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Indie Recs: The Long Way Home

Whenever I have a friend who likes historical romance, one of the first names to come to mind for me is Jessica Cale. I had the privilege of reading the third book in her Southwark Saga, The Long Way Home, and found it entirely enjoyable. She has a finesse with details, and lush, descriptive writing that does a service to the genre. Alice and Jack’s tale is a sweet one, and well worth the read!

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The Long Way Home, Book 3 in The Southwark Saga by historical romance author, Jessica Cale is a magical, adult fairy tale that will keep you entertained from start to finish. Find out what happens when a paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes prove…it’s not easy being Cinderella!

After saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

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Music Monday- Tyburn

Start your Monday off with some awesome new music!

Today we’re welcoming Jessica Cale with Tyburn, book one of the Southwark Saga!

Un Jeune Homme Chantait – Edith Piaf

This song is a terrific prologue for the book. It’s moody, beautiful, and a little eerie. It’s about a girl who gets seduced by a boy on a highway, thinking they’ll be together forever. He leaves her there, broken, and goes on his merry way, singing. When Tyburn starts, Sally is a disillusioned prostitute who had been abused or abandoned by multiple men. Plus, the song is in French and she’s from Normandy, so to me it sounds like her backstory.

Do You Love Me? – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I listened to so much Nick Cave while writing this book that it was difficult choosing just one song. This one has a certain addictive mania to it that I love, plus the amazing line “I found God and all his devils inside her.” Yes. Exactly that. There’s this wonderful angel/monster duality here that suits Sally down to her toes. If I could pick a theme song for the book, this would probably be it.

Little Drop of Poison – Tom Waits

Poison plays a part in Tyburn, literally and metaphorically. Many of the medicines and cosmetics at the time like mercury, lead, and wormwood are recognized as poison now. You also have the lines “Nobody knows they’re lining up to go insane/I’m all alone, I smoke my friends down to the filter.” This is very much Sally’s mentality. She’s an alcoholic who regularly hallucinates the Death is following her, and her friends keep dying. Spot on.

One More Cup of Coffee – Bob Dylan

I love the shuffle of the intro to this song. It has this terrific folky, off-beat thing going on. It doesn’t scan and it should drive me crazy (I’m a drummer), but I’m crazy about it. This is a kind of tribute to a mysterious gypsy woman. I find the chorus asking for coffee is both comfortably relatable and oddly ominous. Sally is an orphan, and is raised believing her mother was a gypsy. During the seventeenth century when I’m writing, coffee was a hugely popular drink and tea was almost exclusively enjoyed by the wealthiest classes. Most of my characters are firmly working class or lower — carpenters, barmaids, prostitutes, highwaymen — and they drink a lot of coffee!

Stand and Deliver – Adam & The Ants

My hero, Nick Virtue, is a highwayman, and if highwaymen ever had an anthem, it’s this one! This song is a lot of fun and a welcome break from the sexy gloom of the rest of the playlist. This would be a good song to play over the closing credits. 😉

What’s your next project on the horizon?

I am getting ready to release the third book of The Southwark Saga, The Long Way Home. I’m hoping to have it out this Spring!

Where can your readers find you?

You can find me on my website at http://www.authorjessicacale.com. I’m also very active on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/JessicaCale).

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Blurb:

When survival is impossible, love is everything.

Sally Green is about to die.

She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.

Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.

As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.

Unless the gallows take her first.

 

Buy links:

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/tyburn-p975.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tyburn-Southwark-Saga-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00PQV6H9Q

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tyburn-jessica-cale/1120852744?ean=9781622101740

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tyburn-4

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-tyburn-1695993-340.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tyburn/id947992086?mt=11

 

 

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Lovely Authors and a Release Day Party

Help me celebrate my release day by joining me and a bunch of the most kickass authors for this Facebook party!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1003808899683864/

The lineup includes:

Sawney Hatton

Sawney Hatton is an author, editor, and screenwriter. Other incarnations of Sawney have produced corporate videos, attended Scottish Highland games, and played the banjo and sousaphone (not at the same time). He laughs at death, which has made for some very awkward funeral services.

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Check out his novel Dead Size!

Sheri Velarde

I am a creative type who not only writes, but also paints and makes jewelry. I am most at home when creating. In my spare time I love to listen to live music, read, and just hang out with my fiancé and our two dogs.

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Check out her novel, Quest for Redemption!

Jessica Cale

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

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Check out her novel Tyburn, first of the Southwark Saga series!

Olivia Night

Olivia Night, a fictional character herself, has always been an avid reader and writer. She found the romance genre in college and has never been able to get enough. One sleepless night, the main characters of Book One in her Seduction series sprang from her head fully formed. They demanded she tell their story; so she did. As they revealed themselves, so did two other intriguing characters. Those characters convinced her to give them their own books because their stories were worth telling too. And so Olivia suddenly became a romance author. When Olivia is not writing, she has the best job in the world, which, too, will remain a secret. In her free time, she reads, write, runs, or is, most likely, out emulating Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olivia lives in one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in the U.S.—Baltimore. She lives with her cat, which she is convinced was a gladiator in his past life. Olivia plans to continue being awesome at this thing called life. Really, that’s her only goal.

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Check out her novel Seduction in Sierra Leone!

Shelli Rosewarne

Shelli Rosewarne had always had a dream in the back of her head about wanting to be a writer, from the time she was handing in ten page stories at primary school and driving her teachers crazy. However, like with so many things, life and paying the bills got in the way and she worked in various jobs from call centers to shops to offices. She eventually realized that life is too short not to try and follow your dreams, and has since had her first stand alone novella published with Breathless Press, along with several submissions in anthologies, another novel contracted for later in the year and various works in progress in the pipeline. Yup, she’s having to pinch herself as well!
She currently lives in Edinburgh with her long-suffering fiancé and slightly psycho cat. When not writing she loves reading, music and photography.

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Check out her novel, Love Reawakened!

Caroline Bradley

Still waters run very deep…

Caroline Bradley runs in the Philadelphia suburbs with her two teenage sons and a very boisterous cat named Mickey (who doesn’t run). And she’s never ever telling who inspired her fantasies…

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Check out her novel, Indulge my Fantasy

Terra James

I am 34 year old mother of two beautiful children with special needs, so I am an advocate for autism. I have loved to read, write, and blog/journal since I was 10 years old. I live in the beautiful mountains of TN. I love it here, but I would also love to live near a beach. I love reading, and I will read just about anything. I just recently started blogging, and I love it as well.

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Check out her novel, Chaotic Evolution: Inception!

Landra Graf

Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

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Check out her novel, Raven, Pirate, Assassin, Spy!

 

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Project Purse Dump: September 25, 2015

Project Purse Dump

Sept 25 - Purse - Jessica Cale

Twenty-two lipsticks. Eleven bottlecaps. Seven black pens. Five magnets. Three tins of Altoids. Hello Kitty bandaids. A Mucha compact mirror from Paris, and a coin from House on the Rock.

These are a few of things I found this week when I emptied my purse out onto the floor.

In my defense, it is a very large purse. I have a few you might call “sensible” purses, brightly colored leather with understated embellishments and clever pockets, but the one I keep returning to is an oversized, flimsy thing I got at World Market for I think $8. It’s grey and it has crows on it. Size aside, it’s fairly nondescript, and goes well with my worn out jeans and band t-shirt aesthetic, plus I can fit half a library (and a hoodie!) into it should the occasion call for it. All of the things you see here were in it on a day that it was fairly empty, apart from my cat there, but he could have fit into it, too.

So what’s inside? It’s a kind of survival kit, plus a few extra bits and pieces I picked up along the way. Let’s take a closer look.

The essentials:

Seven black pens and two packs of post-its: I usually also carry a notebook full of graph paper with me for story ideas, but post-its and pens will do in a pinch. If I get story ideas–anything from bits of dialogue to major plot points–I write them on post its and stick them to the cards in my coin purse if I don’t have a notebook handy. Apparently I can also write notes on my phone, but this still feels too futuristic for me most days, and I usually forget.

Makeup: I don’t intentionally have twenty-two lipsticks on me at all times, it’s just that they gather in my purse. I don’t have any anywhere else in my house. I have them in my purse, in the coin purse inside, and more inside the Union Jack makeup bag. This makeup bag also contains hair pins, more ponytail holders than I have anywhere else, two eyeliners (one black, one purple), face powder, blush, mascara, orange scented roll on perfume, and a souvenir Mucha makeup mirror I got in Paris ten years ago. Because you never. fucking. know. Some days you just need eyeliner, and lots of it. I once loaned one of my friends a fire engine red Stila lipstick to write down her number for a random guy, and a couple years later, loaned the same lipstick to another friend when he was hosting punk rock karaoke as a kinky sailor. Who wore it better? My vote’s on Dave.

Coin purse: I haven’t carried a wallet in many years. In Britain, coins are far more common than paper bills, so carrying a coin purse was far more practical. I’ve been back in the states for a couple of years now, but I still carry the same coin purse I bought at New Look for a pound almost ten years ago. Today it’s full of all of my cards, some random change, a spare set of earbuds, post-its covered in story ideas, a customs declaration, a list of Edith Piaf songs (really), a guitar pick, some fortunes from cookies (“Don’t put off till tomorrow what can be enjoyed today…” in bed (snicker), hair pins, and more lipstick. Could you fit all of that into a wallet? Didn’t think so.

A coin from The House on Rock: How else will I make the crazy music play?

Randoms:

Bottlecaps and magnets: Okay, there’s a reason for this, I promise. My friend Lily gave these to me a couple of weeks ago so I could make some bottlecap magnets for my fridge. She made some and they look awesome, so I’m going to give it a shot.

Three tins of altoids: Why have three when one should be curiously strong enough? None of these are actually mine. My husband keeps buying them and asking me to hold them, so I put them in my purse. He forgets they’re there and buys more, asks me to hold them, and voila. Three tins. Can I offer you a mint?

Not pictured: The phone I use to obsessively ignore my email and ogle pictures of macarons on Instagram, my work badge, and my keys.

This might seem like a lot, but if you need to be minty or photo-ready, I’ve got your back. You know, just in case.

Bio: Jessica Cale is a recovering journalist writing historical romances out of a grey bedroom in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

You can find her here:

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JessicaCaleWrites

Tumblr: http://authorjessicacale.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Instagram: skittles_and_smut

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale

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Meet the Writer Wednesday- Jessica Cale

Writers work hard spending time with their words, whether tackling manuscripts, marketing, or blog posts. So every Wednesday here, we tap into some of that wisdom and get to learn about another creative person.

Today let’s welcome Jessica Cale!

With so many quality quotes from different authors on the subject of writing, do you have a favorite?

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury

Where do you draw your inspiration to write?

It’s the characters, more than anything. My series, the Southwark Saga, has a lot of supporting characters outside of the hero and heroine of each book, and I think about them constantly–where they came from, what they want, what kind of adventures I’d like to send them on. Even relatively minor characters can take on lives of their own, and I like to see where they’re going to go. For example, in Tyburn, Alice Henshawe is a silent, thirteen-year-old barmaid. She appears again in Virtue’s Lady with a slightly larger part, and now she’s going to be the heroine of the third part of the series set several years into the future. This book was completely based on Alice, her insecurities, and my need to give her the happy ending she deserves.

Out of any character you’ve written, is there one that’s near and dear to you–that you feel like you could write about forever?

I have a lot of love for Tyburn’s heroine, Sally Green. She is a very strong character. I put her through more terrible things than a person should ever have to live through, and she’s very close to my heart. I’d like to check in with her periodically to make sure she’s still enjoying life and to see how she’s coping with all of her new responsibilities. She does appear again in Virtue’s Lady, and I have more plans for her for later in the series.

If you had the chance to go anywhere on a dream vacation, where would you travel?

I would love to go interrailing around Europe for a few months. I lived in the UK for several years and did some traveling then, but there’s still so much I want to see. I’d like to take my camera and a notebook and try to get lost!

What project are you most excited for right now?

Right now I’m finishing the third book of The Southwark Saga, tentatively titled The Long Way Home. This one is set six years after Virtue’s Lady ends, and follows barmaid Alice Henshawe as she gets lost in France and takes up some…erm…unusual employment. This has been a very challenging project because it has involved a lot of new research, and I’ve been up to the eyeballs in French history for the past year! The setting is about as far away from seventeenth century Southwark as possible, and all of the characters apart from Alice and Jack are new, and some of them are well-known historical figures. This book has been very hard to write, but I’m finally getting toward the end and I hope my readers will like it.

When you’re not writing, what TV do you watch? Do you have a favorite show on air?

Game of Thrones, hands down! My first degree was in Medieval History, so I love that for fantasy, it’s so close to the reality. The characters are complicated and well-developed and they really make it for me. No one’s really a hero, are they? I’ve read all of the books, so I’m excited to see how everything plays out.

What about in the realm of books? Any recommendations?

I just finished reading the ARC of Vice by Rosanna Leo and it was fantastic. The heroine leads a support group for friends and family of people suffering from gambling addiction and the hero runs a string of casinos. It was emotionally engaging and very sexy, and I just loved it. My other favorite books from this year were probably A Scandalous Wager by Cassandra Samuels and What a Duke Wants by Amy Quinton–both outstanding new regency romances.

What’s your zodiac sign?

Scorpio/Sagittarius cusp!

Do you have any huge pet peeves that might make you put a book down?

I don’t like male characters to read like two-dimensional caricatures of “alpha males”. There has to be more to them than a six pack + something about them to make them “deep.” More than anything, though, I get frustrated when I read a book and I can’t picture what’s going on. I’ve read a lot of these over the past few years. I understand the need to be concise and to keep the pace consistent, but without details, all you have is a three-hundred page conversation. I want to see the houses, feel the clothes, and smell the coffee. I try to make up for this in my books as much as possible, even if the details are unpleasant!

Oh man, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the caricature alpha males! Now, where can readers find you and your books?

Tyburn and Virtue’s Lady are out now from Liquid Silver Books. They are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, All Romance E-Books, and lsbooks.com. Paperback copies are also available on Amazon.

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From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/virtues-lady-p1008.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Virtues-Lady-Southwark-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00VC6B9SS

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtues-lady-jessica-cale/1121713113?ean=9781622102051

All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtue039slady-1782182-340.html

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/virtue-s-lady

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/virtues-lady/id983809003?mt=11

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25238694-virtue-s-lady

Thanks for joining us on Meet the Writer Wednesday! Join us next week to meet a new author!