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Author C.W. Gortner

on Tour

March 20-April 8, 2015


Mademoiselle Chanel

Mademoiselle Chanel

(historical fiction)

Release date: March 17, 2015
at William-Morrow/HarperCollins

384 pages

ISBN: 978-0062356406



For readers of “The Paris Wife” and “Z” comes this vivid novel full of drama, passion, tragedy, and beauty that stunningly imagines the life of iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and became one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century.

Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to an orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood.

Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny.

Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her.

An enthralling novel of an extraordinary designer who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark. (provided by the author)



CW GortnerC.W. Gortner is the international bestselling author of six historical novels,
translated in over twenty-five languages to date.
His new novel, “Mademoiselle Chanel”,
traces the tumultuous rise to fame of iconic fashion designer,
Coco Chanel.
In 2016, Random House will publish his eighth novel, “Vatican Princess”,
about Lucrezia Borgia.
Raised in Spain and a long-time resident of the Bay Area,
C.W. is also dedicated to companion animal rescue from overcrowded shelters.

Visit his website. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter

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Buy the book: HarperCollins  |  IndieBound  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble



For the Hook of a Book

There’s been many books written about Coco Chanel and her work and life. However, Gortner has written an elegant story that only he can tell, leaving her a lasting legacy and giving her a soul in a way like no other I’ve read. If there’s one book you buy all year, buy this one, whether you’re already a fan of Chanel like me, you have an interest in fashion, or you’d love to read a compelling and captivating novel of one of the most iconic women of all time. It’s a gorgeously written book full of courage, compassion, depth, and soul.

Let Them Read Books

This novel is a tour de force, much like the woman at its heart, and I think it’s Gortner’s best book yet.
Gortner has created a loving tribute to an unconventional woman.
It’s a beautifully written story, a dizzying whirlwind of hopes and dreams realized and unraveled, of celebrities and parties and love affairs, of inspiration, dedication, and a rabid work ethic, interspersed with rare quiet moments of respite and reflection, and all playing out against the great backdrop of history–I couldn’t put it down and yet I didn’t want it to end. It’s one hell of a story about one hell of a woman, and one of the best books of the year. Highly recommended!

With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thanks to C.W Gortner, I have learned a great deal about the tour de force that was Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. I have also been blown away by Mr. Gortner’s writing because he transported me from my room to Chanel’s world in France, England, Switzerland…et cetera.
I absolutely love that it was written from first person perspective…
How can you not enjoy a book like that?

View from the Birdhouse

Coco Chanel was a fascinating, complicated woman.  Mademoiselle Chanel captures her life in a way that readers are sure to enjoy, especially if they like historical fiction and novels about strong women.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers as well.

 Writing the Renaissance

What happens when an author known for his convincing, dramatically compelling depictions of the sixteenth century tries his hand at the twentieth? He does a superb job!
Like his indomitable heroine, C.W. Gortner displays, in this breakout book, an ability to rise to new challenges and succeed with admirable finesse–and good measure of panache.

The Book Binder’s Daughter

What I found fascinating about this book is that it is not only a personal history of Chanel, but also a history of fashion and the dramatic changes in women’s clothing between the 19th and 20th centuries.
C.W. Gortner has done a spectacular job of bringing to life the fashion icon that is Coco Chanel.

Seize The Moment

Gortner is a master of developing both multi-layered characters and environments in his novels, but Mademoiselle Chanel brings this skill to another level.
As intoxicating as the jasmine aromas of Chanel No. 5 and as revolutionary as the Little Black Dress, C. W. Gortner’s Mademoiselle Chanel reclaims the legacy of the world’s first businesswoman and shows the genuine Coco Chanel.

Mina’s Bookshelf

What amazed me to no end about its author, writer of historical fiction and former fashion executive C. W. Gortner, was the ability to take on the voice of a female character of such a magnitude (the novel is narrated in a smooth and mellow first person POV) and modulate it with masterful penmanship and unrelenting flair. The result is uncompromisingly stylish, convincing, and vibrant, in the vein of Coco’s most sterling and incomparable legacy.

The Maiden’s Court

Mademoiselle Chanel is author C.W. Gortner’s first foray into more of a contemporary historical fiction novel setting and he excels here just as he does elsewhere!
Gortner’s descriptions of Paris, the convents, and the rich estates that Chanel moved through are beautiful and allow the reader to be able to visualize it in its entirety.

Macarons & Paperbacks

I was quickly captivated by her story.
It instills feelings of hope, love, fear, suspense, and guilt, and I was surprised at how easily it captivated me.
The voice that Gortner created for her felt impressively real.
Even if you are like me and have no interest in fashion, that will not keep you from enjoying and connecting to this fictional retelling of Coco Chanel’s life.

Musings of a Writer & Unabashed Francophile

This was a book I absolutely couldn’t put down, and I don’t often say that about historical novels. His descriptions were vivid yet not overdone, and he has an ease with words that meant I never found myself outside the story looking in. It was so enjoyable that I recommended it to several friends.

Crystal Book Reviews

While other writers have published their own books about Coco Chanel, C. W. Gortner has written a masterful portrait that is engaging and intriguing on every page celebrating Chanel’s intelligent, creative and beautiful clothing.
Delightful historical fiction and so, so highly recommended!

Griperang’s Bookmarks

Mr. Gortner did a great job with his research as well as the way he wrote this book it just flowed.
I recommend this book to you if you like biographies or books about strong women.

Vvb32 Reads

This story did well in getting into some of the nitty gritty behind-the-scenes world of Coco Chanel. I liked the descriptions behind some of Coco’s signature and well-known works.
Coco’s friends, loves and love affairs described were also interesting to read about in that they helped in setting the mood and culture of the times.

Book Nerd

This was an easy five star read.
C.W. Gortner is a fantastic writer.
I can’t say how much I loved this book. I loved learning about this transformative designer. Lovely and enjoyable read.

Unabridged Chick

While the subject of this book is fascinating — not just Coco herself, but the world she lived in — the novel is made by Gortner’s writing.
This makes my second top ten read of 2015. Even if you’re not a fan of fashion, consider grabbing this book, as it really is the story of a self-made woman, a visionary who imagined the way women wanted to live that differed from what society said.

I Wish I Lived In a Library

Since I had recently read that biography I was up on my Coco facts and Gortner hit them perfectly but also did a fantastic job of making the story flow and Coco come alive.
Not only did Gortner make Coco come alive but he made her wonderfully and realistically multi-faceted.
Even if you don’t have any interest in fashion Mademoiselle Chanel is a book worth reading and Coco is a woman worth getting to know.

I’m Lost in Books

I felt right in the middle of the fashion world the whole time but I also felt right in the middle of a real story.  I felt that Gortner wrote Chanel as a real, multi-faceted person, too.
Gortner has a talent for humanizing historical figures and that is what makes him a wonderful writer to me.

Chocolate & Croissants

Gortner’s book brought the woman to life.
Should you want a good story, Mademoiselle Chanel delivers both the tale of who the woman was and an interesting story.

Words And Peace

Daring the almost impossible, C.W. Gortner masterfully evokes Coco Chanel’s life in her own voice. A stunning presentation of an exceptional woman that will leave you dazzled, whether you are interested in the world of fashion or not.

Impressions In Ink

After reading Mademoiselle Chanel, I feel a personal attachment to Coco. A praise is due to this novel, because Coco is brought to life. She lives and breathes and moves among the pages.
I did not feel the books aim was to persuade me to like or dislike Coco, but to share her full life story, both its thistles and flowers.