Happy Wednesday lovelies! This is such an exciting post because I get to share some really cool news. Last Wednesday, I met my favorite author, Renee Rosen for a latte at Peet’s Coffee. Renee Rosen is a bestselling author who penned novels that center on historic people and events throughout Chicago’s history. I first stumbled across her work last spring while shopping at Barnes & Noble. Before sharing details about our coffee date, I’d like to discuss her novels…
This is the first book I read by Renee. I came across Dollface last spring while waiting in line to check out at Barnes & Noble. Dollface, set in Chicago during the 1920s, is about a flapper girl named Vera who finds herself going from an independent, but struggling and near poverty, young woman to the wife of a rich gangster. The book covers a lengthy span of the roaring 20s and includes some infamous historical moments such at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This prohibition era novel is such a page turner and it got me immediately hooked on Renee Rosen’s work.
What the Lady Wants
After reading Dollface, I received a recommendation from Renee to read What the Lady Wants. If a scandalous affair, focusing on the rise of Marshall Field and his mistress (and the novel’s leading lady, Delia), sounds like your cup of tea, then this is a must read. Opening with the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this book spans decades of the couple’s love affair, as well as the iconic emergence of luxury department store, Marshall Field’s. When I finished What the Lady Wants (and Dollface!) I was eager to further research the factual events covered in Renee’s novel, as well as continue reading her stories.
White Collar Girl
There is a character trend throughout Renee’s Chicago set stories. The trend is the books are told from the point of view of women who are strong of heart and very determined. White Collar Girl does not waver from this trend. In White Collar Girl we meet Jordan, an aspiring journalist who finds herself met with much sexism while writing for a Chicago newspaper. The dedicated Jordan investigates key people who were involved in the numerous political scandals throughout Chicago’s government in the 1950s. Due to the relentless, feminist strength of Jordan, this book is a must read for any modern day #girlboss.
Windy City Blues
This novel is not yet published… but it’s coming soon! This book will span the musical movement of the blues as the Chess Brother’s grow their self-named record label, which introduced us to some great artists such as Muddy Waters and Etta James. I know this book will be as captivating as the novels mentioned above. Renee showed me the cover art that will accompany her soon to be released book, and it stirred up even more anticipation as I eagerly await her newest piece.
Now, onto the coffee date… Renee and I met at Peet’s Coffee. When she walked into the cafe, I had to hug her right away because she radiated such good vibes. On a warm sunny morning, we chatted on the patio at Peet’s about her struggles and success as an author, and my own aspirations as a blogger and digital creative. Very genuine, Renee was so easy to talk with and between the two of us chatting, we barely had a moment of silence.
After coffee, I spent the rest of the day with a glow from not only getting to meet my favorite author, but also because Renee left me with a renewed sense of inspiration. Oftentimes, it is easy to view life with an unrealistic set of eyes as we may feel that our lives should be a certain way, at a certain age and at a media standardized approval. We can easily fall prey to this mindset of immediate gratification which makes life a lot less enjoyable and turns us into ungrateful beings. Renee gave me an unintentional reminder that life is a journey and the “right now” viewpoint isn’t a good perspective. Meeting with Renee was so refreshing. I gained insight on her perseverance towards her writing passions as she was patient enough to now enjoy doing what she loves. Hearing about her endurance left me walking away feeling positive in spirit and believing in myself. And that’s pretty cool, huh?
With Style & Love,