Guest Post and Giveaway: Ten Days in August by Kate McMurray

Today I am so pleased to welcome Kate McMurray to Joyfully Jay. Kate has come to talk to us about her latest release, Ten Days in August. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Kate a big welcome!

 

Ten Days in August takes place in New York City in 1896 and features a hero who is perhaps not your typical historical romance hero. Which is to say, he’s a drag queen.

There’s a painting in the lobby of the New-York Historical Society officially of an unidentified woman, though it was long-rumored to be Edward Hyde, Viscount Cornbury, who was appointed governor of New York and New Jersey in 1702 by his cousin Queen Anne. Legend has it that Lord Cornbury liked to parade around town in his wife’s clothing. Whether or not this is true is up for debate—some scholars think the rumors about Lord Cornbury wearing full female court dress to receive visitors, for example, were meant to discredit him—but for some reason I like the idea of it. Regardless, it goes to show, there have been men wearing ladies’ clothing in New York City for as long as it’s been a city.

I can’t imagine how much courage it must have taken to subvert gender in a time when it was so rigidly patrolled. And yet there are recorded incidences of female impersonators performing (and working the streets) throughout the nineteenth century. In the 1880s, dance halls popped up all over the city, including Armory Hall, run by notorious saloonkeeper Billy McGlory. McGlory hired young men to dress as waitresses and encouraged his male clientele to wear dresses. The club became widely known for encouraging homosexual activity, though it was hardly safe; McGlory also tended to hire well-known criminals to work security, and barroom brawls were a regular occurrence.

Ten Days in August features a beautiful female impersonator named Nicky, who got his start on the floor of Armory Hall. Even in a seedy environment, putting on a dress awoke something in Nicky. I pulled from more contemporary memoirs of drag queens as well as people I know who perform in drag for some inspiration for Nicky’s character, but I think his motivation is universal. Drag for him is a compulsion, an extension of his personality, of his being. When our other hero, Hank, suggests Nicky stop performing as a female impersonator, Nicky refuses, saying that giving it up would be like cutting off a limb. Nicky dresses as a woman as a form of self-expression. When the novel begins, he sings and dances a few nights a week at a shabby club on the Bowery, which was the only space for someone like him at the time, but that would change.

One of the things that made me want to write historical romances with LGBT characters is that there is this long-hidden history of LGBT people subverting society, particularly in New York, a city where money has always trumped morality. We tend to think of the gay rights movement as a relatively recent phenomenon, but the truth is that brave men and women have been testing boundaries for generations and carving out spaces for themselves out of the landscape of the city. That’s one of the themes of this novel—finding one’s place in society, in a way that allows one to still be himself.


Blurb

Ten Days in AugustFrom the Lower East Side to uptown Manhattan, a curious detective searches for clues on the sidewalks of New York—and finds a secret world of forbidden love that’s too hot to handle…

New York City, 1896. As the temperatures rise, so does the crime rate. At the peak of this sizzling heat wave, police inspector Hank Brandt is called to investigate the scandalous murder of a male prostitute. His colleagues think he should drop the case, but Hank’s interest is piqued, especially when he meets the intriguing key witness: a beautiful female impersonator named Nicholas Sharp.

As a nightclub performer living on the fringes of society, Nicky is reluctant to place his trust in a cop—even one as handsome as Hank. With Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on vice in the city, Nicky’s afraid that getting involved could end his career. But when he realizes his life is in danger—and Hank is his strongest ally—the two men hit the streets together to solve the crime. From the tawdry tenements of the Lower East Side to the moneyed mansions of Fifth Avenue, Nicky and Hank are determined to uncover the truth. But when things start heating up between them, it’s not just their lives on the line. It’s their love…


Bio

Kate McMurray is an award-winning author of gay romance and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with base­ball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America, and is currently president of the New York City chapter. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.


Giveaway

Kate has brought a copy of Ten Days in August to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, April 1st at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.

Comments

  1. Congratulations on the newest release, Kate! Reading this book actually got me sweating *lol* kidding, but the weather I was in just add to the mugginess at time of reading. But it was truly an enlightening and entertaining read for me. 
    Btw, don’t include me in the drawing hat; just dropping by to say hi. :)

  2. I enjoyed reading the historical discussion. Thanks for this post and the chance to win.

  3. There’s so much about this book that makes me all starry-eyed! Historical M/M romance is great because it gives authors a canonical set of constraints against the very type of romance that they’re trying to tell.

    Now I’m going to cross my fingers in hope to snag this fabulous book. 😉

  4. I am always looking for interesting sounding historical m/m romances, and after reading this blog post “Ten Days in August” will be at the top of my wishlist. Thanks for sharing a bit of history with us.

  5. Angeles G. says:

    Congrats on your new release. I love historical mm romances and this one sounds great.

  6. Congrats on the release and a happy release day :) Thank you for the chance of winning a copy of Ten Days In August.

  7. Oh wow – Ten Days in August sounds right up my alley.  I am going to go add it to my TBR list now!

    Thanks for the interesting (and educational) post and the contest.

  8. Thanks so much for the chance.  The book looks like a good read.

  9. Sounds great. I’m really a fan of historicals, and historical m/m is even better.     :-)

  10. Thank you so much for the chance; I start to enjoy historical, only in M/M so this will be great :)

  11. Thank you for the interesting post. The book sounds great.

  12. Congrats on the new release! It sounds like a interesting story. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway chance!

  13. This sounds so good! I love the premise and inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing this with us and for the chance to win.

    Win or not, I’m looking forward to Ten Days in August. :)

  14. Congratulations on the new release, Kate. It sounds really good. I haven’t read any of your books yet, but I’ve just added Ten Days In August to my TBR pile :)

  15. Interesting debate in the painting. I enjoy historical tidbits. Please count me in . Thanks.

  16. Ashley E says:

    Having recently dug up an historical article about a woman who had two husbands run away on her wedding night, because underneath the dresses she had some extra parts, this is a very intriguing novel!

  17. Thanks for a great post. The book sounds really interesting.

  18. Sounds like a great one!

  19. Congratulations on your latest book and I love historical fiction :) thank you for the giveaway chance

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