Sarah Madison: Boys of Summer Blog Tour & Giveaway!


Hello all! Welcome the lovely Sarah Madison who’s stopped by on her blog tour to answer some fun questions!


1. What do you feel is the best and worst part of being a writer?

Ah, the best part is that sizzling, buzzing feeling of joy when you create something you love. When you sit down to the keyboard and look up three hours and five thousand words later. When you read a sentence you wrote and think, “Damn, did I write that?”  I’ve been looking my whole life for my ‘passion’, my joy, envious of others who would sacrifice everything and work ridiculous hours to perfect their hobby or their sport. I kept shoving writing aside, thinking it was something I’d played around with as a child and not suited to my grown-up life. Boy, was I wrong! I’m so happy I opened the box where I’d caged my creativity and decided to let it go again. It’s getting that first lovely review that makes your heart sing in a Sally Fields Oscar-winning Speech moment where you realize “they really like me!”

The worst part of being a writer is that stage, usually about three quarters of the way through your story, in which you are convinced that everything you write is crap, that you will never be a successful writer, that you are wasting your time putting words to paper. It’s reading that lukewarm review and feeling the knife twist in your gut. It is acknowledging that you’ve put writing over other things in your life that are also important to you. It’s yelling at the dog to go lie down because you’re finally making some progress on your story. It’s dribbling out a couple of words at a time because you are too tired and drained from work to do anything, let alone something as difficult as breathing life into cardboard characters or fanning the embers of a neophyte story into something that can sustain itself.

Most days the good outweighs the bad. Most days.


2. Is there a genre you haven’t written that you would like to write?

I have a not-so-secret burning desire to write a heterosexual romance with a heroine that I don’t want to bitch-slap twenty pages into the story. One of the reasons I write M/M romance is that I identify more with male characters than most female ones. That doesn’t mean I don’t like rocking hot shoes or that I never wear makeup—just that when I was growing up, men got all the best roles and best lines. Every time I’ve tried to write a traditional romance novel, I’ve fallen into the same tropes and stereotypes that I loathe. Somehow I have to figure out how to write a heroine I can admire and respect who is still feminine. I do have female characters I adore, such as Peggy Carter from Captain America, and Brenda Leigh Johnson from The Closer. One day I’m going to create one all my own.


3. If you were given the chance to hang out with one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

Rodney, the philosophical gargoyle from Raincheck. I fell hard for this character, who expects so little from life and yet is insightful and compassionate. He wouldn’t pull his punches with me—he’d tell it exactly as he sees it—but he would be sympathetic and supportive all the same. I’d love to see the world through his eyes; to get a different perspective on things.


4. In five words, describe your book.

The Boys of Summer: heartbreaking, enlightening, sensual, intense, and satisfying.


5. What was the most challenging part of writing this particular book?

I didn’t want to batter the reader over the head with the historical facts. It was important to me to share what I’d learned while researching the novel but I wanted to bring it to life rather than present a dry recitation of too many facts. I knew, too, that some would object to such a long historical dream sequence in the middle of a contemporary novel. It was a risk I was willing to take in order to share both halves of the story and interweave the two the way I saw it in my mind.


6. What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across while writing?

The part that flat-out staggered me was discovering that many of the young pilots in the Battle of Britain were sent into battle with less than eleven hours of flight time. Eleven seemed such a precise number to document—and such a precious little amount of time to learn how to fly an airplane, let alone do battle with it.


7. What’s a typical day like for you?

I usually get up around six to seven a.m. and take care of the various animals in my keeping before I go to work. My day job is emotionally and physically demanding (I’m a veterinarian) and I often put in ten to twelve hours at work before coming home at night. Sometimes I have several hours of emails to deal each evening, and then, if I’m lucky and I still have any energy left, I do some writing. My dream goal is to make enough money writing so I can cut back on my hours at work and write some more, but that is difficult when many days I am too exhausted to concentrate on the stories that have been teasing me all day long.

One of my goals for the coming year is less time yammering on social media and more time writing. I want to get back to what I love most, which is telling stories.


8. Describe your workspace.

I have several workspaces because I am in a different location every couple of days. My favorite workspace is covered with laminated copies of all my book covers, as  well as pictures of my favorite actors and things that inspire me to write: quotations, places I want to visit, pictures I use for inspiration to get fitter, my animals, and so on. I love being surrounded by images that make me happy.

My favorite quotation is from Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educate derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”


9. E-reader or print book?

Oh, that’s tough. I’ve been slow to embrace the e-reader, mostly because many of my old favorites aren’t available in that format and because I already own over a thousand books here at home. I do love the convenience of deciding to purchase a story and BOOM, there it is on the reader, but my heart sides with the book I can hold in my hand. The one I can read in the bathtub without fear of damage, the one whose bright backlight won’t interfere with my sleep cycle. The one I can read on a sunny day in the park without having to shade it with one hand and it never needs recharging.

I will say that almost all my *new* purchases, however are in the e-format. I do worry about losing the reader though. If you leave the reader behind on the bus, you haven’t just lost one book, you’ve lost your library…


10. Coffee or tea?

My lower lip quivers as I answer this because in the last year I’ve had to give up ALL caffeine. I’d become increasingly sensitive to it over the years and at the beginning of 2013, my blood pressure began shooting through the roof whenever I had anything with caffeine in it. Prior to that, I was a huge tea drinker though. Hot green tea by the pot at my favorite Chinese restaurant. Earl Grey with a little bit of milk the way the British take it. I was a big Pepsi drinker too. Now it’s water for me. I have to be careful how much chocolate I have and how late in the day I eat it too.


Boys of Summer Book Trailer

About the Book

Title: The Boys of Summer

Author: Sarah Madison

Genre: M/M Romance

Excerpt: Rated R for language

Bookseller Links: Amazon US (paperback), Amazon US (Kindle), Amazon UK (paperback), Amazon UK (Kindle)

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches…and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton. Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late?

The Boys of Summer has recently been given an Honorable Mention and is one of the finalists in the 2013 Rainbow Awards! The winners will be announced sometime in December.

“Settings are used wonderfully here, becoming so vibrant that they played out like a movie in my mind as I read.” Jessewave

“I devoured it and it has moved into my top ten books of all time.” Josie Goodreads

“Ms. Madison writes with a wonderful, flowing style, her words effortless and magical, drawing you into her story.” Susan Mac Nicol

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Boys of Summer and based on this book I have already earmarked several more Sarah Madison books to read.” Kazza K

“If you’re headed to the beach and can only take one book with you, it should be this one. Highly and delightedly recommended!” Jessewave


FinalistSMThe Boys of Summer has recently been given an Honorable Mention and is one of the finalists in the 2013 Rainbow Awards! The winners should be announced sometime in December.

“Settings are used wonderfully here, becoming so vibrant that they played out like a movie in my mind as I read.” Jessewave

“I devoured it and it has moved into my top ten books of all time.”Josie Goodreads

“Ms. Madison writes with a wonderful, flowing style, her words effortless and magical, drawing you into her story.” Susan Mac Nicol

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Boys of Summer and based on this book I have already earmarked several more Sarah Madison books to read.” Kazza K

“If you’re headed to the beach and can only take one book with you, it should be this one. Highly and delightedly recommended!” Jessewave

Tour Giveaway

Tour-Wide Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Sarah Madison

Like most writers, Sarah Madison was a story-teller as a child. She couldn’t help herself! She carried a grubby spiral notebook with her everywhere she went, filling it with stories about dogs and horses. When she reached the end of high school, however, she packed up all her creativity in a box and placed it on a shelf, to be stored with other childhood memories. She worked hard at her job and thought that being passionless was just what growing up was all about.

One day she woke up. She opened the box on her shelf and discovered much to her surprise, her passion was there, just waiting to be claimed again.

Now, writing sometimes takes precedence over everything else. In fact, when she is in the middle of a chapter, she usually relies on the smoke detector to tell her when dinner is ready.

To learn more, visit Sarah on her website, on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Blacksburg VA Corporate Photographer


The Boys of Summer Tour Dates

Monday 9th December – Virtual Writers, Inc. (interview)

Tuesday 10th December – Charlie Cochet (interview)

Wednesday 11th December – Kathryn Lively from ARe Cafe (guest post), Annette Gisby from Zipper Rippers (interview) & Jessica Bell from The Alliterative Allomorph (guest post)

Thursday 12th December Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (review and interview)

Friday 13th December – Tammy Middleton from Tams Book Blog (also posted on MM Good Book Reviews) (review & guest post)

Saturday 14th December – Kirsty Vizard (review)

Sunday 15th December –  Sid Love (guest post) & Twitter Interview with Sarah Madison (1pm EST)

Monday 16th December – Kathy from Book Reviews and More (guest post)

Tuesday 17th December – Joyfully Jay (guest post)

Wednesday 18th December – Sophie Sansregret from Evolved Books (review and guest post)

Thursday 19th December  – Eden Winters from Magnolias and Men (promo) & Gay List Book Reviews(interview)

Friday 20th December –  Iris Pross from Smexy Fab Four (review), Mrs Condit from Mrs Condit Reads Books (promo)  &  Jesse Kimmel-Freeman (promo)

Saturday 21st December –  Beckey White from In the Pages of a Good Book (guest post)

Sunday 22nd December – Sarah Madison

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me here today, Charlie!

  2. Thanks for hosting Sarah on your lovely blog, Charlie. What a fabulous interview. Sarah, how do you find the time to write with your demanding job? You must be exhausted at the end of the day. What an inspiration your are!

    • Thank you! I confess, it is one of my biggest frustrations–dreaming all day about what I plan to write and then being too wiped out in the evening to do so. Getting up earlier isn’t an option–the animals would just be that much more excited about getting fed and walked early! I’m learning to balance things, though. I watch a LOT less television than I used to. I make sure I get the dog out and spend time at the barn because being outside in all kinds of weather blows the cobwebs out of my brain.

      One thing that’s been hard for me to balance is the time spent on social media versus other things I could be doing. I know it is important to get my name out there, but I also know that getting the next story done should be my first priority! 😉

  3. Some wonderful reviews. If Jessewave loves it, it must be good!

  4. The caffeine anecdote gives me the shudders (or maybe that’s just coffee jitters). M/M is my life, but it would be great to see a non-TSTL romance heroine…

    • Believe me, giving up caffeine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Now, I’m also facing having to give up wheat and dairy too, and I’m like: cheese, crackers, chocolate, and Pepsi–what else IS there to eat? :-) I’m not happy that my body has decided it can no longer tolerate the crappy food I’ve lived off of my entire life. Dang, I might actually have to learn how to cook…

      My goal is to create a heroine that isn’t TSTL as well–so if I ever get around to writing that het story, I’ll let you know!

  5. I would love to read this one. With snow coming down, I could use some summer.

    • That’s one of the fun bits of being a writer–remembering some amazing place, or some warmer situation, and writing about it in as much detail as possible. :-) I want you to feel so warm you need to open a window onto the snow outside!

  6. I thought I had to give up milk, since it was causing me some intestinal problems, too. As it turns out many of us lose the ability to digest milk as we get older. I just carry some lactase softgels with me now and take them when I have milk (or more likely ice cream). They’re pretty cheap, and work quite well.

    • Marge, I wish it was that easy for me. It’s more than just GI intolerance–dairy seems to make all my other allergies worse. I’m trying to figure it out at the moment, but man, I couldn’t have picked a harder time of year to go on an elimination diet! 😉

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