THE FRENCH MISTRESS
By Susan Holloway Scott
$15.00 New American Library
Acclaimed author Susan Holloway Scott has had a penchant for bringing history to life in such notable books as Duchess and The Royal Harlot. So it comes as no surprise that she has done so again, with her latest offering of historical fiction THE FRENCH MISTRESS.
In this tale of love, intrigue and politics a young noblewoman, Louise Renee de Penacoet de Kerouaille, is sent from her family’s country estate to the court of King Louis XIV at Versailles, to make a name for herself and hopefully, enter into a notable marriage. Upon her arrival, she is to become a lady-in-waiting to the English princess Henrietta-Marie, sister of Charles II of England. Locked in an unhappy marriage to King Louis’ brother, Henrietta-Marie pines for her beloved England, and her brother from whom she has been separated for far too long. Finally, when she is allowed to visit home, Louise, her most trusted ally, travels with her. Shortly after meeting Charles II, the young Frenchwoman falls madly and desperately in love with him.
Upon their return to France, Henrietta-Marie meets with an untimely and perhaps unnatural death. Louise is sent to England as an appeasement for the tragedy, but secretly she is to act as a spy for Louis XIV. Upon her arrival, she is presented to Charles’ wife as a lady-in-waiting once again, and though she becomes a trusted member of the Queen’s entourage, it isn’t long before she also becomes Charles’ favorite mistress.
Not to be outdone by others who have come before her, and are still in the king’s favor, she finds herself burdened by the difficult task of keeping his attentions while reporting back to the French court through a series of dubious attaches. Intrigue and heartache ensue as France and England join forces to rage war on the Dutch, and young Louise becomes more adept at acquiescing to the destiny for which she was born and bred. Her life seems on the brink of spinning out of control.
Ms. Scott has an incredible talent not only for recreating post-Restoration England, but also for bringing these historic characters, caught in a web of their own making, to life. Compulsively readable, this wonderful novel will keep you turning the pages, unable to stop, until the bittersweet end.
HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO ADRIAN COLESBERRY
By Adrian Colesberry
$20.00 Gotham Books
Do you know Adrian Colesberry? Do you want to know him? Well, now is your big chance because believe it or not, he has written the ultimate how-to book about himself, HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO ADRIAN COLESBERRY.
This quite pointed and hysterically funny and book reads like an owner’s manual, giving you the full and uncensored scoop about Mr. Colesberry and his sexual penchants. Nothing is left to the imagination here, and everything from heavy petting to his favorite sexual positions is covered. What are his favorite sexual positions you might ask? Well…all and any of them, would be the correct answer.
From word one no holds are barred, and Adrian gladly explains how he goes from pick-up to lay-down and all the steps in between. Complete with graphs and charts, the author lets you in on all his little secrets, inluding the fact that he will be happy with women of every shape, size, and color, to the lengths he will go to please them. Frankly, the guy is just not that particular. As long as you have all of your female parts in tow, he will take you and make you.
From “Oral Sex with Adrian Colesberry” to “Adrian’s Penis: Care and Handling” to “Getting Kinky with Adrian Colesberry”, you will be at once delighted and somewhat nauseated by the vivid descriptions of making love to him.
“Hats off to Adrian Colesberry”, I say, (and bras and panties, too) for writing such a funny and delightful romp. And it makes me happy to know that I am now fully prepared to not only meet but thoroughly greet Adrian Colesberry, should I have the opportunity to come face-to-penis with him one day.
By Kate Moss
If you like history, mystery and romance then Kate Moss’ new romantic-historical-thriller SEPULCHRE should be at the top of your reading list.
Leonie Vernier is caught between girlhood and womanhood, living in Paris in 1891 with her brother Anatole and her mother Marguerite. Little does she know that her life is about to change, as her brother is in a world of trouble and must flee the city to save not only his life, but the life of the woman he loves. Just in the nick of time an invitation for an extended stay in the countryside is sent to their Paris apartment, which is situated just above that of a little-known composer, Claude Debussy. Taking great care to change carriages and train stations, the siblings set-out for Rennes-le-Bains, where their young and beautiful widowed aunt lives by herself. The estate of their late uncle, to which villagers believe a Visigoth demon has been summoned, holds more mystery and danger than either of the siblings can imagine.
Flash Forward to 2007, where a writer from America, Meridith Martin, is also in Paris doing research for a biography on Debussy. This research brings her to the places the Verniers had occupied a century before. It is not only Debussy that she is researching, but pieces of her family history that she seeks to reassemble, like a puzzle for which she has no template.
In an attempt to discover who she is and where she really came from, the clues she holds, an old photograph and a piece of music known as Sepulchre 1891, drive her ever onward. After receiving a Tarot reading in the city, the mysterious deck from which her fortune has been told is gifted to her, and she travels to Rennes–le-Bains, now the site of a landmark hotel, where she begins to cross paths with the ghost of Leonie and the mysteries that imbue the old house and massive grounds that surround it. Here, just as Leonie had done before her, she stumbles upon the ruins of an ancient Sepulchre, and finds a similar to hers deck of tarot cards, which Leonie had hand-painted and which were said to posses otherworldly powers.
Written in an elegant and transfixing style, this marvelous historical novel will keep you on the edge of your seat, as the characters in both centuries find love and encounter unimaginable loss, while attempting to overcome the mysterious powers that grip Rennes-le-Bains without respite. But it isn’t until the end of the story, when the Sepulchre is opened, that all is finally revealed.
FINDING THE QUIET
By Paul Wilson
We live in a crazy world- noisy, bustling and often nerve-wracking. And there comes a point at which we all want to discover a calm and centering place where we can go to escape it all. To that end, Paul Wilson, world renowned expert in meditation, brings us all the information we need to find that serenity with his new book FINDING THE QUIET.
Wilson’s simple but effective approach takes only thirteen minutes, using four principles to achieve this inner quiet. And he outlines these steps in a simple and easy-to-read format that never leaves the reader guessing. These four principles are Center, Widen, Listen, and Observe. The first three steps are the physical components helping you to “transform your state of consciousness-from the every day to the meditative.” The fourth “relates to what you fill your attention with.” These principles can be found in many meditation techniques, but the way Wilson combines them makes them easier to follow than many other teachings out there.
One of my favorites involves using a physical trigger, which allows you to associate a feeling of relaxation whenever you practice it. While sitting in a comfortable position you lay the back of one hand in the palm of the other, allowing the tips of your thumbs to touch. Then, calmly directing your attention to the left hand you concentrate on that hand. “As each side of your brain is ‘wired’ to the muscles on the opposite side of your body, you use your right hemisphere to focus on your left hand. The right brain is associated with imaginative, visual, emotive and holistic processes, so you tend to feel more relaxed and easygoing when you use it.” I have found this to be a wonderful way to begin my morning practice, and have also used it during the middle of the day, when I want to slow down and regroup for a few minutes.
Many other great techniques are explained as easily as this one, making this book very user friendly and helpful. FINDING THE QUIET is a book for beginners and Zen Masters alike, with a special section at the end of the book for those more experienced practitioners. This well-rounded approach to meditation will be helpful to anyone on the quest for a more peaceful way of living.