The First MM Author Panel Ever at RT!

Hi everyone–

Whew! What a day. After a great breakfast with the Loose Id authors, i was honored to be one of the MM authors participating in Man Oh Man! Why Women Love MM Romance. This was the first panel of its kind at the RT Booklovers Convention ever, but, considering the full house we had, i imagine it won’t be the last. The panel was chaired by Belinda McBride and the other participants included Amy Lane, Z.A. Maxfield and Damon Suede. Did i have a fangirl moment? Oh yeah!

We talked about the lack of gender roles, freedom, and sense of no-boundaries that MM allows. Amy discussed the power of the two forces coming together with a crash and a battle for dominance that makes MM so exciting. It was a fun panel and i wish all of you could have been there.

Afterward, a bunch of us did a wind down lunch and i got to spend time chatting with Mary Calmes, Belinda McBride, ZAM, Ethan Day, Carol Lynne, Amy Lane and Jessie Potts. It was all around fun and i thank all these fabulous people for being so fabulous!

An easier day tomorrow at RT, then home on Sunday. Have a great evening. : )

Big Backlist Weekend! ZAM and Me! Ghosts and Beach Hotties!

Hi everyone–
Welcome to this month’s Big Backlist Weekend! My guest is Z.A. Maxfield, my good friend and one of my all-time favorite authors. So you can win books my friends! ZAM is giving away Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost (i love this book) and i’m featuring Beach Balls!

Here are the very few rules. If you would like to enter to win either ZAM’s book or mine–

  • Leave a comment with your email (that enters you to win both books. If you have already read the book you win, we’ll work something out!)
  • If you have a minute, Like ZAM’s Facebook Page and my Facebook Page
Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost by Z.A. Maxfield ; MM Paranormal (sort of)
Available at Amazon

Fitz Gaffney finally has some breathing room. His mother’s out of town, his piano teachers have backed off, and he gets to spend time at a school where he only has to be adequate for an entire year before all his responsibilities comes crashing back in again. With this freedom comes the realization that he’s lonely, but his first attempt at dating goes horribly awry.

Fitz’s new — but possibly imaginary —  friends, Julian and Serge want to help him find happiness. His used-to-be-stepbrother Ari Scheffield wants to help him gain confidence and a little much-needed cool. His housekeeper Marguerite wants to keep fowl in the back yard for butchering because Duck confit is expensive and she has pillows to re-stuff. And his possible new boyfriend Garrett wants to prove he didn’t mean for their first date to end with Fitz lying unconscious in a Dumpster.

All Fitz wants is someone who cares about him, and suddenly there seems to be a glut. How’s a shy guy to know what’s real when he’s confronted by crazy ghosts, a less than truthful boyfriend, and relatives with hidden motives in Rhapsody For Piano And Ghost.


Excerpt:
“Oh my word.” Julian gripped Serge’s hand in his. He peered into the garbage Dumpster behind the Hart and Hound, the old — and arguably notorious — Anglophile dive. “That’s terrible. Who on earth…? That’s a perfectly lovely Armani jacket!”


“Trust you to be shallow,” Serge muttered.


“Certainly I’m not blind, Serge.” Julian smoothed a hand over the wrinkled fabric, lovingly tracing the sleeve down to the ribbing on the cuff. “I can see that it’s last year’s jacket.”


“I believe I was referring to the boy wearing it.”


“It’s none of our business.” Julian bit his lip. “Do you suppose we can take it?”


“I blame Les Mis. You’ve become a grave robber.”


“There’s ‘more of gravy than of grave’ about this one, though.” He indicated the body that was lying amid a pile of food trash. “Unless I miss my guess entirely, he’s not dead.”


“Then what the hell do you think you’re doing?”


“Give me a hand with this, will you?” Julian had climbed up on a wooden crate and was in the process of trying to tug the jacket off the young man’s body and over the high side of the bin. “It’s heavy, and it smells.”


He is and he does. I beg you not to lose your humanity entirely. I’m certain at one point you must have had a shred of decency. What else could I have seen in you?”


“Let me think. It was 1924, and when we met, I was doing my famous plantain dance. Long before, I might add, anyone elsedid a banana dance.”


“You’re rewriting history again.”


“I am not. I remember distinctly thinking of bananas and realizing I would need something far more substantial hanging about my waist if I were going to hide my manly charms.”


“Who. The fuck. Are you?” growled a youngish voice from inside the Dumpster. Its owner was clearly the worse for wear.


“Look what you’ve done,” pouted Julian. “You’ve woken it up, and now I’ll never get my jacket.”


Fine. Take the jacket,” the voice barked. “Just shut the fuck up. My head is killing me.”


Julian leaned over and redoubled his efforts. “There, did you hear that? He wants me to have it.”


“In that case…” Serge stepped up to the edge of the bin in an effort to help. “Although how the word fuck — a perfectly fine old-fashioned expletive — has become the cultural equivalent of shalom, I will simply never understand.”


An enraged face appeared above the blue metal lip like a demented, overly emotional Kilroy. Black hair that couldn’t be natural framed a rather sweet face, striped with guyliner that ran in rivulets down cheeks so smooth they had to be — at best guess — maybe eighteen. A grimy hand with black lacquer on the nails swiped away tears.


“Shalom, little garbage boy.” Julian spoke the last words carefully and clearly, as if the boy were hard of hearing or foreign or both. “And fuck you as well this very fine evening. May I have your jacket, please?

**********************************************************
 Beach Balls by Tara Lain; MM Contemporary
Available  from Amazon, ARe

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. But coming out would threaten all he’s built as the lead attorney for WMA Development, and the million dollars he can get when he finishes pushing  a big land remediation project through the City Council. Then on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to live a different life. But Adam’s dreams are shattered when he walks into the council meeting and finds the fire-breathing environmentalist who’s screwing up  his chances of winning is none other than that same beautiful man. Sky Sea Mickeljohn doesn’t compromise, so how could he find himself lusting after a damned developer? And what happens when somebody open’s Adam’s closet door? These two better start telling the truth if they’re ever going to find world peace.

He swam to Sky and extended a hand. Sky shied a little, but Adam kept coming and passed his fingers through Sky’s curls floating freely in the water like an underwater flower. Sky looked up at Adam’s hand.
He touched Sky’s cheek. For a moment, Sky was still.
He pressed his cheek against Adam’s palm.
Oh, yes. That constituted a welcome.
Adam pulled his mouthpiece out and held his breath. He tapped on Sky’s mouthpiece. Sky frowned.
Just kiss me, you idiot. Adam pointed at his mouth, stuck his mouthpiece back in for some air then took it out again. Sky smiled around his mouthpiece, removed it, and leaned toward Adam.
He pressed his lips against Sky’s. Warm and cool at the same time. Sky opened his mouth and licked along Adam’s lips. Nice. Adam turned his head to the side, grabbed a hit of air, and then came back in and pushed his tongue into Sky’s mouth.
A moment later, they pulled away for a breath of air. Adam sank down to his knees. Come to Daddy… He took hold of Sky’s tight shorts and yanked. The big cock was happy to see him. He breathed deeply through his mouthpiece once, twice, three times. Mouthpiece out, cock in.
Oh, yeah. This was easier than kissing. Who knew you could suck and lick while holding your breath?
Sky started bobbing like a crazy man, shoving that cock deeper. Adam took a breath then went back to work running his tongue over the glans as he sucked. The taste of salt and feel of silk filled his mouth. Another breath, then he worked the mushroom head in and out of his lips like a candy pop. His hands began to pump, and he sucked until his cheeks tingled.. Sky’s hips pumped in slow motion, pressing his cock into Adam’s mouth along with the tang of the sea. It gave a whole new meaning to the term “deep throat.” Adam sucked as much as he could without swallowing water and could hear the echoes of Sky “shouting” around his mouthpiece.
Sky’s body began to thrash. One big thrust, and Adam tasted cum and saltwater at the same time. Thick jism floated out of his mouth. Son of a bitch. He had the best of Sky and sea.
*************************************************
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this month’s Big Backlist Weekend! Be sure and leave a comment with your email! ZAM and i are off to RT! I’ll be reporting back from there. Also, over at Tara Lain Blog, we’re going to be featuring ZAM’s new book, Grime and Punishment, after we get back from RT. So watch for it! Have a great week. 

ZA Maxfield’s New Romance will Make You GASP! And There’s Something In It For You.

Hi everyone–

You probably all know that among my three inspirations for writing romance is the great Z.A.Maxfield whose books made me want to be a good writer. I’m delighted to say that today, ZAM is a close friend and kind of neighbor (about a half hour away) and she still inspires me all the time. If you follow ZAM, you may know that she and her family were displaced by a fire and have been living in an apartment while their house is being repaired. In the category of “it rains, it pours”. ZAM is moving back into her house this week just as her new novel, Gasp! came out from Loose Id. I had the delight of beta reading Gasp! and can tell you not to miss it!
So, while ZAM can’t slow down to write a blog, i’m posting her cover, blurb and excerpt here so you’ll all know about this terrific new gay romance.

Plus, if you leave a comment, you can win a copy of a book from ZAM’s backlist. (I can vouch for most all of them.) I have to tell you ZAM doesn’t know i’m making this offer, but if she doesn’t want to do it, i’m good for it!  LOL! So, read the excerpt and leave a comment for ZAM below WITH YOUR EMAIL!

Amazon  Loose Id

Blurb:

Jeff Paxton came home from Afghanistan looking to put down roots. Instead his pregnant sister talks him into a job babysitting the volatile megastar Nigel Gasp. Nigel is stubborn, needy, and determined to be the center of attention everywhere he goes. Before long, Jeff realizes that something is bothering Gasp, and that keeping him out of trouble might be more difficult than he thought.

Nigel never planned on getting old. He simply assumed a hard drinking, hard partying lifestyle would take care of that. Now that he’s turning forty, he’s depressed and a little bit desperate. To Nigel, forty seems like a fine age to deposit his DNA and check out while he’s still on top.

The last thing Jeff needs is to fall in love with Nigel Gasp. The last thing Nigel expects is a whole new reason to live. But how can Jeff put down roots with a man who is never in the same place twice?

Love can be shocking. Gasp!

Excerpt:

It wasn’t fair. 

Jeff couldn’t complain to Deidre without sounding like an idiot, but it simply wasn’t fair. He’d reached rock bottom in Afghanistan on his third deployment. He’d been lonely, isolated, and depressed. He’d gotten into some trouble. Then he’d found out his mother’d had a mild heart attack and surgery to have a stent put in without bothering to let him know, and he’d decided enough was enough. He’d come home as soon as his TOS was up, longing for family, eagerly awaiting the birth of his nephew. He missed the army. He missed knowing he had an important job to do. Leaving was the hardest thing he’d ever done, but another tour of Afghanistan and he would have killed himself from sheer goddamn loneliness. 

But he’d changed, and he no longer fit in at home, either. Now he was all by himself and stuck with this

“It’s only for a few weeks,” Deidre told him. 

Jeff leaned against a magnificently fragrant pine tree in the pristine early stillness of a Bluebird Mountain morning and whined—seriously, whined—at his sister like he was five. “Dee—” 

“I just had a baby, for God’s sake. I can’t be everywhere at once.” 

“He doesn’t need someone like me. He needs a team of hairy nuns to give him the fish eye and keep him in line. He’s out of control.” 

“You think I don’t know that? Nigel is a thirty-nine-year-old man with the mentality of a hyperactive adolescent. We factor that in and move on.” 

“I get that now, but it doesn’t help. The only way I can keep him out of trouble is if I have some kind of leverage. He just looks at me, smirks like I’m not even there, and does what-the-fuck-ever he wants.” 

“I know he can be a pain in the ass, but that’s what you’re there for—to keep him from getting hurt or doing something crazy. He’s already in trouble for that sexcapade recording. I’ve done my best to isolate him there in the mountains. What can he do in the mountains?” 

“Plenty. He can and has done plenty. It’s not as isolated up here as you think. Los Angeles is only ninety minutes away, and a lot of his friends have private aircraft.” Jeff decided it wasn’t a good time to tell her a posse of Nigel’s friends had been at the resort all night, trashing his room. “Yesterday we went rock climbing, and he was a mess.” 

God. He couldn’t tell Deidre what had happened. Nigel was practically her life. They were best friends. Why couldn’t she see how far Nigel was out on the ledge? She’d always been so intuitive. Maybe she didn’t want to see her idol had been falling apart. Christ. If he told her, she’d be there in a second, long before it was advisable for her and the baby to travel. 

“Can’t you keep Nigel out of trouble for a few more weeks? I need to nurse. I need to fucking bond.” 

“I’m sorry, it’s just that—” 

“I’ve made enough milk to open a dairy. I just ordered a holiday sweater and perfume from the television. Do you know how desperate you have to be to want perfume you can’t even smell before you buy it? Meanwhile all you have to do is—” 

“Can you hear yourself? Just take a second, all right?” Jeff took a deep breath. If he had to cuff Gasp to the wall, he’d make sure he was still in perfect working order when she took the reins again. “Look, it’s okay. I’m sorry I bothered you. I know it’s hard. I’ll take care of your big prince if you take care of the little one. I promise you it will be okay.” 

“Thank you.” 

“At least tell me what you named the baby.” 

“All will be revealed in time.” 

“Dee. Come on. I think as his uncle I have a right to know what the baby’s name is.” 

“We haven’t told anyone yet.” 

“You could tell me. Did you tell Mom?” 

“We’ll let you know when we’re ready.” 

Jeff smacked the tree with his open hand. “That’s bullshit, you know? It’s total bullshit. I’m here doing everything you asked me to do and now you’re playing—” 

“And I had a C-section. I haven’t slept since I don’t know when”—Deidre started sobbing—“and I’m leaking from every o-o-orifice of my b-b-body.” 

Jeff hissed a curse. “Look, I’m sorry. I’ll handle it. Don’t cry. Please don’t cry.” 

“What can I do? Katje and I just want to keep some things to ourselves for a little bit. You’d think—” 

Hormones. “God. Chill out. It’s going to be okay. Let Katje take care of you and my nephew. That little sprout is going to be the love of our lives. I just hope he appreciates the sacrifice.” 

Jeff hung up the phone. He wished he were with Deidre. He wanted to hold his goddamned nephew. He wanted to be a part of something pure for a change, and instead…instead he was stuck here, doing Deidre’s job. 

He had to stop and rest again before he headed back to the hotel and the next skirmish in the Nigel Gasp wars. The altitude, along with the amount of caffeine he’d consumed, left him light-headed. Damn Nigel and damn Deidre. Family responsibility could be a heavy burden, and Deidre could play that card like no one else. 

Getting his grip, he lurched along the path back to the hotel. On top of everything else, he was coming down with something. If babysitting Nigel at 100 percent was hard, he hated to think what it might be like if he was sick. 

When Jeff opened the door to Nigel’s suite, he recoiled. 

The aging rocker’s latest friends littered his hotel room. The place stank of sex, booze, and stale perfume. 

Among them, Jeff found the heir to a pricey leather goods fortune getting sick on what looked like a hand-loomed Oriental carpet, and there was an underage girl passed out on the couch. Nigel was singing to the world at large while standing on the railing of a balcony five floors up. He took a step and wobbled, windmilling his arms. Jeff’s heart thundered, and not because he’d just attempted to jog at an elevation of five thousand feet. 

Jeff slipped on the entry rug when he broke into an all-out run but righted himself and pounded across the hardwood floor and out the slider to pull Nigel down by the waistband of his leather pants. When he had a grip on Nigel—when it would have been perfectly acceptable to at least imagine killing him—Jeff pulled him into his arms and held him tight against his body. 

Why couldn’t he make up his damned mind? 

“What the fuck?” Nigel asked. 

“Are you trying to kill yourself?” Jeff’s blood roared in his ears. “The least you could do is wait until my sister’s back before you—” 

Nigel pushed back, his voice soft and deadly. “Take your hands off me, you bastard.” 

Jeff put him down but kept hold of his arm. “Not if you’re going to dance around on the balcony railing like an idiot.” 

Nigel’s famous blue eyes narrowed. “I’ll dance wherever I like.” 

“We’re five stories up and you’re a drunken mess. If you were to slip—” 

“I don’t slip. I am grace itself. Ask anyone.” The words would have been more powerful if he hadn’t turned to his friends for backup and lurched drunkenly into the wall. “Anyway, what the fuck do you care if I die? What’s one more old—” 

“Okay, that’s it. We’re done here.” Jeff took Nigel’s arm and ducked to pull him into a fireman’s carry. Just like that, with Nigel’s pert ass in the air and his long hair draping along the backs of Jeff’s bare knees, Jeff felt fully in control of things again. 

“All right,” Jeff shouted at those who were still capable of hearing him, “everyone out.” 

Jeff balanced Nigel as he frog-marched two Nigel Gasp-look-alike boys out the door first, shoving them through as politely as he could. He barked orders at the rest, those who wandered aimlessly in varying states of dishabille. He left Sleepy Girl in the suite but used her cell phone to find and call her family. 

That underage thing could come back and bite Nigel in the ass, but it was Nigel’s ass and Jeff could only protect it so far. 

But damn. Nigel still had a pretty great ass for an old guy. It was right there on Jeff’s shoulder, and it was easy to see the ass in question had lost none of its allure since the early days, when it could be found clad in skintight black jeans, shaking and grinding in those old-school music videos. 

Damn. In his wildest dreams he’d never expected Deidre’s job would be anything like this. Weeks of cleaning up after insensitive rich kids and deluded, aging baby boomers. Weeks of Yes, sir, Mr. Gasp, sir. I’d be happy to forego my unimportant four hours of sleep to get you toffee peanuts. 

Nigel was gorgeous. He was talented. He was brilliantly funny. And he was the most spoiled, immature, self-centered…the most self-destructive human being Jeff had ever had the privilege of meeting. 

What a goddamn waste. 

“Out you go, Your Highness.” Time to test a theory. “The door is this way.” 

“The Doors?” Nigel lifted his floppy head and looked around. “Where? Jim Morrison is dead, mate.” 

“I know that, Nigel. Lo these many years. It happened before I was born. It happened before you were born, probably.” 

Jeff’s usual problem was once he made up his mind to do something, it was hard for him to stop himself. He had impulse control issues too, and—just like Nigel—he had problems with authority. It was a miracle he hadn’t been rejected in the first three weeks of boot camp because of it. He hadn’t washed out because, to everyone’s surprise, he’d discovered he liked being bound by a rigid code of conduct. Let loose within that system, he’d been the most perfect Jeff Paxton he could possibly be. 

Without the army, he floundered. Like now, when he needed someone to tell him how to deal with a spoiled rich man without losing his shit. Like now, when the devil on his shoulder was driving and the angel was watching scenery. 

Carrying his squirming burden, Jeff exited the hotel suite and headed for the back stairs. It wouldn’t do for His Highness’s adoring fans to see him being dragged bodily outside for a little lesson in what happens if you fuck with Jeff Paxton. Sure. The paparazzi were probably using long-range telephoto lenses from every angle outside the hotel room, and what he was about to do…well, that would probably cost him his job. 

Maybe he couldn’t say boo to big sister Deidre, but that didn’t mean he had to do what she wanted, exactly how she wanted him to do it. 

And if she didn’t like how he did it? 

She’d have to catch him to kill him, and in her condition, he had a distinct advantage. 

“Did you get my toffee peanuts?” Nigel suddenly asked from where he was hanging, upside down with his head bouncing off Jeff’s ass. 

“I got your damned peanuts.” Toffee peanuts. Nigel’d had Jeff call the owner of the local confectionery at three in the morning for toffee peanuts. He’d slogged out in the dead of night, and when he’d returned with the damned things, Nigel was nowhere to be found. Jeff assumed Nigel took one of his guests behind locked doors for privacy. “I thanked Rachel with an extra hundred bucks.” 

“I really wanted those toffee peanuts. But now I’m feeling sick, mate. Does the world seem upside down to you?” 

“Nope. My world is right on target.” Jeff slapped Nigel’s leather-clad ass hard. 

Nigel gave an indignant, “Ouch. Hey!” 

“Today we’re examining the words ‘selfish’ and ‘immature.’” Jeff carried his charge through the resort kitchen. This caused the staff to stop what they were doing and stare at him in shocked silence. “And the number zero. Why zero? Because zero is the exact number of times I’m going to take your crap ever again. We have now entered the zero-tolerance zone, Nigel. That is the zone between your nonsense and my gut, ’cause I can’t take your roller-coaster shit.”

Jeff shoved out through the heavy back door, which someone kept propped open with a chair, presumably to allow the cold, crisp air to circulate in the warm work area. 

Nigel shrieked with outrage as soon as the chill hit his skin. “I’m going to call Deidre and have your ass so fired you will have to live under a bridge like a fucking troll.” 

Jeff continued toward the lake and out onto the long boat dock, liking the way his feet made a hollow thudding sound as they stomped onto the wood—like a drum. It had a martial sound to it that appealed to him. He wished he was wearing combat boots. 

“I’ve been here a week, and in that time I’ve suffered more degradation than I ever experienced in boot camp or at the hands of enemy combatants. I’ve watched you drink until you pass out and dance on railings and fly off cliffs like you don’t give a shit about yourself. It stops here.” 

“Put me down, you idiot.” Nigel used his fists to beat against the backs of Jeff’s knees, but Jeff barely felt it. 

“You want to die? Do you? Let me help you with that. You won’t be my first.” 

Jeff reached the end of the boat dock and threw Nigel into the ice-cold water of the lake. 

Just threw. Him. In.
*********************
Don’t forget the email!  Thank you for coming by. I love blog followers! : )

Cinco de Mayo!! Cool Authors with Hot Excerpts and Goodies

Hi everyone–

The big day is coming. On Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, 13 cool erotic romance authors are gathering to give a hot party just for you at The Romance Studio Party Site. Do not miss this fun event —

  • Two $50. gift cards will be up for grabs
  • Every author will have goodies of her own to share
We’ll be posting excerpts and answering comments for a full 24 hours!! Different authors will be there at different times so be patient since we’re all in various time zones. 
Here’s the link! http://trsparties.com
If you’ve never partied at TRS, go on over and check it out. Figure out how to get to the party site. Then drop in as many times as you want on May 5th. Most of us will be giving prizes to those who comment, so be sure to say hi. Just to whet your appetite, here is a video of the MM authors (me included) who will be at the Party!
And for all you MF fans, here are the authors and some of the books that will be there for you.

Put the date on your calendar now. Recipes for margaritas are sure to be included. Thank you for visiting the blog. See you on Cinco de Mayo!

What Kinds of Stories are “Out”?

Hi everyone–
Whew. It’s been a wild few days with the success of Fire Balls! So how about a complete change of pace. 
I was at a meeting of a bunch of romance writers the other day and the conversation turned to what kinds of stories are new and what are passe’. It got me thinking about what you, as a reader, would say to that question, because, after all, you are the only one who has a say in the final decision about what does and does not sell. Here are some of my thoughts.
The big question is always “are vampires finally out?” I’d say vampires have never been and will never be out – for the right vampire, that is. Yes, we get tired of the same old bloodsuckers. We got bored with the “can’t go in the sunlight, can’t be seen in mirrors, yada, yada”. What did we get? Sparkly vampires in high school. Bingo, not boring — for awhile anyway. We didn’t like the “Count from Transylvania” image anymore. How about some huge, alpha males in shitkickers that mate with human females and only fight against really bad guys who smell like baby powder. We’re still not tired of them. Good writers continue to make vamps exciting – like Z A Maxfield’s Noturno and S J Frost’s Natural Instinct s and the new Enduring Instincts. The vamps are sensational and so are the stories and that’s what counts.
When the world thought vamps might be out, shifters came in. Wolves were the biggie (and still kind of are). But in the last few years, authors have turned humans into everything including dragons.My friend, Selena Illyria has done a sensational job with dragons in Dragons at Midnight. While some books feel like you’ve read them a dozen times, others are so clever you never want them to end. Try Jet Mykles Leashed series and the terrific anthology, Shifting Sands, that turns men into the animals of the Chinese zodiac. What a great idea and one that makes you feel like you’ve never read shifters before.
It may seem like historical novels have been done to death and you can’t stand one more Regency gown and then Jianne Carlo comes along with a series about Vikings or Lynn Lorenz sets a gay romance in medieval times. You decide you like historicals real quick. Contemporary stories never go “out” in the hands of Sloan Parker, Ethan Day, Johnny Miles and Josh Lanyon. Who would have dreamed a little novella called Fire Balls would hit number one on the Amazon Gay Romance list? But readers love firefighters in new stories and pairings and this one is a bit different!
So I think the bottom line is simple. Yes, when certain types of stories are hot, it may be easier to sell a mediocre book in that genre, but really good books make the genres hot. That’s why we follow our favorite authors no matter where they lead. We know, no matter what, they’ll make them good.
So you probably read more than I do. Tell me what type of story you think will be the next big thing. Have you read anything new and fresh that will have everyone copying it six months from now?
Remember to enter to win Fire Balls and a $10. Amazon GC in the Fire Balls Blog Tour. Go HERE and leave a comment and email and follow all the directions.  LOL  :  ) 

Winner Susie B. Plus Blog TOUR Central!

Congratulations Susie B. You won a copy of Z.A. Maxfield’s wonderful Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost. Let me know how you like it and i’ll report it on the blog.

Next, order of business — the blog tour for release of The Scientist and the Supermodel and Volley Balls. My Book Blog will be Blog Tour Central. Every couple days throughout June and July i’ll be posting updates. Where the blog posts are. Who the book winners are.

The Contest for the Blog Tour will give away 8 books in June and 4 in July plus extras at some parties and chats. The Rules for the Contest as well as the complete schedule are on the WEBSITE. Check it now so you’ll be ready on Friday. There are lots of ways to enter so everyone has a bunch of chances to win.

I sincerely hope you will enjoy my new books. I’ll be reporting in on this site from time to time, but remember, the main contact for the Blog Tour and Contest will be the Book Blog.

If you have any questions just post a comment here or email me at tara@taralain.com.  I look forward to giving away lots of books — and to hearing from you along the way. Thanks so much for visiting the blog.  :  )

ZAM is HERE!! Announcing “Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost” CONTEST!

FUN! It’s my delight to be able to premier for you the new Z.A. Maxfield novel, Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost, available May 24 from Loose Id. If you read the blog, you know ZAM is one of the authors that most influenced me and my desire to write erotic romance. Today i’m happy to call her a friend. If you haven’t read Z.A. Maxfield before, you’re in for a treat. And you may WIN a copy of this marvelous new book if you leave a comment and your email address for ZAM below. Don’t miss this chance to win what will likely be one of the big books of the year. 

http://www.loose-id.com/Rhapsody-for-Piano-and-Ghost.aspx

Here is an excerpt to tide you over until you can win a copy or go to the buy link above and purchase your own.

Julian was graceful. Fitz had noticed a certain elegance in the way he’d moved when they’d walked here from the club. Julian’s every movement was fluid yet controlled, as if any lack of restraint would cause him to whirl off and perform some complicated ballet moves. His long legs were strong. Fitz could see the muscles of his calves and thighs under the drape of his trousers. His back was strong and straight while his shoulders were… Fitz swallowed. For an older guy, he was hot. Julian held his head to the side a little, like he was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Fitz knew he’d been trained to dance like that. That it was something to do with…line, maybe. Julian’s was flawless. It was a pleasure to watch, so Fitz sat like a child at the top of the stairs and spied on them through the banisters.

“You still dance like a god,” Serge told Julian. He’d removed his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves, revealing fine, strong forearms. His vest fit him snugly, accentuating broad shoulders and a trim waist.

“When I’m in your arms, I quite forget everything else.” Julian acted coy. He flirted more than anyone Fitz had ever seen, and Serge ate it up with a spoon.

“Perhaps we should find something more modern than a Strauss waltz.” Serge broke away and left Julian standing there. A moment later, Fitz heard the music change to some old song about a skylark.

Et bien,” Serge said low in his throat, as if the act of speaking French caused his voice to deepen. Viens avec moi, mon ange. Allons danser.

“Oh, Serge,” Julian sighed. Serge pulled Julian to him again, this time more intimately. He slipped his hand around Julian’s waist but dropped it low, to the base of his spine, pulling him in tight. His other hand pressed Julian’s palm to his chest and held it there. Julian rested his head on Serge’s shoulder.

Fitz bit his lip. They were…amazing together. The contrast of Julian’s light hair and Serge’s dark; the way they rubbed their bristly cheeks together. It was an act as intimate as naked foreplay. Fitz shifted in his seat, stuck now, not wanting to rise from his perch because they might see him, and not really that thrilled to be sitting there watching because their mood was very clearly turning more romantic. Serge began to sing to Julian, a clear, lovely baritone voice that seemed to throb with desire.

Wow. What wouldn’t Fitz give to have someone hold him like that? The right someone, he clarified, not a guy who was going to try to get him high and then throw him into a trash bin because he refused to bend over in the bathroom…

Before he knew it, Fitz was blinking back tears.

Well, shit.

Julian raised the hand he’d had draped around Serge’s neck and cupped the back of his head to pull him in for a kiss. And what a kiss it was. Fitz rolled his eyes. He would think two guys who’d been together long enough to finish each other’s sentences would have at least taken the edge off a little before then.

But Julian kissed Serge like it was time to get off the amphibious assault craft and storm the beach at Normandy. And Serge…well, Serge just worshipped Julian. Like he’d found the cure for cancer. And it went on and on, long after that skylark song was over and two more besides it, until something about nightingales came on and the two men were beginning to get touchy-feely.

Jeez.

By now Fitz couldn’t tear his gaze away. He hoped to heaven he didn’t have to wait until he was that old for some guy to want him like that. He was definitely going to have to head to bed before these two went any further, or he’d cream himself. It helped to remember he was wearing some unknown girl’s pajamas. He began to rise to his feet when a hush came over the room. The music had finished playing, but Serge and Julian still danced as though they heard it.

Serge.” Julian tipped his head back to give Serge access to his neck. Fitz heard his moan — a low cry deep in his throat — when Serge bit down on the hump of muscle at the junction of his neck and shoulder. Both of Serge’s hands slipped down to Julian’s ass cheeks to hold him steady while they ground against one other.

On y va?” Serge asked between kisses. J’en ai besoin, mon ange.”

“Of course, my lover.” Julian pulled back to answer him. “I need you as well.”

Fitz saw Julian leap into Serge’s arms, and he wanted to hold up a score card or something, like a perfect 10.0 from the American judge, when Julian locked his ankles behind Serge’s back and Serge took his weight without skipping a beat. They rocked together briefly, sinuously, and then Serge began to move. Fitz assumed he was heading in the direction of the nearest bed and had a moment of blind panic when he realized they might head his way, up the stairs.

Instead they seemed to be going in the direction of the nearest wall, and Fitz’s heart nearly burst with joy. His mouth went dry, and he was alternately besieged by excitement and shame.

Ohcrapohcrapohcrap… Should he…could he watch?

On the one hand, Fitz would be delighted to see these two in action. He’d clearly underestimated the sheer, blessed hottitude that could exist between two weirdly handsome older guys. He and his dick were firmly and inconveniently engaged in an act of voyeurism the likes of which he’d never experienced since Adelaide’s second husband, Edward the Exhibitionist, went after the pool boy when Fitz was in second grade.

But back then the idea of a man getting banged by another man simply didn’t have the oompah it had for him now. He’d thought someone was going to be injured, and he’d been bewildered and hurt by Adelaide’s abrupt and angry reaction when he ran to her and reported what he’d seen.

Alternately — and more unfortunately — there seemed to be no getting rid of the deeply inculcated shame of that Irish-kid-from-a-Catholic-school upbringing. So naturally, generations of guilt weren’t wasting any time making him feel awful about watching virtual strangers get it on.

What to do?

Then his old guys did something so shocking that Fitz’s brain shorted out like a rat had chewed through his power cord.

When Fitz got up from where he’d fallen to the bottom of the steps, he thought maybe he’d imagined the whole thing. Or that he’d hit his head on the way down instead of just tripping a little while trying to flee and sliding down on his ass.

Because Serge and Julian had made their sexed-up, nugget-grinding way to the far wall of the living room, which was cream colored, wainscoted in white enameled paneling, and solid as…well…as any wall could ever be, and they’d simply…disappeared through it.

Poof.

Gone.

Fitz headed for the bedroom they’d left him in and crawled back into bed. Fucking Garrett and his damn drugs. Fucking ecstasy.

First he narrowly escaped getting his cherry popped in the bathroom of a damned club; then he woke up in a trash bin with some old English guy trying to yoink his jacket; next he hallucinated ballroom dancing and old guys making out and disappearing into thin air. He felt tears sting his eyelids but refused to give in to them.

He needed a good night’s sleep and maybe a quart of coffee in the morning and he’d be good as new.

Because shit.

Poof, man.

Nothing good could come of that.
xxxxx

Inspired? Me too. Comment below and remember to leave your email for ZAM. You may WIN a copy of Rhapsody for Piano and Ghost. Thanks so much for coming to the blog. :  )

Pommawolf WINS a DOM!

Thanks so much to all of you for coming out and commenting on Belinda McBride’s wonderful post. You made her feel very welcome. Pommawolf, you lucky critter, wins the Doms of Dark Haven 2 t-shirt. Belinda should already be in touch with you by email.

Thank you, also, to the new followers of the blog. Welcome. We have a great group around here, so glad to have you with us.

Next excitement! Z.A. Maxfield will be visiting the blog with a new book. If you don’t know ZAM’s work, you are in for a huge treat. Like Belinda, she’s one of my all-time favorites. I’ll let you know the date very soon.

As for moi, my new book, The Scientist and the Supermodel, will be here soon! May 31. It will be followed on July 1 by my summer romance M/M/M menage, Volley Balls. You can catch up on both these books on the website as well as Golden Dancer, my first ever romantic suspense coming September 27!

The blog tour is growing. check the website and click on events. You’ll find it.

Thank you again for your enthusiasm. I know you’re going to love Belinda’s story!  :  )

.Keeping Vigil

(Notturno, #2)” border=”0″ src=”http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1286690826m/9483475.jpg” />Vigil by Z.A. Maxfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book under the worst circumstances — NaNo. I had little time to read,so i just nibbled small chunks throughout the month. Just try to get a sense of an arc that way! The book is not quite as good as Notturno so i guess Vigil is about 4.7 stars really, but Notturno is one of my all-time faves. This book has those marvelous characters. I’m always surprised that in a vampire story my favorite character should be the human, but Adin is simply terrific. Smart, wise-cracking and deep-feeling, in Vigil he protests a bit too much but i still loved him. Bran is a great new addition, and we thoroughly believe Adin’s affection for him. Edward is grand — love him, love the piercings. Just as Notturno used segments of a journal, Vigil gives us dream seqences that are flashbacks. Not many authors can get away with such interruptions of action, but ZAM carries it off. Most exciting is that the book totally sets us up for a sequel so i don’t have to console myself over the loss of Adin. I’ll go back and read Vigil again so i can get a smoother impression, but if you haven’t read it yet, grab your credit card. :  )

View all my reviews

My Beautiful Boys — Writing Heroes

All writers, especially those who write in romance genres, tend to specialize in either heroines or heroes. My friend Suzanne Forster is famous for her plucky, quirky females. Not to say that she doesn’t write great guys, she does. But her women sing! With names like Kate, Trish, Augusta Featherstone and the perfect Edwina Moody, Suzanne’s heroines are the catalysts of her stories. I’ve never asked her, but i’ll bet she thinks of them first and then finds a hero to offset these great woman. 

Not me. For me it’s all about the boys. I guess that’s why i’m a m/m and menage writer. But even when i dream up m/f stories, the heroine remains a bit a of a cipher until i flesh out the hero. What does he look like? I describe him in loving detail. (When you read Genetic Attraction in February pay attention to the way i describe Roan Black when Em first meets him. Yes, a definite wet dream.) What does he do for a living? Is he tough, sensitive, gentle? Once i have him with lots of flesh on his bones, i think about the heroine or maybe the other hero or both that will best suit him. It has to be someone who can cause some sparks and has the potential for conflict, otherwise there’s no story. But it can’t be so much conflict  that it can never be resolved, after all romance has to end happily. Think of a story we all know, Pride and Prejudice. When we first meet Mr Darcy he seems so unpleasant that he’s beyond redemption. Aside from being handsome, he has very little to recommend him. For the rest of the book, Lizzie learns more and more things about Mr. Darcy that redeems him in her (and our) eyes so that we are hyperventilating at the idea they may not end up married.

Some of my favorite EROM writers create the BEST heroes. Well, as m/m writers that is their stock in trade. Take a look at the wonderful Edward in Lynn Lorenz’ Edward Unconditionally, Johnny in Jet Mykles’ Heaven, Matthew in Sloan Parker’s More and the fabulous Adin in Z.A.Maxfield’s Notturno and now, the sequel, Vigil. Each of these men is completely unique such that they stand out in your mind in a sea of heroes. And i bet they haunt the dreams of their writers. I know my boys do.

If you write, who do you see first? Hero or heroine? And when you read, is the hero or the heroine the most important in making the book memorable? Share.