19 February 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 2/19/12

Welcome back sixers! Today's snippet is from my recently completed novella As Long As You're Mine. When you were in college, did you ever get paired on an assignment with someone you really liked?

Zac’s heart raced and he reread the name scrawled across the top of his paper several more times, hoping it would change. God, why did Cassie have to hate him so much? Not only had she given him a song from the most amazing musical ever to perform, it was by far the most intimate song in the entire show and she’d paired him with the hottest guy in the entire class. He didn’t think he could do this.
He’d been getting ready to traipse down to Cassie’s office and demand a new partner, but when he looked up, Wade was strolling towards him, hands stuffed in his pockets. Zac swallowed, his breath deserting him as he drank in Wade’s muscles, the plaits in his hair, the darkened caramel complexion of his skin.

For more authors who may or may not be getting ready to demand a change, be sure to check out the official Six Sentence Sunday site here.

07 February 2012

Guest Blogger!

Howdy everyone! Today's a guest blogging day here, and I get to interview the HILARIOUS Tristram La Roche, a fellow Etopia Author. The man himself needs no introduction so, without further ado, take it away Tris!

Brien: What made you want to become an author?

Tris: Years of pent up ideas finally beat me into surrender. I also fancied the idea of putting the finishing touches to my latest novel while cruising the Aegean in my 100 foot yacht. Oh, come on – let me dream!

Brien: What/who has been your biggest inspiration over the years?

Tris: The pursuit of truth and fairness has always inspired me to keep going, whatever I’ve been doing. In answer to who, that has to be my partner. He has undying faith in me – it’s humbling and a challenge.

Brien: Has being published affected the way you write, at all?

Tris: It does boost your confidence and thus gives you the ability to hone and use your own voice. I write more now and I guess that comes from the knowledge that I can actually sell my work, whereas before my first contract there was always the doubt.

Brien: Do you plan on visiting any conventions where readers will get to meet you? Or are you more of the Lemony Snicket, hide in the shadows type?

Tris: I would go meet my readers if I knew of any suitable conventions in the UK. I think you have more of them in the US. I am a private person, but I’m also outgoing, perhaps a little flamboyant. I have toyed with the idea of creating a drag act because I like being the focus of attention.

Brien: Tell me about your latest release.

Tris: It’s an historical entitled The Hun and The General. Yes, The Hun is indeed Attila the Hun, the famous – or perhaps infamous – barbarian king. The idea was actually sparked off by a fan who casually posted on Goodreads, “Oh, I wish someone would write an M/M about Attila the Hun, and make him the sub.” Well, I like a challenge so I did it. I did a fair bit of research to try and make sure the general backdrop was historically correct, but I have taken some liberties. Well, if I was going to put Attila in a gay relationship with a Roman general I felt I may as well! I’ll quote the official blurb, since it sets the scene nicely – but the story is quite hot and explicit in places, much more so than the blurb might suggest:

Livianus is bored and longs for action. His reward for serving Rome is the governorship of a quiet corner of Gaul, but as he whiles away his days at his sumptuous villa, his thoughts turn to Attila the Hun, the feared barbarian with whom Livianus once enjoyed an intimate friendship. When a desperate emperor asks him to return to Pannonia to broker a truce with Attila, Livianus’s old passion flares.

Attila is losing the will to go on. He is tired of being a tyrant but his people’s future depends on him. The arrival of Livianus renews Attila’s spirit as he prepares to march on Constantinople. Livianus has nothing to bargain with, but when the emperor’s sister delivers a proposition for Attila, a new and brighter future seems to lay directly ahead. For the people, and especially for the two men.

But the deadly hand of the emperor isn’t interested in peace, and as their plans are destroyed, only one course of action remains open to the Hun and the general.

Brien: Now that all that’s out of the way…Besides writing, what’s your favorite way to kill time?

Tris: I’m terrible because if I’m not working I find it very hard to relax. I have to keep my mind occupied. Reading works, and I read lots. When I can’t read anymore I love to watch a good film, either at home (one of my luxuries is home cinema because I live in the back of beyond and would go insane without it) or at the cinema. I love to go to concerts – I’m a big fan of opera and classical music. I also love travelling and good restaurants. Of course, the best thing of all is just to be at home with my boyfriend and a good bottle of wine, some music in the background, lots of candles.

Brien: Do you have any quirks people might consider odd?

Tris: Maybe you should ask others – like Annie Melton, our publisher at Etopia Press! I don’t know really. I’m told that I can come over as unfriendly, brusque at times. We have a TV programme here called Doc Martin – I don’t know if it’s made it across the pond because it is very, very British – but your Brit readers will know what I mean when I say I’m often compared to Martin. In reality, I’m not at all unfriendly, quite the opposite, but if I go to buy the newspaper I don’t want to have a conversation with the vendor that takes ten minutes, I just want the sodding paper!

Brien: Outside of your own, what’s your favorite genre to read?

Tris: Horror. The more disturbing the better.

Brien: If you woke up tomorrow and found out the world had ended and there were only a handful of survivors, what would your first instinct be?

Tris: To get everyone together as far as it were possible; there is strength in numbers. But always aware of the danger; from a personal point of view it could be safer to get as far away as possible, but I would want to organize and try to rebuild something.

Brien: What can we expect next from you?

Tris: I will always write gay literature. It’s in my blood, in my soul. I’ll definitely write more historicals because I enjoyed writing The Hun and The General so much. I sense I’m going to write more literary works, too. I’m feeling deep, these days.

Now how about an excerpt from The Hun and The General?
Gaul, Western Roman Empire
Livianus dismissed the women. There was a limit to how often he could screw them in one day, and when he wasn’t up to the balls in one of them they bored him almost to death. Their twittering voices and silly small talk, worrying about mirrors and makeup and which of the new slaves had the biggest cock—it all annoyed him. It made his teeth ache.
He launched himself off the edge of the pool and swam to the far side where six lion-headed pipes spewed crystal spring water from their gaping maws. The cascade massaged Livianus’s tense neck muscles and drowned the fading chatter of the women.
His villa in Gaul had been a gift from the senate. A reward for leading successful embassies to the barbarian hordes, time and again averting costly wars the failing empire could ill afford. From here, retired from his position as army general, he acted as governor of this imperial outpost. If the truth be told, he had little to do but add his seal to bureaucratic decrees, read his vast collection of scrolls, eat, drink, and fornicate. Many a man would kill for it, but this life was no good for one who had walked with giants.
He swam the length of the pool and reclined on the semi-circular steps, looking out beyond the curved colonnade of porphyry columns, across the undulating fields of crops, vines, and orchards, to the hills that rose like a blade to scratch the skies. He longed to leave this place and cross that distant ridge, to return to his homeland and feel the buzz of life again.
Livianus snapped his fingers, and a male slave appeared at the top of the steps to wrap a toga around him as he emerged from the water. The heat overpowered him immediately, and he sat down on a seat of carved stone. “Bring me wine, Publius.”
The slave bowed and hurried down the pergola toward the main hub of the villa. Livianus wiped himself with a towel and squinted at the sun as the first chirp of cicadas announced noon. Soon he would be called for lunch. Today he’d make the women eat in their own dining room; any more of their chattering, and he’d have one of those headaches that lasted an entire lunar cycle.
He rubbed his temples with his fingers. The problem was a total lack of intellectual stimulation. The minor bureaucrats that Valentinian sent out here were those unfit for higher office. None could match Livianus’s quick thinking and wit. While his muscles softened, his brain rotted in his skull. Life had become one long blur of gluttony and debauchery. And if he continued to fornicate like this, his cock would wither and fall like a leaf in the autumn.
The slave returned with a jug and a gold goblet. He set them down on a table, which he drew close to Livianus.
“Leave me. Just go.” He dismissed Publius with a wave of a hand and poured himself some wine. His mouth tingled as the cool wine swept across his taste buds like the rising tide on a dry shore. Not as good as he’d produced at home, but not bad. Given time, this Gaulish wine might win favor. Now all he needed was someone to share it with, someone to engage his rusting mind.
He laughed. Of all the people he’d met, it was the barbarian who came most often into his thoughts at times like this. Attila, King of the Huns. The empire viewed Attila as a sub-human warmonger who lived only to murder, pillage and rape, a hideously ugly creature with a deformed skull, flat nose and eyes that could see into your bones. A killing machine, without even a hint of intellect.
Livianus rose, sipped his wine, and strode to the end of the terrace. How wrong they were. When he’d been sent by Theodosius and Valentinian to meet with the Huns, Livianus imagined that he might never return. He’d heard the stories of outsiders being impaled, a horrific reprisal the Huns had perfected that involved the careful insertion of a sharpened stake up the rectum and through the body without damage to the internal organs. The spike would exit through the chest, just below the collarbone, and the victim’s legs and arms were then lashed to the stake to prevent slippage when it was erected in the ground. Death, they said, could take three days. If they felt kindly, they crucified you.
Livianus winced and rested against the balustrade. His worries had proved unfounded. Although he’d been met by a fearsome barbarian horde that showed little kindness as he was led to their leader, Attila himself disproved all that Livianus had been taught.
Taller than legend said and with a strange, uneven beard, Attila had a face that, though scarred, was a match for any Roman noble’s. His nose had been broken, yet this somehow lent a sculptural air to his whole appearance. But the eyes captivated Livianus on that first meeting, as green as precious stones and with a depth that betrayed a soul such as no animal on earth could possess. Livianus liked the barbarian leader instantly, and something in those eyes seemed to reciprocate.
Livianus sighed. Attila would liven this place up. He smiled at the impossible thought and drained his goblet. As he turned to reach for the jug, a blur caught his attention far away beyond the orchards at the limit of his estate. He leaned on the balustrade and raised a hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun. A dust cloud rose in the still air. Ahead of it, something approached at great speed. As it grew nearer, the unmistakable thunder of horse’s hooves announced a visitor.

Well, indeed! Thanks for dropping by, Tris! Everyone you can find Tristram online at:

And you can buy The Hun and The General from

05 February 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 2/5/12

Howdy, sixers! Today, we're gonna do one final snippet from my brand new erotic horror release Last Friday Night. Have you ever had to stand by helplessly while something terrible happened?

“Dylan,” escaped Tyler in a terrified whisper. Before anger had a chance to take hold, tears were building behind his eyes once again, threatening to explode. Dylan threw back his head and screamed, the sound echoing through the room he was in, bursting from the screen.
An invisible weapon sliced slash after slash into Dylan’s chest. The red slashes became letters, and the letters became a word. Written across Dylan’s heaving torso in bloody, capital letters was the word FAGGOT.

For more authors who may or may not be helpless to protect the ones the love, be sure to check out the official Six Sentence Sunday site here.

03 February 2012

Welcome Tara Lain!

Hello and welcome everyone! Please help me in welcoming my very first guest blogger ever: the sickeningly fierce Tara Lain! The two of us are release day buddies at Etopia Press and I am ecstatic to have her here! So, without further ado...take it away Tara!

Hi everyone. I'm delighted to be here at Brien's place. And I need to mention right off that he is currently hanging out on my blog so be sure and visit him there http://taralain.blogspot.com . He is giving away a copy of his new book, Last Friday Night . But don't go yet! Because if you leave a comment here, you have a chance to win a copy of my new book, Fire Balls, or a $10. Amazon GC.
My name is Tara Lain. Brien and I both have new releases today from Etopia Press. Brien and I both write gay romances. I am a het female and he is a gay male -- uh, I'm making that assumption from his delicious choice of decorative material on his blog. There's no doubt that Brien knows what readers want in MM romance. And me? Well, you see the average reader of MM romances is a heterosexual female between 30 and 60. So I guess we have to admit we both know our audience even if from a different angle.
I got interested in writing gay romance after reading some terrific books -- most of them written by women. As with a lot of people, I was surprised that women both wrote and read a majority of gay romance fiction but I loved it. From book one, I was hooked. Gay romance takes away any of the sexual roles and traditional stereotyping that accompany a lot of traditional romance. For someone who likes to play with gender roles and turn stereotypes on their head, gay romance is a perfect place to do it. Like in my new book, Fire Balls. My two heroes are a hunky firefighter and a tiny, flamboyant artist. You read the description and think the story will have a certain interaction but, in fact, the artist is the dominant lover.
Would you like a chance to win a copy of Fire Balls? Read the excerpt and decide. If yes, enter my contest. I'm having a drawing this coming Friday. Leave a comment here with your email and you'll be entered in that drawing. Go over to my Contest Blog http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com and leave another comment with your email and you will be entered Again. And there are more chances to Win. Go to my Web Site http://www.taralain.com and look under events. It's all there.  First leave your comment here.  Don't forget the email. And thank you again to Brien and to you for coming to say hi!
:  )


Rodney Mansfield is tiny, flamboyant and, oh yeah, a black belt in karate. He is also one of southern California's greatest artists. Too bad the work of art he really wants is firefighter, Hunter Fallon. But the gorgeous “straight gay” guy could never want the Runtback of Notre Dame, so when Rodney's handsome, surfer friend, Jerry, develops an unexpected passion for the beautiful firefighter, Rodney breaks his own heart by helping Jerry land his man. And then Rod makes it worse by embarrassing Hunter when he protects him from a firehouse bully. Hunter hates gay guys like Rodney - doesn't he? Then why can't he get the powerful pipsqueak's face out of his mind… and cock out of his ass? And why does he risk his job and his life to rescue Rod from a burning building? Isn't it time for him to admit he's not an alpha male after all and that he is the property of the artist?

  Rodney glanced over to see how his model was doing. Total heart stop and brain malfunction. Perfect. Every line and curve. Every angle. Hunter's body was so lean that each muscle stood out against his tan skin like a piece of sculpture. The pose twisted his torso just enough to make his narrow waist seem even slimmer against the breadth of his shoulders and his hard, curved pecs. His legs were long and looked carved from marble. Even his feet were perfect. Oh God. Rod wanted to suck each toe in homage.
      And in the middle of all this art, surrounded by light tan skin and at the end of a happy trail of silken dark hair, was a magnificent cock lying relaxed against Hunter's right leg. He was a low hanger, a real shower. Long and graceful, framed by loose balls and a soft pubic nest, this was a penis of the gods. Rodney wanted to paint it all alone in every possible posture. Yeah, preferably erect. Shit, he had to quit staring, or at least pretend the staring was professional and not prurient. Sure, right.
      Hunter's cock might be relaxed but the rest of his body was vibrating with tension. Rodney tried not to think how much he would like that to be reversed. Had to put the guy at ease before he had a coronary.
      He grabbed his camera from the worktable and started snapping. “Looks great, Hunter. Perfect. Just relax as much as you can while I snap some photos. I'll use these to work on the painting when you're not here. I can use the shots to get general massing and proportion but I like to have the model live to put in texture and shadow. Nothing beats life for that kind of detail.” He was babbling but he hoped it would help the guy relax.
      The beautiful body seemed to melt into the daybed, his arm over his eyes relaxed, and his fingers opened. Rod drew closer to capture a close-up of that graceful, powerful hand, then hurried back to the table and grabbed the sketch pad, leaving the camera behind. God, those long fingers. He stared at the calluses that seemed in conflict with the dance-like beauty of the relaxed hand. Scribbling, he committed the pose to paper before shifting his attention. A fast interpretation of Hunter's carved mouth, the top lip intriguingly fuller than the bottom, giving the architectural symmetry of his face an unexpected pout. A quick swirl to capture his cleft chin, then a loving sketch of the gorgeous collarbone that defined the hard, muscular shoulder.
      Down and down. Rodney hummed. Hunter seemed unconcerned, his breath having slowed. Maybe he needed a good nap. Man, look at those abs. That was a twelve-pack, baby. Down the happy trail and…he stopped sketching in awe. What a cock. Had to capture it. His fingers flew over the paper as he quietly chuckled. Yeah, he'd like to capture it. In his hands or mouth. He did study after study glancing up to be sure Hunter wasn't watching Rod fixate on that dick.
      OK, enough. “Hunter, move if you need to,” Rod murmured.
      “Huh?” The arm came off his eyes, and he raised his head. “Oh man, I think I was nearly asleep.”
      “Sorry to wake you. Go ahead and sleep and I'll just draw.”
      He sat up. “No. I better stretch or I'll get really stiff. Sorry. I just got off a double shift. Didn't realize I was so tired.”
      Rod pointed to a clothes tree beside the platform. “Need a bathrobe?”
      Hunter gave a shy grin. A-fucking-dorable. “Nah, I guess not. We're both guys.”
      Rodney struck a pose with hand on hip. “But since we're both gay guys the implications are slightly different, wouldn't you say?”
      Hunter shook his head. “No fishing in another guy's pond.”
      Rod's heart tripped. “You mean you and Jerry?”
      “No, I mean Bill. He seems like a great guy.”
      Rod smiled. “He is, but we're just friends.”
      Hunter sat on the edge of the daybed, that gorgeous cock hanging down between his legs. Distracting much? Rod busied himself blocking out the figure on the huge canvas.
      “I thought you two were on a date.”
      “Yeah. Our first and last. Dutch from now on. We realized we make better pals than lovers.”
      “Oh, sorry.”
      Rod looked up. “Nothing to be sorry about. Not everyone fits.”
      “But wouldn't you have liked it to work?”
      He stopped drawing. Would he? “I kind of have a thing for someone else. Unrequited. But it makes getting into a relationship harder.” He spoke the truth.
      “You need to find someone who appreciates you. A talent like you doesn't come along every day.”
      “Yeah, well, maybe.” A small crack opened in his heart.
      “Shall I lie back down?”
      “Need the bathroom or anything?”
      “No, I'm good.” Hunter lay down.
      Rod looked away. Shit. He would not cry. Deep breath. He returned to the canvas and tried for a rakish smile. “Besides, I imagine Bill's a top. We would have killed each other. He'd push me down and I'd fight and grab him. It would have been ugly. Blood all over, both of us trying to dominate.”
      Silence. Deafening silence. Rod glanced up. Hunter lay in the prescribed position, arm over eyes. But his formerly relaxed cock had risen to half-mast. What had gotten him going? Bill? Being a top? Killing each other. Hmm.
      Let's find out. “I'd try to stick my cock in his ass, and he'd be trying to grab me and hold me down. What a battle.”
      Sure enough, the slow rise continued. Rod edged closer. Crap, the fireman wasn't just a shower. Look at that gorgeous thing. Closer. What would happen if he touched? He wanted to touch so badly. His hand rose as he took another step.

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 published in January of 2011. Then she capped off the year by being voted Best Author of 2011 in the LRC Awards and had her Genetic Attraction Series named runner-up for Best Series of 2011! A very good year. 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”.

E-mail:                   tara@taralain.com
Website:              http://www.taralain.com
Author blog:       http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog:           http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com
Goodreads:        http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain
Savvy Authors:  http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/member.php?2398-Tara-Lain
Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain
Facebook:           http://www.facebook.com/people/Tara-Lain/100001514105686
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Lain/205042046209804

Thanks again for dropping by, Tara! It was a blast having you! And everyone don't forget to check me out over on her blog.