Call Me Cali is a series of romance novels fizzing with a heady concoction of the erotic, the dramatic and the comedic. Bubbling under with themes of transformation, overcoming a toxic past and taking flight, the series follows Cali Kistler—a scrappy, sexual and unapologetic young design student looking to level up her life using her feminine—and modern feminist—wiles.
She comes of age through a gauntlet of more and more risqué experiences which will eventually transform her into the dazzling, world-traveling professional companion she's always wanted to be. But when she's finally at the top of her game, will she ever find that sweet spot between love and money?
The novel’s lighthearted tone balances nicely with more thoughtful moments, as Cali takes her first steps into a world light-years different from where she began. The dichotomy of her parents’ abuse and the protective nature of the seemingly seedy friends she makes, Ned and Tony, for example, offers an intimate glimpse into the mindset of a young woman on the cusp of independence and adulthood. In contrast, the Peyton Place-esque antics of the residents of the Hotel Gram-Irving offer drama of the absurd and laughable nature–especially with Darla, the drug addicted stripper with a mean streak.
That lightheartedness that’s one of the book’s great strengths is also a weakness. While Cali’s adventures are pure fantasy, they also promote dangerous, ill-thought-out behavior heedless of consequences. From her sexual assault of a dentist back in her hometown to her allowing a strange man intimate physical liberties on a cross-country bus, she acts with a decidedly unrealistic, implausible abandon. However, the novel’s loving attention characterization, no matter how shallow, and the focus on being young and attaining a long-held dream will enchant readers of fun erotica.
Takeaway: This light erotic novel eschews traditional romantic tropes in favor of a flirtatious (and dangerous) sexcapade through New York.
Great for fans of: Katrina Jackson’s Grand Theft N.Y.E. , Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger, the Misadventures series.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Just in time for a summer beach read, this scorching series follows Cali Kistler—a scrappy, sexual and unapologetic interior design student just starting college and looking to level up her life using her feminine—and modern feminist—wiles.
The novels are set to appeal to the adult contemporary romance reader, as well as the New Adult audience of readers 18-30 who seek coming-of-age stories that read like binge-worthy streaming episodes. Think about a bumbling Bridget Jones—if she’d gone the way of the Pretty Woman (but a handsome investment banker doesn't show up to rescue her!)…or an edgier Emily in Paris…if Emily quit her influencing gig, stopped dallying with French men and began sharing her charms with a more perverse and powerful clique of men…
The beginning of the series is set in Manhattan and intimately addresses issues such as leaving a toxic home (and overcoming the PTSD of a childhood of sexist, negative conditioning), first sexual experiences, and embracing one’s strange dreams for career success. In Cali’s case, she is grappling with her fantasies—or are they legitimate professional aspirations?—of becoming a high-priced call girl who will one day travel the world, meet interesting men, and have oodles of cash to invest in her second aspiration (the one she actually goes to school for)—of becoming an interior designer. But is the cash, control and adventure of escorting a little too addicting compared to matching chintz to chinoiserie?
As the page-burning series with cliffhangers progresses, Cali not-always-deftly navigates from her initial status of stone cold broke in Manhattan (Book 1: Blooming)…to returning to design school and preparing for the rigors of upscale prostitution (Book 2: Becoming)…to (Book 3: Performing) transforming herself into a sought-after, richly-rewarded sexual siren catering to lonely, rich men.
Further books in the series (Falling, Flying, Dazzling…) bring the reader along on Cali’s more jet-setting and international wild carpet ride (letting them be a fly on the wall to all of her more life-altering and seriously dysfunctional romances).
As her career in luxury prostitution advances (and her playtimes off-the-books with a progression of hot guys heats up), Cali experiences fundamental challenges to her spirituality, romanticism, and idealism. Through it all, she maintains her own unique code of ethics and standards, meanwhile catering to—and often living within—the fantasies of the eccentric, demanding people she is surrounded by. She often wonders, as many do, regardless of lifestyle or profession: When will I get to finally be myself?
The Call Me Cali series promises to entertain readers with its colorful characters, driving narratives, quirky plot surprises, witty humor, scorching sex scenes, and will-they-or-won’t-they love stories. Beneath the surface, deeper themes bubble away, such as: the choice of love vs. money, transformation and redemption, and the search for identity, sincere love and deeper meaning.
The first two books in the Call Me Cali series, under the Lionesse Books imprint, will be available for purchase in paperback and e-book formats on Amazon.com and other fiction outlets, beginning May 1, 2021.
Review Copies are available now. Book-focused interviews with the author are available in writing only, to appropriate outlets. Please enquire.
Please visit Lana Gold's Website to learn more, or please contact Lana Gold at ContactLanaGold@gmail.com.