Happy Fall! Those of you experiencing cooler temps, please send some south.
While I have been relatively quiet on social media, I haven’t been idle. I’m pleased to say that my Tarnished series continues with a standalone spinoff, just released on October 16th. Beloved Unmasked takes place in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century. While a Tarnished novel, it is the beginning of my Cherished One series. I’m already working on the next two books, with thoughts of others set in the city I lived in for many years.
In celebration of the release of Beloved Unmasked, I have written a series of short posts on various aspects of Storyville, where my character, Picayune/David lives out his formative years. Below is a list of the posts that will appear on my blog this week. I invite you to take a brief tour of New Orleans’ gone but not forgotten notorious red-light district, Storyville.
Already up on the blog are part one and two of my post, Pre-Storyville. While prostitution existed all over the city, the area later designated Storyville (you’ll have to read the third post in the series to find out why it was called that,) the area along famous Basin Street housed the sex trade for many years before 1897. Read the fascinating stories associated with that rough and tumble period.
I have a Storyville overview, where I introduce readers to the infamous and we see how the city fathers decided to sanction an industry they couldn’t stamp out, if only in a restricted area. “Containment of vice” they called it. Below is a complete list of posts for this week.
I’ve thought a lot about what inspired the book and while it has ended up more than what I ever imagined, the initial inspiration is nowhere to be found. Late in 2015, my sister told me that an elderly woman she and a friend cared for had passed away. Over the years, Sissy told me about Delores and the interesting life she’d lived. For over twenty years, Delores worked as a psychic in the famous Bottom of the Cup in New Orleans.
I’d thought to incorporate that knowledge into a story and went about the research. The deeper I got into the myriad stories, the more I learned about another aspect of New Orleans – Storyville. For a brief time, I intended to weave in fortunetelling, but then I doubted I could honor Delores as she should have been honored, and ended up scrapping the idea.
From the ashes of that came Beloved Unmasked and I’m so glad it did. While writing, I cried, I laughed, and I lamented a time gone by. Sometimes I think I hear the calliope boat or the plaintive wail of a lone saxophone. I’d give almost anything to have met some of the people I’ve researched. To ask them questions inspired by a knowledge of their time, their fates, their way of life.
I do, however, feel I’ve met Pic/David, Spence, Emile and the rest of the cast. I’ve lived with them for nearly a year, every day, whether I was behind my laptop or in bed with the lights off. They’ve ordered me around, shaped many days, and given me insights I’d lacked until I met them. I hope you feel the same way after you’ve read Beloved Unmasked.
Because Emile is so pivotal to the story, I am writing his now. Without Question is a ride unto itself, but then anything worth writing is worth the ride. Right?
There’s lots of buzz about Beloved Unmasked:
Five Stars – Beloved Unmasked is a beautifully written historical romance. You can feel the streets of New Orleans, see the sites, and hear the sounds. (Cathy Brockman – MM Good Book Reviews)
Five Stars – When you want a historical you can really sink into and feel like you are there, this is the book to pick up. Really amazingly well done. A Recommended Read (Tina Brunelle – Redz World)
Four Stars – Beloved Unmasked has a whole lot packed into the pages. Brita Addams has certainly done her research about New Orleans. (Kazza – On the Top Down Under Reviews)
Five Stars – Absolutely amazing. (Lorraine Lesar – Three Books Over the Rainbow)
Here’s the blurb for Beloved Unmasked: Born to a spiteful prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district in New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, meaning “of little value,” or, as his mother reminds him, “nothing.” In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a life-changing meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.
As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. While he pursues a law degree, letters from Spence connect David to his hopes for the future. After staggering news at war’s end, David must find a way to move forward. Under the tutelage of his benefactor, David’s career prospers, but specters from Storyville threaten all he’s worked so hard to achieve.
The past holds both pain and love. Will facing it head-on destroy David or give him everything he’s ever dared dream?
Cherished One: Book One (A Tarnished Novel)
Find Brita at any of the following places:
MM Good Books Reviews
October 16 & 17 – Pre-Storyville parts one and two
October 18 – Storyville
October 19 – Beloved Unmasked Trivia
October 20 – E.J. Bellocq – Photographer to the Whores
October 21 – Women of Storyville
October 22 – Storyville’s Sporting Palaces
October 23 – Trick Babies
Dean Pace-Frech’s blog
The Novel Approach Reviews
The Romance Studio Blog for TRS Spookapalooza
Prism Book Alliance