Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Turnbull House NBtM

London 1891. Former criminal Ira Adler has built a respectable, if dull, life for himself as a confidential secretary. He even sits on the board of a youth shelter. When the shelter’s landlord threatens to sell the building out from under them, Ira turns to his ex-lover, crime lord Cain Goddard, for a loan. But the loan comes with strings, and before he knows it, Ira is tangled up in them and tumbling back into the life of crime he worked so hard to escape. Two old flames come back into Ira’s life, along with a new young man who reminds Ira of his former self. Will Ira hold fast to his principles, or will he succumb to the temptations of easy riches and lost pleasures?

“So,” Goddard said, taking a long sip from his glass. “You never told me why you decided to contact me after all this time.”

“Well…” As I searched for the right words, he quietly set his drink on the polished wood floor. “It’s funny you should—”

The kiss came as such a surprise that I scrambled backward across the divan and almost tumbled over its rounded arm. Whiskey sloshed over the rim of my glass, splashing silently onto the Chinese rug. What remained I belted back in one go before setting the glass on the floor and wiping my shaking fingers on my trousers.

It wasn’t that I was averse to the idea of kissing him, but I really hadn’t expected it. In fact, if I’d seen him start toward me in the first place—he was remarkably quick for a man in his mid-forties—I’d have assumed he was going for my throat.

Goddard chuckled under his breath. “Sorry. Did I startle you?”

“You might say that.”

I was also taken aback by the presumption. I had always liked it when he took control, and the hard, whiskey-flavored slickness of his mouth had left me aroused. All the same, I was no longer his plaything. Part of me felt as if he should have at least asked permission.

I forgot my objections when he leaned in a second time, slowly, and cupped my face in his smooth, muscular hands. Now that I was expecting it, the kiss felt like coming home after a long, unpleasant journey. For just a moment, all of my troubles dissolved, and nothing existed except his fingers in my hair, the traces of his jasmine and bergamot cologne, and the smooth, familiar contours of his mouth.

And then as suddenly as he had moved in, Goddard pulled back, leaving me confused, disappointed, and blinking in the gaslight and shadow.

“Why did you come, Ira?”

“To ask you for money,” I said.

I know. I know. But every drop of blood in my head had surged to my cock, and I found myself incapable of the higher functioning required for either diplomacy or deceit.

Perhaps that had been the idea.

Jess, thanks so much for stopping by. So, how did you get started writing?
It was always something I wanted to do, thought about doing, fiddled around with. Then one day I noticed that almost every job I held, I would zip through the work as fast as I could so that I’d have time to write stories at the end of the day. When the chance came up to step into writing/editing full time, I took it.

What was the inspiration for your book?
Turnbull House is the second book in the Ira Adler mystery series. The title is the name of the youth shelter that Ira and his friends, Tim and Bess Lazarus, founded at the end of the first book, The Affair of the Porcelain Dog. I wanted not only to follow these characters forward a few years and see what became of their venture, but to see how my main character—a former street tough—would fare in a completely alien role: as a role model for disadvantaged youth. He did fine, but not without some comic complications =)

What’s the one genre you haven’t written in yet that you’d like to?
I’d love to write a swords and sorcery story with a really kick-@$$ female hero.

Are there any genres you won’t read or write in? Why?
I really don’t like serial killer stories. They give me nightmares. I used to like horror when I was a teenager, but that was before I’d become fed up with the cruelty and violence that are always with us in real life. When I read, I won’t read anything where the selling point is cruelty, violence, abuse, or gore. I won’t publish it in my anthologies, either. There is some cruelty and violence in my novels—though I don’t linger on it—and I do explore some of the dark underbelly of the places my stories are set. However, it’s never there for its own sake—there’s always a lesson in it for someone.

So, what are you working on right now? Got any releases planned, or still writing?
I’m currently working on Ira’s third book, Fool’s Gold, which is slated for release in winter 2014/spring 2015. In this installment, London spits Ira out completely, and he finds himself bound for California. I’m having a great time playing with the conventions and clich├ęs of the Western, including a cattle stampede and a chase across the top of a moving train. Several of the major, overarching plot questions will find resolution, and, as always, Ira will be faced with a Life-Changing Decision.

Alright, now for some totally random, fun questions. Favorite color?  Rust

Favorite movie? Ghostbusters

Book that inspired you to become an author?
 Gosh, there were so many. Nene Adams’s Gaslight series inspired me to start writing in the Victorian period. Charlie Cochrane’s excellent Cambridge Fellows series helped me learn how to write a solid mystery.

Alright, you have one superpower. What is it?
Is immortality a superpower? So many books, so little time!

You can have dinner with any 3 people, dead, alive, fictitious, etc. Who are they?
#1 Jesus Christ. Such a wonderful teacher with such important lessons that different teachers have tried to impart at different times in history—almost always with the same cost to themselves. I’d like to hear his take on what people are doing and saying in his name today, in particular, and also to see if he has any ideas for the practical application of the lessons of compassion and humility in society.

#2 Shirley Chisholm: An amazing and inspirational woman who fought tirelessly her entire life for education, equal opportunity, and economic justice for all. She achieved a number of “firsts” as a woman, as an African American, and as an African American woman. Her most important accomplishment, though, I think, was being one of a handful of politicians who have ever really done anything positive, useful and lasting for society.

#3 James Baldwin: one of my favorite writers of all time, and probably the greatest American essayist who has ever lived. His observations on human nature are trenchant and timeless. His writing is eloquent and beautiful. He was taken to us far too early.

Last question: Which of your characters are you most like and how/why?
Oh, goodness. I’m afraid they all are. I’m a bit of a smart-mouth, like Ira Adler. I try to do too much for too many people and then get irritable about it, like Tim Lazarus. I can be deadly practical like Bess Lazarus, and am a bit of a libertarian like Cain Goddard.

That’s all from me, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!
Thanks for having me! It’s been fun! 

Jess will be awarding a two-book set (paperback) of Turnbull House and its predecessor, The Affair of the Porcelain Dog to a randomly drawn commenter between this tour and the NBtM Review Tour. 

April 8: Books on Silver Wings
April 15: The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat
April 22: Beckstar Reviews
April 29: Beyond Romance
April 29 SECOND STOP: Wickedly Wanton Tales
May 6: Sharing Links and Wisdom
May 6 SECOND STOP: Reviews By Molly
May 13:Long and Short Reviews
May 20: Book Suburbia
May 20 SECOND STOP: Deal Sharing Aunt
May 27: Booklover Sue

Author Bio and Links:
Jess Faraday is the author of the Ira Adler mysteries and the standalone steampunk thriller The Left Hand of Justice. She also moonlights as the mystery editor for Elm Books.