Is it always wrong to pretend to be Mr. Right?
Hi and welcome. I’m Tara Lain and I’m so happy to be here celebrating the rerelease of Snow Balls, one of my favorite stories.
It’s funny. I never set out to include a theme for my novels, but somewhere back a few years ago I realized that I have one. The theme is “living an authentic life”. If you asked me to list things that are deeply important to me, I’m not at all sure I would have included this theme – and yet I’ve written almost 45 books (including some not yet released) that in many cases seem to speak to this idea. I think it has something to do with growing up in a household that wasn’t at all what it seemed or pretended to be. I remember struggling with finding my voice and who I really was in this simulated world. Interesting that all these years later, this theme should manifest in books about gay people struggling to live authentically in a world that sometimes despises and even abuses them.
This is uniquely true in snow Balls where my hero JJ LaRousse is a big, hunky, alpha male- type over 6’4” and powerful, but his personality is more femme. His father constantly beat into him that he had to be more masculine and so he thinks of himself as a “fruit” and a sissy. Fortunately, JJ has good friends who are helping him realize he’s perfect the way he is, but that conviction wavers when JJ meets Ryan star and decides that Ryan will never like him the way he rally is. JJ sets out to pretend to be who he thinks Ryan wants – with the dire results you can imagine.
I hope you’ll love my JJ and all of Snow Balls!
JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.
Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?
JJ stuck out his fist. Ryan looked a little startled, then bumped it. “So maybe I’ll see you Sunday.”
Ryan nodded. “Yeah. Yeah.”
Star turned and walked a couple of steps. He stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Hope so.” And he walked away toward the entrance to the grounds.
- M. G. JJ wanted to sit down in the middle of the sawdust. Did he really see that look in Ryan Star’s eyes when the guy said those two words “Hope so”? Something that looked like he cared if he saw JJ again?
JJ certainly cared if he saw Ryan again. But what the hell? A Chargers game? How could he ever fake his way through that?
He took off at a run and made it to the booth in seconds. Rodney was talking to a few customers and David was on his cell, fingering the twinkle lights in JJ’s display. JJ took a deep breath. Finally, David hung up and JJ pounced. “Oh my god of the last kid chosen for kickball, Ryan Star asked me out.”
David grinned. “Of course, I’m a champion matchmaker.”
But what if…. “Actually, I’m not sure it’s a date. I mean, he asked me to go with him, but it could be just a guy thing, you know?”
“Tell me what he said.”
“He said he could pick me up, or we could meet somewhere.”
David screwed up his smooth forehead. “Hmm. That’s too neutral to tell. What else? Where’s he taking you?”
JJ’s grin defined sheepish. “A Chargers game.” JJ grinned anxiously. “That’s football, right?”
“You’re joking, darling?”
“It’s not football?”
“Yes, it’s football, but you’re seriously considering going to a football game?”
“Yes.” JJ’s hands started to flutter. “Oh God, David, what am I going to do? I don’t know anything about it at all.”
“About what?” Rodney stepped up next to David.
David glanced at his miniature friend. “Football. Somehow JJ has managed to get himself invited to a football game.”
JJ wailed. “And I don’t know the first thing!”
Rodney shrugged. “Simple.”
JJ frowned. “What’s simple?”
“Just ask Jerry. He’s the magical knower of all things boringly athletic. He will be your guru of football. Mick might help too.”
Of course, their good friends Jerry and Mick could cram some facts into JJ’s head.
David threw an arm around Rodney’s shoulder. “Brilliant. You’re brilliant, my dear.”
Rod smiled, then looked up at JJ’s head. “And speaking of football, where on earth did you get that ridiculous cap?”
JJ shrugged. “Ryan Star bought it for me.”
David whooped. “That’s it. In answer to your question, Detective Star is taking you on a date.”
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain