EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
A Midsummer Night's Fling
(Stage Kiss Book 1)
(Stage Kiss Book 1)
by Beth Matthews
A Midsummer Night's Fling is the first in Beth Matthews' new Stage Kiss series. This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.
After dating her childhood sweetheart Max on and off for years, aspiring actress Nicola Charles is finally ready to move on. It’s time for her to focus on her stage career and stay away from Max – before he can break her heart again.
He shrugged, his massive shoulders rising and falling like some kind of geological event. "This is the tent pole production of the company's summer season. We need A-level talent, and none of the girls already in the company are up to snuff. Rita knows you, she's had you in a lead role before, and you've played Titania - "
"In grad school."
As Nicola said it, Cassie shot her a shocked look from the bathroom door which was basically, Why are you sabotaging yourself?
Nicola pretty much felt the same way: furious with herself for being so childish. But as juicy as this opportunity was, Nicola didn't want anything to do with anything that had to do with Max.
Max was a trap, a dungeon, a freaking oubliette. She'd barely managed to survive leaving him five years ago. She didn't know how to process this, how to deal with him. She was swimming in cognitive dissonance. Part of her was glad to see him. Part of her was squealing with joy at the opportunity he was offering her.
And part of her wanted to punch him in the head and throw him out of her apartment.
"Which one is A Midsummer Night's Dream?" Cassie asked, turning toward Max with a polite smile.
Traitor. Nicola glowered.
"It's the play with the fairies," Max explained. "Puck. The two couples run into the forest, and the fairies meddle so people keep falling in and out of love with each other. Nicola would be playing the fairy queen - "
"I didn't say I'd do it!"
"Whose estranged husband, the fairy king, casts a spell on her so she falls in love with a man who's got the head of a donkey. And much wackiness ensues."
Cassie frowned, thinking. "Wasn't Christian Bale in that movie? He took his shirt off."
Max gaped at Cassie in horror.
Nicola bit back a grin. "Cassie isn't much for Shakespeare. You didn't used to be either, Max."
"I'm a reformed character," he said, his voice going warm and low.
Nicola shifted, feeling her cheeks heat. Liar.
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Interview With the Author
What inspired you to write A Midsummer Night's Fling?
I've been in A Midsummer Night's Dream twice as an actor (once as a fairy and once as Hermia, the ultimate Shakespeare bimbo) and I met my boyfriend during one those productions. So, for various reasons, it's kind of my sentimental favorite of Shakespeare's plays. Reunited lovers is also one of my favorite tropes so, when I started brainstorming ideas for a contemporary, the idea of reunited lovers having to work together to play Titania and Oberon (the ultimate Shakespeare power couple) just got all of my creative juices flowing.
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
When I was doing research for A Midsummer Night's Fling I read this great story about Richard Burton and JFK having a contest at a party to see who could remember the most Shakespearean sonnets. (Burton won, by the way.) I knew I had to steal this for my book - and I did! The hero and several of the other actors have a "Sonnet Faceoff" - but working the contest into the story was difficult. I had to keep the pace moving and find a balance between working the sonnets in but not drowning the reader with them. I think I finally nailed it, but it took a LOT of drafts.
What's your favorite moment from your book?
I really love this exchange between the hero and heroine right after she joins the play:
"I should have asked for more money to do this play," she said.
Max nodded. "Probably."
"And my own dressing room."
"And some sort of cabana boy to feed me grapes in the breaks between scenes."
"Well," Max paused, putting on a thoughtful expression. "We don't have anyone like that on staff, but maybe one of the interns."
Who's your favorite character in A Midsummer Night's Fling?
Well, of course I love the leads and I love their chemistry together, but one of the secondary characters snuck up on me too and became a real scene stealer. That was Lachlan, the hero's main rival in the theater company. Lachlan is really fun to write because he is snarky and sneaky and British and sexy as hell. (He might or might not be based a little bit on Tom Hiddleston …) Lachlan is going to get his own book at some point - he's just too much fun to write!
What is your next project, and when will it be released?
Right now I'm polishing up a New Adult romance, Love's Last Call, for release later this year. It's about a dorky bouncer and the cocktail waitress he's sure is out of his league. If people want to learn more they can check out the book's info-page on my website.
About the Author
Beth Matthews is a California girl, born and raised. She’s a total geek, a movie buff, and a mediocre swing dancer. She lives in sunny Southern California with her boyfriend and two of the neediest housecats on the planet.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of A Midsummer Night's Fling by Beth Matthews. The prize will be sent out by the tour organizer after 4 September.