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.
Available on Amazon

“Beautiful descriptive language”

Five Star Review on Amazon By S. Harrison

This book is more than just a story, it is a woven tapestry of beautiful descriptive language. Yes, there is a great story here – a young woman forced to grow up fast when she is ill-treated by both her father and a man who professes to love her. While she has some moments of despair, she refuses to buckle under and be defeated. She is a fallen woman. There’s no getting around that fact, so she decides to make the most of it.

Kirkus Reviews says of this story, “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.”

Yes, enjoy the story, but savor the beautiful language that enriches the journey. For example, the author doesn’t just call the Mississippi “The Big Muddy ” Instead, she says, “…the brown Mississippi glistened like cafe au lait. Steamboats and flatboats frothed the waters as they churned upriver.” We are instantly given a vivid picture in our minds.

This is not a verified Amazon purchase, as I bought it at the author’s book launch at The Avid Reader in Sacramento. I was not paid or compensated for this review.

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.

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