Gatsby-era glamour, a swoon-worthy love story, and an indomitable heroine dazzle in this romp that captures the extravagance of the Roaring Twenties and the dangers of vigilante justice.
A ravishing young mind reader stalks the streets at night in kitten heels, prowling for men to murder.
A soft-spoken genius toils away in the city morgue, desperate to unearth the science behind his gift for shapeshifting.
It’s a match made in 1928 Chicago, where gangsters run City Hall, jazz fills the air, and every good girl’s purse conceals a flask.
Until now, eighteen-year-old Ruby’s penchant for poison has been a secret. No one knows that she uses her mind-reading abilities to target men who prey on vulnerable women, men who escape the clutches of Chicago “justice.” When she meets a brilliant boy working at the morgue, his knack for forensic detail threatens to uncover her dark hobby. Even more unfortunately: sharp, independent Ruby has fallen in love with him.
Waltzing between a supernaturally enhanced romance, the battle to take down a gentleman’s club, and loyal friendships worth their weight in diamonds, Ruby brings defiant charm to every spectacular page of Murder for the Modern Girl—not to mention killer fashion. An irresistible caper perfect for fans of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.
Kendall Kulper is the author of the historical fantasy YA novels SALT & STORM and DRIFT & DAGGER (Little, Brown Young Readers). Her latest novel, MURDER FOR THE MODERN GIRL, will be published Summer 2022 by Holiday House. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband, two daughters, and anxious rescue dog, Abby.
Michelangelo believed every block of marble held a statue
Yet he knew that without deep personal sacrifice, it would remain forever hidden. Five hundred years later, New York fashion photographer Michael Angelo Thomas falls in love with every woman who poses before his camera. He is driven to reveal what lies beneath the surface, stripping away the barrier between viewer and subject.
His finished photographs reveal the vulnerable beauty of each model. His work makes him the most sought after fashion photographer in 1994. But rather than enjoy his prestige, he lives a life of anguish, unable to form meaningful attachments or purge the demons of self-doubt and of losing both of his adoptive parents in a freak accident.
After the death of an aspiring young model that his photographs propel to international fame, he leaves New York for an assignment in Florence to photograph the world’s leading fashion models.
In the shadows of Michelangelo’s greatest triumphs, Michael discovers a secret that will change his life and those who desire to be closest to him.
Comments from Advance Readers:
“This was a definite page-turner, I could hardly put it down.” – Nevine R.
“All I can say is, ‘WOW!’” – Marianne P.
“I was so engrossed in the story that I lost all track of time.” – Emma D.
“Love, love, loving this novel, it’s got it all.” – Trulyn B.
“I am very impressed.” – Pierre F
Michael fell in love with every woman he photographed. Unless he exposed his heart, he couldn’t get close enough to what lay deepest inside them. If he didn’t make himself vulnerable, his images only reflected what lay on the surface, missing the connection he needed. Once he felt himself swept away by his subject, sparks flying with each release of the shutter, and every lightning bolt flash, they bonded for hours in the studio. And many more in the darkroom with Michael and the celluloid history of the session. The results spoke for themselves. Some of the women revealed so completely in his images wanted to be with him, to touch the man who so deeply touched them. He made it a rule to never sleep with the women he photographed. But he was never very good at following rules. “Ginger, you’re already here,” he said, making a fist and holding it to his heart. “But…” he hesitated, moving his face close to hers, their lips almost touching. “But, what, Michael?” Even in this light, her features outlined softly with the faint brush of the red safelight, he could see her sadness and openness, her strength and her weakness. Her face was a canvas he could explore a long time. Ginger had a gift unlike the dozens and dozens of models he’d photographed. She didn’t need to strike a pose. Everything was there on the surface, waiting to be captured. Her gift was not knowing she had anything to offer, not knowing she was anything special. Her innocence was intoxicating. “Would you mind if I took a few more pictures of you?” he finally replied. “Really?” she smiled. “Now?” “Yes,” he kissed her lips ever so lightly, then flicked on the light. “Come on.” She followed him out of the darkroom. His mind raced with ideas about how he would light her, what lens to use and a dozen other tiny details about equipment and settings. Ginger sat at his table, and poured the rest of the champagne into their glasses, then reached down to her purse on the floor. She took out an envelope, opened it and emptied the contents into her hand. “I just got these,” she said, laying her palm flat, revealing a clutch of small pink pills. Michael set down the lens he’d taken from his bag. “What are they?” “It’s ecstasy… in a pill.” Before he could respond, she popped two in her mouth and washed them down with champagne. She held out her hand, offering him the pills. “Let’s find it tonight.”
About Steve Moretti:
I have always been drawn to passion and creativity in all its forms. I am equally fascinated by the mechanics of the universe and the characters of history. I have a special affection for the power of music which I believe is the universal language of human emotion. My writing journey started in journalism, public relations and advertising then continued into software development. I have been writing novels full-time for a couple of years now and recently completed my first series, Song for a Lost Kingdom. I also co-authored a biography on the life of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and am currently finishing the first book of a new trilogy called Michael Angelo.
I grew up in London, Ontario (Canada) and also lived in Pompano Beach, Florida as a teenager. I moved to Ottawa and attended Carleton University and now live just south of the city with my wife and our two dogs. I look forward to your feedback. Visit my website stevemoretti.ca for the latest news, or email me at email@example.com anytime!
Welcome to the book tour for The Discontent of Mary Wenger by Robert Tucker. Read on for more details!
The Discontent of Mary Wenger (Paper Dolls #1)
by Robert Tucker Publication Date: February 3rd, 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing
Emotionally torn between the conflicting historical social forces of feminism and the traditional roles of women in post-World War II society, Mary Wenger struggles with a deep sense of despair. Spanning the continent during the decades of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s to the turn of the century, her compulsive lifelong odyssey in search of an acceptable house in which to realize her personal and economic goals throws her out of balance with her family.
A master wordsmith tells Mary’s story with a subtle touch of humor only an actual descendant could wield with success. Her fictional memoir is based on historical facts and bravely reveals Mary’s discovery and fear of separation from her children. The existential examination allows Mary to finally understand how her personal discontent, obsessions, internal demons, and depression affect her husband and children, as they mature and independently react to her attempts to mold them to her vision of how they all should be as a family. The life of every character is determined by his or her delusions and how they clash or compromise with one another.
Since I was a young girl, I have always believed that death is stalking me. It lurks and hovers in the dark recesses of my mind like a virus waiting to strike and destroy when I least expect it.
When I was eight years old, I wrote a poem about myself and death.
My name is Mary
Death is scary
It makes me wary
Being wary makes me carey
All my life, I have developed defenses and tried to be a protector of the people I love. They often didn’t see things the way I did and they didn’t agree with me. But I knew what was best for all of us.
I always have.
My mother told me the first night when she and Dad moved in, the wail of an infant floated up to their bedroom. Eyes wide open with fear, she lay listening as the weak cry faded to silence.
“Mike, did you hear that?” she whispered and poked Dad in the ribs. “It came from the cellar.”
“Just a cat. I’ll chase it out in the morning.”
Shaking his arm, she insisted. “It sounded like a baby. You must go down and look.”
“I’m tired. I look in the morning.”
“Please, Mike, I scared.”
“Aah! All right.” He touched a lighted match to their bedside candle. The electricity had not yet been connected. He went down the creaking stairs into the cellar.
Unseen by him, a woman’s bare foot and leg were pulled out through the window. The glow of the candle light was reflected by the wet shine of an object in one corner. Dad approached it and his blood chilled.
A newborn infant lay curled, the blood and mucous of the afterbirth still clinging to its blue body.
In horror, he fumbled his way back up the stairs to the bedroom where he blew out the candle and set it on the dresser.
Mother pulled the blankets close around herself. “What was it?”
Dad quickly climbed into bed. “Nothing but cat. I get rid of it in the morning.”
Before Mother awoke, Dad buried the infant in the back part of the yard farthest from the house in a corner of what would be a vegetable garden.
Many years later, when I was a young woman, Mother told me she knew Dad had lied to her to shield her from the grotesque reality of what he had found in the basement. She knew the difference between the wail of a newborn infant and the wail of a cat.
She never asked him where he had buried the infant. She suspected she knew from the unusual growth and size of tomatoes she had planted in that section of the garden. The thought of the child as fertilizer sickened her. Believing the soul of the infant existed in the ripe red fruit, she buried the tomatoes in a field far from the house and dug up and destroyed the plants.
Refusing to explain why, she avoided planting any other vegetables in that part of the garden. The spot of untilled soil was a silent message to Dad that she knew what had lain buried there.
I was sitting between Ruth and Nina clinking ice in our glasses of lemonade. I slowly turned the pages of the latest Sears & Roebuck catalog while they chatted about the clothes and merchandise they would buy if they had the money. We all did a lot of wishing in those days. Wishing didn’t cost anything, but left us with an aching malaise and a shared emptiness that our imaginations could not fill.
Since we had little in the way of personal possessions, we shared everything. If one of us even bought a candy bar, we wouldn’t think of eating it all. We would divide it up so each of us had a taste.
Author of 27 novels and a retired business and management consultant in a wide range of industries throughout the country, I reside with my wife in Southern California.
I’m a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles with Bachelor’s and Master Degrees.
A Pulitzer nominated author, I am a recipient of the Samuel Goldwyn and Donald Davis Literary Awards.
An affinity for family and generations pervades my novels. My works are literary and genre fiction that address the nature and importance of personal integrity.
As the grandson of immigrants who fled persecution in Germany and Austria-Hungary and came to America during the early 1900’s, the early history of our country and the rise of the middle-class have always held a fascination for me. The dramatic depiction of fictional characters placed in actual events sharply and realistically bring alive the harsh times and adversity of the multitude of people who sought freedom and a better way of life and demonstrate that only a little over one-hundred years have passed to bring us to where we are as a struggling society today.
The chronology and events of history have captured and held my interest for many reasons, among them being stories that entertain, educate, and inform. Learning about the lives of my immigrant grandparents coming to America from Czechoslovakia during the early 1900s and the lives of my parents during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s provided the initial motivation. Researching and writing historical fiction is a way to learn more about myself and my origins and the social, political, and economic influences related to my generation.
Whether writing historical fiction or non-fiction or fantasy, I’m drawn into the societies and cultures of a particular period that inspire the creation of characters who bring that era to life. Not only do I experience this dynamic in books, but in films, plays, dance, music, and other art forms.
Researching history takes me into the exploration of new territory perhaps outside of my own life experience through reading other sources, interviews, travel, and films. Although a number of fine books are written from personal experience by authors who lived through those times, much of the historical writing by contemporary authors is dependent on secondary sources. Forays into the past for story material is a rewarding part of the creative process.