GUYS, I am so excited for this book and so thankful to Shannon and Nancy for helping me bring Eleanor Dumont's (aka Madame Moustache's) story to readers.
My interest in Eleanor Dumont’s story bloomed as I began researching the women of the California gold rush. It wasn’t long before I came upon a name unknown to me, Madame Moustache. As it turned out, Madame Moustache was the sobriquet for Eleanor Dumont, who was born as Simone Jules, and who had popularized vingt-et-un, now known as blackjack.
The presence of three names for a single woman intrigued me. I wondered how one name bled into the next and how life winded to a nickname—one I didn’t initially find particularly endearing—that Eleanor lived with for over a decade. I wondered if she endured the moniker for all those years or if she was accepting of the name, which was spat at her after taking a man’s last dime during a game of vingt-et-un and offering him a glass of milk, Eleanor having been claimed to have said, "Any man silly enough to lose his last cent to a woman deserves a milk diet.”
In all the anecdotes I found of Eleanor, she was warmhearted, quick-witted, business savvy, courageous, and tenacious. The attributes led me to believe that perhaps Eleanor didn’t tolerate the nickname but instead embraced it. After that, there was no stopping me from telling her story.
And I hope you're excited to read it!!
If you're on Goodreads, please take a quick moment to click the "Want to Read" button >>> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55367443-a-betting-woman
*rubs hands together* I'm so excited for I AM DEFIANCE, releasing with Scholastic, and equally excited for the swag available for anyone (kiddos and adults!) who locks down a copy early.
When you order through my indie bookstore Newtown Bookstore, you'll receive your copy autographed (and personalized, if you so choose) and also the following goodies:
- an I AM ____ sticker to fill in. The sticker is vinyl so it'll be extra durable.
- a Reading Challenge bookmark to make reading even more fun
- a Crossword Scavenger Hunt. And what makes this baby so fun is that after solved, send a photo to me to be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card! I'm also a total nerd and had so much fun making this, aligning each number clue with chapter numbers. Teachers, I hope you also just geeked out a little with me there. And yes, photocopied crosswords are totally cool to give out to students and for them to enter.
No receipts or verification needed. If you order through the Newtown Bookshop, you'll receive all of the above via mail or in-store pickup after I AM DEFIANCE is released on February 2, 2021. Orders must be placed by February 7, 2021 to qualify.
Thank you for the support! I hope you enjoy my story about a real-life youth resistance group in World War II Germany, and about the power of thinking for yourself in the fight against hatred.