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.
Scandal, politics, sex, triumphs, and tragedies abound in The Summer Queen, the first novel in a stunning new trilogy, perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Sharon Kay Penman
At the age of thirteen, Eleanor of Aquitaine is forced to leave everything behind, marry a man she doesn't love, and take the throne to reign as Queen of France. Eleanor's new life is full of risk—and unlimited opportunity. Barely out of childhood and faced with great scandals, fraught relationships, and forbidden love at every turn, Eleanor must use all her cunning to secure her future as one of the most powerful women in the world.
The Eleanor of Aquitaine Trilogy:
The Summer Queen (Book 1)
The Winter Crown (Book 2)
The Autumn Throne (Book 3)
Praise for The Summer Queen:
"The Summer Queen is a fabulous novel based on the most up-to-date and meticulous research. This is historical fiction at its best and I loved every page of it."—For Winter Nights: A bookish blog