Today I am so pleased to welcome Sally Malcolm to Joyfully Jay. Sally has come to talk to us about her latest release, Between the Lines. She has also brought along copies to give away! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Hi, I’m Sally Malcolm and I’m here to talk about Between the Lines, my latest contemporary romance. Huge thanks to Jay for hosting me today!
Between the Lines is a book close to my heart, but it’s taken me a couple of years to figure out how to write it. Not because of the story, but because of one of its heroes: Theo Wishart.
A successful property developer, Theo’s on a mission to buy the fading Majestic Hotel—and on a collision course with the owner’s prickly son, Luca Moretti.
Theo also has dyspraxia.
Despite the fact that one in ten people have some level of dyspraxia, it’s not a very widely understood condition. I probably wouldn’t know anything about it myself had my daughter not been diagnosed as a child. Here’s a brief description from the Dyspraxia Foundation USA:
“Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder that results in life-long impaired motor, memory, judgment, processing, and other cognitive skills… The most common of these is Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), a motor-planning-based disorder that impacts fine and gross motor development.”
So why did I want to write a book—a romance—about someone with dyspraxia?
Well, primarily because I believe that romance is for everyone. We all deserve a happy ending. But also because I wanted to write about a character like my daughter, someone whose neurodivergence is simply a part of them. Someone who lives with it—maybe occasionally gets irritated by it—but who doesn’t feel defined by it.
One thing I’ve learned from my daughter is that talking about her dyspraxia is a chore, one she’d rather avoid because, well, it’s boring. So, while there are things Theo finds more challenging (like physical coordination and keeping track of time), it’s not something he talks about unless he has to, or even thinks about beyond ‘How am I going to climb over those rocks without losing my balance and cracking my head?’
While everyone’s experience of dyspraxia is unique, I’ve modelled Theo’s experiences on my daughter’s. With her permission, I’ve even borrowed a couple of real-life incidents—one of which forms the bones of the scene in which Theo first meets (as in, collides with) a rather cranky Luca Moretti.
But, that said, it’s important to me that Theo isn’t just ‘a character with dyspraxia’. He’s a character in his own right, his romance with Luca is authentic and sweet, and his story definitely is not about ‘overcoming’ his condition. Theo doesn’t need to overcome his dyspraxia, he’s living with it perfectly well. And that’s just fine with him.
Dyspraxia is simply one part of the man Theo is. A man with whom Luca Moretti falls desperately and deeply in love, despite his determination to do the exact opposite…
Eyes might be windows to the soul, but for Theo Wishart they’re all shuttered. His dyspraxia makes it hard to read people. He doesn’t do relationships and he certainly doesn’t do the great outdoors. Two weeks spent “embracing beach life” while he tries to close the deal on a once great, now fading seaside hotel is a special kind of hell.
Until Luca. Gorgeous, unreachable Luca.
Luca Moretti travels light, avoiding all romantic entanglements. Estranged from his parents, he vows this will be his last trip home to New Milton. His family’s hotel is on the verge of ruin and there’s nothing Luca can do to save it. He’s given up on the Majestic, he’s given up on his family and he’s given up on his future.
Until Theo. Prickly, captivating Theo.
No mushy feelings, no expectations, and no drama—that’s the deal. A simple summer fling. And it suits them both just fine. But as the summer wanes and their feelings deepen, it’s clear to everyone around them that Theo and Luca are falling in love. What will it take for them to admit it to themselves—and to each other?
“I loved this book. It’s a reading highlight of this past year… gentle and lyrical but also engrossing and sexy” — Cat Sebastian, author of A Gentleman Never Keeps Score.
Theo Wishart has given up on finding love. Luca Moretti doesn’t want to find it.
A handful of summer days may change their lives forever—if they’re brave enough to look between the lines.
Sally Malcolm was bitten by the male/male romance bug in 2016 and hasn’t looked back.
Perfect Day, her first male/male romance, was published by Carina Press in August this year, with the follow-up, Between the Lines, out on December 10th. Her stories are emotional, sweetly angsty, and always have happy endings.
Sally has brought two ebook copies and one paperback of Between the Lines to give away. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Saturday, December 8th at 11:59 pm ET.
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