Archive for July, 2011

>Dressgasm of the Day: Royal Accessorizing

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>I haven’t done this in a while. I profile historical clothing that strikes my interest. Today we have not a dress or suit, but the old French crown jewels. Most of them came from the Napoleonic period following the French Revolution, however, some of them were remade from jewels belonging to the Old Regime. The diamond and emerald tiara belonged to Marie Antoinette’s daughter who wore it as a grown woman long after her mother’s death. I will let the images speak for themselves.

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>Books that made me become an author

Posted by Jessica Jewett 3 Comments »


One of my readers asked me not long ago to discuss which authors inspired me to become an author. So, here I am, trying to think of my early life. I began learning to read before I ever entered school. I think some people in my family thought I was going to have a difficult time learning my letters and numbers in school, so my education began very early. I seem to remember still living in Denver when my mother first showed me how to write my name, which meant I would have been 3-years-old at the most. Sesame Street taught me letters and numbers in English and Spanish, while older family members taught me to read English and German simultaneously. Unfortunately, I never used those languages enough and now I only have a minimal understanding of them now. I can get by with understanding the written words but conversational speaking is very difficult.

The first book I ever remember reading was a small, square copy of Cinderella. I don’t know if it was a Disney book or not but I remember that story as one I never tired of and the book soon had to be held together with masking tape. The idea that a girl who came from nothing could rise to something greater was very appealing to me and, truthfully, still is. I will never tire of this story. Early versions of Cinderella go back as far as ancient Greece and spread throughout antiquity, even in China. The story we know today closely resembles stories in Europe of girls named Cenerentola, Cinderella and Aschenputtel, all the same girl but different versions. This story is so old and retold with so many local variants that it has become as mythological as any great story of antiquity.

As I got older and improved my ability to read, I drifted into stories that took place in the nineteenth century because they gave me a sense of home that other stories did not. Of course, I read James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web and The Witches like the other kids in school but I never loved them as much as I did the Little Women and Little House on the Prairie series. I can truthfully say that it was Louisa May Alcott’s entrance into my life as the moment when I thought, “Wow, I want to be a writer too.” I still remember reading Little Women in the fourth grade and I even skipped recess for several days because I couldn’t put down the book. I knew nothing about the author herself but the natural narrative voice she used made me feel like I was sitting on her knee listening to her read the stories directly too me. It was a powerful realization that people could create stories that were enthralling and taught new ideas, moral lessons, or showed the way to love someone you never thought you could love. I began writing short stories because of Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Three authors that have kept me going when I have lacked inspiration or wanted to quit are Lynn Austin, Catherine Delors and Anne Rice. There was a time after my first novel when I took a break from writing in order to enjoy reading again but found myself painfully frustrated with the decline of American literature. I nearly lost all hope and considered not writing anymore because it appeared that no one was interested in reading anything good.

By divine order, I first became attracted to Anne Rice because her narrative voice is so thick and rich with the lyrical quality of the English language. She taught me to appreciate beauty in Victorian horror. Additionally, I came to appreciate Lynn Austin because of her ability to tell a thoroughly engrossing and lifelike historical story without being dry or inaccurate. On a similar vein, Catherine Delors also has the ability to tell a well-researched, fleshed out, interesting, relevant historical story without preaching to the reader. These are qualities that I try to emulate as well.

There you have it – a smattering of the books and authors who inspire me to be an author. I doubt I will ever reach a point in which I will influence new, up and coming writers. I merely write stories that I would personally enjoy and if other people enjoy them too, then that’s just an added bonus!

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>Discontinuing a few of my titles

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>Some of my published work has been out there for several years and I have decided to discontinue sales on three of my oldest titles as I publish newer ones. I’m moving into a more advanced phase of my writing and I would like my publication titles to reflect my growth as a writer. That means my old self-published short stories must be retired. I’m giving you all plenty of notice, though, in case you want to snatch up these short stories before they are gone. The files are .pdf files. They were published before e-readers became en vogue.

Here are the titles to be discontinued on September 1, 2011.

For Thou Art with Me

Paranormal fiction. PDF e-book.

For Thou Art with Me is a limited edition e-book short story available exclusively through Olivia is a young ambitious filmmaker on the verge of huge commercial success with her latest film project, a biopic about an obscure Confederate general. When she secures the star actor for the film, she travels to Tennessee to research and scout locations. The moment she steps onto General Thomason’s property, she finds herself drawn into the world of the unseen. Apparitions seemed to lurk in the old plantation house around every corner and before Olivia knows it, the General himself has come for her. Will she make it out alive?

Click here to purchase.

In Great Deeds

Historical fiction. Military. PDF e-book.

In Great Deeds is a short story based on the battle of Little Round Top during the Civil War. Told through the eyes of a fictional member of the infamous 20th Maine, In Great Deeds shows what it was like to feel the sweat, gunpowder and blood of the average soldier.

Civil War literature contest winner.

Click here to purchase.

The Yellow Lady: A Haunting in Georgia

Paranormal. PDF ebook.

The Yellow Lady is an account of a haunting in Georgia. A young woman murdered in the late 19th century haunts a property in Georgia’s rural northwestern hills. It was originally meant for a paranormal magazine that asked for the article to be readable like a fictional story. Although it is almost completely based on true events, some names and events were altered for the readability of the story.

Click here to purchase.

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