Hi guys, we have Tara Lain popping in today with her upcoming re-release Fire Balls, we have a brilliant guest post from Tara and a great new excerpt for you to have a peek at, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!
Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.
First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2012.
Cyrano and the Firefighter
Hi and welcome. I’m so happy to be at MM Good Book reviews today. I’m Tara Lain and I’m celebrating the re-release of one of my most popular books, Fire Balls. Every writer has heard the question again and again. How do you think up those stories? Where do the ideas come from? And every writer will probably answer the same way–from everywhere. But I think a particularly fun story about how the ideas spring to life comes from Fire Balls. So let me tell you where this story came from.
Some of you have probably read the first book in the Balls to the Wall series, Volley Balls. That idea was inspired by a friend who sent me a video of an Aussie Bums swim trunks ad. I created a story of a gay art gallery owner in beautiful Laguna Beach, California who meets two Australian volleyball players on the beach. Since the setting of the story is so great and people liked the book, I decided I wanted to write a sequel to Volley Balls. Clearly, the title had to involve balls! LOL. So I sorted through the words that go with balls. Fortunately, I had lots to choose from. Fire Balls leaped out at me. Oh boy, I could write a story with a firefighter. YUM! I love contrast in my heroes so I decided to make my point of view character as unlikely as possible. In Volley Balls I had introduced a character I loved named Rodney who is my hero’s best friend. We don’t learn a lot about him in Volley Balls so I knew I could create a whole story for him. But we do know that he is small and feisty. Here was a perfect contrast to a hunky alpha firefighter. But what’s the story?
I decided to make Rodney a painter. Since David the gallery owner was his friend that would make sense. Then where does the conflict come from? I knew Rod was self-assured but he’s small. What if he paints gorgeous men and considers himself unattractive? Suddenly I thought of the famous play, Cyrano de Bergerac, in which the great swordsman is also a poet and artist but thinks of himself as unworthy of love because of his huge nose. He tries to set up his friend with the woman he himself loves. Bingo. There was the framework for a story–minus the nose. An artist who is also a black belt in karate adores a hunky firefighter but thinks the man could never love him back so he tries to play matchmaker between the man he loves and his good friend, the handsome surfer, Jerry. Cyrano and the firefighter. That’s where this book idea came from.
He leaned back on the couch. “Anyway, he’s dreamy, straight-up divine. Sweet and nice and smart. Shit, man, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”
Too much. Rod got up and went back to the easel. At least he didn’t have to stare into Jerry’s smitten face. Crap, he wanted to be happy for the guy. He really did. “He’s beautiful, all right.”
“And guess what? He asked about you.”
No breath. “He, uh, did?”
“Yeah. Said you were so talented. See, I told you not to leave.”
“Didn’t want to be a third wheel.”
“Hey, my man, you’re my brother from another mother. What I got, you got. So I’m going on another date with him, and he loves to read and shit. Could you tell me some stuff to talk about?”
Oh dear God. “So what have you read, Jerry?”
He looked at his hands. “I, uh, read a few romance novels.”
“I think it’s okay to talk about those, but you have to know some other writers too. So think. What did you read in high school?”
“Yeah. Man, I love Watchmen and X-Men and Batman.”
“Comic books.” He walked over to a bookshelf he kept tucked away in the corner of the studio. When he rested on the couch, he loved to read himself to sleep. “Have you ever heard of Lord Byron?”
Jerry shook his head. “Sounds like a rock star.”
“He kind of was for his time. He was a poet.” He took out a slim volume and began to read from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean—roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; man marks the earth with ruin—his control stops with the shore.” When he got to “unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown” he looked up.
Jerry’s big blue eyes shone with tears. “Hey, man, that’s awesome. Probably not a surfer, I guess. All the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ sound kind of old. But that dude knew what a surfer feels, man. We ride on top of the—what did he call it?—deep and dark blue ocean. And we know we can sink and never be heard from again, man. Axed. It’s how we want to go if we gotta.”
He had to stop underestimating this man. Rod walked over to the couch and handed the book to Jerry. “Just be yourself. He’s got to love you.”
“Wow, thanks. But I’ll read this, man. Every word, or at least the words I understand, okay?”
He smiled. “Okay.”
“I sure do like the way you read it, though.”
Rod laughed, took back the book, and began to read.
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 35. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, 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. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!