Blog Tour Showcase: Bursting the Brass Ceiling

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Congratulations to author Linden Gross on the release of Fanchon Blake’s fascinating story, Busting the Brass Ceiling!

Read on for more details and an exclusive excerpt from the book!

BustingBrassCeiling-eBook-Cover_for publication

Busting the Brass Ceiling: How a Heroic Female Cop Changed the Face of Policing

Publication Date: November 20th, 2020

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Police/ History/ Women in History

FANCHON BLAKE joined the LAPD in 1948 and walked a beat in a skirt and heels for three years. Her ambition to rise in the ranks would be curtailed by an increasingly discriminatory agenda, but her relentless tenacity finally led to a promotion to sergeant nineteen years later. When LAPD policy barred her from rising any further and threatened to eliminate women from the department, she sued. The historic case would change the face of policing around the country.

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The Cradle Will Rock

Five months later, the transfer from street patrol still stung, even though the LAPD soon stopped assigning women to street patrol on the pretext that it was too dangerous for them. No woman had been hurt or killed walking beats, and female officers had done a superior job of fulfilling their mandate. Preventing women from walking a beat or going out on patrol not only deprived women of that kind of active duty, it deprived them of many job opportunities that required precisely that kind of experience.

I began to quietly document how the women on the department, starting with myself, were routinely shunted aside. I quickly found that there were very few incentives for women in the LAPD. Qualified policewomen were never given top assignments, and only minimal advancement in rank was possible. In 1945, eight new sergeant positions had been created for women officers. The eight women who filled those positions weren’t about to leave since women were banned from promoting above the rank of sergeant. So the rest of us would have to wait until those eight retired or died. Although the institutional limits on women’s advancement meant that women officers’ talents and training were often wasted, few had challenged the inequity.

In the LAPD, a secret was no longer a secret once shared, so I kept my research to myself and focused on learning how to perform as a police officer since the LAPD wasn’t anything like the Army. Despite the long odds, I had no problem sticking tough and waiting for change. I had never been a quitter. By all that was holy, I would stay to rise in rank. Unfortunately, my instincts didn’t always coincide with the LAPD way of doing business.

Available on Amazon

About the Author


LINDEN GROSS is a bestselling writer. She ghostwrote Julia “Butterfly” Hill’s New York Times bestseller The Legacy of Luna (HarperCollins, 2000). Publishers Weekly wrote that Hill’s “firsthand exposition of destructive forest practices … is extremely powerful, and her book, a remarkable inspirational document, records a courageous act of civil disobedience that places her squarely in the tradition of Thoreau.” Gross is also the writer behind Kathryn and Craig Hall’s national bestseller, A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st-Century Winery (Center Street, 2016).

Gross has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten an additional eight books, including Ms. Cahill for Congress (Ballantine, 2008), the stirring tale of public school teacher Tierney Cahill, who on a dare from her class ran for U.S. Congress, and Surviving a Stalker: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Yourself Safe (Incubation Press, 2013), a revised edition of To Have Or To Harm (Grand Central Publishing, 1994), the first book written about the stalking of ordinary people. Gross also functions as a writing coach and an editor, helping other people to write their nonfiction books and novels, several of which have gone on to become bestsellers.

Linden Gross

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