Fallout by Ariel Tachna.

May 21, 2012

When catastrophe brings them together, Sambit and Derek must overcome their differences to stop a nuclear disaster. Fallout by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinnerpress.

When a Category 4 hurricane hits the Texas Gulf Coast and critically damages a nuclear reactor, the NRC brings in robotics engineer Derek Marshall and professor Sambit Patel to avert a disaster. Unfortunately, putting the men in the same room could be nearly as dangerous as the reactor: Derek’s out and proud, gruff, and occasionally obnoxious; Sambit is closeted, quiet, and reserved. Faced with isolation, ungodly living conditions, and the very real possibility of acute radiation sickness, they race against time to stabilize the reactor. But the attraction growing between them may be beyond their control. On the surface, Derek and Sambit have nothing in common. They live in separate cities, come from disparate cultures, and have trouble just getting along, never mind navigating a relationship. All they have to hold them together is a few isolated weeks of trying to save the world, or at least the environment. Sambit is convinced the end of the assignment will be the end for them as well—and despite their many differences, he’s beginning to wonder how he’ll survive the fallout once Derek leaves him behind.

Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

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Inherit the Sky by Ariel Tachna

February 21, 2012

Caine uproots his life to start over in Australia, but will he get the happy ending he desires? Inherit the Sky by Ariel Tachna, now available from Dreamspinner Press.

Caine Neiheisel is stuck in a dead-end job at the end of a dead-end relationship when the chance of a lifetime falls in his lap. His mother inherits her uncle’s sheep station in New South Wales, Australia, and Caine sees it as the opportunity to start over, out on the range where his stutter won’t hold him back and his willingness to work will surely make up for his lack of knowledge.

Unfortunately, Macklin Armstrong, the foreman of Lang Downs who should be Caine’s biggest ally, alternates between being cool and downright dismissive, and the other hands are more amused by Caine’s American accent than they are moved by his plight… until they find out he’s gay and their amusement turns to scorn. It will take all of Caine’s determination—and an act of cruel sabotage by a hostile neighbor—to bring the men of Lang Downs together and give Caine and Macklin a chance at love.

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Genre: Western, contemporary
Length: Novel

Stolen Moments by Ariel Tachna

December 26, 2011

Can Beau and Jacob build a life together out of the ashes of their past? Stolen Moments by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.

After a year apart, teacher Jacob Peters and county judge Beau Braedon decide they can’t live without each other. There are just a few small obstacles to their Alabama love story. Jacob resents Beau’s paranoia about being outed, but Beau is convinced he’ll lose his seat on the bench if he admits to their relationship, and as a teacher at a Christian school, Jacob’s job is even more at risk. They could relocate, but Beau’s mother has Alzheimer’s and can’t be moved. And then there’s the tiny issue of Jacob’s infant son, Finn, and his mother, whom Jacob wed out of duty. In short, they are stuck.

But Beau has a long-term plan, and he’s prepared to swallow his fears and compromise with Jacob, because sharing stolen moments is no longer enough.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Reluctant Partnerships by Ariel Tachna

October 3, 2011

Will Martin and Denis form a partnership before a rogue vampire destroys their chances forever? Reluctant Partnerships by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.

A spin-off of the Partnership in Blood series

Thanks to the efforts of Raymond Payet and l’ANS, vampires now have the same legal rights as mortals, and research at l’Institut Marcel Chavinier is focusing on the mysterious partnership bonds between wizards and vampires. But the battle for public opinion rages on. When Detective Adèle Rougier encounters Pascale Auboussu, a shy young woman turned into a vampire against her will, Raymond and Denis Langlois, chef de la Cour nearest the crime, fear a public relations nightmare.

The vampire responsible for Pascale’s turning must be brought to justice, but Denis is distracted by an unlikely potential partner—Canadian researcher Martin Delacroix, who is spending a year’s sabbatical at l’Institut—and Denis’s lingering feelings for his deceased lover prompt him to reject the bond. There’s no denying the attraction between them, though, and the allure of companionship is nearly as strong as Denis’s grief.

Growing familiarity and yearning for a true mate may induce Adèle and Denis to soften their stances against new partnerships, but Adèle will have to accept a deeper intimacy with Pascale when she has never considered a relationship with a woman, and it will take a near-deadly attack to make Denis admit his most hidden desires. Now he has to hope Martin will be willing to stay.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel

Under the Skin by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna

September 5, 2011

Can Patrick and Alexei find a way free of the Russian mob before their association kills one or both of them? Under the Skin by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Police detective Patrick Flaherty has no illusions about Russian mobster Alexei Boczar, but that doesn’t stop his fascination with the bodyguard to one of the most ruthless families in Chicago’s growing Eastern European crime community. From the moment Patrick meets Alexei’s eyes over the body of another Russian mobster, Alexei is a thorn in Patrick’s side, refusing to cooperate with the police and turning all of Patrick’s questions back on him. Alexei’s hard-as-nails persona whets Patrick’s professional determination to get the information he’s sure the gangster is hiding, while personally Patrick just wants to get his hands on Alexei’s hard body.

The tattoos marking Alexei’s skin tell the story of his criminal past, but the more Patrick learns about Alexei, the more he wants to know, until he finds himself over his head in a relationship that might cost him his job and could well cost Alexei his life. Alexei is equally fascinated by Patrick’s willingness to overlook his past and even his present associations, but he has secrets of his own that could drive a wedge between them forever.

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Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Length: Novel

Once in a Lifetime by Ariel Tachna

July 8, 2011

Will Shane’s year in France lead to a lifetime of love? Once in a Lifetime by Ariel Tachna, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Offered a yearlong medical research fellowship in France, Shane Johnson has many hopes for the experience: a chance to improve his French, an opportunity to hone his research skills before starting his PhD at Baylor, and the freedom to live life as an openly gay man for the first time. He’ll chronicle his year abroad with its challenges, victories, and setbacks as he struggles to balance his faith with his sexuality.

As he navigates the shoals of a first kiss, a first relationship, and perhaps even lasting love, Shane will have to balance his newfound emotions with his long-term plans, and he’ll face the decision of how his once-in-a-lifetime experience will fit into the life he wants to lead.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Highland Lover by Ariel Tachna

May 11, 2011

Highland Lover by Ariel Tachna

When Derek surprises his partner Bram with an authentic kilt in his family’s tartan pattern as an anniversary present, the results are even better than he expected. Bram looks fantastic in the full dress outfit, and the special dinner Derek has planned becomes only the prelude to an incredible evening with his Highland lover.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story

Overdrive Excerpt #2

April 8, 2011

Daniel and Frank’s first race as a team…

Overdrive by Ariel Tachna
Now available from Dreamspinner Press
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Blurb:

All his life, French racer Daniel Leroux has dreamed of one thing: winning the World Rally Championship. To do that, he needs a co-driver he can trust. If only he could find one….

At the end of a disastrous season, Daniel’s manager replaces his incompetent co-driver with Frank Dufour, a young Canadian whose rally team let him go because he was gay. Daniel’s in heaven, thinking he might find more than just a teammate, but his manager puts the brakes on, declaring Frank firmly off limits. Frank isn’t any more ready to risk his second—and last—chance at making it in the WRC, no matter how attractive he finds Daniel. Sex and cars don’t mix.

Amidst a bitter rivalry with another driver, sabotage attempts, extreme weather conditions, and the stress of racing, Daniel and Frank forge a partnership that defies the odds, but just as things start to heat up between them, a family emergency calls Frank away. Will they find their way back together or will the separation and the spotlight be too much for their fledgling love to survive?

Excerpt :

“There’s no fresh snow this morning,” Frank reported as they drove north to Hagfors for the service park and the day’s stages, “so the roads should feel very much like they did yesterday except for the better traction from the racing tires. The trick here is going to be not making mistakes. We don’t have to beat everyone else’s times. We have to stay in the race and place high enough to get points toward the championship.”

“Yeah,” Daniel said, “the winter rally almost always goes to one of the Nordic drivers, although Michaels took the stage last night.”

“A two-minute stadium course that was more showboating than anything else,” Frank scoffed. “I know he’s good on gravel, and he’s proven himself on ice in the past, but it isn’t a given that he’ll win. He’s had some pretty spectacular crashes on the ice too. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.”

“Let’s hope we don’t make any this time,” Daniel said.

“We won’t,” Frank replied, his voice confident. “Do you want to go over the pace notes for the first three stages again today, before the regrouping and service park at lunch time?”

“Yes,” Daniel said. “Going through them before the race helped keep things clear in my head for yesterday. Let’s not mess with success.”

They spent the rest of the drive to Hagfors to meet Isabelle and her mechanics, as well as the other drivers and race officials, discussing the stages to come. Isabelle shooed them away from the car the moment the service park time began, the four mechanics going over every inch of the car with as much care as if they hadn’t seen it in ages. Daniel would have made a comment about Isabelle second-guessing herself or not being sure she’d done the job right the first time, but she’d been surprisingly civil last night after the super special stage so Daniel hoped maybe Frank’s conversation with her had helped. He wouldn’t start anything if she didn’t.

Forty minutes later, the race officials called for the drivers to start lining up for the first stage. Daniel strapped in and took his place behind Ryan Michaels’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Daniel would start two minutes after Michaels did, enough that he wouldn’t have to worry about catching up with the American, not at the speeds they’d be driving, unless Michaels had a wreck or technical problems that slowed him down. He’d be happy with not losing time.

Michaels disappeared in a spray of snow, and Daniel drove into position, eyes fixed on the starter. It flashed one minute and started the countdown. He waited, foot hovering over the accelerator as the count continued. As it neared zero, he gunned the engine, foot still hard on the brake. The moment the counter hit zero, he released the brake, Frank’s voice in his ear guiding him through the bends. The car skidded beneath him on the bends, but their practice in the Alps held him in good stead and he managed the bends with enough control not to lose time. He clipped a snow bank on one curve, but it didn’t slow him down by more than a fraction of a second as he manhandled the car back to the race line and around the next bend. He’d have a second chance at that stretch of road this afternoon. Hopefully he wouldn’t make the same mistake a second time, but he’d worry about that during the break for lunch. For now he had to concentrate on the road in front of him, the car beneath his hands, and Frank’s voice talking him through the course.

Eleven minutes and thirty-three seconds after they started, they crossed the flying finish. “How’d we do?” Daniel asked Frank breathlessly as he slowed the car to normal speeds and started the trek to the next starting line.

“We won’t know until lunch, but it felt good,” Frank said, “other than the one snow bank. You ready for the next stage?”

“Bring it on,” Daniel said, flashing Frank a cocky grin as he navigated the narrow country roads, glad of the metal spikes on the tires even at normal speeds.

Michaels was already there ahead of them when they reached the second starting line of the day. They had a few minutes before the start of the next stage, so Daniel got out of the car to stretch a bit, hissing at the cold temperatures.

“Having problems there, Leroux?” Michaels sneered from his car.

“Not me,” Daniel shot back, stretching his back a little.

“Don’t worry,” Michaels added. “You won’t be eating my dust for long.”

“No, you’ll be eating mine,” Daniel retorted, finishing his stretches and returning to the car. “His ass is mine,” he said to Frank as he climbed back in the car.

Frank laughed. “Somehow I don’t think you mean that the way it sounded.”

Daniel scowled at his co-driver. “We can’t let him win the championship. Regardless of how he does during this rally, he’s going down for the season.”

“You bet, boss,” Frank agreed. “Are you set for the next stage?”

“All we need is the green light,” Daniel replied as Michaels’s start time arrived and he sped off down the course. Daniel pulled the car into position and prepared to tackle the third stage.

Overdrive contest

April 8, 2011

How about a contest?

To enter this contest, simply tell me what sport you’d like to see included in an m/m romance. The contest will go until noon Eastern time on Saturday, so you have a full day to enter.

The winner will be selected at random from all comments and will receive an eBook download of Overdrive.

Overdrive Excerpt #1

April 8, 2011

I’ll share a couple of different excerpts over the course of the day, but I want to start with this one to introduce you to Daniel and the world of WRC racing.

Overdrive by Ariel Tachna

Now available from Dreamspinner Press

Buy link

Blurb:
All his life, French racer Daniel Leroux has dreamed of one thing: winning the World Rally Championship. To do that, he needs a co-driver he can trust. If only he could find one….

At the end of a disastrous season, Daniel’s manager replaces his incompetent co-driver with Frank Dufour, a young Canadian whose rally team let him go because he was gay. Daniel’s in heaven, thinking he might find more than just a teammate, but his manager puts the brakes on, declaring Frank firmly off limits. Frank isn’t any more ready to risk his second—and last—chance at making it in the WRC, no matter how attractive he finds Daniel. Sex and cars don’t mix.

Amidst a bitter rivalry with another driver, sabotage attempts, extreme weather conditions, and the stress of racing, Daniel and Frank forge a partnership that defies the odds, but just as things start to heat up between them, a family emergency calls Frank away. Will they find their way back together or will the separation and the spotlight be too much for their fledgling love to survive?

Excerpt:

“Putain de merde, qu’est-ce vous faites? Vous ne pouvez pas lire les indications que vous avez écrites vous-même?”

Daniel Leroux glared at his co-driver in frustration as they finally came to a stop. He’d lost count of how many times the car flipped this time, but this was not the first time his co-driver’s errors had led to them rolling and being eliminated from a race. He could just see his rank falling as once again a rally ended with no points in his score column.

The crowd rushed over to make sure they were unhurt. Daniel summoned a smile as he pulled himself from the car to the cheers of the fans. Finland was a hard course, and he wasn’t the first driver to wipe out on this turn, nor would he be the last, he was sure, but his co-driver telling him the road curved left instead of right was more than a miscalculation. It was the kind of gross error that got people killed. He didn’t plan on being one of them. When they got back to the hotel where they were staying for the week, Daniel intended to talk to the team manager. He was already out of contention for this season. Even if they won every remaining rally, they couldn’t catch the leader, and they’d have to come in third or above in every remaining race to end up in the top five. With a co-driver he could trust, he might have done it. With the idiot climbing out of the car on the other side as co-driver, he’d be lucky to be alive still at the end of the season.

The spectators helped push the car back onto the road, allowing Daniel to continue down the course, but he didn’t push the time. He could hear from the sounds coming from the engine that they wouldn’t make it at high speeds. He’d get off the course so it was clear for the next driver and then withdraw from the rest of the race.

“I’m sorry, Jean-Paul,” Daniel said, tossing his helmet and gloves on the table as he turned to face the team manager. “I can’t work with him anymore. I’ve tried and tried. Watch the onboard if you don’t believe me. A little off with the timing is bad enough, but telling me it would be a left turn instead of a right turn is more than bad timing. We’re lucky we weren’t killed.”

“You mean we’re lucky you’re a damn good driver,” Jean-Paul corrected. “Even with Isabelle working her magic, it’s going to take time to repair the car. So what are you thinking, Dany, besides that you want me to fire Xavier?”

“I’m thinking that we can’t even pull off a respectable place this year,” Daniel replied. “I think we should withdraw from the remaining races and spend the rest of the year and the off-season training up a new co-driver, someone I can really work with this time.”

“Did you have somebody in mind?” Jean-Paul asked. “Or should I look at the draft and see who’s available?”

“There was a kid who was co-driving in the J-WRC,” Daniel said. “A Canadian. Frank something. His career seemed to be taking off and then his team let him go. I liked what I saw of him before that. And he was with a French-speaking team so he’s got to be at least conversational in French, which is good, since I doubt I could follow pace notes in English. Can you find out what happened and see if he’s available?”

Jean-Paul’s eyebrows lifted. “You’ve been thinking about this, haven’t you?”

“Yeah,” Daniel admitted. “I kept hoping we could make it through this season with a decent showing, but it isn’t going to happen, so I’d rather make the break now and come back strong for next year.”

“I’ll see what I can find out about your ‘kid’ and anyone else who might be available,” Jean-Paul said. “Tell Isabelle so she can let the crew know we’re packing up and heading back to Auvergne. We can spend the fall and winter there getting ready for next year. There are back roads there not even you have driven.”

“You keep telling yourself that,” Daniel said cockily, picking up his gear. “I’m going to talk to Isabelle and then get a shower.” He stopped when he reached the door, turning back to face the man who had been in charge of his career for the last five years. “Thanks for believing in me, Jean-Paul. I know that what happens out there on the road is ultimately my responsibility, and I appreciate you not blaming me for the rough season we’ve had.”

Jean-Paul smiled. “We expected this to be a shakedown year, with Christophe retiring last season and you having to find a new co-driver. We didn’t expect it to be quite as challenging as it’s been, but you’ve proven yourself. Second in the world last year, and by only a few points, is nothing to throw away. We’ll have more time to find a good match since we’re starting early now. Don’t worry. We’ll get this team back on track.”

Daniel summoned a smile in return, but it faded when the door closed behind him. Number two in the world last year, and not even ranked this year because he didn’t finish the season. Talk about a bitter pill to swallow. Jean-Paul could say what he wanted. Daniel knew he’d let a lot of people down with his record this year. He’d be okay because he brought in more money in a year, even an off year, than he could reasonably spend, but he had no idea what would happen to the mechanics on the team once they were all back in Auvergne and the car was ready to go. Isabelle could handle the maintenance on the training runs since they wouldn’t have the tight schedule of a rally. Unless he busted up completely like he’d done today, most of the mechanics would be sent home for the off-season. Usually, that was a matter of a month or two between the last rally in October or November and the first one in January or February, but it was only August now. Maybe he’d talk to Jean-Paul and see if something could be done for them. He wanted them to come back next year. Isabelle had talked several times about how well her team had worked together this year. If only he’d had as much luck with his team.

“Dany!”

He looked up and saw his sister and head mechanic rushing toward him. “Salut, p’tite sœur,” he said, catching her in a tight hug. “I’m fine. I promise, I’m fine.”

She glared up at him. “Did you let the EMTs look you over?”

“Isabelle, I’m fine,” Daniel insisted. “No pain in my neck, no limping, nothing.”

The fingers that dug into the muscle of his bicep were strong from working with cars all day and brooked absolutely no refusal. She marched him down the hall and out to the car. “If you won’t show sense, I’ll have to show it for you.”

Daniel tried to resist, but he’d never yet managed to break free of her claws once she had a grip on him.

Three hours later, X-rayed and poked at until he was ready to snap, Daniel walked back into the hospital waiting room. “I told you I was fine,” he said with a grin for his sister. “I’m always fine.”

“You keep saying that, you might actually get someone to believe you,” Isabelle retorted, punching the same spot on his arm where she’d dug her fingers in earlier.

“Aïe! Did you have to hit me right there?”

“Yes,” Isabelle said with a grin. “Now come on. I want to know what you and Jean-Paul talked about for so long.”

“Let’s go back to the shop, and I’ll tell you,” Daniel promised. It would be easier to let his sister down there where she was surrounded by the cars she loved than it would be anywhere else. Damn, he hated this part.

Isabelle seemed to sense his mood because she dropped the sisterly hassling, driving to the shop in silence and parking outside the locked garage. She opened the side door and flipped on the lights, revealing what was left of the car he’d wrecked that afternoon as well as the spare car sitting beneath its tarp behind the first one. “I don’t need to pull the tarp off and tune up the other car, do I?”

Daniel shook his head. “I’m sorry, p’tite sœur,” he said. “We’re going back to Auvergne as soon as we can get packed up here. Jean-Paul is going to fire Xavier if he hasn’t already done it while I was at the hospital. We’ll start looking for someone to replace him. Someone better this time. Someone who can actually help me win instead of making me lose.”