We’re so please to welcome author JL Merrow to TNA today, on the tour for her new novel, Lovers Leap. Enjoy JL’s guest post about Leap Day, and then be sure to enter the Giveaway she’s sharing with you:
Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 5, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Lovers Leap, my fast-paced romantic comedy with a leap year theme set on my beloved, native Isle of Wight. Lovers Leap features two very different young men—each of whom will need to take a leap of faith if their love is to survive!
Leap Year Traditions
When Riptide approached me with the idea of writing a leap year themed novel, I’d have to confess I (heh) leapt at the chance. Leap years have always seemed full of endless possibilities to me, maybe because I saw Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan) at an impressionable age and have never quite recovered from it.
How quaint the ways of Paradox !
At common sense she gaily mocks !
Though counting in the usual way,
Years twenty-one I’ve been alive,
Yet reckoning by my natal day,
I am a little boy of five !
- Frederick, Pirates of Penzance
It’s well known that, back in the Dark Ages, leap day (29th February) was the only day when it was acceptable for a lady to propose marriage to her beau. Or, you know, any man she happened to meet. In 1880, an enterprising publisher actually produced a Leap Year Manual (or How to Get a Husband!) which was basically a list of dating site profiles of eligible, willing bachelors. They even helpfully printed a sample letter for the hopeful spinster to send off, in which she was encouraged to state her weight and stress that her tastes were refined.
Whatever you may think of all that, it’s well worth reading the descriptions of the men, which seem to have been written with tongue lodged firmly in cheek: my favourite is probably “DeGrasse Livingstone: Heavenly side-whiskers and mustache”. Or possibly “Col. JE Tourtellotte: a fine specimen of the genus homo.”
Of course, just being permitted to propose on this generous allotment of one day in 1,461 was no guarantee that a lady would end up betrothed. Thoughtfully, custom decreed that, should a gentleman decline a leap day proposal, he should present the rejected lady with twelve pairs of gloves so that she might hide her crushing shame of being without an engagement ring.
Being born on a leap day is often considered unlucky, possibly because leap day babies (or “leaplings”) are faced with the eternal dilemma of whether to celebrate, in non-leap years, on February 28th or March 1st. Marrying on a leap day is also supposed to be unlucky, although with 75% fewer anniversaries to risk forgetting, it’s hard to see why.
In Lovers Leap, Rufus is a leapling, and you can bet your life I milked the hell out of that *g*. The book opens on his 20th—or 5th, depending how you look at it—birthday: 29th February 2016, and takes place over the course of about a week, so if you got it on release day you could read it in real time. Yes, I do realise I am probably the only person in the world sad enough to actually do that.
But there’s more to the leap theme than that. Both Rufus and Michael end up having to make a leap of faith into the unknown for the sake of their relationship. How do they get on? You’ll have to read the book to find out. 😉
About Lovers Leap: If they looked, would they ever leap?
Good-looking, confident, and doted on by his widowed mum, Michael is used to thinking only of himself. Getting shoved off an Isle of Wight pier by an exasperated ex ought to come as a wake-up call—but then he meets Rufus and he’s right back to letting the little head take charge. Rufus is cute, keen, and gets under Michael’s skin in a disturbing way.
Would-be chef Rufus can’t believe his luck when a dripping wet dream of a man walks out of the sea on his birthday, especially when Michael ends up staying at the family B&B. Life is perfect—at least until Michael has to go home to the mainland.
Rufus can’t leave the island for reasons he’s entirely neglected to mention. And though Michael identifies as bi, breaking his mum’s heart by coming out and having an actual relationship with a guy has never been his plan. With both men determined to keep their secrets, a leap of faith could land them in deep water.
About JL Merrow: JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.
She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.
JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
The Fine Print:
*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
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*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
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