Hello! I’m Chris Scully. I’m thrilled to welcome you to my Until September blog tour! Join me at various tour stops, where I’ll be sharing some of the background of this novel, my thoughts on writing, and more. Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $20 Riptide gift certificate. Thanks for joining me on the tour!
As a teenager, Archie Noblesse clawed his way out of the poverty, heartache, and abuse of the reservation and left his family behind. Desperate to shake the shadow of his past, he reinvents himself as Archer Noble, an outspoken blogger and controversial author who lives only for himself. But when his beloved sister dies, Archer is saddled with guardianship of his niece and nephew.
Elementary school teacher Ryan Eriksson is devastated when his best friend Marguerite is killed, leaving her two young children orphaned. Helping Archer with his new responsibilities eases his grief, but when Archer offers him custody of the children, Ryan’s left with an impossible choice: get the family he’s always wanted, or respect Margie’s wishes and convince Archer to give parenting—and his heritage—a chance.
To buy time, Ryan promises to stay for the summer, hoping that Archer will change his mind and fall for the kids. But Archer’s reluctant, and the growing attraction between him and Ryan complicates matters. Legal decisions must be made, and soon, before Ryan returns to school. But with hearts involved, more than just the children’s future is on the line.
Archie Noblesse left his home on the reservation when he was just sixteen after years of abuse at the hands of his uncle, Chester the child molester. He would have ran sooner, but Archie had to make sure that his uncle never laid a hand on his litter sister Marguerite. Now in his thirties, Archie Noblesse has become Archer Noble, an author and outspoken advocate against gay marriage, which is quite the conundrum since Archer is openly gay. He could count on both hands the times he's been back home, and every time it was to see his beloved sister and her kids. Right in the middle of a publicity campaign Archer gets a call that the unthinkable has happened, his beautiful little sister has died in a car accident. Now the guy that has spoken disparagingly about gay men settling down and starting a family is the proud owner of two upset, despondent children that just lost their mother.
Archer is an aging playboy that hops from bed to bed and answers to no one, think about no one but himself. He's about to get a very rude awakening and be left with a choice... grow the fuck up and be the man he needs to be for his niece and nephew. Or continue to be a selfish prick and sign the kiddos over to their school teacher who also happened to be Marguerite's closest friend. Ryan Eriksson couldn't be more polar opposite of Archer if he tried. A school teacher that loves children, puts everyone else before himself or his needs, and the man actually wants a family. The big house with a white picket fence, a couple of kids and a husband that loves and adores him.
Ryan wants what has been laid in Archer's lap and all Archer wants to do is sign it over to him. Ryan convinces Archer to stay, until September, to get to know his niece and nephew and to consider what his sister would have wanted before he gives up and walks away without even trying.
I was pulled into this story by the writing at the start, very intrigued with young Archie and what he had already had to live through at just sixteen. I'll be honest when I say, I wasn't shocked he grew into a bitter, selfish person. He had absolutely zero influence from anyone worth a damn growing up, and then he had to do unspeakable things on the streets to get the money he needed not only to live, but to put his sister through college. I absolutely loved the way Ryan was with him, he didn't take any of Archer's crap and it was that resolve and strong character, I think, that made Ryan so attractive to Archer.
This is just a beautiful story that is a little rough around the edges. Archer can't seem to make the right choice until he has at least attempted to make all the wrong ones, but when he makes it right it's so amazing. And Ryan was such a delight. My heart ached for him for a few minutes there when the water got choppy, but he was always there for Archer and the kids and it was that devotion that gave Archer the strength to stay.
I'd recommend this to anyone that likes the hard fought happy ever afters, stories with an obvious attraction that steams just beneath the surface or stories that show a family is what you make of it, parentage isn't always a deciding factor.
Guest post with Author Chris Scully
Well, we’re more than a month into 2016 and how are those resolutions coming along?
Yeah, me neither. Have you ever noticed how a simple word can alter your perception of something? For some reason, to me the word resolution is loaded with all sorts of added pressure, expectations and guilt that I just don’t need, so I stopped making them long ago. Instead, each year I set goals for myself. Aren't those pretty much the same thing, you ask. Perhaps, but goals are much more approachable and less “judgy” if you don't meet them. At least in my mind.
So my top goals for 2016 are:
1. Have a little more fun: the last few years have been very stressful for me—losing a job, starting a new job after trying to write full-time and discovering it was way too much pressure for me. Now when I’m not at work, I’m trying to write, which doesn’t leave much time for anything else. I can easily become too consumed by it. When I realized I hadn't been to a movie theatre in over a year, I knew I needed to change something. My goal for 2016 is to come up with a better work-life-write balance and spend more time with friends instead of being hunched in front of the computer. I want to be around for a while, so a happier, more relaxed me, will hopefully be a more productive me.
Work on developing a thicker skin: this is an ongoing process. No author likes to read a bad review, and for the most part I’m pretty good at staying away from reader reviews, but occasionally I'll find myself still searching for that validation. Or else I'll become overwhelmed by the volume of titles being released in this genre and start to feel inadequate. I have to get back to the reason I started writing, which was simply because I had all these stories in my head that needed a home.
Complete another novel: I set myself a realistic goal of producing one book a year. My synopsis for the next one is all ready to go—I just need to recharge my batteries (see goals 1 and 2) before settling in to a new character. For me the best part of the writing process is the creating—those early days when you can't wait to get the words down on paper and the characters are all new and exciting. It's been many months since I've written anything new, and I'm a little anxious, but overall, I can't wait to start.
So here's to the year ahead. May all your goals (or resolutions) be realized.
CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.
Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.
Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.
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Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 13, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!