Reviews for Tarnished Souls -- Frankie and Gent
Read an excerpt from Tarnished Souls -- Frankie and Gent
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, as well as few contemporaries, have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.
Tarnished Gold, the first in her Tarnished series for Dreamspinner, received honorable mention, and is a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, historical romance category.
Brita and her husband love to travel. They've taken no less than twenty-five cruises and countless long car trips, as well as completed a Civil War battlefield tour, and visits to many sites involved in the American Revolutionary War. Their 2013 anniversary tour of England, Scotland, and Wales gave Brita fodder for many new tales.
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 has even kissed Mickey Rooney.
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:
Monthly column at The Novel Approach
Also by Brita Addams:
Many of my books have fallen out of print because of their contracts ending and reversion of rights. I intend to revise most of the ten titles and republishing them at some point, but for now, I am writing new stories.
My backlist now consists of my gay romance titles.
For Men Like Us -- A Regency romance between two men whose lives were torn apart by the Napoleonic War. One carries guilt and bodily scars, the other, desolate and suffering from a loss so great, he’s willing to change his life to one he’d have never imagined.
Tarnished Gold -- the Tarnished series starts with the story of a gay young man who goes to Hollywood in 1917, his eyes filled with stars. This story traces Jack Abadie from his youth to his middle years and the impact the Golden Age of Hollywood had on his life.
The Tarnished Series will continue in 2014 with Tarnished Souls 2 and Tarnished Hearts.
An Interview with Brita Addams
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Brita, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Tarnished Souls -- Frankie and Gent. First, what can you tell us about this stylish series?
BA: Thank so much for having me today.
My Tarnished series is set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. The first book, Tarnished Gold, spanned years from the early 19teens to the mid-1930’s. For years I’ve wanted to write a book that resembled a biography, similar to the those I’ve read for years. Tarnished Gold is that book.
The second in the series, Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent, tells the story of a gangster who runs the extra’s union and other enterprises in Hollywood. Mobsters ran many aspects of early Hollywood, both illegal and legitimate. They had their hands in pies that made Hollywood what it was for many years.
Future books will visit Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s, and delve into every aspect of what made Hollywood truly magical.
HH: What do you like best about Frankie and why will readers identify with him?
BA: Of course I like Frankie, I created him. He has an edge to him, something he developed as a street kid in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. However, when he went to Los Angeles, he soon discovered that, as he says, “People out here don’t like all that goomba shit.” He educated himself, smoothed out some of the edges, learned to speak as the glamorous spoke.
He is though, beneath the fancy suits and toothy smile, a mobster. During the course of Tarnished Souls, he must deal with unpleasant situations, disloyalty, and anger that has festered for years.
When he sees Gent for the first time in five years, something inside him shifts, for good and bad. We see Frankie as he was in New York, because Gent is the only person he can be himself with.
HH: What do you like best about Gent and why will readers love him?
BA: Gent is broken. He’s a chameleon. Quiet, he pays attention to everything around him, hears things others don’t. He can, when needed, turn on the refinement, but he’s a “dez, dem, doz,” kinda guy. Rough, vicious, and above all, he can’t forget what Frankie means to him.
Gent is loyal and his loyalty isn’t for sale. While he never operates by emotion, he does hold a grudge -- a big one. The big boss separated him and Frankie when he discovered their affection for one another. While Frankie, the golden boy, went on to notoriety and wealth, Gent remained what he always was -- muscle. He became a hitman, doing the syndicate’s dirty work.
As Tarnished Souls opens, he’s in LA with a purpose. Bring Frankie Monetti in to answer for neglecting to follow through on orders from New York. When a mobster is sent for, there is only one outcome. The syndicate boss, Sal, is rubbing salt in the wounds that he created five years before. When Gent brings Frankie back to New York, Sal will order Gent to kill Frankie.
What happens in relation to this is the soul of the story. These two tarnished souls must make decisions that could well place them on the wrong side of everyone’s law.
HH: What did you enjoy most about writing this series?
BA: The series is only -- just begun really. I love old Hollywood and the research into the underbelly of Hollywood is fascinating. We, the movie-going public, see the veneer, what they want us to see. With the Tarnished series, I have and will continue to strip away the glamor and dig into what made Hollywood work in a time of censorship, the Hay’s office, production and morals clauses. The machinations, cruelty, disappointments, and clawing that made Hollywood what it truly was in the Golden Age.
Populating the stories with characters that exist in this world is not only fun, but each one challenges me. I’ve always maintained that to seek that kind of fame, one must have a part of them that is broken -- be it an eternal search for Daddy’s approval, or a narcisstic need for attention. However, that attention comes with a price and some pay dearly.
Jack Abadie in Tarnished Gold, stood up against the “machine” that intended to strip away who he was beneath the public persona. Frankie, though not a film star, schmoozed with stars, and made the studios come to heel. Movies aren’t made without extras, and Frankie controlled the union, and in a way, the studios.
With upcoming stories, I’ll take on the fixers, the men who shielded Hollywood’s bad behavior from the press. I’ll also give treatment to gossip columnists, who made and broke careers. Directors and the casting couch. I have great plans for the series. I plan to delve into the nooks and crannies and create stories about all that hidden stuff.
HH: What do you think will most appeal to readers about this story this holiday season?
BA: First let me say this isn’t a feel good holiday story. These are gritty guys who deal with life head on, nothing namby-pamby about them. I do hope readers will take the story and see that beneath the guns and grit there are two men who care for each other and when faced with difficult decisions, they do what they must.
HH: How do you feel your own personal experiences influence your writing?
BA: There is a part of me, or someone I know, in everything I write, in every character, in every scenario. I draw from experience, turn it, twist it, make it fit. While I haven’t ever known a gangster, I have known men who pervert their relationships for the sake of some goal known only to themselves. This speaks to about 90% of those people in Hollywood.
I’ve met stars, I’ve talked to them. Some are warm and down to earth, others believe their own publicity. I draw from those experiences as well.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
BA: For the next couple of years, I’ll work on the Tarnished series. I have about eight books in mind -- some novellas like Tarnished Souls, and others will end up being novels. The second part of Tarnished Souls is a novel. Frankie and Gent’s story will converge with Mac and Gray’s, though I’m doing some rethinking on how as I write.
I also have a contemporary gay romance coming out at Dreamspinner around January. I don’t have an exact date yet. The name is Freedom in His Arms.
HH: What are you reading at the moment?
BA: At the moment, I’m reading The Fixers, by E.J. Fleming. It’s research.
HH: What do you like best about this time of year?
BA: I’ve always loved the winter, and though I live in a place that doesn’t get snow, I do enjoy cold weather and my fireplace. I love Christmas, when my family gets together as one. Since we retired, I do enjoy the entire year more though, because my husband is home with me all the time. That is the true blessing for me -- all the time I get to spend with him.
We see the kids, who are all grown, but the alone time he and I have -- well you can’t ever replace that. Life is good.
HH: Where can readers find you online?
BA: Readers can find me at any of the following places:
Monthly column at The Novel Approach
HH: Thank you!