Friends to Lovers: From Hurricanes to Hope with Skylar M. Cates – Post + Giveaway

March 28, 2016

Friends to Lovers- From Hurricanes to Hope

Hello! Skylar, here. Thanks for being here with me today as I release my new book, Close to You.

Last year at the Dreamspinner conference, I sat next to fellow author Eli Easton. When she asked me what new things I had planned for 2016, I immediately mentioned wanting a book with a best friends and a hurricane. Not sure if Eli would even recall this conversation, but I’m thrilled that a year later Close to You succeeded in fulfilling these goals!



When it came to writing a hurricane, I only had to draw on personal experience. For better or worse, I have been through several hurricanes since moving to South Florida.

Behind the book interesting fact: when I wrote the hurricane scene in Close to You, an actual hurricane warning was in the area. Yikes! And yeah, for my next novel, two characters are definitely winning the lottery!

I wanted to capture what it is like to wait out a hurricane. One of my editors, who lives in England, found this pretty fascinating and kept wanting more details. For me, I simply love the man vs. nature idea. Add to this, two best friends who are having trouble with each other, and it was a great to force them together. Coincidentally, this falls into another favorite trope of mine— stranded together.  My idea was that the hurricane brewing outside their home matched the hurricane brewing internally between Tomas and Marc.  But the weird thing about tropes is they often lead to other ones. This was the case in Close to You.


Confession: I LOVE the friends-to lovers trope! Love!  And I have done different versions of this trope before, The Only Guy or Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart come to mind, but in Close to You my goal was to take the trope even further.

Because Tomas and Marc are not just best friends now, they are best friends from middle school. Having the friendship have its roots so far back really shaped the present day conflicts in the book. I allowed the novel to explore the past fully in order to understand what motivated Tomas and Marc. Digging that deeply into their childhood was like digging for gold. Every time I would uncover a nugget, I would squeal with excitement.  Add to it the sexual chemistry between the guys in their present lives – and POW—emotional treasure.

In real life my childhood best friend and I have lost touch. We stayed friends for over twenty years, but distance and different interests eventually drove us apart. Still, as I write this, I feel a pang of sadness. I might go and contact her. Because although our friendship can’t be the same and I know it, I still love her and  will always  love her for being my first friend.

As for Tomas and Marc, they found their way home. This was a complex book to handle, but it is also a book that I’m extremely proud of completing. Tomas and Marc fought for their happily ever after. They told me time and time again —-their happiness mattered. Many outside forces tried to pull them away from each other, but it was their friendship that brought them back.

Close to You is about hope for me.


Question:  Tell me about your best friend from childhood

Giveaway:  Book of choice on my backlist


My Links:


Twitter:   @SkylarMCates



Check out Close to You today!



It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

8 Responses to “Friends to Lovers: From Hurricanes to Hope with Skylar M. Cates – Post + Giveaway”

  1. Eloreen Moon says:

    I grew up in Daytona Beach area, Florida (yes, I remember hurricanes) and my best friend and I met in middle school as well. It’s been over 25 years and we still keep in touch on Facebook, text, and occasional phone calls. Someday we’ll see each other in person. I’m glad she is still in my life even though we live in two different states.

  2. H.B. says:

    Congrats on your new release in the series.

    I’ve seen what a hurricane can do and am glad that I live in a city that only feels the side effects and not the direct onslaught.

    My best friend would be my sister. She’s usually there for me when I need her, she listens and encourages.

  3. Susan says:

    My best friend from childhood was my next door neighbor who was also named Susan. We even looked alike and people asked if we were sisters/twins all the time! (I thought this was kind of silly, as what parent would give the same name to sisters.) My family moved half the country away and our friendship did not survive the distance. Of course all this was way before the existence of social media.

  4. Trix says:

    I didn’t really have a childhood best friend…my school had a lot of “mean girls,” and one girl who I thought was nice turned out to be a frenemy in the end. I did reconnect with one of my grade-school classmates in high school, but my super-closest buddies popped up in college.

  5. Skylar says:

    Thanks for all the great answers here!

    Eloreen, it is great to see another Floridian here! How lovely it is that you still keep in touch with your best friend from childhood.

    Susan, lol, on the name thing! Yes, social media does make staying in touch so much easier!

    Trix, big hugs to take away the sting of the mean girls! Yes, college is a new chance for friendships, I agree

    Thanks, H.B.! How sweet that your sister is your best friend too!

    I’m so grateful to all my friends, old and new. I’m also grateful to you guys for joining me here today! I hate the thought of blogging into a void. So thank you!

  6. waxapplelover says:

    I live on the Texas Gulf Coast, so I also have been through my fair share of hurricanes. I actually don’t mind them that much, other than the power outages. Imagine not having air conditioning in the middle of summer. :)

    Unfortunately my best friends from childhood and I didn’t survive the distance that moving to different states for college caused.

  7. Angela says:

    Congrats on the release of Close To You :)
    My best friend from childhood would be Linda she and i were together every day playing and just doing things best friends do. Unfortunatly one day another girl came between us and Linda stopped being my best friend but i look back at a great childhood with lots of laughter. Nowadays i consider my sister my best friend :)

  8. Skylar says:

    Thanks for the answers, Angela and waxapplelover!

    I agree that the power issue is the hardest part. Distance can kill a relationship too.

    Angela, I’m sorry to hear about your friendship ending. As I said above, I have been there and it hurts. Boo for that other girl! But yay for good memories and for sisters!

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