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New Release | Well Dressed Lies by Carrie Hayes #historicalromance #newrelease #bookboost



Title Well Dressed Lies


Author Carrie Hayes


Genre Historical Romance


Publisher HTPH Press


Book Blurb

"A beautifully told story with lovely scenery and characters that will intrigue readers from cover to cover, Well Dressed Lies is smart and entertaining. This is a 19th-century drama you won’t want to miss.”—Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review


London, 1877.


Retired suffragists, VICTORIA WOODHULL and TENNESEE CLAFLIN are shrewd, attractive, and looking for husbands. But their backgrounds are sketchy. No one knows they've been paid - some might say bribed - a fortune to leave New York. That they've been accused of intrigue, blackmail and worse are details best left alone. But when Victoria finds the love of her life, her prospects are threatened by a striking resemblance to a character in a story by Henry James.


Frantic to whitewash their past, she seeks Tennessee's help, unaware that Tennessee is in the midst of her own struggle, consumed by an illicit affair with a Duchess who is not only married, but is also mistress to the Prince of Wales.


Excerpt

The rooms here at William’s house are chilly. I wear fingerless gloves, just as I do in London.I put down my notebook and pour the oolong tea from the silver pot over its strainer into the Wedgwood cup. I always drink my first cup neat, sans milk, sans sugar, which guarantees the timeliness of the morning blast. As one ages, such banalities can become the most tiresome preoccupations. Sipping my tea, I open the Cornhill, which the publisher has kindly sent from England.


I have had no occupation save that of writer. Even now, years into it, there is still a palpable chord of affirmation when seeing my work as it appears in print. Opening the volume, magazine, what have you, one turns to the section in question and presses the surrounding pages flat to take in the words as a whole, as a piece. Every time, I must confess, I meet my efforts thus. And every time, no matter what extenuating conflicts may arise with an editor or publication, every time,there is, within,a most sonorous chord. This issue of the Cornhill is no different.


There have been times throughout my career when I’ve been accused of appropriation. And I confess, there have been times when I’ve employed it.I shall hasten to add, however, it exists on a level wherein only those possessed of a preternatural skill for discernment recognize it as such. Because in truth, fiction is an orchestration of fragments and legend and myth. Only a soupçon of fact binds the elements of a story together. Truly.


Creating such a brew, one must be open, always, like a sponge one observes in the sea, absorbing particulates of narrative, sifting through nonsense and gossip, heartache, and tragedy. It’s how we catch the ideas.


I put the magazinedown and prepare my second cup, pouring in a spoonful of milk, followed by the tea, still hot, thanks to the heavy cozy. Finally, I add the transformative vice, which is a half spoon of sugar, and a sigh of contentment escapes me. Delicious. Scanning The Siege of London, I think about the sisters. As singular and striking as they may be, they are no different from any of the others. They do not preclude being mined as a source. Certainly not!


Once, they’d been lauded and were seen everywhere and with everyone. But then came that obscenity charge with an outlandish libel suit, not to mention Mrs. Woodhull’s ill-fated run for president. After that, they weren’t seen in company, not for years. One only knew them from their notoriety. That, and the jail time, of course.


But that summer onboard ship, the writer Kate Field sat next to me at supper. She had been a great favorite of my father’s, so I took pains to be solicitous.


When Miss Field said, “They’re at the table behind you,” I turned around and she hissed, “No, don’t look!” placing her hand on my arm. “Or they’ll know we see them.”


So, I dropped a fork. Large potted palms concealed my foray into espionage. I recognized them as soon as I saw them. Such hardened, scrappy survivors are rarely exceptional, much less unique.Yet, they were still beautiful, albeit certainly past their youth.


Satisfied, I sat back up, wondering how they had the funds to make this journey, particularly in first class. There was something about Miss Claflin and Mrs. Woodhull;they’d cast a shadow in any story one might compose. One would have to be blind not to see it! They were seasoned opportunists who presented a risk, a hazard of the unsavory, yet something irresistible. Something I surely would not want to be known as having been associated with! At least not in life. As a source of fiction perhaps.A waiter bowed and handed me a clean fork. I glanced over my shoulder to look at them again.


Yes, as a source of fiction perhaps. But that would be an altogether different matter. A different matter entirely.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)








Author Biography


Carrie Hayes writes historical fiction that focuses on issues many of us still wrestle with today. She lives with her family in New Jersey. You can find her on Medium.com, Substack.com and on her upcoming podcast, Angry Dead Women.


Social Media Links


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N. N. Light
05 Οκτ 2023

Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your new release with us!

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