Today I am so pleased to welcome Amy Jo Cousins to Joyfully Jay. Amy Jo has come to talk to us about her latest release, Glass Tidings. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Paint and Ink and Images, Oh my
Years ago when I was writing for Harlequin, an editor told me she was hesitant to acquire a ms. I’d written about a woman in the theater business. “Romances about artists and creative types just don’t sell.”
Picture my jaw dropping, my gasp of disbelief. From my earliest days of reading romance, I’ve always loved books about “artists and creative types,” probably dating back to my early Nora Roberts obsession. She wrote stories about ballet dancers and singers, comic strip artists and glassblowers and actors. And I loved them all.
Declining to accept my otherwise lovely editor’s advice, I’ve since written about artists myself, including Eddie Rodrigues in my holiday romance Glass Tidings. Eddie works in glass, but my favorite romances about artists range from sculptors to painters, from tattoo artists to manuscript illuminators, from comic book artists to photographers to fashion designers.
Here are some of my favorites:
The French Have a Word for It by Josh Lanyon ~ A young man has run away to Paris to draw and to learn to live by himself. When he bumps into his former bodyguard, it seems a wonderful coincidence, especially now that Colin isn’t a boy anymore… I love this short story.
Beyond Seduction by Emma Holly ~ Merry Vance attempts to ruin herself to avoid marriage by posing for notorious rake and painter, Nicolas Craven. Holly’s historical romances are intensely erotic, with complicated and flawed characters.
Downtown Devil by Cara McKenna ~ This book about a photographer and the two men she gets involved with is diverse on so many levels: race, sexuality, class. McKenna excels at writing love triangles that leave me genuinely wondering how the story is going to turn out, especially since she writes both ménage and two-person relationships equally well. I’m never sure which option she’s chosen with a new book like this until I get to the end.
This Much Space by KK Hendin ~ Olivia, the heroine of this book, is one of my favorite characters ever. She’s a brilliant fashion designer and a cappella singer with a plus-size body she dresses in glamorous clothes because Olivia does not give a shit about anyone else’s opinions. I love that Thierry, the hot mess of baseball shortstop and Olivia’s partner for a group project is 100% into her, and that they get hot and heavy in pretty short order because Olivia is sexy as hell. This book deals with some heavy subjects, but the awesomeness of its heroine carried me through.
Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha ~ I’m a big fan of this post-apocalyptic motorcycle gang series that is powered by deep feminist beliefs and sex positivity. Consent is the name of the game in Sector Four, and the trio who feature in Beyond Shame have spent the previous books in the series getting their relationship to the tipping point. Of the three—Rachel, Cruz, and Ace—it’s Ace who is the artist, in ink and flesh. And Ace’s art is one of the ways this family of men and women who’ve chosen their loyalty to each other above all else show that they’ve claimed each other. He’s deeply woven into the entire series, and watching him break down enough to admit his vulnerability in Beyond Shame is one of my favorite plotlines of the entire series.
I’m going to make a mega-recommendation when it comes to romances about comic book artists. Superhero by Eli Easton is a terrific YA romance about two best friends in high school who work on a graphic novel together, while one boy hides his crush from the other. Tribute by Nora Roberts is classic Nora, with multigenerational family conflict, neighbors falling for each other, and lurking violence. The hero of Tribute is Ford Sawyer, a quirky graphic novelist, who soon has ex-child star Cilla falling for him. Drawn Together by ZA Maxfield is a personal favorite. This totally over-the-top story features Rory, a good ol’ Cajun boy who heads to a comics convention to proclaim his love to the girl of his dreams (the artist/author of his favorite graphic novels), only to find out the object of his affection is actually a man. There’s a murderous stalker, a cross-country chase and some smoking hot sex between Ran Yamane and the surprisingly flexible Rory.
Illumination by Rowan Speedwell ~ One of my favorite Speedwell books, Illumination is the story of a rock star running from his fame and a manuscript illuminator who’s hiding from the world out of fear and confusion. Their attraction is intense and complicated by the practical challenges created by their respective circumstances, and the entire story is made even more appealing by Rowan’s lovely writing.
So let’s go ahead and prove my old editor wrong. Let’s read the hell out of some books about artists and creative types, shall we? And if you’ve got more recommendations for me, please comment below!
Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus to Texas after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.
Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.
Connect with Amy Jo:
- Website: amyjocousins.com/
- Blog: amyjocousins.com/blog/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmyJoCousins/
- Twitter: @_AJCousins
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amyjocousins/
To celebrate the release of Glass Tidings, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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