Showing posts from June, 2013

Beautiful Forever – The Life of Madame Rachel

Everyday women are inundated with advertisements promising to remove fine lines, miracle creams to make skin youthful and dewy, to turn back the hands of time.   We all know that there is no miracle cure for aging, but we continue to buy, and to seek out new beauty treatments like Botox, chemical peels and fillers.   But none of this is new; women (and men) have been seeking the fountain of youth since the dawn of time.   However, in the 19 th century, with the advent of daily newspapers and the increase in literacy, a new way was found to reach the masses, advertising.   And no one did it better than Madame Rachel, a con artist who operated a prominent beauty salon, from which she personally guaranteed her clients who used her fabulous preparations, everlasting youth.   Among the money items for sale were magnetic rock water that was allegedly from the Sahara desert and water from the River Jordan in Israel.   For almost ten years, Madame Rachel had Victorian women fooled.   But

Review: The Ashford Affair by Lauren Willig

Title: The Ashford Affair Author:   Lauren Willig Publisher: St. Martin's Press Publication date: 4/9/2013 I have to preface this review by saying that I have had the privilege of getting to Lauren over the past five or six years through RWA conferences and Lady Jane’s Salon. I’m also huge fan of her Pink Carnation series, particularly A Very Turnip Christmas which for some reason she insists on calling The Mischief of the Mistletoe .   She’s not only a fantastic writer, but she’s also an extremely nice person, witty and intelligent.   And if that weren’t bad enough, she wears ridiculously cute dresses.   Seriously, even at eight months pregnant, she’s still adorable. Oh and she bakes as well. It’s absolutely too, too sick-making as Lady Beatrice Gillecote would say. So when I had the opportunity to read Lauren’s first stand-alone historical novel, I couldn’t say no.   Especially once I learned that the book was set during the 1920’s in England and Kenya.   As I’ve