According to her estranged, drug smuggling, addict of a daughter, Suzanne, who once lived on the streets, Scarlet Rose is "the Cruella De Vil of mothers.... a drunk and a tyrant" who destroyed the lives of her children.
Her other daughter Fiona, a pill popping, dope smoking reluctant stripper, thinks Scarlet Rose was "ill-equipped as a young woman to look after herself, let alone a house full of children." She was also,"nothing but a menace."
And what would her murdered ex-husband Charlie say about Scarlet Rose? Well, after she'd attacked a woman in a club, then went into early labour and had to be taken to the hospital, Charlie said, “You’re insane. You should be in a mental hospital, you goddamn crazy bitch!"
If you ask Scarlet Rose herself, who's real name is Sylvia, she'd say she was "the cream of the crop...the best dancer in the business, with countless admirers" And she'll be the first to tell you what a good mother she was to her four children, even though she can't tell you who the father of one of her boys is.
If you ask her son Matthew, a boy kidnapped at the age of four now returning at eighteen to claim his inheritance after the murder of his father, Scarlet Rose is, "The bridge between heaven and insanity."
Who is Scarlet Rose? Demon or Saint? Or both?
Ask Marlene Burnette, a lonely lesbian woman and she'll tell you Scarlet Rose is a beautiful, charismatic woman who makes her heart beat a little faster. She also believes Scarlet Rose is her destiny.
However, Clive Stevenson, the son of an axe killer, a man who's lost everything that mattered in his life, will tell you another story. A story about a woman who's carnage needs to be stopped.
Scarlet Sins, free on Amazon for the next five days.
In the prequel to The Truth About Scarlet Rose, life for an unwed teenage mother in the 1960s can be a hard road. Sylvia knows all too well how limited her options are. At seventeen taking a job as a burlesque entertainer to support herself and her baby is her best hope. But choosing to marry an older man and have a family with a cheating, boozing, gambling husband who makes promises he can’t keep, becomes her downfall. And for a woman with limited choices, her decision to commit murder is not one she makes lightly, but carefully plans and executes in cold blood.
“The whole thing plays out like a gorgeous '50's-era melodrama. Lyrical and dark and devastating. I could see Powell and Pressburger directing the movie version.” – Heath Lowrance, author of The Bastard Hand.
Scarlet Sins free on Amazon for the next five days.
Next read The Truth About Scarlet Rose
Scarlet Rose, the once remarkably beautiful, queen of the burlesque scene in 1960s Toronto, has aged into a decrepit bitter alcoholic, living on welfare and her daughter’s handouts—a daughter she forced into the adult entertainment industry at the age of sixteen to support the family. Now in 1983, Scarlet’s wealthy ex-husband has been found tortured and murdered in a hotel room, and her twenty-two-year-old daughter Fiona, must help the police find the killer.
While Fiona navigates her way through the dark recesses of her family’s history, uncovering shocking secrets that threaten to destroy her, Scarlet Rose employs the skills she learns in Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War, fixating on making a new life for herself using other people’s money. But when she befriends a lonely American woman sitting on an inheritance, greed that knows no bounds, cold-blooded murder and identity theft, might just prove to be Scarlet’s undoing.
Praise for The Truth About Scarlet Rose:
“The Truth About Scarlet Rose begins with a scene full of menace and eroticism. It is a compulsively readable crime novel that packs a lot of punches. Julia Madeleine is an accomplished author who sketches characters deftly and then draws you into their inner lives. They are inner lives worth reading about. This is a novel that is full of suspense, that is about the loss of innocence and the cost of freedom. Julia Madeleine has written a great page turner, I highly recommend it.” - Richard Godwin, Author Of Apostle Rising.
"The Truth About Scarlet Rose is a gripping, atmospheric and powerful thriller with dark shades of noir and even traces of the Gothic." - Paul D Brazill- Guns Of Brixton, 13 Shots Of Noir, Drunk On The Moon, Brit Grit.
“When Madeleine tells you cops all have “those eyes,” you believe her. The stripper mama’s boa may be soft as a baby kitten, but the truth about Scarlet Rose will be told.” –Cindy Rosmus, editor Yellow Mama Magazine
"Sure “The Truth About Scarlet Rose” has drugs, strippers and violence but believe it or not, that’s not why I find myself waking up early to sneak in one more chapter before work. I do it to spend more time with it’s central character Fiona and her whack family. At its core is a wonderfully twisted dysfunctional as hell family drama, and one hell of a great read. This is my favorite kind of whodunnit, the kind where whydunnit is just as interesting." - Josh Stallings, author of Beautiful, Naked & Dead and Out There Bad
“Julia Madeleine’s ‘The Truth About Scarlet Rose’ is a humdinger of a story, a hugely intelligent crime thriller, and a subtly, smartly paced drama with sinister overtones. The prose is mesmerizingly fluid and coolly disarming, much like her protagonists, who saunter across the page knowingly and confidently as the plot gracefully unfolds, masterfully insinuating themselves into the readers’ consciousness.
Madeleine takes the familiar tropes of the crime genre and shakes them down, devilishly navigating us through a noir reality of irrepressible modernity, and staggering us with complex characterizations of people caught up in spider-web of intrigue and danger. But her writing, her plot, her people, are imbued with an undeniable empathy, and it’s this which is her most striking accomplishment as a crime novelist. Madeleine is a rising star in the crime firmament, and rightly so.” – Frank Duffy, author of Mountains of Smoke
So who is Scarlet Rose? You're about to find out, but only if you want to know the truth. Maybe it will set you free, maybe it won't but don't say I didn't warn you about her...
The Truth About Scarlet Rose