Friday, December 2, 2011

Writing Outside the Lines with Tara Lain & Cover Reveal

Unveiling: Mistletowed cover!
How can I not kick off this column with that gorgeous cover! Tara Lain possesses a writing voice that lets readers into her special worlds. It's accessible, and she captures the senses and the scenery exquisitely. Recently, I read Volley Balls, and was struck with how well she portrayed Laguna Beach, Calif. -- where I lived for 10 years. I'm thrilled to welcome back Tara, who's talking about Mistletowed.

Thank you, Louisa, for the chance to talk about my upcoming holiday release, Mistletowed. It’s amazing that in these days of digital-first publishing, stories can be directed to an audience down to the proverbial gnat’s eyelash. You don’t have to settle for specifying that you like M/M or BDSM or romantic suspense. Readers can look for M/M BDSM books that happen to also be suspenseful. And when you submit a book to a publisher, you indicate the genre and subgenre you have written so they know how to market it.

My first novel, Genetic Attraction, was M/M/F ménage contemporary. Easy peasy. My fourth book, Golden Dancer, is a M/M/M romantic suspense. Spell Cat, which comes out in the spring is another simple category-- M/M contemporary paranormal. But my other books? Not so simple. I first got into difficulty with my second book. The Scientist and the Supermodel is M/M. It’s the love story of two men. Seems straightforward. Nope. Because it’s the prequel to Genetic Attraction and the guys are bisexual it was categorized as a ménage even though it clearly wasn’t. That was confusing. My summer novella, Volley Balls, is LGBT contemporary. It’s also the love story of two men. But the suggestion that a third man may enter the relationship was expanded into a full love scene at the last moment at the publisher’s suggestion and bingo, it’s a M/M/M ménage even though the third guy gets no air time and is an antagonist for most of the book. I’ll bet some readers have wondered where the heck the third person is for many pages. LOL

And now there is Mistletowed. It’s the humdinger! This is a short novel (32,000+ words) with seven important characters! It starts with two M/F couples and their gay friend plus two other friends. It ends up being a M/M book that also has M/F and M/M/F ménage with BDSM. Plus it has a touch of paranormal! As I write this, I have no idea how my publisher is going to categorize this ensemble romance. And I don’t know who will read it! (But I hope you will.) I guess you can say it has something for everyone.

Why do I insist on writing outside the defined lines? Because that is what interests me. I started my fiction writing career really late and I do what I love to do. Throwing interesting characters together and seeing where they take me is a delight! I also enjoy fluidity and the unexpected in characters’ sexuality. This all adds up to books outside the box. But I love writing them. And I hope you enjoy reading them.

Would you like to win Mistletowed? It releases on December 13 and the first drawing for one copy of Mistletowed and one copy of Deceptive Attraction will take place on that day. Leave a comment HERE WITH YOUR EMAIL. Don’t forget the email or I can’t find you if you win. Then go over to and leave a comment and FOLLOW the blog. You will get another entry. There will be a lot of other opportunities to win Mistletowed before Christmas. Watch for them at Beautiful Boys Books.  And thank you again, Louisa!!  :  )
Excerpt R: Mistletowed by Tara Lain
M/M, M/F, M/M/F with mild BDSM and a touch of MAGIC!
Coming December 13 from Loose Id

Hottie that looks like
Christian, the "god of  Newport Beach."
Five friends, one piece of mistletoe. Christian Elliott has the perfect life -- right girlfriend, right job, right house and car. How come he’s only really happy when he’s with his best friend, Jason? Melanie Cantrell has everything she wants. Why can’t she stop cheating on her boyfriend with her yoga teacher? Buttercup Allender adores her stable life with Winston.  But she can’t give up her secret desire for BDSM. Stir them all together at a holiday party with a beautiful rock god and a submissive stockbroker and what do you get? It could be love and it could be magic.

“Hi, Mel, what’s up? Is something wrong?”
“Probably not, but I’m worried about Christian, and I hoped he was with you.”
“No. Should he be?”
“I think he took off toward Laguna, but that was a few hours ago. He was pretty upset when he left.”
“Why? What happened?”
“Oh, his boss was making slurs at people, and Christian took offense. Seriously, it was kind of weird. Usually he’s easygoing, but the last few days he’s been so different. Unsatisfied. Questioning. Like what he wants has changed. I don’t get it. Anyway, if you see him, would you ask him to call home? He’d had some to drink, and I’m getting pretty freaked.”
“I wouldn’t worry. He’s been working so hard. He needs some rest. But yeah, I’ll tell him to call if I find him, okay?”
“Find him?”
“I’ve got one thought where he might be, but it could be nothing. I’ll check it out.”
“Thanks. You’re such a good friend.”
He hung up and stared at the phone. Christian having a crisis? Mr. Equanimity? That was weird. But he had a hunch. Mel said he’d headed toward Laguna. Not many places were open this late, but Christian had always liked the Sea Shell Bar. He grabbed a coat and scarf and set off on foot.
It only took a few minutes to get his suspicions confirmed. Standing in the doorway at the Sea Shell, he was witness to a sorry sight. And also a very confusing one. Christian was there, all right. Drunk as the proverbial skunk, golden head hanging, but still somehow managing to look gorgeous. On either side of him, like hounds after the skunk, were two guys, both gay. Jason knew them. They leaned in and appeared to be vying for Christian’s attention, which Jase didn’t get, since he knew neither guy was into hitting on straight men. All Christian had to say was get lost, and they’d be gone. But they weren’t gone. Maybe his friend was just too drunk to communicate.
He walked up behind Christian and put a hand on his shoulder. “Hey, buddy. I found you.”
Christian raised his head with difficulty. Finally his eyes seemed to focus. “Jase, my friend. Jase.” He lazily rolled his head from side to side. “Guys, this is Jason. Isn’t he beautiful, my friend? Isn’t he the purtiest mathemagician you ever saw?”
Both men acknowledged Jason.
What in the hell was Christian saying? Made no sense. “Come on, buddy. Let’s get you home.”
“Not goin’ home. Gonna get my cock sucked.”
Both men looked embarrassed and glanced around at the few remaining customers, then back at Jason.
Christian leaned back against Jase and closed his eyes. What a warm weight. Jason raised an eyebrow at his acquaintances. “What’s going on? He’s straight. What’s he talking about?”
The bigger man, all shaved skull and rippling muscles, shook his head. “Straight, my ass. He’s been coming on to both of us for hours.”
The other guy nodded in agreement.
Jason gave them a disgusted look. “Hours? Doesn’t that tell you something right there? If he was serious, he’d have been in one of your beds for an hour by now.”
“Maybe. But that guy is so gorgeous, I wasn’t going to pass him up.”
Jase smiled. “Yeah, I can see that.”
The other man -- smaller, slim -- shrugged. “Frankly I think it’s you he wants. He hasn’t stopped talking about you since he got here. Kind of a turnoff, but like Wendell said, he is really pretty.” 
Jason shrugged. “I’m just the only gay guy he knows. No basis for comparison.” He propped Christian up. “Come on, bro, let’s go to my house.”
“Oh good. Will you suck my cock, Jase? That would be the best thing of all. Would you?”
Oh shit, this was so not happening! “You’re drunk. Let’s go.”
He managed to get Christian on his feet and moving. Wendell stepped forward. “Need help?”
Jason was a couple inches shorter than Christian and even more slender, but he figured he was strong enough unless Christian went deadweight on him. “I think I got it."

Author, Tara Lain
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  1. i love that cover :)

  2. Blessed again by the cover Goddess, Tara, and thanks for that great sneak peek.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  3. Don't you love it, Cathy!! I am so excited to have a PL Nunn cover. ; )

  4. Oh, I love that cover and I so want this book! :D

  5. Isn't she such a tease! Doesn't come out until Dec. 13 ... sheesh!

  6. Thank you, Moria. I can't wait either except i have so much holiday stuff to do i don't want to rush it! LOL Yes, Ms. Louisa, ever a tease. : )

  7. Congrats Tara on your new release of "Mistletowed". I just LOVE the Cover!December 13th cannot get here so enough! Oh Tara you are soooooo Bad!! Teasing Us like this, leaving Us hanging after reading that excerpt between Christian & Jason, we want MORE!!!!!
    Take Care & Have a Happpy Holiday,
    Renee' S.

  8. always have the best of teases with your excerpts!
    I know I'm going to love this one as I have loved your books..*S*
    Gonna love this when it gets
    Thank you the great post !!


  9. Great post and excerpt. I enjoyed reading both. I can't wait to read Mistletowed; it's on my must have list.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com