A Caryn Release Day Review: Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I finished this book, I was wondering how I would classify it.  Was it a ghost story?  Paranormal? Contemporary with a bit of magical realism?

In the end, I think it was all of the above.

Casey North escaped his small home town of Land’s End as soon as he could.  He went to New York City, became a chef, and opened a successful restaurant in Los Angeles.  Cooking was his passion, and the restaurant was his life, so when it burned down, he had nothing.  When his girlfriend left him taking pretty much all of his possessions, he ran away to the only place he knew to go.  Back to Land’s End.

He rented a house on the beach – a beautiful place, with an amazing view, to the point that he was surprised to get it so cheaply.  What he didn’t know at the time was that the previous renter had died in a surfing accident only a month before.

Myles Taylor had a fantastic life – he was a professional surfer, getting paid to do what he loved, and had the ring all ready to propose to his boyfriend.  They went out surfing in the morning, Myles got caught in a riptide, and next thing he knew, he was on the beach, alone.  Until his beloved but long-dead uncle came up to explain to him that he wasn’t alive, but wasn’t in “the Beyond” yet either, and was stuck to this place until it was time to leave.  No explanations, no purpose, no timeframes.  Myles could only go so far from the house before he was thrown back to the beach again.  Only animals could see or hear him.  He had absolutely no clue what he was supposed to do, and wandered around the house and beach perpetually angry at his fate.  When someone moved into the house that he had started thinking of as his, he had a place to channel that anger.

Casey planned to hole up in his rented house, avoid everyone but his sister and her family who still lived there, and hope to recover enough to go on with his life.  He was severely depressed, but the medications and the therapist hadn’t made much of a difference so far.  When things started getting thrown around in his kitchen, he couldn’t decide if it was a ghost, or if he was hallucinating, but he was scared.  Because he had nowhere else to go, he decided to try to make peace with the ghost (as well as taking medications to stop hallucinations).  After his initial anger, Myles realized that Casey was the only human he had been able to actually make contact with, and so he actively looked for ways to communicate better with Casey.

So what began as mutual fear and anger gradually became cooperation, then trust and friendship, and ultimately desire.  But how can a human and a ghost find anything permanent?  Especially when that ghost knows sometime he will have to go Beyond?

Initially I was really caught up in the book, enjoyed how Myles and Casey danced around each other, and wondered how the would get together.  About halfway through, maybe a little before, I figured out what was really going on, and then I just wondered how the author was going to get from here to there.  The way she did it was what made me drop stars from the book.  It’s funny how I have no problem suspending my disbelief for the ghost part of things, but as Myles became more corporeal….  well, no.  And the mystery aspect of the story, which really was a very little part, was unnecessary, especially the final wrap up of that sub-plot.  It was, in a word, stupid, and made for a terrible ending to what had been a really enjoyable book up to that point.  And after such a good start, too!  Oh well….

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is actually quite pretty, though it didn’t convey much about the story.

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Book Details:

ebook, 220 pages
Published May 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitlePast the Breakers
ISBN 1635333997 (ISBN13: 9781635333992)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Lucie Archer on Writing, Characters and her latest story ‘Past the Breakers’ (guest blog and interview)

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Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Buy Links:

      

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lucie Archer here today on her Past the Breakers book tour.  Welcome, Lucie! 

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~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Lucie Archer~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I don’t put that much of myself into my characters, at least not consciously. They usually end up growing and developing their own personalities as I write them, which is part of the fun for me as a writer, bringing to life characters that have never existed before.

However, I sometimes give them little pieces of me. For example, Myles’s favorite food is chicken parmesan, which is mine as well. Casey suffers from anxiety attacks, and while I didn’t write that into the book as a reflection of myself, my own experience is something I drew from when I wrote him.

  • Does research play a role in choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I absolutely love research! It’s one of my favorite parts of being a writer to the point I sometimes get lost in it and forget to write. Oops. I’m very much a realist, so fantasy is something I kind of struggle with in terms of the media I consume, and in my own writing. Contemporary is more my wheelhouse, but I would like to try my hand at a few historical pieces… just for the excuse to research.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? 

I joke that I’m a method writer, but it’s really the only way I can describe how I write. I very much get into my characters’ heads, and I have had to step away from a story before to regroup after an emotionally taxing scene. I also sometimes cry when I write particularly intense scenes, which may be lame to admit, but I really hope the emotion I put into my stories comes out for the readers.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am all about the HEA’s. I’m not sure I could write a story that’s just HFN. I need that closure, and I need to know these characters I’ve invested in get the happiness they deserve, whether I wrote them or someone else did. It has to be an exceptional story before I’m satisfied with something other than HEA. Maybe that’s boring, but there’s enough sadness in the world that I don’t like to see it in the things I use to escape it.

  • How do you choose your covers?

I’ve gotten really lucky with the amazing designers at DSP. I don’t usually have a clear picture of what I want for my covers, so it’s hard to articulate what I’d like, but I haven’t had any problems choosing from the wonderful mock ups they’ve made for me. Usually one will jump out at me immediately, then it’s just a matter of tweaking it to perfection.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

Hopefully more books! I have several WIPs I’m trying to juggle right now, including one I hope to have out this summer set in an aquarium that I’m having an absolute blast with. But I assure you have I have more ideas than I know what to do with. It’s just a matter of making time to get them all out of my head.

Blurb

Casey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.

Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades, he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.

With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?

Meet Lucie

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer

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Blog tour:

In Our Recent Release Spotlight: My Paradise is You (World of Love) by Lucie Archer (exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

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My Paradise is You (World of Love) by Lucie Archer
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

      

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lucie Archer here today on tour for her latest novella, My Paradise Is You.

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Hello everyone! I brought with me an exclusive excerpt from my World of Love novella, My Paradise Is You.

This scene takes place on day 2 of 10 on the island, so Marc and Ian are still feeling each other out. It’s one of my favorite scenes because it really highlights how different they are on the surface as well as their rocky start. Plus I just love Marc’s tattoos. Hope you enjoy.

my-paradise-is-you-by-lucie-archer

Blurb

When two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust-fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.

Excerpt

Marc put his toes in the spring and shivered. The tree canopy kept the water chilled, but he couldn’t wait to dive in. “’S cold.”

“Feels amazing once you’re in,” Ian assured him. Not that he needed to; Marc had already made up his mind.

He peeled off his sweat-drenched shirt and tossed it on a rock and then pushed his swimsuit down his thighs. He had to smirk when Ian made an undignified choking noise. He must not have anticipated Marc’s lack of modesty. Without a word, he waded into the pool, leaving Ian behind at the water’s edge.

“Blow me?” Ian finally stammered.

Marc looked back and wasn’t surprised to see him staring at his ass. He had a watercolor tattoo of a blowfish on the right cheek, with the words Blow Me written on the other. “Wicked, huh?”

Ian looked down at his feet before taking off his shirt. “It’s, uh, nice.”

Marc eyed him as he fiddled with the hem of his trunks, thumb brushing over the tattoo on his hip. “What’s yours?” he asked.

Ian pulled up the hem. “It’s nothing.”

Marc didn’t push. If Ian didn’t want to show him his tattoo, that was his choice. “Do you want me to turn around?”

Ian must have decided against skinny-dipping, which slightly disappointed Marc. “No need,” he said as he waded into the water.

Marc stretched out and let his feet float to the surface, his head drifting back as he closed his eyes. The white noise from the waterfall had his bones relaxing for the first time in days. He needed a vacation, and he couldn’t have gotten any closer to paradise than one of Bermuda’s many islands.

“Can I ask you a personal question?” Ian asked, breaking the silence.

“Depends on the question.”

“You said your ex was a he, so that would make you—”

“Sooo gay… is that a problem? Because I declared this island gay friendly when I conquered it.”

“No, no problem. I was just curious.” Ian chuckled. “You seem so casual about it.”

“Why shouldn’t I be? It’s no different than being straight. Aren’t you casual?”

“I’m not gay!” Ian spat.

“I just assumed you were from that rainbow tattoo on your hip.”

“I have a fiancée. She’s a she.”

Marc scoffed. “Okay, then.” The accuracy of his gaydar could lead him to the only gay guy in a sea full of straights like he was magnetic north, but if Ian insisted he was straight, then that was something else Marc didn’t intend to push. He knew better than to force anyone out of the closet who wasn’t ready. He’d seen that happen to a friend of his, and he didn’t approve.

Marc attempted to change the subject. “I have a jellyfish on my ankle. In case you hadn’t noticed.” He leaned back and lifted his foot out of the water so Ian could see it.

“It’s really beautiful.”

They continued swimming in silence for a while, Marc content to float there for hours. Ian cleared his throat, and it threw off his balance, causing him to right himself again.

“It’s… a seahorse,” Ian said.

“Colorful.”

“I don’t usually show people. It’s kind of personal.”

“I didn’t mean to pry, just saw it.”

“Kind of hard to miss, I suppose. I got it when I turned eighteen to symbolize being free from my father’s rule. Guess he didn’t get the memo.”

Marc shook his head. “What is it with you two?”

“What do you mean?”

“You work for him, right? You don’t exactly come off as happy with your day job, so why not quit?”

“It’s not that simple.” Ian sighed.

“The money’s too good, huh?”

“You don’t know anything about me!” Ian huffed, his brow scrunching up into a wrinkled mess. “We’ve known each other all of one day, so don’t you sit there and presume that you do.”

“You’re right, I don’t… or maybe the truth hurts.” Marc shrugged before sinking down under the water. When he came back up, Ian had stormed toward the bank, his heavy footsteps stirring up the water in his wake. “Dammit,” he chided himself. They’d just made up and he’d managed to piss him off once again. “I’m sorry.”

Ian’s response came in the form of two fingers held up in what Marc thought to be a peace sign.

“Peace?”

“Stupid American,” Ian spat, folding down one finger until only his middle finger remained. “Better?”

“Well, yeah. If you’re going to flip someone off, at least do it right.”

How about that snark! I love it. For more, be sure to pick up My Paradise Is You.

Meet Lucie!

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Giveaway

Link and code for my rafflecopter giveaway (ends March 10th): Link and code for my Rafflecopter giveaway (ends March 10th): http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ed56cffc2/?

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Blog tour:

February 23 – MM Good Book Reviews 

March 1 – Dreamspinner Press Blog 

March 3 – Alpha Book Reviews

March 3 – Love Bytes

March 6 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 

March 7 – Sinfully Gay

March 8 – Long and Short Reviews

A Stella Release Day Review: My Paradise is You (World of Love) by Lucie Archer

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RATING 3,5 out of 5 stars

my-paradise-is-you-by-lucie-archerWhen two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust-fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

My Paradise is You is the first book I read by Lucie Archer, I’m always curious about new to me authors and the cover of this new release is really eye catching; that’s why I was very enthusiastic to read it, plus I enjoyed the stories in the World of Love series I read so far.

I quite liked My Paradise Is You, it was quick and light, the reading flew easily and although Ian is in the closet and engaged with Francesca, there wasn’t really drama or complicate situation, apart from the MCs being stranded on an island together for a week.

I adored how they bickered from the first time they met, the way they teased each other was cute and funny, and gave the novellas a little sparkle needed in a plot like this, pretty simple and granted. It made me more curious to see how it was going to be developed and how Ian and Mark would overcome they differences in backgrounds and lifestyles.

I particularly liked how the author chose for the main characters to wait and be back from the island before they have sex. As I said, Ian is engaged and I (and Mark) would have considered a betrayal versus his girlfriend is they acted on the attraction they strongly feel for the other on the island, instead, as the author did, of explain how things really are to Francesca. I appreciated this choice a lot and in my opinion made the relationship more real and believable.

My Paradise Is You is a lovely reading, it was pleasurable light and I’m curious to see what else Lucie Archer wrote. I definitely recommend it.

The cover art by Bree Archer is a winner, it’s perfect and I love all that blue. And yes, the model is pretty hot.

Sale Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 97 pages

Publication Date: March 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635333423 (ISBN13: 9781635333428)

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Taming the Wyld (States of Love) by Lucie Archer

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

taming-the-wyldThe Witness Protection Program dumps JD Smith practically at the ends of the earth—in Two Pines, Alaska—to protect him until he can testify against a dangerous gang. He tries to stick to his story and keep his head down, but it’s impossible to ignore bush pilot Jake Wylder, a sexy loner with quite a reputation around the small town.

Flying medical supplies around Alaska suits Jake’s wild streak and love of freedom. He’s perfectly content to keep his romantic encounters casual—at least until he meets JD. Something about the nurse makes Jake think settling down might not be such a hardship. Now he just needs to convince JD he’s serious—which won’t be easy, given his past.

For a relationship to stand a chance, JD must testify so he can return to Two Pines as the man he really is—and Jake must grow into the man JD needs him to be.

Taming the Wyld (States of Love) by Lucie Archer introduced me to a new author and a new series in one book, two things that I love.  In Taming the Wyld, Archer gave me several things I always look for in a contemporary romance. A location guaranteed to pull me in, in this case small town Alaska, two men with interesting backgrounds, and a plot just different enough to hook me.

The result is one that I enjoyed.  Shorter than I would have liked, Archer still was able to get  across layered characters, a true feel for living in an Alaskan small town, and a plot that had some surprises, some fun, and a wee bit of adrenaline rush.

A longer story would have given the reader more time to slide the connection to the MCs.  That would be flying bad boy Jake Wylder and doctor JD, currently hiding out as a nurse under the Witness Protection Program.  Honestly neither is completely likable at the beginning, both showing their flawed human sides. Both also could have used some more depth to their back histories to feel a tad more dimensional as well. But they do grow on you.

There’s a number of little plot threads running through the story, romance, personal growth, and oh, yes, that dangerous gang.  Archer does a lovely job of pulling it all together within 101 pages.  Yes, that’s right,  this is a very quick read at only 101 pages.   I felt the author had enough plot here for twice that amount.

I loved the town, the feel of Alaska Archer brought to her story.  It felt right.

Now I want to see what else this author has in store for me.  But in the meantime, I recommend you pick up Taming the Wyld.  Its a terrific short contemporary romance.  Just the thing for this Sunday afternoon.  I wonder what other states are on the list next?

Cover art by Bree Archer does a great job with both the location, the characters  and the element of flying with the plane. Love it!

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

ebook, 101 pages
Expected publication: September 21st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634775902 (ISBN13: 9781634775908)
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series States of Love setting

Alaska (United States)