Hello! I’m Chris Scully. I’m thrilled to welcome you to my blog tour for Back to You, my new romantic suspense novel. Join me at various tour stops, where I’ll be sharing some background on the novel and the characters, my thoughts on writing, and more. Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $20 Riptide gift certificate. Thanks for joining me on the tour!
About Back to You
Journalist Alex Buchanan has come home to the remote British Columbia town he grew up in, but only because his estranged father is dying. For Alex, the homecoming holds a mix of memories, mostly bad. The only bright spot is reconnecting with Benji Morning, the childhood friend he never truly forgot. As boys, the strength of their bond had frightened Alex. But now that he’s confident in his bisexuality, he’s drawn back to quiet, soft-spoken Ben.
Ben isn’t the same boy Alex left behind, though. His life has been overshadowed by the disappearance of his sister two decades earlier, and now a new break in the case threatens to undo the peace he’s worked so hard to attain.
As Alex struggles to repair the relationship with his father before it’s too late, he finds himself caught up in a twenty-year-old mystery, a story he never expected, and a shocking truth that could affect his and Ben’s future together.
Picking a project
Some writers have a roadmap of all their projects a year or so in advance. That’s not me. I can only focus on one story at a time, so it’s rare that I’ll have another project ready to go.
For me, developing a project is much easier when I have some sort of spec to work from; perhaps it’s a theme, or there are length constraints. I recently completed a Christmas novella, and that one came fairly quickly. But when I have carte blanche, it’s more of a challenge. The fact that I only produce one or two books a year also adds more pressure to work on something worthwhile.
I’m great at getting started. I have a whole list of meet-cutes and plot ideas just sitting in a file, but often they’re missing… something. I’m a matchmaker, and they haven’t met their perfect matches yet.
My perfect project involves a combination of enough plot to carry the length of the story, a suitable level of conflict, a creative or original aspect, and above all, interesting characters. It also has to be the right fit for my mood, whether that’s sweet and gooey, or erotic, or emotional, or edgy.
In other words, the sun and moon and stars must align. I’m an emotional writer; I have to really believe in what I’m writing or else it just won’t work. Recently I thought I had my next project all lined up, but when it came time to actually start fleshing it out, it didn’t pique my interest at all. So I filed that one away and began the search again.
Sometimes magic happens quickly; other times is a long, slow, painful process. I often feel like my brain is a computer CPU, not only because sometimes it’s stuck on that spinning Microsoft circle, but also because it does its best work in the background when I’m thinking about something else. Mentally, I’m matching up the snippets of ideas I have and seeing which combinations work or don’t work: plot X with character Y for example.
It’s difficult to articulate what I’m looking for, but I know the minute the perfect combination slides into place. It’s like being at slot machine—bells ring, lights flash. Winner! Winner!
My next book is still in its gestational stage so I’m hesitant to share too many details, but it is about a couple who broke up and are now thrown together again to handle a family emergency. So far it seems promising and all the plot points are aligning, which is always a good sign. I’m hoping to spend the next couple of months plotting and then start writing in earnest in late summer.
Over the past twenty years, Alex has been searching for something whether he realizes it or not. He's tried hookups, a longterm relationship and even a short failed marriage, but he's never been able to recapture the feeling he got from that one innocent kiss shared with his best-friend at the age of 13. Shortly after his parents separate and he's forced to leave Ben, and to move to Seattle with his mom. With his father dying, his sister asks him to come back home to the small town in British Columbia, where he grew up, there he seeks out Ben.
This book is very much Alex's journey and the romance and even the mystery takes a back seat to that. I would have loved to see more of Alex and Ben together as a couple throughout the story. The chemistry they share is explosive, and I wish the author had explored it further.
Ben has suffered greatly from bullies as a young boy and after his sister mysteriously disappears the neglect at home only gets worse. Ben has been broken and went trough therapy and I really would have loved if the author had given him a voice. His story was powerful and I would have loved for the author to have delved deeper into Ben's past from his own point of view.
The mystery portion of the story surrounding Ben's sister was well-written and had enough twists and turns to keep me sitting on the edge of my seat and guessing.
This was a well-written and an easy read. The author's writing flows well and although I found the story a bit slow at times, it was still very entertaining and intriguing. Very recommendable!
*copy provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
About Chris Scully
Chris Scully lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.
Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.
Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.
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To celebrate the release of Back to You, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 17, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!