Hi everyone and super thanks to Louisa for having me on her blog in the midst of the holiday craziness! Recently someone asked me if I base my books on myself or my own life. Of course, I write gay romance primarily and I’m a heterosexual woman so some things are clearly fiction. LOL. But, of course, great pieces of me are transmitted in my books. My belief in true love, my quest for authenticity, my enjoyment of humor is all in there big time. And, of course, actual events also make it onto the page. Bits of people I know, places I’ve been. A lot of details about my town, Laguna Beach, CA, are included in many of my books. And ---, oh yes, my hatred of skiing! This latter detail has occupied a complete scene in my brand new release, Snow Balls. My hero, JJ LaRousse, who is pretending to be more alpha male than he is, goes cross country skiing with the man he has a passion for. He’s never been skiing but keeps hoping it can’t be too hard. HA!
Yep, hatred is a good word. I have only been skiing once. It was plenty. Like JJ, I pictured myself shushing along the frozen pathways enjoying the beautiful scenery and the crisp air. Oh so wrong. I spent more time in a heap on the snow with skis tangled like pickup sticks. I could not stay upright for more than a few minutes before I would fly once again into a giant pile of Tara. Painful and humiliating. Not surprising, however. While I am moderately athletic -- hiking, walking, Pilates, Yoga -- I have always been terrible with anything attached to my feet more challenging than a pair of Jimmy Choos. Even as a kid, roller skating and I were only on passable terms and I never learned to ice skate. Give me a bike and I could go anywhere. On skates, I barely made it down the sidewalk. And skis were even more miserable.
Now, I’ve inflicted this calamity on my poor hero from Snow Balls. And he, like me, has to face the skiing instructor who stares down at his tangled mess of a body and says, “Let’s get organized!” LOL
Would you like to win a Balls book? Leave me a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL and you may win your choice of Volley Balls (Aussie sandwich), Fire Balls (the feisty artist and the firefighter), or Beach Balls (enemies to lovers--underwater). Three people this week will win books. And someone who comments on one of my blog stops this week will win a $10 GC as well. I’ll be choosing winners as I go so if you want to comment on more than one blog come on over to Beautiful Boys Books and check out the schedule. Thanks so much for coming by!
Excerpt: SNOW BALLS by Tara Lain; MM Romance -- The Cop and the Creampuff
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?
JJ turned to Ryan. “OK, why don’t you go off and have fun while I learn? No sense you wasting time here.”
Ryan shook his head and with every shake JJ’s stomach flipped. “No, I’d rather be with you.”
Well hell, how could he argue with a sweet rationale like that?
How hard can it be? How hard can it be? Following the instructor to the beginner’s area, JJ fell back into the litany. Three other people waited where they stopped. An older woman and two men who looked like they drove trucks. Very big trucks.
Their instructor who turned out to be named Bronson—seriously?—gathered them together. He spoke with an indeterminate accent that would have been great saying, “I’ll be back.” The woman introduced herself as Michele and proudly announced she was sixty-three. The two guys, Ron and Paul, turned out to be a stockbroker and an English teacher.
Bronson pointed at his boots. “Okey dokey, we’re going to fit our boots into the skis. Be sure you remove all snow from the boots before inserting.”
Instant problem. JJ stood on one foot and tried to wipe the snow, which threw him off balance and he had to put his foot down which introduced yet more snow. Damn, he felt like a leaning tower. Ryan stepped up beside him and provided a shoulder to lean on. JJ tried to smile. “Uh, thanks.” Jeez, he was such a klutz. Finally—last out of the group—he got his boots in his skis, locked them on, and stood up. His skis slid forward, his ass flew into the air, and he fell instantly to his butt with skis crossed. “Oh no!” He clutched his hands in the snow to keep from shaking them. This didn’t portend well.
Bronson walked over and looked down at him. “No problemo. You just leaned back too much. Keep that weight distributed and slightly forward. Okey dokey?”
JJ nodded, and Bronson offered an arm. OK, but what in the hell did you do with the skis when you’re trying to get up? After thirty seconds of pure slapstick comedy, JJ finally got the skis separated, his weight arranged, and made it to his feet. Heat flushed his cheeks. At least the cold could explain that.
God, who knew it would be so slippery?
Bronson stood at the center of their circle. “Now, plant your poles by your sides and slide your skis back and forth.”
JJ planted. He slid one ski, the other, back to the first. OK. Working. One more slide. He slipped, caught himself with the pole, and stayed upright. Yes. He glanced at Ryan who was following the directions too, with perfect balance and symmetry. Ryan gave JJ a smile.
Bronson held up a hand. “Good, everyone. Now, we’ll cover some ground. Put your hands through the pole straps.”
JJ did it but he felt wobbly. That must be normal.
“Now plant your left pole and slide your right ski forward.”
JJ followed direction.
“Now plant your right pole and slide your left ski.”
Wow. He did it. Maybe he could make it on those trails after all.
“Keep doing that, everyone. Good. See, you’re skiing.”
Cool. Yes, he was skiing. Left. Right. In front of him, a little dip in the snow curved downward. In his boots, it wouldn’t have been noticeable, but suddenly he was sliding. Sliding without trying. His arms came up like a helicopter, poles flying. Vaguely, he saw Michele duck as his skis flew out from under him. It felt like he actually rose in the air, suspended for a second, and slammed onto the snow on his ass. His head flew back and smacked hard, throwing ice up into his eyes. Ouch. Shit that hurt.
“JJ, are you OK?” Ryan sounded really worried. JJ must look bad. Damn. He’d like to cry. Probably not a wise decision.
He tried to smile. “I’m fine. Just clumsy.” He looked down and found one ski lying beside his leg and the other crossed over his thigh. What a mess. Dying sounded good. Or sinking into the snow.
Bronson stared down at him, hands on his hips. “Okey dokey. Let’s get organized.”
Tara Lain’s first erotic romance novel was published in January of 2011. She’s now on book 16. Her novels have garnered awards for Best Series of 2011, Best Contemporary Romance, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm, and she carries her promotional instincts into her writing career as well. She lives with her soul-mate husband in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences , Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
Where to find Tara online:
Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog: http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com
Savvy Authors: http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/member.php?2398-Tara-Lain
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/taralain