I’m excited to welcome Philip William Stover on Queer Books Unbound. He’s here to talk to us about The Hideaway Inn, which releases today with Carina Press as part of their new Carina Adores line!
Not-so Hidden Hideaways: Fire Island and New Hope, PA
By Philip William Stover
The first time I visited Fire Island I went as part of a volunteer appreciation event for the LGBTQ Anti-Violence Project. I had been volunteering on the hotline for a few months, taking calls from people who were “gay-bashed,” as we called it at the time. The shifts were grueling and traumatic. The summer before I had been attacked so while taking calls I often struggled to find the balance between advisor and compatriot. A day on Fire Island was a welcome respite.
Of course I had heard of Fire Island but still I wasn’t prepared for my experience. It’s charming and quaint, and has all the elements of a picturesque seaside retreat in full rainbow glory. What I didn’t expect was the feeling I got being on an island where almost everyone was queer. At that point I was out in every conceivable way. I lived in the gayest part of the East Village and was a graduate student studying queer theory. But being on Fire Island was different. I felt like I could breathe for the first time.
I strive to write romance that responds to my experiences as a gay man. When I gave a recent manuscript to a friend she commented that my characters are often trying to find a way to be safe. This surprised her but not me. It’s impossible to feel worthy of love if you don’t feel you’re protected. As a queer person I sometimes forget how my search for love has always also been a way of searching for a safe place.
I chose to set the Seasons of New Hope series in a real-life, historically gay-friendly resort town. I wanted to build a place where my characters could feel secure to love and live as they wanted and as they needed. Vince, the lead character of The Hideaway Inn, arrives in New Hope in a suit of armor thicker than the muddy banks of the Delaware River. After a childhood of being ridiculed, he has found a way to protect himself from the world. After reconnecting with the man who stole his heart as a teenager, Vince slowly learns that walls don’t protect us — love does.
Years after my first day at Fire Island, my husband and I started a tradition of spending a long summer weekend at one of the quirky inns on the bay side of the island. We hold hands as we walk on the boardwalks, wear our cheekiest swimsuits, and kiss each other wherever and whenever we want. Once we take the ferry back, we still live openly and freely but, to be quite honest, not with the same expanse of liberties.
I hope you will take a summer vacation with me and the characters who populate the small town on the river in The Hideaway Inn. We need places where we can relax, find ourselves and find each other. It’s time for all of us to breathe freely.
High school wasn’t the right time or place for their relationship to grow, but now, fifteen years later, a chance encounter changes both of their lives forever.
No one in the charming river town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, needs to know that Vince Amato plans on flipping The Hideaway Inn to the highest bidder and returning to his luxury lifestyle in New York City. He needs to make his last remaining investment turn a profit…even if that means temporarily relocating to the quirky small town where he endured growing up. He’s spent years reinventing himself and won’t let his past dictate his future.
But on his way to New Hope, Vince gets stuck in the middle of nowhere and his past might be the only thing that can get him to his future. Specifically Tack O’Leary, the gorgeous, easygoing farm boy who broke his heart and who picks Vince up in his dilapidated truck.
Tack comes to the rescue not only with a ride but also by signing on to be the chef at The Hideaway for the summer. As Vince and Tack open their hearts to each other again, Vince learns that being true to himself doesn’t mean shutting down a second chance with Tack—it means starting over and letting love in.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
A new Carina Adores title is available each month:
- The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron (available May 26, 2020)
- Just Like That by Cole McCade (available June 30, 2020)
- Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available July 28, 2020)
- Better Than People by Roan Parrish (available August 25, 2020)
- Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray (available September 29, 2020)
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat by KD Fisher (available October 27, 2020)
- Just Like Us by Cole McCade (available November 24, 2020)
Philip William Stover splits his time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He has an MFA in writing and is a clinical professor at New York University where he is the former chair of the writing curriculum. As a freelance journalist, his essays and reviews have appeared in Newsday, The Forward, The Tony Awards, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and other national publications.
Philip grew up tearing the covers off the romance novels he devoured so he wouldn’t get teased at school. Now he enjoys traveling the world with his husband of over twenty years and sitting in front of the woodstove with their half-Bassett, half-Sharpei rescue pup and he would never consider defacing any of the books he loves.
He is thrilled to be returning to romance and loves to write cozy, warm-hearted stories served by hairy forearms with a side of fries. He can be found on social media as Philip William Stover.