The Cover Reveal of The Boys of Summer by
The Boys of Summer Book Description:
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.
Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews.
Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.
It will be a summer she will always remember.
“Don’t you dare.” I grabbed his arm, pulling him backwards. His eyes darted to where my hand rested on him. I didn’t move my hand, I couldn’t physically bring myself to break the contact; all of a sudden there were no smiles, no jokes, just him and me and our space on the couch. I could only hear the music and be aware of the heat of his skin and the rapid rise and fall of my chest in this moment.
The only thing that snapped me out of my daze was Toby’s words which seemed low and raspy.
“Is Adam your boyfriend?” His gaze flicked over my face as he waited for my answer. My mouth gaped open; I couldn’t hide the fact I was dumbfounded by the question.
I blinked quickly and took my hand from his arm. I struggled to construct a legible sentence.
“Oh – um, no, we’re just friends, it’s not like that.”
His stony expression didn’t falter, didn’t reveal any kind of emotion. He was so hard to read, and I wanted to read him so badly. He gave a small nod and handed me the CD cover.
“Better go and make sure these guys aren’t cheating.” And without another word, he got up and headed towards the pool table.
Excerpt 2:Moon rays filtered through the windshield, giving the cabin an otherworldly glow.
Toby’s perfect teeth were illuminated when he smiled. “You know, you are the worst winner!” He shook his head. “Ever since you won the bet, you’ve been apologizing. Just go with it, enjoy it, because I assure you, next time …” - he leaned closer - “… you will not be the winner.” He pulled back, smug.
I curved a brow. “Next time?”
He nodded. “I fully intend to redeem myself.”
“Want a chance to rebuild your shattered ego, do you? I bet you’re itching to fix my bike so you can be rid of me once and for all.” I shouldered him gently, teasing him as I would Adam. And then I realized what I had done; I had treated him like my friends. He looked down at his shoulder, then up at me. His eyes shadowed with untold meanings that I couldn’t read.
“What if I didn’t want to fix your bike?” he said in all seriousness.
“Why, is my company so stimulating that you can’t bear the thought of being without me?” I teased nervously.
I was aiming for light and airy, but something must have gone wrong with my delivery because Toby’s face went blank. He looked out into the lights of Onslow, ran his tongue over his bottom lip and sighed.
I lowered my foot to balance my bike as I came to a stop. A singular porch light shone like a beacon down the long curving driveway, casting a shadow across Toby’s car.
Light on. Car in drive.
He was home. I supposed anyone would be at 2am on a Monday morning. I was in two minds, I was ready to turn around and head for home; I paused, a murmur of music inside had my heart thumping in a matching rhythm. He was definitely home, he was awake and before nerves demanded I leave, I walked my bike down the drive, towards the light, towards the music.
I propped it near the wall of the cabin, moving through the darkness of the carport, skimming myself sideways so as not to
scratch Toby’s car. I placed a hand against the bonnet. Cold, Toby must have been home all night. I realized how creepy that was so quickly pulled my hand away.
Stop being such a stalker, Tess!
Before I could put too much thought into where I was and what I was doing, I followed the ever-increasing thud of music that led me around the back. Then I had a thought. What if he wasn’t alone? I faltered for a second, then pushed forward. If I chickened out now I would never get any peace. I wanted – needed – to do this so before any more self-doubt forced itself into my mind, I turned the corner.
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What she likes to do
I live in a 100-year old Victorian house. We have painstakingly renovated it over the past 10 years. I am forever finding new projects to tackle, I always seem to have an endless array of sample pots and House and Garden magazines not to mention I am seriously addicted to Reno shows. When I’m not writing, reading, renovating I love to travel. In 2012 I embarked on a 5 week adventure across the States and fell madly in love with place and the people.
How CJ Gets her Writing Done:
When I am in the zone I lock myself away in my office (especially when editing) I have a glass lolly jar to my left that I fill with maltese’s, snakes, cool mints, peanut MM’s. I get myself an ice cold Pepsi Max and put my foot heater on, low background music through iTunes and settle into a sugar induced writing session. It’s the only way!
A quick Q & A with CJ:
What inspired you to write the The Boys of Summer?
It was something that has been churning in my mind since I was a little girl, even if it was something no more mapped out than a group of friends hanging lakeside over a summer. It was an idea that has manifested into an entire world and I felt that I owed it to that eleven-year-old little me to develop it into a story. I know I was eleven because I had found an old exercise book with the story plotted out in my child-like handwriting and I could seldom believe it was something that had been swimming around in my subconscious for so long. It fell perfectly in line with me doing NaNo that year (National Novel Writing Month) and that was that, in one month I smashed out the bones of ‘The Boys of Summer’ (TBoS). In writing TBoS I really wanted to capture the essence of growing up in Australia. I set it in a small fictional lake side town in the 90’s to give it a certain flavor and provide a rich setting for a coming of age story, it is an absolute labor of love.
Does The Boys Of Summer have any parallels that could be drawn from your life?I grew up in a small country town in Australia so I am well aware of what it’s like to have to make your own fun. Unfortunately our town wasn’t set on the banks of Lake Onslow but it was still a nice place to live. My first job was working as a barmaid at the local hotel and I remember the fear of my first shift and learning the ropes. The one thing I do love hearing is when a reader connects with my characters, I think there are parallels in not only my life when growing up but for many others too.
How long did it take you to write The Boys of Summer?
The Boys of Summer has proud roots formed in November 2011 NaNo month. National Novel Writing Month is a global activity where anyone can join in in the attempt to write 50k in one month. I thought it would be a bit of fun, and initially planned to tackle a edgier world gone wrong drama, but then The Boys of Summer seeped into my subconscious and completely took me over. I had such a clear, concise direction the characters had me going. I wrote in my blog the fear of not being able to ever replicate the joy of writing like I had writing the BOS. I managed to smash the quota with 77k for the month, and It took me 5 months to complete the first rough draft, and it was very rough! Then in a few months it was edited, re written, completely run through the ringer until it was polished. It took over a year in the mechanics to
build the story, but it is a story that has been waiting to be written for a very, very, long time. It all just clicked in to place I am really fortunate that I had such a great time creating it.
What would your dream movie cast be for The Boys of Summer?
The Boys of Summer characters are so unique in my mind it’s hard to match them with celebrities (which is what I usually like to do) So I had to have a bit of a think on this one. Plus it’s an Aussie story so picking Australian based actors is really hard, so let’s just go with fantasy.
A young Matt Bomer would make a dreamy Toby. And Channing Tatum would be the perfect Sean Murphy (I defy anyone not to swoon over them) And I have a particular fondness for Adam Brody who would make a great Adam. That would make for some serious swoony, romantic, fun!
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