Everyday History by Alice Archer
Publisher: Shine Even If
Release Date (Print & Ebook/Audio): January 30, 2020
Length (Print & Ebook/Audio): 318 pages
Subgenre: Contemporary gay romance
Tropes: Age gap romance
About the Book:
If you woo, win, and walk away, a second chance is going to cost you.
Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.
Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. When Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben, even as Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and farther out of reach.
Everyday History, a romance told with Alice Archer’s unique style and lush prose, was named a Top Book of 2016 in the HEA USA Today column Rainbow Trends.
Standalone romance, HEA.
Originally published in 2106 by Dreamspinner Press.
Who is this Alice Archer and what has she done with my heart? My feeble attempt at a review of this glorious book will not do it justice. ‘Everyday History’ is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and heart-wrenching and gorgeous romances I have ever read!! The characters and the words will stay with me for a long, long time.
“Oh, God. He’s teaching me. He knew what this would do to me.”
Ruben is a student of the brilliant history professor Henry. Not knowing whether the other one is intreated or not, these two dance around each other for months. But their attraction is undeniable and breathtaking. Alice Archer has a gift for words and it was delicious watching Henry and Ruben watch each other.
“Those looks Ruben gives me reunite me with an old feeling of wanting something I can’t have. Of really wanting something I really can’t have. Will certainly never have. An exquisitely sad feeling that has always resided behind my sternum, even when I’ve managed to ignore it.”
There is an age difference here so Henry and Ruben decide right from the start that no matter what happens, they will break it off because they are simply not meant for each other. Henry wants a family and commitment, and Ruben is young and wants to play the field so to speak. He thinks that he is not ready to give Henry what he wants, so why bother prolonging the inevitable?
“Certain he’ll outgrow his infatuation, I remain professional, watch the calendar, counting on time to save me. Inside myself doors close. Locks click. I turn away. Close my eyes. Try not to see. But sunlight finds a way. As Ruben grows to fully inhabit his curious desire… I wake up.”
These two are so obviously, painfully in love and right for each other that I wanted to reach into the story and yell at them!! All of the wasted time!! All the heartbreak could have been avoided. This book unfolded into one of the most readable and passionate stories I’ve read in a long time. Henry is experienced yet acutely lonely; Ruben is young and curious yet knows who and what he wants.
“He wants to do it right, his exploration of the new world that’s captured his attention. But even more than wanting to do it right, he wants to do it right now. The sparkle of him blinds me. After deliberately, greedily touching me all over with his hands and his mouth, he stops trying to learn and allows himself to fall down the well of desire. I’m already there.”
The inevitable break-up broke MY heart! Henry was firm in his belief that Ruben needed to experience the world and Ruben was sure that he was not ready to commit to Henry. But soon Ruben saw that his life was really just a series of if not empty relationships, loveless relationships.
“With an adjustment for gender, he renews his old policy—sex, please, hold the love—as his new policy.”
Henry becomes a famous writer and must travel the country promoting his stories of everyday histories. These brilliant and emotional stories-within-a-story really sealed the deal for me with Alice Archer. I am rambling on and you really must experience this book on your own. It is simply breathtaking! The characters are loving and supportive and multidimensional and the settings are perfect. The themes of family, belonging, acceptance and love are so important and so timely. I was crying my eyes out at the end!! The plot twist was stunning and passionate and honest and just EVERYTHING.
Please read this book. You will be a better person for it! Alice Archer’s words are LIFE.
“Pressure and warmth front and back. Legs pinned. Henry’s arms around him for the first time ever. Nothing said. Nothing thought. Nothing seen except hard wind in trees swaying like underwater creatures in a complex tide.
Henry bends his head to whisper into Ruben’s ear, “I’m not waiting any longer.”
My Exclusive Q&A with Alice Archer:
On January 30, I am rereleasing my novel Everyday History, a contemporary gay romance about a young man growing up enough to capture a man who’s all but given up on love. With this book back on the shelves, I’m so happy to be able to sit down with Book Bellas to chat a bit about the emotional impact a story has on an author, what I think about libraries (I LOVE THEM) and some little known facts about me as a writer. Thank you for having me!
How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
Bring it. Bring the tears and the sweaty palms and the cramp in my stomach. In the early stages of writing a story, the only reader I’m trying to squeeze a reaction from is me. If I can’t create a story that makes me cry at some point, or write a character who pisses me off, or a moment I didn’t see coming, I’m not doing my job well.
At some point in the story’s development, I feel a shift and the tale moves to live outside of me, rather than in me. I become the observer more than the creator. I listen more than I tell. The characters get bossier and more demanding, more three-dimensional, less interested in me and more interested in each other. I can still control them, so to speak, but I don’t need to. The story is no longer mine, but theirs, and I’m satisfied by working to find the words they need to tell you their story.
I’m full of emotion as I write, which is why I can only write for about four hours a day before my brain and body punch the time clock and leave the premises. I know it’s time to stop, however much I may wish to keep going, when I’ve been sitting in my writing chair for a while doing nothing more than blinking. I’m an empty husk and it’s time for lunch.
From that moment until I sit in the writing chair the next morning, the characters in the story move on without me, which is perfect. I’ll soon be restored and primed and ready to find out what’s happened in my absence.
Five fun facts about you.
1) When I attend a conference, I do so with the companionship of a friend who’s more extroverted than me. Or I don’t go at all. Yep. In a crowd, I can be more myself when I have a keeper.
2) Ever since I stuck this quote from one of my favorite novels onto my washer-dryer unit at eye level with a magnet, I’ve enjoyed housecleaning more: “It was a beautiful apartment, and Stef took exceedingly good care of it. In turn, it soothed and comforted him…” —Suanne Laqueur, A Charm of Finches.
3) I have a fairly extensive collection of old driver’s licenses, acquired during homing experiments and extended travels in other countries. I brokered a Washington State driver’s license into a British Columbia license, which was accepted in Germany without the need for a test (Germany has a high failure rate for their driving tests). Three years later, back in the U.S., the rural Tennessee DMV office wanted me to go through shenanigans to get my first U.S. license in a while, until someone behind the counter made a passing remark of “Well, the only exception is if you have a German driver’s license,” at which point I produced it. Ba-boom.
4) Years ago, I wrote a letter to the author Anne Rice. She wrote back, sending me a surprisingly vulnerable letter, handwritten on beautiful paper.
5) I talk to myself in the mirror in the morning, after I’ve washed my face and brushed my hair, before breakfast. We, my mirror image and I, have a chat. Nothing heavy. I start out awkward most days, but persist until I can produce a genuine smile. When I detect a mischievous twinkle in my eye, I’m done.
Do you have a library membership?
Natch. The comfy couches, bookshelves, desks, and silent companionship make libraries feel like homes away from home. There’s even a bathroom.
I grew up in a writing family. We were intimately friendly with the local public library in wherever Podunk place we happened to be living (of which there were many).
Mom was a poet. Dad wrote (funny) sermons. My brother drew intricate pictures of science fiction events, wrote stories, and read like a fiend. I wrote in my journal and read enough to cause disruptions in the force field between fiction and reality. (I also hung out in my closet on a tall stool and measured postage-stamp perforations. If you repeat that to anyone important I’m trying to impress, I’ll confiscate your library card.)
My home base is Eugene, Oregon, a small city surrounded by wilderness the way Hawaii is surrounded by ocean. I love it here. My favorite library of all time (and that’s saying something, since there’s a full roster of competition) is here in Eugene. The downtown public library has a cool Maker Hub, where I once used a sewing machine to create a duvet cover. The Maker Hub also has a 3D printer and a bunch of other fun tools and machines, free for the public to use.
Books from libraries are a given, but sewing machines? I love that. The public library in Freiburg, Germany, offered an enormous shelf full of games to check out. One library somewhere in the U.S. I can’t remember the location of let us check out framed art.
I want to be a library when I grow up.
About the Author:
Alice Archer has questions. Lots of questions. Scheming to put fictional characters through the muck so they can get to a better place helps her heal and find answers. She shares her stories with the hope that others might find some healing too. For decades, Alice has messed about with words professionally, as an editor and writing coach. She also travels a bunch. Her home base is Eugene, Oregon.
Join us as we celebrate the release of Everyday History by Alice Archer and enter to win 1 of 2 ecopies of the recently re-released EVERYDAY HISTORY.