Oscar Pellegrini is a talented fashion designer with a deadly enemy: his own critical mind. He destroys much of what he designs and has been drifting for years, gradually retreating from the fashion business he loves but holding on to his dreams of success.
A chance meeting with a former girlfriend triggers a creative crisis so deep that Oscar escapes to Russia, where he drinks and despairs like never before. Just when he thinks he has lost everything he discovers a magical machine that turns ordinary outfits into irresistible sartorial triumphs. Oscar takes the machine back to Italy – and before he knows it, he has become famous for his designs, and celebrities and socialites are fighting to be first to wear his gorgeous garments.
But the happily-ever-after ending for the fashion messiah turns into a nightmare when his dresses acquire a life of their own, gaining energy and evil as time goes on. Haunted by his creations, a dark secret he is no longer able to hide, Oscar finds himself fighting for his life and sanity, and searching for the answer to a question he never knew existed.
Is there such a thing as stolen genius, and if there is, can it turn against the very person who stole it?
When I first read the synopsis or blurb for the book (whatever you might want to call it), I was intrigued. I mean, how often do you come across such an interesting blend of very different areas. I've never read a fashion book ... to be quite honest, I'm not even sure if there's a genre for it. Is there? But honestly it wouldn't matter if there wasn't because Katarina has easily made her own mark which will likely spark a rise in this type of fiction.
The story moves at a great pace - not too fast or slow. The character is real. He has real issues and he's your typical artist (designer in this case) - but he's filled with all the angst, self-doubt, and self-criticism all artists fall on. Some like our main character here fall into despair with it - part of what makes him so real. His reactions are very much like a struggling artist.
Finding the machine definitely throws a monkey wrench into his life. But who can blame him for making his choice? I think we'd all be a little tempted. Okay, I would be WAY tempted. But I think Once Upon A Time's Rumpelstiltskin's words would play in my head about there always being a price for magic... clearly Oscar never saw the show or had someone with some sense to help him out when making such life alerting choices.
If you like witchcraft stories, magic filled tales, or something that is truly unique in concept and executed perfectly - this is a great choice for you! Check it out. You won't regret it!
Get you copy here from Amazon!
Katarina West was born in Helsinki, Finland, into a bilingual family that in addition to humans comprised of dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, canary birds, rabbits and – thanks to her biology teacher mother – stuffed owls and squirrels.
She spent time travelling in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and went on to study at Queen Mary and Westfield College in London and the European University Institute in Florence, where she completed a PhD in political science and published a book based on it, Agents of Altruism. During those student years she started work as a journalist, and continued writing for various Finnish magazines and newspapers for over ten years, writing on various topics from current events and humanitarian issues to celebrity interviews and short stories. She also briefly worked as a university lecturer on humanitarian issues in Northern Italy.
Katarina lives in an old farmhouse in Chianti with her husband and son and when not writing, she is fully immersed in the Tuscan country life, from jam-making and olive-oil-picking to tractor maintenance.
Witchcraft Couture is her first novel and, unlike the unearthly clothes in its pages, her outfits are not shining.