Today I am so pleased to welcome Anna Martin to Joyfully Jay. Anna has come with a Throwback Thursday post about her book Cricket. She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Anna a big welcome!
With Spring right around the corner and the daffodils blooming here in my little corner of the south-west of England, the time seems right for me to revisit an old favourite.
I wrote Cricket in the late summer of 2012, with the intention of creating my take on a classic English pastoral novel. The story follows Henry, a down-on-his-luck New Yorker who receives a call from a mysterious lawyer in England. He discovers that a distant relative wishes to bequeath him an old manor house in England, with one catch—he must live in Somerset with the house.
Recently dumped by his boyfriend, Henry packs up and moves half-way across the world to the little village of Cheddar. It’s there that he meets local farmer Ryan Burgess; a sweet, shy, closeted guy who introduces Henry to village life and offers him the spare room in the attic to live in.
Their relationship simmers slowly as Ryan comes to terms with his attraction to Henry, and Henry adjusts to the change of pace from New York City to rural England.
One of my favourite things about this novel was getting to write such a strong cast of wonderful women. From Henry’s great-grandmother Nell, to his lawyer Shenal and Ryan’s pub-owning sister Stella, they all allowed me to add some sass and class to the cast of characters!
I do occasionally get asked why I called the book ‘Cricket’ when there’s not all that much cricket-playing in the story. Well, with the risk of sounding like a total muppet, it’s a metaphor.
The story unfolds slowly, in fits and starts, with no real idea of who’s going to come out on top until the end. It’s about family and relaxation and passion. For anyone looking for the fast-paced rush of a basketball or hockey game, well, this might not be the story for you. But if you’d like to sit back with a cup of tea and a bit of cake and take an amble down a country lane… Cricket might be just the thing to take you there.
New York native Henry Richardson needs a change. His boyfriend just dumped him, and his business has fallen victim to the economy. But is jumping on a plane after a surprise phone call taking things too far?
The promise of a new opportunity drags Henry away from the city to a tiny village in the English countryside and an enormous manor house his great-grandmother wants to bequeath him. As an experienced wedding planner, he sees the potential in renovating the dilapidated building and using it for events. All he needs is to find some local businesses to provide the essentials.
That’s how Henry meets Ryan Burgess, the shy but hardworking owner of an organic farm. The spark between them sizzles slowly while work on the house continues, but Ryan is deeply in the closet and unwilling to take the last step. They finally find something that clicks in cricket, something that Henry, a former amateur baseball player, is surprisingly good at. For him, cricket helps bridge the gap between England and New York—but unless Ryan can find something to span the divide between his sexuality and his fear, their relationship doesn’t stand a chance.
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south west of England. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, she is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), travelling, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Although her most recent work is in the LGBT romance genre, in the past Anna has worked on a variety of different projects including short stories, drabbles, flash fiction, fan fiction, plays for both children and adults, and poetry. She has written novels in the Teen or Young Adult genre, Romance and Fantasy novels.
Anna is, by her own admission, almost unhealthily obsessed with books. The library she has amassed is both large and diverse; “My favourite books,” she says, “are ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee and ‘Oryx and Crake’ by Margaret Atwood.” She also owns multiple copies of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park books and re-reads the Harry Potter novels with almost startling regularity.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading and creative ass-kicking provided by her closest friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept any responsibility for anything Anna has written.
Anna has brought a copy of Cricket to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Monday, March 12th at 11:59 pm ET.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.