Monday, September 1, 2014

INTERVIEW: Ariel Tachna plus #Giveaway!

Today we're talking to the lovely Ariel Tachna (whose hat I desperately, desperately want to steal!) Make sure you check out her VERY generous giveaway for a paperback copy of The Path plus three ebooks from her backlist!

Hello Ariel and welcome to The Hat Party! <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

Tell us about a time you were done a great kindness.

My life has been blessed with moments of great kindness, but I’d have to say the one that stands out the most is my daughter. A woman with enough sense to know she couldn’t care for an infant herself chose my husband and me to be the parents of her baby. That kindness will enrich the rest of my life.

You’ve been given the opportunity to go back in time and give your 13-year-old self a message. What do you say?

Yes, you really will be a published author one day.

I started writing when I was twelve and had finished four novels by the time I graduated from high school. No one would want to read them now. They read very much like a teenager wrote them, but they were the woodshed where I learned my technique. I was met with a lot of skepticism at the time and actually quit writing for a number of years before starting again about eleven years ago. Having that encouragement, knowing that I wasn’t wasting my times with silly dreams would be priceless.

So, you were editing along and zombies attack. And they are on fire! What do you do?

Sic my dogs on them. My two boys have no sense and would probably lick them instead of attacking them, but hey, it’s all good, right?

Describe yourself using a literary quote.

Wow, this is a hard one. I don’t think in literary quotes. Let’s try this one.

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan.

What makes you inexplicably happy?

It’s not really inexplicable, but my children’s laughter can brighten any day, no matter how horrendous.

Sing us a song!

And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on a carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game.

~Circle Game by Joni Mitchell

What one food item do you consider to be your arch nemesis?


There are very few things in this world I can’t make myself eat if it comes to that, but endives are one of them.

Biggest mistake you’ve made in your writing career and what you’ve learned from it.

I think the biggest mistake of my writing career was in not establishing myself in the m/m genre before wandering into all the subgenres that I love so much. So many people go so sued to seeing me as a paranormal or historical or sci-fi writer that they didn't look for or at my contemporaries. If I had it to do over again, I'd start with Her Two Dads, Sutcliffe Cove, Inherit the Sky, and a few others before publishing A Summer Place or Hot Cargo. 

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

The best kind of dachsunds are any dachsunds that are not near me. I'm more of a German shepherd girl myself.
~ ~ ~

All his life Benicio Quispe has dreamed of being a guide on the Inca Trail. He gets his chance when the top travel agency in Cusco, Peru hires him. Alberto Salazar, his assigned mentor, fits Benicio's idea of a perfect guide, but he's also everything Benicio never dared to dream of in a boyfriend. Alberto learned a long time ago to be discreet about his sexuality. It's a necessary sacrifice to keep the respect of the guides and porters whose help is critical in a successful hike. So he pushes aside his attraction to his new junior guide and goes on as usual. But when a group of old friends arrives to hike the trail again, they convince him a relationship with Benicio is worth pursuing. His newfound resolve is enough to get them on a first date, but no amount of courage can change the attitudes of their family and friends. The risks on the trail are easy compared to finding a path through the challenges keeping them apart.


BENICIO QUISPE took a deep breath as he stood at the base of the Monkey Steps and stared up at the last section of the climb before Machu Picchu. They had been hiking for more than an hour already, with the sky slowly lightening over their heads, but the sun had yet to make an appearance over the highest peaks. Sheltered between the mountains as they were, they would not see the sun for another hour or more. Atop the Sun Gate, though, the view would be entirely different.

Gripping his walking sticks more firmly and ignoring the pain in his knees from overuse, he set his foot on the first step and began to climb. His thighs burned by the time he reached the final step. He was glad there were only fifty steps in this flight, because they were too narrow and too steep to climb with the typical zigzag walk that had made the first three days of the hike bearable. He paused for a moment to appreciate the clean lines of the Sun Gate. He had studied it, along with all the other Inca remains along the trail, as part of his preparation for becoming a guide, but this was the first time he had ever seen it in person.

The sun peeked over the mountain behind him, reminding him of the time and driving him forward so he would not miss the highlight of the trip and the whole reason for the three-thirty wake-up call that morning. He stepped beneath the arch and froze, heedless of anyone on the trail behind him. Machu Picchu lay spread out in the valley before him, cloaked in shadow still, though the sun’s rays had begun their descent into the valley. All his life he had seen pictures of it, even before he started studying to be a guide. He had learned about it in school, seen pictures his friends and fellow guides had taken, but standing there and seeing it with his own eyes after three days of hiking stole his breath. His eyes prickled with tears as he forced his legs to work while, around him, other hikers snapped photos.

His guide began to give information about the Sun Gate and Machu Picchu and the final leg of the hike. Benicio knew he should pay attention to what the other man was saying. In a few weeks, he would be the one standing there with tourists looking to him for information, but the voice was a wordless drone in his ears. He had attention only for the holy city and the inexorable march of the sun’s rays down the mountainside. The sunlight reached stone and turned it golden, and Benicio could only imagine what it must have looked like during the reign of the Inca, when the city would have been filled with real gold. Even now, a ruin instead of the vibrant center of worship it had once been, the city captivated him.

One group after another moved forward to have photos taken as he stood there, but he ignored them. He could not tear his eyes away long enough to see if one of the groups was his. They did not matter in the face of the splendor and wonder that was Machu Picchu. Finally his group’s guide came up to him and put a hand on his arm, startling him out of his contemplation.

“It’s time to go.”

Benicio nodded and gathered his gear, but his gaze returned to the city as he walked. When the path curved enough that the city was lost to view and Benicio could tear his thoughts away for a moment, he made a promise.

When he was a guide, he would wait for his guests to bask in the full glory of the city before dragging them away to continue the hike. They would get up earlier or linger less in storing their gear before the guided visit, but he would not spoil their communion with his words.


*What inspired you to write the story you’re promoting?

Well, you see, I took this trip last year…. My husband sent me an e-mail with a groupon for a trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail and asked if I was interested. Like I would turn down a chance to see Machu Picchu! So last August, we took our first vacation sans children since our daughter was born and off we went. I’ve never done anything so physically demanding in my life. The trip was an experience I’ll never forget, and our guides were so much fun. It got me to thinking about how to share that joy with others, and The Path was born.

*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your book?

With permission, I snuck some of my favorite people in the world into the book as tourists on various trips.

*What are your hopes for this title?

I hope people walk away from it with some small sense of having visited Peru. Words can’t do justice to the beauty of the country, but I did my best anyway!

About the Author:

Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their two dogs.  Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with France, where she met her husband, and India, where she hopes to retire some day.  She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

Twitter: @arieltachna

To purchase my books, you can always go to Dreamspinner’s web site, or you can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, Fictionwise, or Rainbow eBooks. I’m sure there are probably other eBook outlets as well, but I don’t go searching for them.  Also, if you want to buy the book in print, any bookstore that allows special orders can order the book for you with the title and my name.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. HI Ariel, I am a huge fan of your books and look forward to reading your latest release The Path. I enjoyed your blog post. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. This one sounds so lovely!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  3. Sounds great. And what an awesome giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win.