction out of him. And even if there weren’t, Jones would hire some to make sure I was seen there. It’s going to have to look pretty realistic to turn things around for Jericho. A hell of a lot more realistic than the typical celebs who go on a few dates with their assistants in the background and get their picture taken by some fans.”
“I don’t even get your world.” Cole shook his head. He looked disgusted.
“Sometimes I don’t either.”
“So you’re moving in with Jericho goddamn Knox.”
“You make him sound like a monster.”
“Is he any better? From what I’ve seen, the guy’s an asshole. And... wasn’t he supposed to be some kind of womanizer?”
“He’s not. I asked. He’s not even bi. That was all just spin to keep his name in the tabloids, and the public away from the truth.”
“Gay Camouflage 101?” Cole asked.
Kerry shrugged. “Yeah. Pretty common move. I can’t believe I was surprised when I found out the truth.”
“Anyway, you can’t tell the guys. I mean, Robbie yeah, since he knew last week that I’d never met Jericho, so he’d have to know something was up, but nobody else. Or Mom and Dad.”
“What the hell, K? They’re not going to believe you just miraculously started dating a movie star, didn’t tell them, and got engaged. Nobody’s going to buy it.”
“I’m going to make them buy it. That’s my job. Your only job is to not tell them the truth. It would get too messy if a ton of people know.” Kerry felt a disgusting pit in his stomach. He had a feeling his parents were going to end up with the truth and a whole lot of promises not to say anything.
Cole glared at him. “Just in case you were wondering, I really don’t like this. I doubt you were wondering, though.”
I’ve left my social media links below if anyone wants to stop by and say hi. Thank you for having me stop by :)
Lights, camera, lies.
Kerry Pickering has a problem. As a publicist for Hollywood bad boy Jericho Knox, it’s Kerry’s job to keep Jericho in the news. So far, Jericho’s partying and public escapades have made it easy. But Jericho has a secret, and when that secret is revealed in the most spectacularly disastrous way, it’s up to Kerry to spin it.
The team decides the best course of action is to make the public fall in love—with Jericho’s secret committed relationship. The one that doesn’t exist. Yet.
The team wants someone they can trust. Someone in the inner circle. That someone is Kerry. But what will happen when Kerry realizes that for him, the romance is no longer pretend? Can Jericho love him back, or is he just playing a role?
MJ O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.
She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, MJ has the heart of a wanderer. She she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.
Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion…come home.
Places to find MJ!