The best vintage fashion, passion & dance reads

Who am I?

I write cross-genre fiction with a pen in one hand and a vintage cocktail in the other, filling the romantic void, writing novels when my husband deployed. When in port, we taught swing dancing and have been avid collectors of vintage sewing patterns, retro clothing, and antiques. All of which make appearances in my stories. I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal and have had some unexplained experiences, some of those made their way into my stories as well. I live in a 1908 home in Texas that may or may not be haunted. I have book reviews, vintage lifestyle tips, recipes, interviews, giveaways, and games on my site!


I wrote...

The Flapper Affair: A 1920s Time Travel Murder Mystery Paranormal Romance

By Tam Francis,

Book cover of The Flapper Affair: A 1920s Time Travel Murder Mystery Paranormal Romance

What is my book about?

Fashion, Passion, Hot Jazz & Murder: Meet Eduard Hall, an odd young man who just happens to fall in love with Mia Waverly, a beautiful ghost from the famous Waverly family, brutally murdered seventy years ago. Though her body was never found. With time running out and through extraordinary forces, they travel back in time to the night of the murders, setting off a chain of events that will change everything. If they can solve the mystery, they may save her and her family, but lose each other forever.

The Flapper Affair is the story of two young lovers crossed by time, space, and an unsolved murder.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Secret Lives of Dresses

Tam Francis Why did I love this book?

The vintage fashion descriptions are killer diller with little mini-stories about each dress featured that evoke nostalgia and often melancholy. The mini-stories were sweet, delightful vignettes that reminded me of the way I think of my vintage clothing. They were beautifully written and I loved them all but most noticeably, I loved the story about the wartime mother splashing in puddles with her children. Dora’s character was likable and believable and I rooted for her. The supporting characters were perfectly quirky and delightfully despicable. Plus there is a nice romantic element with a fun love-triangle with wonderful supporting characters.

By Erin McKean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Lives of Dresses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Every dress has a story.
Let me tell you mine...'

Dora is in love with a man who barely notices her, has a job she doesn't care about, and dresses entirely for comfort, not style. All a far cry from her vivid, eccentric childhood, growing up with her beloved grandmother Mimi.

However, when disaster strikes, Dora knows she has no choice but to return to her childhood home and take over running Mimi's vintage clothing shop. And there she makes a surprising discovery - Mimi's been writing stories to accompany every dress she sells. Romantic, heartbreaking tales about each one's…


Book cover of The Traveling Show

Tam Francis Why did I love this book?

I adored the alternative history post-apocalyptic/post-WWII, dark setting that had a subtle steampunk edge. The coming-of-age romance aspect was delightful and just the right amount of steam for young adults (though this adult wanted more). I fell in love with Rene and Amandine and the compelling, loveable, vivid unique supporting characters as well in Threadbare. DeMers knowledge of fabric, sewing, and fashion was evident in the writing. Threadbare, had great suspense and tension building with several wonderful twists, one I saw coming, the other surprised me in a delightful way. Overall, Threadbare had wonderful, creative, original characters and names like Tall-me, Glorious Halloway, Thatch, and Nieuwestad, plus the fun use of slang like cooking with gas, ducky shin-crackers, and more.

By Alexandra DeMers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Traveling Show as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How do you piece your life together when the world is falling apart at the seams?

It’s 1945. The New American Republic may have beaten their enemies overseas, but the dark echoes of the Great Depression still linger on.

Times are hard, but Amandine Stewart refuses to give up hope. With her father killed in action and her mother imprisoned in the faraway city of Nieuwestad, Amandine embarks on a dangerous journey to reunite what’s left of her family. Along the way, her sunny disposition and gift for sewing lands her a job with a traveling band of performers who…


Book cover of Swing

Tam Francis Why did I love this book?

The characters really stand out. Trey is easy to love and you root for him right away with plenty of dance scenes that put swing dance center stage. Backen makes use of era music, citing big bands with a good amount of vintage fashion description, shoes, too! Although I guessed at most of the plot points, I love having my suspicions confirmed. Still, there were some nice twists along the way. I loved the soda shop setting and the barn, both exuding their own romance. Last but not least, I loved that the MC wasn’t the stereotypical hunk (short guys are the best to dance with–trust me).

By Lindsey Renee Backen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Swing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Orphaned and the only caretaker for his crippled brother, Trey Cunningham works at the local soda shop after school. Though he’s the best dancer in town, a delayed growth spurt and the local bullies obliterate all chances of finding a girlfriend. When another orphan arrives in Graceland, she seems the perfect partner—if she was allowed to dance. But the girl of his dreams hides secrets far more dangerous than forbidden dance lessons.


Book cover of What I Saw and How I Lied

Tam Francis Why did I love this book?

Set in post-WWII with wartime flashbacks to an earlier time, Blundell uses music, dance, and fashion to capture the mood and atmosphere of the era. Her descriptions of the fashions had me drooling and wanting to run to the nearest vintage shop to buy a new dress. Blundell’s use of language, imagery, and metaphor worked well and often flirted with brilliance. She captured the dichotomy of having one foot in childhood and the other in adulthood with compelling plot twists, intertwining the complex mother and the daughter relationship from the perspective of a young woman. The romance aspect was realistic and dangerous with the character of Peter exactly what every parent fears for their budding daughter and what so many naive girls think they want.

By Judy Blundell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What I Saw and How I Lied as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.


Book cover of The Night Tiger

Tam Francis Why did I love this book?

I was fascinated with the depiction of the 1930s Malaysian dance halls steeped in music, fashion, and dance. As a writer who dabbles in the paranormal, the cultural spirits and supernatural elements were intriguing. The split narrative appealed to me since my Jitterbug Dress series is a dual narrative set in the 1940s and 1990s. The author also set the narrative apart by telling the story in different tenses and POVs (Ren and William’s story is in third person past, while Ji Lin’s story is first person, present). Choo did a great job of juxtaposing the beast or wild animal inside each person, where the line of who we are inside and what we present to society is drawn all while creating tension and suspense, keeping me guessing on how all these narratives intertwine. 

By Yangsze Choo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Night Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | REESE BOOK CLUB PICK | BBC BIG JUBILEE BETWEEN THE COVERS READ

'It reminds me of Where the Crawdads Sing . . . it's an amazing book' Rhys Stephenson on BBC's Between the Covers

'You won't be able to put this one down!' Reese Witherspoon

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk among us...

In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a…


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Oaky With a Hint of Murder

By Dawn Brotherton,

Book cover of Oaky With a Hint of Murder

Dawn Brotherton

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Aury and Scott travel to the Finger Lakes in New York’s wine country to get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings at the Songscape Winery. Disturbed furniture and curious noises are one thing, but when a customer winds up dead, it’s time to dig into the details and see what ferments.

Is there any truth to the Native American legends that cluster near Seneca Lake? Is the warrior’s disapproval of wineries growing legs? Aury will need to pour over the clues to unearth the mystery before the winery’s reputation is crushed. With the annual wine festival just around the corner, Aury harvests more than she bargained for when the killer tries to bottle her up for good.

Oaky With a Hint of Murder

By Dawn Brotherton,

What is this book about?

Aury and Scott travel to the Finger Lakes in New York's wine country to get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings at the Songscape Winery. Disturbed furniture and curious noises are one thing, but when a customer winds up dead, it's time to dig into the details and see what ferments.


Is there any truth to the Native American legends that cluster near Seneca Lake? Is the warrior's disapproval of wineries growing legs?


Aury will need to pour over the clues to unearth the mystery before the winery's reputation is crushed. With the annual wine festival just around the…


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