Follow your heart, but don't leave your brain behind.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Release Day Promo, Guest Post, and Giveaway for Aqua Follies by Liv Rancourt

Title: Aqua Follies
Author: Liv Rancourt
Release Date: June 15, 2017
Blurb
The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll.
 Homophobia.
Russell tells himself he’ll marry Susie becauseit’s the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team’s trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player’s solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.
From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot. The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?
Excerpt
University Street was crowded, but an old Buick with a blunt nose and bulging wheel wells pulled up to the curb and flashed its lights. Skip was driving, Annette called dibs on the front seat, and soon Russell, Susie, and Ryker were packed in the back.
In a couple of blocks, the streets quieted, but instead of the rows of boxy houses, Russell’s attention was caught on Skip’s hair, slicked in place with pomade, the trim curls falling in rows to the back of his neck.
Waiting at a red light, Skip twisted around, catching Russell’s eye. “Doing okay?”
Caught. Russell’s guard went up. Ryker and Susie were hot in a conversation he’d long since given up trying to follow. “Sure. What year is this machine?”
“Nineteen forty-eight.” Skip looked him over, making Russell conscious of his rumpled trousers, open jacket, and loosened tie.
Surprise held Russell still for the extended appraisal. He told himself the way Skip chewed on his lower lip wasn’t meant to tease, and his slow smile couldn’t have been an invitation. He told himself the heat building in his groin would fade away.
The light turned green. Annette turned and bounced onto her knees to check out the back seat.
“Isn’t this swell?” she asked, showering them with bright-eyed excitement.
Swell. Russell sat straighter and shook his jacket closed. Ryker had an arm draped along the top of the seat, almost but not quite touching Susie, who was explaining the finer points of water ballet, tapping his knee with her index finger for emphasis. Russell shifted again, and the flask in his inner coat pocket rubbed against his ribs. He brought it out, and everyone took a hit, everyone except Skip, who kept his hands on the steering wheel and asked for a rain check.
Russell took a final hit from the flask and put it away, trying not to notice the man’s fingers pressing random patterns into the wheel.
“What’s your favorite record?” Skip asked, directing his comment to the group.
Susie jumped in first. “‘Unchained Melody.’”
“I like Pat Boone,” Annette said, which prompted Ryker to blow a raspberry. “What?” she yelped. “He’s a wonderful singer.”
Ryker mimed a yawn, leaned against the car door, and pretended to sleep.
“I prefer Frank,” Russell said. Skip raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment.
“He sings just like him,” Susie said, pointing to Russell.
Skip shot a glance over his shoulder. “You can sing?”
“He used to be in the Glee Club.”
Russell sighed from deep in his gut. “Shut up, Susie.”
“What do you mean? You’re a great singer.” She grabbed his hand and held it, as if by the warmth of her enthusiasm, she could force his secrets out. “He’s sung in bands before too, and in school musicals and everything.”
“Susie.” Russell wrenched his hand away, embarrassment ratcheting another twist to his bowels.
“Maybe we’ll see if you can sit in with the band tonight,” Ryker said, with just enough of a challenge to set Russell’s teeth on edge.
Russell waved him off. “I don’t think so.” He could carry a tune and find his way around the piano keyboard, but nothing close to what these guys were capable of.
“We’ve got a little combo,” Skip said, putting on the turn signal, his attention on the road. “You could come jam with us one night while you’re here.”
Both Annette and Susie got so excited about the idea of a jam session that Russell had to concede defeat. “Sure. Some night I’ll sing ‘Misty’ for you.”
“It’s a date.” Skip pulled the car into a parking spot next to a worn-out old building, on a street full of worn-out buildings. “Time to slide on in.”

The sly grin accompanying Skip’s invitation went straight to Russell’s balls. To cover, he made a production out of helping the girls from the car.
Buy Links
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
Guest Post
Aqua Follies Playlist!!
Thanks so much for having me back, Ilona. I’m really excited to be sharing Aqua Follies with your readers!
Aqua Follies is an m/m romance set in 1950s Seattle. From the beginning, it’s pretty much been a labor of love. The ‘50s were such a complicated time. Society was recovering from WWII, and there was economic growth and a new sense of excitement, of possibility. Kids were dancing to rock and roll, and everybody was having a good time.
Well, almost everybody. The 50s was also the era of McCarthyism, where a high value was placed on conformity. Segregation was part of everyday life, and being gay could get you locked up, lobotomized, or worse.
It was pretty much impossible to capture all of that, so one element I focused on was the music. There’s so much more than Rock Around the Clock! I used to sing with bands, so I know quite a few jazz standards, and you know what? Many of them turned up in Aqua Follies. (LOL!)
To give you a taste, I put together a youtube playlist that I’ll hope you’ll check out. There are 16 songs that either appear in the story or are performed by someone who gets a mention. You can listen while you’re reading an excerpt from the story and I hope you’ll enter the giveaway for a $25 gift card. Thanks very much!!
Here’s the list:
 
Author Bio
I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire … or sometimes demon … I lean more towards funny than angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog’s cuteness is legendary, and we share the homestead with three ferrets. Who steal things. Because they’re brats.
Where to find Liv
Enter To Win A
$25 Gift Card (Amazon or B&N)

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