Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talking with authors Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae

At the center of the Starling (Book One in the Love in Los Angeles series) are Alex and Paul, who get together in the course of the book. They’re back in the sequel, Doves, as they deal with the challenges fame, success, and growing up bring to a relationship.

Another central character in the LiLA story is Liam. He’s Alex’s co-star on the hit TV show The Fourth Estate. As of the end of Starling, he’s engaged to Carly, a completely awesome chick who also happens to be Paul’s ex-girlfriend.

Liam is also -- as of the beginning of Doves -- Alex’s ex-lover.

We were surprised when, in the reader response to Starling, we heard from a lot of people who said they really enjoyed the Alex/Paul/Liam love triangle. We absolutely adore the Alex/Liam relationship in all its forms, and to be entirely fair, Paul has some real issues about Alex and Liam’s history. But we hadn’t really ever thought of that relationship as part of a love triangle. After all, Alex ends Starling really solidly with Paul.  

But as we heard from more and more people about the awesome love triangle, we asked ourselves -- is that really what it is? In Starling, Alex and Liam’s relationship is a strong and emotional mid-game pairing, but Alex and Paul are endgame. Certainly, Alex isn’t torn in any conventional sense by having to choose between his love for Liam and his love for Paul.

But his relationship with Liam really is very intense, and in both Starling and Doves -- regardless of whether they’re spending time in bed with each other or not -- it makes up a very big part of both Alex and Liam’s emotional landscapes. It’s also complex, and defies categorization by Alex or Liam or indeed anyone else around them.

The Love in Los Angeles series as a whole is about all different kinds of relationships -- romantic friendship, platonic romance, relationships both sexual and nonsexual.  Throughout the series, Alex has to navigate his many relationships and what he wants out of them -- and what other people, Paul and Liam included, want from him. The series is also about conflict and choices, and the hard decisions that never really go away. Once you make those choices, you have to keep making them, over and over, as people and relationships evolve.

And Liam is one of the things Alex has to keep making choices about. Sometimes, that’s easier for him. And sometimes, it’s harder. But it’s always intense, always complex, and always full of possibility.

So, is Alex actually in a love triangle with Paul and Liam?

Without giving too much of the later books away -- Love in Los Angeles is eventually going to be a six-book series -- we can safely say that, as with so much in life and love, the answer depends on how you define it.

Love in Los Angeles Book 2
Torquere Press
Contemporary MM

Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot, Winsome, AZ, gets picked up, the competing demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.

As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth's enigmatic, and at times malevolent, showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex's excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancĂ©e Carly — threatens to unravel.

With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles often looks nothing like the movies.

Available at:


Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry (Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)), all from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella Midsummer (Summer 2015), about a summerstock Shakespeare company, is from Dreamspinner Press. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.

Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m

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