Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters blog tour!! I’m so excited to share an excerpt of the book with you today! Read on to find out more about the book and the author, follow the rest of the tour, and enter a giveaway for a print copy of Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters!
Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) on October 22, 2019
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.
When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.
Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?
You will have seen them, I suppose. The grainy pictures, taken with a long telephoto lens. It has been fourteen years, but they still shock.
She has a face that everyone knows. Beautiful. Determinedly blond. Curated. The tabloid writers say, “Never a hair out of place.”
In the series of paparazzi shots, she strides across the pasture. No Photoshop. No airbrush. No filters. It is a long walk, and the photographers got her from every angle. As always, she is trim, tanned, and toned (another favorite tabloid description). If her sheet of golden hair and blue eyes are familiar, her expression is not. Usually her face in pictures is cool and composed. Icy. In these, she is ravenous.
She never could hide how she felt about that bull.
That face alone would have been enough to sell all the magazines in a newsstand. Enough to crash any server. Even without the wooden cow. But there is a wooden cow. A cowhide- covered box with legs and a head.
When the white bull walked out of the sea a few months earlier, people called it a gift from the gods. They said it was a sure sign that Daddy was a good king of Crete; that he still had the favor of the gods, even after my older brother’s murder. Our tragedy. That Daddy had been right to go to war with Athens. They called it beautiful. For myself, I don’t see what’s beautiful about a bull, white or brown. They look like livestock to me. Not my type.
It was beautiful to my mother.
There are lots of theories about my mother and the bull— some people say Daddy should have sacrificed it instead of keeping it. Daddy thinks that’s ridiculous. The gods would not have handed him such a valuable thing only to ask him to kill it. Other people say it was because my mother was too proud and the gods wanted to take her down a notch. However, she’s still proud, even after her abasement.
I think it’s because the gods are jerks.
EMILY ROBERSON is the author of LIFESTYLES OF GODS & MONSTERS (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, October 2019). She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Emily has been a bookseller in Little Rock, a newspaper reporter in Vicksburg, a marketing manager in Boston, and a writer in Chapel Hill and Dallas. She graduated from Brown University and has a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three sons and no pets.
You can find her on the web at on instagram @robersonemilym and on twitter @RobersonEmily. Sign up for Emily’s newsletter here if you would like book news and other updates. Image by: Laura Kellerman photography