Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner Recaptures The Life Of The First Businesswoman

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Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was the world’s first businesswoman. Rising from the bottom, Chanel used her innate ingenuity and work-ethic to build one of the most recognisable and successful businesses ever. To paraphrase Chanel, she created her life because she was unhappy with it. Despite all of this, however, jealous competitors and misogynists have attempted to slander her legacy. The time has finally come that Coco Chanel is done justice, and that has come with C.W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel.

Gabrielle Chanel was born in Saumur, France into deep poverty to a deadbeat father and a physically ill mother. This loneliness only got worse after her mother died when Gabrielle turned 12 and when she was sent to Aubazine, a convent. Gabrielle turned her despair into application and effort when she learned the sewing at the convent and where the sisters helped turn her passion into a successful work venture.

At the age of 18 Chanel was sent to live at the boarding school in Moulins. While in Moulins she both pursued sewing and stage performing, which is when she became “Coco”, based off of the popular song  “Qui qu’a vu Coco”. In 1906, after failing to find success as a stage singer in Vichy, she returned to Moulins dedicated to her sewing.

Moulins was where Coco met the ex-military officer and aristocrat Etienne Balsan, and where she became his mistress. Coco replaced famous courtesan Emilienne d’Alencon, who ironically later became something of a business asset for Chanel, for Balsan, and there never really was any love shared between Chanel and Balsan. This time, however, brought Chanel to realize that her fate was to put her entire being into her work, despite all of the negatives Balsan said to her about it. This is the time when Chanel also learned the foreign but fine art of making powerful friends.

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Some of the research I did for this review: Sampling Chanel No. 5, Coco, and Bleu de Chanel.

In 1908 Chanel began an affair with Arthur “Boy” Capel, one of Balsan’s friends. Chanel found a new feeling, something that she had never felt before, with Capel: love. This relationship also proved to be one of business as well, which put Chanel’s talent together with Capel’s money to open her first boutique at 21 rue Cambon Paris, which really put Chanel’s effort and determination into tangible results.

Boutiques in Deauville and Biarritz opened subsequently, which is the period when many influential people saw Chanel’s fashion as revolutionary and loved it. 1919 marked the most tragic event of her life when Boy was killed in an automobile accident. In 1921 Coco opened the first modern boutique at 31 rue Cambon and just 6 years later owned almost the entire rue Cambon. Continuing the rise that Chanel was taking, she made business contacts with Pierre Wertheimer, who introduced her Chanel No. 5 perfume in his department stores but who Chanel referred to as the “bandit who screwed me.”

Chanel worked her way into association with the British aristocracy in 1923 and for the next decade continued close relationships with it. Chanel closed her shops at the advent of World War II and the occupation of Paris, and in 1947 became one of the richest women in the world with a new profits deal with the Parfums Chanel line.

After having moved to Switzerland in 1945, Chanel returned to Paris in 1954. With her reemergence came her greatest popularity in Britain and America, which continues now all around the world. Coco Chanel died in 1971.

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Les parfums de Chanel- Photo credit to Seize the Moment.

Now, with this background stated, we can delve into Gortner’s writing:

First, let us look at the great understanding of Chanel’s personality and spirit Gortner shows in this book. We understand that Chanel, growing up unstable and lonely, learned that money is true freedom. We also learn that Chanel neither hated men nor believed women to be superior; she was simply fiercely independent and determined to build her own life, not to be taken care of. The greatest thing Gortner succeeds in showing about Chanel’s personality is that she was constituted of great determination, which both helped her build the Chanel empire but also made many jealous, which was a great source of loneliness for Coco. Gortner really became Chanel herself, not the grand icon Chanel, not the stoic businesswoman. He wrote of the true, everyday, and genuine Coco Chanel, which is more important to her legacy than anything else.

Next, we must address how Gortner describes the setting around Chanel’s life. Gortner is a master of developing both multi-layered characters and environments in his novels, but Mademoiselle Chanel brings this skill to another level. Whether it be the forests of rural France or the urban streets of Paris, Gortner brings to life the world Coco Chanel lived in, which adds an aspect into understanding the legend, her era, and her work.

Finally Mademoiselle Chanel is a kind of biography that really hasn’t been seen before. In the same vein as Jack Kennedy, Chanel is unique in that no one can ever truly and completely understand every aspect of her life. Gortner, with great skill and intellect, recognises this and doesn’t attempt to achieve the impossible. Instead, he takes on what I consider to be a more daunting task: writing a biography that shows the genuine Coco Chanel and wanting us to base our opinions of the icon on that truth. Gortner achieves this magnificently, and makes Mademoiselle Chanel ingenious and revolutionary, just as Coco Chanel’s life was.

As intoxicating as the jasmine aromas of Chanel No. 5 and as revolutionary as the Little Black Dress, C. W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel reclaims the legacy of the world’s first businesswoman and shows the genuine Coco Chanel.

Mademoiselle Chanel, Synopsis~

(historical fiction)

Release date: March 17, 2015
at William-Morrow/HarperCollins

384 pages

ISBN: 978-0062356406

For readers of “The Paris Wife” and “Z” comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and became one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to an orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman 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. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary designer who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.

Author Biography: C.W. Gortner

CW Gortner

C.W. Gortner is the international bestselling author of six historical novels, translated in over twenty-five languages to date.

His new novel, Mademoiselle Chanel, traces the tumultuous rise to fame of iconic fashion designer, Coco Chanel.

In 2016, Random House will publish his eighth novel, “Vatican Princess”, about Lucrezia Borgia.

Raised in Spain and a long-time resident of the Bay Area, C.W. is also dedicated to companion animal rescue from overcrowded shelters.

Visit his website. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter

Subscribe to his newsletter

Buy the book: HarperCollins | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY / GIVEAWAY / GIVEAWAY

You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour (just click on the badge below to follow the stops on the tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook; they are listed in the entry form below.

Click on “Entry-Form” below to enter:

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Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]

6 winners and open to US only:
5 printed copies + 1 beautiful, handcrafted beaded bracelet inspired by Coco’s
black-and-white signature colors and camellia design

Mademoiselle Chanel bracelet

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Shadow Ritual: Fascinating Interview With The Authors

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Yesterday I reviewed Shadow Ritual by Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne. Today, I have an interview with the authors:

 

 

How are you both? Thank you, gentlemen, for coming to my blog today.

 

1) Mr. Giacometti: I understand that you are a former journalist for Le Parisien newspaper. What kind of writing did you pursue while here? Also, Le Parisien found its roots in the French Underground during the German Occupation. Did your interest in this era, as evidenced by Shadow Ritual, get sparked in any way from this, or was that interest already there?

 

I was an investigative reporter and covered many topics, including corruption involving the Freemasons on the French Riviera. I discovered the dark side of the brotherhood. It resulted in a lot of heated discussions with Jacques. However, this unsavory side of freemasonry is confined to a limited number of brothers. 

 

Well before I started working for Le ParisienI also worked on Nazi spoliation under the Occupation in France, a dark page in the history of FranceIn the weekly Le Pointreported on the French Ministry of Finance’s archives on the subject.


As for Le Parisien, you are well informed! For a long time, thenewspaper was called the Parisien Libéré (litt: the liberated Parisian)It was born at the time of the liberation of France in 1944, from the rubble of a popular daily newspaper called Le Petit Parisien. Emilien Amaury, the owner and creator of the Parisien Libéréwas very close to General de Gaulle and shared his ideas. I have always been fascinated by that period. 

 

2) In Shadow Ritual, there is a lot of influence by Freemasons. Is this group still a major influence in the world?

 

Well, it all depends what influence and what freemasonry you are talking about. To clarify, there is no global freemasonry united under a great master who would draw the strings. There are various independent jurisdictions (Grand Lodges). Some even forbid their members from having any connection with members of other lodges. For examplethe French Masonic Grand Lodge (GNLF), recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England, does not allow their members to receive brothers from the Grand Orient of France (the largest organization in the country) in their temples nor to attend their ceremonies. There is a kind of undeclared war between many groups, both nationally and globally. There are reasons for these tensions. For instanceAmerican and British Freemasons accept a belief in God, whereas in the Grand Orient it is not compulsory, and secularism remains a fundamental principle. 


As for the supposed influence on politics and economics, there is no denying that in France some lodges welcome influential people. Networks do exist, but no more nor less than other networks that are sometimes much more powerful. There was a time when some jurisdictions exclusively recruited senior officials and business and financial leaders to inflate theirmembership and increase their power. But because of scandals disclosed by the press, especially about the French Riviera, some clean up took place

 

However, you can’t prevent many laymen from believing that Freemasons are pulling the strings of a major global conspiracy with the Illuminatiwho until proven otherwise no longer exist.

 

In our thrillers, we try not to fall into the trap of conspiracy theory. And for good reason: Antoine Marcas is a Freemason policemanproud of his ideal!

 

3) Your gift for seamlessly weaving history and thriller together to create a better novel is commendable. When did both of your interests in history begin, and what eras are you each most interested in?

 

Thank youWe have always been fascinated by history, be itofficial history from the textbooks or more obscure history woven into the texture of big eventsJacques has a passion forthe Middle Ages and the eighteenth century. It is not by chance that he wrote a novel on the life of the Marquis de Sade.

 

4) Your protagonist, Antoine Marcas, has been found unique in many ways, setting him apart from the average lead character. How did you develop this character, and does he embody any of your personal qualities?

 

As a Freemason, he believes in the values of freemasonry, butremains realistic on the organization and its by-productsHe does not fantasize about having access to higher knowledge through his initiation. He is cop, he’s divorced and has problems with his exwife. He lives in a realistic worldBut a world in which suddenly the veil is torn and another reality appears, one that is more esoteric and strange. He goes through what poet Gérard de Nerval used to call the doors of “horn and ivory.” 

 

Marcas is a product of our differencesEric had a not-so-positive view of Freemasonry, resulting from his investigations. And Jacques was tired of reading simplistic articles on thebrotherhood. Antoine Marcas is the ideal honest Freemason. In Shadow Ritual, he teams with Jade, secret service agent. She hates the brothers. Over the years, since this first book, Eric has become “Mason friendly, but he is still critical of certain practices.

 

Standard image of masonic square and compasses

 

5) On this blog, I have written articles on the rise of extremism in Europe, specifically in FranceShadow Ritual features this extremism, and I understand that you have both studied it throughout your career. How does this startling new trend connect back to the Nazi era, and why is this ideology resurfacing now? 

 

The political situation in Europe is concerning. There’s a rise of parties qualified as extremist or populist, from the extreme right, like the National Front in France, or on the opposite from the extreme left, like the anti-capitalist party Syriza in Greece. 

 

Reasons can be identified: increasing unemployment rate, latent economic crisis, rejection of political and media elite, growing rejection of uncontrolled globalization and of immigration, loss of national identity, and also distrust of European political structures. Add to this Islamic attacks, like on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and the latest discovery of an anti-Semitism rooted in some social groups of immigrants, and the result is a concerning mix

 

However, we need to be careful in our comparisons with Nazi and pre-Nazi eras. In Francebefore World War II, anti-Semitism and anti-Freemasonry were widespread within the population and the elite. This is no longer the case. Also, even if neoNazi groups do exist, as with the Golden Dawn in Greece, they remain very marginal and no right-wing populist party consider themselves to be part of them. Unlike in the United States, Nazi apology and the display of Nazi symbols are severely punished by law in France.

 

6) Shadow Ritual has a lot of historical influence in it, including the Nazi era in Europe and after. What kind of historical research did you pursue for the novel?

 

We read history books on this dark period. From this, we developed, for instance, the character of Le Guermand, a French SS officer. There were a few thousand like him in our country. Some defended Hitler’s bunker to the very end, in Spring 1945.For a long time, in France it was taboo to discuss the soldiers who fought in German uniform.

 

On the esoteric dimension of Nazism and the role of the Thule society, there are few reference works. It is still a rather unknown part of historyopen to all kinds of fantasies.

 

7) What other writings have you published? Are there any more titles featuring Detective MarcasHow can readers connect with you? 

 

In addition to the series with detective Antoine Marcas, which has ten books to date in French, Eric wrote a thriller about a public health scandala real story of killer pacemakers, as well as essays and an investigative book on pharmaceutical laboratories.

 

Jacques published his book on Sade and also research on the writer Paul Valery

 

Readers can contact us via Facebook or on our website. 

 

8) I have to ask this one question, one that doesn’t have much to do with the book: What is life like living in France? I am fascinated by different cultures and so I am curious as to your response compared to other French I have spoken with.

 

Eric:

I would say the answer varies according to whom you are talking to in France. For those who struggle to make ends meet, life is tough, even if the social system provides a minimum safety net. 

 

I have been living in Paris for 27 years. For me, France remains the country of good living and Paris is a wonderful city. Enjoying simple moments in life is part of a hedonistic view of life. To have a coffee on the terrace of my regular café in the 9th arrondissementto walk along the banks of the Seine with my wife, to work late into the night and gaze upon the Sacré-Cœur from my office, these are unrivaled pleasures. 

 

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The View From Éric’s Office

 

Jacques lives on the Left Bank, in the Latin Quarter, near Saint-Germain-des-Prés. There you can hang around the Saint-Sulpicechurch and browse through the booksellers along the Seine. I realize these are all tourist clichés, but clichés are sometimes true. 

 

And France is packed with wonderful landscapes, magnificent castles, and beautiful villages. Yes, to live in this country brings happinesseven though the French are the most pessimistic people in Europe, because of the economic crisis and social problems (rise of extremism, loss of reference points, etc.). They are afraid of the future and tend to take refuge in the past. French society gets bogged down because of this lack of optimism. 

 

However, if you could get a message through, that would be very nice. I almost chokewith rage when I watched a report on FoxNewsThey lied about Paris and invented “nogo zones where non-Muslims would be prohibited, where Sharia law would be applied. In comparison, the Chicago of Al Capone would be a loving nursery. 

 

Yes, there are suburbs with problems, but to say that Paris has become cut throat, that’s pure nonsense. This report was passed on here by the media and millions of French were shocked. I live in one of those supposed “nogo zones, near Montmartre… I am even more upset because I am pro-American, in heart and mind. I love the United States so much that I even married (for real) in Las Vegas with my wife and… Jacques was my best man!

 

Thank you very much gentlemen for being on my blog today. I look forward to reading the next books in the series and maybe having you on again!

 

The Authors: Éric Giacometti & Jacques Ravenne:

Jacques Ravenne is a literary scholar who has also written a biography of the Marquis de Sade and edited his letters. He loves to explore the hidden side of major historical events.

 

Eric Giacometti was an investigative reporter
for a major French newspaper. He has covered a number of high-profile scandals 
and has done exhaustive research in the area of freemasonry.

About The Translator:

Anne Trager loves France so much she has lived there for 27 years and just can’t seem to leave. What keeps her there is a uniquely French mix of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, “I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction, mysteries and detective novels.
 

Follow Le French Book on Twitter  | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.

Buy the book | on Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Indiebound  | upcoming on Apple + Kobo

Shadow Ritual Is An Exciting Thriller With A Powerful Message; Review + Giveaway

Review: 

The genre of thriller in literature is very broad. The majority of thrillers in modern times have plenty of action, plenty of conflict, etc. The problem is not that these books aren’t well-written, but they lack a message. My favorite thriller/espionage writer, the indomitable John Le Carré, wrote with a message in each of his books, and still at the age of 83 hopes his life’s work has not been for nothing.

I mention Le Carré because I believe that the authors of Shadow Ritual, Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne, are the closest anyone has come to reaching Le Carré’s caliber in both writing thrillers to entertain and to convey a message.

Shadow Ritual, published for the first time in English, follows the investigation by Inspector Antoine Marcas into 2 murders, one in Rome and one in Jerusalem. Marcas soon finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy that stretches the entire continent of Europe. Paired with the resolute Jade Zewinski, who has a personal connection to one of the victims, they must decipher a mystery centuries in the making before it is too late.

Shadow Ritual is unique because of its balance. Inspector Marcas is a Freemason, but is fairly portrayed not in the corrupt manner the world thinks Freemasons are but as simply a part of his life. Freemasonry plays a large part in the conspiracy Marcas and Zewinski must unravel, but the authors, though divided in their views of Freemasons, find a moderate position that Marcas can hold firm to.

The historical influence on the events in the novel work well together and despite seeming disconnected at first the authors do an impeccable job of showing the connections they share with each other and the present. The research the authors conducted really shines through and gives the novel another dimension.

The 2 lead characters in Shadow Ritual, Antoine Marcas and Jade Zewinski, bring this novel into a high caliber of literary accomplishment. The characters are so realistic, unusual for thrillers, and we see them as the lead point for the novel, not the action. We understand Marcas as a man involved in things bigger than himself but puts justice above all else, which sometimes distracts him from smaller details. I see Zewinski as a truly powerful woman, often being more stubborn than Marcas but always dedicated to getting the job done well. This team work so well, and give each other such a fair amount of give and take that real-world detectives should look at this pair as a great example of an inspector duo.

Finally, Shadow Ritual has a message that truly needs to be heard. The novel shows how corrupt ultranationalism and extremism is, and how we must counteract the rising extremism with true understanding and justice. We must all join together to say “never again.”

Shadow Ritual puts Giacometti and Ravenne into the top tier of writers that effectively pair entertainment and meaning into their work. The times call for more writing like this, and I look forward to reading more of this author team’s work.

Éric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne: 
 

Jacques Ravenne is a literary scholar
who has also written a biography of the Marquis de Sade and edited his letters. He loves to explore the hidden side of major historical events.

Eric Giacometti was an investigative reporter for a major French newspaper. He has covered a number of high-profile scandals
and has done exhaustive research in the area of freemasonry.

About The Translator: 

Anne Trager loves France so much she has lived there for 27 years and just can’t seem to leave. What keeps her there is a uniquely French mix of pleasure seeking and creativity. Well, that and the wine. In 2011, she woke up one morning and said, “I just can’t stand it anymore. There are way too many good books being written in France not reaching a broader audience.” That’s when she founded Le French Book to translate some of those books into English. The company’s motto is “If we love it, we translate it,” and Anne loves crime fiction, mysteries and detective novels.

Follow Le French Book on Twitter  | on Facebook
Sign up to receive their latest news and deals.

Buy the book | on Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Indiebound  | upcoming on Apple + Kobo


Giveaway:

You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour.

Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour and tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!

[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

8 winners

3 print copies for US residents

5 digital copies for US or other residents

Talon Series #3: Knight Assassin Continues The Series With A Unification Of French And Assassin Skills

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This is my second post in the “James Boschert’s Talon Series”. To read my other posts so far, more information on the other books, and upcoming posts in the series, please visit my “James Boschert’s Talon Series” page at the top.

James Boschert’s first novel, Assassins Of Alamut, takes place in the 12th Century. Set in the time of the Crusades, it is the story of Talon, a young Frank who is captured by the Ismaili Muslims, themselves hunted by the Sunni and Shi’a. He is raised as a Ismaili, and trains to become a Hashshashin (Assassin), the protectors of the Ismaili.

In the second book in the series, Knight Assassin, Talon, with the help of his uncle Phillip, makes the trek back to his birthplace (and true home): France. When Talon returns, his homecoming is celebrated, but a dark threat looms over the reunion of the de Gilles family. Greed and treachery plague the French countryside, as claims to inheritance are fought for to the death.

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A Knight’s Suit of Armor

Talon will rely on the help of some Welsh archers he meets at sea, along with his uncle’s sergeant Max. Most importantly, however, Talon must do what he never wanted to do again: become an assassin. He must meld the tactical skills of a French knight with the blade-in-the-crowd ability of the assassins if he is to save his family.

Knight Assassin is another magnificent continuation of Talon’s story. The feudal era of France is represented with great study, but also not dry history. The people of the novel are multi-dimensional, and are much more than what you are used to finding in similar novels. But for all this, the focus truly is on Talon. This allows the book to show the growth of the young man who has already been through enough bloodshed, enough loss, for one life. Talon himself is shown in a way that makes it seem like he was an actual living person, and I especially commend James Boschert on not having Talon take a turn for the darkness that consumed so many of the other characters in Knight Assassin.

Just as Talon has to take the best from both knight and assassin skills and hone them, Boschert does the same, taking the greatest parts from historical fiction, action, and military novels and melds them into the landmark “Talon Series” installments.

Next in the blog series will be my review of James Boschert’s Assassination in al-Qahirah.

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James Boschert~ Author Bio:

James Boschert grew up in the then colony of Malaya between the ages of four and eleven. The Chinese communists were active in the jungles at the time threatening the entire country with a cruel insurgency. His school was burned down and the family survived the ambush of a food convoy, saved by a patrol of Gurkha soldiers. He joined the British army as a boy soldier and later served in remote places like Borneo, Oman and other countries of the Middle East, eventually spending several years in Iran. While there he explored the castles of the infamous sect known as the Ismaili or Hashashini. It sometimes took a few days hard walking or driving to find these remote deserted fortresses high in the mountains of the Alborz in northern Iran. They eventually became the subject matter for his first book “The Assassins of Alamut” Escaping from the turmoil of Iran during the revolution he went to college and now lives in the USA.

He has developed a fascination for medieval history in general but in particular the history of the Middle East, Andalusia, Egypt and all the way to India. His books are historical novels about the medieval history of the same region but seen from both perspectives, that of the Crusaders and the Muslim world. “I believe that in order to put some depth to the Crusades one needs to look at what was going on all around them at the same time. I find the world at that time incredibly rich in every aspect.”

“The four legs of civilization as we have recorded it, Andalusia, Europe, Byzantium and the old empires of Persia and the Islamic world of Syria and Egypt make a rich backdrop for any novel.”

“The politics and under currents of the Middle East continue to hold my attention as they are always in flux and are never still.”

Girl On The Golden Coin Is A Fast-Paced and Highly Visual Novel Of Frances Stuart and Her Times

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I must admit, I truly was getting tired at the many novels trying to capture this era, the Glorious Revolution times, but failing to capture the essence of the period. Girl On The Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson, however, rekindled an interest of mine in this period.

Girl On The Golden Coin follows Frances Stuart, a distant relative of the famed royal Stuarts. The novel begins with Frances, exiled and in a bad state in France after the Glorious Revolution, surviving only because of her royal blood. When Charles II is restored to the throne, the Stuarts become favored again, and Frances moves to the Fontainebleau Palace, where she catches the eye of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Frances has to balance the secrets she is entrusted to protect and keep loyalty after Louis becomes furious when Frances refuses him, so she is sent to England to seduce and learn secrets for Louis from Charles II.

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One Of The Coins Featuring Frances As Britannia. Credit Here.

Utilizing her beauty, she postures herself inside Whitehall Palace, keeping secrets and securing alliances. Considered the most beautiful woman in England, she is more than a pretty face, and uses her wit to inspire King Charles with her love to greatness. They end up truly falling in love, he having her pose as the great Britannia on Britain’s coins. As loyalties are blurred, Frances finds where her love and trust truly lie, and because of this is set free.

Girl On The Golden Coin is a well-written book, hands down. I am huge on visual detail in books, so the beautiful descriptions of clothing, palaces, and even everyday life from Frances’ eyes was as immaculate as her beauty. The intrigue inside the court was also well represented, with cunning characters and plots galore. Finally, I felt that Frances Stuart was done justice by this novel, leaving behind the misconception of her simply being a pretty face. It is important to right wrongs to protect our great historical leaders’ legacies, and Girl On The Golden Coin does this with fervor and magnificence.

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Me With Mrs. Marci Jefferson at a book tour event in Cincinnati.

NOTE: I, along with my mom Erin Al-Mehairi, were lucky enough to meet Mrs. Marci Jefferson in Cincinnati on March 22nd. I was able to speak to her, along with other authors (I will be reviewing their books soon) and I believe a friendship was formed. I was grateful for her encouragement and care, and is a wonderful person.

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Marci Jefferson~ Author

Years after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, immersing herself in a Quality Assurance nursing career, and then having children, Marci realized she’d neglected her passion for history and writing. She began traveling, writing along the way, delving into various bits of history that caught her fancy. The plot for GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN evolved slowly after a trip to London, where she first learned about the Stuart royals. Marci is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She resides in the Midwest with her husband, making hair-bows for their daughter, trying not to step on their son’s Legos, and teaching a tiny Pacific Parrotlet to talk.