I’m delighted to reveal the cover of Summit, an adventure MM romance based on my own experiences training for and climbing Kilimanjaro in October 2017. If you’ve been following my posts and snippets from the book and have been waiting for your copy, pre-order links are now available and the book will be out on 1 September 2018, my second release this year.
Genre: MM romance, contemporary, adventure
Length: 62,000 words
Cover Design: Jay Aheer, Simply Defined Art
When out of condition divorced lorry driver, Ash Tomlinson, makes the spur of the moment decision to climb Kilimanjaro, he doesn’t consider how much it will change his life. There’s the training, the equipment to buy, the fear of altitude sickness, and of failure. And there’s Sean, a man who makes Ash question what he really wants for his future.
Sean Briggs is a school sports teacher and wishful mountain leader, longing for the chance to lead people on mountain hikes, but never having taken the plunge to do the training course. While he thinks about it, he decides to undertake the trip of a lifetime on Kilimanjaro.
The two men meet on a training weekend in Wales, and afterwards Ash goes home and tries to forget about Sean, but finds it impossible.
When the pair strike out for the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, their physical and mental strength is tested, and their growing feelings for each other help them push through the toughest moments of the trek.
I checked the time on my phone as we gathered together and shouldered our backpacks. It was a few minutes after midnight and if you shaded your headtorch and looked up, millions of stars scattered across the vast expanse of sky above twinkled down.
“Wow, look up there,” I said to anyone who was listening.
“Incredible, isn’t it?” Gerald stood beside me, his headtorch off, gazing up. “You can see the Milky Way.”
“I wish I had a better camera.”
“I took lots of pictures the other night at Barranco Camp. I can send you some when we get home.”
“We’ll all be able to share photos,” Rob put in. “Phil was saying earlier that their office sets up Dropbox groups for each adventure, so everyone can add photos and look at the others. We’ll all get an email with the link to it when we get back.”
“Five minutes!” Phil called out then. “I want a line over here, single file, behind Stedman. I’ll be walking up and down the line as we go. The local guides will be with us and at least one porter per person to help if you need it. Remember, don’t waste your breath talking. If you need help, one word will do. Poles, and hold them out. Someone will take them. Pack, if you want one of the porters to carry it for you.”
“Toilet?” Louise put in with a giggle.
“The answer for that will be, ‘go there’,” Phil replied. “Any of you who still have toilet shame at this point, you’ll need to get over it. It’s approaching minus twelve degrees up there. It’s pitch dark and nobody’s looking. You don’t want to get lost. Step two feet off the path and get on with it, quickly. Just let the nearest person know what you’re doing so you don’t get left behind, but we’ll be taking a very brief break every hour, so you shouldn’t need extra stops. All of you, keep drinking. As we said at the briefing last night, your tube will freeze pretty soon. Use it for as long as you can, then switch to one of your bottles, which you should have inside your clothes.”
Several people grunted acknowledgement, while Elaine and Steven quickly unzipped each other’s backpacks to retrieve water bottles. I found Sean in the throng and we joined the line with five or six people in front of us.
“Ready for this?” Darren turned and looked back at us.
“As we’ll ever be.” Sean pulled his fleece hood tighter around his face, so only his eyes and nose were visible beneath the beam of his head torch.
“Are you cold?” I asked.
“No, just my face. You?”
“I’m fine. Keen to get moving, though.”
“Ready?” Phil called out. “Let’s move. Slow and steady. Walk, breathe, drink.”
Stedman moved forward and the next few people followed. I took my first step on what was likely to be the toughest night of my life. This was it. The summit awaited six or so hours away.
The path grew steeper as we ascended. I stared down, watching where I put my feet while my headtorch lit the small area in front of me. Everything looked grey by torchlight and was probably the same in daylight. The rocky path zigzagged upwards, lessening the steepness of the ascent but making it endless. Occasionally, I looked back over my shoulder to see the snaking line of lights following me, but mostly I kept my eyes on the ground, not wanting to trip.
If you would like to be in with a chance of winning an eBook from my back list (Conflicted, Beautiful Thunder, Cervena, Finding Beck, Favourite Toy, On The Outside, Regeneration, Separation, The Short Stories Collection), please share this post on Facebook or Twitter or on your blog, and tag me. I’ll be drawing the winner on 16 August 2018, so there’s plenty of time to share my cover 🙂