Welcome to author Marguerite Labbe, who’s joining us today to celebrate the release of her new novel, A Little Side of Geek, book one in the Geek Life series from Dreamspinner Press!
Hello everyone. It’s good to be back at The Novel Approach. I put a great deal of thought into the settings of my stories. Whether they’re completely made up like the prison ship in Pandora or if it’s a setting that’s more familiar on Earth. Some places I’ve made up like Amwich in All Bets are Off and some places are real like the locations in the Geek series. Morris and Theo live in Solomons Island, Felipe in La Plata, and Brenden and Dakota spend some time on Cobb Island. All locations in Southern Maryland.
I love living in this area that’s made up of three counties on the western shore bounded by the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. I love going to the grocery store, or church, or out to dinner and seeing other mixed-race families and it not being a thing. It’s normal. I love the mix of rural and suburban. I love the fact that DC is not that far away even if traffic makes it feel like forever. And if you want a bit of a longer drive you have Baltimore and Richmond that’s an easy day visit. My son is not a big country music fan, but every time Southern Maryland Thang comes on by Donovan Farrell he stops what he’s doing to sing along because he’s so proud to be from here.
I first found Solomons Island when my husband and I were looking for a place to have our wedding reception. I have to admit the bridge there freaked me out the first time. It’s pretty big and I’m not the biggest fan of bridges. We ended up having our reception in another part of Southern Maryland next to an old tobacco farm, but two of my sisters got married on Solomons Island. We enjoyed our visit to the island though. It sits at the mouth of the Patuxent River. There’s a boardwalk area with restaurants and shops and a beautiful view of the bridge.
We’ve been down there many times to have seafood on the water. So, when I decided that Theo was a restaurant owner who specialized in Chesapeake Bay cuisine I knew I had to have his place somewhere on the water. Southern Maryland has so many rivers, creeks, and swamps. Then I remembered that a friend of mine from high school had lived in Solomons for a time and I’d seen how nice the community was for homes. I told myself this is the place for Morris and Theo.
My sister got married there last July so I had a chance to go down and take some pictures and refresh my memory of the layout and feel of the place. Google pics are nice, but not as nice as walking along the streets yourself. After the ceremony, we went to a celebratory lunch at a restaurant that reminded me so much of the bistro I created that there was almost a feeling of homecoming. The restaurant sat on Back Creek and you can watch the boats coming and going. The setting suited my characters.
The picture I attached is one I took where Back Creek flows into the Patuxent River. This would be the view you have from the deck of Theo’s bistro. As you can see, it’s just a quiet, beautiful area. Both Theo and Morris appreciate the laid-back life. Some of their friends prefer the city. We have a few small cons throughout the year, many of them in libraries or firehouses. We have some comic book stores that have been with us forever, one store devoted to roleplaying that I know of and more critters than I know what to do with. On my road alone, I’ve seen deer, beaver, groundhogs, turtles, turkeys, geese, possums, ducks, herons, egrets, and bald eagles. I’m sure I’m missing a few.
There’s so much to do in the three counties. There’s fishing, boating, and crabbing if you like being on the water. There’s miles of hiking and biking trails throughout the counties. If you like sports there’s minor league baseball and a raceway. If you like community events there’s farmer’s markets and oyster shucking and county fairs. You can visit Annmarie Gardens, the Calvert Marine Museum, or the preserve down on Nanjemoy Creek. Not that either Morris or Theo are into that kind of outdoor stuff like I am.
Please tell me about some of the favorite places and events in your area.
About the Book
When opposite worlds collide, it’s anyone’s game.
Proud geek and comic book artist Morris Proctor wants nothing more than to live in semiseclusion with his devil cat and gamer friends. Despite what his well-meaning family thinks, he’s perfectly content with his status quo. The last thing he needs is to date another nongeek hell-bent on changing him.
Then he meets his adorkable new neighbor, Theo Boarman, who doesn’t know Star Trek from Star Wars, but who tempts him like no other.
Theo has spent the last year recovering from the loss of his parents and trying to play both roles for his teenage brother, while working to keep the family restaurant afloat. Dating is the last thing on the menu, especially with a man who thinks the height of dining is shoving a packaged meal into the microwave.
But if Morris gives him one more shy smile or flaunts that kilt he wears so well, Theo will be forced to convince him that a hot summer fling is just the recipe to let off a little steam.
When that fling gets serious fast, Morris has to decide if he’s willing to give his heart to Theo on the chance that they’re a perfect mix.
About the Author
Marguerite Labbe has often been called both Trouble and Sunshine by those who know her. She’s not sure how she manages to make both those nicknames work together, but apparently she does. She’s a New Hampshire woman who married an Alabama man, an Air Force brat who has somehow managed to settle herself firmly in Southern Maryland, with one overgrown son and two crazy cats.
Marguerite loves to spin tales that cross genre lines, where stubborn men build lifelong ties of loyalty, friendship, and family no matter the odds thrown against them, and where love is found in unexpected places. She has won the Rainbow Award for Historical Romance with Fae Sutherland, as well as the Rainbow Award for Paranormal and the Rainbow Romance Award for Excellence, also in Paranormal.
When she’s not working hard on writing new stories, she spends her time reading novels of all genres, enjoying role-playing and tabletop games with her friends, and helping out her husband with Apocrypha Comics Studio.