Madam: A Novel of New Orleans (Penguin/Plume)

 

Preorder Now or Available Everywhere February 25th!   

 

 

Advance Priase for Madam 

 

“If you are enthralled with New Orleans and the history of its fabled red light district, this is the book for you. The evocative characters lovingly created by Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin made me wish Storyville was resurrected and rollicking with harlots and madams today.”
— Patti LuPone , actress, singer, author
 
“Madam is a fascinating recreation of New Orleans at the end of the 19th century, when the churchgoing politicians and power-brokers of sin created Storyville. An absorbing peek into the hidden history of the city and her most famous madam.” 
—Loraine Despres, bestselling author of The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc
 
“Lynn and Martin tell the story of their protagonist’s rise to fame and fortune without piousness, sentimentality, or apology. Thorough research, convincing detail and true to life characters, makes this a spellbinder of a novel. The reader can almost smell the sweat of the johns and the fragrance of rose attar and shrimp gumbo. The characters’ words roll off their tongues like molasses in August.”
—Roberta Rich, author of The Midwife of Venice and The Harem Midwife
 
“Love the history they wouldn’t teach you in school? Then open up Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin’s MADAM. It’s a gritty, well-researched story of how Storyville, the largest legal red light district in the United States came into being.”
—Lois Battle, bestselling author of Storyville and War Brides

 

“I encourage you to accept this invitation to escape into the boudoirs and back alleys of 19th century New Orleans and leave behind our modern world for a spell. Kellie and Cari have vividly resurrected a world that most of us have never seen up close, and it’s quite a ride!”
— Danica McKellar , actress and 
 bestselling author 
 
“Madam delivers a world rich with details and visuals of a time and place long forgotten in our history. If you liked  Memoirs of a Geisha , you will love following Mary on her harrowing journey to become an infamous Madam in New Orleans red-light district.”
— Melissa Joan Hart , actress and author of Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life

“With brilliant immediate language and fascinating detail, Madam jelly-rolls us through a gritty 1897 New Orleans underworld, and allows us to cheer as a sweet young prostitute fights all odds to become one of its great madams.”
— Jennie Fields , author of The Age of Desire

“Madam is an utterly enjoyable and fascinating read!  It’s a story of a true underdog, Mary Deubler, who overcomes adversity while making history in New Orleans during the turn of the century. I found myself rooting for our protagonist  from the very first page.  Kudos to Mary and to Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin!”
— Ricki Lake, actress, host, producer
  
“An odyssey through the underworld and the spirit world of New Orleans, Madam is layered in rags and silks and voodoo visitations. This is a story of desperation turned inside out. Power holds court in back rooms and bedrooms but reaches its full potential in the heart and mind of a young prostitute whose prize possession is a pair of striped stockings she plucked from a rich woman’s trash. This book manages to wrap transformation in sensuality and historical detail, and set the whole thing to the sound of ragtime. Bien joué!”
—Rita Leganski, author of The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow
 
“As rich and evocative as New Orleans jazz, Cari Lynn and Kellie Martin evoke a time and place with tantalizing detail, transporting the reader to a world hidden not only by the past, but by the very society that created it.  Madam is a wonderful portrait of an indelible figure.” 
— DeLauné Michel, author of The Safety of Secrets

 

 

About Madam

 

Thirty city blocks of legalized prostitution, bordello after bordello.  An amusement park of debauchery.  It was unprecedented.  It was Storyville, New Orleans.

 

We follow the rise of young, scrappy Mary Deubler, an alley whore who uses her looks and gumption to morph herself into Madam Josie Arlington, one of the most successful, influential, and feared women of the time.  

 

Set in 1900, Madam is based on the true story of New Orleans's 20-year experiment with legalized prostitution that turned castaway, dirt-poor women and free women of color into celebrity madams with unprecedented power and wealth.

 

But Storyville was about more than just sex.  These whores-turned-madams flipped Southern aristocracy on its head: singlehandedly, they created the diverse cultural and music mecca that we know today as The Big Easy.

 

Behind the doors of Storyville's lavish bordellos, a teenaged Jelly Roll Morton got his first shot at playing the piano (his new sound would come to be known as jazz), while a little worker boy named Louie Armstrong peeked out from the kitchen.  Major legal and political deals were sealed in between carnival-esque debauchery.  Voodoo queens doled out potions and spells to change fates (and keep venereal disease at bay).  And every who's-who of Hollywood, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Europe came to frolic in Storyville.  

The Whistleblower (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011)
by Kathryn Bolkovac with Cari Lynn

When Nebraska police officer and divorced mother of three Kathryn Bolkovac saw a recruiting announcement for private military contractor DynCorp International, she applied and was hired. Good money, world travel, and the chance to help rebuild a war-torn country sounded like the perfect job. Bolkovac was shipped out to Bosnia, where DynCorp had been contracted to support the UN peacekeeping mission. She was assigned as a human rights investigator, heading the gender affairs unit. The lack of proper training provided sounded the first alarm bell, but once she arrived in Sarajevo, she found out that things were a lot worse. At great risk to her personal safety, she began to unravel the ugly truth about officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution and their connections to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. After bringing this evidence to light, Bolkovac was demoted, felt threatened with bodily harm, was fired, and ultimately forced to flee the country under cover of darkness—bringing the incriminating documents with her. Thanks to the evidence she collected, she won a lawsuit against DynCorp, finally exposing them for what they had done. This is her story and the story of the women she helped achieve justice for. Bolkovac’s story is also the subject of the film The Whistleblower, starring Rachel Weisz as Kathryn Bolkovac, which premiered in August 2011.

The Whistleblower (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011)
by Kathryn Bolkovac with Cari Lynn

When Nebraska police officer and divorced mother of three Kathryn Bolkovac saw a recruiting announcement for private military contractor DynCorp International, she applied and was hired. Good money, world travel, and the chance to help rebuild a war-torn country sounded like the perfect job. Bolkovac was shipped out to Bosnia, where DynCorp had been contracted to support the UN peacekeeping mission. She was assigned as a human rights investigator, heading the gender affairs unit. The lack of proper training provided sounded the first alarm bell, but once she arrived in Sarajevo, she found out that things were a lot worse. At great risk to her personal safety, she began to unravel the ugly truth about officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution and their connections to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. After bringing this evidence to light, Bolkovac was demoted, felt threatened with bodily harm, was fired, and ultimately forced to flee the country under cover of darkness—bringing the incriminating documents with her. Thanks to the evidence she collected, she won a lawsuit against DynCorp, finally exposing them for what they had done. This is her story and the story of the women she helped achieve justice for. Bolkovac’s story is also the subject of the film The Whistleblower, starring Rachel Weisz as Kathryn Bolkovac, which premiered in August 2011.

Praise for The Whistleblower

 
“Kathy is a remarkable woman who had the courage to tell the truth and stand up for the victims of sex trafficking, putting her own life on the line. I was deeply moved by her story and hope her voice will be heard, raising awareness about the tragic consequences of war.” Oscar-winning actress, Rachel Weisz
 
“Most galling is the sad truth that DynCorp answered to no law, nor to the military, the U.S., or the Bosnians…Infuriating and heartbreaking.” Booklist

“Bristles with disturbing details and heartfelt compassion.” Publishers Weekly
 
“Bolkovac and co-author Lynn successfully evoke the paranoid atmosphere of a suspense film…the authors shine a light on a neglected area of widespread human suffering…Along with the film adaptation, this book will hopefully draw attention to an underreported tragedy.” Kirkus
 
"We all have a stake in stopping this ongoing atrocity, not least because we're paying for it...." Ms Magazine
 
 
Leg the Spread (Random House, 2004)
by Cari Lynn

 

​In the Futures market, it’s all about minimizing risk and maximizing your wallet. Buying something gives you one leg—selling something gives you another—and if you’ve got two legs to stand on, that’s your spread. Anyone can make money by legging the spread, but if you’re a woman, you need something else: the presence, savvy, and stomach to run with the bulls and make your way in this ultimate boys club.

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (known in the financial world as “the Merc”) is the busiest Futures exchange in the world: a hair-raising, high-pressure den of iniquity with enough yelling, bullying, and mayhem to rattle even the toughest of hardball commodities traders. And if you’re a woman, the Merc can be the seventh circle of hell, given the sexual harassment, verbal vulgarity, and blatant condescension that comes with the turf. But that fact hasn’t stopped a handful of talented and determined women from crashing the frat party of the Merc and making millions while they’re at it.
 

When Cari Lynn first ventured onto the floor of the Merc in early 2000, she did so because she, like so many others, was riveted by the amount of money that could be made through trading with seemingly little effort. But she quickly discovered that only a handful of females have ever made it into the trading pits—a testosterone-saturated world where the men are often monsters and there’s no room for boys, let alone women.

Leg the Spread is the highly entertaining account of Lynn’s years as a clerk at the Merc, a job that taught her not only the cutthroat rules of engagement, but just how far both men and women will go when they stand to win or lose everything in the blink of an eye. From learning the fast-moving art of “arb”—the hand signals used to generate trades—to learning to shout over the roar of the pits, Leg the Spread follows Lynn as she discovers the rush of high-stakes moneymaking, and herself. Packed with jaw-dropping stories of bad behavior, good instincts, breathtaking greed, and heroic courage, Leg the Spread is an uproarious, adrenaline-fueled memoir that offers a completely new take on women and Wall Street—and an unprecedented entrée into one of the last true financial playgrounds.

Praise for LEG THE SPREAD

"A Plimptonesque revel, and one of the most entertaining business books to come around in a long while." Kirkus, Starred Review

Elle magazine Readers' Choice​
 

“As Leg the Spread makes clear, anyone who wants to encounter capitalism red in tooth and claw should visit the Merc’s trading floor. If there’s ever a street rumble between commodities brokers and stock brokers, bet on the commodities brokers. They don’t call it “the Pit” for nothing.” Forbes

 

“Leg the Spread is a kind book about a cruel world.  If you’re a woman, Cari Lynn’s salty memoir will hearten you, though it might not sway you to enter the futures trading field.  If you’re a man, it will embarrass you; most of the men here are pigs.  If you’re greedy, it might empower you regardless of your gender because the money can be unbelievable.” The Boston Globe 

 

 

"This is a rip-roaring view of one woman's life in the trading pits of Chicago. Cari Lynn, a young writer who spent two years as a clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, finds a world populated by larger-than-life characters, high-stakes risk-taking, and excess in all its forms. We follow along as she evolves from an innocent, overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and smells of the male chauvinists who dominate the trading floor, to an astute observer of what goes on amid the hard-drinking, fist-pounding, foul-mouthed mob." The Economist

 

 

“A sexy, adrenalized, very cool book that is a lesson as well as a pleasure.” James McManus, bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street

 

 

“Downright riveting . . . Lynn gives readers a glimpse into the world of the ‘Merc,’ 

a rough, gritty, action-packed scene dictated by money and testosterone. . . Leg the Spread is a skilled presentation of the sights, sounds, and even smells of a world that 

few women—or men, for that matter—ever truly understand.” Publishers Weekly

 

 

​“A swashbuckling adventure in the heart of Chicago that should not be missed . . . Cari Lynn takes you inside the crash-and-burn world of “the Merc,” a baptism by fire where the good old boys’ club is invaded by girls who—with humor, guts, and acumen—get even by getting rich.” Gail Evans, author of Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman and She Wins, You Win

“Leg the Spread is a great introduction to life in the Merc’s pits, in all its filthy, adrenaline-fueled glory. From Pork Bellies to polyester blazers, Ms. Lynn grabs you by the jowls and doesn’t let go. This book made my inner woman want to stand up on the top tier of the pit, jam some fat bastard with a bad trade, and scream, 'Take that, you chauvinist jackass!'” John Rolfe, author of Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

“Cari Lynn’s vivid descriptions make you feel as if you’re right there with her in the frenzied melange of the trading pits. If you’re a woman considering a career anywhere near stocks and trading, this is one book you have to read first.” Lois P. Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

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© 2019 by Cari Lynn