Broadway-inspired ROOMIES by Best-Selling Author Duo Christina Lauren expands world-building with a guest post on It Possessed Him!

Hey bookworms!

You know how much I adore Broadway, right?

So much that the only awards show I watch is the Tony Awards --which aired just last night!

So much that I always try to see a show when I'm in New York City -- and I was lucky enough to see newly minted Best Musical Winner Hadestown just last week when I was at the Book Expo (And it now has a hefty eight Tonys to call its own!).

I was going to do a new post today and was scouring my brain for what theatre-related book I've read recently because I am still in the musical zone, but I kept coming back to a series of posts I did in December 2017. I was incredibly lucky to review the adult contemporary novel ROOMIES by Christina Lauren for BroadwayWorld.

 ROOMIES is set in New York City amongst the backdrop of a show called It Possessed Him (Think about how hot and beloved Hamilton is; It Possessed Him is basically the Hamilton of the ROOMIES world!).

Even better, I had the chance to work with the New York Times Best Selling Author-Duo Christina Lauren to create one of my still-favorite guest posts revolving around what It Possessed Him is about. You never really know much about the show in the novel, but there is an entire story for the show. And you guys??? It sounds AMAZING. I want this show to be real. I want there to be a historical fiction novel I can pick up right now and read (Christina Lauren, please write it!?). I'm super bummed it doesn't exist! All because of this guest post. SO YOU SHOULD GO READ THIS GUEST POST RIGHT NOW!

Whet your interest yet?

If you love Broadway or slow-burn romances or books centered around New York City, you're going to love ROOMIES! The duo has written a few novels since then, but this is still one of my favorites. Another favorite is their brand-new release THE UNHONEYMOONERS, so if you enjoy ROOMIES, definitely pick that one up as well. It's the perfect beach read this summer!

Below, I'm posting the guest post I previously shared for BroadwayWorld to bring it to a new audience. I will, however, direct you to BWW to check out the review of the novel since it is adult contemporary and this blog is more YA-focused.

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The #1 international bestselling co-author duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. They are published in over 30 languages, have received starred reviews from Kirkus ReviewsLibrary Journal and Publishers Weekly, won both the Seal of Excellence and Book of the Year from RT Magazine, named Amazon and Audible Romance of the Year, and been nominated for several Goodreads Choice Awards. They have been featured in publications such as ForbesThe Washington PostTimeEntertainment Weekly, People, O Magazine and more. Their third YA novel, Autoboyography was released in September, and will be followed by a contemporary romance, Roomies, in December, and their first Women's Fiction, Love and Other Words, in April.

You can follow their shenanigans at:
@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!

 Broadway's role and the origin of the in-book musical 
It Possessed Him
By Christina Lauren

In our upcoming novel, Roomies, to thank him for saving her from an assault, a young woman named Holland Bakker organizes an audition for her favorite subway musician with one of the biggest musical directors on Broadway-who also happens to be her uncle. Although Calvin performs spectacularly at the audition, he is unable to accept a role in the orchestra because he is living in the country illegally. Holland offers to marry Calvin to let him stay, and with hopes that he can join the musical. They wed hastily, but there is still one problem: the romantic feelings Holland has had for Calvin even before they knew each other slowly begin to complicate their supposedly simple arrangement.

We knew when writing Roomies that, if we pulled it off as intended, the musical would feel almost like another character in the story. Although we didn't want to add too many details about the plot of the musical itself (sometimes a story within a story can be confusing), we knew that we would have to know the general story of It Possessed Him so that we could build the characters reactions and emotions around that when they were performing.

 Of course, we were inspired by Hamilton. We saw the original cast perform in the early summer of 2016, just before their last show, and as most people who've seen it will agree, it was life altering for us. Additionally, we were inspired by the Vice article about a woman named Freddie Oversteegen from the Netherlands who joined the WWII resistance against the Nazis when she was only fourteen. Her sixteen-year-old sister would flirt with Nazi collaborators at a local bar, and then lead them into the woods under the pretense of giving them a kiss-but instead the collaborators would be shot by a waiting soldier. Freddie would be the lookout.

This story, combined with today's political climate, gave us the perfect jumping off point. It Possessed Him is the story of a man (in the book played by Ramón Martín) who is struggling with the truth that, more and more glaringly, his country might not ever be the open, free place he wants for his daughters. He is torn over the decision whether or not to allow them to help in the resistance by going out undercover in their community to identify the secret Nazi sympathizers. Each time they leave him, he is wracked with guilt that he's allowed it. And each time they come back in victory, he is nearly debilitated with relief-and vindication. But another influence of ours, In the Garden of Good and Evil by Erik Larsen, took us down another path: how would the father feel if the daughters remained generally safe as they operated with the resistance, but one was also slowly falling in love with the son of the main white nationalist target.

With these stories in mind, we've titled several popular pieces from the 'show'-including the most popular hit, "Lost to Me," from a scene when the father is at his most distraught about the possibility of losing his daughter to his enemy's son. It was a new kind of joy for us to have this other narrative happening in the background, of which readers will hopefully get tiny glimpses. But even more important to us than sharing the primary plot of the musical was to share the overall feeling of being there in a room where a cultural shift is happening-in this case, of being in the audience and hearing Calvin accompanying Ramón as he sings. We hope we've managed to capture that feeling of the thundering pulse, the heart-climbing into our throat, and the skin prickling joy we feel when we hear music and a message so prodigious we can barely breathe. It's why we go to the theater ourselves.


O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster

From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s romantic novel.

Marriages of convenience are so...inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?