Spotlight & Giveaway: A Shore Thing by Joanna Lowell

Posted June 19th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 10 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Joanna Lowell to HJ!

Hi Joanna and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, A Shore Thing!


Please summarize the book for the readers here:

A Shore Thing is a queer and trans Victorian romance that tells the story of a rakish painter turned rakish bicycle seller and a world-traveling botanist who join forces to win a bet against a cycling club of loutish bicycle bros. It’s a book about love, found family, taking big chances, and finding your home. It’s also a battle-of-the-sexes sports story which doesn’t take “the sexes” for granted.

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

She had a vertiginous feeling, a reversal reversing itself, the world rearranging.
“You live as a man, but….”
“But,” he murmured. “But what? A man can’t have had a girlhood?” A corner of his mouth tilted up. “I live as a man, and….” He leaned toward her. “Can we start there?”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the BMX bike movie Rad. There’s a ridiculously amazing high school dance scene in that movie with the romantic leads dancing on their bicycles. It is most definitely the origin of my desire to write a bicycle romance!
  • “Send Me an Angel” by Real Life plays during that dance scene. I listened to it A LOT while writing A Shore Thing.
  • There is one dance scene in A Shore Thing (not a bicycle dance scene, alas). It takes place in the Falmouth Hotel, in Falmouth, Cornwall, which I got to visit on a research trip. I was excited to learn that Beatrix Potter went to Falmouth in 1892 and wrote her first illustrated letters from the hotel—letters which led the way to her book The Tale of Peter Rabbit, one of my childhood favorites. I have a character fold a napkin into a rabbit in honor of Peter.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

My main characters’ meet-cute involves a narrowly avoided bicycle collision. They end up in a meadow together, with Kit dazed on the ground and Muriel kneeling beside him. He’s not injured but disorientation lowers his inhibitions—which are fairly low in the first place. It leads to a surprisingly frank first conversation and mutual intrigue.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

Bicycles are elegant machines, but they’re also very awkward when not rolling swiftly forward. Muriel takes many tumbles as she learns how to ride, and I may have laughed (sympathetically!) at her mishaps. Here’s a snippet of the scene:

“Ahh!” she yelped as her elbow exploded with pain. She lay on her side, head ringing. Grass prickled her skin, and the warm scent of torn summer earth filled her nostrils. At least she wasn’t learning on macadamized highway, or a graveled lane, or a cobbled street. God, this tour would hurt.


Readers should read this book….

If they’re looking for a sunny, beachy book that affirms queer love and friendship!


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

A queer enemies-to-lovers Regency romance with an archeology plot that involves medieval riddles and a treasure hunt. It’s out next summer!

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: One signed copy of A SHORE THING by Joanna Lowell! (U.S. only)


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Who is your favorite rake in romance and why?

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Excerpt from A Shore Thing:

There was a gradual rise into more hills, and then they descended into a deeper valley. The clouds followed them down, nearly black, and suddenly, the rain came from all directions. It sprayed up from their tires, and blew in sideways sheets, and drenched them from above. They kept riding, but ever more slowly, as the road divided into rivulets.
“Dismount!” called Griffith.
“No!” she called back.
“What?” His shout was disbelieving. “Dismount!”
“We can’t be far,” she protested, splashing through a puddle.
“It doesn’t matter how far we’ve left to go if we break our necks now!” came the response.
He meant her neck, of course. And she’d slowed them down enough already.
When he jumped off his bicycle, she kept riding.
“Don’t strike off alone!” she upbraided him as she passed.
“You are striking off alone,” he retorted.
“I’m continuing along the agreed upon route!” She didn’t trust herself to steer in the wet dark while yelling over her shoulder, so she yelled into the storm. “You are obstructing the path!”
She laughed wildly. Her skirts were soaked and slapped the bicycle’s iron frame.
“Penny.” He rode up on her left.
“I love storms.”
“We’ll make it in no time,” she told him, blinking the water from her eyes
“Dismount,” he commanded.
At that instant, her front wheel plunged down into sucking mud. The world blurred, and she whipped around with the bicycle, limp as a ragdoll. As she slid to a hard stop, her head jerked forward and back, and her outstretched foot skidded on the gravel.
“I dismounted!” she gasped, dragging her leg over the frame. The bicycle was perpendicular to the road. Her vision wobbled, and her neck seemed simultaneously too stiff and too loose.
She heard Griffith cursing as he circled back to her.
“That wasn’t a dismount,” he said. “That was a narrowly averted disaster.”
“I hit a bit more mud than I expected.” After the fact, she was trembling with nerves, gruesome versions of the spill she’d just avoided flashing through her mind. She fetched up a wobbly smile. “Now what? We walk to the Lizard?”
“We’re going to walk to the inn in the nearest village.” Griffith swung off his bicycle and came right up to her. “And leave tomorrow at first light.”
“Won’t it hurt your pride?”
“The hot meal and the dry clothes?”
“The giving up.”
He shrugged a shoulder. “I don’t care if Deighton celebrates a premature victory.”
“I care, though.”
“Picture the look on his face tomorrow, when we coast into Falmouth.”
She shook her head. “Given that this is all my fault, I should get—”
“Penny,” he interrupted. “If we going to stand here in the rain, I’d rather not argue.”
“That’s a ridiculous statement. Arguing is why we’re standing here in the rain. If we weren’t arguing, we wouldn’t be standing here in the rain.”
“We could do something else.”
“While standing here in the rain?” She scoffed. “And what’s that? Play cat’s cradle with a boot lace? Look for frogs?”
He pushed his bicycle away, took her face in his hands, and kissed her. She tasted rain, cool and clean, and then the heat of his mouth obliterated every other perception. For a heartbeat, she forgot everything. Forgot that they were ankle-deep in mud on a country lane, soaked to the skin. Forgot the bicycle race, and her lecture, Cornwall and New York. There was only this conflagration. Two mouths in the dark. His tongue slid between her lips, and she gasped. She let her bicycle fall as he pulled her against him. His gloved hands stroked the sides of her face, and then he was tipping her head, angling her chin, so he could kiss her ever more deeply. She drew a shuddering breath. Rain kept slipping down between them, rolling over their cheeks, into their mouths. She was going to drown, drown in rain and kisses.
Griffith broke away first, acknowledging the sounds she’d noticed only dimly. The clop of hooves and the creak of a wagon.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Former painter and unreformed rake Kit Griffith is forging a new life in Cornwall, choosing freedom over an identity that didn’t fit. He knew that leaving his Sisterhood of women artists might mean forfeiting artistic community forever. He didn’t realize he would lose his ability to paint altogether. Luckily, he has other talents. Why not devote himself to selling bicycles and trysting with the holidaymakers?

Enter Muriel Pendrake, the feisty New-York-bound botanist who has come to St. Ives to commission Kit for illustrations of British seaweeds. Kit shouldn’t accept Muriel’s offer, but he must enlist her help to prove to an all-male cycling club that women can ride as well as men. And she won’t agree unless he gives her what she wants. Maybe that’s exactly the challenge he needs.

As Kit and Muriel spend their days cycling together, their desire begins to burn with the heat of the summer sun. But are they pedaling toward something impossible? The past is bound to catch up to them, and at the season’s end, their paths will diverge. With only their hearts as guides, Kit and Muriel must decide if they’re willing to race into the unknown for the adventure of a lifetime.
Book Links:  Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo |

Meet the Author:

Joanna Lowell lives among the fig trees in North Carolina, where she teaches in the English department at Wake Forest University. When she’s not writing historical romance, she writes collections and novels as Joanna Ruocco. Those books include Dan, Another Governess / The Least Blacksmith, The Week, and Field Glass, co-authored with Joanna Howard.
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10 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: A Shore Thing by Joanna Lowell”

  1. psu1493

    I like James and Anthony Mallory from Johanna Lindsay’s Mallory series. They were so bold and didn’t care what anyone thought of them.