JL Merrow on Lover’s Leap ~ Guest Blog, Local Giveaway

Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank JL Merrow for stopping by today.

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Title: Lover’s Leap
Author: JL Merrow
Publisher: Riptide
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Genre: Contemporary, Humor/Comedy, M/M Romance

Blurb:

If they looked, would they ever leap?

Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.

Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.

Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Lovers Leap, my fast-paced romantic comedy with a leap year theme set on my beloved, native Isle of Wight. Lovers Leap features two very different young men—each of whom will need to take a leap of faith if their love is to survive!

Love on a Small Island

The Isle of WightThe Isle of Wight.

A rough diamond situated at the bottom of Britain, around four miles due south of Southampton, it’s been the setting for a fair few m/m romances. Not just my Wight Mischief, Tortoise Interruptus and now Lovers Leap: there’s Sue Brown’s Isle of… series and KC Wells’ Island Tales series as well.

Which might seem a bit odd, when you think about it. The island isn’t known for being progressive: the usual joke is that when you go from Britain to mainland Europe you have to set your watch forward one hour, whereas when you get on the Isle of Wight car ferry, set it back 50 years. Indeed, British actress Emma Thomson caused a storm a few years back by suggesting gay people tended to be stoned on the Isle of Wight, and not in the happy way. Although she later apologised, saying she’d meant the Isle of Man. So that’s all right, then.

With a population of around 140,000, half of whom are over the age of 65, the island’s not really big enough to support a gay scene. Luckily there are regular ferries to Portsmouth or Southampton for those who fancy a rainbow night out.

Nevertheless, there are many attractions for the m/m writer in setting a book on the Isle of Wight. For a start, the scenery is lovely—and as it’s a tourist destination, there’s no tedious business of working out why your hero has turned up there just in time to meet the love of his life. He can just pop over for a day trip, or a nostalgic revisiting of childhood holidays. And islands, I’ve always thought, are intrinsically more romantic than mainland locations (although possibly only 25% more romantic than the average peninsular).

LoveSmallIsland_JLMerrow_PublicDomainSquirrelSo is there anything the prospective reader of Isle of Wight set fiction should know? Well, for a start
there’s the native red squirrels that make their home here. In most of mainland Britain they’ve sadly been killed off by invading American grey squirrels. Then there’s the ghosts: it’s been described as the most haunted island in Britain, although presumably not by spectral squirrels. You won’t, however, need to worry about vampires: the island is also famous for its garlic festival.

And there’s the dialect, such as it is. Sadly, most of it has fallen by the lexicographical wayside, but there are one or two words still in common use. A visitor to the island is known as a grockle (grock for short) – this word is shared with other southern English areas. If you move over there permanently, you’re an overner. And this author is a proud caulkhead, meaning Isle of Wight born and bred. Apparently this also means that, if you’d thrown me off the end of Ryde Pier when I was a baby, I’d have floated.

I’m hoping nobody takes that as an invitation to try it these days… 😉

Links

Lover’s Leap on Goodreads
Riptide
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Audible

Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win $29 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 5, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

About the Author

ed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL:

Website: www.jlmerrow.com
Twitter: @jlmerrow
Facebook: facebook.com/jl.merrow
Goodreads: goodreads.com/.J_L_Merrow

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27 thoughts on “JL Merrow on Lover’s Leap ~ Guest Blog, Local Giveaway

  1. The Isle of Wight is a special place for me, I’ve been visiting since I was five, have family over there and for the last six years have owned a holiday home just around Culver Cliff. I’ve read a few of the M/M books set on the island, and it always gives me a little thrill when I read about somewhere I know, or somewhere that’s incredibly familiar to me. I admit at first I found it a little odd to see so many M/M novels set on my little island but I’ve come to realise it’s because the authors must have the same love for the island that I do, and want to express that in their work. I’m very much looking forward to reading this book – Sandown pier was a favourite haunt on my childhood holidays (I can almost smell the doughnuts frying and hear the sound of the penny-pushers!) and I’m interested to see what else I recognise.

  2. I love stories set on the Isle. And this one sounds so very good. Can’t wait to read it.

    goaliemom0049(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. This sounds like a great story, I’m definitely looking forward to checking it out! Although I’ve never been to an island like this one, it sounds like quite the experience. I love the cover too!

    jenndonald00(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. I knew about the music fest, but not the garlic one (I thought Gilroy was it). Interesting…

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

    • The Garlic Farm is open to visitors, I think all year round, so even if you miss the festival you’ll be well supplied for all your vampire-hunting needs. 🙂

  5. I’ve never visited, but when I one day move to Europe (*fingers crossed*), it’s on my list of places to see.

  6. Red vs Grey squirrels war in Britain? That’s actually really sad, red squirrels are adorable. Thank you for the interesting post about the Isle of Wight.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. I have enjoyed Ms. Merrow’s “Plumber’s Mate” series and others; I like her writing style and I’m looking forward to reading this when I have the budget to get it.

  8. I would love to go and visit the isle of Wright some day… Red squirrels are so cute! And a garlic festival… Sounds like the perfect place for some nice, quiet holidays…
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

    • If it’s peace and quiet you’re after, best not to go on August Bank Holiday weekend. That’s when all the mods turn up for what is apparently the world’s biggest gathering of vintage and modern scooters. 🙂

  9. I loved the article on the Isle of Wight. I have noticed the number of stories set there. Thank you for sharing the post and the giveaway!

    ree.dee.2014 (at) gmail (dot) com

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