ASTOR PLACE VINTAGE by Stephanie Lehmann

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*PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY calls ASTOR PLACE VINTAGE “enchanting” in a starred review.


*ASTOR PLACE VINTAGE is on the KIRKUS REVIEWS 2013 list of best novels for summer reading.


*LIBRARY JOURNAL names ASTOR PLACE VINTAGE as a best novel for 2013.


“Insightful, charming, and wholly entertaining.” — Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner




Recent Blog Posts

March 3, 2015 |

Love to Write? Love to go to Ireland?

I’ve posted some encourage for writers over at Ireland Writer Tours as a way to encourage you to come to Ireland for a writing workshop taught by “yours truly” and historical fiction author Stephanie Cowell. You “shore” will like it, so I encourage you to “sea” what it’s all...

September 3, 2014 |

Writing for the Web Class Starting this Fall

Writing for the Web I’m teaching a brand new class at THE WRITER’S VOICE on 63rd Street and CPW, at the West Side Y in Manhattan. These days almost everyone’s first destination for reading is the web, but there is a boundless amount of content competing for eyeballs. Whether you’re trying to entertain, make a point, or just update the world on your life, capturing the attention of readers can be a challenge. With a focus on the short essay form, this class will help you develop skills to create concise, informative and compelling writing to send out into the digital universe. Maximum enrollment is 15 students. No pre-registration requirement. Open to writers of...

August 25, 2014 |

Have you worn your bathing suit this summer?

In the history of bathing suit fashion, achieving the right balance of modesty, material, and motion has been a major challenge. Not to mention sex appeal.   Maybe you’d prefer one of these styles from the past…   Many of us without “perfect bodies” have experienced some degree of anxiety while parading — or should I say skulking — from the relative safety of lying on a beach blanket to the exposure one must endure while entering the water. Some of us might go for this crinoline bathing suit style depicted in a cartoon from 1865.   Back in the 18th century, bathing suits were meant more for wading than actual swimming. A woman...

August 14, 2014 |

Department Store Mannequins, L. Frank Baum, and Automatonophobia, of course

Six things (or more – but who’s counting) about the history of department store MANNEQUINS that everyone needs to know   1. The Dutch word mannekijn, which meant “little man,” evolved to mannequin in France, where it first referred to an artist’s jointed model. By the 1800s, shops in Paris used full-size mannequins made of wicker or paper mache to display clothing. 2. Around the turn of the 20th century, the first department stores in the United States used mannequins made of wax. When sun hit the store windows they had an unfortunate tendency to melt. 3. A living human being could also be called a “mannequin” if her job was to model clothing...

April 14, 2014 |

Five Things M.J. Rose Didn’t Know She Needed to Know Before Writing THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS

My guest author today is M.J. Rose! Her brand new novel The Collector of Dying Breaths crisscrosses between 16th Century Italy and France and present-day France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit chateaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind. A lush and imaginative novel about a perfumer and a mythologist searching for the fine line between potion and poison, poison and passion…and past and present.         Here’s a collection of five things that M.J. found out she needed to know as she traveled the path of writing her novel. (Click on the question to reveal the...

April 1, 2014 |

Five Things Renee Rosen Didn’t Know She Needed To Know Before Writing DOLLFACE

Today author guest Renee Rosen tells us about her learning curve while writing DOLLFACE, which takes place in Chicago during the 1920s. Vera Abramowitz is determined to leave her gritty childhood behind and live a more exciting life. Bobbing her hair and showing her knees, the lipsticked beauty dazzles, doing the Charleston in nightclubs and earning the nickname “Dollface.” When Vera captures the attention of two high rollers — a handsome nightclub owner and a sexy gambler — she thinks her biggest problem is choosing between them, until the truth comes out. Her two lovers are really mobsters from rival gangs during Chicago’s infamous Beer Wars, a battle Al Capone refuses to lose. Men...

March 24, 2014 |

Five Things Heather Webb Didn’t Know She Needed to Know Before Writing Her Novel BECOMING JOSEPHINE

This week, Heather Webb visits my blog to divulge five things she didn’t know before writing BECOMING JOSEPHINE, which takes place in Paris during the 18th Century. BECOMING JOSEPHINE is the story of Rose Tascher, who sails from her Martinique plantation to Paris to trade her Creole black magic culture for love and adventure. She arrives exultant to follow her dreams of attending Court with Alexandre, her elegant aristocrat and soldier husband. But Alexandre dashes her hopes and abandons her amid the tumult of the French Revolution. Through her savoir faire, Rose secures her footing in high society, reveling in handsome men and glitzy balls—until the heads of her friends begin to roll. After...

March 19, 2014 |

Feminine Hygiene Products — Stephanie’s Maxi-history (Part 3)

How the Boll Weevil and World War I led to the Acceptance of Disposable Sanitary Pads. Continued from Part 2 — Stephanie’s Mini-history of Feminine Hygiene Products   Early attempts to market disposable sanitary napkins failed, and most companies gave up on the product. The vast majority of women went on using homemade pads — usually cotton wrapped in cheesecloth — just as their mothers had, and their mothers before them.   Thank God for the Boll Weevil Meanwhile, an infestation of the boll weevil was devastating southeastern cotton farming. This led to steep increases in cotton prices. (This is definitely an example of “nature works in mysterious ways.”) Kimberly-Clark, which was then in...