Today I’m delighted to be hosting Chloe Helton with a guest post and spotlight on her book, The Red Pearl. Before we hear from Chloe, here’s what the book is all about…
There’s something peculiar about the small group of men who have begun to frequent The Red Pearl, the tavern that has hosted a variety of Boston’s men since before the Revolutionary War began. In a rebellious city that does not tolerate Loyalists, men could come here and speak freely without fear of the repercussions — and Jasper Finch, the tavern-keeper, has always been proud of that.But now the war is in full force, and Lucy Finch — the tavern-keeper’s wife — is growing nervous about The Red Pearl’s most loyal customers. Their clandestine meetings and hushed whispers suggest dark secrets — secrets which may threaten the safety of Boston, and the future of the war itself.Lucy struggles to stay loyal to her husband’s wishes while grappling with the surprising truths of America’s war for independence. When a terrible assault makes her ache for revenge, she must make a choice: Will she keep quiet about the explosive secrets she has learned, or will she expose them and risk her marriage and possibly her life?Set in the wild and unpredictable world of the Revolutionary War, fans of historical fiction will fall in love with Lucy Finch, who faces impossible choices that may change the fate of a nation.
“The Red Pearl is a delight. Meticulously researched, it transports the reader to the inns and backstreets of Boston in 1778. Lucy Finch’s personal tragedy spurs her on to take an active role in the revolutionary war, despite the immense danger it brings to herself, her family and friends. Ms. Helton’s characters are warm, living beings with gifts and flaws. Their relationships are altered — broken or strengthened — by the battles on distant fields and the evil of individuals closer to home.” – Carrie Bedford, Author of Nobilissima
I’m Chloe Helton, author of The Red Pearl, and I’m thrilled to meet you!
Like many people, I like to have some tunes grooving while I write. Many of these songs helped set the mood for scenes in The Red Pearl, so if you’re the sort of reader who likes to turn your stereo on low before you open a book, here are some songs to get you going.
The theme song from the AMC series Turn, which was part of my inspiration in choosing to write about the Revolutionary War. It’s dark and grating and creepy, which is what you’ll feel in the novel during its most harrowing parts. Great to start the book with, to set the mood.
2. Turpin Hero – Jake Bugg
This one was also featured in Turn, and a great way to get into an 18th-century mood. Read during Lucy’s scenes with Sam, or during Chapter 2 when she’s reflecting on life at The Red Pearl.
3. Viva la Vida by Coldplay
Rumor has it that this song was actually written about the French Revolution, but it carries well to the American Revolution, which kicked it off for the French. It’s powerful and haunting, which is a great one to set the mood for The Event and its direct aftermath.
4. Rise Up by Andra Day
A more rousing, rebellious tune – great to turn on after Lucy starts to get her fire back after The Event. Some modern flavor, with a timeless sentiment.
5. Battle Hymn of the Republic by Johnny Cash
A powerful patriotic song if you ever heard one. Written during the Civil War, this song is a great anthem for a young nation, and Johnny Cash sings it with such grace and care that his version seemed like the best fit. Great for the middle of the book, as she gets tangled up in spying and is tempted to get wrapped up in her desire for revenge.
6. The Story of Tonight from Hamilton
I couldn’t finish this playlist without a song from Hamilton – the question was only which one to pick. Although “My Shot,” was a close contender, it seemed more appropriate to close out with a hopeful yet rousing tune that reminds us all how much the Revolutionary War changed the lives of generations to come — that is to say, us. Great for the last few chapters of the book.
What do you think of the playlist? Any Revolutionary-style songs you would add?
My first novel started in the fifth grade, when I did a book report on Queen Elizabeth I and immediately decided I was going to write her story (which got super popular on Wattpad). In the same fashion, I’ve been hunting down stories of amazing historical women and sharing them with readers just like you. You can find more at chloeheltonbooks.com.
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