Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Tour for Saugatuck Summer by Amelia Gormley (Review & GIVEAWAY)

We're ending the week on a high note with the wonderful Amelia Gormley stopping by today with the newly-released NA m/m read, Saugatuck Summer.  Keep reading to get some insight into this book from Ms. Gormley herself along with my impressions of it.  There's also a giveaway for those who read the book and answer questions posted at each tour stop.  So make sure to follow the whole tour and leave your answers on a form the author has created separately for your chance to win one of her backlist titles!

Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Thank you to Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess for hosting me today!  For those of you who have seen me talking about it on social media for the last nearly year and a half, you know that Saugatuck Summer was a labor of love far beyond what I would normally claim for one of my books. Of course I love them all, but Saugatuck Summer came from my very soul. Actually, I’m not certain it came from me at all.
Basically, here’s what happened: One day I was driving along, running errands, and Topher Carlisle whispered one line of dialogue in my ear. Just one. When I asked him what I was supposed to do with that, he promptly took over my brain for fifteen absolutely insane days and at the end I had the first draft of Saugatuck Summer.
Topher’s story of recovery, hope, making mistakes, and growing up just told itself, and the experience of being the conduit for that was at times grueling and heartbreaking, but also euphoric and wonderful. It was one of those experiences that, as a creator of some form of art, be it musical, visual, or literary, you have once or twice in a lifetime if you’re extraordinarily lucky, when you know you’re creating something magical. I’m not sure it will ever happen to me again, but I feel absolutely blessed that this book has come of it.
This week on the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ll be sharing some bonus content from the book and a sneak peek at another upcoming book in the Saugatuck universe. I’ll also be having a heart-to-heart discussion with Marie Sexton about our experiences as adult children of alcoholics and how they translated into writing our ACOA characters from Saugatuck Summer and Family Man, giving you a peek at some of “Jace’s” art, and I’ll be sharing the official Saugatuck Summer soundtrack from a brilliant singer/songwriter of my personal acquaintance, Casey Stratton.
And finally, all week long I’ll be asking trivia questions from Saugatuck Summer and this week’s blog tour articles, and each correct answer emailed to me offers you a chance to win your choice of any of my backlist titles!  To give people time to read and respond, the contest will remain open for one month after the release of Saugatuck Summer. It will close on June 19, and the drawing will be held on June 20.
So put on your sunscreen and let’s go!

One summer can change everything.
Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.
My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.
Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.

***Today’s Saugatuck Summer trivia question:  Chapter 18, who makes a surprise appearance at Mo’s family’s 4th of July cookout?***

In the world of m/m books Ms. Gormley, with just this one book, has set herself apart from the pack with her deeply emotional and intimate characterizations that compel you to keep turning the pages.  She digs deeply into each character's psyche and ends up with a cleverly crafted story full of emotional intensity, decisions with realistic ramifications, and a cast of characters with fully fleshed-out personalities that have you rooting for some and wishing evil on others.  It's an emotionally draining book that makes its characters work for their HEA.  Ultimately it's an uplifting story about one young man's rising above adversity to become the best he can be, warts and all.

To say that Topher's childhood was bad would be an understatement.  From his mother's emotional and physical neglect, to sexual abuse from a family member, to his entire family's constant put-downs and their destruction of his dreams and self-confidence we're left with a young man who's a bit touchy when having to deal with emotions and who often trades sex for affection and to boost his ego.  After years of therapy he's still a man with lots of issues and no real plan for his future.  He's an isolated soul with only one close friend, Mo, who lets him stay at her family's beach house while he gets back on his feet after yet another family drama dragged him under yet again.  His indecisions lead to a very poor choice involving Mo's closeted father which ends with big emotional fallout and becomes the impetus to truly changing himself.  His introduction to, and the deeply sensual and eye-opening encounter with the sexy Jace, also encourages his change in how he sees himself and what he wants out of life.  Where the first half of the story finds a still damaged and lost soul, the second half has him taking control of his life and battling the demons from his past head-on.  I was cheering him on every step of the way and happy he had someone as understanding and supportive as Jace standing beside him as he finally addressed the hurts and sins of his family and found a new family in Jace and the close-knit group of friends he found in this beachside town.  Topher is a larger than life character who could be overly dramatic one minute and charming the next.  He could admit his faults and knew when he did wrong but it was hard to stop the cycle of self-destruction that became ingrained in him courtesy of his family.  I applauded his finally taking control though and found it a heroic moment which left me misty-eyed and proud of his truly becoming an adult.

Jace is super sexy and supportive.  He's got some baggage of his own but was always there for Topher, pushing him to follow his dreams and giving him the confidence he craved and had been searching for.  Their scenes are scorching and earth-shattering and I become sweaty just thinking about them.  More than just sex, they made a deep connection where Topher was able to see himself as something more, a man worthy of love and happiness.  Jace had an old soul and was wise beyond his years and his softly spoken support was just what the doctor ordered.  The other denizens of this beachside town that Topher slowly came to count on and call friend were just as supportive and didn't take any of his melodramatic crap.  Each forced him to stop hiding and to stop spinning in circles, they gave him the tools to face his future head-on.  I enjoyed each and every one of them and hope to see more of them in the future.

This was an emotionally draining and realistic book that pulled no punches.  It didn't gloss over the hardships of life but showed a way to rise above them.  It's a super sexy, and at times inspiring, read that had me from the first page to the last and I definitely recommend it to fans of both the NA and m/m genre.  Here's to another successful story from Ms. Gormley and I'm breathlessly left waiting for what she has planned next.

My rating for this is an A.
*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.
Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major online book retailers, and be sure to check Riptide for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), the post-apocalyptic romance, Strain, and her upcoming, New Adult contemporary, Saugatuck Summer, available now.
You can contact Amelia on TwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookLikesTumblr, or contact her by email using the form at


At each stop along the blog tour I’ll be asking a trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is required, whether you purchase a copy, have an ARC, or employ the Kindle or B&N lending programs. If you visit some of the other blog tour stops, you might also find the answer in some of the excerpts.
PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS. Instead, send the answer to me privately by using this contact form. Each response will enter you into the drawing and three winners will be picked. The more questions you answer, the more entries you get. You can choose from any of the following titles:
(Note: Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) is already available free at Riptide, and my pre-Saugatuck novella, The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, is available for free at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and elsewhere.)
Again, please do not post your answer in the comments, but submit it to me privately.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Thank you so much for the lovely review, as well as for hosting my tour!