Book Review: Scent of Triumph, by Jan Moran (+ giveaway!)

My review (for giveaway, see below!)

At first, the novel reminded me a bit of MJ Rose’s works (as she has books featuring perfumers), but MJ’s works are always somewhat supernatural, whereas this is not (and believe me, it doesn’t suffer for it at all.) Having just finished reading a book on Chanel, this one was a perfect follow-up, as Danielle Bretancourt is a very similar strong woman, and involved in similar work. Although Chanel was not a perfumer herself, and Danielle is. And I found the Hollywood life to be fascinating, and how Danielle struggles to succeed in her new life. (Chanel went to Hollywood only briefly.)

What I loved most about this book is that it felt epic. The word itself is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but it will do. There was a real sense of time and of history. This wasn’t a book that takes place within a few weeks or months; we get years of Danielle’s life, and get to really know her. There are threads of romance, history… really there’s a bit in this book for everyone. I’m definitely going to look into the author’s other works now that I’ve read this one.

SCENT OF TRIUMPHScent of Triumph:
A Novel of Perfume And Passion

(historical novel)

Release date: March 31, 2015
at St. Martin’s Press
384 pages

ISBN: 9781250048905

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SYNOPSIS

Perfume is the essence of beauty, the heart of illusion, the soul of desire. It is my past, my present, my future. -from the journal of Danielle Bretancourt

When French perfumer and aristocrat Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for the remains of her family, relying on the strength of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a British shipping heir and Royal Navy officer. Finally, in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Amidst the glamour of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Danielle works her way up from meagre jobs to perfumer and fashion designer. Still, personal happiness eludes her. Can her sheer force of will attract the elusive love she desires, or will it only come at the ultimate cost?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scent of Triumph - Jan MoranJAN MORAN is the author of Fabulous Fragrances I and II,
which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list,
and other contemporary novels,
including Flawless, Beauty Mark, and Runway.
A fragrance and beauty industry expert,
she has been featured on CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine,
and has spoken before prestigious organizations,
including The American Society of Perfumers.
She earned her MBA from Harvard Business School
and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writersí Program.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Subscribe to her newsletter

Go deeper with her Reader’s Discussion Guide
***

Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks

IndieBound | Powell’s | Books A Million | Kobo | eBooks.com | GooglePlay

***

You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other 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]

Global giveaway open internationally:
1 winner will receive 1 print copy of Scent of Triumph

*

Scent of Triumph Vintage Perfumes

BONUS OFFERED BY THE AUTHOR
ñ independently from this book tour ñ
With every purchase of Scent of Triumph,
she is offering a free ebook of Vintage Perfumes,
a nonfiction guide to the finest classic perfumes, for epub and mobi.
Just email her some proof of your purchase
(receipt, email receipt, photo of yourself with the book or ebook on your reader, etc.),
and she will send you the free ebook of Vintage Perfumes.
*

CLICK ON THE BANNER
TO READ OTHER REVIEWS, EXCERPTS,
GUEST-POST AND INTERVIEW

Scent of Triumph banner

 

How about a 1940s vampire noir? Yes, it’s a movie, or will be.

That’s really where we all come in. I don’t think I’ve ever posted about a Kickstarter campaign before, though I did participate in one for The Last Lonely Place, another noir film which had the backing of the Humphrey Bogart estate (and thus, caught my attention), but this one…Oh my. I write noir, I read noir, and I love to watch noir. And I can’t wait to watch this one.

bloodkissIn short: Michael Reaves, Amber Benson, Neil Gaiman, Tom Mandrake. Michael Reaves has written some great films, Amber Benson of course I knew from Buffy, Neil Gaiman is an author extraordinaire…and making his acting début (!), and Tom Mandrake does fabulous comic books.

But, all those people aside, it was the concept that really got me. A noir film, set in 1940s Hollywood, with vampires. And a detective who doesn’t believe in them. All things I am fanatical about, in one film.

Here’s a bit from their press info:

Emmy Award winning writer Michael Reaves is creating a new film, BLOOD KISS, and new genre, Vamp Noir. He’s discovered a fresh acting talent to co-star, superstar writer Neil Gaiman. Also starring fan favorite Amber Benson from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a
vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this
supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.

I liked the sound of it so much I couldn’t help but pledge. If this sounds like something you’d like to see made, a pledge is the way to make it happen. $10, or more (up to $10,000 if you’re so inclined!), and we can see this vampire noir. I can hardly wait. It’s like the Sound of Music, except that these are my favourite things (not that there’s anything wrong with whiskers on kittens, of course.)

Check out the film’s website, too: bloodkissmovie.com

Workshop: Michael Hauge’s Story Craft

On May 12th, I had the good fortune to attend a workshop put on by my local RWA chapter. We hosted Michael Hauge, a well-known story and script consultant. He often presents at the RWA Nationals (I missed him in NYC last June, alas), and after taking his seminar, I can see why.

His seminar was split into two parts: The Outer Journey, which we dealt with in the morning’s session, and The Inner Journey, our afternoon’s work. The Outer Journey was very similar to what I’ve learned in other courses (Laurie Schnebly’s ‘Plotting via Motivation’ course comes to mind), but I would say that the afternoon’s Inner Journey part of the workshop was worth the entry fee and then some.

When I write, I’ve nearly always found it easier to deal with the outer journey and motivations of my characters (Character A wants X, thus must do Y), but the inner emotional journey is much more difficult to portray. My notes for the afternoon are voluminous and as I continue with my WIP, I’ll be using them regularly. (I already know that I’ll need to go back and rewrite, but I won’t do it just yet.)

Michael used examples from several Hollywood films, including Shrek, Titanic (which I still haven’t seen), Hitch (ditto), and L.A. Confidential (seen once, not well-remembered). Already in watching some of my favourite films (Casablanca), I can pick out the structure and character arcs with greater ease, and I know that it’ll help my writing.

Naturally, it was also a great time to chat and reconnect with my fellow Calgary RWA members, and we had a drink or two afterward.

LtoR: Michelle Pierce, Susan Bohnet, Karen Uhl, me, and Jill Flanagan. (photos by Suzanne Stengl - http://suzannestengl.blogspot.ca/)