Today I’m pleased to welcome my friend and fellow author Tara Lain to the blog. Tara’s got a hot new release in her Genetics Attractions series that she’s going to tell us about! Take it away, Tara!
Hi everyone. I’m Tara Lain and I’m so happy to be here at Cassandra’s place today to celebrate the release of Genetic Celebrity, my new MMF ménage. Genetic Celebrity is the fourth book in the award-winning Genetic Attraction Series, although it really stands alone. It’s distinguished by supermodels, an older woman/younger man relationship, food porn and — an opening scene that was hardly changed from the first writing.
Now, this last may not seem that unusual to you, but actually all writers have a part of a book that is a special challenge. A lot of authors battle with the famous “saggy middle” trying to come up with ways to make their books exciting after the exciting opening and before the dramatic finish. Some people have trouble ending their books, leaving the reader unsatisfied. Not me. My challenge is the beginning.
It’s not that I have difficulty deciding where to start the book. That’s usually easy. You start right before a major event — generally where the hero meets the heroine or, in my case, the other hero. Only once did I move the opening of a book.
In Deceptive Attraction, a critique partner suggested I show my soccer star playing soccer at the open rather than walking into the bar where he meets the other hero. Bingo. Great idea. I could show him being a superstar and hiding the fact that he’s gay all in one scene. (Thank you Sharon Hamilton for that great idea.)
What I often work and rework in the beginning is how to show the maximum amount about the central characters problem on the first page. And the key word here is SHOW. No telling allowed. I almost always open my books with dialogue. It’s my thing. So what opening line, and paragraph, and first page shows the reader the character’s problem and makes them want to know more.
In my first draft of The Scientist and the Supermodel I showed my hero in bed with a woman but he came off looking like a jerk because he didn’t appreciate her. So I changed it. Still in bed with the woman but I changed the first line to the woman saying. “Jakey, I don’t think you like girls.” Bam! Smack dap in the center of his problem.
In Genetic Celebrity I needed to show that my hero was crazy for a dynamic older woman he works with, and that the way he catches her interest is with food. I wrote the scene and hardly changed a word. But I won’t tell you too much. I’ll just post the scene below and see what you think. BTW, the scene does occur right before Tommy, my hero, meets Shay Shaleen, the other hero, so it’s also significant in that way.
Before you read the scene, would you like a chance to win a $10 GC? Leave a comment here WITH YOUR EMAIL. And, if you go over to Beautiful Boys Books and leave a comment with your email you can also win some fun SWAG. All the instructions for how to do that are at Beautiful Boys Books. But first, leave a comment here with your email. And thank you again to Cassandra for hosting me. Winners will be announced on August 4th by email.
Excerpt: Genetic Celebrity by Tara Lain; MMF Menage with Food!
Tommy Riley loves cooking and the simple life. But his passion for Angie “Booky” Edelson is anything but simple. Beautiful, ambitious, hard-driving and 10 years older than Tommy, Booky represents all the things Tommy has tried to leave behind. Besides, she only seems to love him for his food! Then Tommy’s boss brings home Shay Shaleen, a pierced, tattooed, androgynous street kid for Booky to turn into a top male model. Tommy sizzles for the beautiful guy but Shay gets caught up in the flattery of a famous fashion designer. Why does Tommy have to fall for two people who can’t love him back? Is there a recipe for blending with these genetic celebrities?
“Oh God, Tommy. Oh God. Oh God. Yes, yes! Mmmmmmmm.”
Tommy grinned. “That good?”
“Oh God, yes!” Her mouth opened wider and stretched…around his wooden spoon. Her pretty red lips pursed just a bit, and he caught a glimpse of the tip of her tongue. Was he a pervert for wishing those lips were stretched around other parts of him? Hell, the age difference wasn’t that great. Ten years. Big deal. Roan, his boss, was thirteen years younger than his wife, Em.
Booky collapsed against the granite counter, clutching her chest. “I think you make this even better than Roan, darling. And I don’t say that easily.”
He rinsed the spoon in the stainless steel sink. “So stay and have some with me. Roan’s supposed to come later.”
“Do I dare? That will be the third time this month I’ve missed Mama’s family dinner. She’ll kill me and ask questions later.”
He fished into the steaming pan and grabbed a sliver of chicken. Okay, try to resist. Slowly he walked toward her, step by step, waving the piece of meat in his fingers. “Chicken cacciatooooooore. Peppers, onions, tomatoes. Mmmmmmm.”
She squeezed against the counter, fending him off. “Tommy ‘Tick Tock’ Riley. You’re a home wrecker.”
She pressed her arm against her forehead. Booky did drama like nobody else. “Oh God, I love capers.”
“Lots of capers.” He stood in front of her. They were practically eye to eye. It would be nice to tower over her, flex his big alpha-male muscles and watch her swoon. Too bad it wasn’t gonna happen in this life. Five feet eight and his cooking were all he had, so he’d better use them. He wafted the morsel under her nose. “Smelllll the goodness.”
She followed the movement with her nose like a hypnotized cobra. “Oh, poor Mama.” Snap. She grabbed the chicken in her teeth and chewed. Eyes closed, moaning. Hell, he’d like to elicit that reaction with other pleasures.
The big brown eyes opened. “She’s going to forget what I look like. I’m such a bad daughter.” Dramatic pause. “I’ll call her and say I’m eating with you tonight. Again!”
Still chewing, she walked around the island counter that separated the kitchen from the huge open space of the loft. She grabbed her purse from the sectional couch and fished out a phone. He got a wink as she dialed.
It wasn’t likely anyone would ever forget what Booky Edelson looked like. Her gleaming black hair fell to her shoulders like a curtain of ebony, and the liquid brown eyes peered out from under straight bangs. Bold features, they called them. A long straight nose and full lips. She was slim but curvy with generous breasts and a round butt. Yeah, if you saw her, you never forgot her. And the in-your-face appearance matched a personality just as big.
Why did he adore her? She was everything he said he was tired of and didn’t want to be. Aggressive, ambitious, pushy. Just like his parents. Plus, even though he’d always liked women too, he’d pretty much been with men since he was sixteen. His family really hated that. He sighed. It didn’t matter anyway because she only loved him for his food.
“Hi, Mama.” She listened for a minute. “Yeah, that’s why I’m calling. I’m at Roan’s, and, uh, he has some things for me to do.”
She looked up at him. “Yes, Tick Tock is here.”
She didn’t say anything for seconds, but she looked like she was trying to get a word in. Mouth open, closed. Open.
“Yes, he’s cooking dinner but…”
She shifted and actually seemed to cringe. Booky cringing? Her mama was a force.
“Mama, I have to work.” She listened. He could hear her mother’s voice squawking out of the cell phone. “I’ll see you next week. Bye, Mama.”
She clicked off. “See what you did?” She adopted her best Jewish-mother voice and struck a pose. “So what would a daughter of mine want to be eating with her ‘just friend’ instead of coming home for dinner where she might get herself a makher for a boyfriend?”
Tommy laughed. “What’s that mean? It sounds dangerous.”
“It kind of is, but it means a person who makes things happen. A mover and shaker. Mama has this doctor she’s been trying to fix me up with for weeks. I keep escaping. She’s pissed.” She bounded around the island. “Okay, I’ll make the salad.”
“Hey, I don’t want her to be mad at me. If I ever get to meet her, I don’t want her to kill me too.”
She rinsed the lettuce and stuck it in the lettuce dryer. “Mama doesn’t mind me hanging with you. She just wants me spending more time with a good Jewish doctor with marriage on his mind.”
A doctor who was thirty-seven instead of twenty-five. A mover and shaker. Just like everyone always wanted him to be. Shit. “Why are you resisting? Don’t you want to get married?”
She stopped ripping lettuce and cocked her head. “I’ve been married.” She shrugged. “You know, I kind of think I want something I’ve never had. Something not written down in Mama’s book of marriage.” She grinned at him. “That’s weird, isn’t it?”
He stashed some plates in the warmer. “No, actually. It makes perfect sense. Just like I’ve always wanted something my family didn’t have written down in their book of success.”
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”.
Author blog: http://taralain.blogspot.com
Book blog: http://beautifulboysbooks.blogspot.com