A warm welcome to author Amy Jo Cousins joining us today to talk about her new Riptide Release “Glass Tidings”.
Amy talks about artists and also brought along a tour wide giveaway!
Welcome Amy Jo 🙂
In an Artist’s Hands
When I was in college, I was a TA for a sculpture class for two years. I helped teach students how to weld without blowing up the building or setting themselves on fire, and how to sprew and vent a wax sculpture for bronze casting. I also theoretically did something in the stone studio, but learning how to carve stone is way more about just jumping in and doing it yourself, as opposed to learning a lot of technical details first.
Personally, I’m a dreadful artist. I carved a palm-sized bear out of alabaster that I still have as a worry stone, and that’s about it. But I’m a good teacher, and I absolutely love watching sculptors work. It’s amazing to see their work come to life beneath their hands. Studying under Leonard Delonga at Mount Holyoke College, where he taught for more than twenty-five years, was a gift, as was observing my fellow students’ incredible works of art. Plus, I got to cast bronze with a crew of fellow TAs, and there really is nothing like kiln-sitting for a weekend and then lifting a crucible filled with molten bronze from a roaring furnace and pouring the bronze into molds until they spill over with cooling metal. It’s amazing.
This is my long way of saying that it’s no accident one of the heroes of Glass Tidings, Eddie Rodrigues, is a glass artist who, by the end of the book, is just beginning to see himself as more than a grunt worker making trinkets. If we were to follow Eddie for a few years down the road, we’d see him exploring more deeply into glass sculpting and glass blowing as he gains confidence in his talent.
And it’s no accident that some of my favorite romance novels revolve around sculptors too.
I read Born in Fire by Nora Roberts twenty years ago, as part of my early obsession with La Nora’s many series and standalones. The heroine of Born in Fire, Maggie Concannon, is a glass artist whose temper runs as hot as her kiln. Rogan Sweeney is a Dublin gallery owner, who’d like to claim the right to sell Maggie’s art and to own her body. I loved the descriptions of Maggie working in her glassblowing studio. It was this book that kicked off my love affair with glass art, which led to my still-existing obsession with watching glass artists work in their studios, or wherever they’re found. Plus, Maggie and Rogan fight with as much passion as they work and…do other things too. They’re terrific.
Anne Calhoun’s Working With Heat features another sculptor in glass. The hero Charlie is a reclusive glass artist whose friend and tenant Cilla is his polar opposite in so many ways. In this opposites attract/friends to lovers romance, we get the best of many worlds, from social media to the art world as these two deal with the challenges of their clandestine affair. Anne is a master of anchoring her books so strongly in their cities that you literally feel as if you could find your way around town after reading one of her stories. This book brings us London in the same way that Breath On Embers and Afternoon Delight brought us New York City.
The hero of Meg Maguire’s The Reluctant Nude sculpts in stone, not glass. (Meg Maguire is Cara McKenna’s alternate pen name.) Max Emery is a French artist living in remote Nova Scotia, after leaving a life of glamour, drugs, and sex that overwhelmed him as a young art genius. Fallon Frost is desperately trying to save her childhood home from the bulldozers of a rapacious and lecherous developer by agreeing to pose nude for a sculpture for his collection. Max isn’t sure he even wants to accept the commission he’s been offered, Fallon isn’t sure she should have agreed to this bargain, but both of them are certain they’re irrevocably drawn to each other.
Scrap Metal by Harper Fox is one of the most lyrical, beautifully written romances I’ve ever read. The entire novel takes place on the Isle of Arran, at a remote Scottish sheep farm, where Nichol is suffocating while trying to keep the family farm afloat with his grandfather after the death of Nichol’s mother and sister. When the stranger Cam shows up in their barn, Nichol offers him a place to stay on the farm and room to work on his scrap metal sculptures in exchange for help with chores and farmwork, while Cam tries to figure out what to do about the problems he’s keeping secret from Nichol. Fox is a gorgeous writer, and I reread Scrap Metal again and again just to enjoy the beauty of her writing.
If you’re a fan of art that makes you want to reach out and touch it, you can’t go wrong with any of these terrific books!
About Glass Tidings
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.
About Amy Jo Cousins
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!