Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Thank you so much to Delighted Reader for hosting me today!
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!
Today I’ll be sharing a scene from early in another book upcoming in the Saugatuck universe, called Risk Aware. Risk Aware features Robin and Geoff, who are an established couple by the time of Saugatuck Summer. Geoff is a hemophiliac who struggles with finding a way to fulfill his masochistic desires while accommodating his health, while Robin is a Dom who has been burned by a sub who betrayed him and thinks he’s sworn off the leather scene altogether—until he sees Geoff. When a badly timed nosebleed interrupts what looks like the hookup of a lifetime, Geoff has to open up to Robin more than he’d like to about what his limitations are.
(Note: the following segment is unedited)
“Why would you want to know?”
“So I know what your limits are. I’m going to assume this all is why you were declaring biting and sucking verboten. What else might I accidentally trip over?”
I blinked at him. Repeatedly. Was he saying he still wanted to get with me? I pulled the blood-stained towel away from my face, relieved to see the bleeding had stopped. But then I stared at it, not sure what to make of that possibility. Robin hopped up and went back to the kitchenette, then returned with a wet washcloth.
“Oh. Right.” I accepted the cloth, trying to wipe away the traces of blood around my nose and mouth without a mirror. Eventually, though, Robin took the cloth from me, gripped my chin gently with his other hand, and began cleaning me himself.
It should have felt patronizing and like all the over-solicitous crap I usually hated, but it didn’t. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the difference.
“Tell me about head injuries.”
“Fine. Okay. True story.” If he still thought he wanted to fuck me, I was going to let him know exactly how inconvenient it could get. “A couple years ago, I picked up a guy at a bar and went home with him. He was hot, I was horny, we were having fun. Then he pushed me against the wall to kiss me. Sexy, right?”
Robin’s eyes darkened a little. “I’m a big fan of up-against-the-wall.”
“Yeah, me too. For a couple seconds, I was really into it. Then I stopped thinking with my dick long enough to realize I’d bumped my head when he did it. Not badly. You wouldn’t have had to think twice about it. But I had to leave him blue-balled so I could rush home for a dose of factor and then I spent the night afraid I would wake up in the produce aisle of the neurological care unit.”
I watched the reactions slide across his face: arousal transitioning to humor and then to disbelief.
Just in case he thought I was joking, I decided to lay another slice of my reality on him. “I just came out a couple years ago. Want to know why?”
His eyebrows lifted in inquiry, his expression sobering. I think he was starting to get it. “Why?”
“When I was seventeen, I told my mom I was gay and she had a complete breakdown. Like, had to be hospitalized and sedated. Not because she had a problem with me being gay, but because she was terrified I might get bashed. She spent the better part of a year having panic attacks about it, until I finally promised her I wouldn’t let anyone know.”
He nodded slowly, and I could tell by his thoughtful frown that he was taking it in. “This is what you were going to tell me outside the club and then stopped yourself.”
I looked away, licking my lips. Fuck. Had that only been, what? Twenty, thirty minutes ago? I’d been so damn hot for him, so ready to toss it all aside and take my chances.
I wanted to go back to that moment and replay it without the nosebleed putting the brakes on everything.
“I gotta say, that kind of pisses me off,” he said mildly, and I lifted my head to stare at him in surprise. “When we got back to your room, I was planning to get pretty rough, because that seemed like what you were into.”
“I am. That’s what I wanted.”
“But you weren’t going to tell me.”
“Because I didn’t want you to think I was—”
“Exactly. I didn’t want you to hold back.”
“Wow.” He rubbed his forehead, looking a little pained. “Let me ask you, how many guys have you played with? I mean, not just hooked up, but actually done BDSM scenes? Or at least had rough enough sex to require a safeword.”
“Umm—” Damn it, now I was blushing. “I’ve never—” I cleared my throat. “None.”
“Oh, good. At least you’ve never put anyone else in the position of being responsible for your well-being without knowing your physical limits.”
“What?” I began to bristle, my all-too-easily-wounded pride snarling. “Excuse me, but I’m responsible for my own fucking well-being, thank you very much.”
His eyes narrowed. “You really don’t get it, do you?” In an instant, he’d closed the distance between us, gripping my hair just hard enough to command my gaze, keep me focused on his face right up in front of mine. His voice was a low, slightly angry growl that spoke as strongly to my dick as his words did my ears. “You want to sub, baby, but you’ve got no idea what it means. When you give someone the permission and power to hurt you, or control you, or take what they want from you, you also give them the responsibility of keeping you safe. Otherwise, you can’t ever really give in and let go.”
Oh, God. His face swam before me, and my heart thundered, my pulse pounding with surge after surge of wanting. My brain zeroed in on only a small fragment of his speech. Yes, every nerve in my body screamed. Do all of that. Hurt me. Control me. Take what you want from me.
He let me go before I could become a whimpering, pleading mass of longing begging him to just take me.
“Until you can give up that, Geoff, you’re never going to get what you want.”
It took me a moment to pull myself back together, and then I started to get angry again. “So, what, you’re telling me if I’d been upfront with you about it, you wouldn’t have held back?”
“I’m telling you the decision of whether or not I hold back, or how much, belongs to me, not you. And if you can’t trust me to make that decision and still give you what you need while keeping you safe, then we’ve got no business playing together anyway.” He pressed something wet against my hand, and it took me a moment to realize it was the damp washcloth, now marred with pinkish stains. I stared at it while he pushed himself up off the sofa and strode for the door. “Think about that for a while before you go cruising again,” he said, gripping the knob. “Good night.”
I sat there for some time after he’d closed the door behind him, trying to wrangle my disappointment into something manageable. Then I growled in disgust at myself and went to dig some ointment out of my travel kit to keep my nose moist. I should probably infuse to prevent another nosebleed, but if the prospect of unrestrained sex was off the table, it was no longer imperative. I decided it sounded like too much bother and too big a reminder of all the things that were complicated for me, things other people took for granted.
Instead, I threw the linens into a corner of the bathroom and went to my room.
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 10, what event prompts the shift in Topher and Brendan’s relationship?
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.