Random #Benzin for Friday and a weekend ARC giveaway

Random questions get asked on my Facebook page. Sometimes, these random questions lead to rather hilarious discussions. One recent one was about Ben’s hairiness level. (Ben has been a pretty common topic of discussion because Imitation & Alchemy will be out the end of this month or beginning of next, if all goes according to plan.)

There were Ben beard questions, which led to chest hair questions, which led to various and often disparate opinions about Ben’s body hair. It got pretty hilarious.

(And yes, my darling guy-readers, many women do have very decided opinions about these things. Unfortunately, there is no concensus, so don’t ask me for advice. I’m as confused as you are.)

For the record, Ben is half Lebanese and half Puerto Rican, so I’ve always assumed in my mental pictures of him that he’s rockin a healthy amount of hair.

Anyway, sometimes these discussions lead to me imagining random scenes for characters as they go about daily life. Clearly, this is not edited, but it made me giggle.

IF YOU WANT TO WIN AN E-ARC OF IMITATION & ALCHEMY please scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave a comment to enter. I’ll pick a winner Sunday night at 9pm PST.

Without further ado, I give you…

TO BROW, OR NOT TO BROW: An Elemental Conundrum

“Ow. OW!” Ben batted her hand away from his face. “You’re a sadist.”

Tenzin slowly shook her head. “No. I am not. I am deriving no pleasure from this exercise. In fact, I find your whining rather annoying.”

Ben furrowed his brow and tried to hold back the tears stinging his eyes. “Why did I ask you to do this?”

“Because we are stranded in a small village in the middle of the Ukraine, and you are oddly obsessed with your eyebrows.”

“I’m not…” He held up the small hand mirror and reached for the tweezers in her hand. “I’m not obsessed with my eyebrows. I just don’t want a unibrow like my damn father.”

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you refer to your biological father without using an insult of some kind. Damn father. Asshole father. You can be rather imaginative, but those are the most common epithets.”

“Yeah, there’s a reason for that.” He tried tweezing a few of the stray hairs from between his brows, but gave up after a few minutes. There was a reason he’d dated an aesthetician for six months and stayed friends with her. Kasey took care of him. Or at least she took care of his unibrow.

“Here.” Tenzin held out her hand. “You can’t see well enough in this light. Let me do it. I promise I’ll be gentle since you’re so delicate.”

Ben handed her the tweezers again and closed his eyes. “Fine. When did the manager say the power would be back on?”

“Sometime in the morning, but it would depend on the roads.” Tenzin looked out the dark window. It was pouring rain. “The roads are quite flooded.”

“So… two or three days, probably.”

“I found books for you, didn’t I? You’ll survive without your electronics.”

“Tenzin, the books are in Russian.”

“Well…” She cocked her head, pulled his skin tight, and tweezed. “You should work on your Russian. It’s a very useful language.”


“Such a baby.”

“Kasey uses wax. It’s one quick pull and she’s done.”

“Well, we don’t have wax, except from the candles.”

“I don’t think that kind of wax works.”

She frowned and pulled a few more hairs. “You know, you could always just let it grow. In some Central Asian cultures, a monobrow is considered very attractive in both sexes. For men, it’s a sign of great virility.”

“That’s fascinating, but I live in LA.”

“Is this what the television shows call ‘manscaping?'” Tenzin continued to pluck and pull. “Hair removal is becoming more and more common among Western men. Which only seems fair after the expectation they have placed on women. Do you wax your chest? Some men wax their chest, but you seem to have hair so I don’t think you do.”

“No, I do not wax my chest. Eyebrows are one thing, but I’m not going to wax my chest.”

“But where do you draw the line? I don’t remove any of my hair, but some women remove almost everything. Do you know it’s common among some groups of women to wax theirβ€””

“Stop.” Ben closed his eyes. “Please stop. No more reality shows, Tenzin. They’re warping your brain.”

“They’re fascinating.”

“They’re trashy.”

“So was Shakespeare.”

Tenzin leaned close enough that he could smell the almond oil she used in her hair. He cleared his throat and tried not to squirm.

“Are you almost done?”

“Yes.” She plucked a few more hairs and leaned back to look at him.Β “Done. No more unibrow. I still think you’re ridiculous. Put honey on that so it doesn’t get infected.” Tenzin always carried honey with her. Raw honey, sometimes still in the comb. She used it for everything.

“I will,” he said, reaching for a cool washcloth.

The room was freezing cold because it was early March and the cheap hotel turned the heat off at ten o’clock. He put the cold cloth on his forehead and promised he’d be better about calling Kasey, even if she did have a new boyfriend who didn’t like him.

Ben reached up and tugged on the end of Tenzin’s hair. “Thanks for making sure I don’t look like a Neanderthal, Tiny.”

“You’re welcome.” She smiled and patted his cheek. “But I only took care of the eyebrows, Benjamin. What are you doing to do about all that back hair?”



Copyright 2016, Elizabeth Hunter

Posted in Writing.


  1. Hilarious!!!!! Love Ben and Tenzin and their banter back and forth!!! Thanks for clearing up all the hairy questions!!

  2. Hahaha! Reminds me of my late hubby! He got these curly long hairs in his eyebrows and the process of me tweezing them always led to rather interesting conversations! ?

  3. “Tenzin leaned close enough that he could smell the almond oil she used in her hair. He cleared his throat and tried not to squirm”. This just gets better and better……

  4. I love it! Ben, Tenzin, and manscaping, oh my! They are my absolute favorite characters. I have a glass of Chardonnay in my hand and am finally sitting down after a long day of working and momming. This just makes it perfect! Thank you very much for making my Friday night. (If you can’t tell I have a quiet social life these days)

  5. i love getting these e-mails with parts of the story! It’s like waiting for a present, or a package you ordered to arrive. I also look forward to the book release so I can order on Amazon and read cover to cover. Thanks for putting these up for us.

  6. LOL! Threading. I’m surprised Kasey doesn’t thread his brows. I have an intellectually-handicapped sister; she describes my Mom’s plucking of her brows as “torture.” So when she comes to visit me, we go get our brows threaded. We see both men and women in the shop, and it’s a great shape in a very few minutes, with much less pain. Back hair.

  7. Too Funny!!! I really enjoy Ben and Tiny moments. I am not sure I would allow her near me with tweezers, but Ben is much braver than I.

  8. Ben, Tenzin, and Manscaping, oh my! I love these two. They are officially my favorite characters. I have been awaiting their series with bated breath and an obscene level of impatience! Tonight I sat down with a glass of wine after a long day of work, commuting, and mom duties and discovered how hairy Ben is. πŸ™‚ Thank you for making my evening! (Yes my social life is just that sad!)

  9. My late husband had back hair, chest hair, unibrow, seriously hairy. On our honeymoon, he seriously asked me if he wanted him to shave his back. I just smiled and told him I married him hair and all, and no shaving was necessary! πŸ™‚

  10. Im so glad the adventure continues for Ben. Ill admit at first i had a hard time seeing him as a grown up now (now that im a mom anyways lol) but its getting easier. Benzin never fails to make me laugh! Cant wait to buy this next set.

  11. As a hairstylist I can completely understand the girlfriend who waxed him. It was probably just as much for her as it was for him. My oldest son is part Greek (dad) and Italian (me) I’ve been waxing his unibrow since he was 12, 10 years later and it’s still just as thick. I imagine Ben without hair, but realistically I know it would have to be from careful grooming. Hairy or not I still love him! He is an old soul, with a brilliant mind, quick wit and fiery temper when needed. What’s not to love.

  12. Lol, love it! My husband makes me pluck his because doesn’t want anyone knowing he manscapse! He sits there and says ow, ow, ow every time I pluck one out. I usually spend the better part of an hour laughing to the point of tears before I finish. Thank for that little bit. Can’t wait for the book!!

  13. So I have avoided reading any of the chapter releases because I want to read it all at once…. I have been dying for the release…

  14. So good! I went back to This Same Earth so that I could re-enjoy Ben’s introduction; I enjoyed it so much I’m now reading every Ben moment in the Elemental Mysteries, Elemental World, and the extras you’ve posted online. Tenzin is next!

  15. Thank you, that was so funny! πŸ˜€
    Hope I win the arc this time, been hoping every time, but yeah, I’m definitely not the only one!
    Enjoy your weekend! πŸ™‚

  16. I LOVE these two. Such playfulness…and Tenzin knows just what to say to push his buttons!
    Good luck everyone!

  17. That is hilarious. Thank you for a great Saturday morning treat. ARC, pleeeeaaaaassssseeee (lots of begging gestures and HUGE puppy dog eyes.

  18. Hahahaha! Love it. I have a Lebanese hairdresser. My hubby also goes to him. He’s always attacking him with tweezers! I really do hope he leaves his eyebrows alone though…..

  19. Thank you so much for the Elemental series. I love reading them and then a while later re reading them.Actually I re read all of your books. Looking forward to see what Tenzien and Ben will get up to in this book.

  20. Tweezerlarious!
    I love Ben and Tenzin’s adventures. I look forward to the possibility that the sweet smell of her almond oil will one day intimately mix with his tweezers fear.What an explosion that will begin.
    Fantastic stories Elizaeth.I don’t know how you keep them coming but please do.

  21. I always liked random scenes like this in books that give us more insight on a character that kind of helps shape them more clearly in our minds. Something random…Something kind of odd and off the wall that we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

  22. A unibrow is distracting so I’m all for a little waxing or tweezing,but manscaping? I’ m not sure why it is considered necessary in some circles to remove all body hair. That seems excessive to me, but whatever Ben wants to do is fine with me. He has grown into a interesting young man. Yes I would love an ARC of I & A.

  23. Loved it <3
    Any chance I can win the ARC seeing as it was me that started the great hairiness debate? (pretty pretty please with a cherry on top?) I'm sure that Tenzin would have some Frida Kahlo art in her stash to give Ben for his birthday….. πŸ˜›

  24. That has set the tone for my day. So funny to wake up to and read with my cup of tea. Thank you for the Saturday morning giggles

  25. Cute! Absolutely love these two characters. They always put a smile on my face. Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading Imitation & Alchemy!

  26. Hilarious! A sign they are truly meant to stay together forever! They can weather anything! From the dangerous to the mundane.

  27. I love Ben and Tenzin. They are cute together. Their adventures are funny. Poor Ben and his back hair. Wondering what Tenzin will do?

  28. I need to catch up on these books. The back and forth between Ben and Tenzin is absolutely fascinating, and often hilarious! Is it weird that I ‘ship them, just a little? ?

  29. I cannot wait for this book to come out. I am so full of anticipation! There is some chemistry between those 2.

  30. Loved the ending. I imagine Ben in a panic trying to get a look at his back while Tenzin continues to make his panic worse with her “helpful” comments,. I would love to get an ARC. Hopefully I’ll luck out. Thanks for sharing!

  31. I was laughing all the way through! What a funny image! Poor Ben. Waxing is really so much simpler.

  32. OMG that was awesome. I actually laughed out loud at the end. Cannot wait to read this as one novella! Thank you for writing, for continuing to share these characters with us all.

  33. These little blurbs always make my day. Love those two!! Can’t wait to read more. Thanks for keeping us entertained. πŸ™‚

  34. Tenzin and reality shows!! OMG – I could just picture her perched on the edge of a sofa and glued to the big screen tv watching reality shows for hours. LOL. What a visual! Thanks. I love all your stories but your little ‘shorts’ are just fantastic. I could almost be happy just reading those if you would put them out every other day or so from here on out πŸ˜‰

  35. I have just loved your books from the beginning!
    Reading how Ben has grown and tge others have gotten their HEA, hoping he does also!! Beu those two, the predicaments they get into and the closer they get, just me doing a littile hoping!!
    Love, Love , Love ALL of the series thank you soooo much,
    Anna Sorensen

  36. Oh I adore it. My daughter inherited her fathers unibrow and we wax her and him and the boy got my eyebrows and dimples and his grandfathers swoon worthy genetics..and yeah he is Gio and my daughter in all her fuzziness is gonna hate him when they are older and she realizes she got screwed in the genetics somewhat. LOVED THIS! Can’t wait till the release of the book!

  37. You nailed it again, keep it coming! I know I speak for a lot of us when I say that we can’t get enough!! LOVE this!!

  38. Pingback: New chapter of I&A, ARC giveaway still going on | ELIZABETH HUNTER

  39. This was an awesome look into an a sect not normally shown in books or in extras even. I’m somewhat new to this site and the different series but so far I’m head overy heels. Id loveeeee an arc copy. ?

  40. I love how you write Tenzin’s voice. Her comments and observations about the modern world have a delightfully curious and funny tone to them. Thank you for writing this series. It is one of my favorites!

  41. I think Ben and Tenzin are so great together. Still don’t know whether I want them together romantically eventually or have her become his sire, but I love them. As for the hair debate… I hate hairy chest/backs and monobrows. Or beards for that matter. In my mind, Ben doesn’t have those. hehe.

  42. Can’t wait for more! Thanks for developing the relationship between Ben and “Tiny.” Anticipating what happens from here.

  43. I love reading about Tenzin and Ben, especially the little Hint’s to how Ben is sexually effected by Tenzin’s hair oil ., and they banter like an old married couple.. I think secretly Ben has been in love with Tenzin for a Long time. He just needs to come out of hi closet and admit it..I really love reading about them..More please..???

  44. LOVE! So much love for these 2 characters you created. I can’t wait to read I and A once it’s done being edited!!

  45. Love these characters so much. The whole Elemental series is absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

  46. Tenzin is so good for Ben, and he for her. Not only has he grown into a hunkalicious man, he’s sensitive and true blue down to his bones. Love this couple, excited for the book to come out. Of course, I wouldn’t turn down an ARC!

  47. How can you not love Tenzin & Ben? Probably my two most favorite characters of yours, with Carwyn running a close third. Waiting anxiously (seriously anxiously) for more stories!!

  48. I’m soooo looking forward to this book. You know….good things are worth waiting for…but I’ve been suffering withdrawals for soooooo long now. It would be nice to get an ARC but it’s a win win either way as I have the book on preorder….

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