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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tara Lain's "Sinders and Ash" Blog Tour




Sinders and Ash
(The Pennymaker Tales Series, #1)
by Tara Lain

Blurb: 
Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America—and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he’ll lose his grandfather’s inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.

Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes twelve, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding—but one isn’t a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure.



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Excerpt 1



The soft knock reminded him of a cue in a bad play. He knew who it was and knew he shouldn’t answer. That insane little man gave him hope when he knew he had no hope. Only hard work. But dammit, he liked Mr. Pennymaker.
He huffed, dragged himself off the bed, cleared the couple of steps to the door, pulled it open, and headed right back to the bed and curled into a ball.
“Helloooo, my boy. How are you this lovely day?” The chirpy voice paused, and Mark peeked at him from his armadillo-like position. Mr. Pennymaker had his hands on his knees and was gazing at Mark. Yes, he was an elf. “Hmm. I gather we are not tip-top?”
Mark shook his head. “No, sir.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
“Don’t really want to talk about it.”
“Might as well. I want to listen.”
He had a point. Mark needed another angle of vision. “I did something very bad.”
The dark suit Pennymaker was wearing today would have been conservative but for the bright pink vest and the gardenia in his buttonhole. He sat on the rickety chair. “Would you like to tell me about it?”
Mark sat up. Would he? There was something about the man. Like he was on Mark’s side no matter what. Mark had never had that feeling… at least not since his mom died. It made no sense. Mr. Pennymaker was a stranger, but there it was. “Well, you see, Richard the Bastard tried to force himself on me, and I was so—”
“Hold on! What happened?”
“Oh, the bastard sous chef finally quit perving on me and decided to do the deed. He didn’t get to hurt me because Armitage—you know, the rich guy—came to my rescue. And now I know I’m going to get fired any minute, and I really need this job, and I don’t know what I’ll do if they give me a bad referral.”
“Now, now, even Herman Marcusi won’t fire a man for avoiding rape.”
“No, you don’t understand. Because I was really upset. See, I had this thing happen and I guess I went into flashbacks or something, but I was pretty messed up, and Armitage tried to help me and, shit, I kissed him.”
The man grinned. “Kissed him?”
“Yeah.” Mark returned to armadillohood.
Mr. Pennymaker’s voice dripped with amusement. “I’m sure you were grateful.”
Didn’t he get it? Mark sat up. “No! I kissed him kissed him, like, with tongue and, you know.”
The grin got bigger. “I’m sure you were very grateful.”
Mark sighed. “Maybe. But I imagine he’s reporting it to Marcusi right now and I’ll be out on my ass by tomorrow.”
“Maybe he enjoyed it.”

Hell, he hadn’t thought of that. The guy had seemed shocked, but he hadn’t worked very hard to get away. After all, Mark wasn’t exactly Mighty Joe Young. Still, the look on his face…. “I doubt it. Hell, you can’t do anything good with Sinders and Ash.”


Excerpt 2



“No, sir. I have dinner for two. Do you want me to serve it now?”
“What did you bring?”
“Sole amandine, mashed potatoes, and broccoli, sir. As you requested.”
“Do you like those foods, Sinders?”He looked up, startled, maybe, at hearing his nickname.“Sorry, I know that’s not your name. What is it?”
“Uh, Mark Sintorella, sir.”
“So do you like sole and mashed potatoes and broccoli, Mark?”
“Yes, sir. The chef does an excellent job.”
“Good, then you’ll eat it with me.”
Those dark eyes seemed to consume his face. “No, sir.”
“Yes, and you’ll call me Ash while you’re doing it.”
“Sir.” He looked down and then back up at Ash. “It’s my job to serve the food, not to eat it.”
“It’s your job to make the guests happy.”
His eyes returned to his shoes. “I can’t imagine why eating with me would make you happy.”
Ash stood and crossed the room. “Sin—uh, Mark, I don’t want to play rich guest games with you. If you don’t want to have dinner with me, you certainly don’t have to.”
“Did Miss Fanderel cancel?” He still hadn’t looked up.
“No, I ordered this dinner because I wanted to see you and I wanted to eat it with you.”
That got his attention. His head snapped up and the amber-brown eyes widened. “Really?”
“Yes. I thought since we have shared a, shall we say, personal moment, that we might get to know each other.” He pointed to the table. “Since you’re supposed to be serving my dinner, no one is going to break in and disturb us. We can relax and talk. That is, if you want to.”
“I shouldn’t.”
“Oh, why?”

The kid wiped the top of one shoe against his pant leg in back. “I might like it.”



Excerpt 3



“What’s your dream, uh, Mister—”
“Ash.”
“Ash.”
Armitage set his glass down. “I guess I don’t have one. It’s a problem of being born with a lot of money. It can kill your motivation.”
“Bull.” Mark gasped and slapped that hand over his mouth again.
For a second Ash looked shocked. Then he laughed so hard Mark thought he was going to throw up the food he’d just eaten. “Hell, kid, just when I think you’re some shrinking violet, I get to see your true colors. That’s great!”
“I’m sorry.”
He took a breath and looked steadily at Mark. “No, you’re not. I’ve watched you work your ass off around this place for what I imagine is little money and less appreciation, and yet you keep going. A dilettante rich kid like me who has never earned a dime must be beneath your contempt.”
Mark shook his head, but Ash held up a hand. “The only thing I’ve seen slow you down is that asshole in the hall. You don’t have to tell me. I know it was a flashback of some kind. But I would like to know why you kissed me.”
That was direct. Mark’s heart beat like a hammer. Half the truth, maybe? “I was grateful… and confused. No one had ever stood up for me like that.”
“Handshakes are good.”
“Like I said, I was confused.”
“You kissed me. Not ‘thanks a bunch for saving me,’ but a ‘how far down my throat can you get your tongue’ kind of kiss.”
Mark pushed back the chair, jumped up, and stalked into the living room area. Okay, maybe more of the truth. “Look, I said I’m sorry. I’m gay, for Christ’s sake, and you’re gorgeous. In a situation like that, it’s easy to lose your bearings. You were holding me, and you smelled good, and I was scared, and adrenaline took over and—you know the rest.”
Ash looked at him over steepled fingers. “Would you have kissed me under other circumstances?”
“Like what? Selling kisses for charity?” Jesus, Sintorella, control your sarcasm before you get fired. He took a deep breath.
“No, like if we were in a hotel suite having dinner.”
“Of course not.” He had to get out of here.
“Not even if you thought I wanted you to?”
Mark’s heart stilled. “Why would you want me to?”
Ash got up and walked over to the bar. He splashed a little more champagne into his glass. He held the bottle out to Mark, who shook his head.
“Why don’t you ask me again what my dream is?”
Stay very still. This situation is volatile. “I should go.”
“No. We have crème brûlée waiting. Ask me.”
. “What’s your dream?”
“I don’t have one, because I’m too busy pretending to be someone I’m not to actually have a dream. What I really should have said to you earlier is that I’m a liar, and the person I lie to most is me. I see someone like you and it makes me ashamed to be alive.”
Mark couldn’t take his eyes from Ash. Maybe the man was a flame of truth, or a rattlesnake. Both were mesmerizing. “What do you lie about?”
“Almost everything. Why don’t you tell me?”
“You’re gay.”

“Yes.”


Excerpt 4



His heart hammered. He cradled Mark’s face, his fingers overlapping the knit of the cap. Mark’s breath smelled like coconut, and his lips looked more delicious than the crème brûlée. Okay, be gentle. Don’t scare him. Gently he laid his lips against Mark’s. One second. Sweet. Two seconds. Exploration. Three seconds. Hot!Oh God, heat crept from that soft contact up to Ash’s head and straight down to his cock. Whoa. Down, boy. He pulled back. Needed more control.
Before he got an inch away, Mark grabbed his head and pulled him back until his tongue pressed like a hot intruder into Ash’s mouth. Oh yeah. Ash slid his hands down Mark’s round butt and tugged him close. Hmmm. Got a nice moan on that one. Mark ate at Ash’s mouth, sucking in his lips. His tongue pressed deep. Wow. This guy was not kidding. Had Ash just thought he should go easy?
Mark pulled back a little and sipped at Ash’s lips, then ran his tongue over the bottom one. First outside and then… oh God, he slipped his tongue inside Ash’s lip and caressed that soft, sensitive skin.
Sweet Jesus, he couldn’t stand up. Ash leaned back hard against the counter, but he knew his knees were crumpling. Strong hands reached around and smoothed over his ass, and then a finger pressed against the crack of his butt like Mark was tracing the seam of the denim—up and down. Jesus, Ash’s cock throbbed. Too much blood in there. Too long since that cock had any exercise. He wanted to rip his pants down and let that finger do its business where it belonged.
Like Mark had read his mind, one hand moved to the front and began to unfasten the buttons on Ash’s fly. Shit, he couldn’t help it. His hips pushed forward, forcing his cock against that hand like a puppy looking for milk.
Mark murmured, “Yessss.” He undid the last button, slipped his hand into the top of Ash’s boxer briefs, and found the promised land. Hand met cock. Why had Ash ever thought this guy was shy and virginal? Dear God, he was hot!
Mark’s fingers were callused, a little scratchy, but so nice. The slight abrasion on his sensitive cockhead about sent Ash into the sink in a good way. “Oh God.”
There was a smile in Mark’s voice. Ash couldn’t quite open his eyes to see it. “You want more?”
Ash nodded. Nothing happened. “Yes. Yes, I want more.” That gasping was not cool. He didn’t care. This was too good.
His jeans began to move down his hips, to his thighs, and then they fell to his knees. The boxers got ripped down after.
“Hmmmm.” The sound came from around his knees.Shit, what did that mean? Hmmmm bad or hmmmm good?
“Is it okay to suck without latex? Am I safe?”
Suck. God, he was going to get sucked. “Oh, uh, yes. I’ve been ridiculously careful. Part of my paranoia, and actually I haven’t had very many partners.”
“Good.”
Ohhhhh God! No prelim. Just cock into hot mouth in one delicious, fantastic, mind-bending swallow. Every nerve flashed hot. He giggled. “I almost came.”

Mark popped the cock from his mouth. “Wanted to be sure you were awake.”














About the Author



Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. 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 soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!


You can find Tara at

               



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