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Worth Keeping by Susan Mac Nicol

Published on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by

Nick Mathers pulls Owen Butler from the freezing waters off the Norfolk coast, but Owen’s love can carry Nick back from the edge of oblivion. 

Abused horrifically as a boy, Nick Mathers has come to terms with his existence as a man. Mostly. Other days life seems a little much. Especially when Nick knows he’ll always be alone.

On those days his thoughts turn black. He walks the Norfolk coast and considers the frigid embrace of the waves. And then, one stormy night, he finds someone who’s tasted just that. The beautiful stranger on the beach is near death, and Nick rushes him home to slowly nurse back to health. As he does, he finds a love unlike any other. Owen Butler’s body is as warm as the sea was cold, his heart as big as an ocean. And Owen is a man who swears to repay the favor. Nick can yet be saved from himself, and he will see that he is indeed a man…WORTH KEEPING

What are the main themes of your book?

The main theme of Worth Keeping is one of triumph over adversity, of a damaged man coming to terms with his past and finding he can actually have a future. There’s the rather gritty underlying thread of child abuse, child prostitution in fact and how someone deals with a past that is rooted in pain and torment. But as all my books do, the love and support of a strong man overcome those fears.

Who or what inspired your story?

I’m pretty vocal in some forums about child abuse and combating it is a passion of mine. I was in a forum talking about a young boy who was forced to be a prostitute when he was only ten years old, and it sparked the idea for Nick’s background. I researched this, unpalatable as it was, and discovered of course that child prostitution is rife in the world. So I decided to write Nick’s story.

What do you like best about your primary characters?

I love Nick for his tenacity, for the fact that despite what he thinks about himself, he’s so strong and has this ability to rise above his past. He doesn’t realise just how far he’s come yet everything he does proves it.

I adore Owen for his slightly camp, snarky attitude, his sense of humour, his huge capacity to forgive and love, and his recycling habits. *chuckles* We should all do it to save the planet.

What are their worst peculiarities?

Well sexually these chaps have some hang-ups. Nick doesn’t bottom, he doesn’t even top, because of what was done to him as a boy and Owen has a bad gag reflex.

Nick is reserved, fights his emotions and has this deep sense of self-loathing; he sees himself as a loner when really, he does need people.

Owen is a little irreverent, perhaps a little shallow to start with but then his deep sense of compassion springs to the fore and it overtakes everything else.

How does your main character evolve?

I always find this question should be, ‘How do your main characters evolve’ because in a Romance, I always see there being two people who journey together.

Nick starts to open himself up, from a man who thinks he’s worthless to anyone, to becoming the most important thing in someone else’s life. Not like his father Don sees him, but as a soul-mate someone wants to share his life with him. He finally realises another man thinks Nick is worth the effort of saving.

Owen is happy go lucky, hurting deep down over the terrible death of his lover, but starts to realise his place in Nick’s life is to make him realise he’s not as damaged as he thinks, and the parts that are damaged are part of him. Owen becomes this nurturer, this ray of sunshine and draws the darkness out of Nick.

What’s the principal message you want to send to your audience?

I write stories for people to read and enjoy, so my message is simply a hope for them to do that. It’s to say ‘here you are, here’s what I think is an emotional story that will hopefully make you feel something, read it and I hope you think it was worth writing.’ My books aren’t meant as social commentary for the most part, although my beliefs are part of what and why I write, and if that makes people think, then I’ve achieved something extra too.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about your book?

I loved a review I got from Beach Bum Books, the fact she thinks my book is Worth Keeping:

The author treats the subject matter with honesty, never going for the easy solution, staying the course with her characters, never dodging the realities, the legacy of this kind of abuse.

The cast of supporting characters adds depth and color, and the subplot of impending danger is artfully woven into the fabric of two men learning to overcome their own limitations, to open to the possibility of love and to redefine who they are.

When and if this comes out in print, I will want a copy, because, quite simply, this is a novel… Worth Keeping.

Where can we purchase it?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Boroughs Publishing Group | Barnes and Noble



About Susan Mac Nicol

Susan Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, UK, and left for South Africa when she was eight. She returned to the UK thirty years later and now lives in Essex. Her debut novel Cassandra by Starlight, the first in a trilogy, was published last year by Boroughs Publishing Group in the US. Sue’s latest story, Worth Keeping is her third m/m romance.

Sue has written since she was very young, and never thought she would see herself being a Romance writer, being a horror/psychological thriller reader all her life. But the Romance genre is now something very close to her heart and she intends continuing the trend.

Sue is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists Association here in the UK.

Susan Mac Nicol is also author of The Magick of Christmas, Confounding Cupid, Cassandra by Starlight, Together in Starlight, Stripped Bare and Saving Alexander.

Social Links: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Tour Giveaway

Susan Mac Nicol will be on tour from 3rd February – 16th February, 2014. Her publisher (Boroughs Publishing Group) will be awarding a copy of Stripped Bare and a copy of Saving Alexander to a randomly drawn commenter. Check out the full tour schedule with links to all  participating blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 Responses
    • Woah, you’re killing me! Gotta have….

    • I’ve read a couple of Susan’s books and have to say she is a superb writer of gay fiction. I very much look forward to this latest offering.

    • I’m new to Susan Mac Nicol so will promptly go check out all of her books. Are they part of a series?

    • Thanks for joining us Kelly, Marjorie and Becky. I’m sure Sue will be thrilled you enjoy her books so much, Marjorie. Some of her books are part of a series, Becky, but I’ll leave Sue to answer this question more specifically.

    • Morning ladies! Marjorie thanks for your kind words. Kelly, I like your thinking :)
      Becky, no, these books are all stand alone but I am busy with a six book series mid year. So no doubt I’ll hopefully be seeing you back here when that tour finally kicks off later in 2014 :)

    • Susan, many of your books touch on serious subjects, do you find this puts some readers off? I for one love gritty novels but I was just wondering if some people might shy away from potentially painful stories.

      • Francesca, I’m sure my books are not for everyone. I have had people who’ve said they won’t read them because the subject matter is too personal, too dark. But that’s fine with me. I write what I believe in, and hope that people that do enjoy the subject matter like the sound of them. However, I have got another release out 24th Feb which is not like my last two, it’s more romance and quirky so that I hope will attract a different set of readers. At least, that’s the fervent hope :) Thanks for that very insightful question.

    • My dear Susan, I tell it like it is, and you deserve every success.

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