RELEASE DATE: 12nd December 2013 – 1st edition
BLURB: Meet Ethan…he’s a self proclaimed slut hitchhiking across country from New York on his way to San Francisco. He stops in a small town in New Mexico and gets a job at a tavern called Honky Tonk without really wanting it. The owner of the tavern is a hulking cowboy named Hunter Westmore and Ethan does everything he can to get the man’s attention and once he does his dirtiest dreams come true.
Hunter is a cowboy and owns a ranch as well as the tavern. When he meets the city kid who came into the tavern he didn’t know what hit him. He’d never felt the way Ethan made him feel and he tried to ignore the younger man but no one could ignore Ethan. Once he finally gives in they start a discovery of what makes them both tick, and what they both love is when Hunter takes a strong hand to Ethan and gives him his collar. Can their darkly seductive love last or will their kinks tear them apart?
Warning: Contains scenes of BDSM between two consenting men.
Welcome to Gareth’s Corner! This month’s featured guest is none other than Rain Carrington one of the most creative and personable authors to grace the m/m book world. It is her ability to weave tales characterized by complex human emotions and unique circumstances that makes each book a genuine pleasure. Rain isn’t content writing simple love stories. Instead, her characters quickly learn that the road to love is often an unclear path. However, it is never long before the sparks start to fly and the tears begin to flow. And when we reach the end of the story we discover that we’re still hungry. Hungry for her next book.
This is precisely how I felt when I read HONKY TONK. It is by far my favorite of all the countless m/m romances I’ve read. Like the majority of Rain’s works, this book surpasses the story of just two guys in love. HONKY TONK is a tale of redefining oneself by embracing our true nature, of overcoming the demons of past regrets and current fears and finding that true love often leads us onto new horizons and through unchartered territory. Hunter and Ethan overcome these obstacles … eventually. First Ethan must get past his narcissistic effect he has on guys. A young, sexually provocative man who’s new to town. He has skated through his young adulthood on his looks and sexual promiscuity. However, his bag of tricks doesn’t seem to work on Hunter Westmore owner of the bar where Ethan works. Tall, mysterious and with a couple bucks in the bank – Hunter is preoccupied with insecurities all his own. However, he sees something in Ethan that even Ethan doesn’t see. Rain paints a portrait of a healthy pairing of Dominant and Submissive. The author strips away the myths and misconceptions many people have about the BDSM lifestyle. If this was the end of the story – it would be a wonderful read. But Rain isn’t finished by a longshot. Ethan takes his place by Hunter’s side and together the two … I’ll just let you read it for yourself.
It is first-rate story telling at its finest. The characters are well-defined and likable. Story flow is superb. There are a few minor editing flaws. However, they do not derail the reader from the storyline in any way. It has since been translated into French.
First released in December 2013 – HONKY TONK by Rain Carrington …. UPDATE: Great news for Rain Carrington fans! In support of Gareth’s Corner for the opportunity to interview today AS WELL AS a huge THANK YOU to her many loyal readers throughout the years … she is offering both the English and French versions of HONKY TONK for only 99 cents! The direct Amazon “buy it now” link will be attached to the end of this interview. Again, you can get your own copy of this phenomenal book sent directly to your Kindle. Rain will reset the price to its original 3.99 at the end of the week. So, get it now …………….
Without further hesitation, here’s the author of HONKY TONK – Rain Carrington!
Gareth: Welcome, my friend! I am thrilled to have you join us …. Satisfied with the review?
Rain: Satisfied isn’t the word for it, Gareth! You should do this for a living. It makes even me want to buy a copy ……… J
Gareth: What was your inspiration for writing Honky Tonk?
Rain: That’s easy. Joe Manganiello, who is the model for me for Hunter Westmore. I saw him on True Blood. I noticed his growl, his look, and the story just formed in my head. He did a photoshoot once dressed in cowboy gear. That’s all it took! I looked up the perfect model that would match Ethan and found Niclas Gillas. Together they formed the perfect couple. My “cowboy and twink”!
Gareth: Do you ‘mentally cast your main characters’ when writing their story?
Rain: I do. Sometimes I think of one in my head and find the closest resemblance, like I did for Ethan when I looked for and found Niclas Gillas while searching for blond male models on Google, or I see one and make him that character like Joe for Hunter. However, about BDSM, most all of my stories are centered around the lifestyle. During and after the 50 Shades of Grey thing, I wanted to showcase it in a different light than it had been before. Loving relationships between men who like a different sexual and spiritual experience with trusted partners.
Gareth: Hunter introduces Ethan into the BDSM world not only by whips and cuffs … but by education, encouragement and passion. The two sign a formal ‘contract’ insuring the safety and welfare of the submissive, setting parameters for their scenes or play sessions and spelling out the responsibilities of each person as defined by their role. Although doms are expected to explore the submissive’s limits of sensory endurance, a dom vows never to engage in nonconsensual and potential harmful or traumatic behavior. Ultimately, the sub has the personal responsibility to immediately halt a scene by evoking their “safe word”. Mine is ‘dinosaur’. I’ve evoked it twice in our twenty years together. I’ve met other subs who boast that they do not use safe words with their doms. Once I met such a sub at our BDSM playroom in Atlanta. Two weeks later he came to my ER with lacerations, contusions and three broken ribs. He died in the operating room. One of the ribs nicked a nearby artery. He bled to death internally before the nick could be repaired. I’ll never forget his words to me, “I should have listened to you. But he only stopped hitting me once – and that was to gag me. He was afraid his neighbors would hear my screams.”
Please, excuse my tangent. As I was saying, Ethan and Hunter’s relationship flourishes with mutual love and support of each other. The book illustrates their healthy pairing. Would you agree that a positive dom/sub pairing is just as dependent on chemistry as any vanilla relationship?
Rain: Oh yes! If the chemistry is not there, the scene will be as stale as old bread, no matter how heavy their kinks. I like to see two people together who belong together, who are connected and have that invisible link. Whether they’ve been together years or an hour, it’s extraordinary to watch the envy of everyone. As for your story, it kills me! I’ve heard the horror stories, those where “doms” and I use the term loosely, use the lifestyle to abuse, and the “subs” who use it to punish themselves for some past they can’t deal with in other ways. I always have couples or polys that fall in love, but that is not necessary. Even chemistry isn’t necessary, but it’s sure nice. Abuse? Hurting just to hurt? That is vile.
Gareth: Give me an idea of readers’ feedback about Honky Tonk.
Rain: I got a lot of mixed reviews, but most were great. People really took to the two main characters, their dynamic and playfulness. There were some editing issues, being my first book, but I have since had it fixed up a bit and those were solved. Others didn’t like that there was ALMOST an unfaithful moment in the book. In fact, some were pissed off about it! It didn’t happen, but it almost did and the other MCs reaction didn’t suit some of the readers either. They thought he took it too well, but these two characters were both solidly single and happy about it before they met and fell in love. Neither had the first clue about how to deal with a real relationship, and it was a shock to their systems. Trial and a few errors later, and they were as solid and monogamous as they could be. That is, until my Denver Diaries Collection, where they open a little and play with another couple.
Gareth: Although this was one of your first published works, it was not the first book you wrote. Why did you choose to begin with Honky Tonk as opposed to one of your other pieces?
Rain: It was my first published, yes. I wrote it specifically to publish. I knew the others were going to need a lot of work to be good enough to sell, so I waited until I had some time to go through them, and an editor that was amazing who could help me with that. I found that in Heidi Ryan. She’s been the best. I can’t sing her praises enough.
Gareth: How long have you been writing competitively?
Rain: Well, I don’t consider myself in competition. I have my core readers like everyone, and I’m always looking for new ones. I’ve been self-published on Amazon for over three years now and it’s been a great and wonderful ride, meeting new friends, watching the genre grow by leaps and bounds!
Gareth: What is it like to collaborate with someone else?
Rain: I have done it a couple of times. Once, on a story for an online site, AdultFanFiction, with Johnny Williams that we’ve spoken about publishing eventually. Another for a French charity I was thrilled to be paired with my idol and mentor, Patricia Logan, on a book called Falling for Rafe, or Tomber pour Rafe in French. I’m not sure of its release date yet, but I’ll let you know. It is good to mention here, that the book features her characters, Phoenix and Wade from her Master’s Boys series and my characters, Hunter and Ethan from Honky Tonk! It’s a great story and it was fun to write with her. We had a good time and it flowed easily for us both.
Gareth: To steal a line from Rocky Horror: You seem like a truly “unconventional conventionist”. One of the reasons I am drawn to your work is my attraction to your quiet charm and strong commitment to family. However, you’re an out-of-the-box thinker.
Rain: I’m an old fashion girl who wishes for weddings and babies. Not all of my characters are cut out for that kind of life, though, and I have to force myself from trying to get them all down the aisle or from adopting babies the second they are together. The other side of me, the wild child, kicks in and I want them to have a life I know little about. Being free to fly across the world to see someplace they’ve never seen or have sex in the middle of the day with a room full of people looking on. In one of my series, I gave one of the couples a child at the end, and the others in the series became “uncles”. That seemed to satisfy me and my characters too!
Gareth: I have been impressed with the diversity of subject matter you’ve explored throughout the course of your career. Talk to me about your creative process from conception of a book idea through to completion.
Rain: That is a tough one.
Gareth: But those are the most interesting!
Rain: True. I don’t have a set script or routine except I get stories in my head and I start writing. Sometimes I write an outline, sometimes not. I jot down ideas as they come and sometimes I use them, sometimes not. I think of a place or see a person and something comes to me, works its way around in my mind until a story progresses around it.
Gareth: See? That wasn’t too painful was it?
Rain: No. But you were gentle.
Gareth: How have you evolved as a writer over the years?
Rain: Like you, I had written for years before I even heard of m/m romances. So, I had the skills. I became more “connected” to what my readers like – or don’t like. Then there’s the use of lesser qualified editors in my early, early stuff. You mentioned the editing flaws.
Gareth: But I bought HONKY TONK when it was hot off the press so to speak. Your other stuff doesn’t have the same issues. Besides I am too engrossed in the story to give a damn about a missing comma.
Gareth: Not a problem. Is your home in the Rockies a factor in your writing?
Rain: Yes! A big part. However, I recently moved to Georgia. But I still write mostly about Colorado. I was raised there, know every sight and smell, every season of snow or cool nights. The hills and mountains are filled with stories for me. New Mexico, like I wrote about in Honky Tonk and my series, Enchantment, that is another favorite. There are worlds inside of that state that few get to see.
Gareth: Well, Georgia has one or two beautiful qualities. Then, again, I’m partial. Go Bull Dawgs!
Gareth: Are you a native of Colorado?
Rain: No, I was born in a little town in New Mexico. But I consider myself a Colorado native.
Gareth: PINK SADDLES is next up on my “To Read” list. Give me a hint about the premise and what I may expect from the book.
Rain: This one delves into what one man does to cope with a very traumatic past. Xen was the hardest character I’ve ever written, being that he doesn’t speak. He chooses not to. Words, to him, hurt, He goes through life expressing himself in his art, which is mostly graffiti. He’s a submissive and hangs out in Chaps, where he meets an unlikely match for him: A Texas man named Memphis. He owns a boarding stable for horses and he’s a Dom. They go out on a date, and Memphis is enthralled by the silent beauty. He tells himself he’s under some spell, how much he’s drawn to this man who never uses words. Hand gestures, nods, even his texts are all emoji and pictures. Memphis is worried about him so enlists the help of a therapist to help Zen through whatever took his voice. This story is one of my top favorites. It took allot out of me. But challenged me in ways I will always appreciate. Very emotional, triumphant, drama and suspense filled.
Gareth: The Murder Creek series? Ah, I love the sound of it – by the series title alone! A fresh release launched in August – give me a heads up. And who is Bradley Mathis?
Rain: It’s my first paranormal. It’s about witches and demons, and how love never really dies. Very cheesy sounding I know lol. I am working on book two now, but it’s going a little slower than I planned. Bradley is a friend who offered to edit for me for this work. He’s an avid reader and wonderful friend who helped me out and I can’t sing his praises enough!
Gareth: Could you share with us a bit about the book you are working on at the moment?
Rain: I have three going right now, but the one taking up most of my brain power at the moment is called LIES MEN TELL. It’s an installment in the Denver Diaries Collection. This one, like the others in the series, are set around Denver, Colorado and the club, Chaps, a huge leather club I came up with in another series. Each story is different, but many of the characters from previous stories in the series come back, much like Apishipa Creek. Hunter and Ethan have even made a cameo or two. In Lies Men Tell, I center on two men who are older, wiser and scared to death of having their hearts broken. One of the men had been cheated on and is gun shy of that possibility. The other man had never given his heart before. This one is about the lies men tell, like the title suggests, but not so much the ones they tell others, but the ones they tell themselves. Humans, female and male alike, tend to lie to themselves so much more than they ever do to others. This digs into that and explores some of my characters coming to that realization and discovering themselves for the first time.
Gareth: Let me know when it is about to launch.
Rain: You’ll be the first one I call.
Gareth: It is so wonderful to have you here today. A real treat for your many many readers – including myself. What EXCITES Rain Carrington the most?
Rain: Well, maybe not the answer you are looking for here, but at the moment, getting my puppy to go outside to do her business! LOL But other than that, hearing people tell me that they love my stories. When I get a message telling me that something that I wrote gave them emotions and how they felt the characters were real people. That is what I really love.
Gareth: What nugget of advice do you have for the fledgling writers out there who may be reading this now?
Rain: Keep writing. Period. You won’t like a story, you’ll leave it, you may come back to it, you might not, but write. Write every day. Write fanciful shopping lists if your life is too busy to sit for a novel. Anything to write a little each day and keep yourself active.
Gareth: Rain, it has been a genuine pleasure having you with us today. I hope you’ll come back to The Corner soon.
Rain: All you need to do is give me a call!
Gareth: Awesome! I’m already looking forward to it. You won’t start dodging my calls will you?
Rain: Noooooooo! This has been fun. I can’t wait.
Gareth: Scout’s honor?
Rain: Scout’s honor.
Gareth: All righty then! HONKY TONK. 99 cents. That’s one “easy pay” of 99 cents. Get it – you won’t regret it …. The direct Amazon “Buy” link will be included at the end of our interview.
I want to thank our special guest Rain Carrington for sharing her time with us. Next month we are finishing 2016 in style … I hope you join me as we interview Patricia Logan whose latest release has already done a bang up job on Amazon!
Rain, you have a Merry – oh, I’ll talk to you way before then.
See you next month, everyone!
Rain: Bye bye!