I would like to thank Amelia C Gormley for taking the time to talk to us about Saugatuck Summer. Check out King’s Wench’s review. There is also a giveaway, so stay tuned for that.
Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Thanks so much to Brandilyn and the Prism Book Alliance for hosting me!
For those of you who have seen me talking about it on social media for the last nearly year and a half, you know that Saugatuck Summer was a labor of love far beyond what I would normally claim for one of my books. Of course I love them all, but Saugatuck Summer came from my very soul. Actually, I’m not certain it came from me at all.
Basically, here’s what happened: One day I was driving along, running errands, and Topher Carlisle whispered one line of dialogue in my ear. Just one. When I asked him what I was supposed to do with that, he promptly took over my brain for fifteen absolutely insane days and at the end I had the first draft of Saugatuck Summer.
Topher’s story of recovery, hope, making mistakes, and growing up just told itself, and the experience of being the conduit for that was at times grueling and heartbreaking, but also euphoric and wonderful. It was one of those experiences that, as a creator of some form of art, be it musical, visual, or literary, you have once or twice in a lifetime if you’re extraordinarily lucky, when you know you’re creating something magical. I’m not sure it will ever happen to me again, but I feel absolutely blessed that this book has come of it.
This week on the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ll be sharing some bonus content from the book and a sneak peek at another upcoming book in the Saugatuck universe. I’ll also be having a heart-to-heart discussion with Marie Sexton about our experiences as adult children of alcoholics and how they translated into writing our ACOA characters from Saugatuck Summer and Family Man, giving you a peek at some of “Jace’s” art, and I’ll be sharing the official Saugatuck Summer soundtrack from a brilliant singer/songwriter of my personal acquaintance, Casey Stratton.
And finally, all week long I’ll be asking trivia questions from Saugatuck Summer and this week’s blog tour articles, and each correct answer emailed to me offers you a chance to win your choice of any of my backlist titles!
So put on your sunscreen and let’s go!
Those of you who have seen me talk about my covers of my self-published Impulse trilogy may remember my mentioning Kerry Chin, the brilliant artists who did the digital paintings for those covers. When it turned out that there were two passages in Saugatuck Summer that described Jace’s artwork in loving detail, I knew there was only one artist I wanted to bring it to life.
“Holy shit,” I breathed, staring at myself.
Well, it was me, yet not really. I mean, clearly it was, but not anything like I’d ever seen myself.
The first one, with a wispy background that suggested feathers, gave the impression of an angelic figure with my face, dark skin contrasting with the soft, golden lighting. I gleamed with a subtle gilt shimmer and my eyes both laughed and burned. I looked eager and innocent, and maybe a little nervous, as I lay on the bed awaiting an unknown lover.
The second was darker, as though hours had passed since the first and the sun had set. I looked lazy, heavy-lidded, debauched. A slightly smug smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. One very satisfied fallen angel.
The last one made my throat ache a little. The background was lighter again, this time touched with pink over the gold, as if the night was over and an unseen sun was rising. I was sprawled on the bed like I was near collapse, limp, dazed, exhausted. Love bites speckled my throat and finger-shaped bruises darkened my wrists and hips. Not only had the angel fallen, he’d been utterly and completely wrecked in the best possible way.
If I ignored the eyes, I would think the subject of the painting was ready to fall into a contented sleep. But the eyes ruined that illusion. They were wide open, and too old, too deep, too knowing for the age of the angel. They were the eyes of someone who’d seen way too much pain and ugliness. Cautious. Vulnerable. Soft. Sad. Full of wistful yearning.
It wasn’t the narrative of that carefree and passionate night I’d spent with Jace, not as I recalled it. And yet it was, from sundown to sunrise, told in stages.
Saugatuck Summer, Chapter 15
Unfortunately, due to time and other constraints, there was no way I was going to be able to commission the paintings described above for the blog tour. However, in a later passage, Topher describes a trio of sketches Jace does, which were within our monetary and time budgets. Fate, however, was conspiring against us, and Kerry’s computer died before she could complete the series, but she was able to do a digital rendering of one of the sketches, and an actual pencil sketch of another.
Then he stood aside to let me in, and shut the door behind me. A half-empty bottle of vodka sat on the bedside table, and his sketchbook was open on the king-size bed. Several sketches, only three of which looked finished, were scattered across the bedspread. Clearly he hadn’t been sleeping either.
Swallowing, I picked up the nearest one. A dark-skinned, pale-haired child with an angel’s wings—too old to be a cherub, more like a small boy—stood in the middle of a dark forest, looking around in terror. His hand was outstretched, reaching for a shadow disappearing off the edge of the page, the unknown figure walking away from him, leaving him behind.
I drew a shuddering breath and picked up the next one. In this one, that same angel—now a willowy adolescent, his thin, maturing body draped in the ubiquitous short toga with strapped sandals wound around his ankles—stood with his shoulders hunched in the midst of a crowd of jeering figures. He held an ornate harp cradled protectively against his body, trying to shield it from further harm. Its strings were sprung and its frame cracked and bent.
In the last one, an even more mature version of the angel—now a young man—knelt on one knee in another clearing in the woods. He was bruised and bleeding, his toga torn and stained. He held the bloody, tattered remnants of one of his wings, trying futilely to piece it back together.
My breath left me in an explosive gasp, nearly a sob, and I let the sketch fall back onto the bed.
Jace’s arms slipped around my waist and he held me wordlessly, laying his face against the back of my shoulder.
Saugatuck Summer, Chapter 31
I hope someday in the near future to be able to commission Kerry to do the full line of art from Saugatuck Summer, but until then, enjoy these samples from an incredibly talented artist. If you’re interested in Kerry’s artwork, she’s open for commissions at http://dragonreine.deviantart.com
HOW TO WIN YOUR CHOICE OF ANY SINGLE BOOK FROM MY BACKLIST (all-in-one volumes not included):
At each stop along the blog tour I’ll be asking a trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is required, whether you purchase a copy, have an ARC, or employ the Kindle or B&N lending programs. If you visit some of the other blog tour stops, you might also find the answer in some of the excerpts.
PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS. Instead, send the answer to me privately by using this contact form. Each response will enter you into the drawing and three winners will be picked. The more questions you answer, the more entries you get. You can choose from any of the following titles:
Inertia (Impulse, Book One)
Acceleration (Impulse, Book Two)
Velocity (Impulse, Book Three)
The Laird’s Forbidden Lover
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2)
Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3)
Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4)
To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5)
(Note: Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) is already available free at Riptide, and my pre-Saugatuck novella, The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, is available for free at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and elsewhere.)
Again, please do not post your answer in the comments, but submit it to me privately.
To give people time to read and respond, the contest will remain open for one month after the release of Saugatuck Summer. It will close on June 19, and the drawing will be held on June 20.
Today’s Saugatuck Summer trivia question:
In Chapter 7, what unexpected request does Jace make of Topher?
One summer can change everything.
Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.
My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.
Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.
Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.
Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), the post-apocalyptic romance, Strain, and her upcoming, New Adult contemporary, Saugatuck Summer, available now.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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