And…the winner is…MARIA!
Thanks, everybody, for playing!
Hi, friends! So author Vanessa North has a cool-ass book coming out September 24 and I asked her if she’d be willing to give us some info about it and VOILA!
Vanessa’s forthcoming novel, Off Limits, is the first in the Rose and Thorns Social Club series, whichis a modern-day lesfic series, though Vanessa drew her inspiration from the dangerous days of Hollywood during the Hays Code era.
The Hays Code was the informal name for the Motion Picture Production Code, which was introduced in 1930 but not rigorously enforced/adhered to until 1934. The code was introduced after several risqué films and off-screen scandals in the 1920s that brought widespread condemnation from religious, civic, and political quarters.
So the Motion Picture Production Association enlisted William Hays, a Presbyterian elder, to help rehabilitate Hollywood’s image. Basically, the MPPA developed a set of standards heavily influenced by the Catholic Church regarding what could be portrayed in films, so between 1934 and 1968, censorship in the name of “standards” was applied and things that were not allowed in film included “non-traditional values.” Fill in those blanks, friends.
For over 30 years, Hollywood film adhered to this code until 1968, when a film rating system was introduced.
ALSO! Vanessa is giving away one ebook copy of Off Limits! Want in on this awesome drawing? Leave a comment! Drawing closes at 9 PM EDT US on Wednesday, 26 September!
And here’s Vanessa!
How Old Hollywood Glam Inspired a Modern Lesfic Series
The multi-author Rose & Thorns Social Club series, which kicks off next week with the release of my novel Off Limits, took its inspiration from an unlikely place: 1950s Hollywood. Heidi Belleau and Sam Schooler, the authors of Fallen Starlet (due out in 2019), initially approached a group of lesfic authors about pitching a historical romance series, set in Hollywood and an exclusive club — the Rose — where women-loving-women could meet in secret.
As we worked on our pitches and negotiated with publishers, the series evolved into a contemporary series with two settings: the Rose in LA, and the Thorns in NYC. Though I was now pitching — and writing — a contemporary romance, I wanted to keep the history of the club during the era of the Hays code firmly in mind.
What this meant for Off Limits was the creation of the club as a safe space. A place where queer women were the norm, not the exception, and a place where women could network, scheme, and succeed in the celebrity world: Rebecca Horvath is the daughter of an aging starlet and a television/movie producer who puts her impressive list of connections to work as a party planner. Natalie Marshall is the concierge at the Thorns — committed to keeping it a safe space and keeping her hands off the members. They’re both exceptionally competent, but secretly harboring insecurity about whether they deserve the life they were given. The Thorns could bring them together or tear them apart.
By day, Natalie Marshall is the Thorns Ladies’ Social Club’s perfect concierge: resourceful, observant, immaculate. But she turns her phone off when the night concierge arrives, and then she’s Nat: the raunchy lead singer of Vertical Smile — notorious for lewd lyrics and sexually-charged performances.
Rebecca Horvath isn’t used to asking twice — for anything. As the scion of one of Hollywood’s most powerful film dynasties, she’s waited on, pampered, fawned over — spoiled. So when she asks the cute front person of her favorite queer punk band to be her date to a charity auction, she isn’t expecting the whispered “no,” or for the singer to disappear without even thanking her for the martini.
For Natalie, two worlds colliding spells professional catastrophe — her on-stage antics definitely violate the club employees’ standards clause. For it to be Bex Horvath — a perennial gossip-pages feature — who discovers her secret is terrifying.
When the focus of a criminal investigation at work brings Nat’s double life to the attention of her employer, everything spins out of control. Bex is there to prove there’s more to this party girl than meets the eye. Nat might have to trust her with her secrets, but her heart? That’s off limits.
The Rose & Thorns: where fame, sex, scandal, and sisterhood are always in vogue.
Vanessa North is a romance novelist, a short fiction geek, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. Her works have been shortlisted for both the Lambda Literary Award and the RITA© Award, and have garnered praise from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in northwest Georgia with her family: a Viking, twin boy-children, and a very, very large dog. For up-to-date information on new releases and special projects, sign up for Vanessa’s newsletter.