Friday, March 27, 2015

MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. Gortner (Review & Giveaway)

Mademoiselle Chanel

Author C.W. Gortner

on Tour March 20-April 8, 2015 with

Mademoiselle Chanel

Genre: historical fiction
Release date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: 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.


A terrific new telling of an old story, Mademoiselle Chanel is a transfixing account of one of the most prolific and, alas, controversial cultural icons of our time. What amazed me to no end about its author, writer of historical fiction and former fashion executive C. W. Gortner, was the ability to take on the voice of a female character of such a magnitude (the novel is narrated in a smooth and mellow first person POV) and modulate it with masterful penmanship and unrelenting flair.

"Remember, Coco, you're only a woman. Only a woman who must continue to reinvent herself if she is to survive. I catch sight of myself in one the room's hands, covered in precision rings, are as raw as a stonemason's, knotted, marred by a thousand needle pricks - the hands of the Auvergne peasant I am at heart, the foundling, the orphan, the dreamer, the schemer. My hands reflect who I am. I see in them the struggle that has always existed between the humble girl I once was and the legend I deliberately created to hide my heart."

Through all the myths and rumors that clothed the passionate and focused fashion designer like her signature crepe de chine, Gortner lines up all the stepping stones that marked her whirling rise to fame, revealing, against the foil of her triumphs and mistakes, Chanel's fiercely independent nature.

The result is uncompromisingly stylish, convincing, and vibrant, in the vein of Coco's most sterling and incomparable legacy. 5 Stars!
***Review copy graciously offered by the publicist in exchange for an unbiased and honest opinion

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”

My life didn't please me, so I created my life.”  

Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”


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

*** 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.


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 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



Mademoiselle Chanel banner


Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Art & Science Of Healing With Light by Dr. Mark Rogers (Guest Post plus $ 50 Amazon GC Giveaway)

The Art & Science Of Healing With Light
by Dr. Mark Rogers
2015 has been declared the International Year of Light by the United Nations. The association regularly conducts meaningful observances; it is also the Year of Soils. Last year was the Year of Crystallography, the Year of Youth and so on, but it was most insightful of them to select Light and therefore pay homage to the natural phenomenon without which life could not exist.

Within my general practice clinic over the last fifteen years we have been using light, specifically laser-light, to heal patients with chronic pain. Initially I was a voice in the wilderness about how light accelerates the healing processes of the body, and at times it still appears to be the case as mainstream medicine is slow to take up the wonders of healing by light. It is easier and more profitable to write a prescription.

Current standard medical treatments of physical therapies and medication actually worsen chronic pain, thereby locking the patients into a life sentence.
It is Light that releases the patients from that life sentence by removing the mystery from chronic pain and illuminating its true origins. Clinical application of Light to pain afflicted areas of the body causes the cells to respond in a way that reduces inflammation and encourages blood flow. This means the injured cells receive revitalising oxygen and can heal.

Chronic pain is not a disease, it is not genetic, and it is not all in the mind. It is a very real physical condition and the path to its healing is found through applying the logic of the Science of our biology.
Light has always been a herald and in the case of pain medicine I believe it heralds in a long overdue medical revolution where the patients are in finally in control of their own bodies.

Hippocrates thought that it is a privilege to be a doctor, one must ‘Do Good – and Do No Harm’, and serve the patient. Yet in today’s world doctors are the privileged ones and the patients serve them, and are being harmed. When the Science of Light is more incorporated into mainstream medicine the mysteries of pain will melt away and healing will become a more inclusive and natural procedure.

About the book
Title: The Art & Science of Healing – with Light
Author: Dr. Mark J. Rogers with Nike Azoros Publisher: Dr. Mark J. Rogers with Nike Azoros
Pages: 442
Genre: Medical
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Chronic pain has reached epidemic proportions but it is not a disease. Chronic pain is a genuine physical problem and its epidemic is being spread by the very treatments the doctors are prescribing. Over thirty percent of patients across the world present with back, neck, or head pain, the majority of whom are in chronic pain, but all doctors offer is a prescription for painkillers and a referral for intensive physical therapy. The patients never improve, in fact they get worse. Instead of receiving empathy and understanding they are often accused of being dishonest about the severity of their pain. Some are even sent for psychotherapy. 'The Art and Science of Healing - with Light' breaks that vicious cycle. Within it is explained to patients how they developed chronic pain in the first place and how to begin to heal their migraines, back pain, neck pain, tinnitus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and all forms of chronic pain in general.
Doctor Mark Rogers bases the healing process on his 7 Principles of Healing Chronic Pain. His methods are all based in science, are common sense, pain free, drug free, have no painful exercises, and no 'mind over matter' meditations for coping because the problem is not in the mind of the patients, it is in their bodies at a deep cellular level. The 7 Principles have a conservative efficacy of eighty-five percent. As long as the Principles are followed the patient will heal. It is the medical system that is keeping patients in pain through ignoring the origin of the pain. Pain is not a mystery, it is not a disease, it means you are being hurt. Chronic pain means you are still being hurt. Written in a clear easy to read style with minimal medical jargon, The Art & Science Of Healing With Light is designed for patients to finally understand what happened to them and gain control over their healing processes so they can start healing today.

For More Information
* The Art and Science of Healing – with Light is available at Amazon.
* Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
* Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

About the authors
Dr. Mark Rogers has been a general practitioner for thirty years and developed his expertise in soft tissue injuries, chronic pain, and laser over the last twenty. A former migraine and back patient himself, he saw the need for a book specifically for patients and how to heal their pain. He has presented papers on his methods all over the world and lectures to post graduate Masters students. Three times nominated for Australian of the Year he lives in Adelaide, Australia, is married and has five children.

Co-author Nike Azovas is the author of four books. Her novel, ‘The Eagle of Spinalonga’ was an international bestseller and was one of Amazon UK’s One Thousand Best Books of 2013.
Two more novels are underway, a thriller called Woken and one about life in Greece during its financial crisis.
Trained in journalism, creative writing and business she lives in Greece and Australia, and has three children.

For More Information
* Visit Dr. Mark J. Rogers’ website.
* Connect with Mark on Facebook.
Dr. Mark J. Rogers is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:
* By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
* One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
* This giveaway begins February 2 and ends April 30.
* Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, May 4.
* Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, March 23, 2015

Q&A with Allan Topol, Author of THE WASHINGTON LAWYER (plus GIVEAWAY)

"Topol is up there with such masters of the labyrinthine as Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy."
                                  - The Washington Post

"John Grisham and Richard North Patterson may have a new successor"               
                                                  - Publishers Weekly
"Topol creates believable characters with real problems and emotions; he constructs a tight, suspenseful plot that has us flipping pages as fast as we can find out what happens while we root 100% for a hero we don't altogether like."
- The Los Angeles Times

"Takes off at warp speed... Topol has done his homework."
            -Washingtonian Online On Conspiracy         

"Topol's Fiction Is Woven From The Threads Of Real Events And Real-Life Concerns"
                                  - Legal Times on Dark Ambition


By Allan Topol

Hard on the heels of The Argentine Triangle and also The Russian Endgame comes author Allan Topol’s next great thriller, THE WASHINGTON LAWYER. In the high-stakes world of Washington politics, hotshot lawyer Andrew Martin is being put to the test. When long-time friend Senator William Jasper calls, it’s with explosive news—and a favor to ask. A sex tryst at Martin’s beach house in Anguilla has gone awry and former model Vanessa Boyd is dead. Just how far will Martin go to protect the chief justice nomination on which he’s built his entire career?

Rife with sophisticated backdrops and hairpin plot turns that put Topol on the best-seller list, THE WASHINGTON LAWYER is a heart-stopping foray into human vice coupled with power accelerating towards catastrophe.

Topol, himself is a well-established partner at one of DC’s top law firms and author of 11 thrillers. THE WASHINGTON LAWYER is a penetrating glimpse into Capitol Hill’s seedy underbelly. Topol impresses again with this latest escapade into the intricate underpinnings of Washington’s influential power layers, drawing the reader into a new of questionable morals, deadly intrigues and treachery from which this is no escape.

Allan Topol THE WASHINGTON LAWYER is Topol’s eleventh novels of international intrigue. Two of them, SPY DANCE and ENEMY MY ENEMY, were national best sellers. His novels have been translated into Japanese, Portuguese and Hebrew. One was optioned and three are in development for movies. More recently, his books had focused on his Craig Page series, including THE ARGENTINE TRIANGLE, THE RUSSIAN ENDGAME, SPANISH REVENGE and CHINA GAMBIT.

In addition to his fiction writing, Allan Topol co-authored a two-volume legal treatise entitled SUPERFUND LAW AND PROCEDURE. A graduate of Yale Law School, he is a partner in a major Washington law firm, and an avid wine collector, he has traveled extensively, researching dramatic locations for his novels. He wrote a weekly column for and has published articles in numerous periodicals including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Yale Law Journal. He also has blogged for Huffington Post.     For more information, visit


By Allan Topol
Select Books, Inc., March 2015
$16.95; 288 pages
ISBN13: 978-1-59079-266-7
Fiction/Political Thriller
The publicist is graciously offering a copy of THE WASHINGTON LAWYER to a follower of this blog. Please, leave a comment below and include your email address for a chance to win. The contest is open to US residents only. Good luck!

Author Allan Topol Q & A

Q:           Is the Washington Lawyer one of those legal novels that deals with trials and witnesses?

A:            It is  not.  There are no courtroom scenes in the novel.  Although one of the lead characters, Andrew Martin, is an influential Washington lawyer, it is a political thriller with espionage.  It involves a young woman’s death, her twin sister’s desire for revenge, and an inside look at the seedy aspect of Washington politics.

Q:           At the heart of the Washington lawyer is a fateful Veteran’s Day weekend tryst involving a U.S. Senator, Wesley Jasper, and a Congressional staffer, Vanessa, who was a former runway model.  Does this kind of thing happen in Washington?

A:            Absolutely.  I have  been a Washington lawyer myself for many years.  Periodically, events like this occur.  Three examples:  One is Senator Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick incident.  Another is stripper Fanny Fox out on a date with a powerful congressman, Wilbur Mills, and she dove into the tidal basin near the Jefferson Memorial.  And most recently, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Q:           You have been a partner in a powerful Washington law firm for many years.  Have you modeled the firm in the Washington Lawyer after your law firm?

A:            The law firm in the Washington Lawyer is a composite of many law firms I have seen.  In addition to the thriller aspect of this novel, the reader will gain insights into the operations of powerful Washington based international law firms.

Q:           Chinese spies play a pivotal role in the Washington Lawyer.  Is this your creation or is Chinese spying a major factor in Washington?

A:            Chinese spying in Washington is huge.  The Chinese are now doing what Russia and the KGB did during the Cold War days.  I wanted to shine a light on this Chinese conduct in the Washington Lawyer.

Q:           One of the major issues in the Washington Lawyer is the bond between Allison and her twin sister, Vanessa, as well Allison’s determination to find out what happened to Vanessa on that fateful weekend in Anguilla.  Why did you decide to write about the bond between sisters?

A:            I have three daughters and have observed them first hand.  I have seen my daughters’ strong bond and commitment to each other.  I know that many books dwell on the jealousy and backstabbing of sisters.  But in the Washington Lawyer, Allison and Vanessa always were proud and supportive of each other.

Q:           Why did you make Allison an archeologist on an excavation in Israel?

A:            I have always been intrigued by archeology and especially in Israel.  So this was a way to add another dimension and locale to the Washington Lawyer.  Also, archeologists dig and that’s what Allison does metaphorically to discover what happened to her twin sister Vanessa in Anguilla with Senator Jasper.

Q:           Why did you use the Caribbean island of Anguilla for the tryst between Senator Jasper and Vanessa?

A:            I wanted to pick a peaceful and secluded island where the rule of law prevails.  I made several visits to Anguilla before writing the book.  When I decided to use it, I went back and did research.  When authors write about international locales, it is important for them to know the place.  Only then can the author make it come alive for a reader.

Q:           The Washington Lawyer is your eleventh novel.  How have you found time to write novels while being a Washington lawyer yourself?

A:            I’m fortunate that I don’t need much sleep, so early mornings are perfect for writing.  I travel a great deal on business and am able to tune out noise around me.  That makes airplanes great for writing.  Also, being an international lawyer has complimented my novel writing.  It has enabled me to meet people, see places, and observe events which can go into the novels.

Q:           Do you have an agenda or objective in writing your novels?

A:            I want to entertain readers in the sense that I want them turning pages to find out what happens next.  However, I also want to provide insights about world events and people.  In the Washington Lawyer, one of my objectives is to focus readers on the rivalry between the U.S. and China and the extent to which the Chinese are spying on the U.S.  At the same time, on a personal level I want to show people making critical decisions which lead to a chain of events out of their control, particularly Andrew Martin, the powerful Washington lawyer.  At the beginning of the book, Martin is a paragon of virtue.  He desperately wants to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  The Washington Lawyer explores how far Martin will go, what he is willing to do on the dark side, to obtain his objective.  This parable is at the heart of the novel.

Q:           Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists?

A:            First, develop a compelling story because story, story, story are the three major ingredients of a good novel.  Second, create vivid characters whom the reader will root for or despise.  Prepare a detailed outline—scene by scene.  Mine are typically around 50 pages.  Then sit down and write a first draft in a white heat.  Don’t read a word until you finish your draft.  Then read it and evaluate what you have.  Find a trusted reader.  Obtain input from that reader.  If you believe you have a possible book, begin the painstaking process of rewriting and polishing.  Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your book in stores or online.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


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!

About the book
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.



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
The Never-Ending Book
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




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 Giveaway

 photo 882fbda1-16ef-4f87-932b-c2f711afa759.png