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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel


Apr 13, 2021

Pre-Order The Limits of Limelight

 


April 13 is the birthday of Helen Maurine Brown Nichols, who became known as Hollywood actress Phyllis Fraser, first cousin and best friend of Ginger Rogers. There's no better day to announce the start of pre-ordering of my novel about Phyllis, which also features Ginger, and Ginger's mother Lela Rogers, and other notables of Golden Age Hollywood and literary New York.

      Pretty Oklahoma teenager Helen Nichols accepts an invitation from her cousin, rising movie actress Ginger Rogers, and her Aunt Lela, to try her luck in motion pictures. Her relatives, convinced that her looks and personality will ensure success, provide her with a new name and help her land a contract with RKO. As Phyllis Fraser, she swiftly discovers that Depression-era Hollywood’s surface glamor and glitter obscure the ceaseless struggle of the hopeful starlet.
      Lela Rogers, intensely devoted to her daughter and her niece, outwardly accepting of her stage mother label, is nonetheless determined to establish her reputation as screenwriter, stage director, and studio talent scout. For Phyllis, she’s an inspiring model of grit and persistence in an industry run by men.
look       While Ginger soars to the heights of stardom in musicals with Fred Astaire, Phyllis is tempted by a career more fulfilling than the one she was thrust into. Should she continue working in films, or devote herself to the profession she’s dreamed about since childhood? Which choice might lead her to the lasting love that seems so elusive?
"An engrossing glimpse into a bygone era and the forces affecting a young woman's evolution into her own abilities and adulthood . . . vigorous and involving to the end." ~ Midwest Book Review

"Based on a true story . . . A witty and meticulously researched treat." ~ Kirkus Reviews

"A biographical novel as bright as the Golden Era . . . A lovely tribute to the larger-than-life celebrities of early Hollywood . . . a glitz and glamour novel that shines brighter the deeper you go." ~ Independent Book Review

"A time capsule of Hollywood's Golden Era . . . a captivating novel of Tinsel Town's perils and pitfalls, trade-offs and triumphs!" ~ Leslie Carroll, author of American Princess

"Porter's elegant, warm and well-researched novel is a joy to read! Perfect for lovers of historical fiction and tales of remarkable women. 5 of 5 Stars." ~ Literary Redhead, Goodreads

Photos of Phyllis, today's birthday girl, with her Cousin Ginger.