Today I am so pleased to welcome Tara Lain to Joyfully Jay. Tara has come to talk to us about her latest release, Lord of a Thousand Steps. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Tara a big welcome!
Hi! I’m so happy to be at Joyfully Jay today. I’m celebrating the release of one of my favorite books, LORD OF A THOUSAND STEPS, which actually comes out today! I’ll post a little snippet from my new book below and I’m giving away to one person who comments the winner’s choice of any of the first three books in the Love in Laguna collection – Knight of Ocean Avenue, Knave of Broken Hearts, or Prince of the Playhouse. So be sure to leave me a comment and Jay will pick the winner.
As I mentioned, Lord of a Thousand Steps is book 4 in my Love in Laguna series, which is my most popular series yet. As its name implies, it takes place in Laguna Beach, CA. I’ve lived in or near Laguna for many years and have set a lot of my books there. I think it’s a perfect setting for romance. Laguna is a small town so a lot of people see and know each other. It’s separated by a range of hills from one of the largest metroplexes in the world. That gives me a chance to write “small town” romance but still to take my characters to a lot of other exciting or challenging locations. Laguna is wildly different in culture from the area around it. Unlike most of California, Orange County is very conservative politically – except for Laguna Beach. Laguna is an art colony full of eclectic houses built up the sides of mountains with an equally eclectic population of rich and poor, artists and surfers and environmentalists, and one of the most gay- friendly locales in America. Laguna has a lot of attractions that bring strangers for romantic possibilities. There’s the beach, of course. Laguna has many beautiful beaches and Lord of a Thousand Steps takes place on and around one of them. Thousand Steps Beach, in south Laguna is located at the bottom of a steep staircase of over 200 (not really a thousand) steps. It only feels like a thousand when you want to go back to the street! My heroes – Ian and Braden – begin and escalate their romance on this beautiful beach. This is the story of how my young architecture student and intern, Ian, tries hard not to fall in love with his older boss, a renowned architect and father of two kids. Guess what? He doesn’t succeed. I hope you enjoy Lord of a Thousand Steps. And be sure to enter to win your own ecopy of one of the first three Love in Laguna books.
Two hours later he’d prepared the frozen pie and laden it with extra cheese, as requested, and extra veggies at his own behest. The kids seemed to have given him a cool pass, because they even ate some spinach and broccoli as long as he coated it with mozzarella—just the way he liked it too. He’d gotten Mireille in her pj’s and planted her in front of her Frozen video in the study while he and Jo-Jo explored the wonders of CAD for a while, then switched to watching The Avengers on the living room TV. They lounged on the sectional with dishes of peanut butter chocolate frozen yogurt.
Jo-Jo stared at the screen, but he didn’t seem rapt at the movie. Maybe because he’d seen it fourteen times, like Ian had. “Uh, did you hear that DC Comics is gonna make Green Lantern gay?”
“No kidding? I thought his son was gay.”
“That’s in the comics. But in the movie, Lantern’s young, so no kid. Instead they made him gay.”
“Yeah.” Maybe if he played cool, he’d find out what Jo-Jo really wanted to know. “I mean, there are lots of gay people in the world. Wouldn’t you want to see yourself in the movies? Especially if you’re watching superheroes. Jeez, imagine being a kid and seeing that a superhero is gay. That would make you feel good about yourself—no matter what anyone else said.”
“I never thought of it that way.”
They both watched and licked their spoons for a couple of minutes.
“Uh, Ian. Is my father gay?”
Okay, shit. There it was. “Have you asked him?”
“Why do you think he is?”
“My mother says so.”
“You probably ought to talk with him about it, don’t you think?”
“I guess. I mean, hell, he’s got two kids. How can he be gay?”
Jesus, does this kid ask tough questions. Ian stirred his yogurt. “Sometimes guys take a long time to even admit to themselves that they’re different than what society expects them to be. It’s not easy being gay. It’s a little better now, but when your dad was a kid, a lot of people gave you flak for being—you know.”
Ian cringed a little. “Well, that’s a pretty ugly word. Sort of like calling somebody a retard. But yeah, some people think of homosexuals as that. Kids even get tossed out of their homes because their families won’t accept that they’re gay.”
“Man, that’s harsh.”
“Tell me about it.”
Jo-Jo took a bite and wrinkled his cute nose against the cold. “You know somebody who got thrown out?”
His spoon stopped in midair. “No way.”
“Way. I went to my dad when I was eighteen and told him I was gay. I was a little nervous, but hell. I figured, he’s my father. He threw me out that night. College tuition—gone. No place to sleep. Only the clothes I had on.”
“Yeah. I was lucky. I went to my brother. Hell, I barely knew him. I’m a lot younger. But he took me in right on the spot. That was the night I found Anderson. He didn’t have a home either, so we’ve been together ever since.”
“Wow, man, that’s one sick story.”
They consumed more PB and C. Jo-Jo glanced at Ian. “I wouldn’t have guessed you’re gay.”
He shrugged. “All kinds of people are.”
“Like maybe my dad?”
“Give him an ask.”
To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.
Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.
When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.
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 33. 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”!
Tara has brought the winner’s choice of Knight of Ocean Avenue, Knave of Broken Hearts, or Prince of the Playhouse to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, September 3rd at 11:59 pm EST.
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