THE BOYS OF SUMMER
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.
AN ENDLESS SUMMER
Blurb: Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study. “Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.” I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.” A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?” After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment: Boarding School. Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colorful conversations are in the distant past. How had her dad let it come to this? With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good. In an endless summer, Amy soon realizes that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.
Links to buy: Amazon U.S // Amazon U.K // Amazon Canada // iTunes // B&N
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C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
Author Interview: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!
Future Books in the works?
An Endless Summer (Summer Series Book Two)
That One Summer (Summer Series Book Three)
Release Date: December 2013
Forever Summer (Summer Series Spin-Off Novel)
Release Date: TBA 2014
Someone Like You: (Stand alone novel)
Release Date: TBA 2014.
Music to me is such a huge source of inspiration for my writing. It can set a mood, evoke a memory, transport you to an imaginary time or place, it's a powerful, magical thing.
Here is a list of what I was listening to at the time I was writing my novel. Some will be story specific and others are just what I happened to be into at the time.
So sharing is caring and hopefully it will also help set the scene and feel of my stories for you the beloved readers.
The Boys of Summer
Linger - The Cranberries
Lightening Crashes - Live
Foreigner - Urgent
Bow River - Cold Chisel
Heartache Tonight - The Eagles
I Can't Tell You Why - The Eagles
A Change is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
Cupid - Same Cooke
Wonderwall - Oasis
Flame Trees - Cold Chisel
The Boys of Summer
That’s when I think of you - 1927
We found love - Rihannah
Endless Summer - The Jezabels
Helena Beat - Foster the People
Pumped up Kicks - Foster the People
Heartbreak Warfare - John Mayer
Gotye - Save Me
Young Blood - The Naked and the Famous
Sunshine Eyes - Paul Mac feat Peta Morris
Hand on Your Heart - Jose' Gonzalez