A Conversation With Authors Renee Rosen and Lisa Barr

Posted May 6, 2023 by Debbie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

A Five Star Afternoon 


Renee Rosen & Lisa Barr

I couldn’t of asked for a better way to spend my Saturday afternoon.  Attending the Mellody Farm’s Barnes & Noble event with authors Renee Rosen and Lisa Barr far exceeded my expectation.  What a fantastic event.  

Besides being an incredible author, Lisa Barr is one hell of a moderator. She was engaging, interesting, extremely well spoken and very entertaining. It was apparent from the very beginning that these two authors have a close relationship and respected each other’s work.

The topic was Renee Rosen’s newest release Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl which I devoured and loved. Hearing the author’s thoughts about the book, the writing process she used, the research she did was compelling, interesting, funny and I loved how she held nothing back. Sharing behind-the-scenes stories was something I did not expect but truly enjoyed Hearing about the many people, she talked with, the hours spent reading other books to be completely informed and how she infused a bit of humor into sharing her stories was incredible.

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl is a book that I will recommend to many. The title is fab, the cover art is stunning, and the story is engaging, interesting, surprising and as I told Renee, at times exhausting but in such a good way. If you have not read this author’s work, I suggest you look at not only Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl but her other books as well. Renee has this unique writing style that transports you into the era she is writing about, and I have to say, each book I have read by this author is captivating.

It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.

In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.

Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.

But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.

Renee is the USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction including: THE SOCIAL GRACES, PARK AVENUE SUMMER, WHAT THE LADY WANTS, WINDY CITY BLUES, WHITE COLLAR GIRL and DOLLFACE, as well as the YA novel, EVERY CROOKED POT.
Her new novel, FIFTH AVENUE GLAMOUR GIRL, about the cosmetic icon, Estée Lauder will be published in April, 2023 Penguin Random House / Berkley. She is currently working on a new novel about Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie, coming in 2025.

Most people discover their love of reading first and then decide to try writing. For Renee Rosen, it was just the opposite. From the time she was a little girl she knew she wanted to be a writer and by age seventeen had completed her first novel, with what she admits was the worst opening line of all time. Her hopes of being the youngest published author on record were soon dashed when her “masterpiece” was repeatedly rejected. Several years and many attempts later, Renee finally became a reader first.  Since then she has been fortunate enough to study the craft of writing from such esteemed novelists as Michael Cunningham, Susan Minot and Carol Anshaw.  Renee now lives in Chicago where she is working on a new novel.  


Lisa Barr, the moderator for today, is also one hell of an author. She writes engaging, intriguing, stories with a hint of darkness, romance, and unexpected twists. While she was not at the event to promote her book, the audience was thrilled to hear that her next WIP was heading off to her editor soon. Like Renee, Lisa was so gracious, engaging, and willing to talk with everyone once the event ended. If you have not read any of Lisa’s books, which are all great I highly recommend Women on Fire.

After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual–and very secret–assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel’s most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan’s help to find it. But Jules doesn’t have much time; the famous designer is dying.

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family’s millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis’s grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux’s clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he’ll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.

Lisa Barr is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of WOMAN ON FIRE, THE UNBREAKABLES and the historical thriller FUGITIVE COLORS, a suspenseful tale of stolen art, love, lust, deception and revenge on the “eve” of WWII. The novel won the IPPY gold medal for “Best Literary Fiction 2014” and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award). In addition, Lisa served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Among the highlights of her career, Lisa covered the famous “handshake” between the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat, and President Bill Clinton at the White House. Lisa has been featured on Good Morning America and Today for her work as an author, journalist, and blogger. In breaking book news: Actress Sharon Stone is set to produce and star in the film adaptation of WOMAN ON FIRE.

I highly recommend both of these fantastic authors and hope that if you haven’t already read their work, that you’ll give them a try.

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