Welcome to the blog tour for Strays by Garrett Leigh! This contemporary romance is chock-full of humor, emotion and delicious cuisine. So we’re filled to the brim with excitement to have Garrett on the blog today to talk about what inspires her, whether or not she could ever choose between savory and sweet, and more!
As I said in my review, Leigh’s writing will leave you hungry for more, so be sure to check out Strays. Keep reading below for our interview with Garrett, and don’t forget to check the end of the post for an awesome giveaway!
Strays, by Garrett Leigh
Series: Urban Soul
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Hello and welcome to Just Love, Garrett! Thank you for joining us today!
R: What inspired you to write the Urban Soul series?
G: I’ve always wanted to showcase the London restaurant scene. But most of all, the desire to explore a true poly relationship. Most books I’d read up that point involved cheating, or too much compromise to feel truly romanticised by it. That explains Misfits, but Strays was a complete accident. Nero was supposed to remain a mysterious figure in the background, but he had a story to tell so… here we are!
R: Do you have any writing rituals?
G: My house is generally a pig sty, but I like to write in a reasonable tidy space. Otherwise my teeny brain gets too crowded and I have a legit nervous breakdown.
R: When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
G: I tend to have a good idea of their sensitivities and quirks, but new ones always develop with the book. The novel I’ve just finished had a character who told me he had OCD halfway though. How dare he, LOL.
R: You get a brilliant idea at an inappropriate moment (in the shower, while driving, or drifting off to sleep). What do you do?
G: Write it down immediately, or forget all about it. There is no middle ground.
R: How many books were you planning on writing for the Urban Soul series? And consequently, can you say if Jolen will be getting his own book?
G: I don’t know how many more books there will be. Jolene is a definite possibility, but it hasn’t solidified in my mind yet. I’d like to go back and revisit the original three too. Jake has a little more to say, and I don’t think I’ll ever be truly free of Cass.
R: The Food! Anyone who follows you will know that you’re no stranger to delicious dishes. Was the fare mentioned in Misfits and Strays from your own recipe box or was culinary inspiration struck elsewhere?
G: Both. I’m a chef, so most recipes came easily, but some of the vegan stuff took a bit of research. I can see a fully vegan book on the horizon somewhere. Plant based diets fascinate me.
R: Savory or sweet?
G: I’d rather pick one of my children.
R: Something I’ve very much enjoyed in the series thus far are the details surrounding the launch of the new restaurants. Specifically from menu creation, to the design of the space and branding. Were you drawing on your own experiences or was this something that had to be researched? If the latter, can you tell us about your fact-finding process?
G: I’ve worked in brand new restaurants, and relaunched a few, but I did have to research the financial side. I’ve worked in restaurants. I’ve never paid for one!
R: I’m worried about Cass. Should I be worried about Cass? *nervously bites nails*
R: Will Lenny ever get Nero on the dance floor?
G: I’d like to say yes, but I don’t think there’s enough rum in the world!
Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.
Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.
Fast-forward a month and neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/strays
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
You can purchase STRAYS from:
Barnes & Noble
To celebrate the release of Strays, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!