A reporter and the thief he’s investigating both fall for a golden dancer forging a ménage of love and lies that could send one to prison and one to the morgue. Will he get his story or will he get his men?
Mixing Genres Expands “What Works”
I’m so happy to be escaping literarily today. Thank you so much for the chance to be here. I’d like to talk about genre mixing. The trend toward mixing genres is very much a phenomenon of digital first publishing — and I love it. Since digital-first publishers don’t have to guarantee huge audiences for every book in order to justify publishing them, they can provide books that are exactly to the taste of a smaller group of readers. For example, my new release Golden Dancer is a romantic suspense. Romantic suspense is a time-honored mix of genres, BUT my book also happens to be a M/M/M ménage. Not exactly the book you’re likely to see at WalMart. Lots of people love scifi, but BDSM romance in outer space? It may not be mainstream fiction but it’s wildly popular. I love the freedom to explore and experiment that digital-first publishers allow to writers. My holiday book, Mistletowed (Dec 13 from Loose Id) combines 7 main characters (unheard of in a romance novella) with a dash of paranormal and a mixup of pairings and threesomes that boggles the mind. Will it find an audience? We’ll see. But it did find a publisher because digital-first can afford to take some chances. As digital-first becomes the mainstream and ebooks become the norm, this expansive experimentation will likely tighten up. Publishers will encourage (pressure? LOL) authors to “repeat what works” even more than they do today. But the publishing business will be far better for the mixing of genres because “what works” will have a far broader definition.
What is your favorite or “ideal” mix of genres? What would you like to see combined in the future?
Now, let me tell you how you can win a copy of my new release Golden Dancer, or my last release Volley Balls or maybe you can win some swag. Post a comment HERE! I will enter your name into the drawing to be held on Oct 1. BUT, there are more drawings and many more chances to win. Go over to my Book Blog, if you post a comment there, you’ll be entered in three drawings. Plus there’s more. You can have many entries to increase your chances of winning. It’s all on the blog. Start by Commenting HERE!
Excerpt: Golden Dancer (M/M/M Romantic Suspense)
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 ballet had been restaged. Instead of a lyrical rose enchanting a debutante as in the original, Medveyev was now a biker bad boy creeping into the bedroom of a rich girl. Fokine’s choreography had been modernized. Even the familiar von Weber music got a bit of an atonal twist.
The dancer had leaped on the stage, stalking the sleeping girl like some kind of feline predator, his famous mane of golden hair flowing over his shoulders. Christ, Mac’s hands felt damp just thinking of it. And when the moment had come for Medveyev’s grand exit, escaping the girl’s outraged father in this version, he flew into the air and through the window. Fucking eagle. Audiences would shit. Especially the women. The Russian was fire, burning so bright, you couldn’t look away, even though you knew it would turn you to ashes. Jesus, he’d better not put that in the review.
Mac started and looked up. He hadn’t heard a sound. Medveyev stood inside the rehearsal room door. Maybe he’d conjured the guy.
Controlled. That was the first thought Mac had. His hair was wound tightly in a queue at his nape, showing off his face. And that face was architectural perfection. High cheekbones under large, slightly slanted eyes. Maybe a little Tartar in there someplace a few generations back. The beauty suggested exotic and wild, but Mac saw none of it.
The only emotion? Wariness. Probably hated reporters. He still wore the form-fitting blue jean-looking tights he’d performed in, but he’d layered a silk shirt over the smooth, taut chest. Funny. He wasn’t tall. Maybe five feet ten. Mac would tower over him. On the stage, he looked like a god. Of course, he was doing a pretty good god imitation right now. Like Adonis.
Mac stood. “Good afternoon, cavalier. I’m MacKenzie…uh, Mac MacAllister from the Daily Window.”
The dancer gave a small smile. Good, the “cavalier” reference gained Mac a couple points. Proved he wasn’t a rube.
“Mac…Kenzie, I don’t believe we have met before. Mr. Hirschfield is…?” He waved an elegant hand in question.
“Sick. Sorry. I’m filling in.”
“I see.” Medveyev hadn’t moved from beside the door. Mac wondered if he’d just leave. He stood like a statue in the familiar toes-out position. It reminded Mac of his parents. Dancers’ hips were trained so that their feet naturally fell into that stance.
Shoot. Mac didn’t want him to leave. “I’m sorry Hirschfield isn’t here, but I’ll give this story top priority, I promise.”
The golden head tilted down as Medveyev looked Mac over. Crap. Maybe his hoodie and jeans were a bit out of character for the New York Ballet Theatre. Probably should’ve shaved closer, but this was him. Tough shit. Still —
“I assume this is not your regular, how do you say…beat, Mac…Kenzie?” His accent was mostly British, mostly posh, with a little rough Russian and Cockney creeping through.
“Yeah. I’m a hard-news reporter usually.”
“And Ms. Chan sent you here because…?” Again with the hand wave.
“I grew up around ballet. My parents are dancers.”
That got his attention. “MacAllister, did you say?”
“Yes, my father is Devin MacAllister. My mom’s…”
“Shauna Rendell.” He gave his first real smile. All those sculpted planes softened, and dimples appeared, making Mac realize that the dancer was very young, probably no more than twenty-four or -five. Amazing what he’d accomplished in his short life. “I know your parents, of course.” Somebody must have pushed the Go switch, because Medveyev crossed the space and took the chair opposite where Mac had been sitting. “Sit, sit.” The hands waved as if the dancer had been trying to get him to sit for hours.
Mac sat. Crisis averted.
“How are your parents? I haven’t seen them since my last trip to Dallas.”
“They’re well. Hate Dallas, love teaching, so they stay.”
“Ah yes, Texas, cowboys, and yee-haa. But still proud of their ballet. Your parents have elevated the company there. They are splendid professionals.”
Mac smiled. His parents were going to freak when he told them about this conversation. “They’ll be honored with your compliment. They’re big fans.”
Hand wave. Shy glance. “Ah. As you say. Now, what may I tell you about our little ballet, Mac…Kenzie?”
Man, the guy was just beautiful. Hard not to notice. “Just Mac. I wondered how the audiences in New York received the restaging of such a time-honored classic.”
Medveyev had been looking at his hands but glanced up. His eyes were actually turquoise blue, like the stones in a Native American necklace. “I’m sure you’ve seen some of the reviews.”
“The adventurous and avant-garde receive it with open arms. The purists?” He shrugged. “Shit their bloody pants.”
Mac’s laugh exploded. “Crap. I will just bet.” He felt warm hearing the dancer’s musical laugh. “Man, I gotta tell you, you are one bad-ass dancer.”
The head cocked. “And bad-ass is…good ass, yes?” He glanced over his shoulder, looking at his own round, hard-muscled buttocks on the chair.
Okay, that was coy, but Mac was game. “Yeah, very good ass.” Turquoise eyes met his, and Mac quickly turned to his notes. “So I’ve got some questions…”
For the next few minutes he was a good little boy and asked all the appropriate questions about the ballet. The challenge of the new choreography, how Medveyev trained for the famous flying exit through the window, what he was dancing next — all the usual stuff. But some of Debbie’s personal mojo kept pushing at him.
“So, cavalier, do you have a wife or a girlfriend?”
He got the unwavering stare. “I’m sure it cannot have escaped your notice that I am homosexual.”
Man, the way he said that word was a sexual experience all by itself. “I wouldn’t assume.”
The dancer sat back in his chair. “I appreciate that.”
“So, do you have a partner?”
“Not at the present time.” One pale eyebrow rose. “Do you plan to put that information in your review?”
Mac paused. Why had he asked the question? “Actually, I was thinking maybe the Window could do a more personal story on you — I mean, if you’re open to such an idea.” Yeah, actually that would be cool. Woo would love to have the gorgeous superstar featured on the site. “I mean, I’ll still do the review. It’ll be posted tonight, but maybe the other story could come later. I could e-mail you some questions, talk on the phone, you know.” Jesus, that could be a good story.
“Many people have written about me, but I do not relish coming off as a pop star, or a bloody porn star for that matter.”
Mac warmed to his own subject. “No, see, I’m no dancer, but I know the craft, you know? I can write it from that perspective. Of course, I’d want to tell your personal story too, as a dancer. But not anything you don’t want to reveal. I’m no tabloid reporter.”
The gaze never wavered, then Medveyev smiled. Dimples appeared again, startling in those sculpted cheeks. “I have a better idea. Why don’t you take me to dinner tonight and get as personal as you wish?”
Meet Tara Lain!
Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote published in January of 2011. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.