There are so many places that I would love to visit before I die. Topping the list at the #1 or #2 spot depending on the day, is England. What a trip that is going to be as soon as I get around to taking it. And I am not the only one who fantasizes about English summers. Sue brown is quite familiar.
I always say that I don’t use my own life to shape my books. Of course, I’ve realised that isn’t true. All my books have something of me in them. If you want to understand me, Sue, read Nothing Ever Happens. If you want to understand my love of the coffee shop on my station, read Mr. Plum. Fairly recently, one of my readers asked me if I was addicted to coffee. Ohhhh yes. I cannot deny that for an instant. There is nothing of me in Morning Report and Complete Faith. I just love cowboys.
The Isle of… Where? is a different animal entirely. It was based on my summer holiday last year. I had a short holiday in the Isle of Wight with my family, and fell in love all over again with the British holiday, rain and all. Of course this year we’ve had so much rain the concept of holidaying in the UK is somewhat laughable. Fingers crossed for a lovely August, and the Olympics.
So what do I love about holidaying in the UK? Fish and chips on the beach. Sitting on the sand or stones, munching greasy chips out of paper, and always followed up with an ice-cream, no matter what the weather. I introduced an Australian friend to the idea of sitting on a beach in winter, wrapped up in coats and scarves. She thought I was insane but she loved it.
Watching my kids happily stay away from the computer screens while they hunt for fossils on a beach. They didn’t blink an eye when we walked by the nudist beach and there was an old guy laying stretched out on the beach, wrinkled and nutbrown. That guy had no tanlines!
What else? The large empty beach where my teenage kids built sandcastles for over an hour. The local kids had gone back to school, and the tourists had emptied out as if by magic. You may have gathered I really enjoy the beach.
Oh, and the crazy golf where I beat my kids and the ex – much to their disgust. Hah! One for Mum.
In the Isle of… Where? I took all the idiosyncrasies of a British holiday and presented them to Liam, an American who would have preferred to be somewhere with blue skies, sandy beaches and hot men. Well, he didn’t get all of those things but he did get Sam – and maybe that was the biggest present of all.
Author Bio: Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has got expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
The Isle of… Where?
When Liam Marshall’s best friend, Alex, loses his fight with colon cancer, he leaves Liam one final request: buy a ticket to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, and scatter Alex’s ashes off the pier. Liam is tired, worn out, and in desperate need of a vacation, but instead of sun, sea, sand, and hot cabana boys, he gets a rickety old train, revolting kids, and no Ewan MacGregor.
Liam would have done anything for his friend, but fulfilling Alex’s final wish means letting go of the only family Liam had left. Lost, he freezes on the pier… until Sam Owens comes to his rescue.
Sam’s family has vacationed on the Isle of Wight every year for as long as he can remember, but he’s never met anyone like Liam. Determined to make Liam’s vacation one to remember, Sam looks after him—in and out of the bedroom. He even introduces Liam to his entire family. But as Sam helps Liam let go, he’s forced to admit that he wants Liam to hang on—not to his old life, but to Sam and what they have together.
Available from Dreamspinner.
THE conversation had gone something like this:
Alex: “You need a vacation after being stuck inside with me for so long.”
Liam: “Somewhere hot. Sandy beaches, blue sea, hot men.”
Alex: “I can promise you the beaches are sandy.”
Liam: “What do you mean? Alex, what are you planning? I know that look in your eyes. I thought we were talking about a vacation.”
Alex: “I’m offering you a vacation, moron.”
Alex: “The Isle of Wight.”
Liam: “Where the fuck is that?”
Alex: “The UK.”
Liam: “It rains there and the men aren’t hot.”
Alex: “Ewan McGregor, man, Ewan McGregor.”
Liam: “That’s a low blow, even for you.”
Liam’s vision of a tropical vacation with cocktails and cabana boys faded away with the tide and instead there was this, a special hell, surrounded by screaming kids and overweight moms. Alex really knew how to give his best friend a good time.
Liam leaned against the glass and sighed. Somewhere up there, Alex was laughing at him. The bastard could have given him a train ticket to anywhere; the Orient Express, for instance. The lyrics said a “Ticket to Ride,” not fucking Ryde. But no, Alex loved the Isle of Wight after a summer vacation during college and he would not be moved. So a ticket to the ass end of nowhere it was. Maybe Alex had secretly hated him all these years.
The Isle of Wight was obviously a popular destination for families, because from the second Liam had gotten on the ferry to the island he hadn’t been able to get away from whining brats. Liam wasn’t one of those men whose life was going to be completed by progeny. He liked Kathy well enough, even though he’d deny it if pushed, but she was Alex’s kid, so of course Liam liked her. Children en masse were hell on earth. Particularly the little fucker behind him.
The train eventually reached Ryde. Could any train ride be so slow? The island was the size of a handkerchief. The majority of the crowd got off, to Liam’s relief. He was particularly pleased to be rid of the evil kid who had spent most of the journey kicking the back of his seat. After days of riding this train from hell, he had no patience for some bored brat. He’d glared at the monster when the kicking had started, and then tried glaring at the mother. The woman had stared back with sublime indifference. Liam thought about moving to the seat behind the kid and kicking his seat to see how he liked it. He could just imagine how that would go down. Pervert On Train Attacks Small Child! Liam’s imagination ran wild as he visualized the headlines. It might even get on YouTube. Somebody would record it on their cell phone and upload it. Liam shuddered as he imagined the small clip going viral. His mother would never speak to him again. The nightmare had kept him occupied until the train disgorged the horrid child and his equally horrid mother at Ryde Esplanade.
For the couple of minutes it took to get to Ryde Pier Head station, Liam leaned against the back of the seat and closed his eyes. Forget the last few days riding this God-awful train. Today was the day to fulfill Alex’s request. Then he could go home and get on with his life.
His empty life.
Sue Brown is offering up a digital copy of her upcoming release, The Isle of… Where? To enter, comment below with the location of your perfect holiday destination – past or present.
Open until Thursday, June 28th at 11:59pm (PST). Winner will be drawn and notified on Friday, which is The Isle of… Where? release day.