Hi, everyone, I hope you’ll help us welcome author Damon Suede to TNA today. He’s here to introduce his upcoming cowboy romance, Lickety Split, available March 13th from Dreamspinner Press. He’s also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win some great prizes, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
Coming Home: on escaping Texas and why cowboy romances take me back the best way
Thanks so much to Lisa and the Novel Approach team for letting me come and visit with y’all today.
I dropped by today to talk about about homecomings and the ways that romance lets folks return to their roots and wrestle with all the messy problems that send us packing in the first place. While it’s true you “can’t ever go back home,” in a lot of ways romance gives us a chance to honor the good stuff and grapple with the rest.
Lickety Split is my first contemporary romance set outside of New York City and in some ways writing it gave me a chance to really think about all the things that brought me to Manhattan when I was 16 years old. Like any writing project there is slivers of autobiography in this book but the characters, the town, and the circumstances have very little to do with my childhood in Texas and my eventual migration to the Big Apple.
I always tell people that Texans tend to treat each other like exiles from a foreign country whenever they meet each other elsewhere: shared tastes, weird backstories, and a distinct skewed view of the world. In fact to this day I can almost spot a Texan at 50 paces just based on the way they stand, dress, and tell a joke. And without question twostep with any Texan and natives can spot ‘em in under eight seconds.… There’s just something about the way Texans quick-quick-slow-slow across the floor that’s unlike folks from anywhere else. LeeAnn Womack once said dancing with a Texan is like rain down a windshield. Personally I think it’s in the hips, but it must be something in the water that does it to us.
Growing up I pretty much hated all things Texas. I was determined to get to the big city from the age of seven and spent all of my energy and time aimed in that direction. In high school, even when I was out in Montrose partying with my people in the LGBT community, the idea of country music and rodeos gave me hives. Important to note: my family still owns a ranch where we used to breed quarter horses and Tennessee walking horses. I grew up going to rodeos, but I was always a city boy from birth.
To my family is eternal amusement, 20 years later I ended up learning how to two-step in New York City with a bunch of Broadway chorus boys and overnight became obsessed with country music, traveling around the country to hit rodeos and hoedowns with the zeal of the converted. In fact I met my husband at a gay rodeo during a barn dance that literally change our lives. Who knew?
And this is the slice of Lickety Split that’s autobiographical: my one kink, my one impossible, constant weakness is farm boys. Size, color, age, vibe… None of that has ever mattered, and nothing flips my trigger the way a guy from the country does. It’s something about the way the dirt gets under their skin, the practicality, the easy humor, the ruggedness, the no–bullshit get-er-done confidence of these guys hits me where I live. In my whole romantic history without meaning to I wound up with farm boys at every turn. And I found my no-bullshit, happily ever after with a cornfed Nebraska boy named Geoff who reminded me why rocking on a sunset porch can be heaven.
The thing about country boys is that they’re not afraid of a good time, and they’re not worried about getting dirty. When it comes to sex, they think about it plenty and at length; when it comes to love they have a knack for steady, implacable devotion because they know how to ride something rough and ornery even when it’s hard to hold on. And for whatever reason, writing this book, spending this quality time with Patch Hastle and Tucker Biggs has made all the rough road of the past six months infinitely easier to tolerate.
You’d think I would’ve written cowboys sooner. LOL Many of my favorite romances are cowboy books: Timing by Mary Calmes (and its sequels) is one of the most perfect gay romance is ever written; I reread it constantly and learn more from it every time I do. Lorelei James’ Blacktop Cowboy series hits me in that perfect intersection of lust and dust that reminds me why Wranglers are their own food group. B.A. Tortuga write gorgeous, gritty cowboys who knock me sideways every damn time. Heidi Cullinan’s filthy and glorious Nowhere Ranch takes me to all the sticky, snarky places I didn’t know I needed to go, and Amy Lane’s Promise books remain one of the most wrenching and telling series in gay cowboy romance as are Zahra Owen’s sharp, elegiac Clouds and Rain books and Catt Ford’s rowdy Bullheaded. And against all odds, Cameron Dane’s paranormal demon cowboys (who knew?) in her lush Hawkins Brothers series get dragged out pretty regularly when I’m feeling raunchy or restless. Demon shifter cowboys, y’all! It’s like (cowboy) crack. And this from a guy who used to make fun of Lucchese boots. (I now own four pair…)
Cowboy romance hits a funny sweet spot with tropes and genre conventions: dominance and protectiveness, grit and wisdom, the struggle between individuals and communities, honor and duty and hard work, rope and rodeos, the power of tradition and the importance of keeping your eyes on the horizon even if you have to squint. I loved splashing around in the world of Hixville and unleashing all the crazy filthy erotic tension between these two fellas. Without question I’ll end up heading back to Texas in future books… Not all the time, but just when I feel that Lone Star itch because I am more than happy to scratch.
About Lickety Split
Lickety Split: Love won’t wait.
Patch Hastle grew up in a hurry, ditching East Texas for NYC to make his name as a DJ and model without ever looking back. When his parents die unexpectedly, he heads home to unload the family farm ASAP and skedaddle. Except the will left Patch’s worst enemy in charge: his father’s handsome best friend who made his high school years hell.
Tucker Biggs is going nowhere. Twenty years past his rodeo days, he’s put down roots as the caretaker of the Hastle farm. He knows his buddy’s smartass son still hates his guts, but when Patch shows up growed-up, looking like sin in tight denim, Tucker turns his homecoming into a lesson about old dogs and new kinks.
Patch and Tucker fool around, but they can’t fool themselves. Once the farm’s sold, they mean to call it quits and head off to separate sunsets. With the clock ticking, the city slicker and his down-home hick get roped into each other’s life. If they’re gonna last longer than spit on a griddle, they better figure out what matters—fast.
Pre-Order Lickety Split in Paperback or Ebook at Dreamspinner Press
About the Author
Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. Though new to romance fiction, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades. He’s won some awards, but counts his blessings more often: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year. Get in touch with him at: