Please help me welcome Diana Rubino with a fun new release…
Booze, music, sex, murder, Prohibition New York. What a time to be alive!
Now on audio with the expressive voice of Nina Price.
After FROM HERE TO 14TH STREET, set in 1894, I needed to set this a generation later, which happened to be the 1930s-with Prohibition and the Great Depression as the backdrop. This is the first book I ever wrote where I created the characters first, with nothing to do yet. The plot developed the way it did because of who they are. My goal was to get the protagonist Billy McGlory into one mess after another. This era couldn’t have been more suited to Billy’s adventures, a few of which he barely escaped with his life.
As in FROM HERE TO 14th STREET, a lot of characters have nicknames like Piggy Balls and Dirty Neck Bruiso. I sat around the table with my surviving aunts and uncles who were then in their 80s and 90s, and they rattled off these nicknames from ‘the old days’ in Jersey City like they made them up yesterday. That was a standard Italian neighborhood custom, everybody had a nickname. Some were more descriptive than others. But you didn’t just ’get’ a nickname. You had to earn it.
Some more nicknames from the old neighborhood:
Bruno Chicken Body
Chick a la zoo
Dirty Neck Bruiso
Frankie Butch Butch
My fav passage from BOOTLEG BROADWAY (which made my aunt cringe):
Pru had kept closemouthed all day about what she was giving him for his birthday. He badgered and hounded her, but she wouldn’t give in.
As Ma began divvying up the rum cake, the doorbell rang, and Da came back with a long box. “This thing’s heavy. What’s in here, Pru? Billy’s tombstone?”
Billy cut the ribbon with the cake knife and slid the lid off. Wads of tissue paper filled the box. As he removed the last layer of covering and revealed what was inside, they all gasped-a sculpture of a naked man, in all his masculine glory and fully aroused. He had one hand on his hip and one foot upon a pedestal on which was inscribed in bold letters, ’BILLY. ’
“Oh, crap.” His face turned red hot.
My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Paris, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, Washington D.C. and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. My husband Chris and I own CostPro, an engineering firm based in Boston. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano, devour books of any genre, and spend as much time as possible living the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.
Amazon Author Page
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Purchase BOOTLEG BROADWAY
16 responses to “Diana Rubino’s Bootleg Broadway”
Wow, sounds like a fun new read!
Good luck and God’s blessings
Thanks, Pam, it was a fascinating era to research.
Looks great, Alicia! Thanks for hosting me.
Congrats on your release!
Thanks, Maureen. I’m very happy with Nina Price, the narrator of the audio book.
Yes, that excerpt would make any of my aunts cringe too! Love all the nicknames – it would be fun to make up stories about how those people earned them.
Great idea! I’d have to make them up–I have no idea how they got those nicknames, but they were all very descriptive.
Okay, this is completely awesome. Sounds like something my Martini Club 4 would adore! We have our 1920s and will have a 1940s in December!
Thanks, Kathy! It was a very tumultuous era, with Prohibition and the Depression, but between world wars!
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Your book sounds great! And I love the cover!
Thanks, Kara–The Wild Rose Press does have amazing artists.
I love those old nicknames! My husband comes from a Polish and Italian neighborhood like that. Best of luck with the book.
Yes, they sure were creative with those nicknames! Thanks!
Love your historical fiction. Best wishes on your audiobook.