Friday, February 22, 2019

Book Review: The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict


Book Review

The Only Woman in the Room

Marie Benedict


Book Description:

She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?
Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.
But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her.
A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.

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My Five-Star Review:

Hedy Lamarr—when you hear this name you think of the glamorous actress who commanded the silver screen. But she was much more than a pretty face or a talented actress. Raised by a father who appreciated her intelligence and encouraged her in all things, married to a man who was in bed with the Third Reich, and refugee from Austria right before her home country is taken over by Hitler, she had an incredible past that forged her future; helping her accomplish her greatest achievement of all.

The Only Woman in the Room is a wonderful story that depicts just how intelligent and inventive she was. She was a strong woman who stood up to movie executives most people feared and the U.S. military that rejected her ideas because she was a woman. The author knows her history well and mixes Hedy’s story amidst the outbreak of World War II, keeping the reader entertained and informed throughout. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical biographical fiction.


About the Author:

Once a New York City lawyer, Marie Benedict had long dreamed about a fantastical job unraveling the larger mysteries of the past as an archaeologist or historian -- before she tried her hand at writing. While drafting her first book, she realized that she could excavate the possible truths lurking in history through fiction, and has done so in THE OTHER EINSTEIN, the story of Mileva Maric, Albert Einstein's first wife and a physicist herself, and CARNEGIE'S MAID, the story of a brilliant woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie toward philanthropy. Her upcoming novel, THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE ROOM, will release in January of 2019. She is a graduate of Boston College and the Boston University School of Law, and lives in Pittsburgh with her family.


If you enjoyed this novel about Hedy Lamarr, I also recommend the novel, Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr by Margaret Porter. It is a comprehensive historical fiction story of Hedy’s life that you will find intriguing. Read my review here.


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

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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:
www.JeanneMackin.com



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: http://www.wilddeadwoodreads.com

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews