Guest Post: Cotton Candy by Mae Hancock


Today I have Mae Hancock here today, discussing the secrets characters carry in her new novel, Cotton Candy. Over to you Mae!

If you’ve ever kept a secret you’ll know the tremendous strain it can put you under. Cotton, one of the characters in Cotton Candy has carried a secret around with him for 18 months.

Internal conflicts are great for character development and suspense but I also see them as character defining tools. How does this person cope under the pressure? How an individual copes under this pressure ultimately shows you how they are defined. Sometimes characters with secrets behave irrationally and often not to protect themselves but others who might well feel pain if they found out the truth.

Things often become more complex when people who deceive are doing it to protect the people they love. Cotton ends up in that vicious circle of becoming desperate to tell other people the truth but the fear of losing them (Bay and Kristen) wins the internal struggle.

Cotton’s own insecurity surrounding his issues of secret sharing ultimately defeat him and this anxiety is a major character flaw. Can Cotton ever be trusted again? Only time will tell—but the forgiveness of those we love is an essential part of our bond with others.


Cowboy, Cotton Reid is the laid back type of guy who accepts people as they are, no matter how flawed. He’s fun, honest and crazy about his boss and friend the sexy rancher Bay Redman.

Living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is something that family man, Bay, has done his whole life. Bay can be like a bear with a sore head if the hay isn’t stored symmetrically or his fridge contains an odd number of jars.

When the two men begin a hot affair, Cotton keeps a secret from Bay, but will Cotton find the courage to tell the truth before someone else does?


The sincerity, pain, and honesty in Cotton’s eyes moved Bay so much he almost folded, wanting to hold Cotton and tell him there was nothing they couldn’t sort out. Nevertheless, Bay was in the danger zone. Even if every word and sentiment was true, Cotton had still deceived him. Bay couldn’t see a future for them. What if they pursued a relationship, and Cotton kept another secret for whatever reason? Bay needed a partner who shared everything so they could face their troubles together, no matter what, and Cotton wasn’t that man.

Vanessa had caused so much suffering. Cotton hadn’t even had the chance to be a father to his own child. He’d have been a good dad whether he’d had money or not. Good parenting isn’t born out of wealth, but love. Bay couldn’t visualize Kristen growing up and being any worse off with her natural father. And Bay couldn’t punish Cotton for simply wanting to get to know his only child. He wasn’t a bad man, and both he and his daughter should be allowed to build a relationship. Bay had no deep insecurities about Kristen; the notion that she might reject Bay and replace him with a virtual stranger was ridiculous. Cotton and Kristen’s relationship paled into insignificance against his own silly worries. The second part of the dilemma, his relationship with Cotton wasn’t so easy, but Bay couldn’t continue their relationship any longer.

“You finished?” Bay asked as tears filled Cotton’s blue eyes, scratching at Bay’s conscience and the part of him that loved and forgave.

“Yes, except— I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. Nothing will change that.” Cotton took in a sharp breath. “Can you forgive me?” His eyes took on a silvery hue that begged Bay to reconsider. It meant risk, and Bay didn’t take risks, especially bad ones. Unable to articulate an adequate response, he didn’t answer.

Mae’s Bio

I enjoy writing both academic and fiction material. My research interests include focus on people who experience marginalization, both in historical societies and modern. Themes include disability, neurosis, homosexuality, addiction, mental illness, slavery and prostitution. The most important part of my work is creating multi-dimensional, believable characters that are able to build lasting romantic relationships against the odds. I want all my readers to laugh, cry and enjoy the erotic journey towards a happy ending.

Link to my web site:

Link to my blog:

Twitter: @Hancockfiction



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