Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Promo: Some Like It Scandalous by Maya Rodale

Quick Fire Q&A: A Liberating Conversation with Maya Rodale
  


1. The Ladies of Liberty cause a lot of trouble—namely, attempting to dine alone at Delmonico’s. Why was it important for you to write include this boundary pushing scene?

This scene is a fictionalized version of something that actually happened! The real life #inspo for the Ladies of Liberty Club, which this series centers around, is The Sorosis Society, a ladies club founded by Jane Cunningham Croly after she was refused entry at a Press Club dinner on account of her sex. She and her fellow female journalists staged a “sit in” at Delmonico’s in protest! The restaurant ended up hosting the club’s anniversary meeting each year. There was no way I wasn’t including this scene in a Gilded Age Girl’s Club novel.

2. You wrote, “women were supposed to make it easy to forget about their existence. To hide the fact that they were flesh and blood humans who wanted things.” How do you use cosmetics in your daily life to signal what it is you want?

When I was younger, I used make up to look older. Now that I’m older, I wear make up because it pleases me to do so and I have learned other tricks for signaling what I want (like just asking for it!). Every woman’s relationship to cosmetics is different, and changes at different points in her life or different hours of the day and that’s okay. There is another line in the book, where a character declares “I hate the way it feels on my lips, but I will fight for your right to wear it if you want to!” So this novel explores women’s complex relationship between how they feel about themselves and how it affects their romantic relationships.

3. Theodore Prescott III is a non-traditional romance hero in that he is described as “pretty” rather than “brawny.” What was the inspiration behind writing a man whose physique is uncommon in the romance world?

Romancelandia has gotten better at portraying a range of women’s bodies—they’re not all blonde, violet-eyed girls with waists so narrow the hero can span his hands around it anymore—but not so much with our heroes, who are all hyper-masculine, super big and broad and in possession of 12 pack abs. With Theo, I wanted to romanticize a different type of male body. Because why not?!  Maybe the 18% of romance readers who are male want to see more diversity in their representation, too. 

4. Cosmetics and makeup are a form of self-care, both in your novel and in the real world. In the novel, Daisy thinks: “they deserved care and tenderness, even if only from her proprietary mixture of moisturizing ingredients.” What are your favorite self-care habits and products?

It’s maybe easy to scoff at the #selfcare trend but it’s really saying to yourself that you and your needs are valid, valuable and worth being tended to. Especially for women, who spend so much energy taking care of everyone else! If I’m really indulgent, I like to get a massage or a haircut. But often I just need to close my bedroom door and get some time alone.

5. The Ladies of Liberty practically leapt off the page, particularly as a group. “The three ladies burst out laughing at a most unladylike volume. Heads turned. People glared. How dare these outcast and eccentric women enjoy themselves!” Were these women based on the nuanced and wonderful women in your own life?

I love using my historical romance novels to shine a light on real historical women that have been overlooked in the history books. There were SO MANY women who did amazing things through out history! I think their lives and accomplishments have been deliberately obscured to so other women don’t get Ideas about what we’re truly capable of. In my books, I take the outlines and facts of their lives and breathe life into these characters by giving them traits and feelings from the wonderful women I know in real life. So I’m here to write the stories overlooked historical women in a really accessible way—and what’s more accessible than a paperback romance novel with a happy ever after?


 The second book in Maya Rodale’s luscious Gilded Age Girls Club series



Some Like it Scandalous
By Maya Rodale
On sale: June 18, 2019
Avon Books








 

They are sworn enemies…
Theodore Prescott the Third, one of Manhattan’s Rogues of Millionaire Row, has really done it this time. The only way to survive his most recent, unspeakably outrageous scandal is marry someone respectable. Sensible. Flawless. Someone like Daisy Swann.

Pretending to be lovers...
Daisy Swann has plans for herself and they do not involve a loveless marriage with anyone, certainly not one of New York's most incorrigible rogues. But when a devastating family secret threatens to destroy her standing in society, a fake engagement with Theo is suddenly just the thing she needs to make all her dreams come true.

And now it's time to kiss and make up…
Before long, their fake engagement leads to real kisses...and real feelings. Can these two pretenders discover that despite appearances, they might be the perfect couple after all?
PRAISE FOR MAYA RODALE
“Bound to intoxicate.”
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James

“Smart, sexy, fun!”
New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean

“Rodale's Gilded Age-set series launch is a smart, bright love story that perfectly balances messages of female empowerment and social potential with romantic tensions created by class and gender dichotomies ripe for revolution.”
Kirkus for Duchess by Design
“Rodale (It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke) charms with this captivating historical … Sparkling characters, able plotting, and joie de vivre make the first in Rodale’s Gilded Age Girls Club an utterly enjoyable standout.”
Publishers Weekly for Duchess by Design
“Rodale continues to deftly channel the infectiously fun flavor of popular romantic comedies by skillfully gifting her protagonists with plenty of sizzling sexual chemistry and infusing her writing with an abundance of deliciously dry wit.”
Booklist for It’s Hard out Here for a Duke


Purchase:
 



Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author of smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Maya has never shied away from putting politics into her books. With SOME LIKE IT SCANDALOUS, she has created a strikingly feminist heroine at the upstart of the suffragette movement whose dream is to start her own cosmetics business in a time where cosmetics were worn by a certain “type” of woman. Maya has spoken about feminism in the romance genre in multiple panels, and is available for comment on this topic.

In addition to her bestselling work as a romance novelist, Maya is also a journalist and book reviewer, published by NPR Books, Bustle, The Washington Post, and more.


Maya Rodale talks writing in the Gilded Age and the subversive nature of dresses with pockets

Excerpted from Entertainment Weekly.com on September 19, 2018
By Maureen Lee Lenkler

A lot of your books have direct pop culture ties – have you always been an avid film and television watcher? Why turn to that for story inspiration?
I’m always interested in [the idea that] it’s a book set then, but it’s about us now. They’re [an] escape, but we’re always looking to stories to tell us about ourselves and the world we live in. Bringing pop culture to historical romance is the most natural thing in the world. It makes it relevant and interesting and refreshing to me. I write Gilded Age now, and I love it because the time period allows me to historically accurate but still incorporate what’s happening now in a much more authentic and genuine way.

Speaking of moving to the Gilded Age from Regency, what made you want do that?
I probably shouldn’t say this, but I got tired of the Regency and trying to fit characters and storylines into a time period that wasn’t the most natural fit. And it’s like 20 minutes in the span of human history. It’s wonderful and I still read it and love it and may go back to it, but I’ve written 15 or something Regencies, and I was ready for a new challenge. I still have a duke. He’s a very different duke because he’s in such a different time period where you’re not the most powerful anymore. Your title is not enough in this world — you have to make something of yourself to be worthy of this heroine and this title of hero. I found myself writing more of a story where the hero transforms dramatically. We talk a lot about the heroine transforming in her story, but what if she’s just awesome from page one? What if the story is everyone else realizing it, not her coming into her own?

So this era grants more opportunities and independence for heroines?
Yeah. … The other aspect is there’s a secret ladies club, the Ladies of Liberty. They’re a mix of female entrepreneurs or society women, and they come together to advance women’s interests, individually or collectively. That’s so Gilded Age. It’s when the women’s club movement started; it’s the progressive era; it’s suffrage. The idea of women forming a club to help other women is so historically accurate to the Gilded Age, but it’s also so the spirit of now.







Promo: A Rainbow Above Us by Sharon Sala


Rainbow Above Us
By Sharon Sala
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

“Filled with unforgettable charm and delight!” —Robyn Carr #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

What will it take to bring people together?

Hurricane Fanny left no one in Blessings, Georgia unscathed—including Rowan Harper, the only surviving member of her family. Rebuilding her life now seems almost impossible.

Bowie James comes back to help repair his grandmother’s house, but he doesn’t intend to stay long. He and his mother were forced out of Blessings a decade ago, and he’s neither forgiven nor forgotten those responsible.

But Rowan is kindhearted, beautiful, and lost, and Bowie discovers that he can entrust her with his deepest secrets. If only their love could bring hope and healing to everyone around them, maybe they’d be willing to give it a chance…

Blessings, Georgia Series:
You and Only You (Book 1)
I'll Stand by You (Book 2)
Saving Jake (Book 3)
A Piece of My Heart (Book 4)
The Color of Love (Book 5)
Come Back to Me (Book 6)
Forever My Hero (Book 7)
A Rainbow Above Us (Book 8)

Praise for the Blessings, Georgia series:
“A delight… I couldn’t put it down.”—Fresh Fiction
“Engaging, heartwarming, funny, sassy, and just plain good.”—Peeking Between the Pages
“Sala’s novel is one of those rare treats that is not only a pleasure to read, but is so enjoyable it becomes difficult to put the book down.”—RT Book Reviews


SHARON SALA has over one hundred books in print and has published in five different genres. She is an eight-time RITA finalist, five-time Career Achievement winner from RT Book Reviews, and five-time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma. Visit her on the web at sharonsala.net.

Purchase Links:

Author Website: sharonsala.net

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EXCERPT
Bowie pulled up at his motor home and got out. He was almost at the steps when he heard a laugh that cut to his core. He knew it was Rowan. He didn’t know what had made her laugh like that, but it was such a joyful belly laugh that he was already grinning when he unlocked the door and walked in.
The trio was sitting at the dining table, playing cards. Ella looked up and waved.
“You’re back! Thank God. We’re playing strip poker, and I’m losing.”
He grinned. His aunt Ella was missing both shoes and her skirt. Luckily for all of them, she still favored slips.
But it was Rowan who startled him most. The quiet, dark--eyed beauty was doubled over with laughter, and every time she looked up at Pearl, she started laughing all over again.
Pearl was blushing. “It’s not funny, missy. Just because you’re still wearing all of your underwear doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry.”
Rowan couldn’t even look up. She just rolled out of her chair onto the floor, laughing until tears were running down her face.
Pearl slapped the cards she was holding facedown on the table and pointed at Rowan.
“Bowie, take this snippet with you to Piggly Wiggly so we can put our clothes back on. I’ve never played such a game in my life.”
Ella laughed. “Mama, don’t lie. I remember you and Daddy playing this after you put me to bed.”
Pearl gasped and then blushed again. “Well, never mind.”
Rowan groaned. “Oh my God…somebody help me up. I can’t breathe,” she said, and then covered
her face.
Bowie couldn’t take his eyes off her…flat on her back on his floor, so gloriously sexy he could hardly think.
“Well, get her up and out of here,” Pearl said, and then hid a grin. Even she was entranced by the unexpected delight.
Bowie moved toward Rowan. When she held up her hand, he grasped her by the wrist, her hand engulfed within his fist, and pulled her upright.
“Thank you,” Rowan said, and then turned loose of him and ran around the table to hug Pearl. “I’m sorry, sweetie, but thank you for the first joy I’ve felt since before the storm.”
Pearl kissed the side of Rowan’s cheek and hugged her back. “I’m happy to have been of service.”
Rowan started giggling again. “I need my shoes. I think I left them in the master bedroom. I’ll be right back,” she said, and bolted toward the back of the motor home.
Bowie was a dedicated bachelor with an image to protect, but they had yet to pass one night under the same roof, and he was already feeling a complication in his life that he didn’t need.
“I’m back,” Rowan said, and snagged their grocery list from the table.
“Then I guess we’re off,” Bowie said. “You sure you two don’t want to come with us?”
Ella shook her head. “I guess we’ll pass. I’m not dressed, and Mama isn’t wearing underwear, so there’s that.”
Rowan was still giggling when she got in the front seat with Bowie and buckled up.
“Oh my word…I didn’t know I could still laugh. That was the best medicine ever,” she said, and then burst into tears and started apologizing.
Bowie handed her a pack of tissues from the console.
“Honey, don’t apologize. I grew up with three women. There’s little I haven’t already seen or heard about.” Then he grinned. “I can’t believe you got Gran to play strip poker.”
“It was Ella’s suggestion, and then she kept losing. Pearl is the one who made me laugh, though. I guess she figured if she shed her drawers, she could still maintain her dignity…unlike Ella, who just peeled stuff off as she went.”
Now Bowie was chuckling, imagining Gran getting up and taking off her panties.
“What did she do with them?” he asked.
“She heard you drive up and sat on them,” Rowan said. “That’s when I burst out laughing.”
That image was too priceless to ignore. Bowie laughed all the way to the Piggly Wiggly.
Right before they got out, Bowie paused. “I don’t know what’s on the list, but if you have things you need that you might be embarrassed about, I can easily wait up front and just pay when you’re finished.”
Rowan shrugged. “Mama died when I was ten. Daddy raised me. He’s the one who told me about the birds and the bees and all the girl stuff. I’m used to shopping for all that with a man, so I’m fine if you are.”
“Then we’re good,” Bowie said. “Remember…three women and me.”
Rowan grinned. “We’re quite a pair, aren’t we?” she said, and jumped out. He got out and followed her into the store, trying not to think about what it would be like to be part of her world.

***
Excerpted from A Rainbow Above Us by Sharon Sala. © 2019 by Sharon Sala. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Promo: His First Lady by Beth Fred

Title: His First Lady
Series:  Capitol Hill Series 
Author: Beth Fred
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 18, 2019 Publisher: Limitless Publishing
My campaign manager says no one wants a bachelor in the White House and this election is drawing near. The solution? To hold a cattle call, and what’s up for auction? Me.

Lucky for me I cross paths with Mandy Buchanan—a feisty blonde who isn’t afraid to call me a jerk to my face. But she’s in quite the predicament herself. Mandy needs money since her dad refuses to pay for a frivolous degree. So, we strike a bargain. 
I get a wife, and she gets her degree. 
The deal was simple. No complications. No problems. 
While Mandy pretends to be the perfect First Lady, I start noticing her in a way that has nothing to do with politics or practicality. Those curves. Her eyes. The way her face lights up when she talks about her work. She’s beautiful.
Suddenly she’s no longer just a pawn to help me get into the White House. She’s more than that, and I no longer want to play pretend. I want her to be mine in every way. 
Now I just need to convince her that our sham marriage might just be the real deal.


Meet Beth Fred! That's me! I'm a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my heroes chivalrous. Heroes hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs(at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things. Bet you can't guess where I'm from ;)

HOSTED BY:

Promo: Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau


Kingdom of Exiles
By Maxym M. Martineau
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Assassin’s Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in this gripping, epic fantasy romance trilogy.

My heart wasn’t part of the deal when I bargained for my life,
But assassins so rarely keep their word.

Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena’s terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin’s oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena’s continued survival…and his own.

The Beast Charmer Series:
Kingdom of Exiles
The Frozen Prince (coming early 2020)
The Shattered Crown (coming late 2020)

Praise for Kingdom of Exiles
A Bookish Staff Read Pick
 “Impressive debut…Martineau’s intricate world-building melds traditional high fantasy with a hint of Victorian sensibility, then elevates it with endearing characters and a deliciously complex story that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the second book.” D—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review and Best Book of Summer 2019
“A powerful new voice in fantasy romance, Martineau has crafted a stunning story full of razor-sharp intrigue, delicious characters, and a love story you never want to end. Keep an eye on Maxym M. Martineau. If I'm not mistaken, we have a bona fide genius in our midst.” —Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author
“Maxym Martineau weaves an irresistible blend of adventure, magic, and romance. A unique world full of danger and intrigue and a delightful ensemble of characters will leave fans of fantasy romance breathlessly awaiting more from this author. Prepare to be charmed!” —Amanda Bouchet, USA Today Bestselling Author

Maxym M. Martineau is an article and social media writer by day and a fantasy romance author by night. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University, and lives with her husband and fur babies in Arizona. Connect with her at MaxymMartineau.com or through Twitter and Instagram @maxymmckay.

Purchase Links:

Author Website: MaxymMartineau.com

a Rafflecopter giveaway



EXCERPT – Beast Taming

Leena

Outstretched wings coated in vibrant teals and emeralds went taut, and [the Myad] tilted his nose upward to sniff the air. Built like an oversize black panther, the lithe jungle beast exhaled, shaking his mane from left to right. The peacock streak running the length of his spine and tail shimmered in the sun. A plume of feathers exploded around his head, standing tall between his ears. Gold casings masked his ankles and heels, protecting the weak points of his legs.
I’d never seen anything so beautiful. Powerful. I took a small step forward. The brush crunched beneath my feet, and the Myad skewered me with his blazing gold gaze. Thin tendrils of blue light streamed from his eyes.
“Grundy.”
Without further prompting, plates shifted along Grundy’s body, and two fat arms pushed outward. Once his soft hooves met the earth, a shallow divot appeared in a circle around the men. As one, they gasped, crashing to the ground under Grundy’s invisible weight. Calem sputtered, lungs working overtime to keep oxygen flowing through his body. Face flat against the earth, Oz groaned into the dirt. Muscles ticked along his back as he fought against the weight to no avail. Kost cursed and dug his fingers into the ground.
Noc alone managed to remain on his knees, palms pressed flat to the earth. Fissures of pressure cracked around his fingertips. Slate eyes lanced with frustration speared my heart, and a low snarl broke free from his lips.
Such power. I was wrong. The Myad wasn’t the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Noc would always win that contest.
A rumbling growl sounded from deep in the Myad’s belly, and heavy paws thudded against the banks of the pond as he stalked toward me. Fifteen minutes, and Grundy’s gravity manipulation would fade. I mouthed an apology to Noc before turning to the beast. Palms outward, I slowed to a stop a few feet in front of the creature. No weapons. No beasts. No threat. A cool sweat misted above my lips. To be in front of something so powerful…
The Myad’s tail flicked from left to right. Pulling back his muzzle to reveal a row of elongated teeth, he growled. I willed my breath to remain steady. Blue wisps began to stream from the gold plates in his legs. He’d take flight or pounce if I wasn’t careful.
Kicking on the charm, I knelt before him. Rosewood light spilled outward, but he didn’t blink. My heart traded places with my throat, and I swallowed twice before exhaling deeply.
Step one: Blood of the murderer. With my eyes locked on his, I extracted the vial from my breast pocket. Another growl simmered in the back of his throat, and I paused.
Easy now. My heart thundered in my ears. I popped the stopper off and poured Noc’s blood into my cupped hand. The Myad’s nose twitched, and he lowered his head to sniff the substance. Slowly, his scratchy tongue grazed my skin. Sheer power thrummed from his touch. I’m sure he tasted the raw flavor of Noc’s magic in the blood. The icy heat of it threatened to sear my skin, and the scent of burnt honey and hot metal tainted the air.
Once the beast licked my hand dry, he sat back on his haunches and studied me, the corded muscles of his legs rippling beneath black fur.
Step two: A token of loyalty. Proof that, if the taming were a success, I was as much his as he was mine. That we would never abandon each other. With bloody, shaking fingers, I took my opal ring off my hand.
“Your mother left this for you.” My aunt had held out a tiny box with silver clasps. My eager fingers had wrenched it open. There, lying in a bed of violet silk, was the rose-gold ring my father had given to my mother as a promise of his love. The one I now wore at all times.
This ring was my last tie to Hireath. My last tie to a memory that I cherished above all else. My parents had died trying to tame a beast beyond their capabilities. It seemed fitting that, if this didn’t work, I’d go out the same way.
Hot tears stung the corners of my eyes, and I bowed to the Myad, extending my palm toward him. Blue tendrils of vapor streamed from his eyes and looped through the ring, lifting it to the space before him. A crown of pure gold burst through his black fur. His feathered mane shot outward, and the tendrils carried the ring to the center of the headpiece. The gold rippled and molded, allowing for the jewelry to become part of his plumage.
Fighting back cries of joy, I tossed a quick glance over my shoulder to steal one more look at Noc. Eyes wide and jaw tight, he strained against Grundy’s pressure. Muscles bulged along his neck, and his fingers trembled. The detachment he’d wielded earlier was gone, and there was nothing but concern shining in his intense stare.
My heart twisted. Too bad it took me putting my life in danger for him to look at me like that.
Turning back to the Myad, I slowly undid the belt from my breeches. The Myad tilted his head, eyeing the black leather contraption. A low warning growl rumbled at the back of his throat.
It’s not a weapon. I promise. Folding my belt, I shoved it into my mouth between my teeth. Not a single sound. I breathed deeply and focused on the beast realm. My power flooded outward, pulsating to the cadence of my heart. The Myad stood before crouching low against the ground. Tension gathered in all his muscles, and he eyed my left shoulder. Screwing my eyes shut, I clenched down on my belt.
I heard the kick-up of dirt as he lunged. The back of my head smacked against the ground, forcing my eyes open, and a blinding heat surged from my shoulder as his fangs sank easily into flesh. The world slipped out from beneath me as pain blurred the lines of the trees and the sky, blending colors in ways that shouldn’t have been possible.


***
Excerpted from Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau. © 2019 by Maxym M. Martineau. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.