Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome Susan Laine Today



Welcome to Dawn’s Reading Nook, Susan Laine. Please let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink and make yourself at home. Comfortable? Great…now let’s get down to business.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What you do, either for a living or for fun or both?

A: Thanks for having me, Dawn. How did you know Salmiac Vodka is my favorite? And those cabana boys are delicious too. *grin* But business before pleasure, as you said. I’m a dreamer of being a full-time writer but my evil day job is office work. I’m also a Finnish Anthropologist so, as an academician, writing professionally is familiar territory for me. For fun, I swim and walk, slalom or play badminton, but mostly I read. A lot.
Q: Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?
A: At first the former. I sit down and write. The first scene between the heroes has to be instinctive and fluid. No planning for me in advance, just the idea. After two or three chapters I have an idea where the story and the characters want to travel—and I let them take the reins. Well, up to a point. After a few more chapters I start a synopsis to distance myself from the wants of my heroes and to get the larger perspective, and I typically write the ending to the synopsis before I write in the story—or the heroes will keep the story going on forever. The only downside to that is that when I write the end in the synopsis first it’s harder to write the ending for real. But I know it’s a must.
Q: Tell us all about your latest or upcoming release. What inspired it?
A: I actually have two books coming out within the next two weeks.
My upcoming novel, Sounds of Love, by Dreamspinner Press on March 19th, tells the story of a cocky player type, Jordan, and his willful love interest, Sebastian, who’s deaf. His deafness is not the story, just spice. In this story I wanted to explore a feature that the world regards as a disability but that is merely one facet of a person. Sebastian is quick-witted and has a sharp tongue to deal with people who think he’s weak and dysfunctional due to his deafness. In fact, Sebastian came out to me of his own volition and demanded the story be told, and I didn’t want to argue with him (he’d have won), so I wrote it with his unique voice as my muse. Which is kind of funny really since I wrote the story from Jordan’s perspective J
The other upcoming novel, Rivers of Passion, by Siren Publishing on March 15th, is the story of Jamey, an artist who has lost his inspiration, and hopes to rediscover it at a ranch in Wyoming where his best friend Jayden found love, hearth and home. Jamey meets a sexy cowboy, Bo, and sparks fly. This story is a basic feel-good romance in a Midwestern setting. A quirky small town with its bar brawls and drunken bigots and a vast green ranch with its adorable horses and cozy haylofts are themes here. Jamey and Bo both seek something lasting, true and profound, but have been burned before—by love and career. Now they have a chance to explore a new love, a new life, and see where they lead.
Q: If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?
A: Invisibility to observe men do their thing in their natural habitat, or werewolf powers of speed, strength and rejuvenation for obvious reasons. Being greedy here… Could I have both?
Q: What genre haven’t you tried yet but want to in the future?
A: Historical novel and a murder mystery are two of the top contenders, but as it is I’m still working out the kinks to do these kinds of genres justice. And I also don’t know if I could do those without the m/m romance twist. Probably wouldn’t even want to.
Q: What’s a fun fact about you? Something unique, a particular talent?
A: I can’t curse worth a damn. If you heard me say that out loud, you’d know why. They just sound…wrong…coming from me. Everyone I know says the same thing so I guess there’s something to it. Is an absence of an ability a talent…? Hmm…
Q: What is one thing readers might be surprised to know about you?

A: At my family’s country cottage way out in the middle of nowhere when I was a teenager I saw a bear. Thankfully I saw it first—just a grayish hairball—and was able to make a quick escape, but the memory of it still sends chills down my spine. I don’t know how it wasn’t aware of me, but I must’ve had some divine forces on my side that day.

Q: Were your stories secret projects or were you able to be open with your family and friends about your writing?

A: I’m open about the kind of stuff I write with my family and friends. The former encourage and support me, and with the latter I talk about the kind of stories I write. At first after my public admission I got a few chuckles and curious stares in response, but it’s old news by now.

Q: Do you have any weird writing habits?

A: I have to chew something, mostly bubblegum. Favorite is pear-liquorice. Also, I seem to write better late at night than early in the morning. I guess it takes a while for my brain to kick-start the day.
Q: What's your favorite genre to read?
A: M/M erotic romance. It just tickles my fancy. But I also love detective stories and murder mysteries, as well as historical adventures and thrillers. My favorite writer, Robert van Gulik, writes murder mysteries in an ancient Chinese setting, and they’re terrific fun.
Q: What type of book have you always wanted to write?
A: I’ve wanted to write a fantasy/scifi chronicle series where I can have multiple heroes and heroines, and they can be with whoever they want—m/f, m/m, f/f, or any kind of bond really—and no-one in that world, or in real life, bats an eyelash. But I doubt it would be marketable. Too gay for mainstream, too hetero for GLBTQ. – In fact, I’ve already written a lot of it for my own amusement but it’ll never publically see the light of day.
Q: What authors can be found in your library of books (print, audio or e-books)?

A: Robert van Gulik, Robert E. Howard, Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan, J.L. Langley, Z.A. Maxfield, Josh Lanyon, Laura Baumbach, Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, K.A. Mitchell, T.A. Chase, etc. All of them in print since I haven’t owned an eReader for very long. But now I have an expanding collection of eBooks, most of them gay erotic romance.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world (money is no object), where would you go? Why? And for how long?

A: The Rocky Mountains. Here in Finland, our highest top is more like a mound compared to real mountains in the world. I’d travel up and down, and explore all the hiking routes, deep forests, clear blue lakes, and roaring rivers. And being next door to cowboy country certainly doesn’t hurt, and I’d probably take a few detours… Ah, yes… Um, sorry, what were we talking about?

Q: Do you have any obsessions? What are they?

A: If even a day goes by without me having written something I go insane with both guilt and frustration: “How could I have wasted a perfectly good day doing nothing?” Anyway… Just like a lot of women, I’m a chocoholic. Also, I have an annoying habit of sometimes talking to the TV, especially when I get excited or worked up. *blush*

Q: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?

A: This next WIP bit is from Mending Fences, the third book in my Cowboys of Snow Lake series where Rivers of Wind is the first and Rivers of Passion is the second.

Winding his unsurprisingly strong arm around Clayton’s waist and holding up most of his weight, Jesse lifted him off the ground. “Easy now,” he said encouragingly, clearly worried when Clayton hissed in pain.
“Yeah, thanks for that amazingly crap-tastic piece of advice,” Clayton huffed angrily. He didn’t want to go anywhere with Jesse Brown. Wasn’t it enough that the last month had been non-stop shit fest aimed at him but now he had to contend with the good sheriff’s pity too?
Jesse chuckled. “Well, since you’re capable of such sparkling wit, at least your jaw wasn’t blown out of alignment.” Oh, that amused, mocking tone nearly had Clayton gagging.

Q: When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional? (You can attach any pictures of your character inspirations if you like)

A: Totally fictional. In many ways they are faceless at first as I get a sense of their personality and characteristics first. The looks come a distant second. I rarely get excited about a live person and say “oh, I need that guy in my book”. Sometimes, however, I form a bond with a fictional character from a book or a TV show or some such—and imagine a different direction and/or setting I’d take him. Not exactly fanfic but close, and this type of play can inspire a story. It’s the person I fall for, not the story in itself.

Q: Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

A: At first they go with the flow, all on their own, and I tag along, following their initial interaction from the sidelines, patiently like a hawk on the prowl. But later on, as their story takes shape, I have to rein them in, like corralling wild horses. Not that I’m a cowboy or anything… Sure, I let them think they’re in charge. Men like the illusion of control. But in the end I keep them on a tight leash.

Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

A: Warning: Due to her occupation this woman contains strong language, graphic nudity and explicit sex in adult situations.

Q: Please tell us where we can find you on the web.

A: My website at http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/ is the nexus where I have info about my works and links to all the other places where I can also be found, so do check that one out first. My email is susan.laine@hotmail.com.


Thanks for popping by and I wish you continued success in your writing career.

Thank you for the invite, Dawn!




Buy/Publisher link at Dreamspinner Press for Sounds of Love at http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2826


BLURP

What does love sound like? If you hear it, will you heed its call?

Police officer Jordan Waters is recovering from a shooting by moving to a new apartment in a new town and taking a new job. In other words, he’s lonely. His first instinct is to relieve his anxiety through uncomplicated sex—until he meets a man so far out of his league and experience that he stumbles for the first time.

Police volunteer Sebastian Sumner may be deaf, but his spirit, openness, and sense of humor give him the strength to get through anything—even the emotional defenses of Jordan Waters. But it’s his own family history that poses the biggest challenge. Can he learn to trust Jordan with his heart, or will his upbringing blind him to the sounds of love?


EXCERPT

With a side glance in my direction, he saw me staring. He bit his lower lip. Full and red, like ripe strawberries, undoubtedly luscious to the point of delicious. I had always been pretty damn oral. A total food junkie. Not to mention all the sexual stuff; I could eat ass all day and all night, until my tongue went numb. Sebastian’s lips were meant to be kissed and sucked and licked. I couldn’t wait to taste them. Yeah, I was sexually predatory. When I saw something or someone I wanted, I went for it full steam.
But Sebastian might be more work, I figured as his brow furrowed again, nervous. All of a sudden, he just burst out with that deep voice of his. “Why don’t you take a picture? It’ll last longer.”
The room got quiet as everyone glanced anxiously back and forth between Sebastian and me. Apparently Sebastian was as new to the poker ring as I was, judging by the way they were unsure as to how to react to his sudden outburst.
I just chuckled—and dug into my jeans pocket for my cell phone, pointing it at him and, with a grin, taking a snapshot of his stunned expression. “Thanks for the suggestion, sweetie.”
Too amazed to say anything, Sebastian stared at my smiling lips to see if he’d read my words right, at which point I leaned forward over the table, tucking the cell phone back into my pocket and holding his gaze on my lips. “Yeah, you got it right. Unless you’d like me to repeat what I said.” Leaning back calmly, not waiting for an answer, I looked at the others. “So, are we going to play or what?”
It was as if someone pushed a button to make a machine work. All of a sudden everyone started to move and talk at once. I grinned. I liked to make people jump a bit. It enhanced the chances of interpreting them correctly, since their responses came through more honest and with less guile when shaken with something new and unexpected. Not to mention something emotionally conspicuous and rattling. People just weren’t used to getting their routines shaken. Not even those people who professed to be always on the lookout for the next new thing.
For a few rounds, we played Texas hold’em. Not my first time. But a long time since I’d played for money—even with friends. At least they played with a pot limit and not without, which might’ve been construed as gambling anyway by the department, which tended to frown upon such things for good reason. Cops in debt were bad for everybody.
It soon became clear how they played. My partner played for fun, having a laugh with his mates, not caring if he won or lost. Jim played to win, not above cheating but making light of it if and when caught. Steven played poorly but didn’t seem to care, as it was clear he had other things on his mind—probably with his marriage. Ben played to win with a raw fierceness—but with little to no skill at all, and was apparently an angry loser, throwing his losing cards all over the table every time the win passed him by and growling like a bear.
After a half dozen rounds, all of which Sebastian won, it was obvious he was the best player around the table.


 Rivers of Passion by Susan Laine
Buy/Publisher link at Dreamspinner Press for Rivers of Passion at http://www.bookstrand.com/rivers-of-passion


BLURP

An artist seeking inspiration meets a cowboy in the deep ranges of Wyoming.

Jamey Wilde comes to the Windy River Ranch to spend time with his best friend Jayden Frost, who lives there with his ranch-owning boyfriend, Mal Ryder. On the very first night there, Jamey meets a kind, smart, witty, and sexy cowboy, Beauregard Remington, who warmly welcomes him to the ranch.

From the start Bo and Jamey share an immediate attraction. As Bo begins his courtship and Jamey his chase, they find that despite their origins they have a lot in common—and the sex reflects that instinctive bond they share.

But the lovers' life together is far from smooth in the small town of Snow Lake, where confrontations with jealous ex-boyfriends and drunken bigots can lead to bar brawls and nights spent in jail.

With friends, family, faith, and love, any obstacle can be overcome.


EXCERPT

Bo grinned. “Come on then, pup. Follow me.”
With an odd click of his teeth and a little kick on the horse’s hindquarters with his heels, Bo moved out of the stables, and mimicking the cowboy’s movements, Jamey spurred the cream-colored horse beneath him into a walking motion. Jamey felt like he was sitting astride the top of a crest of a wave, and for a moment he feared he’d slip off the smooth leather saddle while trying to gain his balance. Slipping his feet more firmly in the stirrups, Jamey was able to stay put better and sighed in relief.
Following a riding path that led from the ranch to the pine- and fir-covered tree line at the edge of the estate, Jamey watched in admiration Bo riding in front of him, and he appreciated how the man belonged in the saddle. The ease and comfort of his stance, the muscles within the lean back moving leisurely under his shirt, and the firm, round ass seated relaxed in the saddle…  Jamey had to readjust his position to accommodate his hardening dick, and Honey sidestepped as a result and whinnied as if scolding Jamey for being such a bad rider, causing Jamey to blush.
Bo glanced over his shoulder at Jamey behind him and grinned salaciously upon seeing Jamey’s reddened cheeks. “Something up, young pup?”
Jamey growled. “Watch that potty mouth of yours, cowboy, or I’ll give you a spanking you won’t soon forget.”
Bo chuckled. “Now how did you know I like a little slap with my tickle?”
Jamey grinned despite himself. They were reenacting a previous scene of their interaction to a tee, only their roles were reversed. He couldn’t help but feel that he and Bo were on the same wavelength, and aside from his friendship with Jayden, he’d never had that with a lover. And Jayden was out of bounds in every sense of the word—not the least of which was the fact that Jamey would never cross the line between friend and lover with Jayden.
The path they were taking led down from the cliffs to a meadow clearing with flowery grassland stretching as far as the eye could see, with a merrily singing brook winding in the middle. This was the rangeland of the heart of North America, and witnessing it firsthand was a sensational experience for Jamey who breathed deeply the scent of fresh hay, herbaceous plants, and summer blossoms dotting the green with spots of bright colors.
“You want to stretch your legs, Slick?” Bo asked, and it took Jamey a second to catch the light baiting tone.
“I’m fine, cowboy,” he replied bristly. “You just worry about your own ass.”

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