Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome author Erin O'Quinn

I'd like to welcome Erin O'Quinn to my blog today.  Let's find out more about her and her book "Warrior, Stand Tall"

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: You could say, in a sense, that I’ve been writing my whole life. Even before I was literally hauled off to kindergarten from my family’s small cabin in the mountains of Nevada, I was writing. And yet in another sense, I have only just begun. Years drifted by while I did anything but write. I sold cars, I taught college English, I hauled pallets through a big-box store. When my husband and I bought an iMac less than two years ago, some kind of banshee seized my soul--I now recognize her as my muse--and I began to write chapters, then books, then series of books, most of them based in Old World Ireland. I stopped only after I had written more than a million words, all formerly locked in my fevered brain. I’m fortunate to say that ten novels have been contracted, six of them published.

Q: What is your favorite genre to write?

A: Two years ago, I would have said “Historical Fantasy.” A year ago, I would have told you “Romance.” Now I realize that the kind of writing that turns me on, that fires my body and my brain too, is the Manlove subgenre of romance. I’ve thought about all the reasons, both psychological and biological, and I’ve concluded that it lies in my deep admiration for the beauty of the male body and the mystique of the attraction between men.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m about ten chapters into a work about two gay bare-fist fighters in the early years after WWI. They started out in Dublin, but I may move them to Boston, as far as possible from the troubles between the Irish and British--and closer to the rough-and-tumble world of the roaring twenties, when the gay underground was surprisingly active. The book is giving me fits, because I need to stay light-hearted in a time that was teeming with prejudice, against both gays and the Irish.

Q: When you start a new story do you begin with a character or plot?

A: For me it’s character, character, character. They invade my sleep, they punch me in the gut, they won’t let me alone until I’ve created persons I know inside and out. They dictate the plot, they let me know when I’m starting to stumble.

Q: Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?

A: My next novel is called Noble, Nevada, to be published by Amber Allure. It’s a contemporary, based loosely on my Nevada hometown. It was inspired by a FB conversation with a friend in a writing group. She was wondering what in the world she could write about, and I mentioned that she, being born and raised in a small town in Texas, knows plenty about cowboys. And then I realized that I, too, know about small-town life and non-sophisticated guys. Noble tells the story of two young small-town men who, through their discovery of each other, find real meaning in their lives. One man, a drifter, is running from an abusive father. The other, a recent pre-law graduate, is running from a manipulative girl friend. Even though it sounds fairly serious, it really is full of laughter and sexual discovery and loving companionship...and a bit of high drama too, as one is thrown behind bars and the other finds himself running again from an abusive man.
Thanks for welcoming me to your outstanding blog site! I feel fortunate to share my latest M/M historical adventure with your readers. Today I’d like to talk about the second novel in my IRON WARRIOR series. The first, called Warrior, Ride Hard, debuted less than a month ago. It told the story of three men--two of them drawn to a hard-as-hobnails Roman named Gristle, a man “tough and hard to swallow.” Now, in Warrior, Stand Tall, two passionate men discover the best--and the worst--in each other.

BIO: Erin O’Quinn is the pen name of an author who has six novels published by SirenBookStrand, all of them centered in the Old World Ireland of St. Patrick. Later this year, Silver Publishing will publish her contemporary short story “What Molly Wanted” in their Let it Snow holiday series. Starting next year, she will have a four-part fantasy saga published by MuseItUp. Erin earned a couple of degrees (English, Comp Lit.) and has spent time in Nevada, Los Angeles, Germany, Las Vegas and now central Texas. Her jobs have included car salesperson, marketing/promotion guru, English teacher, and pallet-hauler in a garden center.  All those years, all those jobs, have found expression in her books. 
Thanks for your interest!


Gristle, bad-ass former Roman soldier, has finally found love in the person of young Wynn, a pony trainer nearly half his age. Each man has a secret. For Wynn, it’s the chilling sexual assault that he has suffered by two evil druids in the former novel Warrior, Ride Hard. For Gristle, not admitting to his festering jealousies, it’s the dread that any love he admits to will be wrested away by cold Fortuna, goddess of fate.

While the two men are trying to solve their inner turmoil, Gristle finds that his old friends in Wales are being threatened by invasion from ruthless Saxons. Even after they manage to handle the Saxon threat, new trouble waits on the sacred Hill of Tara, where the chief druids to the high king plot to strike again at the heart of Wynn.

Into this maelstrom of danger walks Dub, a striking warrior-scholar whom Gristle recognizes as a potent rival for the attentions of his handsome lover.

This latest in the Warrior series is a little funnier, a little sexier than the first...but both novels will keep you excited as attractive men battle enemies and their own inner demons while they love to the fullest.


Gristle and his young lover Wynn have had no time to themselves for weeks, having come to Wales to help out a group of friends beset by Saxon invaders. At last they have broken away from the others and have gone to the isolated Cairn Mountains to try to capture wild mountain ponies--but especially to be alone with their pent-up desire for each other. What follows is one of several encounters shouted to the mountains:

At last both men sat with full bellies in front of their fire. The sun had set half an hour ago, but they could still see the movement of kites darting and soaring and dipping. They watched the way their long, forked tail feathers twisted as they flew and changed direction close to the ground in their hunt for food.
“These birds need to visit Bear Mountain,” Wynn observed. “Fill up on supper scraps, eh?” 
Gristle, close to him, looked into his tawny eyes and nodded, almost smiling. “Some creatures would rather kill their own supper. Keeps them sharp-eyed and fit.”
“Ye made a passable kill tonight,” Wynn told him.
Gristle glanced at the remains of a three-pound pine marten that he had felled with his slingshot. Wynn had scraped off the skin, and the pelt lay stretched a few feet away, brown with a soft, yellow bib and bushy tail.
“Are you saying that I am sharp-eyed and fit?” He left his cross-legged position and stretched out on the tarred blanket that protected them from the hard ground. His face was close to Wynn’s knees, and the young man reached out and lightly stroked his hair.
Ie. I am fortunate to have ye.”
Gristle felt like probing a little tonight, to see how far he himself was willing to go.
“So you think you ‘have’ me?”
Wynn’s fingers did not hesitate in their slow movement.
“I have ye as a pony has a rider. Or as a sword has a sheath.”
Gristle felt a little nerve in his throat begin to beat and throb. “Yet who is the rider, and who the pony?”
“Griss, it matters not. We are one and the same.”
Gristle saw Wynn’s face drop close to his own, smelled the still-pungent aroma of juniper berries.
“Like a Centaur?”
“I think I know of centaurs. A man who is also a horse. That comes close to me idea of our companionship.”
“Then show me.”
Wynn shifted position in one lithe movement. Gristle felt strong hands seize his ass, pinning him facedown to the tarred cloth.
“I will show ye how I fuck assholes.”
If Gristle doubted that his lover was being humorous-serious, he left his illusions behind when he felt Wynn pull off his thong and lower his britches. He felt the boy lean over him, and then he felt the honey of his thick spit flooding into his ass crack. He spread his own butt as far as he could, while Wynn held him strongly to the ground.
Wynn’s lips were in his ear. “How deep, O trainer?”
Gristle’s cock banged and pulsed. “Up to your balls, boy.”

He heard Wynn’s soft laughter, and then he heard nothing but his own harsh breath as a broad cock-dagger split his ass and pushed fire almost to his gut. Until he had met Wynn, the Roman had never felt another man’s prick in his asshole. Actually, he had never even entertained the notion. He had always been the top dog, the rutting buck. But somehow Wynn’s reversal of the rules fired him deeply, sending quivers and hot spasms to places he never knew existed.
Now he bucked and twisted as Wynn held tight to his ass and rammed and pushed and slammed. He felt Wynn’s long, smooth balls slap against his own balls, and suddenly he felt Wynn’s cock thrust deeper than ever before, to a place he had never reached.
“Goddamn!” he shouted, actually feeling himself coming, more and more, as though for the first time.
“Now, now. I love ye!” Wynn drove himself with all his weight and passion, until both of them lay breathless.
Gristle could not open his eyes. He was still suspended in a dream of coming. He felt Wynn’s soft lips in his ear.
“Griss. Did me fucking make ye come?”
He opened his eyes. “Damn. Yes. How did that happen?”
He saw Wynn’s own eyes flicker in the light of the campfire. “Love,” he said.
“Your mind made a connection between me prick and your body. I know not how it happens. But it happens.”
Gristle decided to overlook the implication of a love connection. This was not the time, he thought, to explore such a deep subject. Better to let it build, like his own climax. It would be released sometime in the future, he was sure. Tonight he simply wanted to hold Wynn until the dawn.
He opened his arms and welcomed Wynn. The pony trainer threw one leg over him and put his groin tight to his own. “Never stop,” the boy said.
“Stop what, Wynn?”
“Loving me.”
He tightened his hold. “Not ever.” He put his mouth over Wynn’s and bit his lower lip then sucked the blood he had drawn. “That is a pact, drawn in blood.”

For two passionate men, where does lust end
    and love begin?
Warrior, Ride Hard:
Warrior, Stand Tall:
Erin O’Quinn’s Manlove blog “The Man in Romance::


  1. Dear Lily,

    I feel fortunate to be your guest today. Thank you very much for this opportunity for my warriors to come out of the clay-and-wattle closet of 5th century Ireland! Writing homoerotica about this time and place in history has been a challenge and a joy, and I hope readers will share in my own emotions as they get to know these unique characters.

    Slán, Erin

    1. Hi Lily and Erin,
      Lovely blog, Lily and fascinating to see where your amazing writing muse is taking you next, Erin! Both the cowboy story and the novel you're working on sound fascinating.

  2. Sounds like a great book, can't wait to read it!

  3. Hi, Lindsay. Yes, contemporary is new for me, but a cast of characters in a small town in Nevada is not! These are guys I grew up with, in a sense--the young guys and the older ones too.

    As for characters in long ago and far away Ireland--for some reason those men sang to me, talked to me, argued with me and usually won. That's how hard it has been to get them out of my mind. I guess all charaters should be so real to the writer, eh?

    Thanks very much for taking the time to read and comment. Slán, Erin

  4. Dear Emily,

    Thanks very much for your visit. I hope you'll enjoy these two roust-abouts as they go from lust to love, all in the context of a very bad-ass environment.

    PS I love your avatar...warm and fuzzy, very adorable! Is that your pooch?

  5. Erin, I am thrilled about your new novel you are working on. Cowboys-gotta love them-lol. You know I am so very interested in seeing it come to life. I'm betting they are as strong of characters as Gristle and Wynn. Can't wait. Oh and Lily, nice to meet you, and for having my good friend Erin. She's an awesome writer.

  6. Thank you, Kim! Everyone assumes that because the book is about a small town in Nevada, it's about cowboys. Not so. These guys are small-town, with some pretty downhome attitudes and not too sophisticated. And one of 'em wears a cowboy hat. But they're not cowboys. One is a drifter, and one just graduated with a degree in pre-law. Theyre both sexy as hell, and I think readers will like the small-town attitudes and the characters' all-out, um, enthusiasm for each other...Not so different from my historical guys Griss and Wynn, at least in their balls-out attitue toward sex and their affection for each other.

    I really appreciate that you came all the way here from Texas to comment on the blog today. Much affection, xxErin

  7. Thanks you, Erin for being a guest on my blog and thank you to all who commented.