Molly here, although my friends call me MJ. I’m a lifelong fairy tale junkie (Belle and the Beast? Absolutely…though I might have married him just for that library. Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy? Yes, please! Prince William and Kate Middleton? Swoon!) who loves a happily ever after ending.
I’ve been reading romance since I was, er, far too young at age ten or eleven. I think in my very biased way that the romance genre is the smartest, most relevant style of fiction out there. It isn’t my ‘guilty’ pleasure because I’m proud of it–escapism, sharp banter and sexytimes are fabulous.
Let’s Get To Know Molly Jameson
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: 1. Garden Spells By Sarah Addison Allen (there’s magic in everything, especially true love)
2. The Best Man By Kristan Higgins (that pitch perfect blend of humor and emotion)
3. Good In Bed By Jennifer Weiner (unapologetically sexy plus size heroine…this was major for me when I read it)
4. Bridget Jones’ Diary By Helen Fielding (the confessional narration and the hilarity!)
5. Pride & Prejudice By Jane Austen (because all romance goes back to this battle of wits, as far as I’m concerned)
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: Hmmm…I’d tell myself two things. First, learn something about marketing since the Fiction Fairy Godmother is not going to sprinkle magical glitter on your book to make it fly into the hands of discerning readers who will then shower it with five-star reviews and send you boxes of chocolate truffles as a thank-you gift for changing their lives.
Second, I’d tell myself to calm the f*** down. Because I’m naturally more than a little hyper and, let’s say ‘focused’ about my goals.
Q: What fictional character would you punch if the face if you thought you could get away with it without going to jail?
A: Oooh…can I have more than one? I’ll take that as a yes.
The Andi character from The Devil Wears Prada, because I felt like she was so stuck up about everyone in the fashion magazine being beneath her intellectually when she could have learned so much from the diverse and fascinating characters in that book who were far less smug than she was.
Laurel Lance from Arrow, the CW show, which is my guilty pleasure. I mean, Stephen Amell is doing push-ups shirtless in practically every episode of the first two seasons, plus there’s great multiplicity of voices there with dynamic characters of different ethnicities, genders and ages. And i loved or loved to hate every single series regular except Laurel’s sanctimonious character because just nothing was ever her fault.
Q: Pick a super-power and tell us what you’d do with it.
Excuse me while I geek out, okay?
Have y’all read Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan? Major epic fantasy series, a zillion pages long and incredibly complex. Anyway, the Aes Sedai are these women who wield magical elements and one power they’re forbidden to use is Compulsion where you use threads of mind control to make a person cravenly wish to do whatever you tell them to do. I could NOT be trusted with that power but, oh, it would be SWEET. Before the villagers brought pitchforks after me.
About Before the Reign by Molly Jameson
Jamie can’t help that he is charming and reckless, that he lives for the moment.
He also can’t help that he is James Victor Albert, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Jamie’s devil-may-care attitude and his destiny as a future monarch often come into conflict, but his father’s cancer is forcing Jamie to face the future that has been laid out for him since his birth, a future that his parents hope will include Astrid, the Crown Princess of Sweden, a perfectly proper, uptight royal who couldn’t be more different from Jamie.
When Jamie is caught at a posh London party where drugs are discovered, he decides to leave the London limelight. The south of France seems just the place to hide out, contemplate his future, and most of all, avoid Astrid!
As the only child of the king of Sweden, Astrid knows she’ll have to marry, and marry soon. She also knows she will not, under any circumstance, marry Jamie! One need only glance at the gossip rags to know that Jamie is nothing more than a self indulgent playboy. Yet her mother persists in forcing the match on Astrid. She has to get away. How fortunate that she has an old friend from school in Provence.
Her friend, intent on helping Astrid find a man, transforms the serious, dutiful princess into a flirtatious, care-free Frenchwoman. Freed from the constraints of royalty, Astrid is drawn to a handsome, alluring stranger with secrets of his own. Meeting in shadows and under cover of darkness, disguised in appearance and demeanor, the pair enjoys a romance that could only blossom in the lush, fertile beauty of Provence. Until a tragedy forces Astrid to relinquish her persona and take up once more the mantle of monarchy.
When a terrorist attack shakes her native Stockholm, Astrid will need help getting back to Sweden. Fortunately, that help has been beside her this entire time. The man she’s always hated is suddenly the person she relies on, a capable prince whose strength both comforts and seduces her.
Is the real Jamie the bad boy she’d always thought him to be or the irresistible stranger she’s come to know in Provence?
With danger and international plots swirling around them, will Astrid give Jamie the chance to prove he can be the kind of man she wants both at her side and in her bed?
Jamie stowed his mobile in his pocket and thought that the monarchy wouldn’t have endured this long if his ancestors had been forced to contend with social media and the modern gossip culture. He scrubbed a hand over his jaw and wished he’d had time to shave. He’d been summoned to his father’s bedside to give an accounting of last night’s events. Even now, weakened by his cancer treatment, King Victor was still a formidable presence, possibly even more formidable than ever. His chemo-induced frailty made him wrap the cloak of monarchy more tightly around himself, not to mention that it made Jamie’s future, the inescapable future he’d been born to, seem ever nearer.
Jamie winced at the thought. Sure he’d be king some day. He knew that. Everybody knew that. But he liked thinking of that some day as being some far, far distant day in the future. Jamie’s father was the king, and that was how it should be. God save the king, he found himself thinking, and meaning it with every fiber of his being. He knocked on the door.
“Enter,” came his father’s strong, sure voice. The king was propped up in bet, but looking no less the monarch for it. He was combed and shaven and wore crisp, pressed pajamas. Jamie’s mother sat in a chair at her husband’s bedside.
“Good morning, father,” Jamie said with a slight bow. He moved nearer the bed to kiss his mother’s offered hand. “Mother, you look lovely, as always.”
The king took in a measured breath, “James, please do explain.”
It would do no good to fane ignorance. The events of last night probably showed clear on his face. “Jamie slipped his hands into his pants pockets. “It was a party. I thought it was like any other party. A security sweep was conducted before I showed up. I thought it was fine.”
His father folded a newspaper and laid it on the bedside table. The headline blared, accusing, “Bust of posh London club reveals array of drugs. Prince of Wales in attendance. ”
“Did you know there were drugs on the premises?” the king asked.
Jamie shoved a hand through his hair. Should he lie? Tell his father what he wanted to hear? “No, I didn’t know, but it’s hardly surprising with that crowd,” he hedged.
“And should you, the future king of Great Britain, be consorting with such a crowd?”
“No, Your Majesty.”
“Do not presume to stand on ceremony with me now, son. I’d rather you left off with the honorifics in favor of showing diligence to your duties and station.”
“I cannot believe that after that business with the girl Leopold used to date, you’d find your self in a similar situation involving drugs. Am I forever to be disappointed by my children?”
“Were these people friends of yours? “His mother asked.
“No, not really.” He didn’t have friends. He had fans and fawners and hangers on.
“Then what were you doing at such a party as that? ”
How was he to explain it? How was he to explain the constant restlessness that lived inside him like an itch? How was he to explain to his father, especially now, how the prospect of becoming king weighed on him so that he would oftentimes do anything to escape from beneath it?
A knock at the door, a quick tap-tap, announced Edward, looking immaculately pressed and put together for all that it was seven in the morning, “You know how the press are, Father, always wanting to put a member of the family at the scene of the crime, regardless of whether we were actually there or even if there was an actual crime.”
“I don’t need you giving me a lesson on the press, Edward,” the king leveled his sternest look at his second-born son, “and your brother doesn’t need you rushing in to save him from himself any longer. You are a married man now, and it’s past time your brother learned to see to his own affairs.”
Jamie held up a hand to stop Edward’s defense of him. All Jamie’s life, Edward had been defending him, and their father was right, it was time for the practice to stop.
“It’s fine Edward. Father is right. I shouldn’t have been anywhere near that party. I knew it was a mistake. It was a lapse in judgment. I won’t let it happen again.”
Three mouths hung agape in the room.
My favorite quote from Before the Reign is:
This one’s an easy pick for me, since I have one of those writer’s crushes on my own male lead here:
“I don’t want to be your biggest mistake,” Jamie said.
She took his face in her hands, felt the scrape of stubble against her palm. She rubbed her thumb over his lips and looked into his eyes. “Then see that you aren’t.”