Hi guys, today we have Brita Addams stopping by with her new release Beloved Unmasked, this book is part of the Tarnished universe but is also the start of a new series Cherished One, Brita chats about Beloved Unmasked, she brings along a great excerpt and we have Cat’s review, so enjoy the post! <3 ~Pixie~
A Tarnished Novel
Cherished One: Book One:
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?
I want to first thank everyone at MM Good Books Reviews for inviting me to their blog today. I’m honored to be here to talk about my new release, Beloved Unmasked, my new gay romance. The book takes place in Storyville, New Orleans’s red light district that served the citizenry from 1897 to 1917. The excerpt below finds Pic at sixteen-years old, watching over a young girl, Charley.
Life for “trick babies” was not easy, particularly as they got older. Neither boys nor girls were safe. You’ll get a taste of what they had to look forward to by this excerpt.
I’m hosting a week of posts on my blog, each one on different aspects of life in Storyville. I invite you to stop by each day between October 16 and 23 for posts on Pre-Storyville part one and two, overview of Storyville, Storyville News, E. J. Bellocq Photographer to the Whores, the Madams of Storyville, Storyville’s Sporting Palaces, and Trick Babies.
The history of Storyville is as interesting as the people who inhabited it. The murdering madams, the music that drew tricks to the bawdy houses in a social experiment like no other in the country. The lawlessness with respect to Prohibition, even the children turned out at a young age, all a part of what made Storyville something still talked about today, ninety-eight years after the federal government shut it down.
With Mardi Gras on the seventh, the household staff at the Gem, as well as the children, worked to spruce up the place. “Everything has to shine,” Miss Jewel said. “Carnival’s when we make big money.”
With his mind on a drawing he’d started, Picayune kept his head down and polished the mahogany spindles on the stairway under Nester’s watchful eye. “The doors open in an hour,” Nester said, his arms akimbo. “Ya’ll finish up chere an’ den git to the kitchen fo’ yer dinna.”
“The sixth stair is loose again. Needs a nail or two.”
Nester nodded. “I’ll get to it, Pic. Too much ta do ’roun’ chere.”
Pic’s arms ached from hours of sweeping and scrubbing floors and finally helping Charlotte with the deeply carved wood. “You ’bout done, Charley?”
The six-year-old’s blonde curls bounced as she nodded, her eyes dark. “Almost finished the bann’ster, but I’m so hungry.”
Pic grinned at the little one’s pat excuse to escape work. “Go on, then. I’ll finish up here.”
A tear slid down the girl’s pale cheek. “I’m sorry, Pic. I don’ wanna be hungry, cuz I don’ wanna finish too soon. After dinner, I’ll have to get under Mama’s bed.”
With a gentle touch, Pic tugged one of the curls. “I know, shug. I slept under Sapphire’s bed until I was ten, and I hated every minute.”
She put her hands over her ears. “I hate the squeakin’ and the groanin’. And the washin’.”
Picayune knelt before Charley. “Your mama makes you wash the men?”
Pic’s stomach roiled. He hugged the little girl. “What if I talk to Miss Jewel?”
“You’d tell ’er I wanna go to the attic?”
“Is that what you want?”
She nodded again.
“Then that’s what I’ll do. There isn’t a lot of room up there, but you’re just a little one.” He tapped her nose. “We can find room for you, if Miss Jewel gives the okay.”
Charley wrapped her arms around Pic’s neck and wept into his shoulder. “You’s the only one dat lubs me, Pic.”
He held her tight, giving her the hug he’d so craved growing up. “I do love you, bigger than the whole wide world.”
She giggled. “You say that all the time.”
“I love you all the time. Now go along and get your dinner.”
She jumped off Pic’s lap. “Miss Effie has gumbo today.”
“Mm, sounds good. Save me some. I’ll be along after I wrap things up here.”
Lots of pre-release buzz about Beloved Unmasked
A Tarnished Novel
Cherished One: Book One:
Beloved Unmasked is a beautifully written historical romance. You can feel the streets of New Orleans, see the sights, and hear the sounds. (Cathy Brockman – MM Good Book Reviews)
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)
Beloved Unmasked has a whole lot packed into the pages. Brita Addams has certainly done her research about New Orleans. (Kazza – On the Top Down Under Reviews)
The other books in the Tarnished series are Tarnished Gold and Tarnished Souls Frankie and Gent. These take place in the Golden Age of Hollywood and can be read as standalones. Beloved Unmasked is a part of the Tarnished world, but is a standalone as well. Check my website for the details of those books and my other writings.
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.
Find Brita at any of the following places:
Title: Beloved Unmasked
Series: A Tarnished novel 03 (Cherished One 01)
Author: Brita Addams
Genre: Contemporary, Historical 1920’s era
Length: Novel (276pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 16th 2015 )
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Born in 1898 to a heartless prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, a name 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.
Review: Beloved Unmasked is a beautifully written historical romance. You can feel the streets of New Orleans, see the sites, and hear the sounds. The story is a bittersweet romance full of angst yet has a happy ending. There are plenty of twists to keep you on your toes and I will admit to many tears shed. I also loved this cover.
The stars of the Show–oops– I mean book, are hard to choose since all the characters play such vital roles.: Picayune who later becomes David as he manages to get himself out of the quarters and avoid the life of prostitution his other planned for him is the main character. I absolutely fell in love with him the moment he was born. Spencer, David’s, best friend and first love I also fell in love with at first meeting. He is a prostitute with a personality full of life. My heart broke when he was called to war, from the letters he and David exchanged and because I had a deep dark feeling I knew what was going to happen.
There were other characters that stole my heart: Of course Emile, the man that took David under his wing and made it possible for him to have a career in law. I loved all of the kids from the quarter and my heart ached for them. I also loved the musicians some real and some not. I loved Nester. There was one other lawyer in the firm and I would like to see Luke’s story.
I hated David (Picayune’s) Mom. She really made a good villain.
The book was so good it is so hard to pick just one or two big events or lines to mention. Every time Pic and Spencer parted and in Spencer’s letter’s he always said: “don’t take any wooden nickels.” I know that is cliché but fit so well in their line of business and at one point David goes back to Spence’s old room and we see wooden nickels.
Even though the context of the book is brothels and prostitution there isn’t a lot of explicit sex. My favorite scene was Spencer and David’s making love. It was so sexy, beautiful and sensual that it nearly made me cry.
This is a series, but you don’t have to read them in order. Each book stands alone.
If you like MM historicals, prohibition period, New Orleans, angst and a very sensual romance I highly recommend this.