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Welcome, welcome! Today I have interviewed loveliest guest! She's a newly published author but if you're a Wednesday Brief follower you might have heard of her before... please welcome, Raine O'Tierney and her novel Under The Table and into his Heart!
At the Under the Table host club, Valentine’s Day means one thing: cash. Neglected housewives, newly ex-girlfriends, and lovelorn thirtysomethings pay for the attention of handsome men. Shy bartender Jem has always wanted to be a host, and when the club’s owner, Miss Rye, accepts a contract from a MensLove Convention, Jem volunteers to flirt and make out with another host for the ladies’ entertainment. Bailey, an older man who’s had his eye on Jem, convinces Miss Rye to let him be Jem’s partner, and everyone gets more than they expected—especially Jem and Bailey.
Welcome Raine! Tell us about your latest release. What inspired you to write it?
I’m a huge Japanophile. It’s actually on my CV. Y’know, the one I give when I do state library presentations? (LOL!) And I’m a yaoi fangirl, through and through. One of the popular tropes in yaoi is the host club—places where you can go to sit and drink with super hot guys who will tell you all the right things. I wanted to take this concept and put an American spin on it. Under the Table host club was born!
This is the start of a new series! Exciting! What can you tell us about it?
Well, Under the Table and Into His Heart is a short for the Dreamspinner Press Valentine Rainbow, but it kicks off a series of novels that I’ve been percolating on for the last four years. Basically, it follows the host club run by a very sassy, savvy proprietor, Miss Rye, whose focus is less on her patrons, and more on money, money, money! The original intent of the club is to lure in rich, lonely women, who will drink with Miss Rye’s gorgeous male hosts. Of course you’ll have to wait and see what couples emerge, I think there’s a little something for everyone in this club.
This is your first published story, but how long have you been writing?
I started writing seriously (read: with the intent to someday publish!) in 1998—I was actually writing in math class in a spiral-bound notebook when I made the decision. I started writing M/M romance in 2004 after I got into yaoi in a big way. I then tried to be REALLY lionhearted last year and sent off my first submission inquiry to Dreamspinner Press! Long story short: after two rejections for shorts, I received contracts for this short and my novella, Sweet Giordan, Please Remember which comes out in March!
Why do you write m/m romance?
The first time I was asked this question was when my brother’s then-girlfriend turned on me and said, “So what’s so great about m/m?” and I stuttered, “Er…it’s uh…sexy?” which wasn’t my real answer at all. I think there is something powerfully romantic about two men finding each other, coming together, and building a forever together.
Do you have a writing process? What’s it like?
It’s definitely glamorous! Step one: roll out of bed and grab a shower, step two: put on my writing pants (pajama pants with dogs on them) and my Mumford & Sons tee-shirt, step three: make a tower of pillows to put the laptop on, step four: snuggle a dachshund, step five: write for twelve hours straight. I do this every single weekend!
What was your greatest challenge when it came to writing this particular story?
Word limit! I wanted to write the whole novel that I’ve had in my head forever and ever…but since it was a short, I had to crunch it all down into a (hopefully!) lovely little nugget of a story.
In five words, why will we fall in love with your characters?
Older top, virgin bottom, SWEETNESS!
Valentine’s Day: Yes or no? Why?
Yes, but…! J My husband Siôn (he writes M/M too!) and I got married right out of high school. So we’ve spent quite a few V-Days together. This year, we just decided we’re going to hang out. No flowers, chocolates, cards, or gifts. We won’t fight the crowds to get a table at a restaurant. We’ll stay at home, play some games, snuggle our dachshund, and have a chill Valentine’s Day.
A suggestion for the single ladies and gents out there to do on Valentine’s Day
My favorite Valentine’s Day ever was one before I was dating my husband—when a friend brought me flowers and a card and we just hung out and did girl things. Singles? Treat each other awesome! Make someone your friendshippy Valentine. It will make you feel good and someone else feel good too!
A book to read this month
Ironhearted by Cate Ashwood—this is the third in the series, but it can easily be read standalone and it is PHENOMENAL. How phenomenal? I drew fanart. Yes, I am *THAT* kind of nerd. So much love-love to fill your Valentine’s Day needs!
A movie to watch
You know what romcom I love that probably no one else even remembers? Mrs. Winterbourne with the phenomenal Shirley MacLaine, Ricki Lake, and Brendan Fraser.
Favorite candy to munch on
Dude, Twix! Always Twix. Twix all year long. I like to eat the cookie part off first because I am sort of a little kid.
Greatest romantic gesture you’ve done and greatest romantic gesture for which you’ve been the recipient.
Siôn says my greatest romantic gesture was telling him in our junior year of high school, “I’m going to marry you some day.” (I’m pretty sure I was bossy and demanding and not romantic at all! But if he says so…) And his most romantic gesture to me was not a grand, sweeping gesture—but instead his decade-long unwavering support of me and my writing. He followed me as I transitioned away from het to M/M, wrote with me when I begged, and held my hand as I stepped into the world of publication. The sacrifices he’s made for my dream… Nothing he can ever do, say, or buy, will come close to what he’s already given me.
(Thank you, Elyzabeth M. VaLey for hosting me on your blog!) A pleasure!
Under the Table and Into His Heart by Raine O'Tierney
“I’d like to volunteer.”
“Even if the convention goers wanted a ménage, Bailey, I need you on the floor.”
“Let’s be honest, Miss Rye. Callum’s our number one—his rates are higher anyway, and with your markup—”
“Supply and demand,” she interjected.
“Right. You need Callum on the floor. You’ll make a lot more money off him for that hour than you will me. I’m damned good at what I do: Callum’s more popular.”
“This is strangely humble of you, Bailey.”
“Just looking out for the good of the establishment.”
“Mm-hmm.” Miss Rye’s grey-blue eyes roved over his face. She didn’t even attempt to hide her skepticism. If there was one thing Miss Rye hated, it was bullshit. “Why do you really want to?”
“I told you, for the good of the—”
She cut him off with one of her trademark “don’t screw me with me” expressions.
“You’re right. But my reasons are personal, and I’d rather not go into it.”
“This is a job I’ve assigned to Jem and Callum. If you have a legitimate reason, speak up. Otherwise I’m going to assume you’re wastin’ your time and mine. So?”
For a long moment, it seemed he wouldn’t answer.
“I just don’t want Jem kissing Callum.”
“For Callum or for Jem?”
“Which pair of lips are you concerned about, Bailey? Jem’s or Callum’s?”
Raine O’Tierney is an always-writing, boundlessly enthusiastic, exclamation point addict! (!!!) She is known for declaring every day “the best day EVER!” and every thing her “all-time FAVORITE!” Despite this (obnoxious?) exuberance, she still somehow manages to have a wonderfully encouraging husband, Siôn, (who also writes M/M rom!) and an amazing group of friends and colleagues who continue to support (read: put up with) her. Raine spends her days working as a library lady, fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom.
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