Rite of Summer
by Tess Bowery
There are terrors worse than stage fright. Like falling in love.
Violinist Stephen Ashbrook is passionate about three things—his music, the excitement of life in London, and his lover, Evander Cade. It’s too bad that Evander only loves himself. A house party at their patron’s beautiful country estate seems like a chance for Stephen to remember who he is, when he’s not trying to live up to someone else’s harsh expectations.
Joshua Beaufort, a painter whose works are very much in demand among the right sort of people, has no expectations about this party at all. Until, that is, he finds out who else is on the guest list. Joshua swore off love long ago, but has been infatuated with Stephen since seeing his brilliant performance at Vauxhall. Now he has the chance to meet the object of his lust face to face—and more.
Joshua lowered himself into the armchair in his room, and loosened his cravat with a peevish snap.
“That bad, was it?” Sophie asked from the chair opposite, her legs curled under her. She closed the book in her hands, tucking it into her lap. It said something that he wasn’t the least bit surprised by her presence, though by all rights he should have been appropriately scandalized. He could always tell her to leave, as though that would do any good. The girl was like a cat; she went where she pleased and did what she liked, and woe betide anyone but her employer who tried to force her otherwise.
“I had no idea,” Joshua said, checking first to be sure the door was most securely closed, “that her ladyship had such strong opinions about the idea of gas lighting.”
“Ooh, yes, did she get on about that again?” Sophie replied with a pleased grin. “’Those gas lines will be a blight on the city,’” she imitated bitingly. “’They’re an invitation to treachery and a first stage toward a new Gunpowder Plot,’ to hear her go on. And did you know,” she asked rhetorically, the light of mischief in her eyes, “that they’re sinful as well? Apparently Our Lord and Savior would prefer candlelight.”
“Lord save us from the march of progress,” Joshua sighed, and rubbed his forehead. Exhaustion nipped around the edges of his eyes, his shoulders aching. “You were quite right, by the way.” He glanced up at Sophie, not too tired to add to her amusement. “Lady Chalcroft’s got her eye set on Coventry for her eldest. The two of them would set on her rivals like a pair of wild dogs if they thought it would get her a hand-span closer to a coronet.”
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I Dig Good Books.
Stephen Ashbrook, talented musician and Evander Cade, composer, come as a pair. Evander manages to garner an invitation to a summer party, lasting six weeks. Stephen isn't sure this is a good idea, but what Evander wants, Evander gets. Once there, though, they meet Joshua Beaufort, painter. Joshua has been smitten with Stephen since he heard him play a year before. When the invtation to join Stephen and Evander in their bed comes along, Joshua is hard pressed to say no, for he wants Stephen. But changing from a couple to a three way poses its own problems, and only two will remain.
I really really found this book so enjoyable! So NOT what I was expecting. Don't ask me what I was expecting, because I have no idea, but I'm left the the feeling of overwhelming surprise.
Beautifully written historical romance, encompassing all the tradtions, manners, speech patterns and rules of the time.
Evander's control over Stephen is subtle, but none the less abusive and it takes Joshua to to make Stephen see that Evander does what he does for himself, not for them both.
I particularly loved the use of the characters names. For a long time, it was Ashbrook, Beaufort and Cade (Stephen, Joshua and Evander) They called each other by the surnames, even when engaged in their carnal activities. Its not til much later that Stephen and Joshua are used, the point is marked in the book, when Stephen uses Joshua for the first time. While reading, it bothered me, why use surnames all the time, but after THAT point, it was like a light bulb moment and I was like, "Of course!"
M/M/M and M/M scenes, which while beautifully written, sexy, emotional and steamy, I didn't find them as explicit as some M/M reads. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong, but I can see that some die-hard M/M readers might not like it. Me, though, I loved it.
It bills as book one in the series, and I can't find a book two yet. I also cannot find anything else by this author. I want to read more, more of this series, and certainly, more of this author. If this is a first time author, I am suitably impressed.
I originally was going to star this 4.5 but in all honesty, I cannot find a single thing to knock that half star off for so....
5 full stars
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amamzon.com and Amazon.co.uk**
How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane
Is there a way to do that? I’m not entirely sure about ‘staying sane’!
I’m obsessive when it comes to keeping track of projects and due dates; it’s even more important when you have a day job and a family to juggle at the same time as your writing. I’ve got three freelance gigs that send work at unpredictable intervals, a part-time teaching job, and two school-age children – even with two adults in the house, it can be utter madness! The only way I’m able to meet my deadlines – for writing, for gigs, or for marking – is living and dying by my calendar.
There are a million mommy-blogs out there talking about family calendars and so forth; you don’t need another one of those. When it comes to work and writing deadlines, the first thing to think about is how you personally do your best work.
I’d love to be a coffeehouse writer, for instance, or a hermit in a picturesque garret, closed in with my books and inkwells. The reality is that I do my best, most efficient work on my computer, in the corner of my bedroom, with sunlight, no television, and breaks for human contact at regular intervals.
Once you have your setup identified, keep track for a week or two. How many hours can you work at a sitting before you need to get up and move? How many words can you write/edit/proofread in that sitting? A week – or better, two – will give you a sense of what your own patterns are like. That, in turn, determines how much time you need to block off in order to get something done on time.
On a good afternoon, for instance, I can produce between 2,000 – 4,000 words of fiction, copy-edit 60 – 70 pages, or mark twenty student papers. I’d need six weeks of such perfect 4 – 5 hour blocks with no problems, interruptions, breaks, or other work, in order to write a 90,000 word first draft of a novel. (Which is, of course, bordering on the impossible for most of us.)
I keep a running list of my deadlines, colour-coded, and posted on the wall so I can see everything at a glance. It’s vital to keep the list uncluttered, so as not to get overwhelmed by the number of entries on it. Right now, my list for June looks something like this:
· June 2: Rite of Summer launch party! Online 7 pm – midnight.
· June 3: Post office, mail out launch party giveaways and prizes.
· June 5: Friday Patreon posts.
· June 9: Chapter three of That Potent Alchemy
· June 12: Can I get to Act 4 of Young Hollywood? Patreon posts
· June 19: Friday Patreon posts;
o all items finished for [stage show I’m designing]
o Pack for trip, including all costumes
· June 20: Travel (until July 2)
I have a little space to fit in some freelancing in the first two weeks, depending on how one of my projects goes. More importantly, I know that I can’t accept anything that comes in for the week of June 19th, because I’m already going to be going insane.
Having everything laid out helps me juggle priorities. Because of travel, for instance, my June 19th deadlines are absolute. That Potent Alchemy is still in the middle of first-draft stage, on the other hand, and my self-imposed deadlines are the only ones there. That work can be shuffled back and forth depending on how much time I end up needing for other things.
The other thing I try and do whenever possible is top-load the work. If I get as much done near the beginning of my allotted time, then I can deal with unexpected delays (or goofing off) with much less stress nearer to the end. If I leave everything for the last two days, on the other hand, I have absolutely guaranteed myself a sick kid, a flooded basement, or a snowpocalypse. (I’m so sorry, east coast. My bad.)
By keeping careful track of due dates, being aware of my habits and speed, designing my work space to fit my own needs, building in emergency time, and prioritizing the firmest deadlines, I can keep all my balls in the air for a lot longer than I would otherwise be able to manage, and with a lot less stress.
Come by www.tessbowery.com on June 2nd, 7 pm Eastern Time, to join me in the chatroom for the release party! I’ll have giveaways and prizes as well as interviews and a social hour. I look forward to seeing everyone!
Tess Bowery is an east coast writer of historical LBGT erotic romance (can it get more niche?) She’s an academic with a masters in history, which she is abusing relentlessly in pursuit of happy endings. Rite of Summer is her debut novel. This highly-charged erotic romance is available now for pre-order -- https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5451/rite-of-summer -- and releases officially on June 2nd.
Get updates and book information at http://www.tessbowery.com, or hang out with Tess at http://tessbowery.tumblr.com, or @tessbowery on Twitter.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Tess has been a fan of historical fiction since learning the Greek and Roman myths at her mother's knee. Now let loose on a computer, she's spinning her own tales of romance and passion in a slightly more modern setting. Her work in the performing arts has led to a passion for the theatre and dance in all its forms, and been the inspiration for her current books. Tess lives on the east coast, with her partner of fifteen years and two cats who should have been named 'Writer's Block' and 'Get Off the Keyboard, Dammit.'
Tess can be found reblogging over on tessbowery.tumblr.com, twittering at @TessBowery, and talking about writing in general and her books specifically over at www.tessbowery.com.
Rite of Summer on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23766005-rite-of-summer