To be fair, I’ve not got much to say this week. I’ve been hard at work, so don’t panic about that, but as far as updates go… well, I’ll share more when I know more, LOL. So let’s get straight into the Quirky Questions this week and welcome our guest Ali Ryecart!
I used to tell my stories to myself. Now I tell them to the world…
In the stories I only ever told myself, boy met boy, best friends became more, and the hero didn’t save the damsel in distress but the hot guy he’d been secretly crushing on. I wanted to read those stories so much. I needed to read them, but I never found them in the library or the bookshop. I accepted they didn’t exist. Or so I thought… until the Christmas when I unwrapped my first e-reader. With a few clicks, life changed forever. I’d found the books, and I’d found my tribe.
It’s fair to say I make my men work hard for their HEAs. Whether they’re featuring in high-heat nail-biting, edge-of-seat romantic suspense, navigating their way through complex and difficult relationships, or are snuggled up together, all sweet and cozy, and soft and fuzzy, in the end, they have to make a stand for their shot at true love.
But there is life outside of MM romance. Allegedly. There’s a husband to feed and spend time with, pubs and cafés to drink in, and cake to eat. I do all these things—and a whole lot more—before I open up my laptop to spend time with men who always feel so, so real to me.
I’m a Londoner born and bred, and although I now live just outside of the big, bad city, the place is hardwired into my DNA and I grab every chance I get to hop on a train so as I can get my regular metropolitan fix.
Ali’s Quirky Questions
Holly: What will I always find in your fridge?
Ali Ryecart: Cheese, normally a block of the strongest cheddar I can fine. White wine (preferably New Zealand), sometimes a rosé, champagne if I’m feeling flush. Lots of veggies and salads, sometimes chocolate although it normally gets eaten before it can reach the fridge! Thick, creamy Greek yogurt for dumping on frozen berries, and gallons of milk for all the coffee I drink. Anything else is whatever takes my fancy at the time. Or is on offer at the supermarket!
Holly: Were you a reader as a child? What was your favorite book/author?
Ali Ryecart: Oh yes! One of my very first memories is of my mum taking me to the local library when I was very young and certainly before I was old enough to start school, and I can still remember the book I chose: The Adventures of Annie the Cat. It was a great big book — or so it seemed to the under 5 years old version of me — and was more pictures than words. It’s funny how it’s still imprinted on my memory. As I got older, I loved Leon Garfield’s books, which were historical adventure stories for kids. I still enjoy reading historicals, especially MM, even though I only write contemporary — I haven’t got the patience to do the research!
Holly: Where do you like to write?
Ali Ryecart: I probably do about 60% of my writing at home, in my office, however I also like to mix it up. My favourite place is the café attached to a bookshop in my local town. I’ll spend either a morning or an afternoon in there, ear plugs in, and with a big cup of coffee at hand I hit the keyboard. It’s a quirky mix of people and I’ve got to know the staff well.
Holly: What’s your favorite book that you’ve written and why?
Ali Ryecart: This is always a difficult one to answer. I’ve enjoyed writing all of them, but some have proved more of a challenge than others. But, I must say, I had so much fun writing Meeting Mr. Adorkable, which is part of the Collier’s Creek Shared Universe series. Lucian is the Adorkable of the title. He’s clumsy, he doesn’t put his brain into gear before he opens his mouth, and like me he has a passion for Marmite! I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful this is on toast… Google it to find out what makes this the food of the gods! But, getting back to Meeting Mr. Adorkable, even though I loved writing it, it was a challenge because all my books apart from this one are set in the UK, which is where I’m from, and so written in UK English whereas this book is in ‘American’. I’ve got a wonderful US beta reader and I kept her very entertained as she deleted all my ‘Britishisms’!
Holly: What would you and your MCs talk about if you went out for coffee?
Ali Ryecart: First of all, we’d argue about which café to go to because I’m lucky enough to have some great independents nearby. Second, depending on the time of day, we might skip the coffee and go to the pub instead for a cheeky class of wine! All my men are so different, it would be hard to find topics to agree on but, if Lucian from Meeting Mr. Adorkable was with us, whatever he said he’d end up sticking his foot in his mouth by making some totally inappropriate remark and insulting somebody. Not deliberately, of course. Never deliberately…
Meeting Mr. Adorkable
Two wounded hearts. One small town. A romance with the power to heal
Dumped by his older lover and left jobless in the family business, life isn’t looking too rosy for Lucian, a sweet but awkward English florist. At rock bottom, he’s determined to make a fresh start, and the Wyoming town of Collier’s Creek might just be the place to do it.
After years living in New York’s fast lane, Arlo’s come home. No stranger to heartbreak, all he wants is a simple life after his relationship with a younger man crashed and burned. The last thing he’s looking for is love. Those days are long gone, and they’re never coming back.
But fate has other plans for Lucian and Arlo. A clumsy encounter in a cheesy bar, a spilled pitcher of beer, and their worlds are turned upside down. Life will never be the same again.
Will the reticent silver fox be the key to piecing together Lucian’s fractured heart? And will Arlo find the courage to open himself up and let the dorky Englishman restore his belief in love and life? Find out in this always heartfelt, often quirky, cross-cultural romance that proves age is just a number when it comes to affairs of the heart.
Six couples, six low-angst romances, six reasons to fall in love… Meeting Mr. Adorkable is the fifth book in the multi-author series. Each book is stand-alone, but if you enjoy swoon-worthy romance set in a small town, then stay awhile. You’ll fall in love with the men of Collier’s Creek.
“Are you sure you’re not a member of the royal family?” Arlo’s lips turned up in a lopsided smile. “I mean, I never expected some kind of palace…”
“Palace?” Lucian laughed. “Thought you might have googled it, though.”
“I did.” Arlo gave a sheepish smile. “But nothing came up for Danboro.”
Lucian picked the teapot up and pointed to the print with the name emblazoned underneath.
Lucian poured the tea and emptied the biscuits on to a plate. “No milk, I’m afraid, because it’s turned to yogurt.”
They drank in silence for a couple of minutes, perched on either end of the couch, nestling their tea on their knees.
Lucian dunked a biscuit, missing the vital moment to take it out before the soggy end slopped back into the mug. Fuck. Perhaps he’s not noticed. Lucian glanced up through his lashes; Arlo was staring into his tea. The silence stretched out, growing more painful by the second. Maybe he shouldn’t have rushed for the door, maybe he shouldn’t have called out for Arlo, maybe he—
“What?” Lucian jumped, dragged out from his thoughts of all the things he maybe, absolutely, shouldn’t be doing. “Teapot? Nice? No, it’s hideous. I can only think my sister, whose many little Danebury empires include merchandizing, was being ironic when she commissioned them. But the visitors love them, and are quite happy to shell out the dosh, so who am I to pour scorn when I can pour tea? Care for another?”
Arlo put his mug down. “Thank you, but no. It’s gross. The Creek water tastes better. I don’t think even letting your cookie — excuse me, your biscuit — melt into it would improve the taste.”
Lucian opened his mouth before clamping it closed again. Arlo’s face was deadpan, but he couldn’t hide the mischief in the depths of his bright hazel eyes. Lucian laughed, the off color comment and the shine in those gorgeous eyes fracturing the tension that had bound them both.
“I’ve got beer.”
“Then why didn’t you say?”
My 5-stars reads this week
I needed something a little different this week, so I’ve been listening to The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts on Audible.
I must confess I enjoyed her Chronicles of The One a little more, but this was still an excellent world to hide out in for a little while.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of Holly’s Quirky Questions.
A huge thank you to Ali you are awesome! Next week we have Delaney Rain.
Until then: Find a Spark of Magic Every Day.