Daniel J. Watkins, my antihero in The Gilded Age is a troubled 1890s man, having suffered a childhood trauma not uncommon for the period. He learns to overcome his typical derogatory male attitudes toward women with the help of Zhu Wong, my far future time traveler. He’s got serious substance abuse problems stemming from his childhood trauma, and Zhu literally saves him from himself, but not without a struggle.

If you’re curious about men’s attitudes toward women during the turn of the century, many of which linger to this day, I highly recommend Bram Dikstra’s amazing book, Idols of Perversity, to which I gave five stars on Goodreads. Partial chapter titles include such gems as “Raptures of Submission and the Cult of the Household Nun,” “The Nymph with the Broken Back and the Mythology of Therapeutic Rape,” “Women of Moonlight and Wax,” “Gold and the Virgin Whores of Babylon, the Priestesses of Man’s Severed Head,” and “Clinging Vines and the Dangers of Degeneration.” You get the idea.

For my fin de siècle romantic suspense, I wanted a true hero, Jackson Tremaine, who represents the best of what men had to offer during that period—fascination with new technologies and developments in medicine, an appreciation of art and literature, strength and courage, and a protective, positive attitude toward women and children. (The typical fin de siècle patriarch regarded children as pretty much gender-neutral. A child would be referred to as “it.”) Men like the philosopher John Stuart Mill supported the vote for women and women’s empowerment in all aspects of life, in and out of the bedroom.

Jackson Tremaine is definitely an unusual alpha male who is not threatened by women. On the contrary, he loves women and is very aware of the attitudes Dikstra discusses. Tremaine rejects the usual. He’s not without his own checkered past and personal problems—I’ll have to let him tell you about himself in Celestial Girl—but I think he’s an excellent match for my heroine, Lily Modjeska. Their sensuality is hot!

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook and Kindle! Also available in the UK (and six other countries; I’ll be posting those links as we gather them). If you love romantic suspense or historical mystery, this is both. Please give Lily Modjeska a try!

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle!

Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)

Lily is not quite a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896. She may be repressed and dependent on her husband, but she supports the vote for women and has a mind of her own. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation. Meanwhile, as they begin a hot affair, a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!