Hi everyone! Today I am so excited to welcome author Brita Addams back to the blog. Brita is here as part of her Tarnished Souls blog tour to talk to us more about the book and share a great giveaway. Welcome Brita!
Research for Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent
No book is truly well-rounded without research. Many think that authors only need to research for historicals, but that isn’t true. I just finished a contemporary, Freedom in His Arms, that required a lot of digging, fact checking, and hunting down obscure facts.
For Tarnished Souls, as with Tarnished Gold, I spent months studying the Mafia, both Chicago families and New York. Specifically, I read about Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Al Capone, three very different men, with different attitudes and ways of handling things.
I also watched hours of documentaries and entertainment movies, with these three men as subjects. One learns much from movies, from period clothing, mannerisms, settings, dialects, personal quirks—the list goes on and on.
Frankie Monetti and Gent Vitali grew up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, and lived there until, 1929, the head of the New York syndicate, Sal Sebastiani, sent Frankie to Los Angeles, to work for the mobster in charge of the California interests. Gent remained in New York, to work for Sal, as a hitman.
The reason for the move? Sal discovered Frankie and Gent together. That’s as romantic as Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent gets. There is no romance, just a vague inference of protectiveness. I did this by design. The story told in TS is one told from two perspectives. Gent is sent to Los Angeles to clean up after Frankie, who resisted carrying out an order from New York.
In the mob, when someone is sent for, they report to their superiors, and, in the words of Lefty in the movie, Donnie Brasco, “you go in alive, and come out dead, and your best friend kills you.”
An interesting bit I learned concerned the almost robotic way made men, those who have earned their place in the mob organization, respond to orders, such as when they are sent for. Their honor requires they report, though they know the end result. In Donnie Brasco, Al Pacino plays this scenario out brilliantly.
Indeed the mob had their grasp on Hollywood, the extra’s union among their many interests. With their people in control, they approached the studios, bargained for a decent wage for the extras, and if the studio didn’t agree, they wouldn’t get the extras they needed to make movies.
Conversely, the extras paid to be a part of the union and to receive job assignments. No pay, no play. In the middle of it all, the mob made a fortune.
Of course, the mob controlled prostitution, booze, gambling, and myriad other operations, their tentacles around anything and everything that made money.
Like Frankie, mobsters of the Bugsy Siegel ilk, had charm and charisma, that drew people to them. With their code of never harming the innocent, mobsters dined and partied with the rich and famous. Siegel grew up with actor George Raft, and through Raft, gained entrée into Hollywood society.
The other part of the equation in Tarnished Souls is Detective Owen McGregor, from the Los Angeles Police Department. I took great interest in the corruption within the PD. I used the corruption within the office of District Attorney Buron Fitts, an instrument in aiding the story.
Through research, I learned the mindset with which mobsters and cops lived, in order to carry out their jobs. They were, in the 1930s, an interesting group of men, with warped values, but they were men like any other.
My hope is that I’ve portrayed Frankie and Gent in all their richness, and showed them as the individuals they are.
Hollywood’s Golden Age is not all glitz and glamour. Mob boss Frankie Monetti controls the unions and the studios, which makes him and the syndicate very rich. But after five years, Frankie runs afoul of the law and those who put him in power.
Primo hit man, and Frankie’s lifelong friend, Arvin “Gent” Vitali, goes west with orders to clean up the mess and then bring Frankie back to New York to answer for his double cross. But as the noose closes tighter around Frankie’s neck, Gent questions where his loyalty truly lies. Is business just business or is freedom worth the risk?
Schedule for Tarnished Souls: Frankie and Gent Blog Tour
- November 14 – The Rainbow Studio
- November 18 –Brita Addams
- November 19 – Sid Love
- November 20 – Joyfully Jay
- November 21 – You Gotta Read
- November 25 – Jacob Flores
- November 26 – The Novel Approach
- December 5 – Michael Ruptured
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:
- Twitter: @britaaddams
- Fan page
- Monthly column at The Novel Approach
Brita has brought along great prizes for two lucky winners! One random commenter will win an ebook copy of Tarnished Gold or For Men Like Us. Another commenter will win a swag pack, with signed bookmarks, and a couple other goodies. Winners will be chosen on November 27th.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Readers may only enter once for each contest. Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
- Void where prohibited by law.