What’s next for Trent and Reed?

July 29, 2011

I would love to post another excerpt but all the best bits are going to be spoilers… and I’d hate to do that to you.

But I will let you know that there is more to come from these two. Rarer Than Rubies is the first in a series featuring these two characters. I’m working on the next in the series right now. It will be set in Italy! It starts in Rome but soon takes them to the incredible volcanic islands off the coast of Sicily. This was another chance for me to use some of my own e xperiences in a story and I think it’s a place very few people have heard or, and even fewer have visited. I want to share that with you!

Heard of Stromboli? Most Americans think of a spicy meatball sandwich. In fact, it’s a live volcano, and the name of the island. It erupts about every fifteen minutes. I climbed up to the top and spent the night there, where you can see lava and embers flying out at fairly regular intervals. It’s fantastic. Each of the islands in the chain has a different volcanic property. Of course Trent and Reed will be visiting all of them in pursuit (or trying to escape) some more bad guys.

See you there!

EM

EM Lynley

http://www.emlynley.com

Where is your book-inspired dream vacation?

July 29, 2011

Hopefully Thailand is on your list of places you’d like to visit, especially if you read Rarer Than Rubies!

Where else would you like to visit based on a book you’ve read or a film you’ve seen?

I’ll share one of mine: when I was a kid I loved horses. Probably this sounds familiar to some of you, right? I read every horse-related book I could, including all of Marguerite Henry’s books. One of them was “The Wildest Horse Race in the World” about the Palio in Siena, Italy. It took a long time, but I eventually made it to Italy to watch the Palio. In fact, it’s featured in one of the books I’m working on right now. If you visit my website or personal blog you can keep up with details on when that will be released.

Have you made it to one of the places you’ve longed to visit? Tell us all about it!

–EM Lynley

Rarer Than Rubies, Excerpt 2 (PG)

July 29, 2011

Here’s another little taste to tempt you to check out Rarer Than Rubies! Hope you enjoy it!

****


“Are you following me around?” Trent put his backpack on again, this time putting both arms through the straps. Obviously he wasn’t taking any more chances. Reed knew he wouldn’t get another chance to get into the pack, but where could the map be? Had Trent found it in his pack and knowing it wasn’t his, already thrown it away? Or was he working for a competitor and had already passed it off. Reed hadn’t let him out of his sight for very long, but there might have been someone waiting in his room at the Pink Tiger.

But this guy appeared too clueless to be part of any underworld organization. No one was that good an actor. The only explanation was Trent somehow realized the map was valuable and hidden it hoping to sell it to someone who would pay big money for the information.

“No, man. Bangkok’s really kind of a small place for farangs, you know? I run into the same people all the time. I’m Reed Acton, by the way.” He started to put a hand out but Trent didn’t look to be in a trusting, hand-shaking mood yet. He also didn’t volunteer an introduction.

Farangs?” Trent rolled the word around on his tongue and squinted in puzzlement.

“Foreigners…Westerners. It’s kind of an insult, but if you spend enough time here you get used to it.”

“But you speak Thai. You said you live here?”

“Yeah, for work.” Fuck. This conversation was getting into dangerous territory for Reed. But he didn’t want to just walk off on his own and suddenly it had nothing to do with the map. He wanted to get closer to Trent Dallas and breathe in the beautiful scent of him—probably courtesy of that fancy body wash Reed had watched him apply earlier—and lick along the curve of his jaw, and then maybe rip off that shirt Trent was wearing and trace around every muscle on his chest and abs. Reed had seen what was under there and this time he wanted more than to look. He wanted to touch, and taste and…

“Well, thanks for getting my bag back. Do you want a reward or something?” Trent’s voice jolted Reed back to reality and with difficulty he pulled his mind out of Trent’s pants. Which was too bad, because he was just starting to plan out what he wanted to do with that ass.

“No, no.” Reed shook his head. “I don’t want money. If that’s what you’re thinking, that I’m trying to scam you or something, you’re dead wrong.”

“Well…” Trent looked at Reed out of the corner of his eye and Reed knew he wasn’t convinced Reed was harmless.

“Look, let’s sit down for a few minutes and grab something to drink. The heat is getting to me.” Reed wiped the back of his hand across his sweaty brow and smiled up at Trent, getting another suspicious look in return. But Trent looked hot and sweaty, too—though it just made him look even sexier—and let Reed lead him to table set up under a canvas canopy near half a dozen street vendors.

Reed ordered cool coconut drinks for them. Trent eyed the drink warily at first, but when he saw Reed slurp down half the glass in one long pull he cautiously sipped and smiled in delighted surprise. The coconut drinks were one of Reed’s favorites, though some vendors made them too sweet. He loved the soft fresh coconut flesh that floated in the glass and he’d usually save a few pieces to suck on and savor the taste after he’d drained the liquid contents. From the look on Trent’s face he seemed to be relaxing and Reed decided to take a time out here and put him at ease.

“I admit I saw you in the airport and thought it might be fun to hang out. I know a lot of places to go in the city, if this is your first time here …” Reed smiled hoping Trent would trust him, no matter how suspicious Reed’s behavior might have been up till now. He wished he could forget about the map and enjoy a few fun-filled days with Trent Dallas—preferably in a bed in Reed’s air-conditioned apartment where they ordered in food and didn’t get dressed the entire time.

“How do I know I can trust you? I mean, what were you doing in the airport anyway?” Trent repeatedly poked his straw at the pieces of coconut at the bottom of his glass.

“I had to pick up a package for my boss.” Thankfully Reed could tell the truth. “It got misdirected so I have to get it from a different location later today.” He paused for a moment. “You can eat that. It’scoconut flesh.” Reed took a bite from a piece he pulled from his own glass, to demonstrate it was safe.

“Really? I’ve never seen it so soft.”

“It’s from young coconuts. I guess they don’t leave them on the trees long enough to get really hard. They’re much easier to open when they’re young, too.”

Trent fished a piece out and took a tiny bite. He quickly ate the rest of it. “Mmm.”

“See? You can trust me.” Reed laughed. He enjoyed watching Trent consume the rest of the coconut pieces, picking each up and licking it to catch the last drops of the drink before sucking it into his mouth with a tiny slurp.

“Eating coconut and going somewhere with you are two entirely different things.” Trent tilted his head slightly then licked his lips and Reed had to keep from jumping across the table and kissing him. Did Trent know how he was torturing Reed as he imagined what else those lips and tongue could be doing. The smile on Trent’s face led Reed to believe that maybe he did. Damn tease! But Reed was enjoying the game. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt a spark like this for anyone.

“Fair enough.”

They chatted casually for another ten minutes, where Reed kept the conversation mainly about Thai food–deftly avoiding personal topics–until Trent seemed to have relaxed and become less suspicious. Reed noticed Trent’s appraising glances and grinned, hoping his dimples might be extra convincing. God, he hated doing it this way but he was on a short timetable and he didn’t have the luxury of being smooth about it.

“Have you decided you can lower the threat level on me to blue or green?”

Trent laughed and Reed’s spirits picked up. He liked the sound of Trent’s laugh.

“Well, I might go as low yellow, with an option for blue.”

****

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2430

EM Lynley
http://www.emlynley.comhttp://emlynley.livejournal.comhttp://facebook.com/emlynley

Memories of Thailand

July 29, 2011

It was an easy decision to set Rarer Than Rubies in Thailand. I’ve traveled a lot, and even lived abroad for many years, but Thailand is a place that’s very special to me.

I first visited on my way to start working in Tokyo. I had a job offer to work as an economist, but the company hadn’t opened their office yet, so they told me to take a vacation and they’d call me when they had my start date.

I did just that, and I wasn’t in any hurry. I spent about three months in Europe before I hit Italy, where I spent another four months. Still no start date from the new job, but I was having such fun I was glad!

When I got to Thailand I had already been in India for about three months, and I was so pleased at the really laid-back and friendly Thais. They call Thailand the “Land of Smiles” and it’s really very true. Everyone is smiling and they greet you with a “wai” or hands pressed together.

I love Thai food and I’m a huge fan of street food. I’m not afraid of eating from a cart or have a guy cook for me on little fire on the sidewalk. So Thailand was another form of heaven for me. The street food was fantastic. I admit I didn’t try any of the bugs that some carts were selling, but there was plenty to choose from. Lots of different soups or noodles, or my favorite was a guy selling duck around the corner from one of the guest houses I stayed at in Bangkok. He and his duck make an appearance in the book.

I also love coconut and there are plenty of Thai foods and drinks with coconut. I’ll be sharing an excerpt with one of those a little late. It’s interesting that in Asia coconut drinks and coconut water are common street drinks that cost pennies, yet here in the US they are just now making an appearance in grocery stores: for about 2 dollars a serving!

One thing I didn’t get to do in Thailand was visit the beaches. I chose to spend my time in the cities including the far north east and north west. It was wonderful to get out of the more touristy areas and see what more normal life was like in Thailand. I found friendly people everywhere who answered questions for me about all sorts of things. When visiting a temple I met a Thai-born American man who was spending a month as a monk. All Thais do this at some point in their lives, and even though this man lived in the US he had come back to do this. I asked him a million questions about it and he patiently answered all of them.

Among my favorite places was Sukhothai which was the old capital, with many temples and Buddha statues in ruins. I didn’t get a chance to use the location in the book, since the characters didn’t go there, and it was too bad. I took about a million photos when I was there. There were a lot of little ponds with huge lilypads, with giant pink flowers. Definitely one of the most memorable places on my trip!

So, I hope you’ll visit Thailand with me (and Trent and Reed), follow in my footsteps and live some of the wonderful experiences I had in Thailand. Check out Rarer Than Rubies!

Feel free to ask more questions here, if you like!

–EM Lynley

Today’s contest!

July 29, 2011

I’ll be giving away a $5.00 gift certificate to either All Romance eBooks or Fictionwise to a randomly chosen person who leaves a comment today on any of my posts or excerpts.

It doesn’t get easier than that. You’ll have till midnight tonight (Pacific Time) to enter and then I’ll post the winner’s name and how to contact me to get your prize.

Of course, I’d like you to use that to buy one of my titles, but if you don’t, I’ll never know!

Happy Reading!

EM Lynley
http://www.emlynley.com

Rarer than Rubies by EM Lynley

July 29, 2011

Can Reed resist Trent long enough to protect him from the mobsters who want revenge? Rarer than Rubies by EM Lynley, available from Dreamspinner Press.

When Trent Copeland runs into Reed Acton at a Bangkok airport, he thinks the handsome American is too good to be true. Why would someone like Reed be interested in a quiet, introverted gay-romance writer? After all, even an obvious tourist like Trent can see that there is more to Reed’s constant unexplained appearances in his path than meets the eye.

Reed Acton has one mission and one mission only—he needs to get the map that was accidentally slipped into Trent’s bag and keep the mobsters who want the priceless artifact from taking deadly revenge. Trent Copeland is a delicious and damned near irresistible diversion, but Reed can’t afford distractions right now, especially if he wants to keep Trent safe.

From Bangkok’s seediest back alleys to the sacred north, the two men will fight to stay one step ahead of the bad guys and learn that the only treasure worth finding is… each other.

Second Edition
EBook First Edition released January 2011 by Ravenous Romance as Thief of Hearts: Tempted in Thailand.

Buy in print
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Rarer Than Rubies by EM Lynley, Excerpt 1

July 29, 2011

RARER THAN RUBIES by EM Lynley
Paperback, 214 pages

When Trent Copeland runs into Reed Acton at a Bangkok airport, he thinks the handsome American is too good to be true. Why would someone like Reed be interested in a quiet, introverted gay-romance writer? After all, even an obvious tourist like Trent can see that there is more to Reed’s constant unexplained appearances in his path than meets the eye.

Reed Acton has one mission and one mission only—he needs to get the map that was accidentally slipped into Trent’s bag and keep the mobsters who want the priceless artifact from taking deadly revenge. Trent Copeland is a delicious and damned near irresistible diversion, but Reed can’t afford distractions right now, especially if he wants to keep Trent safe.

From Bangkok’s seediest back alleys to the sacred north, the two men will fight to stay one step ahead of the bad guys and learn that the only treasure worth finding is… each other.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2430

EXCERPT

Prologue

“WE’LL be landing in Bangkok in approximately thirty minutes.”

The voice over the loudspeaker broke into Trent Copeland’s consciousness and he pushed it away, thinking it was simply part of his dream. He attempted to return to the comfort of his slumber.

“Sir, your immigration card.” Someone shook his shoulder and pushed an official-looking form at him, and he realized he wasn’t dreaming at all. It was real. And about to get even more real.

He blinked and sat up, bringing his reclining seat to a sitting position. He heard, as well as felt, a shift, as the jet literally changed gears and began its descent.

For a moment he stared at the paper, trying to trace the steps that had brought him here. Had it been only two weeks earlier that he’d been jolted out of the security of his routine by an unexpected and unwelcome phone call from his literary agent?

What had he been thinking, letting Beth and Cassandra plan this trip for him?

He better get plenty of inspiration for his next novel, or plenty of sex—or both—or someone was going to be in big trouble when he got back. If he got back. He took a deep breath and pressed his face to the tiny window, wondering what lay in store for him once he landed.

- 1 -

Two weeks earlier

Los Angeles, California

THIS wasn’t really happening. It had never happened to him before. Okay, once. But never twice—in a row. His friends told him it was natural and sooner or later it happened to everyone. Now it was happening to Trent.

“Rejected? What’re you talking about, rejected?”

“Trent, honey, I’m sorry. The publisher isn’t interested this time around.” Cassandra’s slightly British-accented voice came through the phone clear as crystal, but still Trent didn’t think he’d heard her correctly.

“Why not? I’m one of their top-selling authors!” If there were a New York Times best-seller list for gay erotic romance, every one of his books would have been on it. “Aren’t I?” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he knew he sounded like a child.

Trent got up from the couch, tipping his Siamese cat Godiva off his lap and causing her to loudly meow her displeasure as she landed on all fours. Trent paced around the living room, cordless phone pressed tightly to his ear. He wished he had a phone with a cord so he could twist it around his editor’s neck. No, Cass’s neck. What the hell kind of agent was she, if she couldn’t sell either of his last two books?

“Yes, Trent, you are one of the top sellers, but your editor told me she’d read this one already. Twice.”

“What the fuck? I just finished it! How could she have read it twice? Is she a psychic as well as an editor?” He stopped in the middle of the living room and Godiva, who had been tagging along at his heels, crashed into him with a less-than-ladylike snarl. She hopped back onto the vacant couch, out of his way.

“Well, honey, it is an awful lot like the last one you wrote, you know?” Cassandra’s voice rose ever so slightly at the end of the sentence, as if he actually were a child she wanted to appease. It didn’t work.

“Grrr,” was all he could manage in reply. He started pacing again, trying to burn off anger and nervous energy while he crafted a suitable response. “What kind of agent are you, anyway? You’re supposed to get them to want it.”

“Trent, honey, I’m a pretty good agent, but I’m not a miracle worker. You always have the option of coming up with a new pen name and I can shop this to someone else.”

“No!” Trent practically shouted. He remembered how hard it had been choosing a pen name in the first place. He and his two best friends since college days, Beth and Mick, had sat around in his crummy old apartment tossing around ideas; he’d had to endure asinine suggestions such as I.M. Hung from Mick. Finally, with Cassandra’s input, he’d settled on J.T. Dallas, though he came from a little town in Oklahoma and hated when people thought he was Texan. But Cassandra said Texas sounded sexy to readers and Dallas brought back images of the rich and ruthless, which always helped sell romance. She’d been right, as usual, and it had proved a good decision. Since then, she’d been much more than an agent. She’d not only helped shape his heretofore successful career, but had become one of his closest and most-trusted friends.

He realized Cassandra had been talking while he’d been strolling down memory lane and he struggled to catch up to what she was saying.

“… but I think you just need a little change of pace, a vacation or something. Get a new perspective,” Cassandra went on. “Shake things up a bit and spark your creativity….”

“I don’t know how they can say this is like the last one!” He wasn’t giving up. “This one is about a cowboy and a NASA scientist, while the last one was about a university professor and a… cowboy….” His voice trailed off at the end. “Okay, maybe there are some similarities. Slight similarities.” He couldn’t even convince himself. No wonder the editor had thrown it back.

“You’ve finished two books already this year. Take some well-earned time off and spend some of those fat royalty checks you’re piling up.”

“I don’t need a vacation.”

“Yes, you do. You can’t just sit around all day watching Turner Classic Movies and Lifetime.”

Trent grabbed the TV remote and quickly hit the mute button. Damn, she knew him entirely too well.

“Give me a call in a couple of days and we’ll go for lunch with Beth and you can tell me where you decide to go for your vacation, okay? Gotta run, sweetie. Love you!”

Cassandra disconnected and Trent tossed the phone onto the couch, narrowly missing Godiva, who meowed imperiously before racing for safety behind the television.

“Sorry, baby.” Trent plopped himself down on the couch and pouted while he figured out what to do next.

Maybe Cass was right and a vacation wasn’t such a bad idea. He had gotten into a rut. He glanced down at the carpet and wouldn’t have been surprised to find he’d worn a trail into the floor following the same path over and over and over. He should visit the travel agent around the corner and pick up some brochures. Better yet, he’d call Beth and she could help him choose a destination.

He’d get right on that, after he finished watching Now, Voyager, one of his favorite films. He adored the classic scene where Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes at once, before handing one to Bette Davis. It made him want to take up smoking, the way the Thin Man films left him craving dry martinis. Trent clicked on the volume, grabbed a box of tissues, and settled back onto the couch.

****

Stay tuned for another excerpt!

Rarer than Rubies is here!

July 29, 2011

Happy Friday, Everyone!

I’m taking my first spin here for a release party to celebrate Rarer Than Rubies coming out.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m EM Lynley, though everyone calls me Em. I realized I should have used punctuation in my name, but it’s not a big deal.

I write only m/m erotic romance. I’ve got two titles with Dreamspinner, and I’ve got other books published elsewhere, but today I’m here to talk Rubies.

Most of my work is contemporary, but I do have one paranormal title I wrote and three paranormal/fantasy anthos I’ve edited, and I’ll definitely be writing more paranormal in the future!  I’ve also been working on my first sci-fi story that I really want to get finished.  It’s been fun stretching my boundaries in terms of writing.

I am a former economist so if you see something about finance in one of my stories, you’ll know why. Now I’m living near San Francisco, and I’ve worked in London, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.

Some of my guilty pleasures: 80′s music, Law & Order reruns, and just about anything that has coconut in it.

Who wants to admit to your own guilty pleasures?

EM Lynley

http://www.emlynley.com