Monday, March 25, 2013

Brita Addams Tour & Giveaway

Back for a visit today is the lovely Brita Addams, celebrating her new book Tarnished Gold with way cool giveaway goodies. Way cool stuff, like a Kindle and whatnot.

That's waaay cool.

So, be sure and say hello, check everything out, aaaaand... good luck!

Brita my dear... welcome back! Congrats on the new book!



Giveaway:
Ebook giveaways at each stop. Random commenter's choice from my backlist (Tarnished Gold excluded)

Signed 8x10 glossies of Jack Abadie

Grand Prize is a Kindle, along with the winner's choice of five (5) of my backlist titles, sent to them by email.

Rules: 
Easy. Leave a comment at one or all the stops. At each stop, a random commenter will be selected to win their choice of backlist book (Tarnished Gold excluded.) This selection will be made daily throughout the tour, except where blog owners wish to extend the eligibility. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment. 

All names of commenters and their email addresses will be put into the drawing for the Kindle, even if they have won the daily drawing. The more comments you make the more chances you have to win.

Other prizes include five (5) 8x10 glossies of Jack Abadie, signed. The winners will be selected on April 10, from all the commenters at all the stops, and notified by email.

The Grand Prize winner will be selected on April 10th and notified by email. Once I have heard from the winner and obtained a shipping address, I will order the Kindle and have it shipped directly to the winner. 

They will also be eligible to select five (5) of my backlist titles and I will email them to the winner.

For other stops on the tour, please visit my blog.

Hollywood's Golden Age

With the writing of my novel, Tarnished Gold, I did a tremendous amount of research. My interest in the golden age of Hollywood is longstanding. As a young girl, I learned of my father's interest in the early age of films. He loved Chaplin and Pickford, the slapstick comedy of Charlie Chase and Buster Keaton, and the melodrama of the silent films.

I sat on the sofa with him and watched, even from the age when I had no idea that I was watching something quite old. I fell in love with the early talkies and when I was old enough to read, I devoured biographies of stars long dead. I remember imitating the affected speech, something created during the transition between silents and talkies.

Upon embarking on the writing of Tarnished Gold, I harkened back to the knowledge I possessed and found it woefully lacking. My friend Damon Suede proved invaluable in his knowledge and led me toward a treasure trove of books that focused upon the topic most close to my story—homosexuality in Hollywood during the golden age.

Some years ago, I became aware of William Haines, a gay actor from the 1920s and '30s. I read William Mann's book, Wisecracker, a wonderful account of Billy's Haines life. During that reading, I fell in love with Billy, for he was an amazing man, with insight and forward thinking at a time when he played silly parts in collegiate romps.

I watched several YouTube videos of Billy, so that I could get a sense of the man—his voice, his manner. One such video was an appearance on the Jack Benny Show. I was treated to a wonderful look at Billy's sense of humor, albeit scripted, and his very natural smile and the twinkle in his eyes. I also enjoyed hearing his voice, which was much more natural than in some of his films.

From the start, I wanted to create my character, Jack Abadie, with Billy Haines in mind, as an homage to the man who is arguably, the bravest actor Hollywood has ever known and I refashioned some of them in Tarnished Gold.

Hollywood was very different in those days. Freewheeling, where people worked hard and played harder. They gave little care for propriety or moderation. With that attitude, scandal struck often.

The studio publicity departments worked overtime to cover up the rampant scandals. In 1920 in Paris, Olive Thomas, wife of fellow heroin addict Jack Pickford (brother of Mary,) ingested mercury bicholoride and died. In September, 1920, Robert Harron died of a gunshot wound. Rumors had it that he shot himself after he lost a role in a D.W. Griffith film to Richard Barthelmess. Even after his death, the rumor raged that Harron was involved in a homosexual triangle on the Griffith set.

In 1921, Fatty Arbuckle was accused of the rape and murder of Virginia Rappe, a young woman with a sketchy past. Rappe was assaulted with a champagne bottle and died several days later of a ruptured bladder and Peritonitis. No one saw Arbuckle assault the young woman, the details of which came out over the course of three trials. Ultimately, Arbuckle was acquitted, but by then, the scandal had irreparably damaged his career. He died in disgrace in 1933.

A concurrent scandal, one which has fascinated me for many years, was the death of director William Desmond Taylor. Someone shot him to death on February 9, 1922, in his own home, shortly after a visit from drug addicted Mabel Normand. Taylor was in love with Normand and tried, to no avail, to ease Normand away from her $2,000 a month cocaine habit. He warmed her against the company she kept, but she refused to listen. She died in 1930 after a reoccurrence of tuberculosis, brought on by her addition.

With the death of Wallace Reid in 1923, Hollywood lost a beloved actor. Reid had been injured while filming a scene on a train and consequently took morphine for the pain. His subsequent addiction caused his death at age 31. And then there was the mysterious death of prominent director Thomas Ince, aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht. There was a question whether Ince was having an affair with Marion Davies, Hearst's paramour, or was it Charlie Chaplin. Ince died of a gunshot wound and the murderer was never found. Or rather, no one ever 'fessed up.

It was amid this atmosphere that the public decided that they wanted Hollywood to clean up its act and with that, the attitude changed toward everything not considered mainstream.

Remember the old sit-coms and movies where there were twin beds and if the couple was close, feet had to be on the floor? That came out of the morals clauses instituted by the Hays Office in the late 1920s. Those clauses and strict production codes stayed in place until 1968 (ah, I remember it well!)

I depict the affects of the changes in Tarnished Gold. Jack Abadie is confronted with the morals clauses and production codes and his answer was not the usual.

In reality, many actors and actresses went underground, refusing to make public appearances. Popular star Ramon Novarro, Rudolph Valentino's heir apparent in Hollywood, became a recluse, hiding away in his Laurel Canyon home, after he refused Louis B. Mayer's edict to marry or else.

Hollywood as we see it today, a time of anything goes, was not as such in the early days. Tarnished Gold tells the unvarnished story of those days and the way attitudes twisted truths and tried to make men and women something they weren't. It is also the story of a brave man who saw the world quite differently.

Here's the blurb for Tarnished Gold:

In 1915, starstruck Jack Abadie strikes out for the gilded streets of the most sinful town in the country—Hollywood. With him, he takes a secret that his country hometown would never understand. 

After years of hard work and a chance invitation to a gay gentlemen's club, Jack is discovered. Soon, his talent, matinee idol good looks, and affable personality propel him to the height of stardom. But fame breeds distrust. 

Meeting Wyatt Maitland turns Jack’s life upside down. He wants to be worthy of his good fortune, but old demons haunt him. Only through Wyatt's strength can Jack face that which keeps him from being the man he wants to be. Love without trust is empty. 

As the 1920s roar, scandals rock the movie industry. Public tolerance of Hollywood's decadence has reached its limit. Under pressure to clean up its act, Jack’s studio issues an ultimatum. Either forsake the man he loves and remain a box office darling, or follow his heart and let his shining star fade to tarnished gold.

Read an excerpt and purchase the Tarnished Gold ebook or print, signed by the author (if one of the first twenty sold.)

I also have For Men Like Us, which takes place during the Regency in England. You can find it at Dreamspinner Press. Just click the title to be magically transported.

Blurb for For Men Like Us:

After Preston Meacham’s lover dies trying to lend him aid at Salamanca, hopelessness becomes his only way of life. Despite his best efforts at starting again, he has no pride left, which leads him to sell himself for a pittance at a molly house. The mindless sex affords him his only respite from the horrors he witnessed.

The Napoleonic War left Benedict Wilmot haunted by the acts he was forced to commit and the torture he endured at the hands of a superior, a man who used the threat of a gruesome death to force Ben to do his bidding. Even sleep gives Ben no reprieve, for he can’t escape the destruction he caused.

When their paths cross, Ben feels an overwhelming need to protect Preston from his dangerous profession. As he explains, “The streets are dangerous for men like us.” 

About Brita Addams:

Born in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. Brita's home is a happy place, where she lives with her real-life hero, her husband, and a fat cat named Stormee.
She writes, for the most part, erotic historical romance, both het and m/m, which is an ideal fit, given her love of British and American history. 

Setting the tone for each historical is important. Research plays an indispensible part in the writing of any historical work, romance or otherwise. A great deal of reading and study goes into each work, to give the story the authenticity it deserves.

As a reader, Brita prefers historical works, romances and otherwise. She believes herself born in the wrong century, though she says she would find it difficult to live without air conditioning.

Brita and her husband love to travel, particularly cruises and long road trips. They completed a Civil War battlefield tour a couple of years ago, and have visited many places involved in the American Revolutionary War.

In May, 2013, they are going to England for two weeks, to visit the places Brita writes about in her books, including the estate that inspired the setting for her Sapphire Club series. Not the activities, just the floor plan. J

A bit of trivia – Brita pronounces her name, B-Rita, like the woman's name, and oddly, not like the famous water filter.

Please visit me at any of these online locations:

Twitter: @britaaddams

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for having me, Mamba. I can never do a tour without a stop at the Lair. I'll be back throughout the day!

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  2. Congrats on the release of the book. I have out Tarnished Gold on my wish list.

    Karl
    slats5663(at)shaw(dot)ca

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  3. Great post! Please count me in. Thanks!

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. Karl, thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the book. It was a labor of love for me to write it.

    Gigi, Thank you! You are in.

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  5. Fascinating Golden Age background, Brita. I don't think I knew any of those except the Fatty Arbuckle one. The book sounds great, and I'm really looking forward to it.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

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  6. Loved the brief history of early Hollywood, thank you! Too bad The Hayes Act ruined the fun. I'm always shocked at the nearly nude chorus girls in very old films! I love old movies.

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  7. A golden age indeed, but as your title suggest TARNISHED GOLD. A fabulous post thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  8. Carolyn, Urb, Mary, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, very early Hollywood was rough and ready, but the Arbuckle rape/murder accusation made the public stand up and cry uncle.

    I illustrate more of the history on the Dreamspinner blog http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/blog, if you are interested.

    Mamba, as always thank you for having me. Big hugs, my friend.

    I'll select the winner of the book selection later today.

    Urb, you didn't leave an email address. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Through the wonders of Random.org, I have selected URB as the winner of the free book. I'll be in touch, using the email from another stop.

    Thanks everyone and I hope you will continue to follow the tour.

    Hugs and Mamba, Love you, darlin'. Thanks for having me.

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  10. Congratulations on your new book! I love the time period you choose!
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Juliana. I so love this period. I hope if you read the book that you enjoy it.

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  11. I love seeing how books come about. Cant't wait to read it.

    Crissy
    morris.crissy@gmail.com

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    1. I hope you enjoy the book, Chrissy. There's a long excerpt on my blog: http://britaaddamsblog.blogspot.com

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  12. I don't know much about this era of Hollywood, so it's interesting to read all your posts about it. Thanks for sharing!

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you Emily. I'm glad you are enjoying the posts. This era is fascinating in all its scope. There's more to come in the Tarnished series. Next up, Tarnished Soul.

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  13. I love this period of movie history. It's easy to stay in front of the television and continue watching until someone tells you just how long you've been sitting there :)

    lenikaye@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. True enough. I used to watch from waking to falling asleep. Now, the TV doesn't come on until dinnertime, when I wrap up writing for the day.

      Thanks for coming by!

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