Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Piper Vaughn, here to celebrate the re-release of Moonstruck, Book Three in the Lucky Moon series, co-authored with M.J. O’Shea. Enjoy Piper’s guest post, and be sure to pay special attention to the part where you can enter to win a paperback copy of the book.
Diversity in the Lucky Moon Series
Hey, all! Piper Vaughn here.
First, I wanted to say thank you to The Novel Approach for having me today. I’m always thrilled to have a guest spot on this blog. 🙂
Those of you who follow my and MJ O’Shea’s Lucky Moon series might be aware that the books, which were originally published by Loose Id, have been being rereleased through Dreamspinner over the last couple of years. Today, we’re celebrating the second edition of Moonstruck. Finally, we’re going to have the complete set in paperback, and they look so awesome with the shiny new covers LC Chase designed for them!
If you’ve read the series already, you’ll know the cast is fairly diverse. Shane and Nick from Luck are Puerto Rican. Their friend and bandmate, Andres, is Mexican. So is their manager, Emmanuel Cortez. And then for Moonlight, we have Surya Patel, who is British Indian.
When we started plotting the books we diversified the characters because, well, life is colorful, right? The world is a melting pot of so many different cultures and ethnicities, and we believe that should be celebrated and represented in some of our work. Though you can’t tell from my name, I’m Puerto Rican… but I’ve only come across a handful of Puerto Rican characters in m/m—and even less in more mainstream books and movies.
Who doesn’t enjoy reading about someone from their own culture and background making it big in the world, or saving the day, or rescuing the prince (or princess), or overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds? There are reasons people got excited about Finn from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A black Stormtrooper? Merchandise for said Stormtrooper? I saw people on Tumblr who were overjoyed. Hell, I was overjoyed. I’m a minority. And people of color in leading roles are seriously underrepresented in film, television, and books.
This is why I put characters of various ethnicities into my own work. There are a lot of characters from Spanish or Latin countries because that’s my personal background. And I’ll keep bringing the diversity because I like to see the real world reflected in my novels. I’ve written plenty of Caucasian people too. Mine is a mixed marriage. We, all of us, are connected by our humanity. We all—or at least most of us—love and want to be loved, whether it be romantic or familial or in friendship. And so many kids out there want to be able to imagine themselves in the role of the hero. Not that they can’t envision this even if the hero they’re admiring is a different race or from a different culture. But just imagine how much easier it is to picture when the person on the screen or page has that one huge commonality with you. Let me be the first to tell you, it’s a major thing.
So, what are some of your favorite books featuring characters of color or interracial relationships? Share in a comment for a chance to win a paperback copy of Moonstruck. No matter where you are in the world, I’ll ship it to you! I’ll come back to this post and pick a winner on Friday, February 5th. Be sure to include your email address so I have a way to contact you.
Thanks again to The Novel Approach for having me. You can check out the cover, blurb, and buy links for Moonstruck below!
Blurb: Surya Patel is the drummer for the massively popular band, Moonlight. When his label suggests a collaboration with Luck, the band Moonlight toured with the year before, he should be all for it. Except he slept with Luck’s manager during the tour and then bolted in the dead of night. He’s regretted leaving ever since, but he knows being around Em will only lead to disaster. Unfortunately for Surya, the person the label sends to sweet-talk him into the collaboration is none other than Emmanuel himself.
Emmanuel Cortez has spent months trying to forget the hottest night of his life—the night he slept with Surya. It’s been a year, but not even the death of his beloved grandmother and the subsequent family drama could keep the memories away. Now his job is to convince Surya to collaborate with Luck, and he has to be professional. But a day spent together leads to another passionate night. This time Surya is the one to wake up alone.
It only takes Em’s departure for Surya to realize he’s had a change of heart. The heat between him and Em burns too brightly to be let go. Surya isn’t satisfied with just one night anymore. He wants forever.
About the Authors: M.J. O’Shea has never met a music festival, paintbrush, or flower crown she can stay away from. She loves rainstorms and a perfect cup of tea, beach days, music, bright colors, and more than anything a cozy evening with a really great book.
She is from the Pacific Northwest. While she still lives there and loves it, M.j. has the heart of a wanderer. So she puts all her dreams of far off places and extraordinary people in her books.
Except for every once in a while when she does what all travelers have to do on occasion… come home.
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.