Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard


Temptation Rag

Coming in 2018

“The soul of an artist is always in search of perfection, never quite attaining it.” Mike hesitated. “But I know you understand.” It was a line he had used many times before and with women far more beautiful. But at that singular moment, his hand resting on the bar just inches from hers, he felt as if—possibly—he meant it.

Dolly Zuckerman, a young singer and dancer aspiring to take Broadway by storm, arrives in New York City in 1912. But competition on The Great White Way is fierce, and Dolly ends up just another pretty pair of legs in the chorus line of the Ziegfeld Follies—until she is noticed one night by the famous ragtime piano player, Mike Bernard, on the hunt for new and lovely diversions. The tempestuous affair that ensues is to change both their lives forever, as each of them struggles to decide which is more important—their love for each other or their desire for fame.

TEMPTATION RAG captures the mood of a time when a unique and authentically American musical genre took hold of the public’s imagination and helped transform the fabric of society. The story interweaves the lives of fascinating historical figures from the world of ragtime—including Mike Bernard, the legendary Ben Harney, and African-American composer Will Marion Cook—with a compelling fictional tale of betrayal, self-deception, and the longing for redemption.

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