09 January 2011

Guest Author: Lorelie Brown

This week on Unusual Historicals, we're celebrating with contributor Lorelie Brown because her debut historical romance, JAZZ BABY, was just released by Samhain in paperback. Here's the goods:

Of all the juice joints he had to bust, this one had to be hers...

In the world of illegal speakeasies, Kate Kirkland has her life running smoother than a Model T. Maybe moving the family bar into the basement wasn't the best choice for her alcoholic brother, but Kate's making them a living--until a local gangster tries to expand his territory. Right into her bar.

Luckily Micah Trent, her handsome and too-suave bootlegger, is ready and willing to offer her a helping hand. If Kate can bring herself to accept it. Since sharing one sensual dance to seal their deal, she can't ignore the delectably wicked way he makes her feel.

Micah is keeping secrets of his own. He's a Prohibition Agent, sworn to shut down the gin mills and distilleries that keep illegal booze flowing. Kate's speakeasy is next on his list--right after he uses her as bait to catch the gangster hunting her.

But even if Micah and Kate can maneuver their way through the gangsters' dangerous underworld, will their love survive the trial by fire?

"There's always one book that really sticks with me after I finish reading. My top 5 are all examples of this, but I would specifically like to recommend JAZZ BABY by Lorelie Brown. I commend Lorelie for writing a very atmospheric story with a wonderful romance. This is one debut author who I look forward to reading and one I urge you all to try. JAZZ BABY is a perfect romance for any romance reader." ~ Babbling About Books


What drew you to the idea of setting a romance in the Roaring Twenties?

Everyone knows the 1920s are a really hard sell across the board. Not only to editors and agents, but to readers. But I loved the idea that popped up in my head. A speakeasy owner and a Prohibition agent. I mean, hello! Instant conflict. Absolutely delicious. And I'd get to research the era of beautiful dresses, sexy menswear and fast (for their time) cars.

Yeah, so what's with the fedoras?

They're hot. They make any guy wearing one even hotter. Nothin' more to it...as you can see by the photographic evidence presented here. Irrefutable!

If you lived in the 1920s, what do you think you'd be?

Think I'd be for real? Probably a housewife who got PhotoPlay magazine and lived vicariously through all the cool kids. But I'd want to be a flapper, wearing daringly short dresses and visiting exciting speakeasys like Kate Kirkland's place--once Kate got rid of her gangster problem, that is.

Are you writing any more 1920s books right now?

Unfortunately, no. I've got the sequel to JAZZ BABY that I want to write soon, but my plate's been seriously full with so many projects!

So what is coming up for you right now?

I've got a western, tentatively titled CATCH ME, coming from Carina Press this summer. It's about a sheriff's daughter who robs a bank and the bounty hunter who's sent to track her down. I've also written two other books alone, and I've started co-writing with a Supah Sekrit Partner of Awesomesauce. We write contemporary together. Seriously, it's been so much fun it oughta be illegal. We've done three books that I have high hopes for. Lots to look forward to!

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

"Contents Under Pressure." Totally. Most of the time I look fairly laid back and I'm a little class clown-ish, but I'm convinced it's impossible to be an author without hiding a slight mess under the surface. We use our books to neaten it up!

How many times a day do you dance in your kitchen using a wooden spoon as a microphone?

Well, I don't usually do the spoon as a microphone. (My singing voice is so awful that I can't even make-believe that people would want to listen to it.) But I do plug my fancy-dancy headphones into my iPod while I'm cooking and wiggle my butt as I make my way to the pantry. That totally counts!


Totally! Now readers, you need to get your hands on this book. The most cost effective way, naturally, is to snag a copy from Lorelie in your choice of print or ebook. Since we're on a roll with these hats, let's talk men's fashion. What men's fashion of old do you wish would make a come back? Feel free to add links to pictures, but keep 'em clean ladies. I'll draw a winner at random next Sunday. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!


Delia DeLeest said...

I've already professed my love of fedoras the other day. I guess I just love hats in general, which is weird since I can't seem to make a hat look normal on my own head - it's really small (my sister's call me pinhead) and anything on my head overwhelms my face.

I'd like to see more men in suits, like they were in the old days. I just love looking at old crowd shots at baseball games, fairs, etc and seeing so many men dressed so snazzy

Daphne said...

Hmm, buckskin breeches would be a good one. :) But, in a more prosaic way, suspenders/braces. 'Cause when you saw them, you know either it was really hot or the guy was really relaxed. And, when he slips them off?... I find the old B&Ws where you see all these male backs at a sporting event and their braces running straight down their backs so intriguing. A bit of a weird statement, maybe, but they make me want to run my hand straight down that line.

JenM said...

I don't pay much attention to clothes, but I do love tight-fitting breeches (but only if the rear-view is worth looking at).

Those fedoras are pretty snazzy and I think the book sounds awesome. I'd love to win a copy.

jen at delux dot com

pageturner said...

Ooh, breeches! Or perhaps Victorian carpet slippers since I'm a dab hand at stitching and it would solve all those 'What to get him for Christmas' nightmares!

Willamae said...

Gonna go with three piece suits. Except people still wear them in GQ. Can I go to the time when everyone was as stylish as the GQ men?

librarypat said...

That is a harder question to answer than I first thought. When you think of it, once you get to the Civi War, men's clothing didn't change drastically. Men's suit coats are not as fitted as they were in Victorian times, but a suit is still a suit. I kind of like the look of a man working in trousers with suspenders wearing a loosely fitted shirt with rolled up sleeves.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

dlynnpen said...

When I think of men in fedoras it takes me back to the Bogart days.These stories always gives me a boost.Romance isn't dead.Our grandmothers had it lucky.Men didn't mind putting on a suit and top the look with a fedora with a slight tilt.Ahh what a time to have lived in.

Beth Elliott said...

I am totally convinced by the photographic evidence. Fedoras do so much for a man. This sounds like a really interesting story about an era that hasn't had a lot told about it.