Hi everyone– Congratulations to Susan R. who won the prizes in the Heroes Blog Hop!! Thank you all for entering. And speaking of heroes, my wonderful, literary firefighter, Hunter Fallon, from Fire Balls is a contestant in the Summer’s Hottest Heroes Contest at ARe. This is such an honor. I’m happy dancin’.
This contest has some really big names in it–and one of them is opposite Hunter in the first round! The contest is set up so that you have to win your matchup or you don’t get out of the round and she is (deservedly) pulling in the votes. She has the most votes in the whole contest right now. Hunter is still in striking distance–but it will be tough!
If you have a minute to vote and drag your relatives along to vote on their computers i’d be most appreciative. (BTW, MM fans — Hunter is one of only 2 or possibly three LGBT heroes in the contest — out of 32)
Here’s the LINK! You have to be signed in to ARe to vote.
In case Hunter doesn’t make it out of round one, here is a favorite excerpt in his honor!
Excerpt: Fire Balls by Tara Lain; MM Contemporary
Rodney Mansfield is tiny, flamboyant and, oh yeah, a black belt in karate. He is also one of southern California’s greatest artists. Too bad the work of art he really wants is firefighter, Hunter Fallon. But the gorgeous “straight gay” guy could never want the Runtback of Notre Dame, so when Rodney’s handsome, surfer friend, Jerry, develops an unexpected passion for the beautiful firefighter, Rodney breaks his own heart by helping Jerry land his man. And then Rod makes it worse by embarrassing Hunter when he protects him from a firehouse bully. Hunter hates gay guys like Rodney – doesn’t he? Then why can’t he get the powerful pipsqueak’s face out of his mind… and cock out of his ass? And why does he risk his job and his life to rescue Rod from a burning building? Isn’t it time for him to admit he’s not an alpha male after all and that he is the property of the artist?
Nothing had been the same since he’d met Rodney Mansfield. Hunter stared at the statues of strange round people on the fountain outside the stationhouse. He didn’t quite understand this artwork. But he did get Rodney’s. Rod was a genius. His art was masterful.
Hunter set his book on the side of the fountain. No use pretending he was reading. He’d just stare at the weird sculpture. Funny. Weirdis the way Rod described himself. Homo fag. Both were actually true. With his purple-tipped hair. Or blue. Or pink. The multiple earrings. His tiny-sized, bright clothes, and flamboyant manner. They all added up to the kind of gay guy Hunter ran from. But Rod wasn’t a “kind” of anything. He was himself—authentic, special.
Hunter knew if he could paint, he’d want to paint Rodney. That great face. Jerry called him adorable. The guy’s face was almost pretty. Big eyes and soft, girlish lips. That shock of bleached hair falling in front of those brown eyes, a great contrast to the slim, hard body and big cock. Yeah, Hunter knew up close and personal just how big that cock was.
He ran a hand through his hair. Couldn’t get the guy out of his mind. The idea of never seeing him again. Never having that cock in his ass. Shit, it made him crazy. He should be glad to be rid of him, but he wasn’t. And he’d screwed any chance of even having Rodney as a friend.
Deep breath. Hunter had to get his head on straight. Tomorrow was a big day. The call to Bill had been magic. The guy really wanted to help. If the meeting he set up panned out at all, maybe Hunter could grab the brass ring and become a teacher. God, the idea gave him goose bumps. He loved firefighting. But teaching? Wow. Teaching felt real to him.
Wonder what Rodney would say about him switching jobs?
Hunter shook his head. Get over it.
The alarm bell shocked him out of his stupor. His body jerked. No thinking, just response. He leaped up and cleared the few yards into the station in seconds, grabbed his gear, and had it on before the rest of the guys made it out of the ready room. “What is it?”
Cam was also dressed. “Building fire on Laguna Canyon Road. One of the art studios, they said. Tough one. Paint is really flammable.”
His mind locked on a picture of an old, struggling space heater on an ancient cord. Shit! Rod. But no, he’d be at the Festival manning his stand. Safe. Oh God, please. He hoped. Strictly against protocol, but he fished his cell out of his pants and dialed.
The voice on the other end sounded worried. “Hunter?”
“Quick, Jerry. Do you know where Rodney is?”
“At the Festival. I just heard about the fire. Shit. Is it his studio?”
“Don’t know yet. All those beautiful paintings. I hope not.”
“No man, all the paintings are at the Festival. He said he cleaned out most all of his inventory because of the fight. People are crazy for his stuff.”
“Good. Gotta go.” He clicked off and jumped into the truck, taking his seat beside Cam. The engine raced down the Laguna Canyon Road.
Straight toward Rodney’s studio.
They turned into the drive, lookie loos scattering. Flames leaped out of the roof of the low structure where he had first learned what real orgasm meant. The sight hurt Hunter’s heart. If Jerry was right, maybe the real loss—the priceless art—would be avoided, thanks to the fight. Yeah, the fight he ought to feel grateful for instead of pissed off about.
The firefighters piled out onto the hard-packed dirt drive and hauled the hose toward the hydrant out by the highway. Shit, they were just going to make it…if they were lucky.
“Save him. Help, please, help,” one woman screamed, pointing toward the building.
Not a good thing. He gave his spot on the hose to another man and ran to the woman’s side. “Ma’am. What do you mean?”
The woman on the driveway was white as a cloud and pointing, her mouth working. “Rod. Rodney. He ran in. Do something.”
He gripped her arm. “Ran in? Rodney ran in there?” Ice froze his heart.
“Yes, yes. I came over to see, and suddenly he just ran past me and straight in the door. I don’t know where his car is…”
Hell no! He pulled on his respirator and ran toward the door of the studio. His heart beat way too fast. Had to get control. Why, why would Rod do it? What was worth his life? His life. He couldn’t die. Hell, no.
“Fallon, wait. Don’t go in alone.” Cam screamed behind him.
Hell, no. No time to wait. Rod was in there.
The screen door, the damned squeaky screen door, hung half off its hinges. He tore it away and, hunched against the heat, moved into the studio. Smoke. Embers raining down. The heat pushed like a wall through his gear. The flames crawled along the half-missing roof like a snake slinking along a branch, hissing.
Stop. Think. The part of the structure closest to the door remained most intact. He dropped to the floor and scooted along a few feet. Not much in here. Beside him, the old desk had burned nearly to ash. His heart hammered. Breathe slowly. Don’t panic.
Where is he? Can’t be too late. No, hell, no. Never too late. He crawled another couple feet and pressed his head down by the floor, squinting through the smoke…
Thank you again, everyone. Vote if you can!
! And thank you for coming to see me. : )