Thursday, February 16, 2017

Author Of The Month - Lane Hayes - Week Three



Welcome to our third week of celebrations for the fabulous and talented 






In today's post, we'll take a look at the Kind Of series (with excerpts), and a personal story Lane has chosen to share. All the way at the bottom is also another chance to win!!


First up, A Kind Of Truth



Blurb:

Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, which include he keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.


Excerpt:

When I couldn’t take the building pressure of emotion, I winked at the girls then leaned in and kissed his lips, loving that I took him by surprise.  The elevator doors slid open a moment later.  Will stepped into the empty corridor and gave me a wide-eyed incredulous stare.


“I cannot believe you just did that.”


“What? Kissed you on an elevator?  It’s not like farting, ya know.”  

Will huffed a sigh that clearly said he thought I was hopeless before turning to walk down the hall.  “I was talking about the underwear comment but yeah, the kissing part was awkward too.  No one wants to watch two people going at in a confined space.  And besides, we’re supposed to be playing this strictly straight while we’re in public.”


He stopped to unlock the door to the classroom then pushed it open, pausing to give me a perturbed look before he moved inside ahead of me. I barked a quick laugh as I set my guitar on the back table and shrugged my jacket off.  


“First of all, that was hardly going at it.  It was a peck. You were the one advertising I left my clothes at your place in front of a couple cute girls.  And who said anything about playing straight?”


“Were we not in the same room two mornings ago talking about this?”


“We were.  In fact, we were naked in your bed.  Decidedly un-straight. But the way I remember it, I was one who was holding back the gay while you were the one going for it.  But let’s go back to the elevator. I think you purposefully blew my cover back there with those girls.  Were you jealous?”


He snorted and rolled his eyes.  “You’re unbelievable.”


“Thanks.”


“It wasn’t a compliment,” he quipped as he made his way to the piano.  


“Well, the next time you announce you’re holding my underwear hostage in a crowd, all bets are off, baby.” I gave him a lascivious once-over and waggled my eyebrows before tightening the strap on my guitar.


Will chuckled.  “I’ll keep that in mind. But I’m pretty sure your tighty-whities never came up. My comment was perfectly innocent. There’s a big difference between hats and underwear.”  


“I’m on to you, Will.  You wanted those girls to know something’s going on between us.  They’re probably talking right now.  Bet they’re wondering if we’re in here having sex.  Hell, they could be outside that door listening.  Maybe we should give ‘em something to talk about.” I made a show of unbuckling my belt and the top button on my 501s.  “Is there a camera in this room?”  


“Keep your pants on. I’ve got two months left till graduation and I’d prefer not to get kicked out of school, please,” Will said primly, smacking my hand away.


“You won’t get kicked out.  I doubt we’d be the first anyway.”  

I rezipped my jeans and started to back up, but at the last second, I reached out to cup his chin between my thumb and forefinger.  I traced his jaw and let my thumb roam higher to caress his cheekbone just under his glasses. His eyes fluttered shut.  I loved the contrast of his fair skin and darker lashes and eyebrows.  He was so damn pretty.



Get the book:





Second in the series, A Kind Of Romance




Blurb:

Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.


Excerpt:

“Look at us,” Benny singsonged. “We barely like each other, and we’re going on another date.”
I snorted derisively as I reached for my glass. “I like you just fine. But let’s be serious… this isn’t a real date.”
“What is this, then?” he asked with faux nonchalance.
“It’s a way to get my dad off both our backs. By the way, we better not tell him we’re going bowling too. He’ll start talking about grandkids. Keep it quiet.”
“I’m Italian. Quiet is hard for me, but I’ll do my best.”
“Please do.”
“I don’t lie well, either. It’s a personality flaw. I can tell white lies all day long, but—”
“Where are you going with this?”
“If we say it’s not a real date, I might slip.”
“Okay. It’s a real date.”
“It’s not a date unless we kiss. At the very least.” His eyes twinkled merrily.
I knew he was playing with me. He probably assumed I’d back away and reset expectations. We weren’t sitting at a chic SoHo bar on a Friday night because we were attracted to each other. At least that wasn’t how it started, but the truth was I liked Benny more than I thought I would. I liked his spunk and his snarky sense of humor. Maybe my two and a half martinis had something to do with it, but I actually didn’t mind his over-the-top hair color or his bright shirt so much anymore. He was a good-looking guy. Kissing him would be no hardship whatsoever.
I stared at his mouth for a moment before leaning in to brush my lips against his. The contact was brief, but fuck, I had a feeling I wouldn’t forget it anytime soon. I won’t claim I saw stars or anything corny, but I felt an undeniable pull. An unexpected connection. Like an amplified version of that zing I’d felt in the hospital. The urge to deepen the kiss and slide my tongue alongside his was strong. Strong enough to freak me out. What the fuck was I doing?
My eyes snapped open. I leaned back on my barstool and noted Benny staring at me intently. There was humor in his gaze as well as something akin to desire. He felt it too.




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Third, so far, A Kind Of Honesty 



Blurb:

Music is drummer Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for him to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when a handsome stranger in a dive bar turns out to be someone he might know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to tattooed rock star Tim, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.


Excerpt:

“Drink your tea. You’re killing my mellow buzz.”


I chuckled at his paternal tone and obeyed him. We studied each other over the rims of our cups and smiled in unison at nothing in particular.


“I’m sorry about earlier. I shouldn’t have walked out. It was… harder than I thought.”


“Nothing worth doing is easy. You’ll build up core strength the more you do it.”


“And then I’ll get my balance back?” I joked lamely.


“Physically…yes. I don’t know about the rest.”


“With a different instructor and some rockin’ music…maybe,” I replied with a cocky grin.


Carter rolled his eyes. “It’s not a dance class, dummy. It’s yoga. You’re supposed to relax, find your center of gravity. Not rock out. The soundtrack is just background music, you might notice it but it fades when you concentrate on the exercise.”


“I don’t hear music that way. I don’t compartmentalize it. It’s everywhere.” I beat a short tattoo on the table to back up my claim. “It’s in the streets. Every person in this coffee shop has a tune in their head. Every person walking through Manhattan is moving to the city’s beat. Jockeying for position on the subway, racing for the bus or shopping in a store. Sometimes the beat is in the honking, the yelling, the countless languages. Sometimes it’s a layer underneath some crappy song piped through a store’s speaker system. But it’s everywhere. It’s all encompassing.”


Carter looked surprised at my impassioned outburst.  He cocked his head and leaned in. “I think I understand what you mean, but I’m talking about singular layers.”


“Huh?”



“You’re the musician. You know sound is multi-faceted and layered. What I’m saying is simple…concentrate on one layer at a time. I bet the reason you feel a little off-balance is you’ve been dealing with life coming at you from all angles for months. Maybe years. You’ve got to break things down to their simplest form to get your groove back. In musical terms, one note at a time.”


“You sound like a shrink.”


Carter chuckled softly and lifted his teacup in a mock toast. “Probably because I’ve seen my fair share.”


I shot him a quizzical look. “Really? You seem like you’ve got your shit together.”

          “More or less. But I have a bad habit of making everything in my life all or nothing. I work too much. I stay at the gym too long. I worry about things I can’t control, like my friends, my employees… the Yankees.”


“I’d worry about the Yankees if I were you too,” I said in a serious tone.




Get the book:




There are some in-betweens available as well, free on Lane's website



A personal story:


I began writing MM romance in earnest the week after my oldest son came out, which coincidentally was the week he left home for college. Of course, I knew he was gay well before he told me. I’d been working out the conversation we’d have in my head for years. The “we love you just the way you are” speech I’d hoped would calm the anxiety I could tell he’d felt since puberty hit. Somewhere along the line, my inner dialogue became a story called Better Than Good, my first published novel.


Better Than Good was the beginning of my journey. It was a reflection of my own thoughts at the time. The story is about self-discovery and acceptance. Matt’s journey in BTG wasn’t a retelling of what my son was going through. I was aware I was writing the story as a love letter of sorts and an affirmation of unconditional love support, but I didn’t want to tell my son’s tale. That’s his. So I made up a set of characters who lived on the other side of the country. They had different family backgrounds, jobs and lifestyles but they shared a similar struggle to live an authentic life. One that didn’t compromise their sense of self-worth or the knowledge they are deserving of the same rights as straight people.


In the meanwhile, my son was well on his way to beginning his own journey of self-acceptance in San Francisco. I would love to claim he embraced his gayness right out of the gate, but that’s not how it went down. It’s been a slow process. As in snail’s pace slow. LOL. I did my best to be respectful of his space, though I admit I pushed a couple times and encouraged him to widen his net and let more people in. Four and a half years later, my son is a college graduate, living and working in San Francisco. He’s come a long way from the kid I dropped off who wouldn’t go near the rainbow laden table of the Gay-Straight Alliance on orientation day at his campus.


I’m more aware than ever of the sometimes lengthy and painful process involved in coming to a place of acceptance. It was never going to be enough for my son to say “I’m gay” and move on. He’s had to say it over and over again, even when he’s sure it isn’t anyone’s business either way. I love that he doesn’t hesitate to let anyone know who he is now. He marches in SF protests, attends pride rallies, and hell, he even went to Folsom last year! (And sent Mom pics!)

Being part of his journey has shaped my journey as a parent and an author. My new series, Leaning Into Stories, is set in San Francisco for a reason. I will always be grateful to the city my son now calls home for embracing diversity and fostering acceptance in the LGBTQ community and beyond. And I’m thankful to be part of that journey as an advocate and a writer who believes that love truly does win.




More about Lane:

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

Connect with Lane:





Giveaway:





Thanks for celebrating with us. Come back next week for our Grand Finale celebrations with a look at the newly released Leaning Into Love, and the upcoming book Leaning Into The Fall with an exclusive cover reveal and excerpt here on My Fiction Nook. We'll also have our author Q&A, plus one more chance to win!

Until then, happy reading!!















2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway chance! I haven't read any of this series yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the excerpts. It is a wonderful series. And thank you for a little view into your personal life.

    ReplyDelete

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