Today I’m proud to bring to you the book Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran! I love anything historical, and as much as I blab on about fantasy and horror, I will admit that I have a romantic side to me, so I appreciate all sorts of titles, especially if they feature interesting female leads. Jan has agreed to answer some intriguing questions for us, but first let’s take a look at the book, itself.
Scent of Triumph is the story of Danielle Bretancourt, a talented young French perfumer with a flair for fashion and a natural olfactory gift. In the language of perfumery, she is a Nose, with the rare ability to recognize thousands of essences by memory. The story opens on the day England declares war on Germany, and Danielle and her family are caught in the midst of a raging disaster sweeping across Europe.
Her life takes a tragic turn when her husband and son are lost behind enemy lines. She spies for the French resistance, determined to find them, but is forced to flee Europe with fragments of her family. Destitute, she mines her talents to create a magnificent perfume that captures the hearts of Hollywood’s top stars, then gambles again to win wealth and success as a couturier. Her intelligence and flair attracts the adoration of Jonathan Newell-Grey, of England’s top shipping conglomerate, and Cameron Murphy, Hollywood’s most charismatic star.
Danielle charts her course through devastating wartime losses and revenge; lustful lovers and loveless marriages; and valiant struggles to reunite her family. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, here is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.
And now here are some fun Q&A’s with Jan so we can all get to know her!
Why did you want to become a writer?
As a child, I was an avid reader. Writers were my rock stars! Books were my passport to exotic locales and fascinating characters.
What are some of your favorite locales, objects, or activities that a reader might find in your books?
I often include my favorite locales. Paris, New York, Grasse, London, Hong Kong, and California are among my favorite places that I like to write about, and perfumery and fashion are twin passions. I’m also a strong advocate of the entrepreneurial path, especially for women.
Who are your favorite authors and books?
A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford was an early inspiration. Also love Shanghai Girls by Lisa See and The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory. And who can forget Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, or War and Peace—the best Russian soap opera ever!
Is there a message you want readers to take from your books?
Hope, triumph over adversity, appreciation of other cultures, belief in your own abilities.
What inspires your writing?
Travel always inspires me—I love to explore new cities, countries, and cultures that I can share with readers. Strong female protagonists and entrepreneurs who forge their own paths to success are also a source of inspiration. Finally, I like to learn something fascinating along the way, about history, unusual careers, or interesting people.
When did your love of perfumery first begin?
My love of perfumery was seeded by my mother and grandmother, who never left the house without perfume and lipstick. Fortunately, they had excellent taste and were generous with their knowledge.
What’s your advice for authors just starting out?
Just begin! The journey begins with one step, or in this case, one paragraph or page. Then, edit and revise until you just can’t stand it anymore. Be sure to seek professional help for editing.
Any hidden talents you’d like to share with readers?
Besides a really good nose? Well, once upon a time I was a ballerina, but now I’m quite good at reading financial statements, too. I’ve also worked with PR firms representing brands to the media. And I’ve started several companies.
Are your character based on real people? Or imaginary people?
All of my imaginary characters are jostling for headspace and attention—it’s unbelievable! But seriously, there are many real stories of entrepreneurs and survivors that served as inspiration, too. And remember, no one is safe around a writer!
When did you begin writing?
My first volume of poetry: fourth grade. My first novel: seventh grade. Both are, thankfully, forgotten! The ULCA Writer’s Program in Los Angeles was my next stop along the writer’s route. The RWA (Romance Writer’s of America) is also an excellent organization for learning and support.
Can you tell us something about yourself that people might not know?
A lot of people might know that I’ve written earlier nonfiction books on fragrances, Fabulous Fragrances I & II, which grew into the immensely popular Scentsa touch-screen fragrance and skincare finders in Sephora stores around the world, but not many people know that I’ve also guided the creative effort on a fine perfume, and blended several artisan scents. These incredible experiences helped me breathe life into the character of Danielle Bretancourt, a French perfumer, in Scent of Triumph.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, Scent of Triumph is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.
Please tell us a little about your book.
Why is it a must-read?
Scent of Triumph is a character-driven story set against a tumultuous time of history—World War II. The protagonist, Danielle Bretancourt, is the kind of modern young woman that you really want to know, and, despite her mistakes, that you can root for. She’s a hard worker, cherishes her family, and longs for a partner. She’s wonderfully creative and has a sense of innate sense of style—even I envy her for that!
What was the inspiration behind Scent of Triumph?
Scent of Triumph was initially inspired by my love of perfumery, but the main character quickly took charge and began building a business, despite her many setbacks. I was inspired by female entrepreneurs from the early part of the twentieth century, such as Elizabeth Arden, Coco Chanel, Madame Gres, Nina Ricci, Estee Lauder, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others in the beauty and fashion industries. Family is also vitally important in this story; Danielle’s love and devotion to her children is really the root of her ambition, as it is with many female entrepreneurs who wish to create a better life for themselves and their children. She is an ordinary woman, who achieves extraordinary things. Like any one of us can.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Scent of Triumph is a highly emotional story. Readers tell me they get emotionally invested in the main character, Danielle. They pull for her success, they cry with her during her periods of grief, and they fall in love with her lovers
Sounds downright intriguing, doesn’t it? Well tune in later today, because Jan is going to join us again for a special guest post!
Jan Moran writes smart, stylish, sensual sagas. She’s also written several books on perfume.
“My most recent book, SCENT OF TRIUMPH, was inspired by my love of perfumery and history. In writing, I drew upon my own family history and my mother’s memories of World War II, imagining a young entrepreneur whose talent, determination, and fearlessness catapult her to the pinnacle of success, despite mounting personal tragedies and the elusiveness of love.
“I write about strong, capable, female entrepreneurs. I’m a world traveler, so I also enjoy writing about different destinations.”
Jan Moran is the author of SCENT OF TRIUMPH, a historical novel, and FABULOUS FRAGRANCES I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list. She is at work on more series in fiction and nonfiction.
As a fragrance and beauty expert, she has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN and Extra, Women’s Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. As an editor and writer, she has covered fragrance, beauty, and spa travel for a variety of publications.
There’s also a tour-wide giveaway to get in on, so be sure to check out the RAFFLECOPTER!