Friday, April 3, 2015

Blog Tour Q&A with Jan Moran, Author of Scent of Triumph

Please join author Jan Moran as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for Scent of Triumph: A Novel of Perfume and Passion, from April 1-17. Jan is here today with a Q&A and she's got an autographed copy up for grabs!

Publication Date: March 31, 2015
St. Martin's Griffin
Formats: eBook, Paperback
384 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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When French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for her the remains of her family, relying on the strength and support of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a young captain. Finally, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles. 

Through determination and talent, she rises high from meager jobs in her quest for success as a perfumer and fashion designer to Hollywood elite. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, Scent of Triumph is one woman's story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

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, Italy, 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.

What’s your favorite part of the book?

I have a special place in my heart for Danielle’s perfumery journal, which gave me deeper insights into her character, and allowed me to share her interpretation of her work and world events. Each entry appears at the beginning of a chapter, and relates to flowers or perfumery ingredients in that particular chapter, or current events in her world.

For example, the entry for the first chapter is: A rose, the symbol of love, the queen of the perfumer’s palette. How then, does the perfume of war intoxicate even the most reasonable of men? Roses are a recurring symbol throughout the book, along with other flowers, such as iris and jasmine, which are all important to the perfumer. The story opens on the days that England and France declare war on Nazi Germany in response to the invasion of Poland.

Other favorite quotes include:

·         Perfume is my memory, the chronicle of my life.
·         Deep within the stench of despair blooms the perfume of hope.
·         Sandalwood, a stalwart of the perfumer’s palette. Impervious to termites, matured more than thirty years. A superb fixative, an anchor. Stable, rich, smooth. Important qualities—desirable in men as well.
·         The orchid, queen of exoticism, a mute observer slow to reveal the mysteries of her petals. Would that I had such patience, too.

Who are your favorite authors and books?

Favorite authors include: Kristin Hannah, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Jennifer Crusie, Anita Hughes, Michelle Gable, Barbara Delinsky, Elizabeth Adler, Tatiana de Rosney, and Gerard Macdonald. A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford was an early inspiration, and I adore A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable. I love Shanghai Girls and others by Lisa See and The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory. And who can forget Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, or War and Peace. There’s nothing like a smart, strong-willed heroine. For historical fiction, I also adore Allegra Jordan and Allison Pataki, and for modern series fiction, Melissa Foster and Rebecca Forster are excellent.

Barbara Taylor Bradford writes with elegance and a designer’s eye for detail; Lisa See paints vivid portraits of time and place; Philippa Gregory enchants with historical details. And all of them portray strong, accomplished women.

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. My last company, Scentsa, was sold to Sephora, and shoppers can still use the touch-screens I designed for perfumery and skincare.

Are your character based on real people? Or imaginary people?

All of my imaginary characters are jostling for headspace and attention. But there are many real stories of entrepreneurs and survivors that serve 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 UCLA Writers Program in Los Angeles was my next stop along the writing route. The RWA (Romance Writers of America) is also an excellent organization for learning and support.

What are you working on now?

Several fiction and nonfiction projects. I have a couple of new novels underway, which will take readers to fabulous international locations and delve into sexy new stories. I’ll make announcements on my website, blog, Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned on, where I’ll post previews. Better yet, sign up for my newsletter to learn about new books and enter to win Advance Reader Copies and autographed books.

If you could tell your readers anything, what would it be?

Never give up!

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.

Are there any modern women who inspire your work?

In writing SCENT OF TRIUMPH I was inspired by forward-thinking women entrepreneurs of the twentieth century in beauty and fashion, including Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Nina Ricci, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Madame Carven, and Mary Kay. These smart, gutsy, entrepreneurial women lived cinematic lives steeped in creative endeavors, along with their share of drama. There are also many modern day female entrepreneurs in today’s beauty and fashion industry—think Jo Malone and Bobbi Brown—and thousands of others who support themselves and their families through their efforts and creativity.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Creating a world where anything can happen…

What’s your favorite genre?

I read across genres, but contemporary and historical fiction, epic sagas, mysteries, and biographies are among my favorites.

 What’s your favorite place?

So many! Paris, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, London, Sydney, Mammoth Lakes, New Zealand… But I love living in Southern California, and I’m a native Texan (Austin).

What’s your favorite color?

Has to be RED!

Anything you would like to say to your readers?

I hope everyone enjoys SCENT OF TRIUMPH, and I really love to hear from readers. You can always reach me at

Praise for Scent of Triumph

"SCENT OF TRIUMPH [is a] World War II epic." -Los Angeles Times

"Though romance figures importantly in [SCENT OF TRIUMPH], Danielle's professional life is most appealing, profiting from perfume expert Moran's (Fabulous Fragrances, 1994, etc.) authentic experience...The casual demeanor with which Danielle always notices scents in her environment helps establish her character and professional credibility in a charming way...Danielle makes for a strong, unusual heroine who doesn't always make wise decisions, although her resilience, style and knowledge remain admirable.... [A] historical fiction carried by a complex, resourceful heroine with a nose for business." -Kirkus Reviews

“Warm and well written, with characters who attract the reader’s sympathy and affection. A lovely story well-told, which will appeal to romantics, fashion and perfume devotees, and fans of historical fiction.” -Amy Edelman, founder of

Buy Scent of Triumph

Apple iBookstore
Barnes & Noble

About the Author

03_Jan MoranJan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award winning author. She writes historical women's fiction for St. Martin's Press, contemporary women's fiction, and nonfiction books. Her stories are smart and stylish, and written with emotional depth. Jan often draws on her international travel and business experiences, infusing her books with realistic details. The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful.

Jan has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, 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 such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Costco Connection, and Porthole Cruise.

A perfume and beauty industry expert, she is the creator of Scentsa, a touch screen fragrance finder in Sephora stores.

From Jan: "I love smart and fierce female protagonists. I hope you enjoy these books, and if you'd like to Skype me into your book club meeting, simply send me a message!"

For more information and to sign up for Jan Moran's newsletter visit her official website. Jan blogs at Jan Moran Writes. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, and LinkedIn.

Special Offer from Jan Moran!

Jan Moran is running a special incentive on her website for a free digital ebook of her new non-fiction book, Vintage Perfumes, to everyone who purchases Scent of Triumph from March 31 to April 30! All you have to do is email your receipt to Jan Moran at, along with a photo of yourself with the Scent of Triumph book, eBook, or your tablet.

Vintage Perfumes Cover

Scent of Triumph Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 1
Interview & Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight & Excerpt at Genre Queen

Friday, April 3
Review & Excerpt at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Monday, April 6
Guest Post at The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, April 7
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, April 8
Excerpt at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, April 9
Review at The Eclectic Reader

Tuesday, April 14
Interview at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 16
Guest Post at Book Nerd

Friday, April 17
Review at The Lit Bitch
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf
Interview at Reading Lark


To enter to win a signed copy of Scent of Triumph, please complete the giveaway form below.

RULES: Giveaway starts on April 1st at 12:01am EST and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 17th. Giveaway is open to residents in the US only and you must be 18 or older to enter. Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 18th and notified via email. Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Please email Amy @ with any questions.

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  1. Great interview, Jenny! A very interesting writer.

  2. Interesting interview. And the book sounds wonderful. Thanks for the giveawaw.

  3. Great interview. She's such an accomplished lady. I definitely look forward to reading Scent Of Triumph. Thank you for the giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. WOW!!
    ok, now I so need to read this book......


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