The discovery of a hidden label on a famous gown unearths the story of a talented young seamstress in this glittering novel of family, love, ambition, and self discovery by the USA Today bestselling author of The Flight Girls.

2023, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History: A costume conservator is preparing an exhibition featuring movie costumes from the 1920s to present day. As she gingerly places a gown once worn by Greta Garbo on a mannequin, she discovers another name hidden beneath the designer’s label, leaving her to wonder—who is Zora Lily?

1924, Seattle: Poverty-stricken Zora Hough spends her days looking after her younger siblings while sewing up holes and fixing hems for clients to bring in extra money, working her fingers to the bone just to survive. But at night, as she lies in the bed she shares with one of her three sisters, she secretly dreams of becoming a designer like Coco Chanel and Jeanne Lanvin.

When her best friend gets a job dancing in a club downtown, Zora is lured in by her stories of music, glittering dresses and boys. She follows her friend to the underground speakeasies that are at once exciting and frightening—with smoke hanging in the air, alcohol flowing despite Prohibition, couples dancing in a way that makes Zora blush and a handsome businessman named Harley. It’s a world she has only ever imagined, and one with connections that could lead her to the life she’s always dreamed of. But as Zora’s ambition is challenged by tragedy and duty to her family, she’ll learn that dreams come with a cost.

Don't just take our word for it...

“A sensational novel set during the glittering height of the Jazz Age, The Roaring Days of Zora Lily transports readers through speakeasies and Hollywood studios as a daring seamstress chases her dreams. Brimming with emotion, romance, and dazzling prose, historical fiction readers will love this one!”
– Chanel Cleeton, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Cuban Heiress

“Noelle Salazar takes readers on dazzling romp through the glittering, beaded and fringe-filled speakeasies and clubs of Seattle to the costume houses of Hollywood. . . . Romantic, ambitious, and filled with adventure, Salazar swept me away to the roaring 20s – a decade I could return to again and again.”
– Nicola Harrison, author of The Show Girl and Hotel Laguna

“An inspiring story of determination and talent set in the dizzying world of 1920s speakeasies, Hollywood film lots and Seattle high society. With an engaging heroine and colorful supporting characters, this captivating story makes for a delightful read from beginning to end.”
– Shelley Noble, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiffany Girls

Taste the very first page

Washington, DC, 2023

The fluorescent lights blinked on in a domino effect, one after the other, a faint buzzing sound filling the room as I stood squinting in the unnatural light. 

I inhaled, taking in my small slice of heaven within the storied walls of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The long room with its high ceiling, soothing taupe walls, and wood floors—weathered in spots from years of conservators standing and pacing as they labored over the works of great minds—brought a sense of peace as soon as I stepped inside. 

The museum had been my happy place since I was a little girl, when my mother would walk with me from our baby blue– painted row house on Capitol Hill, her slender fingers wrapped around my pudgy ones. We’d wander past sprawling parks, melancholy monuments documenting history, to the austere but magical facade housing wonders my six-year-old eyes could barely comprehend. By the age of eight I knew all the regular exhibits like the back of my hand, and waited anxiously for the monthly newsletter that arrived in our mailbox, telling us what traveling exhibits we could expect next. It was one such exhibit…