In the Sugar Sun series, I have attempted to combine the authenticism of well-researched historical fiction with the emotional payoff (the feels) of romance. The more tragic the history in the book, the more important it is to lighten the mood when I can. Music cannot be made with only one note, nor even one movement. A really good read should be like hearing a whole symphony.
Ben Potter’s past is pretty dark: war, opium addiction, combat trauma, and more. So he seeks out the light: the capable but audacious school teacher, Allegra Alazas. And he will have to win her heart in the light—the sunlight, to be exact. It will be out on the baseball field where Ben wins Allie’s hand.
(Yes, I am not only taking on historical romance and historical fiction, but I am throwing in some historical sports romance, too. What bang for your reading buck!)
The Americans brought baseball to the Philippines as a part of their educational system. The sport caught on. It even found its way into courtship rituals—feats of valor on the baseball field could replace them on the battlefield. Whereas medieval knights used to win jousts to earn the heart of a lady, now you just needed a good hit. According to sportswriter Ernie Harwell, “Americans, acting as muscle-bound cupids, often played simple grounders and easy outs into home runs so their Filipino friends could escape bachelorhood” (quoted in Elias 45).
Plot bunny! Keep in mind that Allie is an exceptional young woman, and she will not sell herself short. She will not require one run, but eight. And Ben won’t accept any help from the defense; he is going to do this the hard way. Hold onto your hats, folks!
From my blog, it would appear that all I have been doing is taking care of puppy and plugging along on my academic research. And, yes, those things are getting done—especially the puppy playtime because dopamines! But I have been spending most of my spring break rewriting and revising Sugar Moon with my editor, Mr. H, and we are really happy with how it is going. Readers, you deserve another sneak peek, so here we go. This dialogue leads up to Ben and Allie’s second kiss:
Allegra! *heart eyes*
More to come, I promise!
(And, dear readers, it’s looking like this book will be a year late: September 2018. I am working hard to make it worth it, so hang tight!)
I was watching the replay of the US Figure Skating Championships at San Jose, and I looked up to see my characters Ben and Allegra ice dancing! Well, okay, Ben and Allie don’t skate because, ahem, my books are set in the Philippines in 1905, when ice is hard enough to find for your calamansi juice, let alone dance around on. But still . . . these two are adorable. If I had not already written my characters Ben Potter and Allegra Alazas to fall in love, this real-life couple would have inspired it.
Sugar Moon lands in 2018. Until then let these two cuties tide you over in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Evan Bates was even elected as the U.S. Figure Skating Team Captain! Allow Evan and Madison to explain ice dancing to you with Legos. Video courtesy of Channel 5 NBC in Chicago.
My writing process involves about ten sets of revisions, and I am hopefully doing the last set now. [Edited five months later to add: hahahaha…I was not even close.] Then it’s full-on editing time, and inevitably I have to rewrite something. [Edited to add: how about the entire middle!] My best guess for the arrival of Sugar Moon, book 4 in the Sugar Sun series, is September 2017February 2018 September 2018. (It will probably not be then. Sorry.)
But I’m having a blast writing (and rewriting) it, mostly because Allegra Alazas is such an ornery spitfire. People always look for pieces of the author in their characters, but I have to say that Allegra is totally her own woman. I wish I were as confident and blunt as she is. Maybe she’s aspirational to me. I don’t know.
Allegra (or “Allie,” as Ben calls her) is certainly what our troubled hero needs, both inside and outside the bedroom. By the way, this book will be sexy. The teasers below are pretty sexy. Just a warning. Or is that an inducement? You choose.
None of the text is set in stone, of course, because my editor hasn’t gotten to it yet. (It will be better and shorter when he is done.) But these are meant to whet your appetite, not satisfy it. I will continue to create more for the #TeaserTues (#TeaserTuesday) and #ThursdayBookTease hashtags on Twitter, and I will post everything I make on both my instagram and Pinterest pages. So follow me at one of those places to keep up with all the latest from Ben and Allie. I also have a few favorite memories from the other books in the series, too. Enjoy!
Note on all images used: All are either CC 2.0 licensed photos (which I may use with attribution, so check the fine print on the photo) or are released free of copyright (CC 0.0) and found at Pixabay, Pexels, or Unsplash.