Madam of My Heart by Gini Grossenbacher
Publication Date: February 6, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 476 Pages
Series: American Madams, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Victorian
Baltimore, 1849. During a scandalous crisis, the young Irish Brianna Baird flees her home at Fells Point. With little cash and only a seamstress’s trade, she braves the hypnotic streets of New Orleans. The tantalizing Madam DeSalle lures her to her brothel, then sells her to the dashing but questionable gambler, Edward Spina, who falls in love with her. In a tawdry alliance with these two profiteers, Brianna embarks on a journey through the French Quarter’s debauched and glittering Voodoo world. Facing the horrors of slavery, she triumphs by gaining freedom papers for her maid Emma’s enslaved husband and son. Brianna and Edward escape with them to San Francisco. There she becomes one of the most sought after madams in the gold rush parlor house trade. But will her fame and pluck be enough to save Edward from the Vigilante noose? This is the first book in the American Madams series.
“A debut historical novel that chronicles the struggles, loves, and joys of an exceptional madam in 19th-century America. Grossenbacher’s book, the first in a planned series, dramatizes the early life and busy career of a woman named Brianna Baird. Grossenbacher’s prose is both graceful and inventive. She absorbingly limns the various cities Brianna inhabits, from New Orleans and its ‘web of Creole cottages, chaotic marketplaces, and secretive balconies, simmering outside her window, ‘ to the rowdy atmosphere of frontier-era San Francisco. The occasional marvelous metaphor will surprise readers, as when ‘the truth hit Brianna like a badly aimed bowling pin.’ This isn’t just a novel for lovers of history’s more prurient corners; it’s for everyone who likes well-deployed language and intense stories. A seamier side of American history, engagingly told through one woman’s unexpected adventures.” -Kirkus Reviews, A Recommended Review
My Review: Some people are born storytellers. They are the ones that write fantastic novels, creating worlds that sweep you away, one page at a time. Gini Grossenbacher is just such an author. The thing about Ms. Grossenbacher, however, is that she is clearly
gifted talented brilliant at writing historical fiction. I could not put Madam of My Heart down to save my life. (And it’s the first of a series! Squeee!)
The author dives into a period of history that is widely forgotten and grossly underwritten. The reader is instantly caught up in the story of Brianna Baird, young and alone on a dock in the middle of the night, trying desperately to sink her secret beneath the dark waters. We follow her journey as she suffers abuse, chases dreams, falls in love, deals with pain and claws for the life that she deserves. I found myself standing on the sidelines, watching Brianna’s story unfold, cheering her on at every twist. She was so very relatable and impossible not to love. Every single character was fleshed out this way; so real and tangible that I could almost swear we were all breathing the same air.
Gini Grossenbacher allows us an intimate view of the harsh realities of prostitution and brothel life in the 1800’s. And while she doesn’t shy away from giving her readers a raw and authentic window into this world, she does so with class, grace, sensitivity and diplomacy. You simply have to get this book. That’s just all there is to it. I can’t even put a witty spin on my recommendation, because you just need Madam of My Heart in your life.
So go now. Go buy it. You can thank me later. Actually, you can thank me now. Because this book will make your whole dang week.
About the Author
California author Gini Grossenbacher was a successful high school English teacher until she abandoned grades and term papers, choosing to write historical novels instead. Now she leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the setting where they take place. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 16
Feature at Passages to the Past
Thursday, April 19
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Friday, April 20
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Saturday, April 21
Interview at Be Inspired By Books
Sunday, April 22
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Wednesday, April 25
Excerpt at LadyJ’s Bookish Nook
Friday, April 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two copies of Madam of My Heart! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 30th. You 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.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.