Authors are many things, or maybe it is that we wear many hats. Whatever the appropriate verbiage, this author loves to blog. I especially love to feature other authors on my blog, because I am also a reader, and I personally love to fall in love with new books. I am also one of those readers who believes in the recommendations of her friends. If someone I respect (or at least shares my same reading interests) suggests a book or a new author, I will usually rush right over to Goodreads to add them to my To Be Read List.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), that list seems to be forever growing. Sometimes it’s hard to choose which book to read next. Well, after reading this interview, I can tell you without a doubt that I know which book is next on my TBR list. Mark Virtue is sassy, flirty, and utterly charming. I want more. I cannot wait to read this book. Keep reading this post. I’m sure, by the end, you’ll agree.
The Rose and Crown. Southwark 1671
I am sitting in the back corner of the Rose and Crown staring into the blackest cup of coffee I have ever seen. It smells like burnt popcorn and it’s so thick you could stand a spoon in it. Starbucks, this is not. Feeling adventurous, I take a cautious sip.
This coffee is more than Turkish; it tastes like mud, ashes, soot, and a little bit like burnt sugar. Really burnt. So burnt that it has become one with the cast-iron pot that burned it. If I drink the whole cup, I will be able to see through time.
I look up when I hear the laughter start.
The laughter is coming from a man standing just beyond my table. From the dimple in his scruffy cheek, I can tell that he’s trying not to laugh harder. He sets two mugs of beer on the table and takes the stool opposite.
I accept one gratefully. “How did you know?”
“Good guess,” he replies with a half-smile that can only be described as disarming.
This has to be Mark. I fight the urge to fix my hair.
Nick Virtue’s older brother is the Master carpenter in these parts. Going on his physique alone, I could have guessed. Well, either that, or he bench-presses baby elephants. For all the women staring at him right now, he’s not exactly handsome. His skin’s a little darker, a bit weathered for a man his age. His dark blonde hair needs a wash, and he hasn’t shaved in a good week. His nose has been broken a few times, but the flattened bridge is strangely charming. He has a look of mischief about him that is intriguing, to say the least.
Before he even finishes his beer, a stunning, curvy blonde sets a second one in front of him and shoots me an icy glare before returning to the bar.
Mark: That’s Bel. She’s one of the Henshawe sisters. (He lowers his voice and wiggles the fingers on his right hand) There are five of them.
Jess: You’re very popular with women. What’s your secret?
Mark: Would you like me to show you?
Jess: (chokes on beer, changes subject) Name your favorite place to seduce someone.
Mark: Anywhere there’s a bed. Or chair. Or floor. Or wall. Once I did it in a cockpit. Not just a clever name, hey? (laughs) Filthy, that was.
Jess: Describe your ideal woman.
Mark: What’s ideal got to do with it? I’m not one to choose favorites. All woman are lovely in different ways, and I like to show my appreciation as often and inventively as possible.
Jess: There are some people who think you fancy Sally. What do you have to say about that?
Mark: Sally is a treat. When Nick told me he fancied a… er, well, an actress, I pictured someone like Nell Gwyn: a shrill-voiced little orange seller with her tits out. Sally was completely unexpected. Gorgeous, yeah, but with this great air of tragedy about her. She’s had a rough past, but she doesn’t talk about that. She wants to help everybody, and has this need to feed people. She can’t help it. I’m not complaining, mind, but she needs to laugh more. So does Nick. They’re perfect for each other, but neither one of them’s figured it out yet. See? Perfect for each other. Kind to a fault, but very stupid.
Jess: No chance of you stealing her away, then?
Mark: And break my brother’s heart? Never. Nick’s a good sort, and he’s never really a had a sweetheart or anything. He takes everything so seriously. At any rate, me and Sally understand each other. One whore always recognizes another…
Jess: What do you mean by that?
Mark: (shrugs) I think you know.
Jess: I hear you’ve been looking for an actress of your own. What’s the story there?
Mark: Not just any actress. My actress. I met her down at the Three Compasses awhile back and I’ve been down to Drury Lane every night this week trying to find her again. Strange thing is, nobody knows her. Do you know where she is?
So what’s this Tyburn book about, anyway?
Sally Green is about to die.
She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.
Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.
As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.
Unless the gallows take her first.
Want it? As of December 8th, you can buy it here:
Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com
Who is this author anyway?
Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.
Want to Stalk Jessica?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997.Jessica_Cale
That’s all folks. Tyburn is available for sale as of December 8th. Pick up your copy today! I know I will….