We all find ways to run away. Some do it in seclusion, others in the arms of lovers. Since the death of his long-time partner, Caleb Maguire lives a quiet life in Australiaʼs Victorian high country with only his dog and horses for company. Each day is the same. There are no surprises—good or bad—until a major snowstorm hits his mountain and Caleb is called out to rescue a stranded tourist. The late night snow brings with it a lost soul who forces Caleb to reassess his solitary life.
Paul Turner is a barista in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Carlton. He lives life totally in the moment, but a life of no commitments is about to change for this city boy. Three days is all it takes for Paul to fall hard for Caleb, and Paul returns to the city with a promise heʼll be back after turning his life around… but only when all the roads are clear.
A slinky cat for a witch may be a cliché, but add a whole bunch of tribal tattoos and an intolerance to garlic (seriously) and you have Isabelle Rowan.
Having moved to Australia from England (Gateshead) as a small child Isabelle now lives in a seaside suburb of Melbourne where she teaches film making and English. She is a movie addict who spends far too much money on traveling... but then again, life is to be lived.
Amazon Author page (http://www.amazon.com/Isabelle-Rowan/e/B002NA9G9Q/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0)
That sums things up!
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1-Welcome Isabelle Rowan! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your release.
Hello and thank you for having me on your blog! I’m a middle-aged High School teacher who decided several years ago to pick up a pencil and start scribbling in a notebook. Back then it was mainly in fan fiction (yes I admit it) and text RPGs. It was fun but also a little restrictive. My own characters needed to see the light of day and wouldn’t shut up until I began writing their hopes, dreams and fears. Snowman is my third novel (I also have 3 novellas) and, like the others, is set in Australia. It involves mountain blizzards, cafes in busy Melbourne streets, and two men who against all odds should be together.
2-How long have you been writing?
I started writing a little over ten years ago. I had a short story in a Dreamspinner Press anthology who also published my first novel A Note in the Margin in 2009.
3-What compelled you to write this particular story?
Snowman started life as a short story in an anthology. When that publication was disbanded I asked if I could tackle it as a full novel because there was so much more to the story. Plus I wanted to tackle some of the contrasts of life in Australia – locations, weather, and of course people. The story opens in the middle of an icy winter blizzard in the Victorian Alps and travels through the seasons to climax in the devastating heat of summer. I also had a hankering to write about horses!
4-What gave you the courage to submit your story to a publisher?
Luckily I didn’t have to! My first story was started on my blog and when Dreamspinner Press were looking for a story to fit an anthology some kind person suggested mine. I was gobsmacked when they emailed me, but I finished it with shaky fingers and sent it to them. However, I’m still terrified every time I submit something.
5-When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?
Both really. I have a couple of characters who are modelled closely on people I know (with their permission – one even requested it), but most are amalgamations of traits and quirks I notice. I do need a physical representation before I start writing them so I’ll often check out actors, models, etc.
6-Why did you start writing m/m? Is there something special that draws you to this genre?
I’m not really sure why I started writing m/m. I read it in fan fiction and thought, ‘I wonder if I can do that?’ Then I wrote a story for a friend’s birthday. What draws me to the genre? Hmm, I think it’s the notion that love is universal and gender is not an issue for me. Does that make sense?
7-What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite author or genre?
I’m currently reading a crime novel by an Aussie Author Nigel Bartlett called King of the Road. Nigel was one of the authors at this year’s Queermance and I’m loving his book.
My favourite author is by Poppy Z Brite and it’s called Lost Souls – it’s a vampire story and I do have a fetish for vampires.
8-What are you working on now?
I have two things on the go at the moment. I’m about halfway into the third book in the A Note in the Margin series. It starts straight after the ending of Twelve Days and follows all the characters, but with a bigger focus on Jamie. The other one is a Young Adult zombie apocalypse story set in Melbourne.
9-When you're not writing, how do you like to spend your time?
I am a total film and TV geek so I spend a lot of my time sitting in dark rooms indulging in other people’s journeys. I can’t do gore, but I love a good horror or fantasy film. I also love to travel and that keeps me very broke!
I’m also part of a team which organizes and hosts a literary festival in Melbourne called Queermance. Find us on Facebook!
10-What are your writing goals for 2015?
To finish another book! I also want to finish a course on Professional Writing for Children and Adolescents. Part of this is writing a picture book – my inner ferret is starting to speak to me!
11-Do you have personal goals for 2015?
Survival! Get through the school year with my sanity almost intact. I also want to fit in some more travel before the year is over. I’m contemplating a trip to Darwin during the September holidays – not sure if I’ll get there, but I’m going to give it a good try!
This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Snowman is the first book I’ve read by Isabelle Rowan and I’m so glad I did. Snowman is a gentle love-story that has its dramatic moments, but mostly it’s about the two protagonists, Caleb and Paul, finding themselves and each other.
If you’re looking for lots of sex scenes, this book is not for you. Yes, there are a few love-making scenes, but they’re mostly fade-to-black. It fit perfectly for the story, and made me sigh in contentment.
I loved the introduction in which Caleb, the mountain man, rescues Paul, the snowman. Caleb is mourning his dead lover, Mike, while Paul, who is younger than Caleb, tries to prove something to himself. These two guys fall in love over the span of three days, then go separate ways. I loved all the supporting characters: Stewart, Paul’s best friend, and Sarah, the deceased Mike’s sister. Everyone and everything showed a new, deeper layer to these two characters.
There are a lot of emotional issues explored in this story and they all felt realistic to me. I hurt for Caleb, who was suffering so much after his lover’s death. But I also hurt for Paul as he waited for Caleb to come to terms with the fact he might feel more for Paul than he wants to.
If you like a slow-burning romance, and a story that will make you feel more than you sometimes want, then this is a must read. Definitely a recommended book!