Release day: Her Mother’s Secret
Today is the official release of Her Mother’s Secret by Natasha Lester (ebook and paperback, Hachette Australia). Here’s the blurb:
Her Mother’s Secret is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society’s disapproval, a sweeping story of love and ambition that moves from England to the Manhattan of the 1920s and 1940s by the author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald.
1918, England. Armistice Day should bring peace into Leonora’s life. Rather than secretly making cosmetics in her father’s chemist shop to sell to army nurses such as Joan, her adventurous Australian friend, Leo hopes to now display her wares openly. Instead, Spanish flu arrives in the village, claiming her father’s life. Determined to start over, she boards a ship to New York City. On the way she meets debonair department store heir Everett Forsyth … In Manhattan, Leo works hard to make her cosmetics dream come true, but she’s a woman alone with a small salary and a society that deems make-up scandalous.
1939, New York City. Everett’s daughter, Alice, a promising ballerina, receives a mysterious letter inviting her to star in a series of advertisements for a cosmetics line. If she accepts she will be immortalized like dancers such as Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Ginger Rogers. Why, then, are her parents so quick to forbid it?
Natasha dropped by today to tell us a little about this book:
I was inspired to write Her Mother’s Secret, which is a story about one woman’s dream to make cosmetics that women are able to buy and wear openly, by my own experience of working for cosmetics company L’Oreal Paris. I was the Marketing Manager for Maybelline and one of the oft-repeated tales around the company was about a girl called Mabel who wanted darker lashes to impress her date and whose brother mixed her up a concoction of lampblack and Vaseline, thus creating the first Maybelline mascara. It was, of course, only available to buy via mail order as mascara was considered far too scandalous to sell in department stores. I wanted to write about that time of change for women, and I wanted to write about a woman who was at the forefront of that change, a woman who had the courage to push back against a society that saw fit to tell women what they could and could not do.
The publisher has three copies to give away to ARRA members. To go in the draw, simply comment on this post. The giveaway closed on 11 April. The winners were Jodie Woodward, Lyn Williams and Alyssa Mackay.