Hi! I’m so excited. My new novel, Prince of the Playhouse, releases on April 4th — Monday! For many of my novels, i have my graphics person, Viviana Izzo, create some snippets that help me tell the story of my book. Here are some she created for Prince of the Playhouse. Enjoy! You can pre0order the book everywhere and have it waiting for you on Monday. Click HERE for links. Here’s Prince of the Playhouse in Graphics.
Hi — Hope your holidays are going great. If Santa didn’t bring you TACKLING THE TIGHT END, you can get it at 25% OFF for today and tomorrow at Dreamspinner Press. Plus, if you like to buy books at All Romance eBooks, it’s now available there (not on sale). If you’d like to read an excerpt of the book, Click HERE. Don’t forget. Two more days (through the 28th) to get TACKLING THE TIGHT END for $5.24!
Keep having a Happy Holiday! Hugs.
Pat Henshaw is a fellow Dreamspinner author. When i read the blurb for her new book, Redesigning Max, i thought this sounded like my kind of opposites attract story and i wanted to feature her cover release on the blog. Be sure to enter on the Rafflecopter below for one of three Starbucks gift cards and enjoy a nibble from this fun book.
Author Name: Pat Henshaw
Book Name: Redesigning Max
Series: Foothills Pride
Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: July 29, 2015
Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Hunting and Fishing, hires him to remodel his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out and proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes’ he remodels, and Max is just too hunky gorgeous for words.
When Max starts coming on to Fredi, the designer can’t imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated rustic cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?
Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out, he finds is the most exciting and wonderful time of his life, despite the conservative former friends who want to stop his slide into hell.
That night in bed, thinking of the delicious Max, I understood a little more why he wanted the forest in his house. I could understand how soothing the wide open-spaces could be to someone who spent his formative years as an outcast. Now I felt even more driven to give Max the vision he sought.
Three days later, exhausted from a couple of all-nighters but ready to show Max the portfolio of drawings and plans for his renovated cabin, I put on my other designer jeans, orange sailor shirt, green high tops, and lavender scarf. I was ready to knock Max’s socks off.
Max drove us to the Rock Bottom again for lunch. The grungy foothills cafe was just as tacky as it had been before and smelled just as delicious. The tables of surly-looking he-men in their Levis and wife-beaters or beat-up Western-cut shirts still stared and then whispered to themselves as I slid into a booth, the artist sketchbook tucked safely in my bag.
“So we’re ready to make some changes.” Max eyed the sketchbook as I took it out and laid it on the table.
“Whoa, not so fast.” I put my hand over the top of the book to keep it closed. “We’re a few steps away from starting. Let’s just take a look at the sketches and then talk money, and then if you’re still happy in a day or two, we can sign a contract. Remodeling isn’t anything to jump right into.”
The excitement brimming from Max’s face said Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Open the damned notebook.
I sighed. I always hated this part of the job. Clients either loved the sketches and wanted the work done yesterday or they wanted to haggle every nut and bolt to the ground, changing the floor plan, the color palette, or complete idea on an almost minute-to-minute basis. It was exhausting either way.
“Okay, first, what you need to do is look at these drawings and imagine yourself living in these rooms, not just looking at pretty pictures. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable here. At this point, everything is changeable, but it won’t be the case when we start tearing down and making the plan concrete. So take your time. Be sure you’ve fallen in love before you begin.”
I waited until Max lifted his eyes from the sketchbook, looked at me, and nodded before I opened the book.
I went through the pages one by one quickly, not asking Max for a response and not watching him. This was the private, internal part, and I let him have his space. Max wasn’t my first client who kind of knew what he wanted but couldn’t articulate it.
The first glimpse tainted the vision the client originally had going into the project. I could steamroll clients into taking what I’d given them, but in the long run, they had to live with the new reality and I wanted them to be happy. I really wanted Max to be happy.
“It’s perfect,” Max whispered just as the waitress brought our food. “Let’s do it.”
“Let’s eat first, before we break ground.”
I didn’t talk during lunch even though Max wanted to get me to sign him up and start moving.
After we finished the cherry-apple pie, I said, “Now I’m going to go through and point out some pricey details. Think about if you really want them because they add time and money to the design. We can easily discard them.”
“No, I want it just like you’ve got it in here.” Max tapped the sketchbook with his elegant fingers. “Just exactly what you’ve got here.”
I sighed. “Let’s try it my way, okay? Will you just listen?” I was holding an edge of the sketchbook closed and looking into Max’s eyes. I didn’t want Max to be an ultimately unhappy impulse buyer.
Max tentatively touched my hand. “I trust you.” He rubbed his fingers over mine.
I was surprised by the touch of his fingers, which had immediately made my body tingle. I’d read about people being attracted and feeling a zap of electricity, but I’d never experienced it before. As far as my past liaisons with men went, we’d both showed up, which was enough for gratifying sex.
“Just a few minutes of listening.” I could hear a shaky quality in my voice.
“Okay,” Max agreed, sitting back and putting his hands together on the table.
I took a deep breath to steady myself. I looked around the cafe, hypersensitive to the quiet scrutiny of the other diners. Were they leaning out of their chairs to listen to our conversation? Why did they make me feel uncomfortable?
I looked back at Max, who seemed oblivious to their attention. His eyes went from the sketchbook to me. He seemed to lean toward me, and his eager look seemed to be trying to hurry me along. His impatience made me smile.
I took a deep breath and started my spiel. “There are some carvings in the pictures you should think about. Atop and along the sides of the windows in the living room, master bedroom, and the kitchen, and on the headboard and bedposts in the master bedroom. You said you wanted to bring the outdoors in, so I thought these carvings would be perfect.”
I turned to the pictures. I’d drawn animals like squirrels, foxes, and badgers carved into the wood.
In the master bedroom, the four bedposts looked like geese landing at the head of the bed and taking off toward the windows from the foot of it. Across the headboard and footboard, I’d drawn pussy willows swaying with frogs, butterflies, and small birds among the reeds, all carved from one piece of hardwood.
Having worked with a wonderful carver so many times in the past, I knew he would take my ideas and flesh them out, probably change them as he saw fit, and leave Max with stunning pieces of art—if Max could afford them and, more importantly, if Max liked this idea as much as I did.
“Beautiful.” Max traced the birds taking off in flight.
“Yes, it is. You’ll notice the wood on the floor, around the windows, and making up the furniture is the only brown. The rest of the room is blue.” Actually the blues ran the scale of hues from Alice blue to ultramarine, but I made it a policy to use only the most basic names for colors since many of my less artistic clients got lost in the fancy color names.
“I like other colors, not just brown,” Max protested.
I nodded, not about to remind him that he’d only wanted brown and green. Except for the touch of Max’s fingers on my hand, my spiel had been pretty standard. As far as I was concerned, no surprises were good surprises.
“In the living room and kitchen”—I found those pages—“you’ll notice that the predominant colors are yellow.” Well, from canary yellow to goldenrod, but who was counting? “Also, I added more rustic carvings to the decks. Animals between the posts of the back deck and birds on the bedroom deck,” I said, flipping to the relevant sketches and pointing them out.
On each page, Max ran his finger over the details I mentioned. It was distracting, so much so I had trouble keeping to the script. Max might not be an artist, but he definitely had an artist’s soul. His fingers were gently stroking my soul as well as the pages.
The diners at the other tables seemed to be trying to see what had Max so enthralled. I wanted to stand up and announce, “This is a private showing. Go back to your meals.” I didn’t, but still, sweat had started to drip from my pits.
Finally I closed the book and passed it to Max. It was hard to stay on task with Max so focused on the drawings and the diners seemingly intent on us.
“I want you to take this book and really study the pages. Take notes in the margins. Circle things you don’t like or have questions about. Go to the cabin with the book and try to imagine every room looking like the sketch. What would you change to make the sketch more you?”
When I peered up at Max, I was surprised to see glistening eyes looking back at me. Was Max crying? Oh hell no. God, I hoped not. I don’t do crying people. Ever.
About the author:
Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride series, was born in Nebraska but promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat has visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and regularly travels to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.
Now retired, Pat has taught English composition at the junior college level; written book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helped students find information as a librarian; and promoted PBS television programs.
Pat has raised two incredible daughters who daily amaze everyone with their power and compassion. Pat’s supported by a husband who keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.
Where to find the author:
Book website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Thank you for coming by! : )
Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be able to show off the gorgeous cover for my new release, KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE. The cover is by the amazing Reese Dante. Do you love it? Hope so. This is a favorite book of mine, so i’m especially happy to have this beautiful cover for it. Scroll down. You can PREORDER the book from Dreamspinner Press starting — NOW! It releases on May 1.
If you’re here for the LGBT LOVE IS LOVE Blog Hop where you can win a Kindle and 42 books as well as a copy of WINTER’S WOLF, my upcoming release, please click HERE.
I’m happy to announce the release of OUTING THE QUARTERBACK, the first book in my Long Pass Chronicles, in audio format. If you like to listen to books, my publisher Dreamspinner Press, does a really great job with audio production.
You’ll find the audio book HERE.
And just to whet your whistle a little, here’s an excerpt from OUTING THE QUARTERBACK!
Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.
In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.
When a gossipmonger with a popular YouTube channel finds evidence that Will is gay, the quarterback’s closet doors begin to crumble. Hounded by the press and harassed by other players, Will has to choose. Stay in the closet and keep his family’s wealth, or let the doors fall off and walk out with nothing. Nothing but Noah.
Will’s eyes moved past the teacher. Lots of easels, students already working, supplies all over the place and—holy shit.
The artist’s model sat naked on a small platform in the middle of the room. But not just no-clothes-on naked. We were talking gleaming, pale beige skin, shining hair, and hard-as-stone butt-cheeks naked.
Will’s deprived cock did a happy dance.
The model’s back—read, bare ass—faced Will while his graceful spine curved away.
The beast in Will’s pants started to grow.
The guy’s long brown hair flowed over his shoulders and outlined his profile, perfectly presented to Will’s artist eye. High-bridged nose, prominent cheekbones, pointed chin.
The damned traitor prick pushed so hard against Will’s zipper he probably had teeth marks on his cockhead. Why was it every time he decided to go straight, some cosmic joker had to twiddle his fucking finger and prove beyond a shadow that William Elliott Ashford III was as gay as a circus tent? Shit!
“Are you in this class?”
Will focused his eyes back on Masterson and clasped his hands in front of his crotch, still holding his tackle box. “Yes, sir. Sorry I’m late. Traffic.”
Masterson glanced at Will’s folded hands and sucked on his cheek like he was trying not to laugh. “Name?”
Will shifted to get the animal to go back in its cave, but no matter how hard Masterson stared at Will, the model still sat there in all his fucking glory. “Will Smith, sir.”
Masterson glanced at a paper on his desk, made a check mark, and pointed toward an empty easel with a folding table beside it and a rickety chair. “There’s a place in the back, William.”
The man smiled and the lean, almost harsh face softened. “Will. Made any good movies lately?”
Oh my, so very original. Will smiled. “Yeah.”
Masterson waved his hand toward the easel and looked at the model. “You can move, Noah.”
Will walked back to the empty place. Do not stare at that guy. Don’t stare. His name is Noah. Noah.
Weird. Usually life models were “interesting” looking, for lack of a better word. Fat or craggy, old, and character-filled. Not perfect, smooth beauties like this guy.
Will set his tackle box on the floor, opened it, and pulled out brushes. Masterson walked up beside him with a canvas. “This is gessoed already so you won’t have to waste any time.”
Will set it on the easel. “Thanks.”
Masterson crossed his arms. “I’ve seen the work you submitted when you applied for the master class. Promising.”
Wow. Music to his ears. “Thank you, sir.”
Masterson grinned. Who knew dimples could live in cheeks that thin? “Try Dwight so I don’t feel so old.”
Will smiled. “Thanks, Dwight. I wouldn’t want to suggest something that’s not true.”
The instructor winked at him and walked back to the beat-up desk in the corner. Winked. Will had read that Masterson was gay. Had the teacher just been flirting with him? Or shit, maybe he’d been coming on to Masterson. When you spent your life in the closet, every interaction was a fucking minefield.
Will sat in the chair and looked up at the model. His breath caught. No way. The beautiful guy had repositioned himself and now sat facing Will, his legs crossed, leaning forward with his arm resting on his thigh. Everything shimmery and perfect—if you didn’t count the six-inch scar that ran from the right corner of his mouth up to the edge of his very blue eye. It skipped the eye miraculously and continued above it on his forehead, disappearing into his hair. The puckered skin pulled that eye closed a slight bit more than the other. Funny. Without it, the kid would have looked almost too angelic. As it was, the eye gave him a permanent touch of cynicism. Yeah, anybody who’d picked up that badge of courage in his life deserved to be a cynic.
Don’t forget to enter to win WINTER’S WOLF in the Love IS LOVE Blog Hop! Thank you for coming by!
My life moving house is still crazy nuts! But i wanted to tell you that it’s only two weeks until CANNING THE CENTER is released on December 17th. So here are a few nibbles from the book to get you going. If you plan to read it, would you mark it as a To Read on Goodreads? And if you would like to pre-order the ebook or the paperback and be the first to receive it, you can do that HERE.
Please welcome my guest, Shira Anthony, who is sharing her new release, DISSONANCE. It sounds wonderful and unexpected. Check it out, and be sure to enter on the Rafflecopter.
British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.
When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.
Note: Blue Notes Series novels are standalone stories, and can be read in any order.
Cam climbed the stairs of the Spring Street station. The wind had picked up, causing one of his curls to tumble onto his forehead. He sighed as he pushed the hair from his eyes and cursed his mother for her genes. They were too much alike, and not just in appearance. They were both wanderers. Always seeking excitement. Prone to infidelity. But whereas she seemed to revel in her freedom, he’d always sought partners. Not that he’d had any success in keeping them.
He thought of the trumpet player in the subway station. For a moment he’d felt something. He played well. Surprisingly well, really. Had it been more than that? Something beyond the music?
Of course it was more than that. He was attractive. Cam laughed and shook his head to himself. What did it matter? There were plenty of men in New York, and the last thing he needed was a downtrodden fuck.
Author Bio: In her last incarnation, Shira was a professional opera singer, performing roles in such operas as “Tosca,” “i Pagliacci,” and “La Traviata,” among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.
Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found aboard a 36’ catamaran at the Carolina coast with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.
If you follow my Facebook Page (Please do! LOL), you’ve probably seen my posts about my crazy book i’ve been writing. It started out to be a short novel, the first in a new contemporary series set in Laguna Beach, that i planned to self-publish. I started the book back in late October and thought i’d have it whipped out by the beginning of January latest. HA!
The book is the story of a twenty-five year old construction worker who holds down three jobs to help take care of people in his family. He coaches Little League in his spare time and ha been engaged three times. He doesn’t seem to be able to hold a fiancee even though he’s handsome and can be charming. Anyway, my hero meets a wildly flamboyant stylist and, as he peels back more layers of his unexamined life, begins to realize he’s gay. I planned to call the story Blow Out.
Nothing went as planned. Every time i tried to write at the pace i thought appropriate, the characters stretched it out. In order to make the scenes authentic, i needed to add detail and take my time. I wrote and wrote. 50K words. 60K. I couldn’t get to the end of the story. Until finally at 82K, they said The End. I sent the book to a beta reader afraid she would tell me it was boring. Instead she “Loved, loved, loved it!” And i must confess, i kin d of love it too.
Every author has had the experience of characters hijacking a story and going somewhere they want to go — sometimes for good and sometimes not. This was the most extreme example i’ve ever had. My story went from a sassy little light tale to a more in-depth study of a man coming out. It’s still fun, i think, and really sexy, but i hope it’s also more genuine.
Here i sit, doing final edits. The book is now called Knight of Ocean Avenue. It’s 82K and will go to my agent to see how she likes it and see if she can find a home for it. Will anyone else like my Book That Wrote Itself? The story my characters told? We’ll have to see. : )
Happy Day After Thanksgiving to the Americans. Remember to enter to win books and a gift card in the Thankfully Naughty Blog Hop! Click HERE to enter.
I want to let you know that SNOW BALLS, the fourth book in the Balls to the Wall Series, is now available in print.
This is an amazingly fun book with one of my all-time fave characters in it — JJ LaRousse. So if you happen to be a print book lover, you can have my JJ to snuggle with at night.
Excerpt: SNOW BALLS by Tara Lain; MM “Opposites Attract” Romance
Available from Amazon
Big, handsome and hunky, JJ LaRousse looks like an alpha male but acts like an interior decorator. And he’s trying to be happy about it — until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop, Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes guys who are manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors over his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan. Ryan Star may be tough but he hides in the closet at work since he learned in New York that being a gay cop can cost you your life. His attraction to that big, handsome kid threatens his anonymity, but he can’t seem to resist. JJ is just his type. But then JJ goes skiing and comes face to face with his greatest nemesis– and all the secrets come out of the closet. Can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More important, can JJ?
“David. David. Oh my God, oh my God.” JJ grabbed the smoothly muscled arm of his friend and boss.
David trapped JJ’s other waving hand between his. “OK, calm down. What is it? Did one of the exhibitors wear pink and orange together again?” David grinned. Nobody knew better how overreactive JJ was. Thank God, David loved him anyway.
He needed air. He took a deep breath. “The cop. The one I told you about. Oh my God of CSI, he wants me to come to the police station and look at mug shots.” JJ retrieved his hand. He needed it for fanning.
David looked up at JJ. It wasn’t far up since the handsome gallery owner stood a slim six foot one to JJ’s six four. “OK. That’s not hard. The police station is only a ten-minute walk away and I’m here to finish setting up the booth. Perfect timing.”
“Oh God.” JJ collapsed onto a packing crate.
“That’s the hand blown glass you’re sitting on, darling.”
JJ jumped up. “He’s just so…”
David laughed. “That’s a different kind of problem.”
“I’ve got to go to the men’s room.”
JJ took off at a run to the men’s room at the center of the festival grounds. Inside, he stuck his carefully spiked head under the faucet, pulled out his comb, and flattened the do. Of course, the pink streaks still stood out like candy canes in his light brown hair. Nothing to be done about it now. He washed his hands and headed back to the booth.
David glanced up from the last packing box. “What happened to your hair?”
“Rod says the cop likes guy’s guys.” David tucked in his T-shirt with the What Would Anna Do? logo, his homage to Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. He pulled on his Windbreaker and zipped it up. He did a twirl. “With a cap, can I pass as Daniel Craig?”
David put his hands on his hips. “First off, how does Rod know who or what the cop likes? And even if he’s right, it’s never a good idea to try to be something you’re not. You know that. Pretend at the beginning and you have to keep living your lies. That’s a drag.”
JJ stuck out his lip. “It’s not exactly a lie. Hell, look at me.”
David frowned. “JJ, you’re gorgeous. And you’re a catch just the way you are.”
“But I’m such a…” he waved his hands “…fruit!”
“Strawberries and cream. Any man would be lucky to get you.”
JJ sighed. “Thanks. But I need to be more, you know, masculine.”
David smoothed the crease between his own brows with two fingers. “Who said that?”
JJ frowned. “You mean besides my father?”
“Ancient history. You have a life now with people who love you as you are. Don’t go looking for appreciation from those without the discrimination to give it.”
Have a wonderful weekend. Next week, i have some great guests and Blog Hops going on, so plan to be here to enter to win all kinds of goodies. : )