Better Than Safe; by Lane Hayes—Interview and Giveaway
The amazing Lane Hayes has come back to visit. She stopped by for an interview and to talk about her latest release, Better Than Safe, which released on September 25th. After the interview, make sure you check out the blurb and excerpt on your way to the entering her contest.
An Interview With Lane Hayes
Welcome back Lane! Since it’s has been a while since you’ve been here, remind people about who you are and what you write.
Hi Andrew. Thank you so much for having me back! I think I wrote the Right & Wrong series since my last visit here. That series was set in LA (my neck of the woods). It’s fitting that I return to your blog with a Better Than book set your DC stomping grounds! For those who don’t know, I am the author of two series, Better Than and Right and Wrong. I’m here today to chat about my newest release, Better Than Safe, which is book #4 in the series. Disclaimer for those who may not have read the other novels… these are standalones and can be read in any order. J
It’s great to see you’re returning to ‘where it began’ with another “Better Than” book. How do you think your writing career has changed since that first book?
I’ve definitely grown as a writer. Better Than Good was released in July 2013. It was a shot in the dark for me. It was a way to deal with the internal struggle of sending my first son, who happens to be gay, off to college. He’d just come out and I felt terribly protective of him and vulnerable because I knew this was the beginning of his journey as a gay young man. I wasn’t going to allowed to participate in “raising” him through it first hand. This was his. My wish was that his journey be one of hope. Better Than Good is ultimately about self-discovery and hope. I had no idea what to expect. I was truly blown away by the overwhelming positive response to BTG. In the past two and half years, I’ve made some professional changes. I am a full time author now. Better Than Safe is my seventh published novel and there is no looking back!
Before we talk Better Than Safe, tell us about what kind of books you like to write?
I write contemporary MM romance novels. I have always loved a good series and decided to try my hand at crafting a couple. The first book in my third series will be released in January 2016.
You’re going to GRL this year (in just a few days actually) as a Featured Author. Any pre-con jitters?
LOL. Yes! I went as a reader to GRL in Chicago, which was a blast! I got to see fun, familiar faces (like you!) and meet some lovely new people. Not to mention meeting some of my own favorite authors, like Z.A. Maxfield and Marie Sexton. GRL is in San Diego this year, which is close to home. I would have gone as a reader again, but I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to attend as a Featured Author. I’ll be nervous, for sure… but spending time with people who love this genre as much I do is well worth the butterflies!
How does the Better Than series differ from Right and Wrong?
They are set on opposite ends of the country. Better Than is set in DC and Right and Wrong is set primarily in LA. I purposely changed the setting of my second series so I could explore some of the cultural issues in the LA area Latino community. All three books in that series feature a Latino MC or in The Wrong Man, Brandon is half-African American. My husband is Mexican American and I felt compelled to tell a story about strong Latino gay men and explore the difficulties because of religion and family expectations.
Do you have any plans to write something other than contemporary MM Romance?
At this moment, I love what I’m doing. I won’t close the door to trying something new. If I did, I’d probably want to branch into suspense or mystery. We’ll see… J
Okay, so let’s talk Better Than Safe. What is this about?
Better Than Safe is a May/December romance with a healthy dose of ‘opposites attract’ set in DC. I couldn’t resist infusing this story with art to pay homage to the incredible Smithsonian.
Introduce us to your main characters, Paul and Seth.
Paul is a successful British ad exec who specializes in haute couture. His clients are prominent designers and fashion powerhouse corporations. He’s traveled the world extensively for work, but he’s looking forward to a small break, thinking perhaps the time at home will give him a chance to meet someone suitable. Instead, he meets Seth. Seth is eleven years Paul’s junior. He’s a fashion model, sometime guitarist in his friend’s band and an aspiring artist. He’s drop dead gorgeous, but he’s exactly the kind of man Paul swore off years ago. Or is he? The more Paul learns about the Seth, the more he realizes he’s never met anyone like him. Seth is quirky and unpredictable but he’s also wise beyond his years and incredibly resilient. He’s a bad idea but he isn’t easy to ignore, or forget.
Will there be more adventures in this series?
I will definitely write a short story or two in Better Than but I’m not sure about another full length one. I don’t want to write the never-ending series, but if I feel like there is another story to tell, I won’t hesitate. Better Than Safe was written for two reasons… there was more to say (and yes, I missed the DC crew!) and this is a bridge story to my next series, which takes place in NYC. One of the characters you’ll meet in Better Than Safe deserved a story of his own. If you’ve read BTS, I bet you guessed who it is! J
Tell us something interesting that is not in the blurb?
If you’re a fan of the Better Than series, you’ll get a chance to catch up with everyone from the previous books, Better Than Good, Better Than Chance and Better Than Friends!
Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?
My WIP is book #2 in my new series. As I mentioned earlier, it’s set in NYC, one of my favorite places on earth! There is a wealth of inspiration to tap into in Manhattan! J
If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Oscar Wilde. I love his wit and wisdom. He was very clever with a turn of phrase and had the uncanny ability to make something offensive sound almost… nice.
Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?
Traveling and spending time with family and friends. I’m hoping to take one more trip to NYC this year!
The last question is all yours. Tell the readers anything you like about you, your works, things you like. Anything at all.
Hmm. One more thing? I love football! This is officially my favorite time of year. I know exactly what I’ll be doing Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays until the holidays! I’ve got my corner of the sofa with a fluffy blanket ready to snuggle. And when the games are over… I read.
Thank you so much for having me here today, Andrew! I look forward to seeing you soon!
Title: Better Than Safe
Series: Better Than stories, Book 4
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Length: Novel, 77k words
Release Date: September 25th, 2015
Blurb: Paul Fallon is a fashion advertising guru. He’s a genius at dealing with difficult editors, art directors, and designers alike. He thrives on the chaotic atmosphere and constant challenges. But in his personal life, he’s hoping for peace and stability. Settling down with a nice doctor or lawyer sounds perfect. Anyone but an artist. He’s been there, done that, and he doesn’t want to relive the heartache.
Seth Landau is a model, occasional guitarist, and aspiring painter. He’s quirky, flighty, and wise beyond his years. Life has taught him some tough lessons, then given him opportunities he never dreamed of. He’s learned to appreciate the fragility of life and to express it in his work. Seth’s flare for the absurd combined with a supple mind and a beautiful body are too alluring for Paul to ignore. Against his best intentions, Paul is drawn to the younger man whose particular brand of crazy challenges Paul to accept that things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes taking a chance is better than being safe.
My stomach growled. I was dead tired, hungry, and more than a little confused. Seth turned the corner before my brain could catalogue any further complaints. I studied his casual attire as he came closer. Worn black jeans, a white T-shirt with paint stains, and an unbuttoned black and blue striped cardigan. He looked more like a wacky artist than a sophisticated couture model, I mused. His sharp features were undeniably attractive but it seemed as though he’d chosen the basic clothing to downplay his beauty. Or maybe he’d just painted and couldn’t be bothered. There was something ridiculously appealing to me about our very opposite looks. Corporate formal versus art student chic. I glanced down at the sushi and willed my dick to behave.
“There you are. What kind of pasta do you want? I don’t have time to make it myself, but don’t worry, I’m buying pre-packaged but fresh. Your choices are spaghetti, tagliatelle, or pappardelle.”
I looked at the three choices he held up and pointed to the one in the middle. The tagliatelle.
“Really? I was thinking basic spaghetti but—”
“Then why did you ask?”
“I want your opinion. If you want the tagliatelle, we’ll get that one. Done.”
“Good. Let’s go. Do you have wine?”
“Yes. Hmm. I don’t know about the tag—”
“Seth. Get the spaghetti. I’m not bothered.”
“What do you mean by not bothered?”
“I mean….” I took a step forward so we stood toe to toe, Italian loafer to dirty white trainer and gave him a pointed glare. “I don’t give a shit. Pasta is pasta. It doesn’t matter to me what shape it comes in. At all.”
“You’re hungry, huh?”
“What tipped you off?”
“Sarcastic and cranky. Let’s go. You need food.” He turned away, carrying his basket of goods toward the front registers.
“What about wine?” I called after him.
He stopped in the middle of the aisle and curled his finger, motioning me to come to him with a devilish grin on his handsome face. I complied. We were alone for the moment, surrounded on either side of the cramped space by white bread and a variety of colorful cereals chock-full of preservatives and food dyes. I eyed him warily, wondering why he was stalling.
“I told you I have wine. Good wine too.”
“Marvelous. Let’s go.”
“But… there’s a catch.”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course there is. What is it? You need to swing by the dry cleaners first or—”
“Are you crazy?”
“Why is it so crazy?” he asked innocently.
“Here are a couple reasons. One, we’re in the middle of a market in a family oriented part of town and two, we’re barely friends. Not lovers. Friends don’t kiss.”
He grinned. “Sure they do. What they probably don’t do is say something like, ‘you look so fucking hot in that suit, I wish I could take it off you right here next to the Cheerios and Wheat Chex,’ so I won’t go there, but I still think it’s okay to kiss.”
I stared at him with my mouth wide open, unable to find my voice. When he chuckled in amusement at my expense, I acted with uncharacteristic impulse and reached out to cup his neck and draw him close to me. He gasped in surprise at the quick movement. I smiled as our noses brushed, perversely pleased by his shock, and suddenly glad to be the one pushing him one step further. I licked his bottom lip before fusing my mouth over his in a swift but passionate kiss. I backed up with a grin and sauntered away, taking care he didn’t see me adjust my trousers as I moved with purpose to the front registers.
I set my bag of tomatoes on the conveyer belt and stepped aside when Seth joined me a moment later.
“You play dirty,” he muttered as he set the contents in his basket with mine.
“You asked for it.”
“Maybe I did. Beware. I can play dirty too.”
I bit my cheek hard and turned toward the rack of magazines nearby, hoping to diffuse the sexual tension racing through my body. Stress, exhaustion, and hunger were suddenly non-issues. All I wanted now was sex. The one thing I couldn’t have with this man. Not without risking more than I was willing.
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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 a well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles both be men! Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her first novel was a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and her third received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Rainbow Awards. She loves travel, chocolate, and wine (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow lab ever in an almost empty nest.
Winner’s Prize: $25 Gift Card to Ebook retailer of choice (DSP, Amazon, ARE Café)
September 28 – The Purple Rose Tea House
September 29 – Reviews by Jessewave
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October 5 – Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends
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October 13 – The Blogger Girls
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October 15 – Carly’s Book Reviews
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