Friday, November 13, 2015

A Book Review of The Siege Winter by Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman (Adult Fiction)

The Siege Winter
by Ariana Franklin
Samantha Norman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: William Morrow
Publication date: 2/24/2015
ISBN: 9780062282569
Pages: 352
Format: Hardback
Source: Library


England, 1141. The countryside is devastated by a long civil war as the English king, Stephen, and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, battle for the crown. . . .

Emma is the eleven-year-old redheaded daughter of a peasant family. When mercenaries pass through their town, they bring with them a monk with a deadly interest in young redheaded girls. Emma is left for dead in a burned-out church until Gwil, an archer, finds her by chance. Gwil takes Emma with him, dressing her as a boy to avoid attention. Emma becomes Penda—and Penda turns out to have a killer instinct with a bow and arrow.

Maud is the fifteen-year-old chatelaine of Kenniford, a small but strategically important castle she’s determined to protect. But when Maud provides refuge for the empress, Stephen’s armies lay siege to Kenniford Castle. Aided by a garrison of mercenaries—including Gwil and his odd, redheaded apprentice—they must survive a long winter under siege. It’s a brutal season that brings everyone to Kenniford—including the sinister monk who has never stopped hunting the redheaded girl. . . .

My Thoughts:

Historical Fiction is one of a few genres that I truly enjoy to review and Ariana Franklin is up there as one of my all time favorite authors. She wrote the Mistress of the Art of Death series which I consumed one right after the other, I was addicted really! So when I saw this one at the library I automatically was drawn to pick it up and bring it home with me, "Even if she wrote it with someone else", I thought. Little did I know that Franklin died while working on this book and her daughter, the other author, who's influence on the book I was dreading is in fact Franklin's daughter, Samantha Norman, who finished the book after her mom died. I also soon discovered that Samantha inherited her mom's writing genes because I couldn't tell where Franklin's writing ended and Norman's started it was very seamless in its flow, which is not an easy task to accomplish. Wonderful characters and settings with everything researched well, as all good historical fiction is, so everything was very authentic! There is a lot of heartbreak in this book but all so a great deal of strength and love, all ingredients to a spectacular read!

I Give It:

About the Authors

British journalist Diana Norman also writes as Ariana Franklin.

Born Mary Diana Narracott, she grew up first in London and then in Devon, where her mother took her to escape the blitz. At the age of 15, she left school, but with journalism in her background (her father had been a Times correspondent)and her hardy intelligence, the lack of formal education proved no barrier and by 17 she was n London, working on a local newspaper in the East End.

Headhunted at 20 by the Daily Herald, Norman became the youngest reporter on Fleet Street, covering royal visits, donning camouflage to go on exercise with the Royal Marines, and missing her 21st birthday party because she was covering a murder on the south coast. When she protested about this to the news editor, she was told: "Many happy returns. Now get down to Southampton." Diana Norman became, at twenty years of age, the youngest reporter on what used to be Fleet Street. 

She married the film critic Barry Norman in 1957, and they settled in Hertfordshire with their two daughters. She began writing fiction shortly after her second daughter was born. Her first book of fiction, Fitzempress's Law, was chosen by Frank Delaney of BBC Radio 4's Bookshelf as the best example of a historical novel of its year. She is now a freelance journalist, as well as a writer of biographies and historical novels.

She died at the age of 77 on January 27, 2011. She was best known for her historical crime series featuring the 12th-century medical examiner Adelia Aguilar, written under the pen name of Ariana Franklin. The first book in the series, Mistress of the Art of Death, was published to critical acclaim in 2007 and won the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger award in the UK, as well as prizes in the US and Sweden.

Norman is survived by her husband, their daughters, Samantha and Emma, and three grandsons. 

Samantha Norman began working life in publishing as a junior editor in children's books before moving in to freelance journalism. She became variously a boxing correspondent, feature writer, travel writer, theatre critic, film critic and showbusiness columnist for most national newspapers and magazines before falling in to television where she worked as a presenter for many years. Nowadays, as well as writing, she is an interviewer for Celebrity Productions, specifically their Audience With ... series. 

Thanks for Stopping In! Stop back soon!


The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Book Review of Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith (Adult Fiction)

Career of Evil
by Robert Galbraith
Genre: Mystery/Crime
Published by: Mulholland Books
Publication date: 10/20/2015
ISBN: 9780316349932
Pages: 489
Format: Hardback
Source: Library


When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible--and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...

Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

My Thoughts

I have really enjoyed all the books in this series so far and #3 didn't disappoint. I love a good whodunit! Loves about this book is not just great writing but character development which is phenomenal, I actually would want to know these people if they were real. And holy moley the sexual tension between Strike and Robin, oh geez, they just need to get together and put us fans out of our misery. The only thing that caused me lots of confusion was when they were hopping back and forth between the suspects in conversation for some reason I had a hard time remembering which was which, they were so much alike that they sort of just ran together in the prose.

I Give It:

Really Liked It!
A great read. Memorable and highly entertaining. Recommended, but for whatever reason, not the all consuming experience that I feel characterizes a five star book. Maybe one or two minor issues.  

About the Author

Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series and The Casual Vacancy.

Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Rowling (née Volant), on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Bristol. Her mother Anne was half-French and half-Scottish. Her parents first met on a train departing from King's Cross Station bound for Arbroath in 1964. They married on 14 March 1965. Her mother's maternal grandfather, Dugald Campbell, was born in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran. Her mother's paternal grandfather, Louis Volant, was awarded the Croix de Guerre for exceptional bravery in defending the village of Courcelles-le-Comte during the First World War.

Rowling's sister Dianne was born at their home when Rowling was 23 months old. The family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne when Rowling was four. She attended St Michael's Primary School, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce and education reformer Hannah More. Her headmaster at St Michael's, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

As a child, Rowling often wrote fantasy stories, which she would usually then read to her sister. She recalls that: "I can still remember me telling her a story in which she fell down a rabbit hole and was fed strawberries by the rabbit family inside it. Certainly the first story I ever wrote down (when I was five or six) was about a rabbit called Rabbit. He got the measles and was visited by his friends, including a giant bee called Miss Bee." At the age of nine, Rowling moved to Church Cottage in the Gloucestershire village of Tutshill, close to Chepstow, Wales. When she was a young teenager, her great aunt, who Rowling said "taught classics and approved of a thirst for knowledge, even of a questionable kind," gave her a very old copy of Jessica Mitford's autobiography, Hons and Rebels. Mitford became Rowling's heroine, and Rowling subsequently read all of her books.

Rowling has said of her teenage years, in an interview with The New Yorker, "I wasn’t particularly happy. I think it’s a dreadful time of life." She had a difficult homelife; her mother was ill and she had a difficult relationship with her father (she is no longer on speaking terms with him). She attended secondary school at Wyedean School and College, where her mother had worked as a technician in the science department. Rowling said of her adolescence, "Hermione [a bookish, know-it-all Harry Potter character] is loosely based on me. She's a caricature of me when I was eleven, which I'm not particularly proud of." Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English when she first arrived, remembers her as "not exceptional" but "one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English." Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth owned a turquoise Ford Anglia, which she says inspired the one in her books.

Connect with Robert Galbraith:

Connect with J.K. Rowling

Thanks for checking out my review of Career of Evil!
And make sure to check back soon to read my latest reviews.

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Book Review of A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (Adult Fiction)

A Head Full of Ghosts
by Paul Tremblay
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication date: 6/2/2015
ISBN: 9780062363237
Pages: 288
Format: Hardback
Source: Library


The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface--and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

My Thoughts

I'm not really one for horror books but I had decided that for Halloween this year that I was going to read a least one scary story in October and so when I came upon this list on Brightly, which I shared on my blog's Facebook page, I chose A Head Full of Ghosts from it because its summary piqued my interests.

So I'm all ready to get freaked out by this book and well it didn't happen, I mean there is definitely a psychological thriller type thing going on, but horror, no! And the story when I read it played like a monotone voice in my head so it was kind of boring and dry, however, I did finish it because I wanted to know the ending so the stories subject matter was at least interesting.

So I Gave It:

It was Okay!
Flawed execution or just not for me. Generally these are books that don't speak to my interests or fail to draw me in. 

About the Author

Paul Tremblay is the author of  The Little Sleep , No Sleep Till Wonderland, Swallowing A Donkey's Eye, and the forthcoming YA novel Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly. 

He is the author of the short story collections Compositions for the Young and Old  and In The Mean Time. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Five, and Best American Fantasy 3. He is the co-editor of four anthologies including CREATURES: Thirty Years of Monster Stories (with John Langan). Paul is the president of the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards.  

Paul is very truthful and declarative in his bios. He once gained three inches of height in a single twelve hour period, and he does not have a uvula. His second toe is longer than his big toe, and yes, on both feet. He has a master’s degree in mathematics, teaches AP Calculus, and once made twenty-seven three pointers in a row. He enjoys reading The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher aloud in a faux-British accent to his two children. He is also reading this bio aloud, now, with the same accent. He lives outside of Boston, Massachusetts and he is represented by Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. 

You can find him online at

Thanks for stopping in and checking out my review!

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Book Collection Spotlight of Christmas Kisses

Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors.
Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols.

***$.99 November 3 - 7***
Add it to Goodreads

The Candy Counter Heiress by Lucy McConnell Amazon bestselling & award-winning author
Someday Reese Gates will own The Candy Counter at Kenworth's; but someday can't come fast enough when the manager threatens to bring in a national candy provider. Reese secretly takes matters into her own hands hoping to save her parents from additional worry and prove herself capable of running the company. Her deception deepens as she ropes computer guru Andy Edwards into helping her expand the business.  Reese wanted to shake things up, but she wasn't planning on her heart getting caught in the mix by Andy's stolen kisses. If she can hold it together until after Christmas, then she can reveal her successful online company and her feelings for Andy. Unfortunately for Reese, even the best laid plans can melt like chocolate. *

Christmas Makeover by Cami Checketts Amazon bestselling author
Chelsea Jamison has been infatuated with Drew Stirling longer than she's loved playing basketball, high-top sneakers, and the Knicks. Unfortunately, all Drew sees is the kid who kicked his trash in the high school free throw contest and not the girl whose heart breaks into a fast dribble when he's near.
Drew makes an unexpected visit home to Echo Ridge and their friendship picks up where they left off as they scheme to make a teenaged boy's Christmas dreams come true. When Chelsea realizes she's fallen for her best friend, she wonders if there is any hope of a relationship with Drew or if she's stuck in buddy-status for life. *

Soda Fountain Christmas by Connie E. Sokol Amazon bestselling author
Keira Kenworth has one focus this holiday season: save her father's old-time department store from bankruptcy. She is not focused on Tayton Wells, the tall, dark, and genius marketing guru from downtown New York, hired to make it happen. He is as doubtful that her nostalgic connect-the-town ideas will succeed as she is about his numbers-first plan. However, it's not just their different approaches that cause sparks to fly. Working together on a fast deadline to save the store before Christmas, the unspoken connection between them grows. But will the tough decisions they face drive them back to their separate worlds, or will they lead to the beginning of love? *

Hope for Christmas by Rachelle J. Christensen Amazon bestselling & award-winning author
Anika Fletcher hates Christmas--its promises of good tidings and hope for the future are as tinseled as the ornaments on Kenworth's Hope Tree. Despite her feelings, Anika wants to maintain her daughter's faith in the magic of the season and gladly accepts a second job working with the handsome Carlos Rodriguez to restore Kenworth's old fashioned soda fountain. Carlos is no stranger to hard times and slowly shares his life of light and joy with Anika as they work together. Just as her fragile soul begins to feel hope again, an ill-timed act of charity changes everything. Anika isn't sure who she can trust or if hope is worth nurturing--especially at Christmas when it's easy to enjoy a kiss and believe love can last longer than the season. *

One Winter Night by Heather Tullis Amazon bestselling author

Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma's house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn't have all those farm animals.
Kaya Feidler's family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years--long before the neighbors were there. There's no way she's giving up the animal therapy business she's been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends? *

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Book Review of Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (Adult Non-Fiction)

Big Magic
Creative Living Beyond Fear
By Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Non-Fiction/Self-help
Published by: Riverhead Books
Publication date: 9/22/2015
ISBN: 9781594634710
Pages: 288
Format: Hardback
Source: Library

I have raved about this book and its author in my last two blog posts so you already know I really enjoyed this book! Fear is one of the many things that stops me from living the best creative life I can and I know many of you out there have the same problem whether it is fear of failure or fear of judgement we all need to learn to work alongside our fears, not get rid of them for that would be impossible, so acknowledge your fear and then let it know that your the boss of this show! This book really opened up my eyes to not only ways to deal with fear but ways to look at the world and the situations and people I encounter in a new way. I learned all this in 288 awe inspiring pages so of course I give it:

So seriously, why are you not reading Big Magic right now???

Creatively Wandering,

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Beautiful Afternoon...

Even though there is the smell of burnt grilled cheese in the air (from Livy's attempt to cook her own lunch) it still is an absolutely gorgeous day out!

Today was the second day of homeschooling Livy and it is going much smoother than I expected which is a huge relief for I was worried about not having enough time to teach her because of the demands of having a 5-month old, but so far so good!

It is definitely different having her at home though the noise level has increased because she does love to talk but it is not so lonely during the day with just me and the baby anymore.

Still face deep in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I truly think this woman is spectacular! I also follow her Facebook page and there is always daily inspiration on my news feed thanks to her posts so definitely be sure to check it out for some inspiration on your Facebook News Feed! Hopefully soon I will be sharing my thoughts on Big Magic, I am snatching as much time as I can from my schedule to reading it but it is still difficult to find any time at all I actually read it while I ate my dinner last night just so I could get some of it read yesterday.

Well I hope that your afternoon looks as beautiful as mine is!

Creatively Wandering,
photo credit: girl via photopin (license)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

So Quiet...

I'm trying so hard to be quiet. I have never really realized how loud my keyboard is till this morning but all because it is the only noise.

All the kids are sleeping, I keep hearing a cough here or there, and a sniffle or two but for this time in the morning this house is eerily quiet. We are all home today willing our bodies to fight the latest cold that has infected our home and bodies. 

Started reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (who I absolutely adore) something about reading an inspiring book when your sick just really lifts your spirits high and makes you feel a little less sick and a little more empowered!

Even though I have yet to finish it I recommend you proceed immediately to a copy and start reading right away and you might even find yourself inspired by it as much as I have to create some "BIG MAGIC"!

Creatively Wandering,
photo credit: Simplicity via photopin (license)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Short Story Compilation Review of Sea Lovers (Selected Stories) by Valerie Martin (Adult Fiction)

Sea Lovers Selected Stories
by Valerie Martin
Genre: Short Stories
Published by: Nan A. Talese
Publication date: 8/18/2015
ISBN: 9780385533522
Pages: 336
Format: Hardback
Source: Publisher

Summary from Goodreads

For four decades Valerie Martin has been publishing novels and stories that demonstrate her incredible range as a writer, moving between realism and fantasy while employing a voice that is at once whimsical and tragic. The twelve stories in this collection showcase Martin's enviable control, precision, and grace and are organized around her three fictional obsessions—the natural world, the artistic sphere, and stunning transformations. In "The Change," a journalist watches his menopausal wife, an engraver, create some of her eeriest and most affecting works even as she seems to be willfully destroying their marriage. In "The Open Door," an American poet in Rome finds herself forced to choose between her lover and a world so alien it takes her voice away. "Sea Lovers" conjures up a hideous mermaid whose fatal seduction of a fisherman provides better reason than Jaws for staying out of the water. In "The Incident at Villedeau" a respected gentleman confesses to killing his wife's former lover, an event that could be construed as an accident, an impulsive act, or a premeditated crime. Exploring themes of obsession, justice, passion, and duplicity, these drolly macabre stories buzz with tension.

My Thoughts

I have often said that it is difficult for a reviewer to write a review for a collection of short stories but once again I'm giving it a go so bear with me!

I began the stories while I was waiting for my daughter to get an MRI and you could tell that the first few stories were earlier works of the authors because they are unpolished and raw but in a good way not a bad way you can feel the bluntness the author is trying to express in each of the first few stories. As I progressed through the book you could feel the author growing as a writer not only were the stories a bit longer but they were more refined, more self-confident and you know what they say practice makes perfect! My favorite stories were in the "Among the Artists" section of the collection, they just really drew me in and even though all her stories are wonderful these few really hooked me on this book and renewed my love for the short story!

I Give This Book:

The only reason I am giving it four star instead of five is because the last story while still very good was a bit of a let down for me, subject wise I just didn't care for it.

Thanks for stopping in,

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Book Review of The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (Adult Fiction)

The Night Sister
by Jennifer McMahon
Genre: Paranormal Suspense
Published by: Doubleday
Publication date: 8/4/2015
ISBN: 9780385538510
Pages: 319
Format: Hardback
Source: Publisher

My Thoughts

I was completely under the spell of this book! So why only four stars then? Well it is how the story takes a weird paranormal sic-fi type ending shifting completely from the psychotic ending I thought it would. McMahon threw a paranormal creature into the story pretty early but I thought they were just creepy tales to add that skin crawling feeling to the story but that wasn't the case and the "wares" find a way into the main storyline and this is where I was a little disappointed. So enough with the bad! I loved this book and if the "wares" ended up being a psycho sister I would have been singing the praises of this book from the mountain tops so if you don't mind a paranormal creature or two then this book is definitely for you!!

I Give This Book:

Thanks for stopping in to see what I've been reading!


The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Blast & Giveaway: Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner

Please join author C.W. Gortner as his latest release, Mademoiselle Chanel, is featured around the blogosphere from March 17-April 3, and enter to win one of three fabulously chic, Chanel-style black and white beaded bracelets! 

Publication Date: March 17, 2015 
William Morrow/HarperCollins 
Formats: Hardover, eBook, Audio 
Book Genre: Historical Fiction
  Add to GR Button 

 DRAMA, PASSION, TRAGEDY, AND BEAUTY: C.W.’s new novel stunningly imagines the life of Coco Chanel—the iconic fashion designer whose staggering creativity built an empire and made her one of the 20th century’s most influential, and controversial, figures. Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her sisters are sent to a convent orphanage after their mother’s death. Here, the nuns nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel her into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood. Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny. Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. Her little black dress, her signature perfume No. 5; her dramatic friendships, affairs, and rivalries with luminaries of her era increase her wealth and fame. But as the years pass, success cannot save her from heartbreak. And when Paris falls to the Nazis during World War II, Coco finds herself at a dangerous crossroads, forced to make choices that will forever change her. An enthralling portrayal of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel is Coco’s intimate story.

Release Graphic

Praise for Mademoiselle Chanel

“In this deliciously satisfying novel, C.W. Gortner tells the epic, rags-to-riches story of how this brilliant, mercurial, self-created woman became a legend.” (Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train) “In a novel as brilliant and complicated as Coco Chanel herself, C. W. Gortner’s prose is so electric and luminous it could be a film, and not just any film, but one of the grandest biopics of our time. Divine!” (Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl) “A richly imagined, deftly researched novel, in which the ever fascinating Coco Chanel comes to life in all her woe and splendor, her story unfolding as elegantly as a Chanel gown.” (Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls) “From her heart-wrenching early years through her decades of struggle and glory, Gabrielle Chanel was fascinating—as is C.W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel. Coco lives again in this rich tale of brilliance, determination, and fierce self-creation.” (Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex) “Gortner brings to life a woman who was as alluring and captivating as her signature scent. ” (Historical Novels Review) “Gortner brings history to life in a fascinating study of one woman’s unstoppable ambition.” (Booklist) “Well-written and historically accurate . . . An homage to a couture icon whose influence is still powerful today.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Buy Mademoiselle Chanel

About the Author

C.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding. C.W. recently completed his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about Lucrezia Borgia; the third novel in his Tudor Spymaster series for St Martin's Press; and a new novel about the dramatic, glamorous life of Coco Chanel, scheduled for lead title publication by William Morrow, Harper Collins, in the spring of 2015. Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats. For more information visit C.W. Gortner's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner's Newsletter for updates.


Three Chanel-style black and white beaded bracelets will up for grabs during this blast, follow along for chances to win!  


Giveaway starts on March 17th at 12:01am and ends on April 3rd at 11:59pm EST. – Must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US residents only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. - Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim prize, or new winner is chosen. 

Mademoiselle Chanel Book Blast Schedule
Tuesday, March 17

Wednesday, March 18 

Thursday, March 19 

Friday, March 20 

Saturday, March 21 

Sunday, March 22 

Monday, March 23 

Tuesday, March 24 

Wednesday, March 25 

Thursday, March 26 

Friday, March 27 

Saturday, March 28 

Sunday, March 29 

Monday, March 30 

Tuesday, March 31 

Wednesday, April 1 

Thursday, April 2 

Friday, April 3 

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