Win a Barbie Dream House, courtesy the Retro Renovation-inspired “Lover Come Hack”

Here’s something fun: Author Diane Vallere, has written a new book, Lover Come Hack, that includes major inspiration from Retro Renovation. To help launch the book, she is hosting a giveaway of a reproduction 1962 Barbie Dream House (also inspired by our story) and invites Retro Renovation readers too. No purchase is necessary. Read an excerpt of the book below, then find out how to enter.

Thus kitchen on Retro Renovation — Elizabeth’s — inspired the fictional kitchen renovation featured the book.

Excerpt from LOVER COME HACK, #6 in the Madison Night Mad for Mod Mystery Series by Diane Vallere

I pulled away from his embrace and looked at him. With Johnny Cash’s looks and Joey Ramone’s wardrobe, Hudson put off a bad boy vibe that kept a lot of people from getting to know him. Circumstances in his past had categorized him as that bad boy and, after being judged by the court of local opinion, he’d worn it as a protective barrier. But Hudson was one of the kindest men I’d ever known. The night he confided in me about his past was the night I knew my life would be changed forever.

“Let’s go inside,” I said.

Hudson tapped the outside of his black jeans and Rocky came running. I led the three of us up the concrete steps, through the screen door and the solarium, and into my kitchen. Hudson hadn’t seen the house since I’d torn out the original kitchen. I replaced the old countertops with an uninstalled (formerly built-in) yellow tile kitchen counter that I’d acquired from a now-demolished cafeteria in Casa Linda Plaza and replaced the outlived (possibly original) tan and ivory rolled linoleum floor with new yellow Abet laminate in Sunny Day. (I told you those six months had been productive.) Big Chill appliances—my one concession to new over true vintage—in Buttercup Yellow, whitewashed cabinets, and the original hardware rounded out the overall transformation. All completed with a white iron pendant lamp with lemon yellow and celery green three-inch metal daisies mounted to the frame. If I had to decide between the two men in life by which one would fit in a newly renovated yellow kitchen with daisies hanging overhead, I might as well choose single life.

[Pam here: Ooooooh, can you spot the error in the excerpt? I did. Post your guess in a comment here (don’t read others’ comments first) – note, this is NOT the contest, just me being RR-detail-guru.]

To enter to win, go to Diane’s website — enter RETRO RENOVATION in the entry field where it sees PreOrder Confirmation Number [or enter your # if you decide to buy the book]
If you don’t want to wait:


Enter to win a 1962 Barbie Dream House! First discovered right here on Retro Renovation, this reissue of a classic mid-mod house is Madison Night Approved.

  • Enter here >click>>  Lover Come Hack, by Diane Vallere <<click.  (You can also read chapter one of the book.)
  • IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS: Type RETRO RENOVATION in the field that asks for a preorder confirmation number — Diane is  is opening this giveaway to Retro Renovation readers with no purchase necessary.
  • DEADLINE: Enter by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 1.
  • 10 winners will also receive a set of Madison Night paint swatches inspired by the book, and ALL entrants will receive “Midnight Ice,” the prequel novella ebook when the contest ends. Good luck!


Madison Night is an interior decorator who specializes in mid-century modern design. She modeled her life after Doris Day and studies the actress’s movies to train her eye for authentic details. Through previous books in the series, she has renovated an atomic kitchen, restored a pink bathroom, dismantled a glass-block partition, designed a strip mall using vintage shop exteriors from a landfill, and inherited a pajama factory. In LOVER COME HACK, she’s entered a design competition and is renovating an apartment building. Oh, and like any self-respecting amateur sleuth, she solves crimes on the side.


Retro Reboot! After a falling out with a friend flips interior decorator Madison Night’s world inside out, she’s determined to revamp her life. Jane Strong, fellow mid-century modern enthusiast, encourages Madison’s entry in an upcoming design competition, but their rift makes collaboration no longer an option. When Jane is found dead, Madison tops the suspect list. And when anonymous computer hackings interfere with both the investigation and the competition, Jane’s murder no longer seems random. With a mess of a love life, an angry client, and a looming deadline on her contest entry, Madison turns to an unlikely ally to decode a motive before a crash becomes imminent.


After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. She is a national bestselling author and a past president of Sisters in Crime. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since.

Thank you Diane, for letting me know about this contest so that I could share it. And, how cool, of course, to see the blog inspiring an altogether different creative endeavor!

Categoriespostwar culture
  1. Martha says:

    Pam, any idea on who won the house for the contest? I checked the author’s site where the contest was being held but could find nothing about a winner and the contest closed on Nov 1.

  2. Mary Alice says:

    Well I was all off but I thought “All completed with a white iron pendant lamp” was just a bit funny. That lamp got quite a workout.

  3. Barb says:

    I have the book pre-ordered in my Barnes & Noble account and I can’t wait! AND I’ve had the Barbie Dream House in my wish list on Amazon for weeks! I love the Madison Night series 🙂

    1. Elizabeth from Texas says:

      Yes it is Abet Laminati and you’re right, they used to only be numbered, not named. When I was reusing the lovely pink from Diamond Crest’s kitchen in the bedroom kitchenette at Sky Crest, I discovered that #830 had been named Rosa Crazy Horse. Sky Crest’s kitchen will be #857 Celeste Myosotis, a lovely cross between a dark robin’s egg and light turquoise. It sounds like a disease, but I looked it up and ‘myosotis’ is supposed to be a flower lol

  4. Leigh Ann Azlin says:

    I don’t know how I missed this book series, but I just purchased the first book! Can’t wait to dive into these books!

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