Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Ride with Me" Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway with Ruthie Knox!

Meet Ruthie:
Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity.

After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use. These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to-earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes. She’d love to hear from you, so drop her a line.

Where to Find Ruthie:


Banter as Foreplay

Romance novel characters find all kinds of ways to seduce each other. Some of them go with the tried-and-true classics — rose petals, fancy hotel suites, cocktail dresses and tuxedoes, champagne and strawberries. Others take the road less traveled — Krispy Kreme donuts (in Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me), say, or catheter removal (in Jessica Scott’s Because of You). They all work for me, though I’ll confess to having a weakness for the offbeat approach. But my favorite form of romance-novel seduction isn’t anything fancy. It’s verbal.

I love characters who use banter as a form of foreplay. Here’s a classic example from Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. Detective Philip Marlowe is talking to Vivian Regan, a not-so-innocent rich woman who’s tampering with his case.

She took the photo out and stood looking at it, just inside the door. “She has a beautiful little body, hasn’t she?”


She leaned a little towards me. “You ought to see mine,” she said gravely.

“Can it be arranged?”

She laughed suddenly and sharply and went halfway through the door, then turned her head to say coolly: “You’re as cold-blooded a beast as I ever met, Marlowe. Or can I call you Phil?”


“You can call me Vivian.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Regan.”

“Oh, go to hell, Marlowe.” She went on out and didn’t look back

They’re going to jump each other any minute, don’t you think?

Banter is the best of all forms of flirtation, for several reasons. First, it gives a woman a chance to size up the most important hidden organ of her potential sexual partner: his brain. Honestly, girls, it’s what’s between his ears that counts, and if he can keep up with you in a verbal sparring match, it bodes well for his sexual prowess.

Second, banter has a built-in exit strategy. Start bantering with a man, and you’ll find yourself smiling and laughing — or frowning and shooting daggers at him with your eyes. Either way, your pulse rate’s going to pick up, and things are going to get a lot more exciting. But if he says something really hopeless and lame — if he pisses you off or reveals that he’s a jerkwad — you can retreat gracefully and pretend you never imagined kissing the man, much less unbuckling his belt and pushing him onto a nearby flat surface. Whereas if you’d engaged in one of the more obvious, less awesome forms of seduction, it would be harder to back out. Because let’s be honest: once you’ve paid for the suite and climbed into the hot tub with a fella, it’s going to be hard to pretend you didn’t intend to finish the night rolling around on those rose petals you scattered over the bed.

Finally, banter is wonderfully funny. It’s not always funny for the characters, mind you — there’s jokey banter, but there’s also I-want-to-put-barbs-in-your-eyes banter — but for the reader, a great bantering scene is Made of Win.

In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!

When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.

Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.

Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?

Where to Buy*: Kindle | NOOK | Publisher

Read my review of Ride with Me HERE!

And be sure to follow the rest of the tour!



One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winner will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck!

How to Enter:

Mandatory: Leave a comment, answering Ruthie's Question, on this post WITH a valid email address. If you do not wish to post your email addy on your comment, then you must have it visible on your Blogger profile!

Ruthie's Question is: What about you — do you like funny banter, snipey banter, or some other form of character foreplay best?

Giveaway ends Feb. 28th. I will announce the winner on Feb. 29th!

Thanks to Ruthie for stopping by and writing this wonderful post--I love the topic and I hope everyone enjoyed it! Feel free to ask her questions, comment on what she wrote, or comment on Ride With Me, if you have already read it.

Thanks to Romance at Random for putting on this tour and allowing me to be a part of it. Also, a big thanks for the chance to review Ride With Me.


Until Next Time,
*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


  1. I love funny banter! I think Bet Me is a great example of that.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kris! :)

      I haven't read that book, but if both you and Ruthie agree it's a good example of banter, I'm curious to read it!


  2. Oh my stars, yes. Min and Cal . . . I just wanted to eat them. In the good way.