We’re so pleased to welcome author Lissa Reed to TNA today on the tour for her latest release, Absolutely, Almost, Perfect, book three in the Sucre Coeur series. She’s joining us to chat about ending the series, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget for entry details.
Hi there! I am a writer, support tech, cat herder, and baking enthusiast just trying to survive yet another Texas summer. My third book, Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the finale of my LGBTQ+ bakery romance series, and I’ve pulled out all the rom-com stops with this one! It’s a full-on British rom-com fun-fair ride of a story that I am very excited to have written.
Today, my third book goes out into the world, and with it, my first series comes to an end.
When the first stirrings of the Sucre Coeur universe began to wander through my mind in 2013, it wasn’t a series that I had in mind. Only one guy, a prickly sort who’d had a bit of a traumatizing time with his previous relationship; and another, who didn’t really know what he wanted, but he liked to bake cookies and be kind to people. Opposites Attract is one of my favorite romantic tropes in the world, so of course, I liked the nascent idea that was going on. I sat with it a bit, and let it take me where it would.
Kind Guy, it turned out, was a great guy, name of Craig. He liked music, and writing, and Difficult People. He had plenty of friends, and slowly, I was introduced to each one, and the Sucre Coeur universe expanded.
Prickly Guy was Alex. Nice, but suspicious and secretive, emotionally traumatized. Not close to his family, except for a cousin close to his age. He had one friend, and he had a nasty ex. He was harder to draw out, but with time and patience, the world of Sucre Coeur expanded again.
Soon enough, I realized it was going to be A Thing. A Big Thing. A Series Thing. I had a lot of story to tell, and before I knew it, my first book wasn’t just my first book ever, it was the first in a series, and I would ultimately spend a grand total of five years in the Sucre Coeur universe. On my first ever professionally published project. Way to not do things by halves, self.
But…well. Now I’m pulling the curtain on these folks, and I have to say, it’s a bit of an adjustment.
I’m working on other things now, other stories, other people in other cities. They have different interests, different hobbies. They don’t have Alex and Craig’s instant attraction, they don’t have Sarita and Maritza’s playful chemistry. One of them is downright cranky. Another is deeply lost in her own head. Everything is different, the tone, the light, the shade.
And yet. Yet. I keep wondering what it would harm if I just sort of…stick a quirky local bakery into the mix. One story is tentatively set in Los Angeles, where Sarita now lives, what if one of these new folks runs into her somewhere? Or what if Cranky Chick, who has to take a bit of a road trip, runs into a freelance writer and his photographer partner who are also on a roadtrip, trying to create a feature for a popular travel website?
It could just be in-jokes, little Easter eggs, just riffs and references here and there and…and then I wouldn’t have to let them go, not just yet. They could still be there in little ways, for a little while.
It’s tempting. And I know there would be people who would appreciate it.
But I grew as a writer, I think, over the course of the Sucre Coeur series. I learned a lot. Now it’s time for me to grow and stretch into different directions, and that means that for now, that’s a universe I need to leave behind. I can maybe visit it in the future, but it needs to be its own world, and these new worlds I am building need to be their own, as well.
As hard as it is to say goodbye, it’s time. I’ve got other roads to travel.
I’m not going to forget the experience this one has been, though, or any of the people who have been in on it with me.
About the Book
Series: Sucre Coeur: Book Three
Release Date: 3 August 2017
Length: 256 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.
As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.
“Up and at ‘em, babe. Mum’s downstairs making the biggest breakfast you have ever seen, and we have a long day ahead. I unpacked your toiletries bag; your contacts are in the loo by the sink if you want them instead of the glasses.”
“In a minute.” Alex struggles up to a sitting position and accepts both the tea and the glasses, taking care to apply them to his person in the correct order—that’s a mistake he’s only made once. He takes a long sip and sighs in gratitude. “You’re an angel, Craig.”
“Most nights you call me God. Bit of a downgrade.” Craig winks and maneuvers around the tea mug to kiss Alex on the cheek. “Sorry I didn’t have milk for the tea. I forgot.”
“S’okay. Undiluted caffeine might be the better choice before we go downstairs to face the masses.” Alex yawns again and takes a bigger gulp of his tea to hide his sudden surge of anxiety. “Have you already been down? Is that where this came from?”
“It’s where the sugar came from, but otherwise…” Craig jerks his thumb over his shoulder to indicate the battered desk tucked under a window at the other end of the room. An electric kettle sits there next to a stack of old journals and magazines. “The kettle’s a perk of being banished to the top floor of the house—along with the bathroom, the fireplace, and complete privacy. Didn’t manage to successfully lobby for a mini-fridge, though. I expect Mum and Dad rightly concluded I’d never come downstairs again if they installed one of those.” He swipes Alex’s mug and takes a sip. “There’s also a handy sneak-out route through that window behind you, if you’re up for shimmying down a rickety drainpipe.”
“Three floors up? No thanks. I much prefer the quiet-stalk-down-the-stairs method.” Alex snatches his mug back. “Get your own, I need all of this.”
“Fine, greedy.” Craig winks and ambles to the kettle with Fitz scrabbling at his heels. “Fitz and I slept like kings. How about you?”
Alex stares warily at the Wall O’ Robbies as Craig disappears into the bathroom. “Okay, I guess.”
“Liar.” Water runs for a moment or two, and Craig emerges with the kettle in his hand and a skeptical look. “You tossed and turned all night. Is this trip getting to you so badly already?”
“Yes… no…” Alex rubs at his chin and sighs. “It’s the staring, Craig. All those Robbies staring at us, all night long. Not blinking. I can’t… no. I did not sleep.”
Craig joins the array of Robbies, staring at Alex for a very long and, given that he has company, uncomfortable moment. “Are you judging? It sounds like you’re judging.”
“Only your choice of decoration, not the subject,” Alex says, and it’s as ridiculous out loud as it was in his head the instant before he said it.
Craig obviously agrees. “Do I need to remind you,” he says as he crosses the room to plug the kettle back in, “that I am in possession of several photos of your untouched teenage bedroom, sent to me by your very own mother? A bedroom with not one but four walls solidly plastered with posters of Ben Affleck and Chris Evans?” One dark eyebrow arches nearly to a point.
“Posters, you idiot, I’m judging the posters, not your taste in men,” Alex snaps as his face flushes ten shades of hot, red, and flustered. “I’m judging the fact that a dozen versions of Robbie Williams are leering at your bed like a gang of serial killers.”
About the Author
Lissa Reed is a writer of ﬁction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her ﬁrst composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary ﬁction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
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