Hiya peeps! Today we have debut author Peter Grover popping in to show off the vibrant stunning cover to his debut release The Weather Baker’s Son, we have a introductory guest post from Peter and a great guest post, so check out the lovely cover, read the excerpt and welcome Peter to our friendly MM readers community! ❤ ~Pixie~
The Weather Baker’s Son
Nature’s call of desire among golden fields and intoxicating red-lipped poppies seems to proclaim a path to love and healing in southern France. Yet Peter, an American university student struggling with self-doubt following a failed love affair, is determined never to be hurt again. While on a vacation with his widowed mother, Peter is smitten by Gaston, a handsome local baker. Gaston, less bold than Peter, is drawn to Peter as well but fearful of the loss of family esteem—particularly the respect of his cousin Mario, who looks up to Gaston. Their friendship grows into more as Peter continues to visit the bakery, but their increasing intimacy does not go unnoticed. The road to fulfillment becomes increasingly obscured, and internal doubts and external events spiral out of control. The arrival of a handsome stranger, suspicions of murder, and the threat of harm might spell the end of more than just their relationship.
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Over the years my spouse John and I have enjoyed our travels in France together and with family and friends. Having set The Weather Baker’s Son among landscapes where we have spent much time I hope to delight the reader with the enchanting corners of little French towns, the vibrant colors of the countryside and of course, being France, the culinary delights found at the bakery! Vignettes of France kept on returning to mind, a dog perched on a stone arch, a friendly greeting at the bakery, fields of lush red poppies. I have always wanted to keep these memories alive and share their beauty. I suppose that is how the idea of writing an mm romance involving southern France was formed. Romance is inevitable in such a sensuous place! Having now put aside a long career as a wordsmith in a commercial environment I have returned to a past life spent studying classic French and Spanish literature. Through quotations I wished to especially share my love for the French author Montaigne and his haunting reminiscences on his tragic friendship (love affair?) with another man in the 16th century. Montaigne’s observations that a life without the friendship he had had would only have been a life half-lived may point the way for one of my characters to go from fear to the blossoming of hope.
I would like to thank the cover artist, Brooke Albrecht, who has admirably captured important aspects of the book. The fields of red-lipped poppies represent the sensuality of place for me. The weather baker’s son gazes dreamily out at us. And, of course, the golden lab, his cherished pet observes his master’s growing enchantment for a new stranger in town.
A warm scent drew him toward a display of baked goods at one of the many stalls. The kind-faced lady there patiently watched as he read through the labels in front of the assorted goods. Suddenly Peter noticed, behind the counter, a young man facing away from him—a young man with broad shoulders and tight jeans that flowed from a narrow waist and rounded over his buttocks. His hair was a fine straight jet black, and his arms were covered in silky black strands on his gently sun-kissed skin. This young man was busying himself sorting through the boxes behind the stall keeper. He turned, revealing a taut T-shirt tucked into beltless jeans that strained noticeably at the groin.
Their eyes met, and dark French eyes like melted chocolate gazed into Peter’s blue eyes. It was like a flame hitting water, and both men winced, instantly averting their eyes to other things. Such is the way among men—the training of a lifetime in the schoolyard, the gym, the need to conform, to remain seemingly indifferent, cool, unawares. It was a secret but conscious effort, both denying the fervent wish to look further at the other.
The stall keeper, however, saw none of this and cheerfully asked Peter, “May I help you? We have many freshly baked goods to offer, all out of the oven this very morning! Here, perhaps you would like to try a little sample?” She held out a little piece of almond pastry toward Peter, who hesitated slightly before trying it.
“It is delicious,” he said somewhat awkwardly. He did not wish to be detained, for fear the young man might have been angered by his recent glance. “I am sure my mother would like a couple for our afternoon tea. I will take two, please!”
As the lady wrapped the purchase and exchanged it for Peter’s payment, she glanced upward at him and sensed a discomfort, an odd sensation for a client. Usually the prospect of baked goods put customers in a jolly mood, but there was something different here. She noted a pained look in his eyes as he waited. It was a look that seemed to penetrate through her and into the back of the stall. She threw a quick glance behind her, but all she saw were her boxes of goods, which her son, Gaston was currently rearranging intently, his back to her and her customer.
Peter took his purchase and moved hurriedly on among the stalls, chased by smells of sweet lavender, of olives and figs and flowers all seemingly beckoning him—Stay longer! Smell deeply of us and of him!
Peter Grover has received no end of inspiration from his life with his husband and a gaggle of ghosts in a Gothic Victorian house. Peter has now arisen from a pile of dusty law books to relaunch his background in languages and literature, early passions before his career. Combining these passions with his many travels for work and pleasure has allowed him to illustrate local poetry, arts and landscapes that draw the reader into other, often exotic worlds. Peter loves to hike the deserts and mountains of the Southwest US in the winter while enjoying the lush scenery and lakes of Central Canada in the summer.