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
I'm excited to share that the ebook of BECOMING BONNIE is currently on sale for only $1.99 through the month of April!
Download now from:
Or wherever you purchase your ebooks!
One of the really interesting aspects of writing BECOMING BONNIE was how both Bonnie and Clyde were musically inclined. Clyde played both the guitar and the saxophone (the later found in the back of the car they were killed in.) And, Bonnie was a singer, having sung in her church's choir.
Bonnie was also known for her poetry. So taking into account their musical abilities and Bonnie's love of words, I thought it'd be really fun to include an original song in the novel, where Bonnie and Clyde write each verse as their story together grows and unravels.
And, here's the scene where I began their song 🎶
Clyde’s head tilts down, and he looks up at me from under his lashes. “I started this here song a while ago, but she ain’t done,” he says. “Was hoping you’d help me finish her.”
His fingertips slide down the strings once, letting the soft sound vibrate ’round us. “You’ll see.”
He goes back for more, a dark melody forming with each stroke, and moistens his lips. Clyde says, more than sings, “Death is a five-letter word, with a five- finger clutch.” His head stays down, his jaw relaxed, eyes closed. “It cornered him, pitting him against the bigger man . . . By the throat, edging closer, nearing Death’s final touch.”
The rhythm quickens, the beat an unexpected surprise.
“Then there she was, light in the dark, defying Death’s plan . . . She stared it down, held on tight, fired off a shot all her own . . . Ohh”—he draws out the word, as if taunting Death—“Oh, oh, oh, death for the boy has been postponed.”
Clyde’s fingers shift to a higher pitch on the guitar. He smirks and sings from the corner of his mouth, “’Cause lean closer, listen close . . . How the story ends, no one knows . . . But one thing’s clear, you’ll see . . . Bonnie and Clyde, meant to be, alive and free.”
That last line, that last note hangs between us.
I forget how to breathe.
“That’s all I got for now,” Clyde says softly. “Thought maybe we could do the next verse together.”
“Together?” I wring my hands, staring into the eyes of Clyde Barrow, the criminal, the charmer, the . . . boy who wrote me a doggone song to show me how he cares.
“Yeah, Bonnie. You and me. What do you say?”
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt and I hope you'll download your copy of BECOMING BONNIE now -- for only $1.99!
Today's the day! SIDE BY SIDE releases in hardcover, e=book, and audiobook! If you already preordered, then I'm sending you a huge, virtual tackle hug. If you're purchasing today, you also get a tackle hug!
Thank you, thank you for all your support leading up to this day! Enjoy SIDE BY SIDE!
BECOMING BONNIE—the story of Bonnie before Clyde—is now available in paperback, joining the hardcover, ebook, and audio options!
I'm so excited to share that for the eBook of my debut novel BECOMING BONNIE—the fictional story of Bonnie before Clyde—is on sale for only $2.99!
This is the very first time the eBook's been discounted, so if you don't own a copy yet, I hope you'll snag a copy and step into the 1920s with Bonn and me.
Purchase the BECOMING BONNIE eBook at your local bookstore's website or at any online retailer, including:
No eReader? Read BECOMING BONNIE on your Phone, Computer, or Tablet!
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble make it easy to read eBooks, even if you don't have an eReader. Simply, download a free app for your phone, computer, or tablet.
Get a free Kindle reading app, then get BECOMING BONNIE on Amazon.com
Get a free Nook reading app, then get BECOMING BONNIE on B&N.com
Praise for BECOMING BONNIE
"Walsh's rollicking narrative will have readers rooting for Bonnelyn-turned-Bonnie every (dance) step of the way." - Shelf Awareness
"A compelling account of a nation and a life in disarray—readers will feel for Bonnelyn as she finds herself scrabbling for survival in a world turned upside down." - Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author
"An intriguing insight into the life of one half of the infamous duo, Bonnie and Clyde." - Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author
"Booze-soaked, southern-fried, and fully immersive, BECOMING BONNIE is a rocking good read." - Heather Webb, bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris
After you read, I'd love to hear what you think, too. Thank you and happy reading!
CLOSED. THANK YOU FOR THE PREORDERS AND REQUESTS!
SIDE BY SIDE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!
Side by Side—the story of America’s most infamous crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde told in the raw and honest voice of the woman who lived it, Bonnie Parker—is releasing June 5, 2018 in hardcover and eBook!
Preorders are super important and can help an author a great deal. I'd love to continue writing books!
To show my appreciation, everyone—within the US and CA—who preorders a copy and/or requests for their library to purchase a copy will receive a 'Thank You' autographed bookplate, a bookmark, and his/her tattoos (while supplies last)!
And, one lucky winner (US and CA) will also receive a grand prize of the following 'Bonnie and Clyde' goodies.
That's a tee shirt (you'll pick the size), Bonnie and Clyde wine glasses, custom Bonnie and Clyde magnetic bookmarks (courtesy of Kathy from A Glass of Wine), and a 15oz BONN mug, featuring an iconic photo of the duo.
To claim your complimentary gifts, and also enter into the grand prize drawing, complete the steps below!
Complete and submit the form below to receive your 'Thank You' gift pack (US and CA only, while supplies last).
Step Three (Optional)
Enter into the grand prize drawing (US and CA only) through the Rafflecopter widget below. You'll get entries for preordering and/or requesting, along with additional entries for sharing via social media.
Thank you for your support, and good luck!
The time has come... for my very first giveaway of advance copies of Side by Side, which releases officially on June 5, 2018!
Side by Side is the story of America’s most infamous crime spree told in the raw and honest voice of the woman who lived it, Bonnie Parker.
Technically, Side by Side is Book 2 in the "Bonnie" series, but even if you haven't read Book 1, Becoming Bonnie, you can still read Side by Side. This baby stands alone! Though, I'd love for you to also read Becoming Bonnie ;)
Enter through Goodreads by clicking below, and good luck!
It's always so exciting to see your book baby get a face and I'm so excited to share the cover of Side by Side!
The cover and title is inspired by Bonnie Parker's own words, from her poem The Trail's End.
Someday they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it’ll be grief
To the law a relief
But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.
And without further ado... the cover!!
And in more exciting news, the forthcoming paperback edition of Becoming Bonnie got a facelift to match!
What ya think? Beauties, right?
Both are available for preorder here, with Side by Side releasing June 5, 2018 and the paperback of Becoming Bonnie coming May 8, 2018!
A Little About Me
This'll be my third year mentoring, and I'm so excited to get this party started. I'm a mama of two and a book mama of one, with three on the way. I'm published with Macmillan, under their Tor/Forge imprint. My novel, Becoming Bonnie, is the coming-of-age origin story of how wholesome Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. Next year, the companion novel Side by Side will be hitting shelves, telling the duo's crime spree story. I'll also be beginning a narrative nonfiction series, called She Dared, with Scholastic for middle graders. As a mentor, I believe I can bring some experience to the table as far as working with editors and publishers, along with agents. I am repped by Stacey Glick of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.
Also, if you want to get an idea of how I became agented and received my offer of publication, I wrote about it over on Writer's Digest (as you'll see, I'm a real believer in Pitch Wars). I'd also love for you to get an idea of my writing style. If you hop on over to Amazon and click "Look Inside" on the cover, you can preview the first chapter or so.
What I'm Looking For
This year for PItch Wars, I'm narrowing my wish list considerably. I'm looking for... adult historical fiction. That's it. If you've got it, I want to see it.
For me, any era will do. I'm down with various subgenres: women's fiction, mystery, thriller, fantasy, literary. Male or female protagonists. Past or present. First or third POV. What will push your submission to the top of my consideration are these two factors:
1. An intriguing concept
Books that I get grabby hands over have a high-level concept (i.e. premises that are easily explained) that I simply have no choice but to see how the author brought it to life. Here's a few examples of books that recently had me itching to read.
2. Great technical writing
I don't need your manuscript to be perfect, but I'd like to know you put in the time to prepare for Pitch Wars. That shows me you're ready to work. Your solid writing skills will also give me confidence that you'll be able to expertly implement feedback. My friend Google has tons of checklists/tips for ways to tighten and improve technical writing, so I'd recommend giving those a gander before the submission window opens.
Basically, dangle your killer concept and your awesome writing skills in my face, and, if chosen as my mentee, together we can work through any plot-related and character-related improvements.
What questions do ya have for me? Don't be shy, just give me a shout @jennilwalsh or leave me a comment!
Disclaimer: I know this is vague, but my interests in historical fiction are vast. I literally choose books by covers (which you obviously don't have yet) and a great premise. What keeps me turning the page is great writing (hence my two points above).
Also, please consider donating while applying. I won't see a penny of it (nor should I; I'm contributing my time/energy to an awesome cause: your career). Likewise, Brenda and her admins won't profit from your donation. Your hard-earned money will go toward offsetting the high financial and time-related costs of running this amazing contest.
To check out the other Adult/NA mentors--because you get to submit to four of us (plus two additional mentors if you donate)--keep hopping:
Thank you to Shelf Awareness for the kind words and review of Becoming Bonnie!
Jenni L. Walsh imagines the story of the quintessential good girl turned gangster's moll in her debut novel, Becoming Bonnie. Bonnelyn Parker has always been a straight-A student and a straight-arrow girl. Since her daddy died, she's toiled extra hard to help her mama around the house while working nights and weekends at a local diner. But times are tight in Prohibition-era Dallas, and when Bonnelyn loses her diner job, she's not sure how her family will make ends meet. Her rebellious best friend Blanche drags her along to Doc's, a local speakeasy that might have jobs for them both, and Bonnelyn starts down a different path--one that will change both her life and name.
See the review on Shelf Awareness here.