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Monday, May 30, 2011

Tara Lain: How Do You Choose What You Read?


How Do You Choose What You Read?

I am delighted to celebrate the release day of my new novel, The Scientist and the Supermodel, here with Belinda because it gives me a chance to tell you what a peach she is (in case you didn’t already know.) I am a huge admirer and fan.

So I have a question for Belinda’s readers and my readers and perhaps someone who stumbled on the site by accident and has never read either of us. How do you determine what you read? If you read Belinda’s books, is it because she writes scifi BDSM, because she creates great action and adventure, because there is such depth to her characters, because a lot of her books are male/male, or some combination of the list? And my readers, did you pick up Genetic Attraction, my first book, because it was a ménage or had strong male/male elements, or a powerful heroine, or was considered “HOT!” or something else?

I’ve noticed that when scifi authors or writers of paranormal come to my blog, my readers react enthusiastically, even though they seem to love my contemporary stories. My books have men in love but I know many of my readers also like M/F books. So, the question is – where do you start? When buying a new book, what are the first criteria?

A key criteria for me as I expect it is for you is the author. If I like one book by an author, I’ll try more by the same writer. But how far does that go? If Belinda switches to Regency romance, will you read her anyway? If I turn to “sweet”romances, will you still try my books? In my case, one of my favorite writers is Jet Mykles. I was first introduced to Jet’s paranormal M/F books many years ago. After reading through that whole series, I ordered something called Heaven which turned out to be M/M contemporary. Yikes. That was a departure for me. But I loved the way Jet tells a story, so I read it. Heaven turned out to be heaven for me. I had never read a M/M book and this was a perfect introduction. I loved the dynamic, the flexibility of gender roles, the peek into a man’s vulnerability. At that moment, one of my key criteria became M/M. To this day, I will tend to favor books with at least some M/M elements, although I still read and enjoy M/F.

What about you? I’ve had readers say “I’ve never read M/M before, but you made me a believer.” Chances are if you’re here you like M/M too, but is it a priority in your choices? What about BDSM? Is that where you go first when choosing a book? Belinda likes to build scifi worlds and express in them. I love contemporary formats. I will admit I’m currently writing my first paranormal – but it’s contemporary paranormal. LOL. Do you start with scifi? Paranormal? Contemporary? Is that a first choice? The first time I tried one of Belinda’s books I was choosing to read something by an author I didn’t know in scifi which isn’t my top genre. So why did I choose it? First, it was M/M, a top criteria, AND I saw from the terrific cover that one of the heroes was androgynous – a favorite attraction of mine. Plus, it had an irresistible title. Of course, I’m talking about An Uncommon Whore.
Tell us please, what do you read and how do you choose? It’s a wonderful mystery all writers try to solve. And when you comment you’ll be entered in my contest. Here are the rules:

Comment on this blog and leave your email address. I will copy it and enter it in the drawing for the 2 books being given away during this week. One copy of The Scientist and the Supermodel and One copy of Genetic Attraction. You’ll be notified by email if you win. Comment and email, simple.

Here’s MORE CHANCES TO WIN! (more complicated so read closely LOL)

• After you comment here, go to my Book blog http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com. Leave a comment and follow the blog (if you already do follow, it counts). You will be entered in EVERY drawing until the end of the month. Two books will be given away every week and you’ll be entered in all those drawings. (you only have to do this once)

• Go to every blog on my blog tour and leave a comment on the day of the post (or at least in the same week) and you will be entered again during the week in which the post is made.

• The entire blog tour is listed on my website http://www.taralain.com/blog_tour_schedule.html and updates will be posted regularly so check it out. There will also be Yahoo Group chats where I will be giving away other books so watch for those!

Whew!! Remember, you can take each one of these steps and have a bunch of chances to WIN! (You just have to enter, the logistics are my nightmare! LOL) Got it? Leave a comment here. : )


Excerpt R: Tara Lain The Scientist and the Supermodel M/M Erotic Romance

This excerpt occurs when Jake and Roan have both unexpectedly shown up at the same fundraising event and both escorting women. Jake is wildly jealous and is dancing with Roan’s date.

BLURB:

Jake has a mad hidden passion for his older boss, Emmaline Silvay, so why is he getting all hot and bothered when he sees this gorgeous man in a bar? Though Jake thinks of himself as straight, he's been having a lot of trouble getting excited about any of the girls he's dated. He doesn't have any such trouble with the supermodel, which throws his whole world into confusion. Roan Black knows better than to fall for some straight guy, especially a PhD scientist who couldn't possibly be interested in a high school dropout, could he? Well, maybe they can just have sex ....

EXCERPT:

Taking the redhead’s hand, he walked to the dance floor.

Jake was a decent dancer, but his recent dancing experience had only included a six-foot alpha male whose cock stabbed into his abdomen. Alexandra wasn’t all that different -- except for the cock part. About six feet tall in her heels, her body under the slip of a gown was strong and lean with only a hint of the soft roundness Jake associated with femininity. She also smelled heavenly. No perfume, just some sweet almondy scent that wafted around Jake like a cloud.

Even with that tall body pressed tight against him, Jake still had a couple inches on her.

She tilted her head up and whispered in his ear, “So you’re my lover’s lover.”

Torn. Should he strangle her or throw her on the ground and fuck her? She had a powerful magnetism; he’d give her that. “In what way is he your lover?” He could hear the anger in his own voice.

“Jealous, lover?”

“Should I be?”

She gave him a steady stare with those ice blue eyes. “Actually, no.”

“Does that mean you’re not his lover?”

“No, it doesn’t mean that. It simply means that the boy is crazy about you.”

Jake felt himself tense. Of course, she felt it too and gave him a cool stare. “I hope you can handle that, lover boy, because nobody gets to hurt Roan with me around.”

He stared her down for a minute, but she didn’t waver, and he was the first to look away. “I’m trying, really, but this is all new to me.”

“He said you’ve always been straight.”

“Yeah.”

She nodded her head to where they’d left Laney with his parents. “Who’s the little ingénue?”

“Just a friend.”

“You fucking her?”

“No!”

She laughed. “A little defensive, are we? You using her for cover?”

“No! I just needed a date for this shindig, and I thought of her. What about you? Aren’t you with Roan to promulgate the fiction that he’s straight?”

“Partly. But I was in town, and we always get together when I’m here or he’s in Paris. My trip just happened to coincide with this event he was committed to attend, so I came with him.”

Jake gritted his teeth. “You always get together? Why? To fuck?” He could feel his hands tightening on her.

She pressed her body tight against him and whispered in his ear. “Yes, to fuck. And to suck, and to do everything a man and a woman can do together. Do you hate it that your boyfriend likes girls too, just like you do?”

“Yes. I…hate…it.”

She pulled back and looked at him. “Wow, you really are jealous, aren’t you? My beautiful boy really gets you going.” She ground her hips against him. “I can feel how hard you are.”

She was right. He wanted to hate her, but she was so damned sexy, and the fact that she loved and defended Roan jumbled them together in his hormone-clouded mind.

“Yeah.”

She leaned into him again. “Don’t you love that gorgeous, huge cock of Roan’s?”

Jake could barely breathe. “Yeah.”

She was whispering directly into his ear, the breath sending goose bumps down his arms and shocks to his balls. “It doesn’t hurt you when he pushes that huge dick into your ass?”

Jake tensed at the question. Alex leaned back to look at his face. “I see. You’re a top.” Then she snuggled back against him and resumed her breathy whisper. “That makes sense, I guess. You’re mostly straight, and he’s really submissive. He loves to take it in the ass.” Her hips pressed into his. “But don’t forget, pretty boy, he still loves to fuck. You gotta let him do it to you some, or he won’t be satisfied. Let him stick that cock in. I can tell you firsthand, Jake, it’s a treat you just can’t miss.”

Too much. Jake’s breath was ragged, and he was about to ruin his tux trousers with a gallon of cum.

She pressed harder so she was practically riding his erection, and he was too far gone to care who was watching. “You love that idea, don’t you, baby? Or is it me turning you on? C’mon, Jake. Tell me the truth. Is it just the idea of Roan fucking you making you rock hard, or does little Alex get your juices flowing too?”

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0glXEW3_fM

Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2010. She’s now on book six. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.

For more information about Tara, her books and social networks, visit her at:

E-mail: tara@taralain.com

Website: http://www.taralain.com

Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dos Lunas is a Top Pick at TRR!

Dos Lunas just picked up its first review....and its a doozie! Its a Top Pick at The Romance Reviews! Thank you to Rho for this exceptional review:

The Romance Review

This little gem was so much more than I ever expected.

Diego Lobos is the middle of three brothers and he's always felt not quite good enough when compared to his brothers. So, when he sees Victoria Talbot, although he's extremely attracted to her, he knows the sophisticated ice queen is out of his league.

Victoria Talbot is a journalist, researching a story about werewolves in the sleepy Texas town where she's living. She never expected to find Diego at the center of her story or her desires. But after a glimpse inside his hidden nature, she knows that she's got something that he needs.

The story starts off with Diego and Victoria having some sexually charged banter, and you know that they are it for each other. The chemistry and underlying naughtiness between them is absolutely delicious. Then, the story just turned me on my ear when the author drops the hint that Diego is sexually submissive. YES, this hunky, totally yummy werewolf is a sub. And lo and behold, Victoria is a Domme.

From there, that was all she wrote, folks. I was totally hooked. The story revolved around their relationship, the Domme/sub interaction was there, but there were also secrets that Victoria was holding onto. Not to mention the fact that she was trying to expose Diego and his pack.

I loved that the growth of both Diego and Victoria was so wonderfully written. Diego grew more comfortable in his skin with the acceptance of his submissive nature, and Victoria found that she wants to be with someone more than just playing. Put that together with the whole werewolf, mating, paranormal twist aspect of the book, and I was totally entranced.

This is a short story. It's actually part of a print anthology, but what the author did in a little over100 pages was build a world around Sleeping Dog, Texas--complete with visits to a Dallas dungeon, characters like the elderly Domme Rosa, and plot filled with romance, suspense, and shifter action.

And don't let me forget the hot sex. I'm usually not a fan of FemDom, but let me tell you...Whew! There's this one scene in the dungeon where she has all of these feathers and Diego is bound and blindfolded. YUMMY! Wow, I just don't even know what to say. Sex wasn't the focus of the story, but the author certainly made it a memorable aspect to say the least.

I could probably go on and on about this story, but I think you get the gist. It's hot, it's romantic, it's intriguing and suspenseful. It so much more than I expected, I felt like I unearthed a secret treasure.

Belinda McBride really has a unique way of blending different romantic sub-genres in a voice that I can really identify with. I can't wait to read more of her work, I've loved everything I've read from her so far.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Now Available! Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Night!


Its now live at the Loose Id website! And if you have a reader, most formats are available, so there's no need to wait! Yay!

So run on over and rope a copy for yourself!

http://www.loose-id.com/Doms-of-Dark-Haven-2-Western-Night.aspx

Friday, May 6, 2011

Where in the World…


(this blog post first appeared over at Heroines With Hearts...)

So you’ve decided to write a science fiction romance. Or a fantasy…or paranormal. Whatever the case,you’re about to step into a world where the rules are about to change. More importantly, you’re about to make the rules. All by yourself…

World building can be a daunting undertaking, but there are a few simple tricks you can try to simplify the process. Whether you’re writing about a pod of vampires in New Hampshire or a reptilian alien society in outer space, you need to outline the basic rules of existence, not only of the culture and characters, but of the basic environment in which they live.

Some writers start with a map. They look at the big picture, creating continents, islands, sites and streets. From there, they move to culture and personality. While this sounds like overkill, environment can affect the personality and physical characteristics of a society. What do the people look like? Do they have physical features that differ from that of humans? What caused them to develop that way? That same question relates to the environment. If the sky is rainbow colored or flowers are true black, be prepared with an explanation. How does their world and environment affect their personalities as a species?

In the Belle Starr science fiction universe, I developed several alien species that were featured in minor roles in the story. Each species is the product of their society and world and a lot went into their creation. For example, the Somians are a sensual twin species. They are born in same sex pairs, grow up together, and in adulthood, mate another twin pair. Every twin pair is essentially one person split into two bodies. Somians are frequently sex workers and take pride in that profession. Their planet is lush and fragrant; they love beautiful colors, fabrics and delicious food. Since their culture is all about happiness, they have advanced studies in mental health beyond any other known species.

The Valorans are their polar opposite. The Valoran species comes from a dry, less tropical environment. The entire species are intersexed, but have fallen into a natural division of those who consider themselves male, and those who consider themselves female. They are prudish, not given to emotional display and specialize in sciences based in mathematics. There is a minority of the population who consider themselves gender neutral, and they suffer some discrimination from other Valorans.

Somians think that Valorans are in denial of their innate sensual and dual nature. Valorans think Somians are frivolous and foolish. When a Somian and a Valoran come together romantically…the results are intriguing!

As you can see, a lot of work went into developing two alien cultures that really don’t take center stage in the stories they appear in. But since they’re so well developed, they enhance any story they appear in.

Back to rules. Be careful if you decide to outline a set of rules for your culture. A popular author created a species that by nature could not produce homosexuality. She put those rules into writing in a glossary and locked herself in. Imagine how interesting it was when homoerotic elements began to emerge in her stories! So know your rules, and know how to break them.

It’s a big job, wrangling an entire universe. I generally keep a page open on my computer to take notes as I write. I jot down names, places, even sounds. All this gets transferred into a ‘bible’ for that universe. Since the Belle Starr and the Uncommon Whore series share a universe, they also share a bible. I make sure to note what character originated where, as some do cross over. There are also software programs that you can use to take notes and collect photos, music and videos that influence you in the creation of your world. You can also use an external method, such as white boards (which I use) and sticky notes.

So, are you ready? Or are you lost? Best of luck on your journey, and Happy Tails!