Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome Tara Lain today with Contest

 Yikes! I’ve Been Branded by Tara Lain

Recently, an online conversation with a group of authors and editors turned into a discussion of an author’s brand, and my brand in particular. For those who find the word mystifying (most of us!  LOL), I define a brand as a promise that lives in the heart and mind of the reader. When you pick up a certain author’s book, what are you expecting? Why did you choose the book? What has to be there for you to be satisfied?
You may know that I haven’t been writing fiction for long. My new release, Golden Dancer, is just my fourth published book. I have two more coming out this year, plus one book submitted and one in progress. If you look at all the books, you’ll see that three make up a ménage contemporary series (M/M/F), one is a contemporary M/M/M ménage, one is a quirky, slightly paranormal holiday story with M/M, M/F and M/M/F romances (and a little BDSM), one is contemporary M/M paranormal and Golden Dancer is a M/M/M romantic suspense. So we’ve got a mix. Yes, I write a lot of ménages but some are all guys and some are two men and a woman. I do contemporary pretty consistently, but chances are that’s not why someone reads my books. I know many of my readers love scifi and paranormal and fantasy as much or more than they like contemporary. So what is the brand? If you’ve read some of my books, I would love to know what you think the Tara Lain brand is. Before you read on, please close your eyes and think of what you expect when you pick up my books. What is the promise I make to you?

One of the editors put forth that my brand involves slightly over-the-top, larger than life characters. I don’t write everyman. I like supermodels and scientists and soccer stars and billionaires and ballet dancers. But I try to put these large characters in real emotional situations so the feelings ring true and relatable. Even though the reader may not be a billionaire art collector, she/he can still believe the emotions and know that this could happen to anyone.  This last idea came from another author who reads my books. She doesn’t read much M/M but says she likes the emotional scenes.  I try to write in deep point-of-view which contributes to the depth of the emotion. I imagine that is part of the brand as well.

Some people mention dialogue and a bit of humor as the things they like and expect in my books. 

So, larger than life characters in deeply relatable emotional situations with real-sounding dialogue and a touch of humor? Is that the Tara Lain brand? Or is it something else?  What are the brands of your favorite authors? Share? 

Would you like to WIN a copy of my new release, Golden Dancer, or my last release, Volley Balls? Just leave a comment HERE and I’ll enter you in the drawing On Oct 1. But there are many other ways to earn entries and have more chances to win. Go over to and leave a comment and follow the Blog. That will earn you entries in 3 drawings. And there are lots more chances to WIN! It’s all in the blog. But first, leave me a comment here to get started.  And my special thanks to Dawn for being such a wonderful host. I love visiting the Nook!

Golden Dancer by Tara Lain
Loose Id Publishing
MMM Contemporary Romantic Suspense Menage
Available on September 27th, 2011

Golden Dancer is the first book in which Tara Lain has woven true suspense elements -- nasty sons-of-Nazi villains, a kidnapping, and a mysterious art collector who may or may not have stolen a priceless statue called The Golden Dancer. But, of course, the book is still an erotic romance bringing together Mac, a lanky, news reporter who thinks of himself as straight, Daniel, the billionaire art collector, and the beautiful Russian ballet dancer,Trelain, in a passionate menage. The story not only pits Mac's drive for his story against his desire for the two men, it also pits his curiosity and ambition against his conscience and honor.

Golden Dancer takes readers from the beautiful spring sunshine of Laguna Beach, California to the ballet studios and waterfront warehouses of New York. It's a fun ride.
A reporter and the thief he’s investigating fall for a golden dancer forging a ménage of love and lies that could send one to prison and one to the morgue. Uncovering secrets requires baring more than just the soul.

The butler carefully locked the door behind them while visions of slipping him a sleeping pill and stealing the key wafted through Mac’s head. Okay, this really wasn’t Mickey Spillane. They walked back to the great room, and Mac saw a crowd out on the terrace. Not huge, maybe thirty or so people. As he got closer, he revised that statement. Thirty or so men.
“Have a good evening, sir.” The butler walked back toward the entry.
“Uh, thanks.” Well, what the fuck?
He walked closer to the open terrace doors. Music was playing from a small band, and a number of couples were dancing. Male couples. Maybe he should get the hell out of here.
He looked up to see Trelain slipping through the crowd toward him. The man’s eyes shone, and he was smiling. When he got to Mac, he grabbed his hand. “I’m so glad you could come. Daniel told me you would, but I truly didn’t believe him.” He looked a little embarrassed at his own enthusiasm. “It’s just that you left today before I could say good-bye, and I wanted to thank you.”
“Thank me?”
“Yes, for your brilliant review. Everyone in the company was thrilled with your intelligent comments and informed praise. I told them about your parents.”
The warmth of Trelain’s hand went straight to his balls. Shit. Get a grip. “Glad you like it. It was all true.”
“Come, get a drink.”
Mac let himself be led across the slate terrace to a bar that was obviously popular. When Trelain came up, a few of the men in line stepped aside, letting the beautiful dancer go first. He smiled, but clearly didn’t find the gesture inappropriate. Mac figured he was used to being spoiled, and who wouldn’t want to spoil him?
When Trelain turned back to him, he had two glasses of champagne in his hands. He handed one to Mac. “I hope you don’t mind, but I just feel like celebrating.” He clinked his glass with Mac’s and took a sip.
Mac sipped too. “So, what are we celebrating?”
His eyes glistened. “Oh, I don’t know. Just the fact that you’re here, I guess.”
Jesus. He felt both flattered and frightened. He didn’t really want the responsibility for making Trelain happy. Did he?
A warm hand clasped his shoulder, and he looked up into the blue-black eyes.
“Hi, Mac. Really glad you could make it.”
He so wanted to hate this man, but the guy was kind of nice, to say nothing of ridiculously handsome. Not that he cared about that. And nobody ever said a fucking thief couldn’t be handsome. “Thanks.”
Daniel took one arm and Trelain the other. They walked over to a group of men who were chatting and sipping on the corner of the patio. His host introduced him to the group and slipped away with Trelain. At first Mac felt self-conscious, but the guys turned out to be great. Pretty quickly, he was embroiled in a discussion of local politics and how to keep Laguna from going the way of the rest of conservative Orange County. The men were all residents of the city, and they were all gay, but Mac found he was thoroughly enjoying himself. “So why don’t one of you run for City Council?”
The tall blond named Roger laughed. “Too much work; sadly I already put in a sixty-hour week at the firm.” He snuggled the cute, geeky-looking man next to him. “My honey doesn’t want me spending any more time away from him.”
His “honey,” the quiet one of the group, kissed Roger’s nose but didn’t comment.
Mac felt an arm twine through his. He looked down into that beautiful, sculptured face. “Hi.”
“Hi, Mac.” The group became very quiet at the dancer’s arrival. The turquoise eyes gazed up at him, a little glassy. Maybe a few champagnes? “Would you dance with me?”
Mac quelled the “hell, no” that tried to escape. This was the guest of honor. He looked up at all the men dancing. He’d be more conspicuous if he said no than if he just gave in. “I’ve never danced with a man before.”
He got the soft dimples in the carved cheeks. “It’s just the same. Come on.”
They walked the few steps onto the center of the terrace where the dancers were moving to a simple, slow beat. Good. Nothing tricky. Trelain raised his arms as a woman would, and Mac slipped his around the man.
He immediately learned two things. First, dancing with a man, at least this man, was nothing like dancing with a woman. Trelain’s back was hard and oh so warm. His long-fingered hands, while smaller than Mac’s, were still not feminine, and the silky hair smelled like…what? A man. Soap and a hint of a musky aftershave.
Trelain snuggled tight against him, resting his head in the crook of Mac’s shoulder, and that was when Mac learned the second thing. Women did not provide a hard cock to rub against him. Holy crap, he needed to back away. But his half-hard cock was rubbing against Trelain’s flat belly, and it felt so good. Way too good.
Trelain gave a little humming sound that might have been a moan, and though he could claim they were “just dancing,” his partner’s cock moved with mind-searing precision, up, down, a bit to the side. Mac’s cock was so huge, it hurt. Jesus, the thought of this man tortured him. The reality was more than he could stand. He had to get the hell out of here.
He ripped himself out of the dancer’s arms. “Sorry, gotta go.” Slouching a little in hopes that the bagginess of his cargoes would cover his throbbing erection, he headed through the open doors and across the great room. There were far fewer people to observe his humiliation in here. Goal: get to the door.
“Mac, don’t go.”
He glanced over his shoulder at Trelain and almost stopped. Hell, no. He had to go now. He almost made it to the front door when a big solid body stepped in front of him. “Mac, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Get out of my way, Terrebone.”
“Hell, no. Come with me.” The big man grabbed and pulled him into the hall that led toward the back of the house. Mac started to pull back when he was spun and pushed hard against the wall.
“Daniel. What are you doing? Don’t hurt him.” Trelain’s voice sounded distraught.
Terrebone pushed his face into Mac’s. “I’m not hurting him, darling. He’s hurting himself. This man has got to realize that he wants you and you want him and, for that matter, he probably wants me.”

Author blog:
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Jambrea said...

This is a great blog Tara!

Norma Nielsen said...

This is awesome... I will now have to get this book for sure. love the colours on your blog.

Angel Martinez said...

Lovely, Tara! I do think the reader's expectations for an author are incredibly important. I want certain things when I pick up this or that author, expect certain things. Brand. Funny how it sort of creeps up on us sometimes, lol

Sarah said...

Really looking forward to this one :-D


Tara Lain said...

Hi Jambi, Hi Norma Hi Angel and Sarah! Thank you all so much for coming to say hi. You are all entered in my drawing for the book, but i don't have your emails (of course i can probably track you down LOL) But if you see this note, leave me your email or send it to me at tara at atarlain dot com. Thanks again for your great comments. : )

Cathy M said...

Hi Dawn and Tara,

You totally nailed your brand Tara, as well as many of my other favorite author's stories. "Larger than life characters in deeply relatable emotional situations with real-sounding dialogue and a touch of humor". Those are the type of stories that draw me, and keep me coming back for more.

Happy Release Week!

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Tara Lain said...

Thank you Cathy. I'm so glad to have your view on that. An author always wants to know what readers think.
: )

Louisa Bacio said...

Hey there Tara!

Just stopping by and *waving* hello!

Author brand -- such a difficult topic. I would say, "Beautiful Boys." ;-) But I do know that you have some sexy chicks in there, too!


Di said...

Tara - I just hope you promise me a good story that will capture my attention to the point that I'll be surprised how much time has passed since I last looked at the clock.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Tara Lain said...

Hi Louisa and Hi Di-- Louisa, even my books with hot females still have beautiful boys so far, so yes, i think that's part of the brand. It plays into that over-the-top thing i think. Di-- I shall keep striving to deliver. : )

Mona Karel said...

Tara, you write about good people who care about each other even when they are being obtuse about their feelings--people I would like to live near. If I pick up one of your books, I know I'll be reading about caring and commitment, no matter whose world I'm in.

Tara Lain said...

Wow, Mona. That is such a wonderful idea. I am going to hold that close to my heart. : )

Beatrice said...

Tara, I do believe your brand is absolutely fantastic! While obviously everyday people are easier to relate to on a basic level, there are times when we need to have a break from these ordinary guys. Gotta have some spice in our lives, after all! Ballet dancers and scientists and supermodels totally have their own place in the world. Why not write about them, right?

As for the brands of other authors... I'm not naming names, but a lot of authors seem to brand themselves as authors of angst and broken characters. Of course, I think the most essential brand is the one where the author promises to write a quality work. Always important. :)

beatrice.g.tan [at] gmail [dot] com

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Thank you Dawn & Tara!
wonderful post
I just love the well developed characters you create, and the emotional connections that link them together throughout the great plotting you do. The angst, the working out of the difficulty that keep the main characters apart. Your just a great magically weaver of telling their stories. Live is never easy, and without trials to work through to come together with a Bang!
Just keep doing what your doing, as your fans just love it....*S*


Tara Lain said...

Thank you so much, Darcy. I so appreciate everyone who reads any of my books. : )

Anonymous said...

I happen to think your brand as being great stories with well thought out characters that pull at your heartstrings.


Tara Lain said...

Thank you, Suzette. What a nice thought. : )

JoAnna said...

Hi Tara!
I have never really thought of a brand before. But I guess since I read a lot of series it is always there. I read a lot of paranormal so that would be the brand of most of the authors I read. So now that I am putting a lot of thought to it. When I read your books, I expect at least one character in the menage to go thru a sexual awakening. Be it realizing they prefer men or opening up to being part of a menage. And of course there are the really hot men!

Beckerjo at verizon dot net

Tara Lain said...

Thank you, Jo. Yep, i think my guys are a part of my brand. My beautiful boys. : )

booklover0226 said...

Let me tell you folks something...Once you've read a Tara Lain novel, you want more!

Her works are addiction like chocolate and cheap wine!

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Tara Lain said...

I love it! My new tagline. Beautiful boys, chocolate and cheap wine. Thank you, Tracey! : )

Dawn Roberto said...

Hi Tara....sorry so late in responding but WELCOME to the Nook again. :) I love having you here and I am starting Volley Balls and Golden Dancer today. *grins*

Thanks for being my guest.

Rawiya said...

You bring it Tara! i loved the 1st 2 books and I know I'll enjoy the next ones!

Fab job as always

Tara Lain said...

Hi Dawn-- Thank you soooo much for hosting me. I love visiting the Nook. I am holding my breath on the reading! LOl

Rawiya-- Hi dear. Thank you. Can't wait to see you in NOLA. Must get IRM blog to you soon. : )

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