Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Blitz: That One Summer by C.J. Duggan

That One Summer

Series: Summer #3

Author: C.J. Duggan

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Publication Date: December 17th 2013


Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …

He sure could kiss.

As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.

So that can only mean one thing: road trip!

No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.

She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?

After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.

Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.

Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.


“So what do you think?” Chris stood with his elbow leaning casually on the open door of his jet black panel van. He looked up at me expectantly. “Pretty sweet ride, huh?”

“If you’re a serial killer,” I said, cautiously descending the steps.

Chris’s head snapped around with surprise, his eyes almost as dark as the van itself. He slammed the car door and folded his arms, glowering at me as I approached.

“I’ll have you know, Toby and I have spent the better part of six months fixing this old girl up.”

I wrinkled my nose. “Really?”

“It’s got a 308 and a four barrel carby.”

“Why, it could be grease lightning,” I smirked.

I didn’t think a death stare could vary in so many ways, but Chris had mastered a variety of pissed-off stares like no other. The one he was now casting me was a whole new level of anger.


I cleared my throat and looked away, suddenly super aware that the last thing I should do was alienate my ride, but then the thought did occur to me: did I want to be trapped in a car with Chris Henderson for three days? Three long, insufferable days – could I subject myself to any more death stares, sneers, scoffs and deep sighs? Maybe I would be doing myself a favour if I gave him good reason to leave me behind. Before I fully acclimated to the idea, my attention was snapped back to the present and the duffle bag that landed at my feet.

I frowned toward the verandah where Chris had moved and was readying himself to turf my other bag down.

“Hey! Watch it,” I snapped. “You might break something.” It was a possibility, though I didn’t know exactly what. Maybe Mum had slipped in a crockery set? Who could honestly guess?

“Let me guess,” Chris said with a smirk as he slung my beach bag over his shoulder and trotted down the steps. “Hairdryer?” He threw a cocky smile and grazed my shoulder as he passed, heading for the van. My eyes burned into his back as he opened the double doors to chuck in my bag. He turned to me expectantly, his hand out for me to pass him the duffle. I snatched it up, trying not to let the strain of its weight show as I lugged it over and carefully placed it into the back. I attempted to, anyway. With a rather inelegant lack of grace, I hitched it up onto my knee, trying to be all cool and casual, as if I was totally in control …

I so wasn’t.

Chris plucked it from me as if the bag weighed nothing and turfed it into the back.


“Relax, it landed on the mattress.”


I peered into the back. Sure enough, a mattress lined the whole floor up to the front bucket seats. The windows were blacked out and the inside walls were lined with black carpet. Oh, ick. All it needed was some leopard-print cushions and a disco ball.

It would seem that black was a common theme throughout Chris’s van, and the colour matched his mood.

Chris slammed the back shut. Viewing time was over.

I half expected him to say, “Let’s get this show on the road,” or “We’re burning daylight,” but instead I got a rather lacklustre, “Get in.”

Yep! Three long days.

About the Author

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.

Author Q&A

1. What is your writing process like, what comes first, characters or story?
Definitely the characters, they are first and foremost in my thoughts, they’re the ones that dictate how the story is to be told. Just when I think I have it mapped out one way to write the story a character will usually throw me for a loop and take me in a completely different direction. Although I am very organised in my office in my surroundings in the dead of night I write mainly by the seat of my pants with only a vague outline in my head on where I want to the story to go, that’s the bit I love about writing, the discovery.
2. What sparked the idea for the series ?
It was something that has been churning in my mind since I was a little girl, even if it was something no more mapped out than a group of friends hanging lakeside over a summer. It was an idea that has manifested into an entire world and I felt that I owed it to that eleven-year-old little me to develop it into a story. I know I was eleven because I had found an old exercise book with the story plotted out in my child-like handwriting and I could seldom believe it was something that had been swimming.
3. Are there any parallels that could be drawn from your life and the Summer Series?
I grew up in a small country town in Australia so I am well aware of what it’s like to have to make your own fun. Unfortunately our town wasn’t set on the banks of Lake Onslow but it was still a nice place to live. My first job was working as a barmaid at the local hotel and I remember the fear of my first shift and learning the ropes.
4 .If you had to pick your favorite scene from ‘An Endless Summer ’?
There are so many scenes I love. Chris and Tammy are so dynamic together but without giving too much away there is a late night swimming session that was quite fun to write.
5. Which two things do you think readers might not know about you ?
I am addicted to Pepsi Max and buying handbags, lots and lots of handbags.

Author Links

Guest Post

Today I wanted to share with you how a dream can become a reality. I decided to look back on the past few years from when I decided to ‘Own what I do’ by upping the stakes to write and publish my debut novel. I scrolled through my old blog posts to where it all began. Here is my very first post and the decision I made that would change my life forever.

February 16th, 2011.

I am a writer (and yes I have decided to admit the title and claim it with pride) And as writers, so often many of us shy away from the admission and think ourselves not worthy. Like myself, I am what I would call a “Closet Writer” a writer in secrecy in the fear of being judged as strange, or littered with nosey questions. A writer can be many things and do it for many reasons. I know this sounds rather cliché’ but I have always even from a young age found myself plotting, world building, scheming the majority of the day to the point I fear becoming more and more detached from this world. How then to answer my husbands “Whatch ya thinking about?” question as I day dream in the car, if I was to answer honestly it would no doubt raise an eyebrow and have me committed.

Unless I am a writer, right?

I am now come to a point where I think, what’s stopping me? Why not pursue what makes me happy? What I am truly passionate about. This isn’t just a phase, I have suffered from this brainstorming affliction all of my life to the point where I have so much pent up story lines and characters waiting to burst from my imagination. So where to begin? Let’s remember I am a newbie (Oh how I loathe that word) I have come out of the closet and embracing my inner writer. Call me mad but I actually think as the ‘writer’ in me as my alter ego, the thing within me that has the want to express alternative people and places – therefore the creation of my Author name (C.J Duggan) was born. Yep! I have decided I am releasing my inner alter ego on the world, while keeping some mystery. Let’s face it, and here is the clincher – Start small aim big – by doing so I plan to build confidence, technique, experience, time – indeed so much time and energy might be dedicated to keep anonymous or maybe I will want to shout out to the world “Here I am!!…Look at me!! Guess only time will tell?

And time did tell.

Two years on and I am an honest to God Author. Not only is it a dream come true but through a lot of hard work and determination I have created something that not only resinates with me but is also reaching an international audience. Three weeks after its release ‘The Boys of Summer’ broke into the Top 100 Amazon Best Sellers, both in U.S and U.K, it ranked at Number One in Australian iBooks and Number Sixteen in Canadian iBooks. I really wanted to reiterate that nothing great was ever achieved without some form of doubt and insecurity. The road to this point was filled with such moments and I am so thankful for those moments, because it was everything with in them that lead me to where I am today.

"Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory." - Alan Alda

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