I wish I was the owner of that gorgeous gown...and the hero ain't bad either!
Thank you for hosting me, Rosanna!
Today I’d like to tell you a little bit more about the background of my new historical romance, Tyburn.
Tyburn takes place in 1671 in Restoration London. The title comes from the Tyburn gallows, the main place of execution for London and Middlesex from the twelfth century to the late eighteenth when they were moved to Newgate Prison. The story begins there with the execution of infamous highwayman Claude Duval in 1670, and follows his childhood friend, Sally, as she tries to avoid the same fate.
Tyburn is the first book in my new series, The Southwark Saga. Southwark is part of London now, but in the seventeenth century, it was a separate town south of the Thames. It was a dangerous slum that attracted all manner of criminals and debtors who could live there without fear of being captured.
Nick’s brother, Mark, is one of these criminals. He plays a large part in Tyburn, and much of The Southwark Saga is tied to his house on Love Lane. Mark is the Master Carpenter and lives above his shop with his business partner, Will, and their apprentices, Jack and Harry. The Great Fire of London hit the local carpenters very hard, as new regulations dictated that the rebuilt houses be made of stone instead of the traditional wood. London was still being rebuilt at this time, and reminders of the fire were everywhere. Carpenters were out of work, and many were forced to leave London to look for work elsewhere.
When we meet Mark Virtue, he is running an organized ring of highway robbery with the shop as a front. Nick is reluctant participant. Stealing anything worth more than about a shilling was punishable by death, and highwaymen rarely survived long enough to be given trials when they were caught. As Nick passes the Tyburn gallows on his way home from the estate where we works, he is constantly reminded of the threat of capture.
The Southwark Saga begins with Nick and continues to Mark’s story as the brothers fight for survival in a London that may feel unfamiliar to the modern reader. Far removed from the glittering ballrooms belonging to the wealthy in later years, the first two books of The Southwark Saga will tell the stories of common people struggling to live their lives in the ashes of the city.
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.
Darkness had fully settled over the forest and he was in no danger of being seen as they headed for the city. There were no new street lamps so far out of town, and as often as she glanced at his face, all she could see was the outline of his profile by the light of the moon. He moved soundlessly through the night as criminals must, the warmth of his hand in hers the only reassurance she had that he was still beside her.
They reached the edge of Hyde Park and Sally felt Tyburn looming near before she saw it, the residual tragedy of the gallows rippling along the field in a mournful, near perceptible howl. Because she could not look away, she turned toward the evil and saw the fearful silhouette of the triple tree dark against the violet sky.
This is your future, they seemed to whisper.
In her heart, she answered, I know.
She heard the brutal crack of Claude’s strong, young neck reverberate through the darkest corners of her memory, felt his cold lips against hers once more in a terrible promise, and in her bones she felt the stillness of one who is certain they are about to die. She was immediately aware of the unique texture of every breath she drew, the sweet sigh of the breeze whispering through her hair, and the dirt, the calluses, the very fingerprints of the hand in hers.
So little of Sally’s life had been left up to her.
She might have days, hours, mere moments left, but she would be damned if she wasted them.
Buy it here:
Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com
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.
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