January 17, 2013

GLBT Romance: Title Love with @taralain #RLFblog

Brush With Catastrophe
Tara Lain, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. The blog is yours for the day, so tell us all about your new romance, Brush With Catastrophe.

I’m so delighted to be here at Romance Lives Forever visiting you guys and my pal, Kayelle Allen. I’m celebrating the release of my MM erotic romance, Brush with Catastrophe. It’s a contemporary paranormal novel and the sequel to Spell Cat. Creating the title for Brush with Catastrophe was a labot of love and inspiration so today I thought I’d talk about titles.
Some authors have a love/hate relationship with book titles. For others it’s hate/hate. It’s quite common for authors to ask other people for help with their titles and many wait until the book is completed before they choose a title. Not me. For some reason, for me, titles are practically spiritual. Or maybe biological is a good word. They’re born out of the idea growing in my mind and then leap out full blown and help guide the story. So many of my books have been created out of title love.
Take Volley Balls. Originally, that little book was going to be a standalone for an anthology and it was called David and Goliath. I decided I didn’t like the name a short way into the book. I was afraid it might offend someone. Then inspiration struck. Two of my heroes are Australian volleyball players and I just couldn’t resist the name Volley Balls. People loved the title, so when I decided to write another book in the series, it had to have a “Balls” title. In Volley Balls, there’s a feisty little guy named Rodney and he just had to be my hero for the next book. He is definitely a little fire ball and the next title was born. The title, Fire Balls, suggested the story and I made the guy Rodney loves a firefighter. It’s also funny that people send me emails and come up to me on the street with suggested Balls titles! I love it.
And title love also applies to Brush with Catastrophe. As I mentioned, this book is the sequel to Spell Cat. Spell Cat was inspired by a black cat. Cats suggest witches (at least to me). So I decided to write a witch book--but it would be about a male witch, a great witch master who has a black cat who is his familiar. But the witch is also a teacher. The book just had to be called -- Spell Cat.
For the sequel, I really wanted to write about Sammy, a character introduced in Spell Cat. Sammy is a witch whose power is prophetic painting. Sammy finds himself the focus of friendship for Aloysius, the spell cat of the previous book, and together, along with the man Sammy loves, they have to fight a huge threat to all witchery. I needed a title for the book -- I freak out if I don’t have a title to work with. The word Catastrophe kept playing in my mind because of Aloysius. One morning I literally sat up in bed and thought painter! Yes, paint brush! Brush with Catastrophe. And new title love was born.
Do you have favorite titles that persuaded you to buy a book?

Genre: Gay Romance, Paranormal
Buy links:


Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch. And on top of that, he can’t get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. True, the “prophetic” paintings he does at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Then he paints a gorgeous guy and it turns out to be his secret crush, Ryder. But the guy has changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. And then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil? And why the hells does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs the winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
Every particle of energy, every spark of volition poured from Sammy. Darkness filled his head and oozed down his body like old oil.
Fire. Like a brand on his chest. He must have blacked out. He opened his eyes. Couldn’t move. A heap against the wall. But…
Was he alone?
Had to take stock. Check the ass? Not violated. Surely he’d know. No pain there. But he felt like a blazing poker pressed against his neck. He tried to raise a hand to soothe the burn. No luck.
And where the hells was Lucien?
“Merwaor. Merwaor.” A soft feline whining came from behind the door. So Lucien had been able to keep Aloysius locked up but not quiet. Interesting. His powers weren’t quite all that.
What had the guy done to Sammy while he was out?
He raised his head, and pain stabbed through it until his sight vanished in a flash of white. He dropped back to the floor. “I have to get up. Somehow.” He tested scooting his feet a few inches. Nausea washed over him like a sick fog. He heaved twice, but witches couldn’t vomit. Why did he feel so bad? It didn’t seem like Lucien had forced him while he was passed out. And Al had to be the cause. That last shriek would have wakened the dead, literally. But gods, how could Lucien have caged Aloysius? Sammy thought he knew, and the facts made him more exhausted. Aloysius was a familiar. Beyond some basic power over his own form, he could only magnify the powers of the witch who held him. Sammy had little power, so Al had nothing to magnify. A tear slid down Sammy’s cheek. Useless.
Spell Cat
He stared at his phone, a lifetime away on top of his dresser. He summoned power and tried to lift it. Shit, nothing. Not a quiver. Even less power than he usually had. Besides, who would he call if he could get the damned phone? His mom and dad didn’t need this grief. And he didn’t really want to tell them what had happened. Chen couldn’t get out of his house easily at night. He could call Killian, but it was his anniversary. Plus, it would get Lucien in tons of trouble. Shit, it should! But maybe Lucien really had thought Sammy wanted this. Maybe Sammy had wanted it and sent the wrong signals? His skin burned like fire around his neck.
Sammy cried in earnest.
Suddenly he heard the door fly open. Shit. Was Lucien back?
“Sammy? Sammy, where are you?”
Ryder rushed around the screen that separated the sleeping space from the rest of the apartment, and Sammy cried harder.
“Sammy. God, what’s wrong?” Ryder squatted down on the floor and reached for Sammy.
“N-no. Can’t move. Too sick.”
“What can I do? I’ll call an ambulance.”
Sammy shook his head and regretted it instantly. “No, please. I don’t think I need a doctor.”
“You sure look like you do.” Ryder grabbed a cover off the bed and tucked it around Sammy’s naked body.
Sammy murmured, “Would you let Aloysius out of the bathroom?”
Ryder frowned. “How the hell did he get in there?”
Should he tell him? He had to tell someone. But he didn’t want Ryder to think less of him. “Long story.”
Ryder got up and opened the bathroom door. Like a furry missile, Al leaped out, landed beside Sammy’s collapsed body, and immediately padded up to his head and started licking him on the forehead. “Hey, that feels good.” Like that warm oil when he painted.
Ryder sat back down beside Sammy. He reached out one long-fingered hand and brushed Sammy’s hair off his face. Then he began to gently caress Sammy’s cheek. Between Al and Ryder, light and warmth shone through Sam’s body. The burning on his chest and neck lessened. “That’s so nice.” His eyes closed.
“Tell me what happened, Sam.”
“I can’t.”
“Please. It has something to do with Lucien, doesn’t it?”
Sammy nodded. Wow. It didn’t even hurt so much to nod. Ryder’s hand kept up its gentle stroking.
“I actually came here to warn you about him.”
“I should have listened to you before.”
“This is a bigger warning. I found out that he’s having sex with both Maybelle and Bilden. There may be others. I came to beg you not to sleep with him. People who have had sex with him seem weird. Did you notice how strange Maybelle and Bilden have been acting? I don’t know if the two facts are related, but I don’t think you should take the chance.”
Sammy started to cry.

About the Author

Tara Lain’s first erotic romance novel was published in January of 2011. She’s now on book 16. Her novels have garnered awards for Best Series of 2011, Best Contemporary Romance, 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, and she carries her promotional instincts into her writing career as well. She lives with her soul-mate husband 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”!
Tara Lain

Find Me Here


  1. You really do come up with some fantastic titles, Tara. I especially enjoy book titles that have a play on words.

    1. Hey, Allie. ^_^ She is good at that, isn't she?

  2. You are wonderful at titles I'm one of those love/hate folks, meaning I love it when they come to me, and hate it when they don't. :)

    I'm disappointed, you didn't say what kind of store you are! *lol*

  3. Hi Allie and Charley and Kayelle-- How fun to be back here! This post is so appropriate because i am having a terrible time finding the right title for my new werewolf book. I've never been this stuck for a title! It's scary. LOL : )

    1. I love how you come up with titles for your books. As for the new one have you thought of using something with Lycanthrope instead of werewolf?
      Maybe something like Lycanthrope Loving?

  4. ooh. Lycanthrope is cool but i never use it in the book. I guess i could go back and add it in! My two lovers are a werewolf and a half-breed wolf/panther. The panther is a loner and the wolf is all about pack. : )

  5. oooh. I might have just come up with an idea! I have to mull it over and see how it sits. : )

  6. I've definitely been with you as people have recommended those "Balls" titles. It's fun to think of the play off words. Perhaps, a contest in your future? Name your next Ball book? ;-)

    Enjoyed reading about your process.

    1. LOL Louisa, good idea. That should get the juices flowing. heh. In more ways than one. ;)

  7. I know. The Balls books have become a name game. Funny though. I don't have the perfect name yet for the next Balls book which involves two firefighters. : )

    1. Oh wow. Fireballs has already been taken, right?

  8. Yep. Sad to say! LOL I'm considering Fireman's Balls since there actually are such things. My editor doesn't like it much. What do you think? : )


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