Special Guest: Z.A. Maxfield With All Wheel Drive!

Hi. This is Tara. Thank you for stopping by the blog. I’m on vacation right now — the first longer-than-a-weekend vacay I’ve taken in years that didn’t include writing workshops. While I’m gone, I invited a bunch of my friends — some of your fave authors — to stop by and share their news and new releases. I know you’ll love it. Enjoy. Talk soon. : )

Please welcome author Z.A. Maxfield

 

All Wheel Drive
(Bluewater Bay #18)
By Z.A. Maxfield

Blurb:
Healey Holly is battered, depressed, and looking to go to ground in his childhood home. He wants to rent the garage apartment, but it’s Diego Luz’s place now, and the last thing Diego wants is to share it.

Diego is recovering too—from the accident that put him in a wheelchair and the death of his mother shortly after. The garage apartment is where he’s keeping his mother’s things, and as long as they’re up those stairs and he’s down on the ground, there’s no way he can deal with his loss. And that’s just how he likes it.

Healey believes in science. Diego believes in luck. It will take a blend of both, and some prayer thrown in besides, for these two to learn that it’s the journey and the destination that matter.

Available to purchase at

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Nook | B&N Paperback |  Kobo | iBooks 

Excerpt

 

 

Chapter 1

Diego

The man at the door was a mess.

Diego’s first look through the peephole showed a sort of monster silhouette—a weirdly shaped humanoid dragging a wheeled duffel bag.

In the porch light’s acrid yellow glow, the very shape of him set off a boogeyman, stranger-danger skin-crawl. Ruthlessly, he suppressed any instinct for self-preservation and opened the door wide, but his visitor was just an ordinary man with a mass of healing facial wounds, one arm in a cast, and the haunted look of a recent combat veteran. Diego didn’t recognize him, but there was nothing to be scared of. Whatever had happened to him was potentially frightening, but he was only a guy.

“Can I help you?”

“I hope so. I called about the room over the garage?”

“And I told you when you called: I’m not renting it out. I need it for storage. How did you even know—”

“I’m still hoping you’ll change your mind. I grew up around here. I remember the family that used to live here, and I feel like—” The man stopped. Gathered himself. “I need a room for a little while, and if you’re only using it for storage . . .”

Sorrow limned what few features Diego could guess at behind the bandages, healing abrasions, and the shiny pink newness of burns. Dude had shaved his hair on the sides but the top was long, the result being a man-bun swirl of wavy brown hair that looked greasy. How was this guy even keeping himself clean? Despair, and something infinitely worse hung around him like a toxic cloud. Hopelessness.

Diego recognized the man’s helpless anxiety and anguish all too well.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“John Smith.”

Irritated, Diego eyed him sourly. “I take it you ain’t filling out a rental application?”

“Sure. I’ll fill one out.” It was hard to watch a smile crack those dry, scabbed lips, but it was a nice smile. A friendly smile. Dude wasn’t using it very often, obviously. “I’m thinking of taking up fiction writing as a career anyway.”

“You make it so hard to say no.”

Diego started to close the door, but that soft cast shot out, and Diego didn’t have it in him right then to add injury to . . . injury.

“You want to try and convince me some more?” Diego asked sarcastically. “You want to add you’re also a known terrorist carrying small pox?”

“Two thousand cash a month. Six months tops. It’s a room with a toilet, a sink, and a shower, right?”

“How do you know that? How’d you even get my number?”

Dude’s eyes widened. Then narrowed. “Never mind how I know. My Uber driver left me, and I’ll have to walk all the way to the nearest motel. Where is that, anyway?”

“Three thousand,” Diego countered, “and you move whatever shit’s up there down to the garage.”

“Done.” The dude frowned. “Wait. What’s up there?”

Diego shrugged. “Stuff from my mother’s place, probably. I told the company that moved me to put whatever wasn’t marked for immediate use up there. And since I can’t exactly fly up there to take a look around”—he thumped the wheels of his chair—“I don’t give a shit. Haven’t missed a thing, so whatever’s up there can’t be too important. You move it, hand me thirty Benjamins, and we’re good.”

“Yeah?”

Was that relief on his face? Diego didn’t smile back. “Trial basis. For a month.”

“Fine.”

“Too much drinking, drugging, loud sex? Not fine. Loud parties? Not fine. No one better bother me, leave trash around, or even look at me askance. No redneck music. In fact, give me your number.” He took out his phone, opened the contacts, and let his new tenant type it in. “I control all of the music around here, or you can leave right now. I can’t walk up those stairs but I can light the place on fire from below and rebuild. If you piss me off, I’ll shoot you and tell the police you frightened my permanently-seated ass, and we’ll see who they blame.”

“Askance? Is that a thing now?”

Oh, there it was again. That elusive spark of humor. “It’s always been a thing.”

“I’ll be sure not to do it.”

“All right, then. I’ll get you a key.”

“No need.” Dude reached gingerly into the pocket of his leather jacket. He pulled out a fat wad of cash and a Costco card. “That lock’s always been a piece of shit.”

Diego took the cash, counted it out. “This is only two grand.”

“I’ll get you the rest tomorrow. I’m good for it.”

Diego nodded, wheeled backward, and gave the door a shove to shut it. It banged in the dude’s face, but that was partly the wind. Dude couldn’t blame him for the wind, could he?

So. Now he had a tenant for a bit.

He could have said no.

He could have said hell no.

As soon as the dude got a look at his room, he’d probably come back down. If he caused any trouble, Diego could give back the money and boot his ass. If John Smith gave him any attitude, Diego could call the cops. But that would be a lot of bother to go through, when spending the night in a dank-ass garage apartment with no bed, no food, and a single hanging overhead lightbulb was punishment enough.

A quick look at the time told Diego he’d better call it a night. While he went through the motions getting ready for bed, the part of his brain that remembered the haunted look in his new tenant’s eyes—the part of him that recognized and responded to and acknowledged the unfairness of things and the failure of good people to alleviate human suffering in the long run—listened with half an ear for the sound of boxes being shuffled around.

The man couldn’t move things in his condition. He’d have to ask for help, at which point Diego planned to drive him to the nearest bed-and-waffle-buffet motel. Such a thing would probably cost less than the three grand he’d promised Diego anyway, and sure as fuck nobody’d be feeding him here.

Diego definitely did not think about dust or spiders or other critters. He was not imagining a room he’d never even been in but could visualize from realtor’s photos—wood-paneled walls and vinyl flooring in sickly, faded shades of brown and orange and yellow. But he’d never wanted a tenant. He hadn’t sent anyone but the movers up there after he’d come to Bluewater Bay. Hadn’t cleaned the place. Hadn’t advertised it.

It was almost a public service letting the dude get his fill of it. Returning home after a traumatic event might seem like a good thing to a guy like that. There was a lot to be said for nostalgia. But an old childhood hangout wasn’t the place for someone so physically banged-up, and he’d soon realize it.

What he needed was his family. Friends. Tribe. What he was looking for was safety. Diego could tell him that safety was an illusion, but it looked like he’d already gotten the news.

Even as he grew sleepy, Diego kept an ear tuned for unusual noises.

John Smith’d be back if he couldn’t get the door open. He’d knock if sleeping on the floor beat to hell like that was as fucked up as it sounded.

Diego drifted off to sleep wishing he was the type of guy to treat a man’s pride like it wasn’t as important as his body.

 

About The Author

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back. Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.

If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

 

Readers can visit ZAM at her
Website |  Facebook | Twitter | InstagramGoodreads | Amazon

Special Guest: Charlie Cochet with Gummie Bears and Grenades! #THIRDS

Hi. This is Tara. Thank you for stopping by the blog. I’m on vacation right now — the first longer-than-a-weekend vacay I’ve taken in years that didn’t include writing workshops. While I’m gone, I invited a bunch of my friends — some of your fave authors — to stop by and share their news and new releases. I know you’ll love it. Enjoy. Talk soon. : )

 

Please welcome author Charlie Cochet! 

 

Gummy Bears & Grenades
(A THIRDS Novella, #9.5)
By Charlie Cochet

Blurb:
THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

Available to purchase at

Kindle | Amazon (Paperback Combo) | Kobo | iTunesDreamspinner Press

 Excerpt

 

Sloane let out a loud belch and laughed. “That tasted like lemonade.” He frowned as it struck him. “Fuck, I’m so wasted.”“I don’t care if you’re in a coma. You’re finishing this damn game.” Tony motioned to the air hockey table. “Move your ass, Brodie. You’re not winning this time.”

Wait. Sloane peered at Tony and thrust a finger at him. “You purposefully got me drunk so you could win. Dex told me I shouldn’t play air hockey with you.”

“Yeah, he also told his sixth-grade teacher that he couldn’t take his math test because numbers were against his religion.”

Sloane snorted vodka and lemonade through his nose and almost choked. He coughed and sputtered, wiping his nose and mouth with his arm as Tony laughed his ass off. “You couldn’t have waited until I’d finished drinking to say that?”

“And miss your impression of a sprinkler?”

“Why aren’t you drunk?” Sloane narrowed his eyes at Tony, who’d had almost as many drinks as Sloane had. Why was he so sober?

Tony shrugged. “Clearly I can hold my liquor better.”

“Bull. Shit.”

Tony arched an eyebrow at him, and Sloane marched over to him. He grabbed Tony’s glass off the edge of the table, sniffed it, then took a sip.

Sloane gasped. “This is just lemonade! I’ve been bamboozled!”

Tony reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He took a ten-dollar bill and held it up to Sloane. “I will give this to you if you say bamboozled again.”

“You are a crafty bastard.” Sloane snatched the bill from Tony’s hand.

“Bamboozled.” Ignoring Tony’s cackle, Sloane shoved the bill into his back pocket. He should have known the man would be sneaky. He was Dex’s dad after all. Sloane grinned smugly. “Doesn’t matter, I still kicked your ass. Like, eight times,” he said, glaring at his hands when he counted seven fingers. He put one more finger up. “Eight.”

Tony eyed him. “That booze is making you bold.”

Sloane nodded. “It is.”

“So you gonna put your money where your mouth is and play? Or you afraid you’re gonna get your tail whipped? I’m sure Dex will make it all purrrfect.”

Sloane eyed him. There was something Tony wasn’t telling him. “Why did you say it like that?”

“What?” Tony frowned. “I was just saying that Dex knows how to make it all better.” A wicked gleam came into his dark eyes.

Purrrfect.

Sloane’s jaw went slack. He shook his head. “No.”

Tony’s smile was terrifying. “Oh, yes.”

 

 

  About the Author

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.If you’d like to connect with Charlie, just drop her an email, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Google Plus.

 

SALE! Weekend Reads from Tara Lain. 99 Cents! #contemporary #paranormal

LIMITED TIME ONLY!
Dec. 6, 2017 – Dec. 8, 2017

Grab your copy of
KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE
BEACH BALLS
THE PACK OR THE PANTHER
for only 99 Cents each at Dreamspinner Press!

Hi! I’m actually on vacation, but i’m happy to tell you I’m leaving some special weekend reads behind. Move fast and grab your copies. Knight of Ocean Avenue is a super bestseller and if you haven’t read it, don’t miss it. Beach Balls is in the Balls to the Wall series and will give you a taste of my Laguna boys (Check out my new release, High Balls, HERE), and if you’re a paranormal fan, The Pack or the Panther will introduce you to a super fun world of werewolves. Enjoy!

Knight Of Ocean Avenue
(Love in Laguna Series, Bk #1)
By Tara Lain

Blurb: 

How can you be twenty-five and not know you’re gay? Billy Ballew runs from that question. A high school dropout, barely able to read until he taught himself, Billy’s life is driven by his need to help support his parents as a construction worker, put his sisters through college, coach his Little League team, and not think about being a three-time loser in the engagement department. Being terrified of taking tests keeps Billy from getting the contractor’s license he so desires, and fear of his mother’s judgement blinds Billy to what could make him truly happy.

Then, in preparation for his sister’s big wedding, Billy meets Shaz—Chase Phillips—a rising star, celebrity stylist who defines the word gay. To Shaz, Billy embodies everything he’s ever wanted—stalwart, honest, brave—but even if Billy turns out to be gay, he could never endure the censure he’d get for being with a queen like Shaz. How can two men with so little in common find a way to be together? Can the Stylist of the Year end up with the Knight of Ocean Avenue?

Purchase KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE for only 99 Cents here!

 

 

Beach Balls
(Balls to the Wall Series, #3)
By Tara Lain

Blurb:

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. As an attorney for the homophobic WMA Development, he can’t come out without risking the million-dollar paycheck waiting for him once they push their big land development deal through the city council—money that will finally allow Adam to live according to his own terms. Then, on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to hug a tree.
Sky Sea Mickeljohn stands for the environment, world peace, and being openly gay. He won’t compromise his principles for anyone—even the damned lying developer lawyer he can’t help lusting after. True, the WMA land development deal could put thousands of people at risk, but Sky still wants to risk his heart. In the fight between freedom and integrity, is there a place for love?

Purchase BEACH BALLS for only 99 Cents here!

 

 

The Pack or the Panther
(Tales of the Harker Pack Series, #1)
By Tara Lain

Blurb:

Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

Purchase THE PACK OR THE PANTHER for only 99 Cents here!

 

 

The Head-in-the-Clouds Thrill of Writing a New Book

Hi everyone–
I am currently editing three books! Editing has its joys. You get to make things better, put that final touch on your work so you don’t have to cringe when you read the same word six times on one page. Stuff like that. BUT, the really fun thing for me at this moment is that i’m starting a new book. That is thrilling. And it’s not just a new book, but a whole new series. Wow. That chance only comes along occasionally because, when you have several popular series going, you need to “feed” them with new books. So a completely blank slate is a rare opportunity.

Unlike many authors, i don’t usually write more than one book at a time. I may have several ideas stored up, but i usually choose one and plunge in. I write until it’s done.Choosing which idea and inspiration to pursue is part of the fun. I write both paranormal and contemporary, as you probably know. Lately, i’ve written two paranormals and two contemporaries. Okay, so i can pick either one. If pushed, i will admit that contemporary is my favorite by a whisker, so that’s probably my next project.

So i start sorting through ideas. A whole new group of people to play with. And you know how i love my opposites who definitely attract. So i’m toying with a story like that — two wildly different men who challenge each other’s safe places.

And that’s where the head-in-the-clouds comes in.  I walk down the street, usually with my dog, staring ahead but creating a new world in my mind. Who are my main characters? What is their story? What do they want and need? How does the story begin? I want to show how my main character’s life looks today for a brief time and then introduce the new factor (the other hero) who will change his life. What’s the best way to show that? I’ve considered several options, but i think i know how to start.

Just as soon as i finish editing.  : )

Quick Survey: Why Do You Read MM Romance?

Hi everyone–
At RT in two weeks, i’m participating in a reader event called Man oh Man: Why Women Love MM Romance! I thought it would be fun to share with those people who may be newbies to MM romance in some cases, why other readers like and choose this genre. If you’ll give me your thoughts, i’ll share them with the group.

So, why do you read MM romance? What is it about the genre that appeals to you? If you want to share your “first time” that’s AOK too. Do you read it exclusively? If you recommend it to others what do you say? (You don’t have to answer all these questions.) Anything you want to pass on to the RT readers — leave it in a comment. And thank you in advance! : )

First Kisses! Second Group! Answer Questions and Goodies May Come Your Way

Here are the second batch of First Kisses from five more authors. Sigh. Is there anything more romantic?

Here’s whats happening. Today and tomorrow, i will be posting 4 batches of First Kisses from some wonderful authors. With each batch, you have the chance to add another entry to WIN a $35 GC, a $10 GC, and books, books, books! Here are the official rules:


Answer the question after each kiss in the comments below (comments will be screened) for a chance to win a $35 GC and a bundle of ebooks, plus a runners up prize of a $10 GC! Every set of five questions you answer correctly gives you another entry to the draw. Good luck – and enjoy those kisses! Excerpts are predominately m/m, but include some m/f and menage – we proudly swing all ways.

 And remember to check out MORE kisses and chances to WIN at my co-host Kay Berrisford’s website. Go there and answer her questions as soon as you finish these. Then come back her around noon EST for a new batch of Kisses. And don’t forget to scroll down and see the kisses from this morning! Tomorrow there will be more at midnight and noon EST!


Answer the questions and Email them to me at tara at taralain dot com. Don’t leave them here on the blog. Remember to Leave Your Email.

Excerpt One: Compulsion by Clare London

I FOLLOWED him, never more than a foot behind, as he cut his way through the gyrating bodies on the dance floor toward the back of the room. We still hadn’t touched in any way. I probably looked calm, but I felt like a lamb to the slaughter, and I knew in my heart that was exactly what I was. I told myself we were going to find a quieter room and talk, we were going to share a joint, or maybe I’d take him up on that offer of a drink. After all, we couldn’t do much of that over the noise and scramble in this place. And then I’d get that taxi, go home, make strong coffee, and write the whole damned evening off to a moment’s madness.

He stopped at the far wall in front of a door. It was flush against the dark paintwork and wouldn’t have been noticed by most of the clients there tonight. There were no signs on it, nor a strip handle like the usual fire exit. A member of security stood nearby, and as we approached, she turned as if to stop us. But she stepped back when the man from the bar made a slight gesture with his hand. Then he pushed the door as if he knew it’d be open, it slid outward easily, and I followed him through.

It closed behind us with a heavy clunk, and the sudden drop in noise was a shock. I could only hear the beat of the music now, a regular throbbing bass that seemed to make the whole wall shudder. We’d stepped right outside of the building, and the chilly night air sent goose bumps along my skin after the heat of the dance floor. I took a quick glance around, wondering if this had been the most deceptive throwing-out I’d ever encountered, but I wasn’t back out on the street. It was an enclosed space like a backyard, with brick walls of head height and rubbish bins full of plastic bags and packaging over in one corner. A couple of security bulbs were placed high on the back wall of the club, giving a pale, misty arc of light across the area in front of the doorway. Something moved behind the bins—maybe an urban fox. I heard the sudden rustle of dislodged cardboard and saw tiny eyes glinting warily in case we threatened its territory.

And then a hand landed heavily on my shoulder, I was spun around so my back hit the cold bricks of the nearest wall, and the mystery guy’s mouth was on mine. Not a word, not a request, just hard, wet lips crushing mine and a fierce tongue pushing for admittance. My palms were flat against the wall, but he didn’t try to hold me there. It was enough that his mouth claimed me. I surrendered immediately and willingly and damn, damn eagerly!

I could genuinely say I’d rarely felt this rush of consuming, desperate lust—not since I was a teenager, first discovering I liked men and all their strong, sweaty, solid sexuality.

Tonight I felt swamped by a terrible need, just like this guy had said. A purely physical reaction that made my head spin and my heart tighten in my chest. A deep desire to touch—to grab—to possess. I didn’t know if the urgency was coming from him or from inside myself. His hands roamed over me as greedily and fiercely as if he were afraid I’d escape, so it seemed he felt the same way. Harsh breaths escaped him like gasps, as if he was startled or angry about it. I was too consumed by my own desire to ask which it was.

How long had it been since I’d had a fuck? I genuinely couldn’t remember. Something strange had happened tonight, from the minute I saw him. Something had loosened all my bonds.

We never spoke a word, though I’d have found it difficult with his probing tongue inside my mouth. I opened up even faster than he asked of me and I sucked him in, rolling my own tongue against him, tasting the hot skin and the cool taint of iced vodka in his mouth. He was panting, and I knew damn well that I was.

We broke apart from the kiss and his hands landed back on my shoulders like a blow, pressing me down the wall. I struggled for a minute, not sure what game we were playing. I clapped my hands onto his shoulders, acting instinctively, seeking to restrain him in return. I tried the same pressure myself, seeing if he would buckle instead. To see who’d surrender first.

Something flared in his eyes, but they were too close to me and he was too much of a stranger for me to understand it. But there was excitement there, and a challenge that I’d never had before.

“Get down,” he growled. Out here in the fresh air, his voice reverberated in my ear. It was richer than I’d heard in the club, a match to his dark good looks. I slid, less than elegantly, down onto my arse.

When I glanced back up, I saw tall, shadowed buildings looming above my head from over the wall. Nothing but the featureless rear view of converted flats, where no one would venture out again until the brighter morning. This yard was obviously private. It was quiet except for the beat from the club behind us and the occasional wailing siren from the direction of the marina. It was a pregnant quiet, as we waited for each other’s next move. I was fleetingly thankful the night was dry; I knew we weren’t going back inside for a while yet.

QUESTION ONE:  When the narrator rolls his tongue against his lover, what does he taste?

Excerpt Two:  The Scientist and the Supermodel by Tara Lain



A soft sound made him look up.

His beauty was wearing only a towel; the black hair clung to his forehead and neck, wet from the shower. Clear green eyes stared at Jake with some intense but indescribable emotion. Jake knew for certain he’d never seen anything so beautiful. A fully clothed guy — really big — stood behind Roan. The model looked over his shoulder. “It’s okay, Jimmy. He’s a friend. Give us a minute, okay?” The big man disappeared around the lockers.

A friend? Oh shit, yeah.

Maybe a stop-action camera could have shown who moved first, but Jake couldn’t describe how he was one moment standing by the lockers and the next locked in Roan’s arms, his mouth crushed against those full, soft lips. He’d never kissed a man before, but this wasn’t “a man,” it was Roan, and Jake couldn’t suck his tongue far enough into his throat.

The model moaned and whimpered as Jake’s arms pulled him tighter. It was like the boy softened in his arms, the curved lips opening to receive him. And Jake somehow understood that when Roan said he was a bottom, he meant it. Despite the audacious beauty and aura of confidence, the man was deeply submissive. The very idea raged straight to Jake’s cock like he’d been struck by lightning. 

QUESTION TWO: What is Roan wearing in this scene?
Excerpt Three: Bedtime Story for a Stolen Child by Anna Mayle

He asked the first question that came to him. “Why do you look like me?”

“I don’t,” it corrected. “You look like me.”

He stood on shaking legs and glowered at the calm, still smiling thing.

“That isn’t possible. Why would I look like you?!”

“Good question. Think hard.”

Daniel had no idea what he was meant to think of.

“Broken.”

“I’m not broken!” he growled bravely but tensed and tried to back away when it moved to

stand.

It rose in a flowing motion, so smooth it almost didn’t look as if it were really moving. More like it simply had always been standing, and Daniel had only seen things incorrectly to think otherwise. The overall affect was disconcerting. When it began to walk closer, he noticed that the birdlike features were brought out by the light of the moon through the trees, giving it the ever changing effect from before. Daniel wondered which image was real, or if they both were. Would it be able to exist in daylight, or was it like a vampire, and harmed by the sun’s clarity? His musings caused him to lose focus, which was brought back to him in a rush when that face, that strange, shifting countenance, was only a breath from his own. He threw himself backward, but the hands caught him, human hands, no matter if they were scaled and tipped with talons, they were still human, somehow. “Taking it back,” the thing insisted.

“Taking what back?”

It studied him as it spoke, “My life, my face. I’ll take you, too. Bonus, for being a slave to your kind for so long.”

Daniel’s lips parted, though whatever he’d been about to say was instantly stolen, along with his breath. The moment before he spoke, the creature was there, slick tongue slipping past Daniel’s chapped lips and into his unguarded mouth. He gasped and tried to fight its hold, but it was too strong, too sure. He gradually felt his will to run slipping away, as if the creature were sucking it from him by way of his own captive tongue.

It was surreal. He couldn’t understand what was happening, let alone why. He was aware of the odd fact here and there, but his mind refused to put things together in any kind of rational order.

The monster smelled nice. Like the smell of the spring woods at dawn. He tried to blink and only then did he realize that he’d closed his eyes. They opened again, quickly, he needed to watch it. No telling what it would try if he didn’t.

It was obviously trying to suck his face off through his mouth.

I am going insane.

There was a faint taste of wood smoke, black licorice, and cloves.

Daniel clenched his teeth shut in desperation, but missed the thing’s tongue.

It licked him! Licked against his cheek and nipped at his nose before laving the crease of his lips.

“Stop!” He swung his fist, wincing when he connected solidly against where an ear might have been hiding beneath the feathers. Its head snapped hard to the side then struck back around with the force of a cobra, latching onto Daniel’s neck. The fangs hooked in solidly, and he realized they were barbed, like tiny fishhooks.

He curled his fingers into fists, only noticing afterward that they had been resting, one against the beast’s chest and one against the side of its face. Daniel found himself clenching it closer to him. The longer they stayed locked in that unmoving tableau, the more confused Daniel became. He couldn’t quite recall what he was doing there, why he was fighting, if he was fighting. The teeth were motionless, and the ache from them a dull, echoing throb.

Then it pulled back.

He screamed.

QUESTION THREE: What does the monster smell of?

Excerpt Four:  Snow  by Pelaam 

 
  

He dived beneath the water and emerged, his arms around Snow’s hips, lifting the younger man into the air. As he gently let Snow slide through his arms, he could see something had changed. The younger man slipped a hand into his and led him back to shore. He was urged onto a thick covering of maroon moss and Snow lay beside him.

“Why do I feel I’ve known you all my life? Why do I feel I was waiting for you?” Snow asked him.

Snow’s eyes were full of anguish and confusion as Nolen gazed into them. I was waiting for you, too, he thought to himself. The realisation hit him full-force and he knew it with every cell of his being. No one could ever replace Snow in his heart.

It explained why his early romances were arm’s-length dances, and why his choices over the last couple of years were ones he knew deep in his soul were never going to lead anywhere; for example, his relationship with Terrian. They had been wrong for each other on so many levels it was almost unreal. He cupped a too-thin cheek in his hand. He couldn’t do this while Snow was oblivious to who they were. He felt as if he was taking some kind of unfair advantage.

I want to. Dear God in Heaven, I want to with every cell of my being, but Snow doesn’t know me. He doesn’t even know himself. I can’t take advantage of him, a man who has amnesia and will have to re-learn everything about himself. Perhaps when we’re back home…

“Snow, you’re just—” he began.

“I’m not a child! I’m not a child!” Snow shouted angrily.

The outburst was completely unexpected and so were the cool lips pressing urgently on his. Nolen heard the low rumble that emanated from deep in his chest. It was as much a sound of defeat as it was victory. He could feel Snow’s erection. Its heat branded Nolan’s naked thigh. He thrust his tongue deep into the warm recesses of Snow’s mouth, crushing the slighter form against his bare chest, determined to possess the younger man. To ensure that Snow would never look at or want another again, even with his memories restored.

Snow rubbed desperately against his thigh and Nolen knew what Snow wanted—no, needed. He pressed Snow downwards, the thick moss creating a soft cushion for the thin body of his soon-to-be lover. Kissing his way down Snow’s writhing body, Nolen fed greedily at his large, dark areolas, nipping and sucking at the peaked nipples.

QUESTION FOUR: What was completely unexpected? 


Excerpt five: Something to Believe In by Sloan Parker



He opened his mouth to speak, hesitated, licked his lips as he kept his focus on mine. Finally, he met my stare. “I love you, Sean.” He held on to me and flipped us around until my back was pressing into the mattress, his body molded to mine. “I fucking love you. Always have.” He ran a palm along my cheek and caressed my lower lip with the pad of his thumb. “Just once I want something real. Something beautiful with you.”

Was I still asleep, dreaming while he showered?

He cupped the back of my head and leaned down, then paused with our mouths an inch apart. “Tell me to stop.”

Right. I’d get right on that.

I wasn’t sure I could breathe much less say something utterly ridiculous like stop. No matter what I’d been picturing for the past year, I hadn’t hoped for anything even close to this moment, to hear those words from him.

He came the rest of the way and brushed his lips against mine. The soft kiss had a tender quality to it I’d never known possible, so different from the intimacy—or lack of—I’d had in my life.

He swept his lips over mine again. Then the kiss—and the moment—was about so much more as he opened his mouth and his tongue came out to caress my bottom lip. Instinctively, I followed suit. Our tongues met and the kiss deepened. We were wrapped up in each other, his scent and touch were all over me, all around me, like the air I breathed.

QUESTION FIVE: What does Sean’s lover ask him to tell him?

Did you get them all? Email your comments to tara at taralain dot com and then scroll down to this mornings post and answer those questions for another entry! Then hop over to Kay Berrisford’s blog and answer the Kisses questions there. You may win! Then come back TOMORROW for 2 more chances to win. : )

Flame Arden Has One Hot CHRISTMAS EVE! Do You Want One Too?

Hi everyone–
Today, i’m welcoming Flame Arden to the blog with her fun, sexy holiday romance, Christmas Eve. And she’s giving away a copy to someone who comments WITH THEIR EMAIL! Flame is asking us a challenging question — Who Do You Trust?  —

Why?


Do you have a plumber you trust? A mechanic? A doctor? How did you form those relationships? Quickly, or over time?


Being too trusting  is risky, maybe even dangerous, because you allow yourself to be vulnerable to the betrayal of others. But never trusting anyone can be just as bad.


What is it about a person that makes you feel safe to put your hand in theirs? Is it a look? A scent? Intuition? Your upbringing?


It’s fairly easy to determine if a mechanic or doctor is trustworthy. The recommendation of a good mechanic from a satisfied customer, the perusal of a doctor’s credentials are easily accessed proof.


But those options are not available when choosing a lover. Your best friend is not likely to recommend her ex. Framed licenses for competent lovers do not exist, so when you feel  attracted to a man, who do you trust?


In Christmas Eve, my contemporary erotic romance recently released by Evernight Publishing, Eve Adohr must decide whether or not to trust the man she finds herself snowbound with on Christmas Eve. Will she follow her heart? Or her head?


For all she knows, the debonair man offering her a quiet dinner in a romantic setting and slow dancing in his strong, willing arms could be a serial killer. Or he could be the man of her dreams.


What should she do? Waltz into his arms or go in the guest room and hide behind locked doors for three days until a tow truck can pull her car out of a ditch? What if she follows her heart? Risk nothing and she’ll have nothing, but she’ll be safe. Risk everything and she may come away with every woman’s dream — a thoughtful, gentle man to love.      


Here’s a blurb:

In a blinding snowstorm on Christmas Eve, the jaded owner of a posh Las Vegas casino mistakes the stranded real estate agent at his door for the classy call girl he’s expecting to heat up his holiday.

Passions ignite. Eve has learned men believe bedding her the most direct route to her wealth. Nick’s female companions always want the keys to his Ferrari and to his safe deposit box, never to his heart, so he distrusts the entire lot and expects to simply walk away unscathed when his brief time with Eve ends.

Neither expects to give marriage a try, but hearts have a way of going where cautious souls refuse, and after screwing their heads off for six days and nights Nick and Eve discover without love their former lives were little more than empty shells.


Here’s an excerpt:

Finally.Nick St. Clair took one last look around. Everything seemed in order. Don’t let your irritation at your hired date’s tardiness show. She might have a reasonable excuse for being late.


Straightening the lapels of his hip-length robe, he crossed to the door. Beneath the robe, black silk pajama pants provided minimal warmth but kept him decent.


“I’m sorry to disturb you,” the statuesque woman on his porch said with a bright smile, “but I’ve done something really stupid and wondered if you—”


“Don’t just stand there.” Nick opened the door wider, anxious to see what his credit card had purchased this time. “Come in.”


“Thanks.” After a slight hesitation, the woman stepped gracefully inside. Ice crystals clung to the fine wool scarf wrapped loosely around her neck, and to her stylish boots. She was all bundled up in a long coat, but Nick’s mind’s eye had no difficulty sketching what he hoped was hidden underneath.


The lady wore far too many clothes.


“I’m afraid my boots are wet.” She glanced first at him. His welcoming smile seemed to stun her. She stared at her boots. “Where would you like me to stand?”


“By the fire.” Nick indicated the hearth. “You look frozen.” Although in need of a woman, he had no desire to bed an icicle. He wasn’t that desperate. Yet.


She crossed the room at a slow pace, her fluid movements an aphrodisiac to him, although each tentative step left behind a patch of melting ice. Sex-deprived man that he was, his living room suddenly felt too warm. Things were looking up.


“I’ve been busy on the computer,” he said, surprised by the sudden gruffness of his usually smooth voice. He joined her before the fire. “I hadn’t noticed it had begun to snow.”


A soft-looking, hooded leather coat covered her to her ankles. What lay beneath all those layers?

To his surprise, the unknown whetted his appetite. “Here, let me help you out of that coat.”


“No.”


No? Her response drew Nick up short.


“That won’t be necessary,” she said, her sexy eyes wide. “I’ll just keep it on, since I’m hoping we’ll be going right back out.”


Out? Was this some sort of sex game played to excite him?


“Problem is…” She paused, smiling up at him, even daring to bat her eyes.


Unusual eyes, those. Emeralds, flecked with gold, and about all Nick could see of his date at the moment. 

He found the situation so damned erotic he began to sweat.

“… my car slid in the ditch next door,” she added, drawing his thoughts from what treasures her long coat might hide. “I wouldn’t bother you, but this mountain seems to be out of my cell phone’s service area and I wondered if I might use your phone to call for a tow.”


The dimple nestled in the satiny cheek nearest Nick flirted with him as she spoke. Intriguing. Might as well play along. “Sure.”

One lucky commenter will win a download of Christmas Eve, so leave a comment. What makes you decide to trust someone?


Links:

Flame hangs out here:

http://flamearden.wordpress.com/ 

You can download Christmas Eve here:

Or from your favorite eBook store


Here’s a little about Flame Arden–
Flame Arden talks like a well-bred Southern lady. Nothing could be further from the truth. She claims to write sex scenes with squirm factor. You be the judge as she opens the boudoir door to one-man, one-woman relationships and gives you a glimpse inside. A happy and lasting marriage has prepared Flame to write sizzling love scenes, and she doesn’t disappoint.

**************** 
 Now, didn’t that heat things up? Remember to leave a comment and you may be the lucky person to WIN Christmas Eve. Thank you so much for coming by and thanks to Flame for being my guest.! I LOVE blog followers! : )


Pssst… Tara Lain Writes M/F Sensual Romance!

Hi everyone–
Yep, it’s true. I have taken a flyer and written a MF non-erotic romance (although it is still pretty sensual). It’s a short novella with a holiday theme called, Be Bad, for Goodness Sake. It comes out next week on Amazon.

While Be Bad, for Goodness Sake, is a new subgenre for me, i think you’ll find it’s very much a Tara Lain romance. The central MC is a guy! That’s not typical in traditional romance. And the guy is a metrosexual — a straight man who loves fashion, decorating, grooming and planning parties. Here’s the blurb —

Christopher “Kit” Merchant is a flaming — metrosexual. Though he’s great at his job in product marketing for a high tech firm, he loves fashion, grooming, design and planning parties. Sadly, he also loves the CEO of his company, Elizabeth “Bett” Harding, who is ten years older, ten times richer, and has a successful CEO as a boyfriend. When Bett asks Kitt to plan the big company holiday party at her house, he’s thrilled. Maybe she’ll come to see him as eligible. But when Bett’s boyfriend finds them together in bathrobes sipping wine, Kit discovers Bett thinks he’s gay. On top of that, the boyfriend is trying to take over Bett’s position as CEO “for her own good”. Santa Claus is going to have to work hard to make Kit’s wishes come true. Will Kit and Bett ever get the chance to be bad, for goodness sake?


I love my cover–hug, caress–by the talented Mina Carter. And i guess if you ever wanted to recommend one of my books to someone who’s not into MM, this is your chance.
I love this little story. I hope you give it a try. I’ll tell you more as we get closer. I’m shooting for a Monday Nov 12th release. :  )

Brush with Catastrophe Blog Tour is HERE! Lots of Fun stuff for You!

Hi Everyone–

Welcome to the Brush with Catastrophe Blog Tour headquarters

Brush with Catastrophe is now available at Loose Id! It should be at Amazon sometime on Tuesday. Yahoo. It’s now at All Romance eBooks!

Below i’ve listed the links for every blog appearance and event this week. The Tour is only one week long but the prizes are pretty cool so plan on touring with us.

There will be three winners. Here’s what you can win:

  • a $10 Amazon GC, or
  • A signed copy of Golden Dancer, my award winning romantic suspense, in print (if you are outside the US, i’ll give you two downloads instead) or
  • A Bag of Swag! With cool stuff of mine and other authors. As much as i can cram into a priority envelope. (US only, sorry)
Here’s how it works:
  • Everyone who leaves a comment WITH THEIR EMAIL on this blog or any other event on the tour is entered to win the Gift Card
  • The other two prizes will go to someone who comments on one of the two Magic Blogs! Only i know which two they are, so be sure to comment on as many of the blogs as you can
  • If you would follow this blog i would appreciate it!
  • Likewise, i appreciate all Likes of my Facebook Page
  • If you don’t want to be on my email list, say no in your post

Here is the schedule–

October 27 – 31 — Spookapalooza Party at The Romance Studio​​http://trsparties.com/ (giving away a book from my backlist)

October 30th — Brush with Catastrophe Releases!!

October  30th — Tara Blogs at Dirty Birdies

October 30th — Tara Blogs at Lissa Matthews

October 31st — Tara Blogs at Cup o’ Porn

October 31st — Tara blogs at Nocturnal Nights

November 1st — Tara Blogs at Brien Michaels

November 1st — Tara chats at the MM Goodreads Group 6-8PM EST

November 2nd — Giveaway at Cup o’ Porn

November 2nd– Tara blogs at Buffy Kennedy’sNovember 2nd–2PM–Tara Blogs at Long and Short Reviews   (link not live until 2PM)
​​​
November 2-4th — Q & A at Writers and Readers Group on Goodreads​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

November 3rd –​ Tara Blogs at Romance Lives Forever
November 4th — Tara chats with Loose Id at Love Romances Cafe ​​

​November 5th — Winners Announced at Beautiful Boys Books


Look like fun? Hope so. Here’s a blurb from Brush with Catastrophe. 

Available from Loose Id   Amazon


College art student Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch. And he can’t get a boyfriend. Sammy’s had a passion for his BFF, Ryder McMasters, for years, but Ryder is straight and human. Talk about hopeless causes! And where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, all Sammy can do is paint. True, the “prophetic” paintings he does at night always come true, but they never predict anything important — until he paints a picture of a gorgeous man who turns out to be Ryder but so changed he’s barely recognizable. Then Sammy paints an angel –who turns out to be a devil that threatens Sammy’s community and the man he loves. With the black cat familiar, Aloysius, at his side Sammy steps up to save the world–with a paint brush.


Be sure and leave your comment and email here before you do anything else. Thank you so much for coming by!  

Swag, Swag and More Swag!

Hi everyone–

As you know, i’m getting ready to run off to GayRomLit in Albuquerque in two weeks. Right now, my office is a sea of swag! Seriously. Here’s just some of it!

A big chunk of stuff is being shipped from other places–like some of my books and my main giveaway.

What i do is pile up swag all year long.  VistaPrint, the supplier that most author’s use for at least some of their swag, has great free offers during the year. So i order a set of postcards for whatever my new release is and then take whatever else they have to offer for free. Pretty soon i have  stack of bags and T-shirts and posters to give away at an occasion just like GRL.

This year, i have bigger expenses for the GRL retreat because i have books in print. Authors have to buy their print books (and their ebooks too often) with the intention of giving them away or selling them later.

In addition to the stack of things i’ve saved, i usually invest in one big giveaway for a conference and i love for it to be something unusual. This year, my big giveaway is the Brush with Catastrophe drawstring backpack. It’s black with a kitty face. I’m hoping people will enjoy it!  Here’s what it looks like–

I also have some fun Spell Cat post-it notes that i ordered and a printer didn’t deliver for another conference so i got them for free. And, of course, anything that doesn’t get given away at GayRomLit will be coming home as giveaways for future blog tours and hops and online events. For YOU!

Which reminds me, over on my Author Blog on Wednesday i have guest, Brien Michaels, who has a great new release and some yummy giveaways for you. Be sure to stop by and enter. Also, this Friday is the release of Halloween Heat IV, which includes my short story called Trex or Treat. We’re planning a blog hop and you’ll find it on the Author Blog starting on Friday. Don’t miss it! Be sure you’re on the Newsletter list because the Blog Tour for Brush with Catastrophe is coming. Talk soon! : )