Cinderella Trope in French! Les Braises sous la Cendre by Tara Lain

Hi — I’m so excited to announce the release of my popular Cinderella trope novella, Sinders and Ash, in French. The title is Les Braises sous la Cendre. This book is the first of my Pennymaker Tales, a series that pays homage to our favorite fairy tales and children’s stories as contemporary romances.

Here is the link to the French Kindle Store. HERE!

The US Kindle Store HERE

Dreamspinner Press HERE

Here’s an excerpt. Please note, this is from the ENGLISH edition.

Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America—and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he’ll lose his grandfather’s inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.

 Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes twelve, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding—but one isn’t a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure.

The soft knock reminded him of a cue in a bad play. He knew who it was and knew he shouldn’t answer. That insane little man gave him hope when he knew he had no hope. Only hard work. But dammit, he liked Mr. Pennymaker.

He huffed, dragged himself off the bed, cleared the couple of steps to the door, pulled it open, and headed right back to the bed and curled into a ball.

“Helloooo, my boy. How are you this lovely day?” The chirpy voice paused, and Mark peeked at him from his armadillo-like position. Mr. Pennymaker had his hands on his knees and was gazing at Mark. Yes, he was an elf. “Hmm. I gather we are not tip-top?”

Mark shook his head. “No, sir.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“Don’t really want to talk about it.”

“Might as well. I want to listen.”

He had a point. Mark needed another angle of vision. “I did something very bad.”

The dark suit Pennymaker was wearing today would have been conservative but for the bright pink vest and the gardenia in his buttonhole. He sat on the rickety chair. “Would you like to tell me about it?”

Mark sat up. Would he? There was something about the man. Like he was on Mark’s side no matter what. Mark had never had that feeling… at least not since his mom died. It made no sense. Mr. Pennymaker was a stranger, but there it was. “Well, you see, Richard the Bastard tried to force himself on me, and I was so—”

“Hold on! What happened?”

“Oh, the bastard sous chef finally quit perving on me and decided to do the deed. He didn’t get to hurt me because Armitage—you know, the rich guy—came to my rescue. And now I know I’m going to get fired any minute, and I really need this job, and I don’t know what I’ll do if they give me a bad referral.”

“Now, now, even Herman Marcusi won’t fire a man for avoiding rape.”

“No, you don’t understand. Because I was really upset. See, I had this thing happen and I guess I went into flashbacks or something, but I was pretty messed up, and Armitage tried to help me and, shit, I kissed him.”

The man grinned. “Kissed him?”

“Yeah.” Mark returned to armadillohood.

Mr. Pennymaker’s voice dripped with amusement. “I’m sure you were grateful.”

Didn’t he get it? Mark sat up. “No! I kissed him kissed him, like, with tongue and, you know.”

The grin got bigger. “I’m sure you were very grateful.”

Mark sighed. “Maybe. But I imagine he’s reporting it to Marcusi right now and I’ll be out on my ass by tomorrow.”

“Maybe he enjoyed it.”

Hell, he hadn’t thought of that. The guy had seemed shocked, but he hadn’t worked very hard to get away. After all, Mark wasn’t exactly Mighty Joe Young. Still, the look on his face…. “I doubt it. Hell, you can’t do anything good with Sinders and Ash.”

______________

Thank you for visiting. Remember, Return of the Chauffeur’s Son releases June 2nd. Pre-order HERE.

Tara Lain in Audio and French! #newreleases #audible

Hi — I hope you had fun entering all the contests in the last week. Now i have some  new announcements — a new audiobook and a new translation!

Cowboys Don’t Come Out just released in audio and is narrated by the fabulous KC Kelly! This is a unique cowboy romance in that it takes place in Hawaii and brings together a California cowboy with a Hawaiian paniolo, both very closeted. Here’s the link — http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Cowboys-Dont-Come-Out-Audiobook/B06ZY6T31V/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1493073445&sr=1-1 

 

 

 

If you read French, or know someone who does, you might like the French translation of Sinders and Ash, called Les braises sur la cendre, this is a contemporary retelling of Cinderella and the first of my Pennymaker Tales. Here’s the link where you can pre-order. https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/les-braises-sous-la-cendre-by-tara-lain-8500-b 

Have fun and talk soon! : )

Sinders and Ash and Beauty, Inc. in PRINT! Ebook contest!

sinders-and-ash-and-beauty-incHi – –

Sinders and Ash and Beauty, Inc. in PRINT! If you like print books — and fairy tale tropes — you’ve  come to the right place. Two of my popular Pennymaker Tales, the modern gay romance retellings of popular fairy tale themes, are now together in a single print volume.

If you’d like to buy this book you can get it at Amazon and Dreamspinner and B&N

I’m not going to give one away since i’m not set up to mail internationally and i want this for everyone.

SO, CONTEST!!! — i will give away one ecopy of Sinders and Ash and one ecopy of Beauty, Inc. ebook to 2 lucky winners. Okay? Not print but 2 ebooks! To win, please leave me a comment below. 

Sinders and Ash is based on the themes of Cinderella, and as you can guess, Beauty, Inc. has a Beauty and the Beast theme. The only thing uniting the two stories is the fact that they are fairy tale romances — and a single character — and i do mean character. Mr. Pennymaker appears in all the books in the series.

Excerpts!

SindersAndAsh-400x600Sinders and Ash

Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America—and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he’ll lose his grandfather’s inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.

 Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes twelve, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding—but one isn’t a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure

 

Pennymaker turned and looked at Mark. “What are you working on?”

“Excuse me? I, uh, have to clean some fireplaces this morning. You know they keep the rooms cool just so they can use them? Makes work for me.”

“That’s not what I mean, of course.” Pennymaker turned back to the rack and pushed some jeans aside. “Aha!” His hand shot through the garments to the dress form. He made an opening in the clothes and stepped through to stand beside the red dress. “Perfect. Just beautiful. What a talent.”

“Excuse me?”

Pennymaker beamed at him. “You have exceptional design skills.”

God, it was hard to not be flattered. “Thank you, sir.” But how had Mr. P known to look for the dress? Who’d told him?

Pennymaker walked over to the chair and sat. It creaked. Hopefully the tiny man wouldn’t strain the old wood too much. “I would like to show that dress to some people.”

“Uh, who?”

“Let’s say some potential investors.”

No. He couldn’t get excited. “Really, sir? You’re in the clothing business?”

“I’m in many businesses, my boy.”

Okay, try not to be suspicious. “How did you know I was a clothing designer?”

The little man waved a hand. “That lovely T-shirt, of course.”

“No one told you?”

“Who would tell me?”

Had him there.

Pennymaker stepped back and surveyed the dress. “Now, who is your model?”

What? Mark cocked his head.

“Whom did you set the dress form to?”

“Oh, uh, myself. I, uh, don’t have anyone else. I’m pretty slim, so it works.”

“Perfect. Perfect. When do you have to be at work?”

This conversation was crazy. “In about an hour. This is my morning off. Unless they need me, of course.”

“Good. Put on the dress.”

“What? Why?”

“We’re going for a little walk through the hotel. You’ll be my… niece. Go on, go on.” He made a shooing gesture with his hands.

Mark shook his head. “Sir, I know I fit the dress to me, but that’s because I don’t have anyone else. I’m not a transvestite.”

“Never said you were, dear boy. But these people I want to have see the dress will be much more amenable to taking your designs seriously if they think of the idea themselves rather than me telling them. That’s how we all are, now isn’t it? I want them to see the clothes. We don’t have another model, and we don’t want anyone else in on our secret.”

Secret? “What if someone recognizes me?”

Pennymaker cocked his head. “That’s very unlikely. You do a good job making yourself plain and unmemorable with your cap and glasses.”

Mark felt the blush. Shoot. The man had him dead to rights.

“Besides, people see what they expect, and they certainly don’t expect to see Mark Sintorella in a dress. Now, put it on.”

Mark stepped behind the rack of clothing. He stripped to his boxer briefs and stopped. What the hell was he doing? He could jeopardize his job for this crazyassed little guy with his hairbrained scheme.

The voice came from the other side of the clothes. “Do you have it on?”

“Sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but are you sure about this? I really need the money I get from working here.”

“Tut-tut, my boy. Hurry. I want to make one tour around the lobby and public rooms before you start your shift. Time’s a wastin’.”

Mark pulled the dress over his head and let it fall into place. The skirt was just full enough to swing when he walked, so no one would notice his cock under it. “Uh, I don’t have any boobs.”

“Let me see.”

“See what? What I haven’t got?”

He stepped out.
Pennymaker looked at him studiously. “Gorgeous. You don’t have breasts, but then neither do some women to speak of. I’m more concerned about the hairy legs. Go shave, quickly.”

“What? Sir, I don’t think so….”

“This won’t be your only modeling assignment, I suspect, so think of it as a long-term investment. Consider that brilliant young model who used to walk the catwalks in both male and female shows. You’re at least her equal in beauty.”

“But—”

“No buts. This is your future. Now go!”

_____________________________________

Beauty,Inc-400x600Beauty, Inc.

Is beauty only skin deep?

Chemist Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre loves flowers, green trees, his best friend Judy, and “his baby:” the new face cream he developed to help put his father’s small cosmetics company on the map. Sadly he gets no help from his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father, who loses Belle in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the CEO of Beauty, Inc., the largest American cosmetics company—a man infamous for his scarred ugliness.

 Belle finds himself uprooted from his home, living in a wildly crazy apartment in New York owned by Mr. Pennymaker, and completely unprepared for his mad attraction to the charismatic Strong. Feeling like a traitor, Belle fights his passion only to see more and more of the goodness and humility hidden by Strong’s ugly face. But when Belle’s family starts manipulating his life again, the odds turn against happiness for beautiful Belle and his beloved beast.

“Looking for someone?”

“Yes. Judy. My friend. I thought she was coming here.”

“Oh yes. She has her apartment on the ground floor. Mr. Strong thought it would be best if she didn’t have to climb too many stairs while she’s being treated.”

Belle just stared. He felt the tears welling in his eyes but couldn’t stop them. Limb by limb, he collapsed to the floor like an old plastic bag. His own father hadn’t even paid attention, and Magnus Strong put Judy on the ground floor to keep her from having to climb stairs.

Mr. P closed the door and flopped down beside him. “So, my dear, what seems to be the trouble?”

Belle shook his head and snuffled.

“Try again.”

“I did a really bad thing.”

“What might that have been, my dear?”

He sniffed. “I humped my boss.”

“Hmm. Humped. I’m failing to get a mental image.”

Belle sighed. “It’s probably just as well. I got overzealous and threw myself on Magnus Strong. That might have been okay, but then I—” He dropped his face in his hand. “Oh God.”

“I’m starting to get an image. Continue.”

He popped his head up. “I kissed him, okay? And then, as if that wasn’t the stupidest thing ever done since W said “mission accomplished,” I managed to get my penis in contact with his and—humped. Now do you get the picture?”

Mr. P clapped his hands. “Perfect.”

“Oh, so far from perfect.” He fell back against the large Asian throw rug. “Why did I do it? Why?”

“Excellent question. Why did you do it?”

“He turns me on.”

“What?”

Belle sat up, in his best Frankenstein’s monster imitation. “He turns me on like a large neon light.”

“Because he helped your friend?”

“Way before he helped Judy. Before he helped me, in fact.”

Mr. P smiled. “So you acknowledge that he’s helped you?”

“Oh hell, Mr. P, I’m so confused. I mean, getting won in a poker game doesn’t exactly kick a relationship off on a sterling foot. Plus, that was after he seemed to be stalking me. I assumed he was trying to get me here to—you know—screw me instead of my father.”

“Ah, I see. And now you’ve thrown at him the very thing you assumed he wanted—and he refused it.”

“In a word—yes. I don’t know what to think.”

“There’s only one answer, my dear. Outside the box.”

_______________________________

Remember. If you want to win one of the 2 ebooks, leave me a comment below! Thank you for visiting. : )

 

Love Audio? TWO New AudioBooks from Tara Lain

61DJXYqh1lL._AA300_ Hi —

Do you love audiobooks? I’ve been getting into them lately and really enjoy walking with my audiobooks playing in my ears. You may know that most of my Dreamspinner titles are also available in audio from both Audible and Amazon. Plus i have TWO New Audiobooks.

Sinders and Ash is the first book in The Pennymaker Tales. A contemporary gay romance retelling of the Cinderella trope, this book is a big favorite with readers. Click HERE to see it at Amazon and to hear an audio sample.

Taylor Maid is my contribution to the Dreamspinner special line of books called Dreamspun61U2BTC58EL._AA300_ Desires. These books pay homage to the wonderful classic category romance of Harlequin but with a gay romance twist. My story is one of marriage of convenience, cross-dressing, mistaken identity, and more. You can see and hear it HERE.

I also want to let you know that my upcoming release, Prince of the Playhouse, is now available for pre-order. Check it out HERE.  It will be in audio later in the year.

 

PrinceOfThePlayhouse

Thank you for dropping by! Happy listening.

35% OFF on LRC Winners!

lrc2015winnerHi —

You heard that i was honored to receive LRC Awards for Knight of Ocean Avenue — Best Book of 2015, Driven Snow — Best Urban Fantasy of 2015, and The Pennymaker Tales received an Honorable Mention for Best Series of 2015! Now Dreamspinner Press is having a SALE offering ALL the Dreamspinner LRC Winners and runners Up at 35% OFF! This is really a great price, so if you’re interested in these books, grab them.

Knight of Ocean Avenue 400x600Knight of Ocean Avenue is only $4.54 — click HERE.

 

 

 

DrivenSnow-400x600Driven Snow is $4.54 — Click HERE.

 

 

 

SindersAndAsh-400x600Sinders and Ash is $3.24 — Click HERE 

10 Best Cat Commercials

Hi —

I just got back from GRL15 and i had soooo much fun — but i’m also very tired. So i thought i’d share some soothing (and funny) commercials featuring cats. I especially love the Ikea commercial. Which is your fave of the Cat Commercials?

Thanks for coming by. The cover reveal for DRIVEN SNOW will be here on October 26th! Meanwhile, get SINDERS AND ASH everywhere! Check it out HERE. : )

Get Ready! The (Androgynous) Beautiful Boys are Coming!

SindersAndAsh-400x600Hi! Welcome. On October 14th (any day), the first book in my Pennymaker Tales re-releases. Some of you have already read Sinders and Ash. It is a contemporary story based on a fairy tale trope — in this case, Cinderella. The next book releases on November 25th. It’s called Driven Snow, a brand new story based on the themes of Snow White, but told in a contemporary romance. The third book in the series, Beauty, Inc. based on Beauty and the Beast, will come out in June of next year. In each case, of course, my hero is a reimagining of a fairy tale heroine. My boys are boys — but oh my, are they pretty. As you can see from the phenomenal cover created for Sinders and Ash by Reese Dante, they’re androgynous beauties.

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know that i often love androgyny. I think it has power. All of my heroes in this series gender identify as men, but by virtue of their genetics alone they appear androgynous. In Driven Snow, people constantly remark on the fact that Snow Reynaldi, my hero, looks like a girl.Of course, they beautiful boys are young — Belle in Beauty, Inc. is the oldest at 22 — so that enhances their androgyny.

In a work full of alpha male good guys, i invite you to make some space for these fairy tale heroes — who embody that androgynous power. Look for Sinders and Ash everywhere now! To read an excerpt and for Buy Links, click HERE.

Most Beautiful People in the World!

Hi! You may know that i write the Beautiful Boys of Romance. In many of my books, my heroes are uniquely beautiful. This is particularly true in my next two releases — Sinders and Ash (October 14th) and Driven Snow (Nov 25th). So to celebrate the beautiful people, i thought you might enjoy this video featuring the countries from which the men and women most widely regarded as beautiful come.

Thank you for stopping by! : )

Big Backlist Weekend! Free Books from Eli Easton & Me

Blame It On The Mistletoe - Eli EastonSindersAndAshWelcome everyone to Big Backlist Weekend! First, are you here for the Is It Summer Yet Blog Hop? Click HERE.

Are you a BBW veteran or virgin? BBW is a fun way to meet some of the best authors around and to win Free Books from those authors.

My guest today is Eli Easton! I am such a FAN! Eli can’t write stories fast enough for me. The one she’s giving away is a favorite. (Actually, both Eli and I are away at the Dreamspinner Author’s Workshop this weekend, but we’ll be watching and waving to you.)

Here’s how BBW works. You leave a comment. Uh, that’s all. One comment enters you to win in both drawings. There will be 2 winners. If you have the book you win, we will work something out (and if you have all my books or Eli’s books already, we will find another prize) Ready? Here we go!

Blame It On The Mistletoe - Eli EastonBlame It On the Mistletoe by Eli Easton

Amazon

When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.

It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.

Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.

Excerpt:

“Oh, look!” Fielding said. “They have a new latte flavor—‘Santa’s Death by Peppermint.’ I’m getting that.”

It was the second of December and we were waiting in line at The Coffee Clatch. The campus coffee joint was bedecked and bedazzled with holiday spirit including colored mini-lights, tiny, fuzzy Santa hats on all the espresso machine handles, and displays of giant holiday cookies. Great. Fielding would be bouncing off the walls on a sugar high all month long.

“Do you have any idea how much many carbs are probably in that latte?” I asked. It was more or less a hypothetical question.

“Lots and lots,” Fielding answered enthusiastically. “Oooh! Cookies.”

I was about to get more serious about my sugar lecture when someone pressed into my back. By the feel of the soft curves along my spine that someone was female. Normally that would have been a good thing, but I wasn’t seeing anyone at the moment, and I didn’t care to be sexually accosted in a coffee shop while trying to talk my best friend. More to the point, before I’d had my morning pick me up. A little annoyed, I turned to see who it was.

A slim blonde in blue eye shadow and a tight pink sweater smiled up at me. She had her hand on my arm.

“Hey, Mick,” she gushed. “Long time no see.”

I recognized her, despite the lack of a perky red and white uniform. It was Regina, a Cornell football cheerleader. Had we ever messed around? I had to actually think about it for a second. But no, we hadn’t. Regina had been into Dylan McDermont when I was on the team. But the appreciative look in her eyes made it clear that Dylan was now buried in the Cemetery of Abandoned Interests. Probably right next to subtlety.

“Hi, Regina. Uh… this is my housemate, Fielding.”

“Hello,” Fielding said.

Regina gave Fielding a quick once over. That was followed by a polite smile and disinterested hello before she turned her attention back to lucky me.

“I can’t believe you quit the team!” Regina put on a cute little pout. “The girls were just chatting the other day about how much we miss seeing your fine ass on the field.”

What do you say to something like that? Why yes, I do have a fine ass, thanks for noticing? or Maybe you and my ass can work out another arrangement?

I went with, “I decided I needed to focus on my studies.”

“Well, you are missed. I was hoping to get to know you better. In fact, the girls were just talking about you at dinner the other night. There seemed to be a general consensus that…” Regina paused, looking coy. “…that you’re the best kisser on campus.”

A surprised huff escaped me. It sounded appropriately dubious.

“I was sort of hoping to test that theory for myself.” Regina blushed prettily at her own boldness and slid her hand from my arm to my chest.

Man. As a freshman, I so would have been all over that. I would have been thanking my lucky stars and my insides would have been auditioning for Riverdance.

Shut up. My parents made me go once. Not a lot of big attractions come to central Pennsylvania.

Anyway, Regina was cute and enthusiastic, and that sweater showed off her C cups to perfection. But getting girls had never been an issue for me. I inherited dirty blond hair and blue eyes from my mom and a rough, lumpy face from my dad. I’d been told I looked like Daniel Craig. I didn’t get the appeal, but I wasn’t exactly sorry for it. Still, by my junior year of high school getting girls became less of an issue than getting rid of them. And Regina was setting off big red warning lights in my head.

“Sorry, I’m seeing someone,” I said, giving Regina a regretful smile. “But it was really great running into you. Say hi to the other girls for me.”

The people in front of us moved and we were up to place our order. Thank the god of awkward moments.

It was a decent enough day considering that it was December in Ithaca, New York, so we took our drinks outside and sat at the fountain. I had my usual hot green tea with soy milk. Fielding had ignored my warning and settled down with his sweet Santa sludge. I’d learned to pick my battles and I let go of this one. He looked too happy for me to be a Scrooge about a little holiday treat.

“Why’d you tell Regina you were seeing someone?” Fielding asked, as soon as we sat down.

Inwardly I sighed. I’d had a feeling I wouldn’t get out of that encounter unscathed. “It’s called a little white lie, Bud. The truth would have been rude: I’m not interested, buzz off.”

“Ah! I see.” Fielding smirked. “Away with thee, thou silver-tongued succubus.”

I laughed. “Piss off, oh ye of the cleavage-which-shall-not-be-touched.”

Fielding chuckled, a low hearty rumbling which made me grin. My science geek housemate hadn’t grown up with a lot of laughter. But Fielding laughed now. He did a lot of things now that he hadn’t when we’d first moved in together. I felt pretty damn good about that.

“But why should her cleavage not be touched?”

I shrugged. “Been there. Done that. Have the T-shirt.”

Fielding blinked at me, a frown of confusion on his brow. “You slept with her? But she said she wanted to test the theory about your—”

Damn. Fielding missed nothing.

“I didn’t sleep with her. Girls like her.” And really, having a thing with three members of the Cornell football cheerleading squad was more than enough for any man. More than that, and I’d seriously have to seek counseling.

Fielding still looked puzzled. He was going to dig some more, I could tell. Because Fielding never let anything go until he’d dissected it to pieces.

“So anyway, you have a late lab tonight?” I asked, artfully changing the subject.

“It’s Tuesday the last time I looked,” Fielding said dryly, as if I should have his schedule memorized. I did, but any port in a storm.

“Right. I’ll plan on dinner around seven, then. There are still two servings of chicken casserole in the freezer. So don’t fill up on Snickers and Pringles from the snack machine, okay?”

I tried to catch Fielding’s eyes to get a confirmation of that, or at least a sign that he’d heard me. It was not unusual for the things I said to go in one ear, get lost in the vast contortions of Fielding’s massive intellect, and never make it to central processing. But Fielding wasn’t gazing off into space, mind on some physics problem or another. No, he was looking at me. More specifically, Fielding was looking at my mouth. He was intently looking at my mouth, a frown of concentration furrowing his brow. He sucked on his bottom lip.

Christ. Something hot rolled over in my stomach. It felt like uneasiness that maybe shared a condo wall with terror. And maybe arousal lived a couple of doors down. It was not a good feeling. I took a hasty drink of green tea, trying to hide my mouth from Fielding’s gaze. It also kept me from screaming like a little girl.

Covering up my mouth seemed to work, because Fielding broke off staring at it and met my gaze instead. There was a light in his eyes that I didn’t care for at all. When Fielding’s eyes said Eureka! it was rarely a good thing.

“Bye,” Fielding said abruptly. He pulled on his backpack and hurried away, head down.

 SindersAndAshSinders and Ash by Tara Lain

AMAZON  ARe

Work hard, stay anonymous and don’t expect much. That’s resort housekeeper Mark Sintorella’s philosophy of life. After being kicked out of his family home at sixteen for being gay, Mark knows what it takes to survive. But how is he going to stay anonymous when he wants to be recognized as a great fashion designer? And how can he control his expectations when he’s desperately attracted to Ashton Armitage, the son of the fifth richest man in America? If Ash doesn’t find a woman to marry he’s going to lose his inheritance, but he can’t seem to resist the beautiful kid who cleans fireplaces while hiding behind a black cap and heavy glasses. And then this crazy elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, has Mark running around looking like a fashion model wearing gorgeous women’s clothes. The clock strikes twelve and the wedding follows the ball. Two beautiful princesses line up for attention. But one isn’t interested and one isn’t a woman. Who will be the bride? Will the shoe fit? Only his fairy godmother knows for sure.

Pennymaker turned and looked at Mark. “What are you working on?”

“Excuse me? I, uh, have to clean some fireplaces this morning. You know they keep the rooms cool just so they can use them? Makes work for me.”

“That’s not what I mean, of course.” He turned back to the rack, pushed some jeans aside. “Aha!” His hand shot through the garments to the dress form. He made an opening in the clothes and stepped through to stand beside the red dress. “Perfect. Just beautiful. What a talent.”

“Excuse me?”

The little man beamed at him. “You have exceptional design skills.”

God, it was hard to not be flattered. “Thank you, sir.” But how had the man known to look for the dress? Who told him?

Pennymaker walked over to the chair and sat. Creak. Hopefully the tiny man wouldn’t strain the old wood too much. “I would like to show that dress to some people.”

“Uh, who?”

“Let’s say some potential investors.”

No. He couldn’t get excited. “Uh, really, sir? You’re in the clothing business?”

“I’m in many businesses, my boy.”

Okay, try not to be suspicious. “How did you know I was a clothing designer?”

The little man waved a hand. “That lovely T-shirt, of course.”

“No one told you?”

“Who would tell me?”

Had him there.

Pennymaker stepped back and surveyed the dress. “Now, who is your model?”

What? Mark cocked his head.

“Who did you set the dress form to?”

“Oh, uh, myself. I, uh, don’t have anyone else. I’m pretty slim so it works.”

“Perfect. Perfect. When do you have to be at work?”

This conversation was crazy. “In about an hour. This is my morning off. Unless they need me, of course.”

“Good. Put on the dress.”

“What?! Why?”

“We’re going for a little walk through the hotel. You’ll be my…niece. Go on, go on.” He made a shooing gesture with his hands.

Mark shook his head. “Sir, I know I fit the dress to me but that’s because I don’t have anyone else. I’m not a transvestite.”

“Never said you were, dear boy. But these people I want to have see the dress will be much more amenable to taking your designs seriously if they think of the idea themselves rather than my telling them. That’s how we all are, now isn’t it? So I want them to see the clothes. We don’t have another model and we don’t want anyone else in on our secret.”

Secret? “What if someone recognizes me?”

Pennymaker cocked his head. “That is very unlikely. You do a good job making yourself plain and unmemorable with your cap and glasses.”

Mark felt the blush. Shoot. The man had him dead to rights.

“Besides, people see what they expect and they certainly don’t expect to see Mark Sintorella in a dress. Now, put it on.”

Mark stepped behind the rack of clothing. He stripped to his boxer briefs and stopped. What the hell was he doing? He could jeopardize his job for this crazy-assed little guy with his hair-brained scheme.

The voice came from the other side of the clothes. “Do you have it on?”

“Sir, I don’t mean to be rude, but are you sure about this? I really need the money I get from working here.”

“Tut tut, my boy. Hurry. I want to make one tour around the lobby and public rooms before you start your shift.  Times a’wastin’. ”

Mark pulled the dress over his head and let it fall into place. The skirt was just full enough to swing when he walked so no one would notice his cock under it. “Uh, I don’t have any boobs.”

“Let me see.”

“See what? What I haven’t got?” He stepped out.

Pennymaker looked at him studiously. “Gorgeous. You don’t have breasts but then neither do some women to speak of. I’m more concerned about the hairy legs. Go shave, quickly.”

“What? Sir, I don’t think so…”

“This won’t be your only modeling assignment I suspect so think of it as a long-term investment. Consider that brilliant young model who walks the catwalks in both male and female shows. You’re at least his equal in beauty.”

“But…”

“No buts. This is your future.  Now go!”

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Hope you enjoyed the nibble! Leave a comment. Winners will be chosen on Monday. Thank you for visiting BBW!

Backlist Weekend! Mary Calmes, FREE Books, and Tara!

Acrobat_prSindersAndAshHi everyone — Welcome to Big Backlist Weekend! Are you a BBW veteran or a virgin? The last weekend of each month, i invite one very special author to come join me in giving away a book from our backlists. It’s a fun chance to win some great books, and even more, it’s an opportunity to get to meet these writers up close. This weekend, my guest is Mary Calmes. What a treat. I’m a huge fan of Mary’s books and extraordinary characters. And to make this backlist giveaway even more special, Mary is giving away an AUDIO book of her novel, Acrobat! My backlist book this month is a fave of a lot of readers — Sinders and Ash.

How do you win? EZ! Just leave a comment. One comment enters you in two drawings. If you have the book you win, no worries. We’ll come up with something! Okay. Get ready to dive into our Backlist —

Acrobat_prAcrobat by Mary Calmes (Audio Book version)

Forty-five-year-old English professor Nathan Qells is very good at making people feel important. What he’s not very good at is sticking around afterward. He’s a nice guy; he just doesn’t feel things the way other people do. So even after all the time he’s spent taking care of Michael, the kid across the hall, he doesn’t realize that Michael’s mob muscle uncle and guardian, Andreo Fiore, has slowly been falling in love with him.

Dreo has bigger problems than getting Nate to see him as a potential partner. He’s raising his nephew, trying to leave his unsavory job, and starting his own business, a process made infinitely more difficult when a series of hits takes out some key underworld players. Still, Dreo is determined to build a life he can be proud of—a life with Nate as a cornerstone. A life that is starting to look like exactly what Nate has been seeking. Unfortunately for Dreo—and for Nate—the last hits were just part of a major reorganization, and Dreo’s obvious love for Nate has made him a target too.

Buy Links:

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Excerpt:

THERE was just no way.

“You won’t know unless you try.”

I turned to look at my ex-wife, who was still my best friend in the world. “Are you kidding? It’s hopeless.”

“It’s actually kind of cute.”

“Oh God,” I groaned and buried my face in my folded arms.

We were having lunch on a Sunday at a bistro she liked that I, of course, had never heard of. But to say that she knew things about fine dining or even “chic” dining that I did not was the understatement of the century. She was more chateaubriand, and I was steak and potatoes.

“Sweetie, there’s nothing wrong with it.”

“I think there’s a code or something.”

“What code?”

“Thou shalt not covet your ex-students.”

She laughed. “I think you made that one up.”

“Oh God, it even sounds disgusting.”

“It does not.”

“Like you would know.”

“Don’t be an ass just because you’re having a crisis.”

I groaned louder.

“You said you had him in class fourteen years ago? Is that right?”

“I bet he doesn’t even know who Duran Duran is.”

She started laughing. “So that makes him, what, thirty-two now? Thirty-three?”

“Or a Rubik’s Cube.”

The laughing got harder. “Even thirty-two is perfectly respectable for a man of forty-five.”

“Oh God.”

“You’re so ridiculous.”

“That’s a thirteen-year age difference, Mel. I could be his father.”

She was lost in a fit of giggles.

“I could!”

She just shook her head, wiping at her eyes. Christ, it wasn’t that funny.

“Jared is closer to his age than mine.”

“True.” She shivered slightly in the crisp November air.

It made more sense for the man I had a very immature crush on to date my twenty-seven-year-old son. I was too old for him.

“But your son isn’t gay, and Sean is, and so are you, my darling.”

I lifted up my head, raked my fingers through my thick dirty-blond hair, and looked at her. “Do you mean to not help?”

“Love,” she chuckled, “twenty-eight years ago me and my best friend got drunk off our asses, and because he was hot—still is, I might add—I jumped his bones when I had the chance and got knocked up just like the nuns said I would.”

“Thank you for the recap.” I grunted, leaning back, looking at her.

Her hand went to my knee. “And lo and behold, nine months later you did the right thing and made an honest woman of me because you loved me and fell madly in love with your kid the second you saw him.”

“He was cute.” I sighed in memory.

He looked like an undercooked slab of meatloaf.”

“That’s disgusting.”

“But true,” she added brightly. “And that cute little blob grew up to be a wonderful young man.”

“Who will make an excellent wildlife biologist very soon.” I smiled at her.

She made a noise that was not nice.

“Oh c’mon, Mel, everyone takes a semester off when they’re getting their doctorate,” I defended my wayward kid. “It’s a lot of studying to do all in one shot.”

She waved her hand dismissively. “Whatever. We’re not discussing Jare; we’re discussing you.”

“Let’s not.” I exhaled sharply, picking up my menu. “What’re we eating?”

She snatched the leather-bound piece from my hands, which should have been my first clue that I was out of my depth in the “bistro,” and smacked me with it.

“Owww,” I complained loudly.

She banged it back down on the table. “I want to talk about Sean.”

“I don’t. I’m not ready anyway.”

“No-no-no, you will not hide behind your dead relationship with Duncan anymore. It’s been over a year and a half, Nate. It’s time to dive back in.”

“I have,” I assured her. “I’ve been on some dates.”

“Who have you slept with?”

“How is that your business?”

“Nate, you need to get laid.”

“Ohmygod, could you speak up, please,” I said sarcastically. “The people one street over didn’t hear you.”

She tried not to smile.

“Jesus, woman,” I scolded her.

“It’s time to get back on the horse.”

“Mel—”

“Or back in the saddle, which is it?”

_______________________________

SindersAndAshSinders and Ash by Tara Lain

Work hard, stay anonymous and don’t expect much. That’s resort housekeeper Mark Sintorella’s philosophy of life. After being kicked out of his family home at sixteen for being gay, Mark knows what it takes to survive. But how is he going to stay anonymous when he wants to be recognized as a great fashion designer? And how can he control his expectations when he’s desperately attracted to Ashton Armitage, the son of the fifth richest man in America? If Ash doesn’t find a woman to marry he’s going to lose his inheritance, but he can’t seem to resist the beautiful kid who cleans fireplaces while hiding behind a black cap and heavy glasses. And then this crazy elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, has Mark running around looking like a fashion model wearing gorgeous women’s clothes. The clock strikes twelve and the wedding follows the ball. Two beautiful princesses line up for attention. But one isn’t interested and one isn’t a woman. Who will be the bride? Will the shoe fit? Only his fairy godmother knows for sure.

 AMAZON    ARe   B&N

The hall beyond the door was dim, with only two yellow service lights. Shoot. Ash looked down. He wished he didn’t have on flip-flops. They made a little flapping noise, but he wasn’t brave enough to try this dank corridor barefoot. Still, he felt the need to hurry. Stepping softly, he raced down the hall to where it turned. Sounds. He stopped.

“Ummmph. Get the fuck off. Get away. Quit.”

Ash tore around the corner and saw just what he expected. The big asshole had the kid pushed face first into the wall. He had Sinder’s jeans halfway down his ass and his big, disgusting cock pointed right at it. The bastard. Okay, so fighting didn’t come up that often in the day-to-day life of a billionaire’s son. A couple of paparazzi had gotten a push, but not much more. Still…ten years of off and on martial arts had to be worth something. Don’t warn the asshole.

Step. Thud. Wap. His fist connected with the guy’s jaw. Shit! He forgot how much hitting hurt! But it satisfied his soul to punch that asshole with all his force.

“Ow.” Scary’s head snapped back and he reeled a couple steps away from Sinders. Not down. Damn. Have to hit him again. Ash took a breath and pulled back to strike. The guy raised his fists to block.

Ash saw the moment the ugly dude finally realized whom he was about to hit. His face froze.

You should be afraid.

Scary glanced at his own fists, stepped back farther and, without even tucking his cock in his drawers, turned and ran back up the hall toward the door he had come in. Ash stepped after him. “Keep running, asshole.”

Ash rested his hands on his knees. Hitting a guy for real was different than karate make-believe. It looked so easy in the movies. His hand hurt like hell and the adrenaline made it hard to breathe.

Too quiet. He looked up. Sinders huddled against the wall, one hand holding his pants up at his hip, the other covering his eyes. From a few feet away, Ash could see him shaking.

“Are you okay, kid?”

The head nodded in some roundabout direction that could mean yes or no.

“Hey, you’re okay now.” Ash walked closer to the guy. “He won’t be back and when I’m done with the owner of the hotel, you won’t have to worry about him ever again.”

The boy’s head shook again, but he still huddled by the wall barely dressed. He was terrified. Hell, Ash would have sworn nothing could get that young man down. He stepped closer and put his hand on Sinder’s arm. The boy tensed and started to pull away, stopped and just crumpled like a wet sock. Shit. Ash caught him before he hit the floor and pulled him up into his arms. “Whoa. You don’t want to be on that floor, kid. You don’t know where it’s been.”

Sinders smiled. Just a slight turn of the lips, but it counted. Didn’t stop shaking, though. “It’s okay. I got you.”

“S-sorry.”

“Nothing to be sorry for. That guy was big and ugly. Don’t be afraid anymore.”

“N-not him. Before him. Can’t talk about it.” Sinders kind of burrowed into Ash’s arms, making little hiccupping sounds, his body shaking like the proverbial leaf. Okay, that felt interesting. Ash tightened his arms. The kid was tall, but Ash was taller, so Sinders could push his face into the crook of Ash’s neck like he was hiding from the bogeyman.

Not too experienced at the comfort thing, Ash rubbed a hand up the man’s back. God, he was lean, hard and supple. Really different from any feel he’d ever had under his hands before.

The shaking seemed to slow a little. The sounds softened. Ash just kept stroking.

Good. Seemed to be working. The boy’s breath misted warm on his neck. Quieter. Quiet. Still.

Sinder’s head pulled out from Ash’s neck. Ash gazed down at that silly cap, then the kid slowly looked up at him. Somewhere, those ugly glasses had been knocked askew and all Ash saw were eyes so deep they’d swallow mastodons and preserve them for a thousand years. Hold. Gaze.

He felt the kid’s chest expand against his own. Sinder’s arm twitched, then slowly his hand snaked up behind Ash’s neck. The fingers were rough, calloused and they circled gently on Ash’s skin. More goose bumps. Nice this time. For an instant, Sinders froze, hand pressed, but not decided. He made this little noise. Ohhh. The fingers slipped into Ash’s hair and tightened. Slow motion. It probably took a half second, but Ash felt like he saw every detail of the boy’s pretty mouth— pink, pouting, trembling—getting closer until his face blocked out Ash’s sight and wild heat attacked his lips. Crap. Hot. Soft. How did this happen?

The kid’s fingers dug into his hair and his soft tongue pressed against Ash’s startled lips. Oh God, open. Ash’s lips parted on their own. Invasion of sweetness. Like his birthday. Sinder’s tongue pressed its advantage and took possession of the field. Did that moan he heard came from his own throat?

His hands gripped Sinder’s lean hips, where the unfastened jeans were nearly falling down again. Closer. Come closer. Ash dragged him tight against his own straining erection. What was he doing? He didn’t know. Too sweet, too hot to think. Sinders ate at his mouth, like a starving man, making soft, mewling noises. Ash pressed his body against the boy, pushing him back against the wall.

It was like an alarm went off. When Sinders hit that wall, his head flipped up, and Ash looked into wide, startled dark eyes.

“Shit, no. What am I… I’m so sorry. Oh God, please forgive me. I’m so sorry.”

The kid grabbed his sagging jeans, made a wailing sound and ran down the hall.

Ash gasped for breath. His cock strained against his shorts like a pole in a circus tent. What the fuck had just happened?

___________________

That’s it! Remember, the winner of Acrobat gets an Audio Book! I want to enter myself!  LOL. Thank you for coming by. Leave a comment.  : )