Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Want to learn how to get a Marie Antoinette Hair?

Happy Halloween everyone I thought I would just throw these cool videos out there for all of us to check out and maybe get some Marie Antoinette hair inspiration for Halloween.
Check Kirsten Dunst getting ready for her Marie Antoinette photo shoot spread for the Paris edition of Vogue April 2006. 

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Stores Now Louisa May Alcott The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen and Giveaway Winner

In stores everywhere as of October 26th 

"In a fresh, modern take on the remarkable Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Reisen’s vivid biography explores the author’s life in the context of her works, many of which are to some extent autobiographical. Although Alcott secretly wrote pulp fiction, harbored radical abolitionist views, and served as a Civil War nurse, her novels went on to sell more copies than those of Herman Melville and Henry James. Stories and details culled from Alcott’s journals, together with revealing letters to family, friends, and publishers, plus recollections of her famous contemporaries provide the basis for this lively account of the author’s classic rags-to-riches tale. In Louisa May Alcott, the extraordinary woman behind the beloved American classic Little Women is revealed as never before".

As for the winner of the giveaway, a big congratulations to....


I love the little women too and I spent all of my childhood having a crush on Christian Bale who played Laurie in the movie. Loved the book and loved the movie too.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Henry VIII's Mary Rose Update! Work Begins on Europe’s Biggest New Museum Project

On October 11th work began on the most ambitious heritage construction project seen in Europe this decade.

On the 28th anniversary of the raising of the Mary Rose,  work to secure the future of King Henry VIII’s favourite ship has started as part of a £16.3 million contract to build the new Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Signing of the contract for the construction of the New £35 million Mary Rose Museum: Left to right:
Brian Clayton, Senior Legal Manager, Bouygues UK.
Rear Admiral John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust
Philippe Jouy, Warings Contractors Ltd Managing Director

Warings, a member of the international construction and services group Bouygues, is delivering the construction phase of the £35 million project for the Mary Rose Trust, the charity responsible for the conservation of the Tudor flagship which sank in action in 1545.

Construction of the museum began 28 years to the day after the raising of the Mary Rose from her muddy tomb on the bed of the Solent, in front of a worldwide television audience of 60 million.

On the construction site of the New £35 million Mary Rose Museum.
Yellow jacket: Rear Admiral John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust
Orange Jacket: Philippe Jouy, Warings Contractors Ltd Managing Director
King Henry VIII’s costume: Andy Owen, Warings Contractors Ltd Senior Project Manager

The build is a major step in the final chapter in the conservation of the great ship, a painstaking process which began in 1982.  The museum, scheduled for completion in autumn 2012, will reunite the Mary Rose with the majority of the 19,000 beautifully preserved artefacts recovered with her, to present visitors with an unparalleled experience of Tudor life.

Rear Admiral John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said; “We are delighted to have appointed Portsmouth-based Warings for delivery of the construction phase of this historic project.

“The significance of the Mary Rose collection cannot be underestimated and we still have a £4 million fundraising target to meet before the museum can be opened to the public in 2012, the UK’s Olympic year.

“One year on since the launch of the Mary Rose Public Appeal we remain reliant on the public to continue to ensure this national treasure is preserved for future generations.”
The Mary Rose Trust still has to raise further funds to secure the future of Henry VIII’s flagship.  The Trust is tasked with raising a total of £15 million to match fund the £21 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant, one of the largest made, which the new museum project has received. The Trust receives no central funding and is entirely reliant on donations to reach its ambitious final target.

Philippe Jouy, Warings Managing Director, added; “This is a unique project which will pose some unique challenges for our dedicated team.  Not least is the immense care required to build a modern museum around the precious timbers of the ship as the final stages of its conservation continues.  We are well-equipped with the necessary skills and expertise and are proud to be leading this landmark development to protect and preserve a British historic icon.

“The museum will represent the very best in 21st century architecture and construction, providing a beautiful and secure environment for the finest collection of 16th century artefacts in the world.”

The new building housing the Mary Rose’s fully conserved hull and her artefacts will take the form of a finely crafted wooden ‘jewellery box’, clad in timber planks. It will replace the current temporary museum located 300 metres away, which has space to display only one twentieth of the Tudor items recovered with the wreck.

During the construction of the new museum the Mary Rose is out of view to the public. When the new museum opens in 2012 the preserving chemical sprays that keep her shrouded in mist will be gone. The ship will be on display during the final phase of conservation – controlled air drying – until 2016 when her 34 year conservation process will be complete.

The existing Mary Rose Museum remains open during construction to offer an amazing visitor experience with more than 1,000 of the finest conserved artefacts recovered from the site.

The Mary Rose
The Mary Rose is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world. Launched in 1511, she was one of the first ships able to fire a broadside, and was a favourite of King Henry VIII.
After a long and successful career, she sank during an engagement with a French fleet in 1545. Her rediscovery and raising were seminal events in the history of maritime archaeology.

A dedicated Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, remains open while the ship hall housing the preserved wreck is temporarily closed during construction of the new Mary Rose Museum. The amazing artefacts discovered with the great ship, remain on display and new exhibits, including Hatch, the ship’s dog, are being introduced to maintain the highest quality of visitor experience.

The new Mary Rose Museum will, for the first time since her sinking, re-unite the ship and her contents, fully preserved and presented in a time capsule of Tudor life at sea. 

To help secure the future of The Mary Rose visit
Ends For media enquiries, contact:
Charli Beale, Bell Pottinger Business & Brand
07800 582 266
Stuart Disbrey, Bell Pottinger Business & Brand
020 7861 2495

Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 33,900 projects, allocating £4.4billion across the UK. Website:
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Mailbox Mondays and Giveaway Winners Galore

A Royal Likeness by Christine Trent, signed and I could not help myself I am already into it 100 pages or so.

"As heiress to the famous Laurent Fashion Dolls business, Marguerite Ashby's future seems secure. But France still seethes with violence in the wake of the Revolution. And when Marguerite's husband is killed during a riot, the young widow travels to Edinburgh and becomes apprentice to her old friend, Marie Tussaud, who has established a wax exhibition. When Prime Minister William Pitt commissions a wax figure of Admiral Nelson, Marguerite becomes immersed in a dangerous adventure - and earns the admiration of two very different men. And as Britain battles to overthrow Napoleon, Marguerite will find her loyalties under fire from all sides. With a masterful eye for details, Christine Trent brings one of history's most fascinating eras to life in of a story of desire, ambition, treachery, and courage".

The Darling Strumpet: A Novel of Nell Gwynn, Who Captured the Heart of England and King Charles II by Gillian Bagwell

A thrilling debut novel starring one of history's most famous and beloved courtesans.

"From London's slums to its bawdy playhouses, The Darling Strumpet transports the reader to the tumultuous world of seventeenth-century England, charting the meteoric rise of the dazzling Nell Gwynn, who captivates the heart of King Charles II-and becomes one of the century's most famous courtesans.

Witty and beautiful, Nell was born into poverty but is drawn into the enthralling world of the theater, where her saucy humor and sensuous charm earn her a place in the King's Company. As one of the first actresses in the newly-opened playhouses, she catapults to fame, winning the affection of legions of fans-and the heart of the most powerful man in all of England, the King himself. Surrendering herself to Charles, Nell will be forced to maneuver the ruthless and shifting allegiances of the royal court-and discover a world of decadence and passion she never imagined possible".


The Tapestry Shop by Joyce Elson Moore

"The Tapestry Shop, by Joyce Elson Moore, is an historical novel based on the life of Adam de la Halle, a poet/musician who left behind a vast collection of secular compositions. While researching Adam's music, Moore discovered a little-known fact; the earliest version of the Robin Hood legend may have been Adam's play, Le Jeu de Robin et Marion. Because Adam was patronized by royalty, his play was probably performed in English courts, and would have changed, as legends do. In the retelling, Robin became an English hero, and Robin's companions became the Merry Men.

The book draws the reader into the Middle Ages, where women joined the crusades and students held discourse on the Street of Straw, but the overriding appeal of The Tapestry Shop may be Adam's connection to the popular legend of Robin Hood, the celebrated outlaw who was immortalized in later ballads, and who continues to draw fans around the world to films that center on this elusive hero".

Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel by Michaela MacColl

"Prisoners in the Palace -- London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this riveting novel is as rich in historical detail as Catherine, Called Birdy, and as sizzling with intrigue as The Luxe".

Giveaway Winners!
Pope Joan: A Novel
Autographed Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross 

Blood and Silk: The Hidden Love Story of Mary of Magdala and Jesus of Nazereth 
Blood and Silk by Carol McKay

Check out Roberta's rocking I won post.

Penelope's Daughter 
Penelope's Daughter by Laurel Corona

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation   
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Congratulations to all the winners I hope you all enjoy the books!
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Saturday, October 23, 2010


I have heard this before about this series, you either love it or hate it and I LOVED it! I cam e to a realization while reading this, my problem with Jane Austen stylized books is the dialect. I dislike it because it just makes me go blank for some reason and not retain a single word of it. Lauren Willig is about as close to Austen style as I can get besides Georgette Heyer.

Lauren’s leading lady this round is the half French half English beauty Amy Balcourt. When Amy was a child her mother and she went to visit her mother side of the family in England. The women left behind her father and her older brother. Sadly Amy would never see her father alive again and her mother would pass not too far after her father from a broken heart. Amy spent her childhood dreaming up spy stories because it all started with her hearing the daring tales of the English spy the “Scarlet Pimpernel”. The scarlet pimpernel’s specialty was infiltrating the French prisons and spiriting away the tragically imprisoned nobility of France during the revolution.

As Amy grew up in her the English countryside with her family she became more elaborate in her plotting and already had determined her sole objective in life was revenge on the new French government for sending her father to Madame Guillotine. Since Amy’s brother had survived the worst of the revolution and as she grew things in France had kind of calmed down. Amy with the help of her loyal cousin Jane Wooliston had finessed themselves a way to visit France but that entailed a chaperon in the form of the parasol heat packing neighbor Miss Gwendolyn Meadows. It was hilarious that Miss Gwendolyn used her parasol as a weapon against all kinds of follies especially out spoken men in her pathway. With chaperon in tow and permission to leave for abroad the girls were off and in France the girls had a few ideas’ on what they were going to do there. The end goal was to find the newest masked spy “The Purple Gentian” and get in league with him to over throw the new government. That was the plan... but like Amy, Eloise who was reading Amy’s journal in present times, nothing ever went as planned.

One aspect of this novel that made me hold back from the beginning was that it is two stories in one. Present day with Eloise Kelly is in England and is absolutely determined to finish her dissertation for school. After sending a barrage of letters to well know families in the area it was Selwick hall that invited her to come and peek at their documents. What secret history lay in the 18Th century chest in Selwick hall?

5/5 I loved this one and I am kind of sad that I did not read this sooner. I want them all now and must have them ASAP. For me it was a hot, action packed austenesque read. My goodness that purple gentian was about as sexy as it gets besides William Marshal. I must recommend this one to all who love the quirky twists that Jane Austen specializes in. I really loved Amy she was so stubborn it really made me laugh. A sexy classy must read for sure.

FTC-this book was sent to me by the publisher.
R-Rating Sexual references done in humor and good taste.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
The Masque of the Black Tulip 
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
The Betrayal of the Blood Lily
The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas 
The Orchid Affair

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Best Ever Holiday Lauren Willig Giveaway, Mischief of the Mistletoe

Hitting bookstore nation wide on October 28th 2010 "The Mischief of the Mistletoe" by Lauren Willig is the latest installment her fabulous series "The Pink Carnation". Just in time for the holidays this one can be read as part of the series or as a stand alone novel. I already have my copy and you know I will will be reviewing it asap. I am really looking forward to the read.
"Arabella Dempsey’s dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls’ school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies…

Reginald “Turnip” Fitzhugh—often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation—has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, “Meet me at Farley Castle”, the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens’ modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate 12-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? And is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella and Turnip’s hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding"?

Open to US only sorry, up for grabs two winners will get one book and one x-mas ornament.

For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.

For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.

Giveaway will end on October 28th at midnight, good luck to all!

More on Lauren
The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation ChristmasThe Secret History of the Pink CarnationThe Masque of the Black Tulip (Pink Carnation)The Betrayal of the Blood Lily (Pink Carnation)The Orchid Affair (Pink Carnation)The Temptation of the Night JasmineThe Deception of the Emerald Ring (Pink Carnation)The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
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