Fug File: Freaky Fug Friday

THE ROYAL WE Grand Prize Giveaway

Our new book, The Royal We, comes out on April 7th – less than two weeks from now — and  we are so excited for everyone to get to read it at last (or, if you’ve read the free preview of the first seven chapters, to read the rest of it). To celebrate our impending book birthday, we’re delighted to be giving away three prize packs to Fug Nation. Let’s cut right to the chase. All three winners will receive:

  • An autographed copy of The Royal We
  • An adorable Harrods shopping bag, in its London Icons pattern. For toting your book AND your snacks, of course.
  • A Union Jack/American flag lapel pin, as featured on the back of the book (and actually inside the book as well, which we promise is not a spoiler).
  • Your own stash of Cracker Jack. (There is also a book-related reason for this. You’ll soon see.)

One grand prize winner gets all of the above, PLUS:

  • A cheesy-fabulous mug commemorating Wills and Kate’s wedding. Click through to the slideshow to get a better look at it, and a bunch of these items, like the pin and a close-up of the pattern on the tote.
  • A copy of Robe, which is, to quote our friends at the Royal Collection, “the fashion magazine the world has been waiting for, for the last 350 years, and your handy introduction to all that is best in seventeenth-century haute-couture.” One of the cover lines is “Face Patches: Dos and Dont’s.” It’s highly amusing.
  • A posh glass tumbler from Windsor Castle. IT’S GILDED. Your toothbrush might want to live in something gilded, don’t you think? Or you can use it for your scotch while you stand on your balcony and think about all your loyal subjects and/or how to ruin people.
  • A red Buckingham Palace pen, clearly what the Queen uses to write love notes to people… or her hate mail. We hope you use it for a bit of both.

And, the best part: This contest is open to everyone, regardless of where you live.

Finally, a reminder: If you live in NYC or D.C., we have a signing coming up in each town, and we’d love to see your fabulous faces. In New York we’re at Book Culture on Columbus on April 7, at 7 p.m.; in DC, we’re at Kramerbooks (which has a BAR) on April 9 at 6:30 p.m.

After the jump, there’s more info about the book, some of our lovely blurbs and reviews thus far — and all the info you could possibly need if you’d like to pre-order The Royal We and not have to worry about such pesky details as dates and days.

If you’d like to enter to win the book early, and get some of these extra treats, simply leave a comment letting us know who your favorite Royal personage is – Princess Anne! THE QUEEN! Harry! William! Kate! Princess Michael of Kent (you’re really into cat portraiture)! Crown Princess Mary (you don’t have to swing British)! Henry VIII (you can pick someone who’s dead)! The contest ends on Tuesday, March 31st at 9pm PST, and the winners will be picked at random. Good luck, and happy reading.

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GFY Giveaway: Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan

I think the book in today’s giveaway is going to prove to be right up your street:


THE PRIZE:  Per Amazon:

For a small-town girl with big-city dreams, there is no address more glamorous than New York’s Barbizon Hotel. Laura, a patrician beauty from Smith, arrives to work at Mademoiselle for the summer. Her hopelessly romantic roommate, Dolly, comes from a working-class upstate town to attend secretarial school. Vivian, a brash British bombshell with a disregard for the hotel’s rules, rounds out the trio of friends. Together, the girls embark on a journey of discovery that will take them from the penthouse apartments of Park Avenue to the Beat scene of Greenwich Village to Atlantic City’s Steel Pier — and into the arms of very different men who will alter their lives forever.

I am ALL ABOUT people having romantical dramas and journeys of discoveries in Olden Times, as you will know, and I can’t wait to read this one. We are lucky enough to have five five FIVE copies to give away here today.

THE TASK: I shall be picking the winner at random, but please comment and tell us which ACTUAL hotel you’d most like to move into, if they let you. PRICE IS NO OBJECT. (I’m moving into Claridges.) Good luck!

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you


GFY Giveaway: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

As if we weren’t going to jump at a chance to give away a modern re-telling of A Room With a View, only my favorite period movie ever. Don’t you know me at all?

love lucy best cover

If only I were zipping around Italy on the back of a Vespa! Reading about it is, I suppose, the next best thing.

THE PRIZE: We’re delighted to have three copies of Love, Lucy to give away. Let’s virtually flip it over and read the back, shall we? From Amazon:

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

I look forward to reading this myself, and not only so I can figure out how she rebooted the infamous Skinny Dipping scene!

THE TASK: I shall be picking the winner at random, but to keep it fun, name your own favorite period film. Good luck!

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.


Presenting “The Royal We”: Our Cover, and a Giveaway

Way back in November 2013, we started work on The Royal We, our new novel (and our first aimed at adults). It’s been more than a year of research and typing and reading and trimming and tweaking and re-reading and fussing about fonts, but at long last, we are delighted to be able to bring you a chance to win an advance copy before it comes out everywhere in April. The Royal We was a real labor of love, but also of time: from the first words we typed, to our research trip to England last January (the details of which you can read about here), to this past Monday, when we finally mailed in the completed final final final draft. Between that and our GFY postings, we barely left the house last year. So we must thank you all for your good-natured understanding when we were clearly totally fried or made ridiculous mistakes or published posts with just “WORDS” in it in it, all of which happened more than we’d care to recall. We think it was all worth it, and we hope you will agree.

When we get closer to April, we’ll have more news about how and where to download free preview chapters — oh, yes, there will be free preview chapters — but today is Giveaway Day, as well as a look at the final book jacket. Behold!

the royal we book heather cocks jessica morgan

Our baby doesn’t officially arrive until April 7 (you can pre-order it, though, at Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, from iBooks, or your favorite indie bookseller), which makes this the book equivalent of posting an ultrasound photo on Facebook. The finished product is going to be a matte finish with an embossed title, and it’s going to be very pretty and tactile and eye-catching and fun. We hope you like its outsides, of course, but most of all we REALLY hope you love the words that are inside The Royal We as much as we do. On that tip, some really talented women have said some lovely things about it.

The Royal We is full of love and humor, and delicious in too many ways to mention in one little blurb. I read this novel as quickly as I could, relishing any few minutes I had to turn back to its pages. An absolute delight. 

Emma Straub, author of the New York Times bestseller The Vacationers 

A joy from start to finish. The Royal We is that rare novel that makes you think, makes you cry, and is such fun to read that you’ll want to clear your schedule until you’ve turned the final page. But be warned–Cocks and Morgan have created a world so rich, a romance so compelling, and characters so funny and alive, that you’ll be terribly sad to see them go.”

J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times Bestselling author of The EngagementsMaine and Commencement

“The Royal We is as engrossing and deeply satisfying as any royal wedding documentary, and it’s a thousand times more fun, from the fairy tale to the inevitable foibles. You will want Bex Porter to be your best friend. You will feel the same way about Cocks and Morgan, who are warm, witty, hilarious, and moving in their depiction of a very complicated relationship indeed.  

A heartfelt exploration of a life lived in the spotlight, The Royal We balances dishy decadence with an honest look at the sacrifices required to stay princess to Prince Charming.

We’re huge admirers of all of those authors, and we’re so grateful to them not only for taking the time to read the book — over the holidays, and/or while writing their own new works – but for embracing The Royal We so wholly. It’s an honor, ladies.

Although the book is obviously fictional, our inspiration for The Royal We stemmed from a high level of sympathy for the Duchess of Cambridge as she made the transition from Kate Middleton into the future queen consort. Whatever you believe about her, the fact remains that she’s a civilian who fell in love with a guy who is destined to be king, and presumably at some point had to decide whether a future with him was worth everything she’d have to sacrifice. It’s easy to imagine the advantages in that relationship but what of the difficulties? We packed as much humor and heart and feelings into this thing as we could; at one point, we cut about a book’s worth of words out of it, and it’s STILL full. We are beyond excited to share it with Fug Nation at last.

After the jump: the jacket copy and details about how YOU yes YOU could win one of THREE autographed advance copies.

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GFY Giveaway: After the War is Over By Jennifer Robson

This is right up our street, Fug Nation, and PERFECT TIMING, given the return of our beloved Downton Abbey, which is set in a similar time period (and of course, involves Romantical Troubles in Olden Times, my fave):


THE PRIZE: We’re delighted to have FIVE autographed copies of this wonderful book at our disposal! Per Amazon:

The International bestselling author of Somewhere in France returns with her sweeping second novel—a tale of class, love, and freedom—in which a young woman must find her place in a world forever changed.

After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boarding house.

Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One, from a radical young newspaper editor, offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget.

Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte’s dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland—and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers?

As Britain seethes with unrest and post-war euphoria flattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long-held insecurities to find her true voice . . . and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.

So many things I enjoy! Romance! Plucky heroines! Sad British men! People with hyphenated names! Love triangles?! Whee! Additionally, one EXTRA lucky winner is going to get a prize pack that includes the book, a tin of Mariage Frères black tea, and a mug with enclosed tea strainer from Tea Forté . See?


THE TASK: I shall be picking the winners at random – and then the grand prize winner by running THOSE winners through the randomizer — but you know I like to stir up conversation. Tell me what books you got (or bought yourself) this past holiday season.

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Monday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.



GFY Giveaway: I’ll Have What She’s Having by Rebecca Harrington

New year, new books to give away! I’m excited about this one, and you will be too. You know that series of columns to which I once often linked, wherein Rebecca Harrington follows a celebrity diet for a week with hilarious (and occasionally agonizing) results (like the time she did all of Beyonce’s diets, or was in AGONY on Madonna’s [for example: "I am supposed to finish the diet with a tofu scramble, but I can’t even do it. I have some fried chicken instead.")]? They’re really extremely funny. ANYWAY, BEHOLD:


THE PRIZE: Yay! A compilation of Harrington’s aforementioned hilarious Celebrity Dieting Essays PLUS brand new ones, just in time to combat all those articles about how to lose the five pounds of cheese weight we picked up over the last three weeks. (I do look forward to the Annual Email From GOOP About The Cleanse She Thinks I Ought To Try. This year, she’s worried about the fire retardants in our bodies.) So much amusement, all in one place! And we have FIVE AUTOGRAPHED copies to give away. Per Amazon:

“Rebecca Harrington leaves no cabbage soup unstirred in I’ll Have What She’s Having, her wickedly funny, wildly absurd quest to diet like the stars. Elizabeth Taylor mixed cottage cheese and sour cream; Madonna subsisted on ‘sea vegetables’ and Marilyn Monroe drank raw eggs whipped with warm milk. Where there is a Hollywood starlet offering nutritional advice, there is a diet Rebecca Harrington is willing to try. Facing a harrowing mix of fainting spells, pimples and salmonella, Harrington tracks down illegal haggis to imitate Pippa Middleton, paces her apartment until the wee hours drinking ten Diet Cokes a la Karl Lagerfeld, and attempts something forbiddingly known as the ‘Salt Water Flush’ to channel her inner Beyonce. Rebecca Harrington risks kitchen fires and mysterious face rashes, all in the name of diet journalism. Taking cues from noted beauty icons like Posh Spice (alkaline!), Sophia Loren (pasta!) and Cameron Diaz (savory oatmeal!), I’ll Have What She’s Having is completely surprising, occasionally unappetising, and always outrageously funny.”

THE TASK: I shall be picking the winner at random, but to keep it fun, let’s talk about all the celebrity cookbooks we may have read. I own A LOT OF THEM. Gwyneth’s are legitimately good (her Green Goddess dressing is great). Victoria Gotti’s (A JOKE GIFT, I swear), is not as bad as you might think, Miss Piggy’s is, of course, transcendent.

THE RULES: All entries must be posted in the comments of this post by 9 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday. (US and Canada residents only, unfortunately.) FYI, if this is the first time you’ve commented here, (a) I’m very glad you’re here and (b) the system will automatically kick you into comment moderation, but don’t worry, I will rescue you.