Joyful approach badgeHello everyone! I am very excited to welcome author Tara Lain to the blog today. Tara is here as part of our Joyful Approach: Countdown to GRL and she is chatting about one of my favorite things: firefighters!  Tara has also brought along an excerpt from F.A.S.T. Balls as well as a great winner’s choice giveaway from her Balls to the Wall series! So please join me in giving her a big welcome!

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Firefighter Fascination!

tara lain firefighter 1Hi. I’m Tara Lain and I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance. Occasionally, my beautiful boys don’t just set a fire in another man’s heart, they fight fires too. The world loves firefighters! Sigh. Guys want to be them and women want to have sex with them. Some guys want to have sex with them too! What is it about these men that makes them so appealing? In so many ways, they’re hero material.

  • They’re pretty young — one quarter of firefighters are in their twenties, one quarter in their thirties and one quarter in their forties (more or less)
  • They have to be in great shape just to manage the gear they wear. The boots and trousers weigh 30 lbs, the mask and air pack weigh another 30, and the coat is 15 lbs. That’s 75 lbs of gear before they pick up a hose and they have to climb ladders in that stuff!
  • They do risk their lives. While the largest number of firefighter calls are for health emergencies and the second largest for false alarms, there are still somewhere around a million and a half fires in the US each year. Every firefighter will fight fires in his or her career unlike police, for example, who may seldom or ever be placed in a life-threatening situation. Sadly, firefighters also experience enormous health risks in their work including a substantially increased chance of developing cancer
  • As a lot of calendars prove, many firefighters are hot!

tara lain fireffighter 2Unfortunately, as with most gatherings of alpha males, firehouses are notorious homes for the homophobic. While there are many gay firefighters, these men often stay in the closet until they’re retired. The combination of hotness and homophobia makes firefighters great heroes for gay romance.  There’s a lot of built-in angst the author can draw on. I’ve written two books that include firefighters. The most recent is F.A.S.T. Balls which came out about 10 days ago. F.A.S.T. stands for Firefighter Assist and Search Team, a special unit of many firefighting departments. Since my book is set in Laguna Beach, California, an extremely gay friendly community, I took the liberty of making one of my firefighters out and proud. The other is a homophobe who doesn’t know he’s gay.

I’ve attached an excerpt from F.A.S.T. Balls. I hope you enjoy the hotness!

If you’d like to WIN your choice of any of the Balls to the Wall backlist — including Volley Balls, Fire Balls (the other firefighter book), Beach Balls, and Snow Balls, just leave a comment. Jay will choose a winner randomly!  : )

Excerpt: F.A.S.T. Balls by Tara Lain; The Gay Fireman and the Homophobe

Available at AMAZON  ARe

fast ballsFirefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded.  On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?

Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known.  Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.

The band got into the spirit and segued from the cha cha into a meringue. Jerry didn’t know this one as well but he mimicked Andres and pretty soon had the rhythm. Some people were standing around watching them while others joined in and danced. Andres was so gorgeous and so great at dancing. He even spun a couple of the women around as he danced by them and they squealed. What a charmer.

The musicians worked up to a big finish. Andres pulled Jerry in close then spun him out in a twirl. He circled twice, laughed, and…stopped dead.

Holy crap. Standing on the edge of the dance floor staring at the dancers with big green eyes was the yummiest thing he’d ever seen. Mick Cassidy, tall, straight and strong in a dress blue uniform, the light from the ballroom chandeliers shining off his pale gold hair.

Jerry stared.

Mick stared.

Jerry glanced at the girl standing next to Mick. Really pretty in a blue dress. But nothing, underline nothing, he had seen in a long time was as pretty as that big, hunky homophobe. Mick might be mean as piss, as Hunter said, but he stood there proving that sometimes things that were bad for you are the ones you want most.

A hand on his shoulder woke him up. “You okay, Jerry?”

“Oh, sorry.” He turned and smiled at Andres, but man, it was hard tearing his eyes away. “I just saw someone I know.”

He headed back to the table and Andres stepped up beside him. “Was the person you know that golden dreamboat in blue by any chance?”

He wasn’t going to pretend he didn’t know who Andres meant. “Yeah, that’s the guy I was telling Rod and Hunter about. The one who was nice to me.”

“Oh guapo, he can be nice to me anytime.”

Jerry laughed. “Yeah. Too bad he’s a raging fag hater.”

“So why was he nice?”

“I still haven’t figured that out.”

* * *

He’d been turned to stone. Hell, he had to move. This was stupid. Mick watched Jerry’s retreating back moving off the dance floor and saw him guiding a beautiful Mexican with him. Who the hell was that? Jerry had said his boyfriend had left him. He’d sure moved on fast.

“You know that guy?”

He glanced at Jezebel. Oh right, she was with him. “Yes, he works on my shift a lot of the time.”

“Sure is a good dancer. He a fag? Must be, if he’s dancing with a guy, right.”

Whoa. He used that word all the time but it sounded bad when she said it about Jerry. “Yeah, he’s gay.”

“Must be like your father says. You see a lot of gay guys in Laguna.”

“Yes.” It felt weird to have his father’s ideas dragged into his work life.

She looked out at the dancers. “I always figured what your father says is a load of crap. Gay people are born that way so it has to be God’s will and if it’s not then God’s a load of crap.”

Mick gasped and looked at her. Really looked. “I don’t believe you just said that.”


You can find Tara HERE:

tara lain bio picTara 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 21. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary 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 in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!


Tara has brought along a great giveaway. The winner gets a choice of any of the Balls to the Wall backlist — including Volley Balls, Fire Balls (the other firefighter book), Beach Balls, and Snow Balls.  Just leave a comment for your chance to win. The contest closes on Wednesday, September 2nd at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.


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