Into the Blue By Pene Henson

Into the Blue By Pene Henson

Into The Blue 1600px FRONT (Smashwords, Amazon)

Author Name: Pene Henson

Book Name: Into the Blue

Release Date: July 7, 2016


Tai Talagi and Ollie Birkstrom have been inseparable since they met as kids surfing the North Shore. Now they live with their best friends in a pulled-together family, sharing life and the saltwater in their veins. Tai’s spent years setting aside his feelings for Ollie, but when Ollie’s pro surfing aspirations come to fruition, their steady world shifts. Is the relationship worth risking everything for a chance at something terrifying and beautiful and altogether new?

Pages or Words: 236 pages, 72,600 words

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance


Across from them, one of the Brazilians plays guitar. Ollie doesn’t recognize the song even when a couple of others sing along. The beach is wider and the sand finer than on the North Shore, but every beach is a little like home. Ollie misses the Blue House; he misses the surf and the palms and the shoreline he knows so well. He misses Jaime and Sunny and Hannah. Still, though he’s as far from home as he’s ever been, Ollie’s comfortable. These are his people, too. He leans back on his arms and looks up into the dark.

He’s watched the night sky since he was a little kid, but down here in the Southern Hemisphere he doesn’t recognize the hundreds upon hundreds of stars. The Southern Cross is up there. Ollie tries to orient himself.

Tai shifts toward him, then looks up and follows Ollie’s gaze. The warmth of Tai’s body settles into Ollie’s heart, grounds him. Ollie leans into him a little, and their arms brush to the elbow. The contact simmers in the air between them.

Unexpectedly, Ollie knows what he wants. “Come back to the hotel,” he says quietly to Tai. He pitches his voice low. It hums across the tiny space between them. No one else can hear him over the pounding surf and the sound of the music. It’s easy to be bold in the dark of a beach where Ollie’s never been before. He’s shocked by that same boldness.



Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Pene Henson, author of INTO THE BLUE. Hi Pene, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.


  • Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

Hmm. A lovely and unusual book cover will definitely make me pick up a book. For me that usually means a cover with extraordinary scenery, sunny content or a very careful minimalist design. Of course, I won’t buy a book just because the cover image is appealing. And I’ve bought books whose cover doesn’t appeal to me at all. It’s the author, the general subject matter and a quick reading of the first few pages that make me stay.

  • What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

In my real life, romance is as much habit and pragmatism as it is adoration and giggling at one another. Combine all that with kindness and respect and fighting over how to raise the children or whether anyone bought kitty litter and you have my romantic life.

I don’t look for that habit and pragmatism and kitty litter in fictional romance. I look for falling in love and stomachs twisting and hearts stopping. I love that stuff.

But my favourite fictional romance has a realism too. One that’s about human character and imperfection and kindness and the dangers and joys of intimacy. I love a dizzying first kiss that perfectly encapsulates these particular characters in this particular place. I love a forever after that deals with the fact that neither character is suddenly perfectly in tune with the other.

  • What are your current projects?

I’m writing an f/f romance novel set up and down the east coast of Australia. The book has thunderstorms, indie rock music and the vintage clothing circuit.

  • What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

At the moment it’s sheer timing. I have a full time job, two children and now that winter’s almost here, forcing myself to write at 4:30am is losing its shine. Beyond that I struggle with forward momentum when I’m not happy with the words I’ve already written. I dream of flying through sixty thousand words and correcting them all at the end, but thus far I’ve only ever been able to over-edit the beginning again and again.

  • Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

My first favourite books were fantasy books. But I barely read any fantasy these days because I don’t know what would align with those first favourites: Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea, Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising and Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy.  I loved that it wasn’t simple, but good was so deeply good in those books. Now I’m far more keen on stories set in our own world. But I still like a deep goodness in characters.

Buy the book:



Meet the author:

Pene Henson has gone from British boarding schools to New York City law firms. She now lives in Sydney, Australia, where she is an intellectual property lawyer and published poet who is deeply immersed in the city’s LGBTQIA community. She spends her spare time enjoying the outdoors and gazing at the ocean with her gorgeous wife and two unexpectedly exceptional sons. Into the Blue is her first novel.

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page:




Goodreads Link:

Publisher: Interlude Press

Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Tour Dates & Stops:

7-Jul: Havan Fellows, Louise Lyons, Parker Williams

8-Jul: Outrageous Heroes, Unquietly Me, Dawn’s Reading Nook

11-Jul: Love Bytes, Kirsty Loves Books, Bayou Book Junkie

12-Jul: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Butterfly-O-Meter

13-Jul: Oh My Shelves, Boys on the Brink Reviews

14-Jul: Molly Lolly, Happily Ever Chapter

15-Jul: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Prism Book Alliance

18-Jul: MM Book Escape, Making It Happen, Velvet Panic, BFD Book Blog

19-Jul: Book Lovers 4Ever, My Fiction Nook, V’s Reads

20-Jul: A.M. Leibowitz, Alpha Book Club




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by Parker Williams

Parker writes m/m fiction where happily ever afters will require work to reach. He loves broken characters, hurt and healing, pain and comfort.

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