Blog Tour & Giveaway: Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson
Book Blurb:LIFESTYLES OF GODS & MONSTERS by Emily Roberson
Pub. Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.
When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.
Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?
“Ariadne, look up from that phone,” my mother whispers from behind her smile. “The cameras are watching.” I don’t look up. The cameras are always watching. I am in the stadium VIP box with my relatives and the visiting dignitaries. My family holds the front row, of course, and the VIPs fill the three rows behind us. In the center of the stadium, a JumboTron simulcasts the live feed.
The stately procession of competitors, newly arrived from Athens, will begin in a moment, but right now, the only thing the live feed shows is us. There’s nothing like seeing your whole family broadcast one hundred feet tall, every feature blown up to giant size. I prefer to watch us on my phone.
My mother waves for the cameras. She is bringing it today:
most famous for is their bottoms, encased in Spandex, and it’s really hard to get faces and backsides in the same picture. Though they do try.
The photographers yell, “Turn around, girls, turn around!”
Obediently, my sisters spin and wiggle. The camera zooms in, blowing up their tushes, larger than life. In the next frame, my mother glows with maternal pride.
Now it’s my turn. My sisters are famous for their online makeup tutorials, but I could teach lessons in invisibility. I see myself, on my phone, slouching in my chair, staring at my phone, which holds a picture of me. It’s like one of those paintings where someone looks at themselves in a mirror. An infinite loop.
I wish I was wearing jeans and a hooded sweatshirt to hide my face, but that is unacceptable to my mother and the fashion police. My mother would love to have her stylists make me fabulous, but I’m not interested. I don’t want to be seen. Not like that.
So, we have compromised. I’m wearing a knee-length black dress with short sleeves and a square neckline. Pockets for my phone and the ball of silver thread I carry everywhere I go. Flats. I don’t have any makeup on, and my long hair is down. I’m like the “before” picture in a makeover photoshoot. I seem tasteful and conservative. Like I’m going to the funeral of some- one I didn’t know particularly well.
Tasteful and conservative don’t sell.
This fact doesn’t keep the cameras from zooming in on me.
EMILY ROBERSON is the author of LIFESTYLES OF GODS & MONSTERS (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2019). She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Emily has been a bookseller in Little Rock, a newspaper reporter in Vicksburg, a marketing manager in Boston, and a writer in Chapel Hill and Dallas. She graduated from Brown University and has a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three sons and no pets.
You can find her on the web at on instagram @robersonemilym and on twitter @RobersonEmily.
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Image by: Laura Kellerman photography