Wednesday, September 9, 2020

#GIVEAWAY - Review -The Tory Interview with - TJ London - Audio Blitz Caffeinated PR

THE TORY written by T. J. London and narrated by Shane East, Tara Langella, Marnye Young and Patrick Zeller is now available for audio everywhere! Listen to a sample and enter to win The Tory Prize package.

The first in The Rebels and Redcoats Saga this historical tale has suspense, war, romance and more.
Enjoy my review and an exclusive interview with TJ London

The Tory

His King or His Conscience…which will he choose?

It is the winter of 1776, and Captain John Carlisle, one of His Majesty’s not-so-finest, has gone back to the scene of the crime to right a wrong so dark it left a permanent stain on what was once an illustrious career and left a man broken, defeated, in search of justice…

In an effort to win back his commission, he must discover the true nature of the relationship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Colonial Army. Undercover as a war profiteer, John travels to the treacherous Mohawk River Valley and infiltrates local society, making friends with those he’s come to betray. But a chance meeting with a beautiful half Oneida innkeeper, whose tragic history is integrally linked to his own, will provide him with the intelligence he needs to complete his mission—and devastate her people.

Now, as the flames of war threaten to consume the Mohawk Valley, John has the chance to not only serve King and country, but to clear his name. When the truth he uncovers ties his own secrets to those in the highest positions of the British military and threatens the very life of the woman he’s come to love, he will be forced to make a choice…

My Interview with TJ London:

Interview with Tj London
The Tory audiobook

TJ welcome to The Reading Frenzy I absolutely LOVED The Tory.
What inspired this 3-part American Revolutionary saga?
Hello, Debbie!! I am so glad you liked The Tory! That makes my rebel heart patter and skip a few beats, but it’s in a drum cadence for the forward march.

The answer to your question is: It’s a loooooooooooong story, but for the sake of brevity I’ll try to make it short. As you probably figured out, I love American Revolutionary War (big surprise, I know). But truly, I fell in love with the time period when I was a little girl, and I pretended to be sick so I could lay on the couch in the living room and watch John Jakes’s The Bastard on the one TV my parents had. HAHAHA! So 1970s, right? But seriously, I fell in love with the look of time, the clothing, the hair, and the age of enlightenment idea, and then later, I read the whole saga by Jakes and further fell in love. Then I went on to study it extensively in college, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now, for the writing of the saga… I always dabbled in writing; as a matter of fact, I wrote an early version of The Tory—which my husband threw in a dumpster after we got into a huge blowout twenty years ago when I was in college working on my PhD. (Never let it be said that the Revolutionary Author is not a forgiving soul, cuz he has all his limbs, anatomical parts vital to being male, and he’s still my DH)

Now, where was I? Oh, yes, writing the saga. I actually started writing as part of counseling. Two very catastrophic events happened simultaneously; one was the onset of my father’s manic depression and me having to commit him, and the other a harassment case at my place of work which forced me to leave my beloved job. As everything spiraled downwards, I went to a terrible place and started counseling. When I would sit with my counselor every day (yes, every day, as I was not well), I would start crying, have a panic attack, and never resolve my problems. We tried meds, we tried all different techniques, but things were just getting worse and worse.  So, Lorrie, my beautiful and wise counselor, suggested I write. Hence, I pulled on old inspiration, the original version of The Tory, and started re-writing it. Each appointment, I’d come to her office and read to her what I wrote the night before, and we’d talk through it. Why does John Carlisle drink? Why does he hate his life? Why is Stuart schizophrenic? Why is Dellis’s father dead? All of that was mirroring aspects of my life, actually, down to some of the genuine dialogue. As Lorrie and I discussed the story, I slowly unraveled what was going on my life and got the courage to face my pain and speak my truth.

When the book was done, it was actually called The Traitor (what one of my work colleagues called me when I exposed the harassment situation at my place of work). My counselor then told me she wanted me to let someone read the book. So, I did. It was crude, but my few readers really liked the story and thought it was compelling. With a bit of coaxing, I went to some writing conferences and met with several editors and publishers, but found many naysayers who panned the story. I did eventually hook up with Kathe Robin, my concept editor, and she loved it and believed in it from the get go. Together, we split The Traitor into two books, and I decided to go independent. After that, I found my copy editor, Jo Michaels, and now she’s my indispensable guru of writing.

That’s a very, very abridged version of the story, but it’s the indisputable truth, and I’m happy to say I’m still in therapy, I have a new job, Dad went to Heaven, and I now have 4 books under my belt (and a very proud counselor).

How exciting to have this now available as an audiobook and I have to say the narrators knock this out of the park!
Did you have a hand in picking the crew?
I picked all of them. (I am a bit of a control freak, especially because of why this book was written) So, the amazing people at The Audio Flow sent me the auditions they felt fit what I asked them for, and then I listened and chose the narrators.  Patrick Zeller killed me as Roger DeLancie. I heard the insanity and strength in his voice, and I just knew it. It was as if he was in my brain and knew exactly how Roger sounded (which is scary).  HAHA! Marnye Young was just so deliciously devious as Celeste, there was no way I could pick anyone else. She understood the power of that character, like the Queen on the chess board who can move in any direction. Tara Langella really had the frenetic energy and the soulfulness of Dellis in her voice. She understood this was a tough, strong, resilient woman, and her reading echoed that so hard. I just adore listening to her. She is my Dellis. Finding Shane East was a different story. I knew how I wanted John Carlisle to sound, and none of the auditions quite had the right voice. I needed terse but sexy, and someone playful, who was also able to deliver some powerful performances. So, I talked with Joc at The Audio Flow and said, “I need more Daniel Craig and less King of England. Help me out here.” She suggested Shane East. Now, she’d never worked with him, and I plead ignorance as I’m new to audio, so I had no idea who he was. But, to Joc’s credit, she reached out to him, and he thankfully said yes. I confess, I melted when I heard him read the opening line of the book. He was nothing short of brilliant. And yes, it’s true, I still walk around imitating how he says the book chapters because his voice is just so decadent. And of course, wouldn’t you want your sexy redcoat spy to sound like that? Helloooooo.

Why did you decide to have this available in audiobook form and when will the other books in the saga be available as an audiobook?
I blame Joc from The Audio Flow. I never even considered audio, as I am not an audio person. It was all her. I was at a conference, and she approached me and said, “That book belongs in audio.” To which I asked, “Have you read it?” And she replied, “Nope, but I know my business, and that book belongs in audio.” She then handed me her business card, but we lost track of each other. Done. Flash forward, a year later, during COVID, she saw Man of War on FB and reached out to me again, and the rest is, pun totally intended, history. Here we are today. I’m forever grateful to her for seeing inspiration in my little, unknown Revolutionary War Saga. And to The Audio Flow’s credit, the recording is just brilliant. I couldn’t be more pleased with their work. (kisses to Joc and her team)

The Traitor should be coming out late winter, 2021, and then the others subsequently after that. All of my narrators are very busy, and I have a writing side hustle and my real job, so we’re working with all that and scheduling. But, yes, they are coming.

You did not pull any punches describing difficult to read passages concerning abuse and murder. I personally congratulate you for this and find it reminiscent of the Outlander series.
Did you have a hard time including these scenes or was there never a question in your mind about it?
The Tory was written in counseling and was never meant to be read by anyone but me, so I just went for the story without any fear or motivation in mind but to free myself of pain. The story is the story. Luckily, Kathe Robin and Jo Michaels, my editors, understood the journey it took to write The Tory, so they realized that you couldn’t take away too much from the story. This was too personal, and there was too much pain wrapped up in these words; it just had to be what it was, come what may. And I’m so thankful they helped me refine but never chopped away at my vision. I don’t write violence and abuse for shock value; remember, I was going through something very personal, and I wrote it because I was trying to make peace with my own demons, and hopefully, in turn, maybe help someone with theirs. That’s why I kept everything, the violence, the sexiness, the betrayals, all of it; this is how the story came to me, and I respected the vision and stayed true to it. Call it ignorance. Call it hubris. But honestly, it was “this is my story, love it or leave it.”

This book saved my life, and that’s not author bravado. John and Dellis were there for me when I was standing on the edge, ready to jump, and everything that’s happened to me since The Tory’s release has been kismet. Even this interview is further proof of how that book has blessed my life and permanently changed it for the better.

Let’s talk about your unlikely duo of Captain John Carlyle of his majesty’s army and Dellis McKesson a mixed race innkeeper.
They both have experienced some pretty harrowing things in their past.
Which one gave you the most trouble while creating them?
You have to remember, both of them are a different side of me coping through counseling. John was me in my harassment case, and Dellis was me in the personal issues I’d long suppressed. They were far too easy to write because they were warring in my head day in and day out. They were me, yes, steeped in lots of history, fiction, and drama, but the core of their story comes from my life, some of which is too personal to discuss here.

I think now, you can see why choosing the right voices was so important to me, why I needed to be involved. Honestly, I cried the day I heard the first chapter of the audio, deep, painful, gut-wrenching tears. Finally, finally, I found closure for what happened to me. The dedication of The Turncoat is: “It is within these pages, I found justice…” Well, through Shane East and Tara Langella, I found my voice again. And oh, how beautiful they sound speaking my truth.

Let’s talk about Man of War it’s reportedly a prequel to The Rebels and Redcoats saga.
What brought about its creation and will there be more?
Yes, there will be more books to come.  Promise!
Man of War is a prequel, but I want it to be read 4th in line so some of the saga secrets are kept under wraps until I want you to know them. It’s all Royal Navy fun, and we meet the sexy, strong, hero with a heart, Captain Merrick. He was also created around the time of the original Tory, and his story is also in that same landfill, degrading with my hard drive. HAHAHA. (I’m such nice wife) But, as I was building The Tory in counseling, I merged the two story ideas and got The Rebels and Redcoats Saga. MOW also comes out of counseling, and at the end of each book, I talk about this in my acknowledgments.

Tj thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on book #5, The Rebel, and book #6, The Renegades, as we speak. For those two books, we’re going to pick up alongside The Traitor and then after The Turncoat, but Alexei McKesson is going to lead the saga for a little while. Ever wonder what he was up to all the those times he disappeared and then reappeared to mess up John Carlisle’s life? HAHAHA!
After that, the next one is going to be about John Carlisle, simply because he won’t shut up in my head and there is more story to tell for him and Dellis. John’s so demanding. Love that redcoat man of mine.

Thank you, Debbie, for having me in for a chat. Super fun questions. I hope I didn’t bore all of you and I hope you look at The Tory with different eyes now. LOL.
Huzzah, Rebels! Until next time. Have fun and do something revolutionary every day of your life.  

My Review:

The Tory
Rebels and Redcoats Saga #1
T. J. London

T. J. London’s first in her Rebels and Redcoats saga, The Tory is an exceptional novel full of darkness, violence, loss of innocence and betrayal, but it’s also full of light, love and hope. She doesn’t pull any punches describing the depravities and the violence but it’s clear that she does so for story believability and with care and not for shock value. T.J.’s storytelling mastery shows throughout the novel but especially as she unpeels the many layers of Dellis and John, they are outstanding, credible and likeable, even though at times the audience will want to throttle John (well at least I did). Her research into customs, clothing and happenings during the time of the Revolutionary War is evident from page one to the jaw dropping cliffhanger end and in every realistic scene end and her characters good bad and in between are genuine and convincing leaving readers craving book #2, The Traitor which is happily available now in print and digital format.
Fans of Diana Gabaldon and Genevieve Graham will devour this novel.
The narrators: Patrick Zeller, Marnye Young, Tara Langella, and Shane East knock this out of the park, they each play their roles perfectly and the listening audience will be kept on their toes while feeling every bit of pain and pleasure and every emotion these brilliant actors emote giving listeners a more in depth story experience.

Captain John Carlisle spends his days in his cups and his nights reliving the horrendous attack that cost him his reputation and his commission in the English Army. So in 1776 when he’s afforded the opportunity to restore his tarnished character by going undercover to spy for His Majesty’s Army he jumps at the chance. But when it puts him back where his fall from grace happened two years prior and in close proximity to a bewitching woman that’s past is connected to his he finds himself wondering where his loyalties really lie.
Dellis McKesson has lost much in her short life, both her parents and her innocence and reputation to a violent attack and because of the attack and now being soiled her fiancé. So she refuses to lose the only thing she has left of her parents by turning her childhood home into an inn and tavern against her uncle’s wishes. The attack has left her understandably skittish around men but when a handsome stranger shows up wanting to trade with her mother’s people, the Oneida she feels something she never thought she could feel, desire.
Now she has to decide can she trust him with her people and with her heart.

About the Author

T.J. London is a rebel, liberal, lover, fighter, diehard punk, and pharmacist-turned-author who loves history. As an author her goal is to fill in the gaps, writing stories about missing history, those little places that are so interesting yet sadly forgotten. Her favorite time periods to write in are first and foremost the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolution, the French and Indian War, the Russian Revolution and the Victorian Era. Her passions are traveling, writing, reading, barre, and sharing a glass of wine with her friends, while she collects experiences in this drama called life. She is a native of Metropolitan Detroit (but secretly dreams of being a Londoner) and resides there with her husband Fred and her beloved cat and writing partner Mickey.


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  1. Yes, your review is wonderful and exactly how I felt listening! Thank you for hosting TJ London today!

  2. OMG. This is amazing. Thank you so much. I promise lots more revolutionary fun in book#2

  3. I love this interview Debbie and you know how much I love THE TORY.

  4. Fascinating and extraordinary giveaway. Love history and this one is a real treasure.

  5. As I anticipate my turn to listen to this one, I loved reading the interview and did snitch a peek at your review, Debbie. I love that this will be a book that dug deep as a result of the author's life and also her love of history. :)

    1. Have no fear Sophia Rose my reviews are ALWAYS spoiler free

  6. That sounds like an interesting story.

  7. Great review and I am sure those who like historical reads in this time period will really appreciate it.