Author Showcase / Interview and Review of “Rite of Summer” (Treading the Boards) – Tess Bowery


Welcome, Tess Bowery!! 
1. For those who
might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a
little about yourself?
did you get your start in the writing business?
(Tess) Hello, all, and
thank you so much, Kam, for having me here today.
I’m probably
less interesting than my books – I’m a history buff with a little house by the
seaside, a long-time partner and two school-age kids. I cut my reading teeth on
the old masters of sci-fi, but I much prefer fantasy and historical fiction
these days.
I’ve been
writing purely for my own entertainment for a long time, primarily for online
roleplaying games and fanfiction, I’d done some work as an editor off and on,
but never had the guts to send something in for proper publication. My better
half has been bugging me for literally the better part of two decades to do
something formally with my fiction, but I would always argue that I didn’t have
a good story of my own to tell.
I stumbled on a
book, about five years ago, that talked all about a group of people I knew very
little about – the active gay community in Georgian England. That book, ‘Mother Clap’s Molly House,’ by Dr.
Rictor Norton, completely changed the way I had been thinking about the long
eighteenth century.
Finally I had a
notion in mind of a story I wanted to tell – that I needed to tell! – and I
started working on Rite of Summer in the summer of 2013. It was originally
called ‘the Country House,’ incredibly creative, I know! I submitted to Samhain
in the early summer of 2014, and was lucky enough to be picked up by my first
choice of house. It’s been non-stop ever since!
Rite of Summer was released on June 2nd this
year, and the first sequel, She Whom I
, will be out December 29th.  
2.  Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Tess) The fastest way
to shake things loose is to get up out of the chair and go do something else
for a while, preferably something manual and repetitive. I’ve had so many
epiphanies in the shower that I keep a notebook on the back of the toilet tank
now, and a lot of laundry gets folded
while I’m chewing over problematic or complicated plot points. Gardening’s also
a good one, or going for a run – anything that keeps my body moving and my brain
free to wander.
3. Contrary to
what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and
glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when
you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
(Tess) I have two school-age
kids, so there is a lot of laundry, lunch-making, running them from one event,
birthday party or activity to another, and cleaning up injuries (and bodily
fluids). And that’s my leisure time!
My main day job
is academic. I’m working on my PhD, so my days are spent in the library, in
class, writing or editing articles for publication, or fighting with my
research databases. One way or another, I’m always writing something.  
I do try and
take some time for myself once in a while, but that’s a lot more likely to
involve a YouTube yoga class in my pajamas than any kind of jet-set champagne brunch. 
4. I know many
writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to
you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Tess) I’ve told a few
people, primarily my partner and my brother. My kids know that I write ‘stories
about love,’ but they’re definitely not allowed to read them yet! I only just told my mother my pen name, and
she’s got a copy of Rite of Summer, but she still hasn’t told me what she
thinks. I did make her pinky-swear never, ever to talk to me about the sex
scenes, so that may limit the conversation somewhat.
My better half’s
been after me for eons to write, and has always been my biggest and most vocal
supporter. So that’s been really affirming, and probably the reason I’m even
doing this at all. Having someone who believes in you and in the power of your
work is one of the most important things to any creative type.
5. Will you
share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long
list so give us your top ten.
(Tess) Oh gosh. I don’t
even know if that is enough! And there are so many whom I love for very
different reasons – I can give you my top two or three off of each list, but
there’s no way I can put them in any kind of fixed order.
For lyrical writing and intricate story
structure that drive me crazy, because I’ll never be able to emulate their
Guy Gavriel Kay
Ursula K Leguin
Offbeat as hell but makes me think:
Kurt Vonnegut
Terry Pratchett
Margaret Atwood
Old favourites that I read at exactly the
right time in my life:
Jane Austen
Gordon Korman
(middle-school humour – MacDonald Hall
Gordon Kendall
(I think he only ever wrote one sci-fi novel, White Wing, but it was the first book I had ever read with a poly family as protagonists. It changed the entire
way I thought about love. I read this thing until the spine split.)
Newer authors I’m watching like a hawk
because I was so impressed with their debuts:
Leah Bobet
(urban fantasy)
Lillian Marek
(historical romance)
6. If you could
choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise,
which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?
(Tess) I’m going to
cheat, because it’s a graphic novel rather than a purely text book, but I would
kill to see any kind of movie made
from Young Avengers.
It hits every
mark I crave in a coming of age story – the fantasy of having special powers,
discovering that you have the ability to change not only your life but make
others’ lives better, and not only that, but having a group of your best
friends fighting right alongside you. Better yet, the cast of Young Avengers is incredibly diverse,
and includes Billy Kaplan and Teddy Altman, my favourite fictional couple of
all time.
There have been
a number of story arcs and versions of the team over the years, of course, but
if any one of them was going to be made into a movie, I’d like to see a
much-simplified version of Children’s
. It’s a storyline where two of the team members, the twins Billy

and Tommy, go on a quest to find their mother. She’s been accused of murder and
has gone into hiding. Their team comes along and the authorities chase after
them, determined to bring the Scarlet Witch to justice.
Keeping the
fancasting to just the core characters, I’d love to see a list something like
Billy Kaplan: Quentin
Tommy Shepherd:
Lucky Blue Smith
Teddy Altman: Mason
Kate Bishop: I
always used to say Crystal Reed, but I’m going to switch allegiances to another
Teen Wolf actress – Arden Cho would be awesome,
and add some more racial diversity.
Eli Bradley: Michael
B Jordon – he deserves another shot at a better superhero franchise.
Cassie Lang:
Elle Fanning
Jonas Vision: Jake
Wanda Maximoff: Zrinka
Erik Lensherr: Michael
(Kam) I adore your answer. I, too. am a fan of comics/graphic novels. 🙂
7. Would you
care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret
information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Tess) Like any author,
I’m always happy to ramble about things I’m working on! I’ve got the third book
in Treading the Boards underway – I’m
about a third of the way through my first draft, with a potential publication
date of September 2016. This is a M/F romance about Isaac, a machinist and
stagehand at London’s famous Surrey Theatre, and Grace, a dancer and actress we
meet in She Whom I Love.
More on the
completed-and-into-edits side, I have a second series coming out from Samhain,
starting this spring. Evolution Ink
is a contemporary new adult romance series about the owners and artists at an
NYC tattoo and piercing studio. The first book, High Contrast, is an M/M romance, and I’m so excited to see it
coming into print!
High Contrast releases May 3rd, 2016.
8. Where can we
find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?
(Tess) You can find Rite of Summer available online anywhere
books are sold! Samhain has me listed on all the Amazons, Barnes and Noble, and
of course through
Rite of Summer is the only book out so far, so I
recommend starting there, but all of my books are standalone stories that
happen to be in a shared universe.
If you’re not a
fan of M/M, for instance, you can easily pick up She Whom I Love (which is F/F/M poly triad) and dive right in
without needing to know anything about what came before. The same will be true
with all the following books, as well as for the Evolution Ink series.
My goal is to
have every book be its own contained, powerful love story for those picking it
up as their first read of mine – and to deepen the shared world a stage for
readers who have been with me from the beginning.
9. Would you
please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Tess) Absolutely! My
main social media hangout is Tumblr, and you can find me there at I do have a facebook page, as well as a twitter account
at @tessbowery, but I’m on those less often.
And no matter
what network you prefer, you can always keep up with news and releases (and the
occasional flash sale!) at Hit me up by email at
10. Before we conclude
this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The
stage is all yours.
(Tess) Only that I am
so excited, such a nerd, and so blessed to be part of this wonderful community
in romance-land. I have such a love for found families and stories of
broken-but-still-good, and here is where I’ve really found my people. I would
love for folks to come hang out on tumblr with me, or just drop me a line via
email to shoot the breeze.
Thank you, Tess, for sparing me a few (ok maybe more than a few) minutes out of your hectic day to share a bit more about yourself. I always love learning more about authors and what inspires them to write what they do. No two stories (answers) are ever the same. 🙂
Now folks, lets move on to the second half of this feature. The other reason Tess has joined us today — Rite of Summer and my critique of it. 


(Book one, Treading the Boards)

There are terrors worse than stage fright. Like falling in love.

Violinist Stephen Ashbrook is passionate about three things—his music, the excitement of life in London, and his lover, Evander Cade. It’s too bad that Evander only loves himself. A house party at their patron’s beautiful country estate seems like a chance for Stephen to remember who he is, when he’s not trying to live up to someone else’s harsh expectations.

Joshua Beaufort, a painter whose works are very much in demand among the right sort of people, has no expectations about this party at all. Until, that is, he finds out who else is on the guest list. Joshua swore off love long ago, but has been infatuated with Stephen since seeing his brilliant performance at Vauxhall. Now he has the chance to meet the object of his lust face to face—and more.

But changing an open relationship to a triad is a lot more complicated than it seems, and while Evander’s trying to climb the social ladder, Stephen’s trying to climb Joshua. When the dust settles, only two will remain standing…when they’re not flat on their backs.

(request submitted by author for an honest critique) 
Two men shagging – Three men – Masturbation: Tess didn’t falter in delivering some rather heated scenes. For me, Joshua masturbating was more erotic than all the other scenes combined. However, I’m just a gal who enjoys self-loving and watching others pleasure themselves. *winks* 
As stimulating as those moments were, I have one small complaint — the overuse of the word, “PRICK”. In erotica tales, it’s hard (no pun intended) to create elaborate love scenes and not use words repetitively. However, I would have preferred she changed up the name a bit – use manhood, staff, dick – in some instances. She did use cock a few times but again PRICK was the prominent word of choice. 
With that said…..
If you like historical erotica, you’ll gobble this story up and hunger for more. 
If you like gay erotica, again, I know you’ll enjoy it.  Seriously, how could you not with all the nakedness at your disposal.
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
BUY NOW @ AMAZON — > Kindle – Paperback
Coming December 29, 2015, from Samhain Publishing!!
(Book two, Treading the Boards)


 Love would be simpler if it came with a script.

Marguerite Ceniza dies on the London stage each night, but her own life has barely begun. The ingénue is on the prowl for a lover, but while she burns with desire for Sophie, a confession could ruin their decade-long friendship. In the meantime there are always men vying to be her patron, and square-jawed, broad-shouldered James Glover can’t help but catch her eye.

Sophie Armand has been a lady’s maid for too long, and she’s sick of keeping secrets. Her hidden scripts and the story of her birth are only the beginning. Her nights are haunted by desperate thoughts of the beguiling Marguerite, and of James, the handsome tradesman who whispers promises of forever into her ear.

James has the kind of problem a lot of men would kill for—two women, both beautiful, both sensual, and both willing. Sophie wants marriage, while Marguerite’s only in it for fun, and choosing between them isn’t easy.

What’s the worst that could happen if he secretly courts them both?

Their romantic triangle is complicated in the most delicious way, until a shadowy figure from Marguerite’s past threatens to destroy the budding relationship—and their lives.

Warning: Contains a lady’s maid with secret desires, a corset-maker who knows his way around a woman’s body, and an actress who never has to fake it. Rated for adult audiences only.


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13 Responses to Author Showcase / Interview and Review of “Rite of Summer” (Treading the Boards) – Tess Bowery

  1. James

    I prefer mystery and scifi but great interview.

  2. Anonymous

    When I get paid, I might buy it. Sounds good.

  3. I want that book !!! But need to change my cc info and I'm having a hard time doing so , great interview Tater and congrats to author

  4. I just looked and I have already bought the book a while ago lol

  5. Kam, I wanted to thank you so much for giving authors a platform here. I had a wonderful time doing the interview with you, and thakn you so much for the time you took to read and review. <3

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