Monday, April 22, 2013

DUCHESS - Susan May Warren - On Free Book on This Blog, Plus Much More

Welcome back, Susan. I love having you on my blog.

I know you speak at various conferences and meetings. What do you have coming up in 2012?
I love teaching! Aside from our My Book Therapy Retreats, I’m teaching at the Blue Ridge Writers Conference, at the AWSA annual conference, the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference and ACFW.

If you were planning a women’s retreat, what would be the theme for it?
Blooming where you are planted, and living the abundant life, now. How do we find joy in our everyday lives?

Who would you want as speakers and why?
Rachel Hauck, who embodies joy, and Mary DeMuth, who also has walked through the trenches and emerged with Joy.

Where would you hold the retreat and why?
Florida! Or maybe Hawaii. Because the beach is always a great place to soak in God’s abundance.

Do you read print books or ebooks? Or a combination of the two?
Both – I love the convenience of e-books, but nothing replaces the smell and feel of a real book.

I agree. I always have my Kindle with me, but at home I almost always read print books. This book has an interesting title. How did you come up with it?
Duchess is the third in a “Daughters of Fortune” series – so we have Heiress, then Baroness, and the next logical progression was Duchess.

So what is the book about?
The book is about Rosie, a daughter of wealth who has run away from her past and into her future as a Hollywood starlet. She believes if she has the adoration of the public it will fill up the empty places inside—places left by terrible choices and wounds in her life. But it’s not until her life as a star is put to the test in a film she makes in Europe that she realizes she can be more than she imagines that she finds true fulfillment. It’s set in the golden age of Hollywood—the 1930s, with Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, amidst the backdrop of a brewing war in Europe. For fans of the silver screen, they’ll recognize icons and films and be drawn into a story of intrigue that just might have really happened.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Part One
Red Carpet

Chapter 1

Tonight, if only for three hours, Rosie Worth would glitter. Like a star plucked from the sky, hot and glowing, she would light up New York’s Fiftieth Avenue and burn a path into stardom, her name in white neon emblazoned across the marquee of the Roxy Theater.

            And hopefully, her past would flicker out, eclipsed by the glow of her future.

            “Darling, you look smashing.” Dash emerged from his bedroom into their shared sitting quarters in the Taft Hotel, holding a highball of something amber, the glass catching the glamour of the room. Gold brocade sofas, dark rose velvet chairs, a white marble fireplace and, under the dripping chandelier of teardrop crystals, an enormous bouquet of yellow and white roses blanketed the center of the dining table. New York City certainly knew how to welcome a prodigal in style. Except, well, her studio bio, the one printed in Photoplay, hailed her as being from a small farm in Kansas.

            Some days, she longed for it to be true.

            “You clean up pretty well too, big boy,” she said, letting the filmy curtain over the Palladian windows drop. She held her long, white gloves in one hand and slipped over to him, smoothing his gold ascot, the lapels of his tuxedo. “A real studio mogul.”

            He drained his glass and set it down on the cherry desk. “Think they’ll be at the premiere?” He lifted her white fox stole and settled it around her shoulders.

            “Mother? Never. She might be a society queen, but she is also a devout Episcopalian. She wouldn’t set foot in a theater.”

            “Not even to see her daughter, Roxy Price, on the big screen?” He picked up his beaver top hat. Yes, he looked every inch like he could be a leading man, with his dark hair slicked back with pomade, his wide football-player shoulders, a little danger in his eyes. A gal could fall in love with Dashielle Parks. And Rosie had—too many times. First in Paris, and then again nearly a year ago when he offered her a steady, seven-year contract with Palace Studios.

            Probably that accounted for why she’d said yes to his marriage proposal.

            And why she kept hoping that he’d fall in love with her too.

            “Don’t call me Roxy,” she said, folding the stole around her shoulders then slipping her hands into the long gloves. She stopped again at the window, looked down upon the street seventeen stories below. Somehow Palace Studios had figured out how to splash daylight along Fiftieth Street, turning the grimy pavement of New York into a wash of brilliance. A crowd amassed under the marquee of the theater, and already the street was jammed with Model As and Rolls Royces, dark and shiny in the light.

            “You’re going to have to get used to it,” Dash said. “You’re Roxy Price now.”

            “Remember when you laughed at me in Paris, that night when I told you I wanted to be an actress like Sarah Bernhardt? I still do. With a name like Roxy, no one will take me seriously. It feels like a made-up character, a fantasy.” From here she could see the Dakota, where her mother lived with Bennett, her stepfather, and her half brother, Finley.

            He’d be twelve by now.

            Time moved too quickly. Her daughter Coco would be nearly two. A toddler. She longed to look past the New York skyline, all the way to Montana, where Coco lived with her cousin, Lilly. A world so far away it seemed untouchable, as if she hadn’t really lived that life, hadn’t really had a child, given her away, or even held the man she loved as he died in her arms.

            This life gave her a fresh start.

            Rosie pressed her hand to her roiling stomach. Yes, maybe Roxy fit her well.

            Dash gave what sounded like a laugh, and she turned.

            “Red, this isn’t the stage. We’re in the movie business. We create fantasy, a world of glamorous make-believe. Stars, not actresses.” He tugged her arm, pulled her toward the ornate floor mirror. “Look at yourself and tell me if there is one smackle left of Rosie Worth, former showgirl and widow, in that mirror.”

            Palace Studios had bleached her hair to starlight white, plucked her eyebrows clear off her face, and penciled in a line of black. They’d framed her lips in a blood-red cupid’s bow and honed her figure into something that added mystery and allure under her teal blue satin evening gown. The garment hugged her like a negligee, dripped down the floor, and trailed behind her.

             “This is what you wanted from me when you appeared at my door two years ago, wasn’t it? To make the world fall in love with you? This is how we’re going to do it. By creating Roxy Price, bombshell blond. This is how the world will fall in love with you. They’re not going to love a tragic socialite who lost her heart—they’ll love a small-town girl from Kansas whose dreams came true in Hollywood.”

            “But it’s not—it’s not real. It’s not me.”

            “Make it you, doll. If this is what you want, you’ll have to become Miss Roxy Price.”

            The actress in the mirror found a smile for him. Nodded.

            “C’mon, gorgeous. This is your moment.” Dash pressed a kiss to her cheek, spilling the odor of bourbon over her, and offered his arm. “Smile. Be brilliant.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Visit me at or

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of Duchess with a Kindle Fire HD Giveaway.

One "glam" winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire HD
  • Signed copies of Duchess, Baroness and Heiress
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 4th. Winner will be announced on 5/7/13 at Susan's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing yet another amazing book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Duchess (Daughters of Fortune series) - paperback
Duchess (Daughters of fortune) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Sharon M said...

Hi Susan - Would love to have a copy of Duchess! Just finished "Take a Chance on Me" - loved it!!
Sharon M
Eagan, MN

Heidi Reads... said...

I need to read some of her books- haven't yet, but this one sounds pretty good!
Heidi, CA

writingsofrosie said...

Okay, I have to read this book. It isn't everyday I find a book whose main character shares my name! :D

Rosie from OH

rubynreba said...

Duchess looks very good!
Beth from Iowa

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel

karenk....from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win a copy of Susan's book

live in ND
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Library Lady said...

We have Susan's books in the church library.
I would love to win this one to add to our collection.
Janet E.

Unknown said...

I would love to win. I haven't read this series yet but have been wanting to.

I live in Indiana.


Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!!

Unknown said...

Love reading Susan's books. This one will get a lot of use if I win.

Onalaska, WI

Patty said...

I've read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it!

Patty in SC

Marissa said...

I can't wait to read this book! I read Heiress about a year ago and thought it was very unique!

Marissa from CO

Bookishqueen said...

I'd love to win this!
Rebekah TN

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Merry said...

Duchess sounds intriguing, thanks for a chance to win it.
Merry in TX

Shopgirl said...

I love your books and I'm excited to read this one! I'm in MN.

Cindy W. said...

Would love to be entered to win a copy of Duchess. Thank you.

I'm from Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Jorie said...

For someone who is always finding a reason to nestle up with TCM and discover a new actor or actress yet known to her, this sounds like the perfect book to read!! I saw two films starring Glenn Ford this week, one with a very light and happy Bette Davis in a double-part that left me wanton for moreo of her; and one starring opposite Donna Reed, in a part which plays out every parent's worst nightmare, a kidnapped child! If Ms. Warren brings to light the world behind the cameras of the Golden Age of Hollywood, I daresay I will not be able to put this book down!

I do agree -- if you attempt to fill in the missing gaps in your life by superficial means, your never going to be truly happy in the end. Life and living takes work, but joy is easily obtainable if you keep your eyes open to everything around you that glistens with a pause of awe! Such as walking in nature,... or admiring the first blooms of Spring in your garden,...

Thank you for offering this bookaway!