Blog Tour Stop including Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway – Idlewild by Jude Sierra



idlewild-900px-front-reviews-tumblrAsher Schenck and his husband John opened their downtown gastro pub in the midst of Detroit’s revival. Now, five years after John’s sudden death, Asher is determined to pull off a revival of his own. In a last ditch attempt to bring Idlewild back to life, he fires everyone and hires a new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for med school. Tyler is a cheery balm on Asher’s soul, and their relationship quickly shifts from business to friendship. When they fall for each other, it is not the differences of race or class that challenge their love, but the ghosts and expectations of their respective pasts. Will they remain stuck, or move toward a life neither of them has allowed himself to dream about?

Purchase Links

Interlude Press Web Store


Barnes & Noble

Apple iBookstore

All Romance eBooks



Book Depository





“Want to make the muffins to go with the cider?”

Asher props the recipe card against the container of flour he’s retrieved. “That sounds great.”

“Awesome,” Tyler says. Asher smiles, and it’s not sad this time, or hopeful or anything to make this whole exercise hard. It’s normal, it’s level. Tyler loves that smile and the natural camaraderie.

“All right, boss, tell me what needs doing.”

But for the directions Asher gives him, it’s quiet in the kitchen. Tyler washes and peels and chops the apples while Asher collects and lines up ingredients. Despite the hours he logs here, Tyler’s not very competent in the kitchen.

“You’re going to chop a finger off,” Asher says. “Here.” He takes Tyler’s hands carefully. “Curl the tips of your fingers under.” Asher’s fingers are gentle, warm and bigger than his. A tingle shivers down Tyler’s spine. His breath comes out harder than it should, giving him away. Asher pauses—it’s barely perceptible—and takes a breath of his own. But he doesn’t move away. Tyler can smell him and feel the height difference. Asher’s not overly tall, but he is bigger than Tyler. Most men are.

“How’s that?” Tyler manages. He mimics the movement Asher’s shown him, and places his fingers more carefully on the apple.

“Perfect,” Asher says, and then moves away. Tyler goes back to chopping.

Once they’re finished, Asher tilts the recipe card so that Tyler can see it. He mixes the dry ingredients while Asher does the wet. The air is so charged Tyler almost can’t take it. He looks at Asher often, averting his eyes when Asher glances back. He wants to speak, but there’s nothing to say. This is John’s recipe. Tyler intended this moment to be cathartic for Asher. This isn’t catharsis.

But when Asher glances over at him while he mixes and catches Tyler’s eye, Tyler is sure his feelings are not one-sided.

Once the batter is in the tins and then into the oven, Tyler takes his apron off, grabs some water and follows Asher into the breakroom. He hands Asher the glass and perches on a stool. Instinct—or maybe cowardice—tells him he needs to wait for Asher to break the silence.

“Thank you, Tyler,” Asher finally says. He twists the glass round and round in his hands with his gaze focused on it. “I… I’ve needed this.”

“Anytime,” Tyler says softly, and means it.




Christina‘s review
4.5 of 5 Stars
This is a beautiful love story and it’s beautifully written. When these two get together and there is nothing but love between them, I shiver at what happens. While Tyler is a bit of an enigma, Asher seems like an open book but has hidden vulnerabilities he doesn’t show often and they are crippling. Tyler definitely brings out his insecurities. Tyler has his own issues to work through…and he really has to discover who he is and not always try to be what he thinks everyone else wants him to be. At times, they turn a blind eye to their issues and how they really feel…which was pretty painful to read through. I was frustrated it took so long for them to just TALK to each other.

There are several stories within this story. Not only do they have an age gap, they are from opposite sides of the city and are different races which shaped the men they are today…and there is a major gap that needed to be breached before their relationship could be considered solid. They are showing each other the differences and teaching the other how the ‘other half’ lives. It’s a long process that coincides with them finding themselves both individually and separately while falling in love.

I did have a couple of issues with the book…it is really long and descriptive so I skimmed through several scenes. It also felt a bit ‘preachy’ at times – about Detroit, race and sexuality. The repetitive reminder of the issues surrounding their age gap as well as their socioeconomic and racial differences and struggles made me wary several times. I also felt like I was reading a PSA about Detroit which turned me off a bit.

Overall, this is an amazing love story…journey really. Definitely a must read.


About the Author

Jude Sierra first began writing poetry as a child in her home country of Brazil. Still a student of the form, she began writing long-form fiction by tackling her first National Novel Writing Month project in 2007, and in 2011 began writing in online communities, where her stories have thousands of readers. Her previous novels include Hush (2015) and What It Takes (2016), which received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.


Connect with the author at, on Twitter @judesierra and on Facebook at


images (16)Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Jude Sierra author of Idlewild

Hi Jude, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.




Q:  Tell us about your book.

A:  Idlewild is a story with three main characters: Asher, a widower who is trying to save the restaurant he opened with his late husband John, Tyler, a 23 year old college graduate who is in the middle of several crossroads in his life, and Downtown Detroit, whose history informs the complexities of a revival and community tensions within it. All three are in different stages of transformation, although they look very different. Although Asher thinks he’s ready to move on from his partners death, as Idlewild begins to come back with the help of a new staff, and Tyler in particular, he has to come to terms with the fact that he’s spent years isolating himself because he’s really not. Tyler is an incredibly charismatic boy who’s a little lost and a lot afraid of letting the people he loves down. He’s incredibly skilled at people pleasing, at being the man he perceives people want from him. In many ways, this story is a coming of age for him as well.


Q:  How difficult was it to get into the main character’s head?

A:  I cannot even express what a challenge this book was. There were many moments when I felt like I understood Tyler, only to find that what I was exploring was another aspect of his chameleon character. With the help of my friend Georgie, I really had to work to unlock him. It’s a little ridiculous, but that ZAYN song, Pillow Talk, somehow brought me a little epiphany one day.

Initially Asher was more clear. I really relate to what it’s like to tell yourself you are done grieving and desire to move on with your life, only to realize that you’ve built a life around yourself – or isolated yourself – that functions to keep you protected from ever being hurt again. I understood his grit: it’s quiet, but without Asher’s inherent strength, Idlewild would have slipped through his fingers. He wouldn’t have gotten out of his partner’s death somewhat intact. Although both the restaurant and his growth have stagnated, Asher hasn’t given up. Who Asher really was behind these shells was a challenge to get to though.


Q:  Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?

A:  It’s definitely a standalone. I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of revisiting in a short story or of publishing cut scenes, but the core of the story is complete.


Q:  Why did you choose to write M/M stories?

A:  I do write all pairings. These are the stories I’ve published so far. I don’t count out any pairings in future publications. I think pairings bring particular dynamics to them, and M/M is rich ground for the kind of thematic work I seem to be into right now.


Q:  Where do you find your inspiration?

A:  Generally, my inspiration and process come from music. The initial concept for this book came from a Sam Smith song. Interestingly, Idlewild only barely resembles what I’d intended to write. That’s never happened to me before! I tend to have playlists for every book I write. Often songs with particular lyrics inspire me. With Idlewild, a lot of the music I listened to was more about tone and atmosphere, although there are a handful of songs that really spoke to particular characters. For this book, I did a lot of reading about Detroit – and I tried to find books that covered Detroit’s history and current story from various points of view. This city was a huge inspiration and is a big part of the story.




Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold

Five winners receive Idlewild eBook



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Blog Tour Stop including Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway – Idlewild by Jude Sierra

  1. Jude Sierra says:

    thank you for having me!!