Review and Giveaway: Marlene by C.W. Gortner
Marlene: A Novel of Marlene Dietrich by C.W. Gortner
Publication Date: May 24, 2016
Hardcover & eBook; 384 Pages
Genre: Historical/Biographical/Women's Fiction
A lush, dramatic biographical novel of one of the most glamorous and alluring legends of Hollywood’s golden age, Marlene Dietrich—from the gender-bending cabarets of Weimar Berlin to the lush film studios of Hollywood, a sweeping story of passion, glamour, ambition, art, and war from the author of Mademoiselle Chanel.
Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. When a budding career as a violinist is cut short, the willful teenager vows to become a singer, trading her family’s proper, middle-class society for the free-spirited, louche world of Weimar Berlin’s cabarets and drag balls. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, seductive silk cocktail dresses, and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs that push the boundaries of social convention.
For the beautiful, desirous Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. As Hitler and the Nazis rise to power, she sets sail for America. Rivaling the success of another European import, Greta Garbo, Marlene quickly becomes one of Hollywood’s leading ladies, starring with legends such as Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and Cary Grant. Desperate for her return, Hitler tries to lure her with dazzling promises. Marlene instead chooses to become an American citizen, and after her new nation is forced into World War II, she tours with the USO, performing for thousands of Allied troops in Europe and Africa.
But one day she returns to Germany. Escorted by General George Patton himself, Marlene is heartbroken by the war’s devastation and the evil legacy of the Third Reich that has transformed her homeland and the family she loved.
An enthralling and insightful account of this extraordinary legend, Marlene reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour, and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path on her own terms.
Marlene Dietrich is an unforgettable actress. There's something about her presence and beauty that captivate audiences, even today. She lived her life on her own terms and left a legacy of classic movies. It's not surprising that many novels have been written about this screen siren. However, though this novel is fiction, it closely follows the life of Dietrich from childhood to adulthood.
Marlene begins in 1914. She was an intelligent girl who wanted more out of life than what her mother had planned. After seeing a movie, nothing else would do for her. She knew her destiny was to be in films, and she would do whatever it takes to get there. Along the way, she meets many people who would shape and influence her life. And her life is very vibrant and interesting to say the least.
Marlene Dietrich's life was glamorous, but it was also full of hard work, passion, and pain. Through this novel you get a glimpse into the life of a beloved actress as she walks the rocky road of stardom. And if one thing is to be said about her, it's that she's a survivor.
C.W. Gortner has written many books based on some of history's most interesting women. I've read a few of his books and enjoyed them immensely, so I was excited to read his latest novel to see how he would make the golden-age of Hollywood come to life. Once again his love for his subjects and hours of research are reflected in the prose. He could have me convinced he was a fly on the wall of Marlene's bedroom.
About the AuthorC.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.
After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.
In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.
Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.
For more information visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twittter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and YouTube. Sign up for C.W. Gortner’s Newsletter for updates.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, May 24
Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, May 25
Review at Broken Teepee
Thursday, May 26
Review at To Read, or Not to Read
Friday, May 27
Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Monday, May 30
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Interview at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, May 31
Review at Creating Herstory
Wednesday, June 1
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Review at Books Without Any Pictures
Thursday, June 2
Interview at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Friday, June 3
Review at Just One More Chapter
Sunday, June 5
Review at Carole's Ramblings
Monday, June 6
Review at Girls Just Reading
Tuesday, June 7
Review at The Lit Bitch
GiveawayTo enter the Marlene Blog Tour Giveaway please see the GLEAM form below.
- Winner #1 will receive a copy of Marlene by C.W. Gortner.
- Winner #2 will receive a copy of Marlene by C.W. Gortner & a Marlene-inspired necklace and matching bracelet. Hand-beaded in Guatemala, lime-green and purple beads. Necklace is Egyptian-style drape, and bracelet has centerpiece purple floral gemstone design.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 7th. 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.