Indie Author Spotlight – Jessica Cale and “Virtue’s Lady”

Indie Author Spotlight – Jessica Cale and “Virtue’s Lady”

I’ve got another great indie author this morning.  Say hello to Jessica Cale:

Jessica Cale

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at

Follow her elsewhere on the interwebs:



Twitter: @JessicaCale





Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads Author Page:


And here’s her new book, “Virtue’s Lady”


From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.


Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.

After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Buy it at:

Liquid Silver:


Barnes & Noble:

All Romance E-Books:





Other Books in This Series

Tyburn (The Southwark Saga, Book 1): Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge. Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015.


You can buy it at:

Liquid Silver:


Barnes & Noble


All Romance E-Books:



Here’s an excerpt from “Virtue’s Lady”

The girl was beautiful.

She had him pinned to the bed. He was helpless beneath her hands. Her long fingers spanned his chest, tracing the line where the muscle dipped and gave way to shoulder. A hint of a smile played on her lips, more than just a little bit wicked. Kiss-crushed and sherry red, they were the sweetest thing he’d ever tasted.

“Like this?” She shifted back onto his hip bones.

She hovered above him like a conquering angel, all of the fearsome beauty of heaven in her laughing eyes, as grey and deadly as any steel. He could see the evidence of her ferocity in the iron poker that still projected from the door behind her head, a temptation as much as a warning.

“Getting there.” He grinned.

His hands rested on the curve of her waist, his rough, tanned skin a stark contrast to her smooth flesh, luminous and pale as the moon.

“More,” she moaned, rocking against him.

The bed slammed noisily against the wall, an insistent rapping that increased in frequency, strangely unconnected to the movements of her hips.

Somewhere in the distance, the sound of a saw.

Mark became aware of the bedclothes tangled around his legs. The stench of the river replaced the scent of her skin. She flickered as she bent over him with a sly smile, her hair falling around him like a curtain of copper silk. He was moments away from a bone-shattering orgasm. Just a little bit longer. She increased her pace, her breath quickening as she neared her peak. Her lips hovered above his, close enough to kiss, but somehow out of reach.

Her hips flickered under his hands and he heard the warble of a flock of geese.

“Jane,” he gasped, reaching out to grasp her as she disappeared, and finding only bed linen beneath his hand.

And, last but not least, here’s a great interview with Jessica:

Who is your favorite author?

That’s a really hard question. It’s probably a toss up between Poe and Leopold von Sacher Masoch, but I also love H.P. Lovecraft.

How do you describe your writing style?

I would say it’s old-school gothic romance with an emphasis on color and the senses. I try to keep scenes concise, but I really try to make them vivid enough that you can smell the coffee and the mud on your shoes. It’s sometimes violent, often funny, but I try to keep things feeling as real as possible.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

My books are not what you expect historical romance to be, but you might think they’re better. They’re dark, funny, and totally unexpected.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

All of them, to some extent. I try to imagine the world through their eyes with their background and experiences, so I guess most of them are me. It might worry people to know that Sally in Tyburn is very much like me (although our experiences have fortunately been very different), and Jane is a lot like I was when I first moved to the UK, expecting a Jane Austen novel. Alice is me when I worked as a barmaid. There’s a lot of me in Mark, too. I catch myself sounding like him sometimes, which is something of an achievement given that we have very different voices…

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

Jane. I’d love to know what it’s like being married to Mark for a day. I don’t know if I’d ever recover.

What books have most influenced your life?

Venus in Furs, by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch for its beautifully-written investigation into the nature of love, and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides for showing me what poetry in prose looks like. I also loved Wuthering Heights.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

The Phantom of the Opera. Christine would freely run away with the phantom (modelled after Gerard Butler, of course) and never look back. Either that, or I’d re-write Wuthering Heights. I’d give Cathy and Heathcliff a couple of good slaps and a really happy ending even if I meant I had kill off the rest of the characters.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

The Kinks! Their songs are better and I do enjoy a good London accent…

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Ava Gardner or Olivia de Havilland! They’d have to wear a lot of band t-shirts and pajama pants, and that’s something I’d love to see. (James’ note – my wife is a huge classic movie fan, and she would approve of this!)




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