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Music Behind The Story with E.J. Russell and the Royal Powers shared world.

I'm excited to bring you another Music Behind The Story post today. I hope you're enjoying these posts. Please feel free to comment below or shoot me an email and let me know what you'd like to see on the Rock 'n' Romance Blog! E.J. Russell is a part of a new shared-world series called Royal Powers. Her book, Duking it Out, looks like a lot of fun and I'm excited to check them out! Here's E.J. talking about her latest:

Thanks so much, Ro, for inviting me to hang out with you today to talk about my latest release, Duking It Out, the first in the Royal Powers shared world series.

I’ll tell you all a secret—when Ro told me that this blog series was called the Music Behind the Story, and that I could share the music that influenced the book or what I was listening to when I wrote it, I sort of raised my hand tentatively and said, “Um…”

See, the thing is, I’m an auditory learner—my conscious mind is tuned to sounds (as opposed to visual learners, who are tuned to sight, or kinesthetic learners, who are tuned to touch). If music is playing (or the TV is on or there’s a conversation happening near me), my brain homes in on it and disconnects from my writing flow.

So instead of sharing what I listened to while writing Duking It Out (since that would be very boring—birds chirping, the house creaking, the occasional irate chipmunk impersonating a broken smoke alarm), I’ve put together a soundtrack for the finished book instead.

Duking It Out is the first book in the Royal Powers series that was pitched to me by my friend, author Chris Cox. “There’s royalty,” he said, “with superpowers.”

The plot bunnies immediately started multiplying and I came up with an enemies-to-lovers story between royal dukes from our two imaginary rival countries.

Superpowers, right? That’s a given. How could the first song in our soundtrack be anything but Superman by Five for Fighting? Sander and Tarik, the two dukes in question, each have powers, but those powers aren’t necessarily comfortable or safe. While the two men live very different lives, they both experience loneliness and isolation, although for different reasons.

[Superman - Five for Fighting]

Tarik and Sander first meet in a very awkward and ultimately disastrous negotiation about the drought ravaging both their vineyards. Neither one of them manages to get what he wants, which sets up their enmity. This conjured up Dire Straits’ The Bug, because nobody really won in that encounter, regardless of who believed he came out on top!

[The Bug - Dire Straits]

Then, OMG, they’re shipwrecked! (Not a spoiler—it says so right in the tag line. ;-)) How will they be rescued? Maybe…with a Message in a Bottle?

[Message in a Bottle - Sting]

Naturally the friction continues while they’re marooned, but it’s tempered with a mutual attraction that builds over a short period of time, maybe even less than One Week.

[One Week - Barenaked Ladies]

Remember those vineyards? Sander has some of his signature wine with him, and the two men share it, which maybe helps ease a little of that friction!

[Sweet Blindness - Laura Nyro]

You all know that this will end happily, right, because this is a romance (and I never delve too deep into the angst). So here’s the perfect HEA song: New Zealand’s The Koi Boys covering The Chords’ Sh-Boom.

[Sh-Boom - The Koi Boys]

Duking It Out

by E.J. Russell

Royal dukes from rival countries, shipwrecked on a deserted island. The grudge match of the century—or a love story of super-heroic proportions?

Sander Fiala, Duke of Roses, is fourth in line to the South Abarran throne, even though his rogue power earned him the nickname “The Monster of Roses” and got him banished from the Castle. But right before he’s about to set off on his annual birthday sailing trip, the Queen asks him to meet with the notoriously volatile North Abarran Duke of Arles.

Tarik Jaso, Duke of Arles, expects the worst from people because—let’s face it—people are the worst. His superpower bombards him with any and all electronic transmissions, which…yeah, people suck. So when he’s attacked and wakes up in the cabin of a stranded boat, he knows he’s royally screwed. Because the man looming over him—the man he’d gone toe-to-toe with right before the attack—is the infamous Monster of Roses.

Tarik is positive the Monster is behind his kidnapping. Sander is sure the whole thing is Tarik’s fault. As they work toward rescue, Tarik realizes that the disturbingly hot Sander is no monster, and Sander discovers that Tarik’s temper masks a caring soul wrapped in a cantankerous (though undeniably sexy) body.

For their burgeoning connection to endure, they’ll have to duke it out with political factions, dark conspiracies, and centuries of traditions that keep them on opposite sides of the border.

But first? They have to get off this damn island.

Duking It Out is a 46,000-word M/M enemies to lovers, opposites attract, superhero rom-com, featuring Only One Bed, a grumpy duke who should know better than to jump to conclusions, a self-doubting duke who’s good with his hands (heh), gossipy seagulls, competent assistants, a guaranteed HEA, and (unfortunately) capes.

Amazon US:

Amazon Universal:

E.J.’s website:

E.J.’s Facebook profile:

E.J.’s Facebook group (Reality Optional):

Thanks again for joining us! Next up will be my rocker pal Ace Parlier later this week. He's got a fantastic new book out called The Frontman and you all know how much I loved his Sierra Court Blues, so be sure to check his post out! I'd love for you to check out the Royal Powers books. Rock 'n' Romance blog pal Kilby Blades even has one coming out! So Stay Tuned for more royals and more Rock 'n' Romance...

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