Monday, July 28, 2014

The Visitors by Sally Beauman

Author Sally Beauman brings us back to Egypt, back to the exciting discovery of treasures in the Valley of the Tombs. The discovery of King Tut's undisturbed tomb was one of the great discoveries of the twentieth century. The golden coffin with the mummified remains, the jewels and the riches, beyond our wildest imagination!
Author Beauman did not try to re-write  history, but  added the human side to it..the highs and the lows, the celebration and the heartbreak.

Lucy Payne is an eleven year old girl, recovering from the typhoid virus that took her mother's life. She is sent to Egypt with a caretaker named Miss MacKenzie ( Miss Mack for short), by her father, a rather self-centered, cold university professor. What an opportune time to be in the Valley of the Tombs, when Howard Carter is excavating along with Lord Carnavon & other famous archeologists.
Miss Mack believes that Lucy will recover when she is out in the fresh air, taking part in life again.. not only  has she been seriously ill but  is also grieving for her mother.  On the first venture to the tombs, Lucy spies a young girl running about the excavation site..she turns out to be Frances, daughter of an archeologist. And so begins the human story within the magnificent story.
The story is told by a now elderly Lucy, in retrospect. There are many characters in this novel, but the crux of it is centered around Lucy, along with best friend Frances. She meets Rose & Peter, two more children caught up in the drama unfolding in the desert. Lord Carnavon & his daughter Evelyn, social butterfly Poppy D'Erlanger ( Rose & Peter's mother who meets an untimely death),  Howard Carter, and others help to personalize the story. Love and life and loss of both, make this a bittersweet tale.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were just so fully formed, the story so well developed-
I didn't want to put  it down-which is hard to do with a book of 500  plus pages:)
 The fascination with King Tut's tomb lives on and this fictional account of the lives changed by it, makes it even more thrilling.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hair fun with Mia Beauty

I am having the most fun with my  hair this summer…Mia Beauty has some great new accessories, they are my favorite company for hair fun!
String Bling is a fun way to add sparkle to your hair without using glitter spray, or spray in color. Each kit comes with String Bling and some small barrettes. You can cut off any length of bling and tie it into your hair or attach it to a barrette and snap it into your hair. If you tie the String Bling in , you can leave it in for can wash hair, blow dry, will stay put. Just a lot of fun!

Tony Ties are ponytail elastics that you can wear on your wrist for those
 " just gotta get my hair off my neck " moments. They are cute, patterned, glittery or plain colored, and they don't pull your hair. I have a shortish bob, but when I get home on these hot summer days, I just want to get the hair away from my face. I pull the sides and bangs straight up on top of my head and still manage to look cute because I have the navy polka dot ties…love 'em!

 Go to to get these items and have a look at all the other great products they sell. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith

Save a rainy weekend for this new novel due out next month. Author Smith has written something that you will not want to put down once you start it. Set in three distinct parts, this novel is about the strong love of parent's for their children and the strong pull of land and sea.
Set in the late 18th century,  we first meet Tabitha, age 10. A precocious child, motherless (mother Helen died in childbirth), she loves the sea. Her father John, was a seagoing pirate of sorts in his younger days and he filled her head with all sorts of stories of the high seas. He had wisked her mother Helen away from her grandfather Asa's plantation, married her and taken her off to islands unknown..returning a year later pregnant with Tabitha.
And then we learn of Tab's mother, Helen. Her mother also died in childbirth and she was raised by her widowed father, Asa, a very prominent business man in the town of Beaufort. He made his living from the land, gathering pine tar for turpentine. On Helen's 10th birthday, Asa had gifted her with a slave girl named Moll, and they had formed an unusual friendship as they grew up together.  Helen turned into a very strong willed, capable young woman and when politics (the end of the Revolutionary war) call her father away from home, Helen runs the plantation. In one of the last skirmishes of the war, which happens in Beaufort, Helen meets John, a Continental soldier and falls in love.
The third part of the novel, is filled with guilt and grief. For Asa , a grieving father and grandfather..for John grieving a wife and daughter. For Moll, grieving a son sold off to slavery.
I was so taken with this story, that I felt like a swift blast of wind had blown right through me at the end of it. I closed the book and put my hand on the cover and rested it for a minute, to catch my breath.
This is a must read on your book list.
Harper Collins Publisher, due out in August.