Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Coastal Magic Author Spotlight - - Amalie Howard

Hi, everyone! This month I'm turning my Coastal Magic spotlight on a new-to-me author: Amalie Howard. I met Amalie at a book conference earlier this year but hadn't read any of her books until her newest, The Beast of Beswick, hit my Kindle. Oh my gosh, how have I not read this author before? I loved this story! It was everything I hope for in a historical romance with its brooding, scarred hero and damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead, heroine. Historical romance purists may take issue with some modern themes in this book (feminist heroines who take on the patriarchy) but I'm not among them. Astrid is brilliantly portrayed, wholly believable, and had my support the entire way. Then there's Thane. Oh, what that man has suffered. He could only be brought out of hiding by a woman as strong as he and I loved being there to watch it all unfold. Surrounding our couple, Howard has assembled a wonderful cast of secondary characters who provide humor, compassion, and conflict. I adored Thane's Aunt Mable and enjoyed watching Astrid's younger sister coming into her own. The rapid-fire dialogue, rich sensuality, cheeky servants, and impeccable storytelling kept me engaged from beginning to end. I laughed, cheered, cringed, and shed a few tears before reaching the immensely satisfying conclusion. Then, I wanted to go right back to the beginning and read the story all over again. So, you know what? I did! Now, I'll be downloading Amalie Howard's historical back list along with eagerly anticipating whatever she has in store for readers next. I can't wait!

The Beast of Beswick
by Amalie Howard
Publisher: Entangled:Amara
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Beauty and the Beast meets Taming of the Shrew in this laugh-out-loud and heartfelt Regency romance.
Lord Nathaniel Harte, the disagreeable Duke of Beswick, spends his days smashing porcelain, antagonizing his servants, and snarling at anyone who gets too close. With a ruined face like his, it's hard to like much about the world. Especially smart-mouthed harpies—with lips better suited to kissing than speaking—who brave his castle with indecent proposals.
But Lady Astrid Everleigh will stop at nothing to see her younger sister safe from a notorious scoundrel, even if it means offering herself up on a silver platter to the forbidding Beast of Beswick himself. And by offer, she means what no highborn lady of sound and sensible mind would ever dream of—a tender of marriage with her as his bride.

 Q&A with Amalie Howard

Welcome Amalie! Thanks for visiting with me today. I’m so excited to see you at the Coastal Magic Convention in February!

Thanks for having me! I’m super excited to be a guest at Coastal Magic as well, and I can’t wait to chat with you in person!

Your newest book, THE BEAST OF BESWICK was released yesterday. What should readers expect in this story?

Yes! I’m so excited about this book. It’s Beauty and the Beast meets Taming of the Shrew, and I’m so proud to say that it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
Readers should expect a sexy enemies-to-lovers romance with a smart heroine who has learned how to be resilient and independent, and a grouchy, war-scarred hero who doesn’t want anything to do with anyone. These two have not had the easiest of lives, and in their own way, each feels blocked off from love. When circumstances throw them together, sparks fly, and the shrew whose only passion is her books finds it in real life, and the beast who has hidden himself away opens up to someone new. I loved writing Astrid and Thane’s story and getting them to their hard-won HEA.
I also really enjoyed writing a clever, feminist heroine who wasn’t afraid to use her brain (intelligence is sexy!) or hide how well-read she was. In Astrid’s case, I wanted to show that being put in a box didn’t mean that she had to accept it or be stuck there forever—her choices mattered. And likewise, I wanted to write a hero who valued that kind of intelligence and who relished matching wits with her. I loved the verbal sparring (hello, foreplay!) in this romance, and hope readers will too.

I’m always up for a midnight snack and I like to imagine characters I’m reading about might be as well. What would Thane and Astrid sneak down to the kitchens to snack on after some late-night sexy times?

Haha, great question! I have a sexy scene at the end of the book that will definitely answer this question. So how about a sneak peek:
“I’m ravenous,” Astrid said, reaching for a piece of crusty bread and some cheese as Thane lowered the tray to the table. They didn’t talk as she filled a small plate with the offerings on the tray—some cold chicken, along with fresh fruit and a warm meat pie. He wasn’t hungry, but he watched her eat her fill.
“I was famished,” she said, licking her fingers clean with a sigh. He forced himself to behave at the sight of those elegant fingers disappearing into her mouth, but his body had other ideas. Time had not dulled his infatuation with her hands. “I only had a bit of Aunt Mabel’s whiskey on the way to North Stifford after luncheon at Harte House.”
“She’s a terrible influence.”
“She’s wonderful,” Astrid declared loyally, but then she giggled again. “Do you know she embroi­ders…”

Alas, (evil author laugh), to find out what the terrible and utterly unapologetic Aunt Mabel embroiders, you’ll have to read the book! Trust me, it’s quite scandalous!

I’m currently adventuring overseas and scouring the shops for quirky souvenirs. What’s the craziest souvenir you’ve ever brought home from a trip? Do you still have it?

Oh, very cool. I hope you have a fantastic trip! I love to travel and have been all over the world (29 countries so far). I usually collect postcards, small jewelry, art, books, and knick-knacks. The best souvenirs I’ve ever brought home were a gorgeous piece of golden art from Singapore and a beautiful statue of two lovers made of Murano glass from Venice. The craziest souvenir, however, has to go to the pair of battle swords I brought from New York Comic Con when my young adult science fiction book, THE ALMOST GIRL, came out. Still have them and I think they’re still pretty sharp.

The blurb for THE BEAST OF BESWICK calls this book “Beauty and the Beast meets Taming of the Shrew,” which makes me even more eager to read it! If you were cast in a fairy tale (modern or otherwise), which character would you want to be? Which character would your friends and family say you’re actually most like?

Suddenly, the Slytherin in me wants to answer—which means I’d want to be cast as Maleficent. She’s smart, she has magic, and she can change into a DRAGON! Deep down, she has a heart somewhere…right? RIGHT??
As far as family and friends, my daughter says I’m most like Belle because, and I quote, “you’re always so sweet and kind and nice. And you make books, which also kind of counts as reading, and because you look like her and you’re pretty.” Don’t worry, I’ll pay her $20 later, lol.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the winter holidays are just around the corner. It’s the time of the year when those culinary wizards among us begin whipping up delicious cookies, breads, and other holiday goodies. So, tell me, what’s your favorite holiday kitchen disaster (yours or someone else’s)?

Favorite holiday kitchen disaster? Wow—so let’s go with the time that I moved to Colorado from New York and attempted to make my long-perfected, famous disappearing chocolate cake, only to find that when it came out of the oven, it was soup. Yes, you read that right…chocolate freaking soup.
Altitude, you guys, it’s a real thing. Who knew? Obviously, not me. Anyway, I learned after mourning the watery death of my beautiful cake. I went online and quickly learned (reading and self-education is the best, isn’t it?) that high-altitude baking is a THING. So if you’re like me and find yourself in mile-high territory, you’re going to need to add more liquid and more flour, lessen the sugar, and then increase baking temperature and decrease baking time. You’re welcome.

You’ve had a pretty adventurous life. Is there anything you haven’t done yet that’s on your must-experience list?

I have done a lot of cool things, including eating rocky mountain oysters (Google it, I dare you), skydiving, scuba diving, bungee-jumping, being on a TV show, riding a motorcycle, traveling the world, among other interesting bucket-listy things. But one day, I really want to learn how to fly a plane and get my pilot’s license. 

What’s on your writing horizon? Are you able to share any information about it?

I’m super excited for my first interracial historical romance coming out with Sourcebooks in late 2020/early 2021. It was announced a few months ago in Publishers Weekly: “Own-voices author Amalie Howard’s two interracial historical romances, starting with an epic love story spanning the pre-British Raj period in India to the glittering ballrooms of London, about an English duke and a fearless Anglo-Indian princess, who will defy all odds—culture, countries, and oceans—to be together.”

Thanks for visiting with us today, Amalie! Is there anything you’d like to add? Would you like to ask my readers a question?

Thank you so much for having me! To your readers, I just want to say a huge thank you for reading and supporting authors like me. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, so thanks from the bottom of my heart. I hope you enjoy Astrid and Thane’s story!
As far as a question, next year is kind of a cool milestone year, so if you could complete one thing on your bucket list in 2020, what would it be? (Also, DO IT!!! I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines!!)

I want to share the fun I had reading Thane and Astrid's story so TWO randomly chosen readers who comment on this post before 11:00 PM, November 28, will receive their choice of a Kindle copy or print copy of THE BEAST OF BESWICK. 

Winners must be 18 or older.
Print copy available to any address serviced by

For more information about Amalie and her books, visit her website and connect with her online at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon


  1. This sounds really good, and for you to have re-read it then it must be. Thanks for bringing this new to me Author to my attention. Happy Thanksgiving to everybody.

  2. I've heard this book is really good! Thanks for the great review and interview. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. This historical sounds captivating and wonderful. Thank for this lovely feature and giveaway. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Bucket list- visit more of the national parks out West: Yosemite, Crater Lake, Joshua Tree, Sequoia and Redwood to name a few
    I love to try new authors! 5* sounds great to me!

    johns lake at usa dot com

  5. This story interests me greatly. What a fascinating historical. Many thanks.

  6. Go to Dubai. The first item on my list

  7. I've read a few excerpts and definitely need to read this!!

  8. This novel sounds wonderful!! I also loved the questions you asked, PJ. It’s fun to get to know an author this way! Thanks, to the both of you!

  9. I have been hearing so many good things about this book, and I'd love to read it!

  10. You had me at the description. Can't wait to read it!

  11. Since I am a fan of humor in my books, this does sound like a book I would love. You have given me another new to me author and a book that is quite appealing.

    Thanks for your review and your interview.

  12. I like how the book sounds!
    I can't say I have a bucket list, so I can't say there's something I always wanted to do and I didn't do it yet :)

  13. This books sounds like my kind of read. This coming year, 2020, is going to be different for us as my hubby is retiring. Because of an option of banking his vacation time to the end to extend his salary, we won't be doing our usual travel. So I'm not sure about checking anything off my bucket list.

  14. I have always loved to travel. After my assignment in the Philippines with the Peace Corps, I had a 3 month trip planned on the way home. Only 3 months because my passport was only good for 3 more months and I had about maybe $600 dollars. I got to Singapore, Indonesia, Bali, then back to Singapore with grand plans for after that. (Train through Malaysia, on to Thailand, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, Damascus, Beirut, Marrakesh) Sadly the embassy tracked me down in Singapore to inform me my mother was dying so I flew straight home. This was in 1971 and many of the places I had planned to visit then are no longer safe to visit. Also, several places I couldn't go in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) are now open and safe. It would be wonderful to redo that trip, but first, I want to go to Ireland, Scotland, England, and Italy .

  15. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite trope. THE BEAST OF BESWICK sounds like a good entry into that subset of romance stories. I love a wounded hero and it takes a sensitive but strong woman to love them and bring them back into the world. Another new to me author who sounds like someone I will enjoy reading.

  16. Definitely intrigued by the sounds of The Beast of Beswick, Amalie! Thanks for the interview and introduction! As for next year's bucket list item, I'm guessing it will be a travel related one--the kids are hankering to go to Japan while I'd love to visit Australia... Fingers crossed we will be able to make it to one of them during one of their school breaks!

  17. Thanks for introducing me to a new Author. I love what I've read so far and can't wait to read it. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone .
    Carol Luciano

  18. I've been on a mission to purge a lot of this from my house (where my family has lived for over 50 years and has things from multiple family homes). If I could just get thru my Dad's National Geographics that he kept, and then move them out to somewhere, I'd be very happy.

  19. SOUNDS LIKE A YUMMY READ--YOU MADE ME HUNGRY FOR A DELICIOUS ROMANCE!!! One thing on my "must do" list for next year is to improve my computer workspace/reading area with better lighting and more comfortable seating. This area is where I spend most of my time, so I better be good to me! I would love to win, and I am a print book person ; )

  20. I am intrigued by the story, enjoyed the review and the interview. 2020 is the year I hope to learn Danish and I am going to make a thorough attempt at it.

  21. I enjoyed the interview--I have a copy, not need to count me


  22. This book looks fantastic! I can't wait to read it. Thank you, PJ, for always giving me new titles to add to my TBR mountain. My bucket list includes finally getting up the nerve to publish, but there are tons of books in there to read, as well.:)