Welcome to the Blog Tour for Garrett Leigh’s newest release, What Remains, out now from Riptide Publishing! Today we have Garrett on the blog to talk about sexy firefighters, writing characters with disabilities, and… could that be another Misfits-verse novel in our future?! Keep reading to check it out, and don’t forget to leave a comment on this post to be entered in Riptide’s giveaway contest!
What Remains, by Garrett Leigh
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: July 4, 2016
This gorgeous new romance is a heart-breaking and emotional take on the amnesia trope, and our reviewers loved every second of it:
From its laser sharp plotting and deft timing, to the dual POVs of two remarkable main characters, What Remains had me reeling from the start.
Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?
Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.
Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.
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Rupert let Jodi drag him to the zebra crossing, but he stayed Jodi before he stepped into the road. “Oi, look both ways, mate. You gotta death wish, or something?”
A series of black cabs rumbled past. Jodi’s coat blew up in the backdraft. He shivered and instinctively moved closer to Rupert, seeking warmth. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Rupert smiled, showing Jodi a set of teeth that had clearly never seen a cigarette. “How about you tell me where to go and I’ll do the driving? You haven’t even got your laces done up.”
Jodi looked down at his scruffy, untied boots. “Yeah . . . let’s do that.” He took Rupert’s arm again and, despite an embarrassing lack of control over his own feet, navigated the remaining twenty metres to his first-floor maisonette. “This is me.”
“Nice. Figured you for one of those horrible yuppie apartment blocks.”
“Piss off. I ain’t no yuppie.”
“Fucking hipster, though, aren’t ya?”
Jodi couldn’t argue with that. His skinny jeans and obligatory beard gave him away. “Nothing wrong with hipsters.”
Rupert snorted. “If you say so. My ma warned me about city boys like you.”
“Well, no. She actually warned me about slutty city girls with loose morals, but she didn’t know any better.”
Jodi’s heart skipped a beat. “Does she know now?”
“Yeah.” Rupert’s tone turned flat and his endearing grin faded. “Think it’s safe to say I’m off her Christmas card list.”
“But it’s Boxing Day,” Jodi said. “Who did you spend Christmas with?”
Rupert slid Jodi a sideways glance. “What do you care?”
Jodi shrugged. “I guess in the same way you care enough to walk me home.”
Thank you so much to Garrett for taking the time to answer our questions!
Whose POV was your favorite to write in What Remains, and why – Rupert or Jodi?
It’s hard to choose between the two, but Jodi probably pips it because I actually had to write him twice—before and after the accident, and by the end, he’s a very different character to who we started with. His journey was fascinating, and extremely emotional for me, because I mourned the character we’d lost, but was fiercely protective of who he became.
You’ve given voice some amazing characters such as Jodi, Ash, Jed and Max who have physical and/or mental disabilities, impairment or illness. What draws you to write these characters?
I think these men deserve a voice, and it’s kind of my mission to show that people with these conditions/disabilities have just as much love in them as the rest of us. I got a little bit slated when I wrote Finn from Lucky Man (who is schizophrenic) because apparently mental illness isn’t sexy, but I love Finn, and so did Danny, who he found his HEA with, so…I guess I just write who I love.
We see a lot of firefighters in American Romances. Are firefighters a big part of British culture too? What are the differences between British and American firefighters?
I don’t think firefighters are as romanticised in British culture, though we certainly have our fair share of “hunk” calendars. But outside of the cities you don’t really see them as much. Where I live, I can’t remember the last time I saw a firefighter at work, and I live in quite a large commuter town just outside London.
What was your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year, and are you currently reading anything right now?
Right now, I’m reading Roller Girl by Vanessa North and loving it.
What projects do you currently have in the works, and what can we expect from you next?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Misfits world and my second contribution to Riptide’s Porthkennack series. My first book, House of Cards, has just been submitted. My next release, Rented Heart, is out September 12th ❤
Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh.
Find Garrett online at:
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the release of What Remains, Garrett is giving away $25 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 9, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!