Fug File: book shenanigans

Read The First Seven Chapters of THE ROYAL WE


Consider this a late Valentine’s Day gift: As of today, you can get a free sneak peek at the first seven chapters of our forthcoming adult novel The Royal We.

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The full book, which you can find out more about here and here, isn’t released officially until April 7. So, our publisher decided to whet your appetites with this extended entree into the world of Nick and Bex and Freddie, and all the other characters we can’t wait for you to meet. (Unfortunately, at the moment, the download is only available to readers in the United States and Canada, because we haven’t sold the book into foreign markets yet. We’ll keep you informed!)

Kirkus Reviews just said of The Royal We that “biting humor and breathtaking glamour rewrite a fairy tale into something more satisfying than a stack of tabloids.” The review also noted that “royal watchers will appreciate the craftsmanship that went into fitting the fictional Lyons dynasty into the timeline of the existing monarchy,” which, dude, we know that’s a sort of workman-like compliment, but we really appreciated it. The first draft of our timeline of succession, beginning with Queen Victoria, was something like seven pages. (What made it in is just one limb of the family tree, condensed but hopefully efficient. We’ll put the rest of it online someday. We had a lot of discussions about how fictional people died.)

So, with no further ado:

After the jump, if you need more convincing, is the book’s synopsis and four beautiful blurbs. But we think that the best way to sate your curiosity is just to dive into those first seven chapters. They are, after all, free.  If you do choose to read it, THANK YOU, and we hope you fall in love with it and agree that we all need a Fug Nation tour of Oxford. (Heather already lost her sweatshirt and needs it replaced, so clearly, like Jack and Kate to the island, we all have to go back.) (PS: although the bit you get to read is set at Oxford, Nick and Bex do leave Oxford eventually. NO SPOILERS.)

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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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Fugging It Up at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books


Hello, Los Angelenos!

As a gentle reminder THIS WEEKEND is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! It’s an awesome, awesome event for book lovers – the complete schedule of events and all the details are available at the Festival of Books website, and you should check it out  if you live in Southern California — and Heather and I will be appearing on a panel  called “Young Adult Fiction: A Little Help from My Friends,” on Sunday, April 13th, at 12pm. Our moderator is the awesome Aaron Hartzler, and Heather and I will be appearing along with fabulous authors Robin Benway and Lauren Myracle. We will be there to talk about — as you can probably guess from the title of the panel — our YA books Spoiled and Messy. (Our new adult book, The Royal We, will be primed and ready to go at next year’s FoB, but at the moment we are literally still writing it.)

There will be a Q&A, as well as a book signing after the panel, so come on out and meet us, get books signed, ask us about the new book, the old books, books we didn’t even write, where I got my bracelet, whatever you like! IT IS FREE! You can even take the subway if you’re so inclined/there’s a stop by your house. (Parking is not free; parking is $10; there’s more logistical info here.)

I also feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that JACKIE COLLINS (!!!!!) will be doing a cooking demo on Sunday at 11am. Come for Jackie Collins, STAY FOR US!

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We’re in Austin This Weekend. Come Say Hello!


Texans! We are delighted to remind you that we will be in Austin, Texas, this Saturday, November 2 to take part in Forever Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse. We’ll be doing two things there — one for books, one for SHENANIGANS — in case you have time to come visit:

1) Book panel: At 2:15 p.m. on November 2, we’re doing a YA-related chat alongside Megan “Jessica Darling or, rather, MARCUS FLUTIE” McCafferty and the hilarious Kirsten Smith, who has a new YA novel out but whom you probably already worship because she wrote Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, and She’s the Man. We will be signing books after the chat (they will also be available for purchase). The panel itself is free, BUT if you want to reserve a seat ahead of time, tickets are available right now, TODAY, for $5, and you can redeem them for food or drink at the Drafthouse. DO IT!

2) Sixteen Candles party and costume contest:  After Forever Fest’s screening of Sixteen Candles, there will be an ’80s dance party at the ballroom of the Stephen F. Austin hotel at 9 p.m., complete with a Jake Ryan photobooth — how can you resist? We will ALSO be there to judge the ’80s costume contest, so go find that bubble skirt and show up!

Here is the rest of the Forever Fest schedule — it’s full of fun stuff — but if we’re the two broads you might want to see, those are your best bets (along with whatever fine margaritas purveyors you can recommend, of course.) Please come out and see us, Texas!

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We Are Coming to See You, Austin!


We’re on a half-day today, because it’s a long weekend here in the United States, and the Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! Please have some turkey for us. We’ll be back, full-strength, on Tuesday, October 15, but we updated over the weekend and this morning, so scroll down for WEDDING DRESSES and PANTS and BOOBS and WORDS.

Speaking of words, we are also delighted to remind you that we will be in Austin, Texas, on November 2 to take part in Forever Fest at the Alamo Drafthouse. We’ll be doing two things there — one for books, one for SHENANIGANS — in case you have time to come visit:

1) Book panel: At 2:15 p.m. on November 2, we’re doing a YA-related chat alongside Megan “Jessica Darling or, rather, MARCUS FLUTIE” McCafferty and the hilarious Kirsten Smith, who has a new YA novel out but whom you may already worship because she wrote Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, and She’s the Man (in other words: stuff we quote to each other all the time. I need to talk to her about how Amanda Bynes is SERIOUSLY an underrated comic GENIUS in She’s The Man. I love that movie and not ironically). We will be signing books after the chat (they will also be available for purchase). The panel itself is free, BUT if you want to reserve a seat ahead of time, tickets are available right now, TODAY, for $5, and you can redeem them for food or drink at the Drafthouse.

2) Sixteen Candles party and costume contest: Y’all, this sounds fun. After Forever Fest’s screening of Sixteen Candles, there will be an ’80s dance party at the ballroom of the Stephen F. Austin hotel at 9 p.m., complete with a Jake Ryan photobooth, AND an appearance from Marlene, aka Long Duck Dong’s “Hey sexy giiiiirlfriend” from the movie. No, really. SHE WILL BE THERE. Hopefully in a tracksuit. Anyway, we will ALSO be there, judging the ’80s costume contest, with obvious bonus points for anyone who takes that OTHER Molly Ringwald movie to heart and makes his/her own outfit. Again, our portion of the festivities starts at 9 p.m., and I believe the movie is showing at both 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

In fact, here is the rest of the Forever Fest schedule — complete with a Rex Manning Day party — in case you want to take in the whole damn thing.

Please come out and see us, Texas!


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Spoiled Is Today’s Kindle Daily Find


A brief break in the fugging to let you know that our first young adult novel, SPOILED, is today’s Kindle Daily Find on Amazon! This is very exciting, and not only because it means that you can buy it today for your Kindle for $1.99. That is a deal, you guys. That’s less than a sandwich. That’s less than the three Diet Cokes you will drink while you’re reading it! (Apparently, it’s also on sale for your Nook! And on iBooks!)

So if you’ve been thinking, “I sure wish there was a book I could download to read this weekend that had crazy celebrity shenanigans, terrible boy bands, dreamy guitar players, secrets, lies, tabloids, a horse named Mr. Pickles, sister pitted against sister, drama club scandals, accidental drunkenness, and a secondary character named after a lettuce, but I also wish it could be priced under two dollars,” then you just got lucky. Get over to Amazon and snap it up now — this is a One Day Only type thing. Kirkus Reviews called it “obsessively readable, smartly subversive,” and now it’s also a bargain. Happy reading!

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