Hi peeps, we have Alice Archer stopping by today with her upcoming release Everyday History, we have a great guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! ~Pixie~
Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.
Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben with details from their weekend together and trigger feelings too strong to avoid. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.
by Alice Archer
I tend to avoid reading romances in which the main characters aren’t in the same place for big chunks of the story. But when Henry and Ruben’s story led me in that direction, I had to face the fact that I was going to write one of those books, and I became determined to do it in a way that even the skeptical reader in me would like.
Almost the first thing that happens in this story is that Henry and Ruben share a bunch of firsts with each other, including a sexy weekend. After they decide to go their separate ways, the memories they each have of that weekend (which includes things that aren’t shared with the reader until later) provide what I’ve come to think of as “togetherness energy” during the time they’re apart. How they each process (or avoid) what happened between them during that weekend alters their expectations about themselves and each other. The weekend is enzymatic, initiating a combusting chemical reaction that continues to alter them, scare them, and change them.
Suzanne Brockmann is one of my favorite romance writers. I remember reading on her blog about the conversations she has with her characters, and how they sometimes turn the stories in unexpected directions – even a direction that might disappoint her readers. In particular, the climax of her storyline involving gay FBI agent Jules Cassidy and actor Robin Chadwick sped up considerably when the characters insisted, in conversations with Suzanne, that they weren’t willing to go through the extended upsets she initially had planned for them, because they needed to be together, in person, as a couple, right now.
When I tuned in to what Henry and Ruben wanted, though, they went the other direction and insisted that they couldn’t be the people they needed to be in order to be together unless they weathered the pain of being apart, unless the love they’d turned away from remained unrequited for a time. That doesn’t mean they stopped influencing each other or driving each other nuts, or facing hard truths because of each other. It does mean that when they’re finally in the same place again, their meeting is that much more intense.
Is there someone in your past – a love interest – who made a huge impression on you, but then got away? What if they were the love of your life? What if they thought that of you in that way, too, but you never found out? Everyday History is about the chances we pass up, the magnetic force of true love, and how much we’re willing to do to deserve a second chance.
The following short excerpt takes place a few months after Henry and Ruben’s weekend together, after they’ve gone their separate ways.
Ruben pushes open the door to his room in the house he shares with two friends. He tosses the small stack of incoming mail onto his desk and then paws through it, looking for something to lift his spirits.
Here. A letter from his mother. But the envelope contains only a newspaper clipping with a sticky note on it that says, “Look what your teacher at the museum has been up to.”
The newspaper’s culture editor would like to introduce readers to a new weekly column called “Everyday History,” written by Henry Normand.
Ruben feels his body struggling to decide what to feel. His face grins at the sight of the words “Everyday History” in print next to Henry’s name, but his lungs tighten, and he’s suddenly aware of a twinge inside his pants, like his dowsing rod senses Henry’s presence in the room.
Henry introduces the new column in a few paragraphs. Then there’s a smaller heading with the title of this week’s topic, “The Blue Pajamas.” Ruben skips to the end to see if they’ve included a website for Henry. But no. There’s only another note from the editor.
Our new columnist is not only techno-phobic, he’s also frequently on the road. To reach Mr. Normand, please contact the editor at….
Ruben frowns at the clipping and wonders if Henry and the editor are sleeping together. Get a grip. He shakes his head, closes his eyes to take a big breath, and then reads.
Alice Archer has messed about with words professionally for many years as an editor and writing coach. After living in more than eighty places and cobbling together a portable lifestyle, she has lots of story material to sort through. It has reassured her to discover that even though culture and beliefs can get people into a peck of trouble when they’re falling in love, the human heart beats the same in any language. She currently lives near Nashville. Maybe this move will stick.