Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard is an author of historical fiction. Her latest book, TEMPTATION RAG: A NOVEL, received a 5-star rating from Readers' Favorite Book Reviews. The world of ragtime is the backdrop for a remarkable story about the price of freedom, the longing for immortality, and the human need to find forgiveness. From vaudeville's greatest stars to the geniuses of early African American musical theater, an unforgettable cast of real-life characters populates this richly fictionalized historical saga.
Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard's 2017 release, THE BEAUTY DOCTOR was a finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award and 2017 Arizona Literary Awards. In 1907, a young woman’s quest to become a physician entangles her in a web of treachery that challenges her most cherished beliefs about a doctor’s sacred duty and threatens to destroy all she loves. Set in New York City, this gripping historical thriller delves into the early practice of cosmetic surgery.
Elizabeth’s first love was music. As a vocalist, flutist and songwriter, she toured for nearly a decade as the lead singer for the popular band, Shiloh. A summa cum laude Communications graduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois), Elizabeth eventually traded her microphone for a pen. She settled in California, directing public relations and marketing for the music trade. In 1997, she moved to New York City where she was instrumental in founding the internationally acclaimed Aesthetic Surgery Journal, read in more than eighty countries around the world, and served as the journal’s Executive Editor. She was a primary consultant to the National Cosmetic Network, in partnership with the plastic surgery program of Johns Hopkins University, and an editorial consultant for the book Be Your Best: A Comprehensive Guide to Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
About her novel, THE BEAUTY DOCTOR, Elizabeth says, “I have always been fascinated by the early days of cosmetic surgery and have been aware that many people don’t realize how far back it goes—even further, actually, than the time of my novel. But I thought the Edwardian era would be a great period in which to explore the deeper meanings of beauty, power and success—especially because that was when women in mainstream American society began to think of such choices as rightfully theirs. My heroine, Abigail Platford, first has to overcome grief and self-doubt before she can confront the powerful forces of evil that seek to define beauty and success only as they see it. Her journey is a discovery of hope, compassion and self-determination.”
Elizabeth's second novel, TEMPTATION RAG, also takes place in turn-of-the-century New York City, but instead of cosmetic surgery the focus of this novel is the musical phenomenon known as ragtime and some of the real-life people who made it great.
“I was a performing and touring musician for nearly a decade, so I took on this project already understanding a lot about music and the life of a musician. Through my husband’s family connection to the legendary Mike Bernard—who won the title ‘Ragtime King of the World’ in 1900 and was the first solo ragtime pianist to record for Columbia Records—I had access to information and official documents not previously reported. I also had the honor and pleasure of comparing research with ragtime scholars, who generously shared their knowledge with me and, fortunately, were willing to accept that imaginative fiction-writing is quite different from scholarly writing.
“While TEMPTATION RAG started out as a book inspired by my husband’s grandfather, it ended up as a fictionalized historical saga with significance far beyond any single individual. The story of ragtime in America can’t be told without also telling the story of African American music and its influence on American culture. "
Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard is the author of books: Temptation Rag, The Beauty Doctor