Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.
Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?
While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.
Release Day Jitters: The Maze of Romance Writing
It’s release day for Secrets of You! I’m excited and nervous equally. Yes, I hope you love it! Yes, I hope for good reviews and sales. But I also try and take that moment to enjoy my accomplishment.
Some authors will check their sales continuously on release week, others will stay with the covers over their heads, and some authors (like myself) strike a balance between the two extremes. Yet every author I meet does have some kind of ritual on release day. Here are a few of mine.
RITUALS FOR RELEASE DAY:
- I try and take a relaxing swim. Living in a warm place, there is optional swimming year round. With every stroke, my anxiety about sales or reviews lessen. Bonus: a hot tub.
- I toast the book with a glass of wine or a vodka shot. What I drink depends on three factors: what’s in my pantry, how hard the book was to write, and if my kids are home.
I started this toasting ritual with Exposed. Although the jitters might not be quite as killer as with my first novel, I try and remind myself that I deserve a moment to cheer for my characters being let out in the world. (Yay River! Yay Morgan!)
- I check the sales only once that day. Otherwise it will drive me insane (I might ask a trusted friend to watch for more numbers or reviews, but I can only look for so long. This is good and bad. The day The Only Guy hit number one on Amazon, I would have had no clue if not for a buddy sending me a screenshot!)
- I watch some trashy television and allow a break.
Some writers are frightened of taking short breaks. I think of it as recharging my batteries. Some of my favorite shows to chill with these days are Shadowhunters, Scandal, and Empire. I love a good soapy show (it goes well with that glass of celebratory wine).
- I begin the next book.
AUTHORS ARE MAZE RUNNERS
I’m not a plotter with charts and outlines all color-coded or anything that organized, but I’m not a total pantser, either. So yeah, after release day is done, I turn to the next one. I usually scribble notes. Write down some impressions of new characters. It can start pretty simply.
For example, I’m working on a book for the Dreamspun Desires line about a cowboy and a rock star, and I needed a name of a cat. I had Mr. Whiskers and hated it. The cat was a bit grumpy and lazy. I turned to ask my Facebook friends what a good name might be and got over fifty replies! As silly as it sounds, once I picked the cat’s name from the responses (Oscar, at least for now), I wrote a whole page of notes.
Plotting a romance often feels like a maze. I often turn to that next book and think: now what? Here is how it looks in my brain when I began Secrets of You:
Morgan is alone
River is alone
River and Morgan find HEA
Did you get the guys together in my maze? Not too hard, right? Yet the characters struggle at every twist and turn. For them it should be hard. The reader might be able to see the way to true love, and the reader of a romance knows that happy end is coming, but the fun is taking the journey.
(Note: dirty mazes can also be fun.)
Personally I have a horrible sense of direction. If real love were a maze, I might still be lost!
Isn’t that the way we all feel at times? That’s one of the universal truths in a good romance: the path is uncertain.
All I do know is a release day is still special. Forever and always, the day my book releases is like completing that maze. River and Morgan have found each other, and that fact makes me happy.
Thank you for being here with me on my release day. I loved writing this one.
Ok, so, let me first say that I started Secrets of You, not realizing that it was part of a series. I loved the cover though, so I requested it. I didn’t really feel like I was missing much, except for the secondary characters and their stories; such as Rivers former partner, who passed away and the two friends that get married. I’ll have to go back and read about them because, I’m betting they’re just as great.
In this one though, we have River and Morgan. River, like I said River had lost the love of his life in a bicycle accident and was closed off from letting himself love again. He was quiet and moody and pretty much kept himself, to himself. Enter, Morgan, who moves into the same house as River and several of their roommate/friends, and River suddenly can’t get far enough away from him. He’s attracted to him, of course, Morgan is friendly and flirty and always seems in a good mood. Now, after their friends are going on a cruise/honeymoon and leaving the guys at home by themselves, it’s harder and harder to stay away from one another. I, 100% could understand River’s resistance, I couldn’t imagine losing someone I loved so much, let alone having to learn how to live without then and love someone else. I can imagine how it would feel like replacing them or forgetting them and River felt he didn’t deserve goodness. He’d been through a lot in his life. He had a lot of guilt and baggage that he never told anyone, and he desperately wanted to tell Morgan.
Morgan was great, he didn’t push, not really. He helped River by going to different organizations to see which one to donate the money he got from suing the helmet company after Brendan’s passing. River had wanted to do something nice to honor Brendan’s memory with it. It was sweet and Morgan was patient and sincere and honest. He would be so good for River, but I felt like they’d needed each other.
River needed to face some things about his past though, things that he held close to himself and didn’t share with anyone, and that included Brendan or any of the other guys. I was glad when he trusted Morgan, I just loved them both together, anyway.
Morgan’s dad was a tough nut to crack. I understand that some people are just set in their ways and all that and I feel that’s how Morgan’s dad was, even though Morgan tried so hard to gain his acceptance. I feel in that one instance, he just didn’t accept it. He tolerated it, but even Morgan said, he hated to just be tolerated. I really felt for him, but like he also said…. So many other people had it worse. Which reminds me, I really wish they could’ve helped all of the places they looked at, in order to help with Brendan’s money.
I really want to read about Jared and Ennio, as well. I sincerely hope they’re next. That’ll be such a heartbreaking story I’m sure….and for any of ya who read my reviews; ya’ll know that I’m a sucker for hot guys with kids! Plus… I really want to see Jared get his little piece of happy. And he’s a firefighter… come on.
Overall, once I got passed the realization that I didn’t know the other characters and it took me a minute to figure out which ones were coupled up. I enjoyed this story very much. It’s not too terribly angsty, which I liked and I loved seeing River open up and be the person he so badly wanted to be. He was sweet.
4 pieces of eye candy from me!!!
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Contact Skylar M. Cates:
MY BLOG: https://skylarmcates.wordpress.com/
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