Sunday, May 6, 2012

Book Tour for Jess Faraday (Guest Post & Promo Post)

It's a pretty busy time right now for author Jess Faraday as she has a new m/m genre release out as well as a short story in a lesbian/paranormal anthology.  Jess is here today giving us a glimpse of her new works as well as letting us sit in on a character interview.  So get comfortable and give a big welcome to Jess......

Hi! I want to thank the Scarf Princess for hosting me on this stop of my blog tour. May 2012 is turning out to be the busiest month of my life, so instead of talking about my Lambda-shortlisted book, The Affair of the Porcelain Dog, I'm going to turn things over to the book's two main characters, Ira Adler and Tim Lazarus.

LAZARUS: Thank--

ADLER: Charmed, I'm sure. Tim, why don't you go put the kettle on?


ADLER: (frowns) Were you going to say something?

LAZARUS: I was going to tell these good people a little about the book. You remember the book?

ADLER: (rolls eyes) Oh, that. I suppose so. Go on, then.

LAZARUS: Thank you. And while I do, you can put on the kettle. (Adler storms off. Slams the door. Lazarus smiles.) Now that the children have left the room, I'd like to tell you a little bit about our story.

ADLER: (the door opens again.) Black or Earl Grey?

LAZARUS: (sighs) I don't care.

ADLER: Because you usually take--

LAZARUS: I don't care. Just give me a moment.

ADLER: Plain black tea, but--


ADLER: Fine, fine, try to be helpful.... (backs out, carefully shuts the door).

LAZARUS: The Affair of the Porcelain Dog is a tale of suspense set in late Victorian London. It begins with the theft of a statue inside of which is secreted evidence incriminating both Adler's employer--a ruthless crime lord--and my own--a well-meaning but bumbling detective.

ADLER: (returns with the tea) You say "ruthless" like it's a bad thing.

LAZARUS: (takes the tea) With lemon.

ADLER: You take it with milk.

LAZARUS: I'll have this with lemon. Fresh, if you please.

ADLER: (rolls eyes). If you insist. But Goddard wasn't completely ruthless. Things would have gone better for him if he was. He could have been the next Moriarty, if he weren't such a softie.

LAZARUS: I'd hardly call the Duke of Dorset Street a softie.

ADLER: If Goddard were completely devoid of ruth, he'd have drowned me in the Thames for losing the statue, and there wouldn't have been a story at all.

LAZARUS: Point. On the other hand, he might just like a good mystery.

ADLER: I think he could have done without that particular mystery.  It wasn't something silly like his life being in danger. Goddard's reputation was at stake. And his freedom. His criminal empire. It's a lot.

LAZARUS: You're so sensitive.

ADLER: Goddard is very susceptible to stress.

LAZARUS: And then you decided to 'help.'

ADLER: The whole thing was my fault. I'll own that. What kind of assistant would I be if I didn't at least try to clean up my own messes?

LAZARUS: Admirable. Lemon, please. (Adler huffs out and slams the door.) So. Statue lost. Adler tries to find it. He somehow ropes me into it, even though we're not exactly friends. Of course once he starts pulling at the threads, all of our lives start to come unraveled--Goddard's, Adler's, my own...oh God did it come unraveled--

ADLER: (returns, tosses a whole lemon in Lazarus's general direction). You're saying this as if I came out of it completely unscathed.

LAZARUS: Well....

ADLER: I now live on Aldersgate Street.

LAZARUS: Yes, but--

ADLER: Aldersgate Street.

LAZARUS: Better than the bottom of the Thames.

ADLER: (stares)

LAZARUS: At any rate, Statue lost. Adler and I search for it. Life is never the same.

ADLER: With frock coats.

LAZARUS: With frock coats. (turns to Adler) How'd I do?

ADLER: Beautiful. (sits down, takes the tea from Lazarus's hands) I'll have this with milk.

The Affair of the Porcelain Dog by Jess Faraday
Pages: 240
Pub Date: June 2011 
ISBN 10: 1-60282-230-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-60282-230-6

London 1889.

For Ira Adler, former rent-boy and present plaything of crime lord Cain Goddard, stealing back the statue from Goddard's blackmailer should have been a doddle. But inside the statue is evidence that could put Goddard away for a long time under the sodomy laws, and everyone's after it, including Ira's bitter ex, Dr. Timothy Lazarus. No sooner does Ira have the porcelain dog in his hot little hands, than he loses it to a nimble-fingered prostitute.

As Ira’s search for the dog drags him back to the mean East End streets where he grew up, he discovers secrets about his own past, and about Goddard's present business dealings, which make him question everything he thought he knew. An old friend turns up dead, and an old enemy proves himself a friend. Goddard is pressing Ira for a commitment, but every new discovery casts doubt on whether Ira can, in good conscience, remain with him.

In the end, Ira must choose between his hard-won life of luxury and standing against a grievous wrong.


What self-respecting housebreaker sets off wearing a Trinity scarf, you might ask? Blame Goddard’s sentimental streak. He had taught at Cambridge once, and though he refused to talk about the experience itself or the circumstances of his dismissal, the scarf meant a great deal to him. You might also wonder what sort of imbecile takes a shiny private hansom to the building he intends to burgle. A necessity, I’m afraid, unless he intends to walk. The pawnshop stood nearly five miles away in Miller’s Court, and no cabbie in his right mind ventured down that wicked quarter mile after dark. The streets were deserted, and the weather was clear. Not half an hour later, we had left the red brick houses and well-tended gardens of York Street behind, and the rubbish-strewn East End closed around us in a cocoon of filth and desperation.

I instructed the driver to let me out in front of the Blue Coat Boy pub, two blocks removed from my destination. An excited throng had gathered around the entrance–another fight, no doubt–and I was able to pass by unnoticed. Closer to the shop, jolly old Do-as-You-Please Street, possibly the most lawless quarter mile in London, was quiet. I strode up to the front door as if I owned the place–the only way to break into a building in plain sight—slipping my picklocks into my hand. Seconds later, I nudged the door shut behind me. Silence descended, and I relaxed, knowing I’d be able to go about my work in peace.

The word ‘dollyshop’ might conjure images of china-faced pretties with real hair for a little girl to comb, and blue eyes that open and close. This shop belonged to a grubby matron who doled out ha’p'ny loans against objects that were hardly worth that. Crates of rust-scabbed metal were stacked as tall as a man along the back wall. The other walls were lined with ill-fitted shelves, bowing under haphazard loads of mildew-encrusted boots, stiff and stained rags, salt-encrusted horse collars, and what appeared to be bones. In the center of the room, piles of rubbish sat where they’d been dropped, layers of dust testifying to how long they’d been there. An attempt had been made to organize some of it into bins, but the bins were already overflowing with towers of detritus threatening to topple at the slightest breath. The dog could have been anywhere in that mess.

Tugging at my waistcoat, I picked up a fireplace poker with a missing handle and began prodding the chaos, listening for the telltale clink! of metal against porcelain. Forty sweaty minutes later, I was bored as hell and my eyes burned from the dust. I was tempted to declare the mission a failure and take the carriage back to York Street for whiskey and a sympathetic fuck. But if we didn’t put paid to the blackmailer, it would be the end of both whiskey and fucking for a good long time. Sighing, I fixed my eyes on a stack of bedding gradually being devoured by mildew and raised the poker.

It was then I heard the footsteps.

I mightn’t have noticed them at all, had they not been the only footsteps that I’d heard since I’d arrived. Quick and sure, with the weight of a man, and the confidence of someone who could afford a stout pair of boots, the footsteps stopped directly before the door.

I flew back to the front of the room, dodging perilous mountains of rubbish, and flattened myself against the doorjamb. The footsteps didn’t have the righteous clip-clop of a Whitechapel bobby. But what were the chances someone else would decide to burgle, on the same night as I, the same down-at-heel junk shop? I swiped a damp clump of curls from my forehead, chafing against the overcoat. A prickling sensation crawled over my nether regions– the itch that had come to plague me over the past few weeks was making its presence known. Just in case I’d forgotten. Resisting the urge to claw at myself with my free hand, I felt instead for the sharpened length of pipe I used to carry on my belt during my Whitechapel years.

It was, of course, in my trunk back at York Street, sod it all!

From somewhere near my right hip came the grind of metal against metal. Slowly, the door creaked open, spilling a stream of gaslight across the dusty floor. My muscles tensed with the urge to flee. I’d not courted physical confrontation since Goddard had taken me into his home two years before. I hadn’t missed it. A single, shiny boot breached the doorway before stopping, suspended as though testing the air.

I swung the poker with all my might.

“What in blazes?” the other man exclaimed as the poker swept his cap back onto Dorset Street and smashed into the doorjamb with a force that left my left side ringing.

While I was still picking splinters from my teeth, the man sprang up next to a box of unraveling straw bonnets, straightening his jacket and smoothing his neat mustache with indignant little grunts. He squinted in my general direction, his expression registering confusion and then irritation.

“Adler?” he sputtered. “What the deuce are you doing here?”


Only Timothy Lazarus would respond to such an attack with euphemism. And with a perfectly executed defensive roll. Disgusted, I kicked the door shut and slammed the bolt home.

The Affair of the Porcelain Dog has been short-listed for a Lambda Award in the category of "Gay Mystery."

Women of The Dark Streets:

The Trickster Codex
by Jess Faraday

Author: various authors
Edited by Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman
Pages: 336
Pub Date: March 2012
ISBN 13: 9781602826519
Genre: lesbian paranormal anthology

Enter a midnight world of the supernatural—a world of vampires, werewolves, witches, ghosts, and demons. A seductive world limited only by your imagination, full of dark fantasies, hidden desires, and sexy women who rule the night. Edited by award-winning editors Radclyffe and Stacia Seaman, Women of the Dark Streets presents all new tales of the paranormal from your favorite Bold Strokes authors.


The infrequently patronized offices of Amelia Archer, Private Investigator–that is, me–sit on top of a squat brown brick building in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a dump. The water is unreliable and the wiring downright dangerous. But between the war and the fact that nobody hires the city’s only female dick with that bastard Philip Marlowe hanging around, I’m lucky to have it. My office is on the eighth floor, and the elevator is always broken. After a year and change, I had a caboose like a marble statue and I could run up the stairs in heels without breaking a sweat.

I like to look on the bright side.

That day, I’d barely had time to toss my hat on the rack, light up a smoke, and put my size nines up on my desk when she walked through the door. Now the dame hadn’t been waiting when I got there, and I sure as Shinola hadn’t heard anyone on the stairs behind me. But who was I to complain? My first walk-in in weeks, and she was five-and-a-half feet of gorgeous, with shoulders like a general, black hair and eyes, and skin like red desert clay. She held herself straight and proud, and though she was wearing a tailored jacket and skirt, when I looked at her, I saw her barefoot and in buckskin on some high desert plain, that black hair no longer restrained by pins and fedora, but whipping free around her shoulders in the wind.

“What’s up, Tiger Lily?” I asked.


Jess Faraday is the author of one novel, three book translations, a handful of short stories, and numerous nonfiction articles.

She is a graduate of the University of Arizona (B.A.) and UCLA (M.A.). Since then, she has earned her daily bread in a number of questionable ways, including translation, lexicography, copyediting, teaching high school Russian, and hawking shoes to the overprivileged offspring of Los Angeles-area B-listers.

She enjoys martial arts, the outdoors, strong coffee and a robust Pinot Noir.


BSB Author Page


Facebook: Jess Faraday

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