Monday, April 7, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Turnbull House by Jess Faraday

Giveaway: 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

Highland Homecoming
Title: Turnbull House by Jess Faraday
Genre: LGBT Historical Mystery
Published by Bold Stroke Books Publishing

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?

Book Links: Bold Strokes Books

Sugar and Serendipity
Jess Faraday

Part of the action in Turnbull House, the second of the Ira Adler mysteries, which is set in 1891, takes place in and around the Whitechapel sugarhouses—refineries where raw sugar was refined into different varieties of market-ready sugar. 

As so often happens, I stumbled upon the interesting facts about sugarhouses while researching a different plot point—the history and development of heroin. Without giving too much away, the parallels and similarities in the origin, history, and production of both sugar and heroin wove themselves into a fascinating background and produced a number of new plot points.

Interestingly, all of this was going on while the news was on fire with stories about the newly-discovered addictive properties of dietary sugar. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that. But in the meantime, here are a few interesting facts about early sugar production in Victorian London:

-A large number of sugarhouses were owned and operated by immigrants from Germany, particularly from the Hannover region.

-There were an extraordinary number of them in the Whitechapel area.

-Workers typically took part of their wages in beer, which was consumed during the workday to stave off dehydration while doing the backbreaking labor in hot surroundings.

-Sugarhouses were incredibly dirty and dangerous places to work. In addition to accidents, which were common, the presence of highly flammable sugar dust in the air and sugar residue covering the walls, floors, and ceilings, made fire and explosion a constant danger.

-Hardbake, which was the sweet residue created when the vapors rose from production and settled, was sometimes scraped off the ceilings, walls, and beams, processed again, and sold as a lower-quality sugar. 

Are your teeth starting to hurt yet? If so, why not crack open my new book, Turnbull House? I guarantee it won’t give you cavities =)
Excerpt 1: 

“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.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Adina Falling
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.

Twitter: @jessfaraday


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

You should follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates and stops can be found here:


  1. I have The Affair of the Porcelain Dog on my wish list! Will need to add Turnbull House as well. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway.

  2. Please count me in. Thanks!

  3. I have this series on my wish list - would love a shot at winning them!

  4. I love historical mysteries! This series sounds amazing. A gay protagonist is a wonderful bonus. :)