Monday, February 18, 2019

Book Review - The Last Collection: A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel by Jeanne Mackin

Hi all,

I've been reading and enjoying a lot of historical fiction lately. This one caught my eye and I really enjoyed it. I hadn't known much about Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli before reading this novel, and I found them fascinating. If you love historical fiction - you will love this novel. 

The Last Collection:

A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel

Jeanne Mackin

Book Description:

An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s bold, experimental, and surreal.

When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps. 

Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.

Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Preorder now:

My Five-Star Review:

A young artist and widow, Lily Sutter, finds herself in the center of a great rivalry between designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in Paris, France in 1938. As she befriends both women, she learns more about them and their past as war looms around them.

I absolutely loved this book. The feud between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli is described to perfection while Lily sits on the sidelines, being a neutral bystander. Amidst their rivalry, the threat of World War II brings tension to the story. This beautifully written story is difficult to put down and yet you do not want it to end. I highly recommend to anyone who loves historical fiction.  

About the Author:

Jeanne Mackin is the author of several historical novels. Her most recent is The Beautiful American. She has worked as a journalist for several publications, and as a university research and science writer. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, with her husband, artist Steve Poleskie. Jeanne was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and her journalism has won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. 

For more information, visit:

Monday, February 4, 2019

Wild Deadwood Reads - Writer and Reader Event!

I'm thrilled to annouce that I will be attending WILD DEADWOOD READS in amazing Deadwood, SD on June 6-8th. Readers are also invited to come along and join in on the many exciting events with an author book signing slated for June 8th. My incredible cover designer, Deborah Bradseth of Tugboat Design, will be there too!

Come to Deadwood and visit with us and a hugh group of talented authors! Details at:

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Book Review: For Her Honor (The Gentrys of Paradise Book 4) by Holly Bush

Book Review

For Her Honor

The Gentrys of Paradise Book 4

Holly Bush

Book Description:

1873 –
Adam Gentry, heir to the celebrated Paradise Stables in Virginia, is haunted by the visions of his lost love. Feeling cursed by fate, he slips deeper into grief, shrouded in a cloud of liquor and depression, and neglects his duties and responsibilities. But when Adam is forced to accept that there’s nothing he can do to change his past, he knows he must move on. And he accepts his own destiny: that he will never love again.

Emmaline Somerset finds herself in the worst possible position any unmarried woman can be in. She will have to abandon all of her plans, hopes, and dreams for an independence using her own talents. The only viable solution is to move to a distant relative’s home and reinvent herself as a widow with an infant. No one will ever be the wiser.

Adam, now determined to secure the Gentry legacy, plans to save longtime family friend Emmaline from her embarrassment with an offer of marriage. But what Adam didn’t plan on was how his unexpected attraction to her would stir something inside of him, something he's kept locked deep within.

Can love finds its way between two troubled souls, one driven by duty, the other by honor, both determined to find their way home?

The Gentrys of Paradise:
Book #1 Prequel Novella Into the Evermore
Book #2 For the Brave
Book #3 For This Moment
Book #4 For Her Honor

Historical Romance
Release Date: January 8, 2019

Buy Now:

My 5-Star Review:

For Her Honor is the fourth and final installment of The Gentrys of Paradise series by the talented author, Holly Bush. I’ve read every one of this series and have enjoyed them very much. In fact, I’ve read all of Holly’s books, and have never been disappointed.

In For Her Honor, the oldest brother, Adam Gentry, is mourning the loss of the only woman he’s ever loved, and finds himself in the deepest, darkest despair. When finally he pulls himself up and once again takes over his duties of running the family business, Paradise Stables, he is met with a moral dilemma. A family friend, Emmaline Somerset, has found herself in the family way after having been preyed upon by an unworthy man. To help fix the problem, Adam swoops in and proposes marriage, promising to care for the child as if it were his own. He doesn’t do this out of love for Emmaline, but only to save her honor. Emmaline accepts, reluctantly, but soon finds herself looking at Adam in a whole different light.

For Her Honor is a wonderful story about two very determined people trying to find their way in a society of strict rules and expectations. Adam is the strong, silent type who wants to protect and always do what is right. Emmaline is a stubborn, willful woman who has dreams and goals of her own. But once these two come together, they find that maybe their differences are what can make this difficult relationship work.

Well-written and intriguing, as all of Holly’s books are, you will find yourself falling in love with the Gentry family. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical romance.

About the Author:

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour.  Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject. Currently, she works in the Quality Assurance Office of a large farming enterprise building data bases and writing technical manuals.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She writes historical romance novels, all set in the U.S. or Victorian London in the mid to late 1800’s. Her most popular series is The Crawford Family and her newest is The Gentrys of Paradise. She frequently attends writing conferences, and book fairs. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, and is a sponsor of the Lancaster Lady Jane’s Salon held quarterly.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and was a member of her local library board for years. She loves to spend time near the ocean and is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Book Review - Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr by Margaret Porter

Hi all,

Historical biographical fiction is very popular right now and since I love history and a good biography, I’ve been devouring this genre. This novel, however, has stood out from all the others I’ve read. Here is more about the novel and my review.

Beautiful Invention
A Novel of Hedy Lamarr
Margaret Porter

Book Description:
Cover by Tugboat Design.

Hollywood Beauty. Brilliant inventor. The incredible story of a remarkable and misunderstood woman.

Hedy Kiesler, Austrian actress of Jewish heritage, scandalizes Europe with her nudity in the art film Ecstasy. Her hasty marriage to a wealthy munitions merchant disintegrates as he grows increasingly controlling and possessive. Even worse—he supplies deadly weapons to Hitler’s regime.

She flees husband and homeland for Hollywood, where Louis B. Mayer transforms her into Hedy Lamarr, an icon of exotic glamour. Professional success clashes with her personal life as marriage and motherhood compete with the demands of studio and stardom. 

Motivated by the atrocities of World War II, Hedy secretly invents a new technology intended for her adopted country’s defense—and unexpectedly changes the world. 

MARGARET PORTER is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than a dozen works of historical fiction. A former stage actress, she also worked professionally in film, television, and radio. Other writing credits include nonfiction, newspaper and magazine articles, and poetry.

Buy now on Amazon:

My 5-Star Review:

Captivating, fascinating, and entrancing. These are just three words of many that I could use to describe this incredible novel by Margaret Porter. I was hooked from the very first line. From the moment young Hedy Kiesler appears on screen in the shocking film Ecstasy, she is destined to become one of Hollywood’s biggest, brightest, most alluring stars. But first she must endure her family’s shame over her provocative movie and an unhappy marriage before chasing her dream. A dream that will take her across an ocean and make her the most famous celebrity of her day known by her fans as Hedy Lamarr. Unbeknownst to those who idolize her, she is also a woman of high intelligence who has more to offer than her beauty.

Beautifully written with interesting historical detail, this novel is hard to put down. You feel you really do get to know Hedy and all those around her. Trust me—this is a must read for anyone who loves historical fiction.

About the Author:

MARGARET PORTER is the author of thirteen historical novels for various publishers, including several bestsellers and award-winners, and many foreign language editions. She studied British history in the U.K. and afterwards worked in theatre, film and television.

Margaret and her husband live in New England with their two dogs, dividing their time between a book-filled house in a small city and a waterfront cottage on one of the region's largest lakes. More information is available at 

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews