Brita Addams

The Prose Speak: A Holiday Guest Post (and Gift) by Brita Addams

gift12Well, it’s that time of year again. For some it’s Christmas (me too,) but it’s also a time of reflection.

Every year has its share of sadness and joy, and 2015 was no exception. We had loss and health setbacks, but here it is nearly Christmas and we’re still here, slightly slump-shouldered, but standing. Here’s some of the highlights of our year.

In January, our grandson, Sebastian, turned sixteen and sprouted to over six feet tall. He towers over most of the family, except his dad (6’3”) and one of his two Uncle Chris’ (6’4”.) We’re super proud of our daughter and her husband, Michael, for raising him to be the thoughtful and kind young man he is. What a guy!

In February, I took my milestone birthday well, I think, when I forbade the family to mention it and insisted they let the day pass unacknowledged. They did, except for a couple of smartasses. I can always count on them to remind me why I have gray hair.

March brought brain surgery for our oldest daughter, Kim, due to some nerve webbing (simplified explanation.) She’s fine now and is free of the blinding headaches she’d suffered for three years. I won’t detail the heart-stopping hours of waiting for the news that she came out of surgery and all was well.

Sebastian zombie pic

T’was during his visit with us during his mama’s hospital stay that Sebastian introduced me to the Walking Dead. Hooked me like a fish. Ya know, you do things to please the kids. I’m told I’m his cool Grammie. The conversation went something like this:

“Grammie, I think you’d really like the Walking Dead.”

“I don’t know, baby. Zombies?”

“Yeah, but the characters are really good and you know how you like good characters.”

“True.”

“Come on. Let’s get some of your hazelnut coffee and I’ll watch the first few episodes again with you.”

“You want coffee?”

“Yeah. Whenever I think of coffee, I think of your hazelnut coffee creamer and it makes me smile.”

He had me hooked there, thrilled that he’d remember such an obscure thing. “Oh, baby! I had no idea you knew that.”

“I love ya. What can I say?” Big hug and lemming march to the guest room to watch the Walking Dead.

We watched five episodes that day. He went home the next and I watched the first five seasons in the next nine days. He’s still on season two. And the conversation did go like that!

Tina_and_ClintMay is always joyous for us because we celebrate two anniversaries, both on the same day, the ninth. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary and the 39th anniversary of our first date. There will never be enough of these—ever.

The summer brought a turn my husband’s chronic health problems. He has Parkinson’s and he’s had his ups and downs, but from about June to now, he’s grown weaker. He takes everything in stride, God bless him. He’ll rally for a few days, and then not so much. He’s still him though, sense of humor and sharpness. He loves to cook and with me acting as sous chef, we get the job done. He still makes the best gumbo and potato salad in the South, bar none.

I don’t tell you all this for any other reason than to celebrate the life I have the privilege of living. The people I’ve lost this year made up a part of who I am. Those still with me nourish my soul and make getting up every morning something I look forward to. I’m more aware of what truly matters.

We each hold a figurative lifeline in our hands. These days, I’m holding on tighter than ever before. I want more of the good while I fend off the bad for as long as I can. I’ve also come to realize that we don’t have a lot to say about the latter. That makes the former all the more precious.

2f970d_2cefdd2cac18466c8cb19705c045b631Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you to everyone who has purchased one of my books this year. Your loyalty and support humbles me.

As my gift to you, here is a link for a free short story. Sometimes we need a little awakening to realize what matters most. Please enjoy An Evening at the Starlight, and after you read it, hug those you love a little tighter.

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Brita Addams

Guest Post: Beloved Unmasked by Brita Addams

Beloved Unmasked Banner

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 StarsBeloved 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)

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BelovedUnmaskedHere’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)

Buy Beloved Unmasked at Dreamspinner Press || Amazon || All Romance Ebooks

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Brita Logo

Find Brita at any of the following places:

Website/Blog || Facebook || Twitter

October 16

MM Good Books Reviews

October 16-23

Brita Addams’s Blog

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

October 19

Dean Pace-Frech’s blog

The Novel Approach Reviews

October 26-30

The Romance Studio Blog for TRS Spookapalooza

October 30

Prism Book Alliance

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week!

Sneak Peek

Greetings from somewhere over the US, everyone! :) I’m flying home from San Diego right now—I’m sure GRL was a lot of laughs. Just a guess since I’m typing this before I’ve even left home, but let’s just go with it, shall we?

Thanks so much for dropping in to see what we have in store for you in the coming week. In keeping with my apparent ability to predict the future, it’s sure to be a good one, with lots of great guests, giveaways, and more reviews to come.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off this week, we’ll first be bringing you the exclusive cover reveal for author Garrett Leigh’s upcoming novel Between Ghosts

To add to that, we’ll also have author Santino Hassell here to chat about his new novel Stygian from Dreamspinner Press

Brita Addams also joins us today to chat about her newest historical novel Beloved Unmasked

Tuesday – We get to bring you another cover reveal today, as we help authors Piper Vaughn and Kenzie Cade show off the pretty artwork for their new novel Prickly By Nature

We’ll also have author A.M. Arthur dropping by on the tour for her new novel The World as He Sees It, so stay tuned for that

Wednesday – Author Anna Butler will be our guest as she tours the internet to chat about her new novel Heart Scarab

Thursday – Today we’ll be bringing you an exclusive interview with author Amy Lane as we continue to celebrate Queer Romance Month

We’ll also welcome author Thianna Durston today as she drops by TNA on her Drakyl Ranch: Discovery tour

Friday – And finally, to help us close out the week, we’ll have author Ethan Stone with us on the tour for his new book Closing Ranks

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And that does it for the week ahead. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press, Historical Romance

Release Day Spotlight: Beloved Unmasked by Brita Addams

Beloved Unmasked

Brita Addams’ Beloved Unmasked is a story of second chances set against the backdrop of a bygone New Orleans where Storyville—the city’s former red light district—flourished with legalized prostitution and a regulated drug trade. NOLA herself is a character in this book, as it is in nearly every book I’ve ever read set in this vibrant city rich in history and famous for its music, food, cemeteries, and ghosts, and the author presents The Big Easy with not only an obvious love for the place but an intimate knowledge of it and its history too.

As World War I heralded a change in Storyville and New Orleans, prostitution became a criminal offense, and this novel’s heroes, David “Picayune” Reid and Spencer Webb, begin an arduous journey. David, the unwanted son of a prostitute, strives to become more than the nothing the woman who’d given birth to him labeled him, aided by the man who would become his friend and mentor and savior. Spence, a prostitute and Pic’s friend, heads off to war after he’s conscripted…where he faces his own mortality.

Beloved Unmasked is a story whose romantic theme is a simple and timeless truth: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. The story is Picayune’s evolution–from the boy called “nothing” to David, the man who became the beloved.

This first novel in the Cherished series can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks

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Blurb: 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?

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Brita Addams

Guest Post: Don’t Be Offended by History by Brita Addams

keep-calm-and-embrace-history-1My writing often requires I research the obscure as well as the blatant. I’m also an amateur genealogist of over twenty years, so I’ve dug into many a family history, including a thorough, if incomplete exploration of my own. You’re never done.

I’ve learned how people lived and died over many centuries, discovered things I’m thrilled about and things I’d rather weren’t in my genealogical record. But the cringe worthy episodes are precisely what make for interesting, sometimes uncomfortable reading, and show how far we have come.

I write historical fiction because I love history and my hope is to convey that love to readers. As any author of historicals will tell you, research is key to gaining the authenticity in a piece. Note the word authenticity. While we create fiction, we place our characters in authentic settings, surrounded by the authentic circumstances of their times. This can be backdrop or in the forefront of the story.

Is history sometimes uncomfortable? Of course. But unchangeable. Yesterday is gone. The question is, should we as writers, portray history as it was, or should we participate in the growing movement to create a revisionist history?

Anyone who knows me knows I am firmly in the camp of authenticity. Why? Because we can’t pretend that women, for instance, were treated as they are today. Men ran the world and women had their place. These are facts.

A recent article exposed this, saying that we as writers shouldn’t portray women as the wives and mothers they were, but as kickass, feisty, independent, and able to function without men, because the writer of the article felt that to portray them different demeaned womanhood as a whole. I called nonsense and had I wanted to argue, I’d have left a comment stating the writer should read history before trying to change it.

Why would a woman today be offended by the roles women played in the past? Why judge women characters whose actions are in accordance with the period in which the story is set? Prepare here for a little harsh reality.

history_teacher_joke_explain_not_understand_necklace-r66ede6a34ff44eeaa913890a6d3ae857_fkob8_8byvr_324Women did not run countries (with the exception of a queen here and there,) or states or cities. They were, however, the backbone of the family. They ran households. They bore children, cleaned, cooked, did laundry, sewed clothes and sheets, and coats and hats. Knitted baby booties out of necessity, even spun the yarn. They taught their children their prayers and manners, ate less at meals so the children could have more, wore threadbare clothes so her children could have a new pair of shoes when the old ones pinched. She taught her brood to collect eggs, pump water while warning them not to lose the prime, feed the old wood stove, and peel potatoes and carrots with a knife, not a scraper. Mothers tumbled into bed long after everyone else had gone to sleep and rose before the others to provide a hot meal before starting her day all over again. Mother was the center of the small universe each child lived in.

Fathers worked hard, sometimes fourteen to sixteen hours a day to bring home a meager wage. He sacrificed too, for the sake of his wife and children. Some weren’t good men, much like in today’s world. Some drank and beat their wives. Worse, their children. No excuse for them. They likely learned all they knew about being men from their fathers. Life wasn’t easy and I don’t say that cavalierly. I lived in such a household.

The good men, though, are often maligned. The good men who worked hard, but had a traditional view of women – as the weaker sex, creatures (in a kind sense) he needed to take care of, protect, provide for. He took his responsibility seriously and did the best he could.

Were men disrespectful of their women because they didn’t include them in “important” discussions? A subjective question. Some women, I’m sure, considered such exclusion a blessing, my mother included. Poor thing. Her eyes glazed over when my father discussed anything headier than Red Sox scores.

You see, women were taught to care for the home, while men were expected to work and support their families. Being a parent was treated as a job and housewives were respected for fulfilling that job. I have nothing against women who work, I’ve done it. I’m speaking here about history. My mother had worked before marriage and she often said she’d like to bring in some money, but her job was to raise her children, four in her case, and cater to my father. She understood this.

During periods in our past, women didn’t inherit from husbands or parents. This is illustrated in detail in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The father dies and the fates of his wife and daughters are left to Mrs. Bennett’s ability to marry off her daughters to wealthy husbands, as the estate was entailed to the nearest male cousin, William Collins. Unfair by today’s standards, but a way of life in times gone by. The simplistic reason behind the practice was that the daughters would be raised to attract a man able to provide for her, but the son had to do the providing. Archaic by today’s standards, but no less factual in the course of history.

When a woman of parental means married, her father conveyed a dowry upon the husband, to help the man take care of his new wife. A poor woman’s parents often put together a hope chest, filled with handcrafted blankets, clothes, pottery, cutlery, a Sunday hat, Grandma’s lace handkerchief, and other things needed to start a household.

Unmarried women were chaperoned until after marriage. A man was expected to sow his wild oats, but he married a chaste girl. A double standard, but the way life was.

When a woman broke the mold and eschewed marriage, her career options were limited. She’d most likely work as a schoolteacher, secretary, or maybe a store clerk. Growing up, I knew many “old maid” school teachers. If a teacher married, she retired from the profession and took her place as the center of her family’s universe. The belief, shared by men and women, was you couldn’t have both a profession and a successful family. Something would suffer and best it not be the family.

Married women often took in sewing or laundry to make ends meet. Husbands worked their farms or factory jobs. Women helped harvest crops, feed the animals, slaughter cows, and myriad other jobs on the farms in this country. My husband’s grandmother loved to talk about harvesting potatoes and how she had a baby in the potato patch, and went right back to collecting the harvest. I don’t know how true her story was, but knowing her, I imagine pretty damn accurate.

To view these peoples’ lives through the enlightenment of generations negates who they were. I’ve lived long enough to have known some of the women and men who had to work as described above. Long hours, no matter the weather, just to put food on the table. Did the women think their lot unfair? Hell no. No one they knew lived any differently.

Women weren’t oppressed by the standards of their day. Men weren’t oppressors. Each person had their job to do and they were well aware of their responsibilities.

Why did women stay in abusive marriages? Because you married for life in those days. Divorce was a shame on the family as it meant failure. The stigma affected not only the parents but the children. For the most part, and of course there are exceptions, women didn’t go home to their parents when things got rough. They stuck it out rather than place the financial and physical burden on them and to keep the family together. I am the product of parents who shouldn’t have stayed married, but they did, for fifty years. My mother carried that marker as a badge of honor. She’d weathered the bad times and thought the good more than enough to make up for it.

Critics of historical fiction lament the accurate portrayals, wishing apparently, a costume drama where the author dresses up the heroine in period clothes and has her act like a twenty-first century woman. Or they rail against the treatment of homosexual men and the laws that prohibited them from having a happy life. My favorite is the “too stupid to live” heroines people cynically malign in romance novels. I argue that they are oftentimes, the characters written most accurately. They adhere to the mores of their time. They don’t sleep with men before marriage, they listen to their fathers and mothers, and their husband. And they don’t leave when the going gets tough. Historically accurate, but somehow offensive to some readers.

We as historical authors are faced with a fine balancing act. If we truly wrote history as it was, we’d offend a great many people, because history is either misunderstood or poo-pooed as something before our time, out of step with modern thinking. If we dress it up and attempt to revise the truth, our stories are better received, but in doing so, we’ve done a disservice to history and our need to tell an accurate story.

As I get older, I care less about accommodation and more about truth. Times, throughout history were hard. Women, men, races and creeds were treated unfairly, by all standards. Little Suzy Q didn’t get a new dress every time she blinked, she actually had to learn to take care of a household. She and her brothers had to learn that money didn’t grow on trees and every time they experienced a shortfall, they couldn’t run to Daddy for relief. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

Beloved Unmasked Banner

Please mark your calendars for October 16, when the third book in my Tarnished series hits virtual shelves. Beloved Unmasked is a standalone in the series (for now) and takes place in New Orleans, shortly after the turn of the twentieth century.

Here’s the blurb:

BelovedUnmaskedBorn in 1898 to a heartless prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district of 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 fortuitous 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. A telegram from the War Department deals a staggering blow and interrupts David’s pursuit of a law degree. He must gather his wits and move forward. While his future looks bright, specters from Storyville return.

The past holds both pain and love, and facing it head-on might destroy David or give him the freedom to live the life he has dreamed.

Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press

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BritaAddamspicAbout Brita Addams: Brita Addams was born in a small town in Upstate New York and has made her home in the sultry South for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband—and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

She writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals, as well as a few contemporaries, have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website || Blog || Twitter: @britaaddams || Facebook || Fan page || Goodreads || Pinterest || Booklikes || Monthly column at The Novel Approach

 

 

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Hi, friends and fellow readers, welcome back to another preview of what we have coming up for you in the week ahead. We’ve got some really great exclusives to share with you, and I can’t wait, but for now, here’s just a taste of what you can expect!

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Monday – Helping us kick off our week we have a few great features to offer today, the first being a cover reveal for Cardeno C.’s upcoming novel Jesse’s Diner

We’ll also have author JL Merrow with us today, on the promo tour for her new World War I era novel To Love a Traitor, a book I read and loved

Divine Magazine has also organized a blog hop in which The Novel Approach will be participating, and we’ll be offering a giveaway, so stay tuned for that

Tuesday – Author Courtney Lux joins us today on the tour for her newest release, Small Wonders

Heloise West will also be stopping by for a visit to chat about her new book, If I Were Fire

And, our final guest of the day is Brita Addams, who stops by to talk a little history

Wednesday – Today we welcome author Kage Alan as he tours the interwebs to introduce readers to his new novel, Falling Awake

We’ll also be hosting Cardeno C. again today, as the Perfect Imperfections audiobook blog tour stops by TNA

Thursday – Author Cheryl Headford is with us today to talk about her new Harmony Ink release, Hostage

Therese Woodson also joins us on the tour for her latest release, Betrothed: A Faery Tale

Friday – To close out another fantastic week, we’ll have author RJ Scott with us today on the tour for Texas Wedding, the book she promised readers when Marriage Equality went nationwide here in the US

Cardeno C. makes it a trifecta for the week and joins us again today on the tour for the audiobook release of Walk with Me

And finally, we’ll be featuring another edition of Flashback Friday. And this time, it’ll actually fall on Friday! Probably. No, it really will. :-D

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And that does it for this week’s sneak peek. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams

Guest Post: The Newbie Blues by Brita Addams

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As I approach my sixth year as a published author, I’ve thought a lot about the things I’ve learned and the growing pains of being a newbie. And yes, I was president of the club.

We all feed from the same trough in the beginning, until we learn to eat from the table of knowledge.

The first draft we think is epic is, six years in, trash. I shudder when I recently read back over those unpublished writings from the early days. I couldn’t write for beans, but I had ideas, stories, and the will to sit down and pound them out, no matter how many technical errors.

Prior to writing, I gorged on 1980s and ’90s romance novels. In attempting to emulate the craft of those authors, I greeted head hopping straight on. Yep, it used to be in style. How enlightening when I met an editor who showed me a better way.

Passive voice, filters, adverbs where there is no need, weak verbs, and the ever present quickly, suddenly, immediately, whiplashy wordy sentences, like this one. The “I started to run,” instead of “I ran,” the endless descriptions of dresses and rooms. Yes, all new writers make the same mistakes. It’s in the DNA of a writer.

Clunky dialogue with the characters names and ridiculous dialogue tags. “That’s right, Joseph. I am fine today, what about you?” Frank inquired. Rinse and repeat with boomed, whispered, demanded, ordered, etc.

Everyone had a POV, including the dog, though I’m pretty sure I never had a dog in any story. The maids, butler, and every town’s person, because we can’t tell a story in less than a dozen or more POVs–otherwise known as omniscient. I will say, I enjoy omniscient and I’m not in favor of changing the style of writing to accommodate some trend, but that ship sailed years ago, so we have to play along.

Part of the Newbie Blues is the idea that we have invented a new way of writing that is so unique, that if we can only get it out there, it will catch on and become a rage. A little research shows that isn’t so and that what might appear new and unique, is unrefined at best.

Now, bad writing has been around forever and proliferates our virtual shelves. If you have a DNF folder on your Kindle, you know what I’m talking about. Why use ten words to say the same thing fifty words can say? My bike was stolen by the neighbor’s son who hid it in his garage and painted it black because he was going through a Goth phase, or so said his mother when my mother confronted her about the stolen bike.

Or – The neighbor’s boy stole my bike.

Passive voice eats brains, of both the reader and the writer. It’s a proven, scientific fact.

The sin isn’t in committing the crimes against the English language. No, it is in doing it repeatedly without a thought to correcting what editor after editor tells us.  Sometimes we hold on to our phrasing because we’ve fallen in love with our words. That is the worst thing an author can do.

And then, we have the dreaded edits. The reckoning, if the book accepted and gets as far as edits. This will happen if the pub sees something in the story.

There are stages of editing acceptance, but as there is in the grieving process, for editing is a grieving process, if we’ve invested ourselves in every word, or if we can’t accept criticism, a necessary evil if we want to become an author.

How many of these steps do you recognize?

  1. I had this story in my head and only I know how to tell it.
  2. They can edit all they want, but I’m going to reject all. No one is going to tell me how to write.
  3. No way. They aren’t going to screw around with my baby.
  4. The editor is trying to edit out my author voice and then the story will be hers.
  5. I concede on commas. Accept all.
  6. WHAT!!!!!?????? No exaggerated punctuation??? How in the world am I going to tell the reader that my hero is screaming!!!??? Or that the heroine is screaming and asking a question at the same time????!!!!
  7. Why are there a hundred and fifty comment bubbles with passive voice written in them?
  8. Dangling modifier. Wow. Dear editor, you must have written that, because I wouldn’t have. Here, let me look. Oh, wow. Forgive the ring. Well, okay, that is a valid point, but the other eight hundred, no way.
  9. TAKE OUT A WHOLE SCENE????!!!!!! No way! I’ll never do it. That means I’d have to rearrange things and, wait, that scene is pivotal to the story. What do you mean it doesn’t relate to the story at all? Sure it does. Well maybe it isn’t important that he bought a new suit, but the reader should know that, because that makes the character more real. Doesn’t it?
  10. What does the editor mean by episodic chapters? Are they all supposed to be about one story? But each character is so unique, never has anyone written more unique characters, and I need to tell all their stories. I don’t know how to weave their stories with the core story and this episode thing is easier.
  11. Present tense, past tense. Tomato, tomatoe. I concede I might not be up on tenses. Accept all.
  12. Eliminate a chapter? Why? No way. I refuse. It does to relate to the story? I promise. You’ll see. What do you mean you read the whole book and you don’t see where a weekend at the beach had anything to do with the hero’s vision quest? I beg to differ. Really, I’m begging. Don’t make me take that out. That brings my word count down by twenty-five hundred words. That’s a whole day’s work.
  13. Write this chapter from the other main character’s POV? Yeah, I guess that would work.
  14. Now here’s something new. Filter words. You’re picking on me. Never heard of them. What do you mean I’ve heard of ALL of them? Look here. He felt his heart beat wildly. Isn’t that a nice sentence? Emotional. Heartfelt. Okay, bad joke. It isn’t a big duh. Don’t say that. Okay, smarty pants, how else should I say it? His heart beat wildly? Well, yeah, that’s more concise. Yes, it does say what I intended.
  15. Oh, damn, that reader hated that I didn’t change that scene, like the editor suggested. Oops. Maybe six POVs wasn’t such a unique idea. What does she mean I shouldn’t give this character a POV? She’s the maid. She has to see things the heroine or hero can’t, so she can bloviate about it to the rest of the staff, out of earshot of the main characters. That’ll take up at least two chapters all told. Yay. Up to 40k.
  16. Oh, that reader liked how the editor had me change that scene. Cool.
  17. This reviewer likes my author voice. Even after all the editor’s changes.
  18. Okay, editor. You didn’t catch this misspelled word. Gotcha!!!!!

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bitmoji295528056About Brita Addams: Brita Addams was born in the wrong century, though she couldn’t live without her air conditioning.

Her travels have taken her all over the world, but she enjoys nothing more than time at home with her husband and family.

Brita’s Tarnished Gold has won a Rainbow Award for best historical and readers in the Goodreads M/M Romance group chose the same book as a finalist for best historical and best book of the year.

On a trip to Hollywood, California, Brita stood in the footprints of some of her favorite actors—Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, and many others—at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and she has even kissed Mickey Rooney.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter.

Readers can find Brita Addams at any of the following places: Website/Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Fan page || Goodreads || Pinterest || Booklikes

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Look for Beloved Unmasked, third book in the Tarnished series, in October, from Dreamspinner Press.

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Hi, everyone, welcome back for a look at what we have coming up in this busy week ahead! This may well be the most guests we’ve ever welcomed in a week’s time, and I can’t wait to share it all with you: the guest posts, the giveaways, and, of course, the reviews.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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MondaySara Alva kicks off our week with a Countdown to GayRomLit guest post to chat about her new audiobook release of Pura Vida

RJ Scott and Meredith Russell will also join us on their Forever in the Sun blog tour, book six in the Sapphire Cay series

And, as if that lineup wasn’t fantastic enough, we’ll also welcome Cardeno C. on the Strange Bedfellows audiobook tour

Tuesday – Today we welcome another trio of authors, starting off with Kate McMurray on The Long Slide Home blog tour, book three in the Rainbow League series

We’ll also welcome author Ravella Hawthorne on The King’s Command blog tour

And finally, Brita Addams will join us today to chat about the Newbie Blues

Wednesday – We’ll have our second GayRomLit attending author, Christina Pilz, joining us today to help celebrate the countdown and chat about how she fell in love with Oliver Twist

Also dropping by for a visit is Charlie Cochet on her Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts tour

ThursdayRebecca Cohen will join us today on her Overly Dramatic blog tour

Rhys Ford will also be here today to chat about her contribution in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology

FridayCharley Descoteaux pops in today on her Buchanan House blog tour

We’ll also welcome author Sarah Masters today to chat about her new book Outcast Cowboys

Saturday – Finally, closing things out for us today is author Alicia Cameron, with an excerpt and giveaway of her new book Sedition

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And that does it for the week ahead. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams

Guest Post: Beneath the Surface – Caitlin Jenner – by Brita Addams

caitlyn-jenner-vanity-fairOn April 24, 2015, I, like millions of people, watched Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer. I’d heard the rumors about his desire to transition to a woman, and I wanted to hear what he had to say, rather than getting the information tabloid style.

Over the years, like all of us, Bruce had aged, no longer the young man who’d won Olympic gold. As he appeared with Diane, he sported longer hair pulled back into a neat ponytail as well as signs of some facial plastic surgery.  As a mature man who’s rarely photographed with a smile on his face, Bruce was composed and introspective, but then, that’s what the interview was about His eyes told the story of inner turmoil and unhappiness.

As he spoke of the years he’d wrestled with the knowledge that he wasn’t the person the world had come to know, my heart broke for him. To think he’d spent sixty-odd years pretending is more than I can fathom.

That night, he put a public face on a situation that exists for many people of all ages, all over the world. While not the first public face, he is the most recent. In the early 1950s, George Jorgensen, a former GI, publicly transitioned to Christine, after years of “being lost between the sexes.”

The following is from biography.com:

In 1950, Jorgensen traveled to Denmark to begin the transformation from man to woman. The treatment, available only in Europe at the time, included hormone therapy and several operations. Her story became public in 1952 while she was still in a Copenhagen hospital, making big news in the United States. Overwhelmed by the attention, Jorgensen had to deal with such headlines as “Bronx ‘Boy’ Is Now a Girl” and “Dear Mum and Dad, Son Wrote, Have Now Become Your Daughter.”

While I’m sure Ms. Jorgensen’s transition created a stir, as Renee Richards’ did in the seventies, I am struck by how little we have advanced as a people in our acceptance of things we might not understand. For some reason, Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance on Vanity Fair has entitled people to discuss their approval or disapproval.

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The other day on Facebook, people reserved the right to make jokes about Caitlyn, because the political correctness had gone too far. In another discussion, a woman went on a rant about how a sixty-five year old man shouldn’t bother with such a frivolous thing, when there were so many other issues in the world. She intimated that at sixty-something, we should be satisfied with our lot and concentrate on more important things.

I argue that there is nothing more important than happiness, whether derived from our work, our play, our partners in life, our children, social service, or being true to who we are inside. The prescription for happiness comes in all forms and neither age, race, gender, nor sexual orientation should exclude anyone. What sanctimonious prig(s) decided that only those whom everyone else understood were entitled to happiness?

603christine-jorgensen9 (1)When did our inability to understand another’s plight become license to degrade that very plight and the person experiencing it? When did mean-spiritedness replace our love for our fellow human beings? When did jokes and titters become a replacement for compassion or even our discomfort at something that we don’t understand? Since when is a prerequisite to someone’s happiness another’s self sacrifice? Don’t each of us crave love and understanding when we are going through a transitional time such as divorce or loss? What special kind of ignorance has crept into the souls of people that they are entertained by the pain of others?

Why should Bruce Jenner NOT become Caitlyn and smile, maybe for the first time, because she is, at last, who she is meant to be?

There is no reason. Not that people won’t understand – her family does and her sons say that they always knew something was missing. Not because there are those people who will make fun – they are the smallest of the small. Not because she is sixty-five and, hell, her life’s almost over, so she might as well live out her days as others might have her do. We all know sixty-five year olds long ago lost the ability to feel, mourn, cry, regret. Isn’t sixty-five years long enough to fulfill the expectations of others, but never once for yourself?

Is the subject uncomfortable? So what? Who says we need to be comfortable with everything so it can exist? A requirement of Caitlyn’s transition isn’t whether the watching world is comfortable or if we understand. Caitlyn’s pain isn’t on the outside for all to see. She’d carried it inside her for as long as her memory serves.

And then, as if the self-appointed critics hadn’t had enough of a field day, a furor erupted when ESPN chose Caitlyn Jenner for this year’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award, meant to honor people “whose contributions transcend sports through courageous action.” Let us not forget that at one time, Bruce Jenner was the world’s greatest athlete.

ESPN’s statement reads in part:

“Sometimes that courage is demonstrated over the course of a lifetime and sometimes it is demonstrated in a single act that shines a light on an important contemporary issue. At all times, there are many worthy candidates.”

“This year, we are proud to honor Caitlyn Jenner embracing her identity and doing so in a public way to help move forward a constructive dialogue about progress and acceptance.”

One argument against the bravery aspect is that true bravery is exhibited by our military, our first responders, families that live hand to mouth because they don’t have the money Caitlyn “has at her fingertips.” “Can’t he focus on something besides himself?”

True bravery comes in all forms, in varying degrees. Caitlyn’s courage doesn’t negate that of the aforementioned, while theirs doesn’t negate Caitlyn’s. Caitlyn Jenner is a beacon for transgendered people across the globe. If one person follows her lead and steps out of the shadows, then that is a step in the right direction.

As human beings, we’re born with an overflowing abundance of compassion and love in our hearts. There’s always room in our hearts for those people whose struggles aren’t our own, just by virtue of the fact that they are struggling.

View the interview with the former Bruce Jenner at either of these links:

YouTube | ABC News

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Brita Logo

About Brita Addams: Website/Blog  | Twitter | Facebook | Fan page 
Pinterest | Booklikes | iAuthor | Monthly column at The Novel Approach | Please stay in touch by subscribing to my monthly newsletter | Cold Coffee Café

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Hi, everyone, and thanks for stopping by for a peek at what we have coming up for you in the week ahead. Fortunately there’s lots of activity to report, and we’re also gearing up to kick off the GayRomLit Featured Blogger tour in our countdown to October in San Diego.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off our week, we first welcome Mary Calmes, who’s stopping by with a guest post and giveaway of her upcoming novel Forging the Future, Jin and Logan’s final chapter in the Change of Heart series

We’ll also have author Jaime Samms with us today, as she drops in with a giveaway and to chat a bit about her newest novel from Dreamspinner Press, Bound to Fall

Tuesday – We’ll have author L.A. Witt stopping in today on the Tide of War book tour with Riptide Publishing

Brita Addams is also here today with a guest blog about Caitlyn Jenner and her transition

Wednesday – Author Lissa Kasey will be dropping by today with a guest post about her upcoming novel Model Citizen

We’ll also be here to welcome author EM Lynley and the 24-Karat Conspiracy blog tour

Thursday – We’ve got a busy day today, starting off with the cover reveal of Piper Vaughn & Kenzie Cade’s new collaboration, Prickly Business

Next up will be author Annabelle Jacobs, who’ll be here to chat about her contribution to Blanket Fort Press’s Secrets Collection, Toy with Me

And we’ll also be kicking off the GayRomLit Featured Blogger tour today with our first guest, Devon Rhodes

Friday – Dropping by today on the Charlie’s Hero blog tour, we’ll have author Nic Starr with us

Saturday – And to close out the week, we’ll have a few of the participating authors in the Indigent charity anthology with us to talk about their participation in this special project

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And that’s that for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press

Guest Post: Change Is Good by Brita Addams

Brita

I’ve written every book from on our sofa, surrounded by my mountain of index cards on the middle cushion and end table, and files stacked on the back of the sofa. I loved my space, save for the resultant mess, but the comfort provided all the excuse I needed, until back problems developed, making that comfort elusive. Then my tailbone decided to get in on the act, and discomfort ruled my writing day. You should see the bathroom drawer filled with Bengay-type products that provide temporary relief, but wash-rinse-repeat the next day.

I bought pillows, footstools, my daughter even gifted me with one of those rings you sit on, but nothing helped and productivity came to a screeching halt. That was when I assessed my situation and decided, that since I wasn’t doing to give up writing any time soon, I had to create another work environment.

We have a lovely sunroom, which was my go-to room when I spent more time reading, before writing occupied my time. It is rather spacious, so working together, my husband and I created a lovely space for me to write. He has a massive “desk complex,” which takes up most of one spare bedroom, so he shared a section of that desk with me. He also bought me a comfy, high-backed chair, with good back support and provision for my tailbone.

The atmosphere for me, is the key to the new space. I am a doily, candle, and rose kind of girl, so I’ve added some of each to my new desk. My smartass son-in-law asked me if I was going to write by candlelight, but my glare sent him packing, with a smile, of course.

The difference in the two spaces is dramatic. I have room to spread out and I don’t have to gather up my organized chaos when someone comes over. I have places for things now and a nice sunny space to create.

The first three days in my new office, we had workmen outside the windows. For two days, I listened to two men with heavy Cajun accents discuss sciatica and their crawfish preferences, and then there was the one who burped all day. One the third day, our roofer replaced our roof and you can imagine the banging and carrying on. Ah, but as I write this, there is blissful silence, just as I like it. I can’t write to music or television. I need silence.

All this change in my norm has reminded me, once again, that we live ever-changing lives. The more we want to keep things the same, the more life answers in ways that upset our neatly organized apple carts. I don’t go with the flow as easily as I once did, but I’m also not stuck in my ways. With warning, I adapt quite easily. As long as I have my family and a few close friends, I’m up for anything, except camping. That’s where I draw the line.

Check out my gay romances, Tarnished Gold, Tarnished Souls Frankie and Gent, For Men Like Us, and Freedom in His Arms at Dreamspinner. Through May 21, you can get my books at 30% off, part of the Dreamspinner 8th Anniversary Celebration.

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BritaAddamspicAbout Brita: Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places: Website/Blog  | Twitter | Facebook  | Fan page  | Pinterest | Booklikes | iAuthor | Monthly column at The Novel Approach | Please stay in touch by subscribing to my monthly newsletter | Cold Coffee Café

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s a Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and welcome back for a look at what we have in store for the week ahead.

Among the guest posts, giveaways, and reviews, we’ll also be bringing you a very special Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia story that I’m excited to share with you.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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Monday – Kicking off our week, we have a cover reveal for Indra Vaughn’s new novel Fragmented, book two in her Shadow Mountain series

Also joining us is author VJ Summers on the Light a Candle blog tour

TuesdayTeegan Loy will be with us today on the Love Complicated blog tour

And we’ll also be revealing a very special and exclusive Sinner’s Gin ficlet from Rhys Ford, starring Miki, Damie and the boys, in honor of the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia

Wednesday – Author Jude Sierra joins us on the Hush blog  tour

We’ll also welcome Lavinia Lewis today on the Blood Ties blog tour

ThursdayInes Johnson is our guest today to chat a bit about her new novel The Loyal Steed

We’ll also welcome back guest author and honorary TNA family member Brita Addams

Friday – Today marks author Astrid Amara’s first visit to TNA, as she joins us to talk about her upcoming novel Song of the Navigator

Saturday – And closing out our week, we’ll have author Joel Skelton here to talk about his newest novel Beneath the Palisade: Justice

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And that does it for another fun-filled week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press

Guest Post and Excerpt: Tarnished Souls by Brita Addams

Tarnished Souls

Much has happened personally this last month, including older daughter’s brain surgery and an unexpected visit from my beloved sister due to a death in her friend’s family. Our daughter is fine and hopefully on the way to a recovery sans horrific headaches which have plagued her for the last couple of years. Needless to say, life has a way of refocusing us at a moment’s notice, doesn’t it?

With the closure of one of my publishers, five works came off the virtual shelves, but they have found a home and will roll out this summer. I’ve also signed a contract with Dreamspinner for my early 20th century New Orleans novel, Beloved Unmasked, and that will find readers in October/November. I’m so excited about that one (as I am when each novel is new and shiny,) and I hope readers will take the story and the characters to heart.

Now I’m writing the second in the New Orleans series, and it features a character that plays a prominent role in Beloved Unmasked. There will be a third in the series as well. Having lived in the New Orleans area for many years, the rich and varied history fascinates me. New Orleans is unique among American cities, a character unto itself. I’ve walked the streets in the Quarter and the music is truly the heartbeat of the city.

Today, I thought I’d bring out an older title, Tarnished Souls – Frankie and Gent, and give you a sample of it. First, a little background. I love gangsters of the 1930s variety, and have long wanted to write a story involving two gritty made men. Ah, but not so easy, because that’s not how this book happened.

As many know, I started my old Hollywood series with Tarnished Gold. The second book in the series was going to deal with a cop and newspaper reporter and I was well on the way to engulfing them in their own drama when, bam, I put Frankie Monetti in a scene. He was a leering two-bit mobster with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Chapter one, McGregor heroes out, catches the bad guy and puts the moves on his reporter inamorata. Until…

Something about Frankie Monetti grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. He haunted my slumber, interfered with my morning coffee, and bollocksed up my cop/reporter story with his insistence that he was worth more than a couple of paragraphs.

Sooo, I put Mac and Gray aside and Frankie and Gent were born.

The following excerpt is raw in its language, much as gangsters are. I hope this snippet will entice you to check out the book and see why Frankie and Gent have tarnished souls.

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2a697-tarnishedsoulsfsExcept: Monday, July 9, 1934

THE EARLY part of the evening turned out to be a real lulu. The wrap party for Cullen Reilly and company filled Suede to capacity. Reilly had just finished a picture for MGM and wanted to blow off some steam. Often did after a long shoot, or for any reason at all. Frankie Monetti’s best customer for the restaurant, bar, and not-so-secret activities on the top floor of the club. Reilly ordered up four muscular humps to keep him occupied while the party thrummed downstairs.

The district attorney’s bet with the mayor about who could win more at the craps table made for some swell action in the gambling room. Suede’s main floor filled with the curious, while both DA Fitts and the mayor peeled off C-notes as though they’d printed them in their basements. In the end, neither won as much as the house. A good night for Monetti’s lone legit venture.

At two fifteen, the party broke up, but not before Frankie did some serious ogling. From his usual booth, he watched the pretty boys sway and paw each other. He feasted eyes on the young bucks, who were only too happy to have their local mobster watch them fuck each other insensible.

Duke, his number one, drove him and a few of the boys home. Frankie always kept four close, just in case.

“You fellas get some sleep.” Duke, Fat Artie, Wild Eye, and Johnny went to their wing, while Frankie unlocked the door of his Holmby Hills mansion.

The night quiet, Frankie leaned against one of the fluted white columns under the portico and stared up at the fat moon, his senses dulled but not nearly enough, despite his being bent. As the clock in the foyer chimed three, he gave a fleeting thought to waking Tommy, his houseboy. “All good boys should be in bed.” He chuckled. “With me.”

Slivers of moonlight slipped into the breach as Frankie stepped over the threshold, into his foyer, then slid the bolt into place. For a few hours, no work, no orders to give.

The grandfather clock ticked overloud as moonlight glinted off the heavy pendulum. An orange glow caught his attention as he passed the middle arch that led to the living room. Through the open damask draperies, light from the streetlamp filtered in to reveal a shadowed figure, deep in the recesses of the room. Acrid cigarette smoke wafted through the still summer air.

His black onyx pinkie ring caught on his pocket as Frankie dug deep for the security of his body-warmed .38. “Who’s there?”

Another bright glow, then the sizzle of cigarette paper. “That any way to greet an old chum? I figured at least you’d remember me.”

The familiar gravelly voice lifted Frankie’s boozy haze like a movie curtain. Fear slithered down Frankie’s spine. Yeah, he remembered the Ansonia Hotel, the Turkish baths. “Gent? What are you doing here?”

“Hey, hey. Don’t need the hardware. I’m here to talk.”

“You shouldn’t be here. If Sal finds out, you know—”

“Sal sent me.”

The cock of the hammer echoed off the walls.

Frankie’s finger froze on the trigger. “Why?”

“He sent for ya. I’m here to make sure ya come in.”

The grit in Gent’s voice scraped over Frankie’s nerves. “Sent for me, huh? That doesn’t sound good.”

Frankie glanced into the empty foyer, his gun in hand.

Gent flipped on a lamp, then shifted in the corner sofa chair, his Fedora pulled down over his eyes. “T’ings don’t add up.”

“What things? He thinks I’m cheatin’ him?”

“Yeah.”

Frankie walked fully into the room, his grip still on his gun. “Like what?”

“I’m takin’ ya in. All I know is Sal wants ta talk. You have to explain.”

“Why’d he send you?”

“It’s what I do.”

“Everything’s copacetic here. Guaranteed.”

Gent shrugged. “He don’t believe it. Not bad enough, you fucked up the hit on McGregor. The one t’ing he asks you ta do, and you botch it. He ain’t happy, Frankie. Not happy at all.” Gent raised his head and tipped his Fedora’s brim back with the gun barrel. “I’m here ta clean up, then take you back. No more complicated ’an dat.”

The six-foot-four-inch Gent unfolded himself from the chair. His shadow loomed on the wall behind him—Sal’s hulking avenger.

When Gent stepped into the light, uncharacteristic fear ripped through Frankie and wrung him inside out. “Stay right there.”

“I ain’t killin’ you here and only on Sal’s word. We can keep our rods on each other, but I’m gonna do what Sal sent me to do.” Gent inclined his head, then stubbed out his snipe in the glass ashtray beside the chair.

“What’s he wanna know? Why now? Why you? I haven’t heard from you in five years. He said we ain’t s’posed to see each other. ’Member?”

Gent sighed, then tucked his gun into the chest holster. “All’s forgiven about that. Sal’s got a new bone to chew. Money and McGregor. He’s got ’em both stuck in his craw, and you gotta come get ’em out.”

“Screw McGregor. As long as I steer clear, he’s got nothin’ to do with me.”

“Bullshit. He holds press conferences, accuses the Syndicate of shit they never thought of. Yak, yak, yak. He’s gonna clean up Los Angeles. Sooner or later, that flatfoot is gonna find somethin’ to hang on ya, and that makes Sal nervous.”

After Gent sprinkled tobacco for a new cigarette, he licked the paper with a delicacy that belied his muscled bulk.

Being sent for was as harsh as it got. You go in alive and come out dead and always someone you know whacks you. No exceptions. “Why you?”

Gent scratched a thumbnail across the top of a stick match, then lit his newly rolled cigarette. “Sal respects me. I do what he says, keep my nose clean, ya know? Then he gives me more to do, trusts me.”

“You his man? He own you?”

Gent shrugged. “No one owns me. I’m just there.”

Frankie nodded. “Does he know your name?”

Gent turned his back. “I ain’t here to talk about me. I got work to do, then we take the train back to New York. That’s all there is.”

The ambivalence in Gent’s voice made him, like always, harder to figure. “So you’re here to kill McGregor?”

“Last thing before we leave. Gotta have a look-see at the books first. Get a feel for the operation.”

Frankie laughed. “What would you know about the books?”

Gent took two steps, then grabbed Frankie’s tie. “Five years is a long time. Even a dumb mook like me can learn shit in five years.”

Frankie calmly stared into Gent’s dead eyes. “I don’t doubt that, but last I heard, you’d racked up dozens of kills. When did he make you a book man?”

Gent pulled Frankie closer. “I know some shit. Learned to figure when Sal gave me the wire service to manage. Insteada breakin’ heads, I hung around and learned, top to bottom. Then I broke heads.” Gent released Frankie with a shove.

Frankie straightened his tie. “Big step. Your own operation.”

“Makes Sal a load and he likes that. I showed him he could trust me, so he figured I’d know what’s what out here.”

“Glad to hear it. I’ll have my man Nickels show you the books.”

“That or I take ’em. Either way.”

Fury rose up at Gent’s indifferent shrug.

“You changed, Frankie. You talk better, and look at your kippy digs. Just like Gable’s, for Chris’ sake. People notice ya. I see ya in the papers. Sal says drawin’ attention to yourself is bad for business.”

“Sal doesn’t understand how different living out here is. I can’t sound like a street hood from the Kitchen and chinwag with the bigwigs. To get things done, they have to respect me. I can’t talk all that goombah shit. Gotta live high, like they do. Meet ’em on their level.”

Gent shook his head. “Sal don’t like it. Thought you settled down. You don’t follow orders.”

“Screw that! He doesn’t think killing a cop will draw attention? McGregor’s big news. Someone ices him and who knows what might happen.”

“Sal wants McGregor gone, and you lost your chance.”

“Why do I want to call attention to myself by offing the guy? That’s not good business sense.”

“There never was a cop Sally couldn’t buy.”

“Not that one. Sal doesn’t know what it’s like out here. You muscle in, but with finesse. I convinced the studios that turnin’ over thousands a month is their idea. Finesse.”

Gent stood loose and dandy while he smoked his cigarette. “Nah, I think maybe you wanna be in them movin’ pitchas.”

“You don’t know shit about my life. You’re still the same old Gent, listening to everyone’s bullshit. Maybe the organization needs some young blood at the top.”

“Sal’s had a guy out here, and he knows how you do things.”

Tired of the verbal hammering, Frankie flopped onto the sofa. “Yeah? Who is it?”

“Dunno. Word is, only Sal knows.” Gent sat down beside him. “The guy followed McGregor to Redondo Beach the same time you were s’posed to plug him. Seems McGregor spent that weekend there with a guy.”

“If he’s got someone tailing McGregor, why don’t he bump him off?”

Gent shrugged. “Not his job. Strictly hands off. Sal’s orders. He says you’re soft on the cop. That you ain’t changed any like that. McGregor was at Suede. You rump him, Frankie boy?” Gent brushed Frankie’s shoulder with an open palm. “Maybe the screw didn’t go so well and you pissed him off? That why he’s after you?”

The silence stretched taut between them. The insult went sideways as Frankie assessed the mention of the club. “What does Sal know about Suede?”

Gent leaned forward. “Enough. Knows you have Hollywood drinkin’ your booze and movie stars and swank politicos screwin’ each other in the fancy rooms. You have muckity-mucks in your pocket, but can’t get one cop to play ball. Sal wants his cut, is all. He don’t care if you deal men or women, it’s alla same to him, but he figures you owe him for settin’ ya up so nice.”

Frankie slammed his fist on the coffee table. “He ain’t a part of that. I financed it myself. You tell him that, hear?”

Gent dragged deeply on his cigarette. “I’d like to hear you tell him that.” Gent wagged a brow. “After you killed Marino, Sal figured you’d lay low and build the organization, quiet-like. Wasn’t protection enough for ya? You made good scratch with that. Why’d you have to go and muck around with them that makes movies?”

“Sal knows too much. Is it someone in my crew?”

“Could be,” Gent said with a shrug. “But you’ll never know. Point is, Sal only trusts to a point, an’ you way over. When you set up shop someplace and don’t invite him along, he takes offense. Ain’t polite not to invite family.” Gent’s gaze never left Frankie’s. “You live or die because of him.”

Family. Frankie hadn’t thought of his in years. Hadn’t wanted to.

“With Suede set up like it is, Sal figures you haven’t reformed. He’s pullin’ you in.”

Frankie huffed. “And he sends you to do it, does he?”

“He thinks I’ve changed. Dat I don’t care about dat anymore. Difference between me and you? You never learned there’s a time and place for everythin’. By openin’ a setup like Suede, you rub it in his face. He got the message, and so will you.”

Buy Link: Dreamspinner   Amazon

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BritaAddamspicAbout Brita Addams: Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website/Blog  | Facebook  | Fan page  | Pinterest | Booklikes  | iAuthor | Monthly column at The Novel Approach | Please stay in touch by subscribing to my monthly newsletter | Cold Coffee Café

 

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek at the Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and many thanks for stopping by to see what we have in store for you here at The Novel Approach in the coming week. There’s lots coming up to be excited about–great guests, interesting content, a few giveaways, and, of course, we’ll be sharing more reviews with you as well.

Here’s what’s on tap!

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MondayK. Vale is here to kick off our week on her Crossed Hearts blog tour

Michele Michael Rakes also joins us today with a guest stop in the Fourth and Long blog tour

TuesdayCharlie Cochet makes us a stop today on the Healing Hunter’s Heart tour

We’ll also have Morticia Knight with us on the Justice Prevails blog tour

WednesdayJordan Castillo Price drops by today with an interview and giveaway for her newest audiobook release Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary

And we’ll also be hosting author Tina Blenke on her Shifting Cargo blog tour

ThursdayLexi Ander is our guest today on her Dreams of the Forgotten blog tour

Brita Addams to chat a bit up her upcoming Dreamspinner Press release Beloved Unmasked

FridayJacob Z. Flores drops by with a video chat on his Spellbound blog tour

Sam Standish is also our guest to discuss his newest novel Making Men

Saturday – Finally, to close out the week, author K. Lynn will join us on the Coffee Date blog tour

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press

Guest Post by Brita Addams: Promotion Help – Did I Mention It’s Free?

mfrwbutton800Promotion is a never-ending job for authors, but I have a great avenue for all my author friends. Are you a member of Marketing for Romance Writers? If not, you are missing out on a great avenue of promotion. I’m a newbie myself, but this week, they did a Tweet Fest and my notifications didn’t stop for three days. I gained almost on hundred new twitter followers and with their Cover Love feature, Tarnished Gold was promoted to thousands of people.

The brain children of author Kayelle Allen in 2006, MFRW and its sister, Romance Lives Forever, have wide reach, hundreds of thousands of followers on every social media avenue there is. Many opportunities for FREE promotion. I encourage all authors to scoot over there, after of course you’ve read the following exclusive excerpt from Tarnished Gold.

Now here is that excerpt, one never before shared. Enjoy. Buy links follow.

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TarnishedGoldWhen the knock sounded, Jack fairly raced Roderick for the door. “I’ve got it,” he told the older man.

He flung the door open and had to use every bit of restraint he possessed to keep from throwing his arms around Wyatt and hugging the life out of him.

 

“Come in, come in.” He anxiously took Wyatt by the arm, led him into his office, and shut the door with his foot. “You look good enough to eat.”

Jack claimed Wyatt’s lips, leaving the man breathless. He poured his desperation into the kiss, wanting to climb inside the man and take refuge there for the rest of his days.

When they parted, Wyatt drew in a big breath. “I’m so glad you are back.”

“Don’t leave me,” Jack whispered. “Please, don’t leave me.”

Wyatt placed his hands on each side of Jack’s head. “Look at me.”

Jack did, giving away the tear he’d hoped not to show.

“What’s wrong? Tell me.”

Jack took Wyatt’s hand and led him to the couch. “What’s not wrong. The tour ended badly, and I’ve just learned that my father died.” Jack covered their hands with his free one. “I don’t want to be alone.”

Wyatt held and rocked him as Jack poured his sadness into Wyatt’s wool jacket. He didn’t mention Milo, no need, but he surely wept for him too.

“I’m so sorry about your father. Were you close?”

“Yes,” Jack said, embellishing the truth with that single word.

Wyatt’s tenderness warmed him through. He took it in, reveled in it.

Roderick’s brisk knock startled them both. Jack pulled himself to a full sitting position and wiped his eyes on his sleeve. “Come in,” he shouted, his voice watery.

Roderick brought their dinner in and placed it on the table he’d set up earlier. “If there’s anything else, Mr. Jack, just let me know.”

Jack nodded, not wishing to risk a hitch in his voice.

Familiar smells filled the room, transporting Jack back years to when his mother served the meals to the workers after they came in from the fields.

“Come sit, before it gets cold,” he told Wyatt, who gave him a worried look. “I’ll be fine. You’re here.”

“I hope so.”

They chatted through a dinner of chicken and andouille gumbo, made with the homemade sausage Jack had brought back from Louisiana.

To wash it all down, they had an ample supply of Theresa’s cure-all mint iced tea.

“Dig in. It’s the best gumbo you’ll ever eat.”

Wyatt wrinkled his nose, as he pushed the contents around the bowl.

“Is something wrong?”

“Ah, this looks like dirty dishwater.”

“Oh, you city boy. That’s the roux, and it’s delicious. Taste it before you make any hasty judgments.”

Wyatt took a wary sip from his spoon, then another. His eyes brightened. “My God, I’ve never tasted anything so delicious.”

“I knew you’d like it. I grew up on this stuff. My mama used to tell me I had it running through my veins.”

“It’s different, I’ll give you that.”

“Good different, though right?”

Another mouthful and a nod.

When they finished eating, Roderick cleared the room and said he and Theresa were retiring for the evening.

“Good night and please thank Theresa for a wonderful homecoming meal.”

“That I will. She’ll be glad to hear it.”

When Roderick closed the door, Jack asked, “Would you like a glass of wine?”

“That sounds great.”

Jack wanted to lick Wyatt’s smile, and a few other things, but chose to sit at one end of the couch, his leg crooked and his body turned to face Wyatt. “I’m sorry for my behavior earlier. So much has happened these last few days, then to hear of my father’s death, it all kind of got the best of me.”

Wyatt sipped his wine, his eyes fixed on Jack. “Please, no apologies necessary. I’ve been told I’m a good listener, if you’d like to talk about things, that is.”

A good listener. Had he ever known such a person? “I saw my family on our stop in New Orleans. My father was quite ill and despite hopes, it was understood that he’d not make it. I expected his passing, but I suppose not so soon.”

Wyatt studied the swirl he’d produced in his glass. “You know, we never really mourn for those who have passed. We always mourn for our loss, what the absence of that person will do to us, the living.”

Jack contemplated Wyatt’s words. “I’ve never heard it said quite like that, but I suppose you’re right. You know, I was never sure if my father loved me, until that last day when he was so weak he could barely speak.” Jack hesitated, recalling his father’s barely audible voice. “He told me he was proud of me. Those words were the finest gift he’d ever given me.”

Wyatt sipped his wine. “Is your mother still living?”

“Yes, she and my brother, Andrew. The telegram said she was holding things together. She’s strong. I want to take care of her, but she won’t allow me to. Now that Papa’s gone, though, I’ll be more forceful in seeing to her needs. Listen to me, I’m rambling on. What about you? I want to know all about you and your family.”

Wyatt’s expression changed to doleful. “Nothing much to tell. I was raised in an orphan asylum. My father died before I was born and my mother shortly after giving birth to me. I was given a parochial education, then shown the door when I was eighteen.”

“I’m so sorry. I had no idea. But you seem to have done very well for yourself. I mean, you’re intelligent and you have secure employment.”

“You could say that. I’ve worked hard to achieve my success, and it hasn’t been easy. Hiding my true nature takes precedence over everything, which makes for a very lonely existence. I mustn’t be doing a very good job, though, because you saw straight through me.”

Wyatt’s chuckle belied an obvious deep-set hurt.

“Only obvious to one who looks for such things. I’ve always enjoyed watching people. The true test would be to see you around people you have no desire to know better.”

Wyatt raised his glass. “To astute observations. May they take us far.”

Jack joined in the toast and winked. “May they take us far indeed.”

WYATT lolled his head against Jack’s shoulder as Jack drove him to his Garden Courts apartment. He kneaded Jack’s leg and inched higher, until Jack stopped his hand, mid-thigh.

“I coulda driven myself home,” Wyatt slurred.

“Not so sure of that, sport,” Jack said, as he patted Wyatt’s hand. “You should have told me you aren’t used to drinking.”

“I’m not ushed to drinking, Jack.”

There was something endearingly innocent about Wyatt’s drunkenness.

Jack pulled up at the apartment building, a neatly kept set of buildings. He rested Wyatt’s head against the back of the seat and got out of the car.

When he opened the passenger door, Wyatt appeared as though asleep. “Come on. You’re home.”

Wyatt groaned, then allowed Jack to get him out of the car.

The walk to the door of the building involved much shuffling and more than a few stumbles.

“Where are your keys?”

Wyatt fumbled in his pockets, then dropped his key ring on the ground.

Jack chuckled as he balanced Wyatt and bent to retrieve the keys. He unlocked the door, and then, with his arm securely around Wyatt’s waist, he helped Wyatt up the stairs to his second-floor flat.

“You’re tickling me.” Wyatt laughed, the sound reverberating down the long hallway.

Jack hefted Wyatt closer. “You find this humorous?”

“I was just thinking how you were trying to get me drunk so you could take me to bed.”

“Shh. You’ll alert the neighbors.”

“Don’t care. That’s what you were trying to do, isn’t it, Jack?”

Wyatt’s knees buckled just outside apartment 204. Jack held on while he slid the key into the lock and opened the door. He then scooped Wyatt up, into his arms, and carried him through to a hallway. “Which room is yours?”

There were only two choices, and with Wyatt hemming and hawing, Jack chose the one with the clothes scattered on the floor.

He laid Wyatt onto the unmade bed and proceeded to undress him down to his union suit, something he’d hoped to do under more auspicious circumstances. Wyatt dozed until Jack covered him, brushed his blond forelock into place, and kissed his forehead. He took Wyatt’s glasses off and put them on the bedside table.

Wyatt grabbed his arm in a weak grip. “Don’t leave me alone.”

There was something quite vulnerable about this handsome man that touched Jack deeply. Not since he and Andrew were children had he felt so protective of someone else.

He loosened Wyatt’s grip and tucked that arm beneath the covers. “I’ll be right here.”

Jack took off his own shoes, lay down next to Wyatt, and tugged him into his arms. Wyatt snuggled against his neck, then his breathing evened as he gently blew warm puffs of air against Jack’s skin. Jack smiled, closed his eyes, and fell asleep, feeling content and needed.

Buy Link | Amazon

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BritaAddamspicAbout Brita Addams: Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website/Blog  | Twitter | Facebook  | Fan page  | Pinterest | Booklikes | iAuthor | Monthly column at The Novel Approach | Please stay in touch by subscribing to my monthly newsletter |  Cold Coffee Café

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Giveaways

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and welcome back for another look at what we have coming up in the week ahead. Great guests, giveaways, and chats about books complement a full week of reviews.

Here’s what’s on tap just for you!

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Monday – To kick off the week, Riptide Publishing brings you the Misfits blog tour with Garrett Leigh

TuesdayApril Kelley stops by on her Whispers of Home blog tour

Torquere Press is also with us today, with an interview about where the publisher has been and where it’s going in the future

And guest contributor Brita Addams drops in to chat a bit about promotion

WednesdayJL Merrow is our guest today on her Heat Trap blog tour, Book Three in The Plumber’s Mate series

Thursday – We welcome Lou Sylvre on the A Shot of J&B blog tour

Keira Andrews and Leta Blake have also revised and rereleased their Jack and the Beanstalk Fairy Tale Rise. They’ll be here to talk a bit about the book today

FridayKD Worth (aka Deanna Wadsworth) stops by to talk a bit about her new Young Adult novel The Grim Life

Saturday – Finally, author T.A. Moore closes out the week on the Labyrinth of Stone blog tour

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams

Guest Post: Antagonyms, Contronyms, and Campus Slang by Brita Addams

images (3)Antagonym is a word invented by Charles Ellis in 1999. Richard Lederer had coined contronyms in in his 1989 book, Crazy English, both words refer a single word with meanings that contradict each other.

Each generation wants to make its mark on the world and one way of doing that is with words. When I was a teenager, to be “kicky” meant you were the bomb (a word that came much later,) the best, the…well you get the idea. I practiced my kickiness in the mirror each day before school, but somehow, someone else had a better handle on it than me. I gave up in my junior year and settled into a much more studious finish to my high school years. (No, not career. High school and college are education, in preparation for a career, unless you spend more than the requisite time allotted toiling away at ye olde alma mater.)

Along with the mark generations make on government, education, and society come words, expressions, or slogans that become a part of our modern lexicon. One of my more recent favorites (not) is “That’s so Rufus,” from the 1999 movie, Never Been Kissed. The Urban Dictionary picked it up – “A word meaning ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ created by the character ‘Guy’ in the movie Never Been Kissed.” Note the two words used to define rufus. I had a boss named Rufus once. Neither cool nor awesome, unless you refer to the true meaning of awesome – struck fear—then yeah, awesome to the max.

I confess to loving and watching the rufus final scene in Never Been Kissed some twenty or thirty times, but I digress.

Here are a few words that have gotten do-overs (love that one!) while still wearing their old rags:

wpid-say-what-you-mean1

Eager – now that is a straightforward word, isn’t it? We all know what it means, right? What it doesn’t mean is anxious, which means fretful, nervous, apprehensive. Yet we say, “I’m so anxious to go to that concert,” when in fact, we are eager. Anxious and eager are used interchangeably.

Sick – somehow, apparently as far back as the early ’80s, sick has meant good, great – “That concert was sick.” How does that happen?

Ridiculous – means deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd. But it has taken on a contrary meaning. Not by all, but by some.

Bad – meaning good. Equally as baffling.

Kill – as in “You kill that outfit.” Or “Those are killer shoes.” There isn’t anything in the meaning of kill that evokes admiration for clothes or shoes or music, or, or, or… but we hear it every day.

Literally – “I literally died when I heard that joke.” Probably not, else you wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. Literally means precisely, but it has been construed to mean figuratively.

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Terrific – once meant extremely bad, now is also defined as extremely good.

There are many words that have contrary meanings, not because they started out that way, but because over time, people have adapted them to fit situations and they’ve stuck. Back in the day (UGH, I so dislike that phrase, mainly because it usually refers to a time that I don’t consider history but part of my life,) cool meant slightly less cold. How it came to mean the epitome of hip (which is a bone,) I’m not sure. I use that one and I like it. Selective antagonismness.

More and more, the contrary meanings of words are creeping into news reports and television shows, which gives them legitimacy. Then as we’ve seen with some words, the contrary meaning is adopted as a meaning of the word. A great example of this is awesome. Used to mean strikes fear, and now it also means great, according to Merriam-Webster.

Princess-bride-image

I don’t doubt that this is a generational thing, where someone younger might not have the same issues with the changing meanings as someone older. Do young people really know that BAD doesn’t mean GOOD, and never has? Do people LITERALLY die when they hear a joke?

And then there’s that whole thing about age appropriateness. Comes a time when proper speech trumps hipster jive.

What do you think? I’m going to take my kicky self out of here so I can change into my literally killer pajamas with sick baby penguins on them. Ridiculous how I love those awesome little guys.

For more on antagonysms, visit Charles Ellis’s page, where he lists many more examples.

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Brita lite logoMore about Brita Addams:

Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Musa Publishing publishes Brita’s heterosexual historical romances, including the rewritten and expanded, best-selling Sapphire Club series, each with new titles. Again, each of the titles have again hit the best-selling lists at various online vendors.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can follow Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website/Blog Twitter | Facebook |Fan page Pinterest | Booklikes | Monthly column at The Novel Approach | Please stay in touch by subscribing to my monthly newsletter Cold Coffee Café

BA-fb-banner

 

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone, and thanks for coming by to see what we have in store for you in the week ahead. It’s shaped up to be another busy one–loads of guest authors, blog tours, giveaways just for you, and, of course, books. It wouldn’t be a week if we didn’t talk about books. 

Now, here’s what’s on tap.

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Monday – Author Felice Stevens is going to kick off our week for us on her blog tour for Memories of the Heart

We’ll also have Hayden Thorne joining us today to talk about her new book Sheridan Diggins and the Dead Horde

Tuesday – We’re helping Jaime Reese celebrate the release of the newest addition to the Men of Halfway House series, A Restored Man

We’ll also be helping to reveal the cover for Lou Sylvre’s A Shot of J&B, the next generation in the Vasquez and James series

Guest columnist and author Brita Addams also joins us today with her monthly article

Wednesday – Today we’ll be hosting author Con Riley on the True Brit blog tour

And joining her as our guest will be Sean Michael on the Love Matters tour

ThursdayJay Northcote drops in on the Passing Through blog tour

Jessie G. will also be with us today on The Protector blog tour

FridayMia Kerick is stopping by today on the Here Without You blog tour

We’ll also welcome Riptide Publishing and Cari Z., a contributing author in the Rules to Live By anthology

Saturday – Finally, to close out this busy week, we’ll have author Lillian Francis on the Theory Unproven blog tour

Louise Lyons also joins on the In Darkest Peru blog tour

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And that does it for us for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Brita Addams

Guest Post: Random Acts of Promotional Kindness by Brita Addams

Random Acts of Promotional Kindness

Last year I started a Facebook page called Random Acts of Promotional Kindness, where I hoped people would help each other promote books, events, giveaways, contests, and well, anything else book related. The page got some attention and people used it as I intended. But I wanted more, so I recently started a RAPK Facebook group, and it has taken off nicely for being so new.

There, everyone can put up excerpts, links to their websites, buy links—anything they want, but I ask that everyone keep it clean, because Facebook is so blinking judgmental. Nice shiny covers are welcome, but no nudity. Excerpts should be tamer than you might like, but put a link in for the racier bits. LOL

This your personal invitation to join the Random Acts of Promotional Kindness group and use it regularly, not only to promote your own work, but to help others reach a wider audience. I will never add anyone to the group, as I think that’s rude, but I would love to see more members.

Promotion is expensive and if we can help each other, we should. We’re also working with Writers Online Network or WON, for reciprocation. WON is a year old and they have many promotional avenues for authors.

They host many themed radio shows on Block Talk Radio and the blog is very active. You can contact Zachary Phillips for a guest blog spot. Check them out at Writers Online Network. They are looking for a host for the show I created, And the Rest is History. Interested? Contact Will Prater.

Open your promotional horizons and check out WON.

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hertimelessobsession-510I have a release coming out on January 23rd. Her Timeless Obsession is a het Regency romance and is available for pre-order now and download on release day at Musa Publishing. I’ll be on tour with the book from January 25 to the 30th, and I invite everyone to join me. I’ll have a giveaway of a backlist books along the way.

A love that transcends time.

Ever the explorer, Honey Danby discovers a treasure trove in her dusty 1910 London attic. Old trunks filled with clothes, journals, and love letters written between two lovers in 1810 entertain her and leave her longing for a time and a man long past. Dressed in an irresistible gown from one of the trunks, Honey discovers a heart-wrenching love story. When she learns that all was cruelly torn asunder, the handsome soldier’s loving words written to his H. catapult Honey into an adventure that defies logic.

When, dressed in a crisper version of the gown, Honey inexplicably awakens inside a rumbling horse-drawn carriage, she discovers she shares the antiquated vehicle with the man who tore the lovers apart. Can she convince this stranger to forego his unreasonable demands, or will history repeat itself on a misty August morn in Green Park?

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Something new on the horizon

2015 started with an idea to write a story set in a city I’m very familiar with, New Orleans, in the early part of the 20th Century. In the planning stages, I called in my author daughter, Lindsay, to brainstorm, and she immediately suggested it should be a gay romance. While I started writing het romance five years ago, I love gay romance more every day. The story is steaming along, with on protag born in the Red Light District. I’m working on the draft, after which I’ll go back and put the flesh on the bones. I’m excited to finish this one and get it sent off to the publisher. Feels good to write something new after spending the last year rewriting my hets and getting them a new home with Musa Publishing after the original pub folded.

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Brita LogoAbout Brita Addams

Born in a small town in upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.

Musa Publishing publishes Brita’s heterosexual historical romances, including the rewritten and expanded, best-selling Sapphire Club series, each with new titles. Again, each of the titles have again hit the best-selling lists at various online vendors.

Tarnished Gold, the first in her gay romance Tarnished series for Dreamspinner Press, was a winner in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, Historical Romance category. The book also received nominations for Best Historical and Best Book of 2013 from the readers of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter. Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find more information about Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website/Blog 
Twitter
Facebook
Fan page 
Pinterest
Booklikes
Monthly column at The Novel Approach
Please stay in touch by subscribing to my monthly newsletter

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week

Sneak Peek

Cheers, everyone! I hope you all are well and have been buying, reading, and loving all the books. We have a great week coming up, so without further ado, here’s what we have in store for you to enjoy.

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Monday – Kicking off the week, we have Jeff Adams here for a visit and a giveaway of his new book Hat Trick: Overtime

We’ll also have K.C. Wells with us on her A Bond of Three blog tour, with a giveaway

Tuesday – Author J.A. Rock is here today on her Take the Long Way Home blog tour

Brita Addams is also joining us to talk about promotion and to tell us what’s on the horizon for her in 2015

WednesdayDraven St. James is our guest today on the Wolf’s Sacrifice blog tour, with a giveaway

Thursday – Joining us today is author Mercy Celeste, with an exclusive interview and cover reveal

Friday – Authors Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae join us today on their Doves blog tour

And we also have J.A. Jaken joining us today on The Last Door blog tour

Saturday – Wrapping up our week we have Meredith Russell joining us on the Just Jack blog tour

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And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

 

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Brita Addams

In The Full Swing Of The Holiday Season With Brita Addams

 

Brita Christmas

Well, we’re in the full clutches of the holiday season. Does that sound bah humbugish? I confess, that’s the way I feel.

I am a product of a mother whose favorite holiday was Christmas and each year, she went all out. Dad handled the present purchasing and my mother did the rest. Oh, I have fond memories of the year she chose the “drunken sailor” Christmas tree (because it looked so pitiful on the lot,) and decorated that sucker until it looked perfectly straight. That woman could work wonders with that silver tinsel stuff. One damn strand at a time, her domain, and God save your fingers if you tried to “help her.” I do remember the year I crinkled a bunch of it (made like aluminum foil, not the flimsy stuff we can get today,) and tossed the wad on the tree when she wasn’t looking. Score for me. That petulant act saved me hours of her fuss-budgeting every year. In all my adult years, I’ve never used what she called icicles. Continue reading

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Brita Addams

What Motivates You To Purchase Books From A Particular Site – A Guest Post by Brita Addams

booksYou love books, don’t you? Yeah, me too. Some authors and publishers are autobuys for me, because I know I’ll get the reading experience I want. A cover attracts me, the blurb entices and then I’m off to purchase.

Before I wrote, I had my go-to vendors. As a reflex, I went to what was familiar. Then, I had books accepted for publication, signed contracts, and the purchase of books took on an entirely different scope.

What motivates you to purchase from a particular site? Is it habit? Ease of purchasing experience? Sales? Incentives?

As an author, I have my clear-cut preference. Hands down, I’d rather my readers purchase from my publisher’s sites. Continue reading

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Brita Addams, Musa Publishing

Cover Reveal and the Story Behind Thornhill’s Dilemma by Brita Addams

thornhillsdilemma-300dpiWhile I’ve had the cover for my upcoming release, Thornhill’s Dilemma, for a few weeks, I wanted to save the cover reveal for my favorite site and second home online, The Novel Approach. So, without further ado, I unveil the beautiful cover. Thank you to Kelly Shorten at Musa Publishing for working with me to make this beautiful cover happen! Kelly is aces.

Book three of my Sapphire Club series, Thornhill’s Dilemma, tells the story of Phillip Allard and Alexander Chilton, with a guest appearance by Lady Hope Linden.

In the book’s original incarnation, Chocolate, Tea, and the Duchess, the story was a menage. When I received the rights to the story back from the defunct publisher, I did with it what my gut told me to do five years ago when I wrote the story. While there are a couple of menage scenes, not graphic, this is a story about Phillip and Alex.

There was so much more story for these characters than what I wrote in C,T, & D. Then I hadn’t explored their lives completely and considered things that will become evident in the reading. When I sat down to do a pre-edit, as I did with the other two books, Phillip spoke to me, quite adamantly. From that, comes what I think is a beautiful story that takes place in a time when homosexual relationships were against the law. Continue reading

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Brita Addams, Musa Publishing

Guest Post: Inside a Love Scene by Brita Addams

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Let me start by saying that anyone who thinks writing a love scene is fun is greatly mistaken. It’s work and for the most part, technical. A writer has to make sure that the positions we put our characters in are possible and doesn’t end up making them out to be contortionists.

Badly written, you risk tossing the reader out of the story. Well written, your reader is right there, in the story, wishing they could participate. Continue reading

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