Most of you know by now that another creative outlet for me is that I am a makeup artist. I love both beauty and blood, but of course, there isn’t occasion to wear blood aside from Halloween. 😛
This past weekend I visited an adorable little shop in Burbank, California called Besame Cosmetics.
Looks like a regular store front, right? Trust me when I say that when you step through the door, you are instantly transported back in time to the 1940’s. Yes, I was home. #historyspaz LOL The shop itself smelled so feminine (they have shaving products for men, but since there’s no man in my life at present, I merely glanced at the display) and the 1940’s music was heaven.
I had been looking for a lipstick that wouldn’t turn my lips pink for quite a while now. Yes, that’s a thing for me, and for someone who adores product like I do, it’s a very frustrating thing. So I thought I’d give Besame’s formula a try. Of course, I was absolutely charmed by the shop, but the lipstick colors drew me moth-to-flame style.
Every color is associated with a year (which is way cool for a history geek like me) so I tried the Merlot that is said to have been popular in 1933. It’s described as a dark brown, brick red tone, but because my lips turn everything pink, the color ends up being more like wine, which fits the name perfectly. Then the sales gal (I believe her name was Danielle) showed me Besame’s Brightening Powders.
They come in a loose powder in tones of Violet, Vanilla, French Vanilla, Vanilla Chai and Vanilla Rose. Using color theory, each has a different use that would be too long and complicated to get into here. Now, I was a sun worshiper (yeah, I know, hard to believe right?) for the first seventeen years of my life, thus, I have lots of freckles (that have merged together over the years) that are now considered sun damage. They were cute when I was a kid, but now it’s – let’s be honest – embarrassing for a woman of my age to have these ugly brown patches on my face and decolletage. So I applied the French Vanilla to the rosie apples of my cheeks and to a few of the more problem dark patches.
This miracle powder evened the colors to a more neutral tone and I knew that were I to dust on my foundation, that it would improve coverage by at least forty percent. (Which later when I tried it at home, it did.) It has a light scent of Vanilla and I just ADORE this stuff! 🙂
Then Danielle brought my attention to the Fragrance wall behind me. This is where my world was rocked. Each perfume, labeled appropriately by year (1910 – 1960) was blended with the popular scents of that decade. Yup. You guessed it. I geeked out. It was interesting that each bottle had decidedly different effects on me. Please note that I hadn’t read the descriptions before I sampled each bottle.
Click on each year to learn more about the scent:
1910 I fell in love with immediately. (Of course!)
1920 to me had a predominate Musk scent that reminded me of my paternal grandmother (she wore Musk.)
1930 hit me with a Shalimar scent that reminded me of my mother.
1940 was fantastic – my second favorite (I’m wearing it right now). It has a haunting effect on me, like I know this scent (maybe my maternal great-grandmother?) but I can’t place it. It’s lovely though! 🙂
1960 was SO familiar to me, but I couldn’t place that one, either. (Definitely my third favorite.)
Needless to say, I’m going back to purchase 1910 and 1940 when my bank account permits. 😉 Good news for those of you who don’t live near Burbank or their second location in Wittier, California – they sell some of Besame collection at Sephora 🙂
Here we are once again with more evidence that many women throughout history crossed social barriers and braved ridicule to get what they wanted out of life and/or teach other women that it was possible to achieve the unattainable in ways considered taboo by those who held society’s reins.
I ran across this awesome article yesterday, and it really spoke to me, telling me that, even though I write fiction featuring strong historical women, I’m not as far off as some critics have stated.
A few times a month I will run across articles about strong historical woman and post them on my Genella deGrey Books page on FB.
What is the point of all this, you might ask?
I suppose I am tired of people thinking that the heroines in my books are out of line with what they think went on during the various time periods in which I write. Some people say that reviews are what push sales, some say that they don’t. When a review includes phrases such as, “unfettered by the constraints of their time” and “Not historically accurate” I now know, from reading the many articles presented to me, that these reviewers can’t see past the end of their own noses – not to mention the fact that my stories are FICTIONAL and are more for entertainment than research for a history class.
I feel sorry for those who don’t do their own research, who are lead around by the leash of Negative Nellies and who can’t enjoy a fictional historical romance novel for the sake of escape and entertainment.
Keep reading, my friends! Explore, enjoy and allow yourself to be entertained!
Please help me welcome, Contemporary Romance and Paranormal author, Melissa Lopez!
GdG: Hi Melissa & welcome! How’s the weather where you live right now?
ML: I live in central Indiana and the weather is suspiciously mild. I’m just waiting for winter to finally hit ya with a whammy.
GdG: LOL, Suspiciously mild – it’s suspiciously HOT in Southern California, so I know exactly what you are talking about!! 😀 What is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing? Where did you get it?
ML: I guess my favorite winter gear is my periwinkle parka which I bought at L.L. Bean. I love the color.
GdG: That is a great color!! OK, now Pet Pix!
ML: Deci is my daughter’s beautiful longhaired cat. Aly rescued her two years ago while volunteering there. She brought Deci home, because of her missing ear. I’m so glad Aly adopted her. Deci’s been the best cat ever.
GdG: She looks quite content! 🙂 Tell us, how do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
ML: A little Rock ‘n Roll usually gets my muse in the mood.
GdG: What is your preferred media when writing? (Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?)
ML: Well, when I first started writing I wrote in a notebook, but now besides a new idea that I’ll jot down in a note I write mostly on a desktop.
GdG: I started way back when using notebooks, too! 🙂 What is the weirdest thing upon which you’ve written an idea? (hand, a mirror with lipstick)
ML: On a plane ticket while traveling is probably the weirdest place I’ve ever written a story idea.
GdG: Not that is different!! 😀 Do you have a favorite work space?
ML: My office space is probably my favorite workspace to work because it’s my personal space, but I write a lot on my desktop in the living room. I guess I like noise. LOL…
GdG: What a gorgeous color! Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck.
ML: I once had an idea at a Jimmy Buffet concert. LOL…I didn’t even have my purse on me to take a note down.
GdG: Ugh! I can’t imagine – a concert? Wow! 🙂 Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP, and please give us a blurb or a few sentences from it.
ML: Cursed by Moonlight is based on the hanged man Tarot card. Although I’ve not read a fortune in a long while I own a couple Tarot decks.
By day, Alric is a fearless warrior who rules his people fairly and protects them fiercely. But when the full moon rises, he becomes that which he hates…a beast whose ferocious impulses he cannot control.
Cassi belongs to a wandering superstitious people who have set up camp on Alric’s land. From the moment she first catches sight of the lord of the land, she is enchanted by him.
And he is no better off. It’s no wonder his people call her a witch. Feeding, fighting, and avoiding reproduction has made up his days until Cassi appears. His wolf within is clawing to get to her. Then night begins and her scent calls to him…desire and despair nearly bring him to his knees
Alric is desperate to find an end to his curse, and he calls upon Cassi to help him. But as a mysterious old crone has hinted, only he can free himself.
Hunting a feral werewolf only convinces Alric of how desperate his situation is. Can they find a way to be together when they face not only mortal danger but the fear of their people?
GdG: Cool! And it’s available right now! W00t!
Click Cover to go to the link on Amazon
GdG: Beautiful cover! Do you have any plans to attend book conferences in 2016? If so, please tell us which ones?
ML: I attend RAGT put on by Lori Fosternearly every year. RAGT is in Ohio and is my favorite conference. Lori’s gatherings are so laid back and fun. I will be there in June.
GdG: Where is the best place for people to follow you where you consistently post? Twitter, FB, etc.?
ML: I won’t call myself a FaceBook addict, but I pop on and off several times a day.
GdG: Great! Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the New Year you’d like to share?
ML: Well, here’s a little something my dad told me during his final trip. Make memories, be happy, and don’t live with regret. Life is short. We don’t get do-overs. Happy 2016! Hope everyone has a good one.
Thank you so much for allowing me to visit your cyber home. It’s been fun.
GdG:Readers, it is my honor to welcome this week’s Date, Faith Gibson!
Faith is a multi-genre romance author. You must check out her website where you will find smokin’-hot paranormal and contemporary mm romance!
Hi Faith & welcome!! How’s the weather where you live right now?
FG:Middle Tennessee is crazy right now. We go from snow to 72 degrees back to snow again. Today it’s going to be in the 30’s.
GdG:Shivers* the 30’s!! Gads! What is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing?
FG: I can’t say I have just one because I live in hoodies in the winter… The one I’m wearing now is one of my faves and I got it off the internet… Saw the ad on Facebook and clicked
GdG: Oooo, LOVE* Cute clothes from Facebook adds…. The downfall of my bank account. LOL OK, now for some Pet Pix! Do show us your furry companions!
FG: I am combining my favorite place to write with my pet pics… BeBe and Charlie are the 4-legged loves of my life. They’ve been with me for a long time (11 and 10 years).
BeBe came from the pound, and I got Charlie out of a buggy at the Walmart (yes, I said buggy)
GdG: I’m assuming it was an abandoned buggy… LOL 😉 So tell us how do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated?
FG: I have several stories going at one time, so it’s rare that nobody is talking to me. If it happens, I step away from the story and go take a shower or wash dishes. Water is my conduit for some reason.
GdG: Water IS the universal conduit! I learned that from Keanu Reeves in Constantine (one of my all-time fave angel/demon films!) 😀 What is your preferred media when writing? (Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?)
FG: If I’m sitting down to write for the day, I use my laptop, but if an idea hits me when I’m not at my computer, I have an app on my phone I talk into so I don’t lose the idea.
GdG: Cool – Oh, if our phones could talk! LOL I’m so glad they can’t. 🙂 😛 What is the weirdest thing upon which you’ve written an idea? (hand, a mirror with lipstick)
FG:Not that it’s weird, but probably a receipt of sorts
GdG:You’re right, not weird, but certainly different! 🙂 Do you have a favorite work space?
FG: Yes, my living room is where I write most of the time. When the weather is nice, I sit outside on the patio.
GdG:Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck.
FG: It has happened more than once, but when the man (what I call my husband) and I were walking the dogs, I had an epiphany and I told it to him to make sure neither one of us forgot it by the time we got home. Usually, though, I have most of my epiphanies in the shower.
GdG: Me too! The shower and driving! UGH! LOL
Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP + a blurb or a few sentences from it.
FG: Which one? lol. I have 3 stories started, but I’ll mention Release Me. (that may or may not be the title) It is the follow up to Deliver Me, my MM rock n roll tale. I wasn’t going to do a follow up, but the readers were kindly asking (really, demanding) Cade’s story, so I asked him if he wanted one, and he said F*ck yeah. I was sitting at my local drinking establishment having a beer when Cade whispered in my ear. He, too, was sitting at a bar, and his story began…
“Last call, bud,” the bartender said, clearing the glasses and wiping the now empty space beside Cade. Glancing around, he noticed he was the only patron left in the hole-in-the-wall redneck joint. He shouldn’t have worried about a disguise. Nobody recognized the man sitting alone at the bar with his long blond hair tucked under a cowboy hat. He looked like every other Joe who’d come in that night. Everyone except the bartender. The man serving alcohol wasn’t dressed like a wannabe rodeo star. He wore faded blue jeans topped by an equally faded Metallica t-shirt that stretched nicely across his firm chest. The muscles in his arms bunched and corded as he moved around the bar, pouring drinks and wiping up after people. Cade would bet his last twenty the guy had on shitkickers instead of cowboy boots.
If someone asked, he could give a detailed description of the man who’d served him drinks for the last few hours, but he’d be hard pressed to tell what any of the countless women looked like who tried, and failed, to get his attention.
Cade was somewhere in Tennessee, close to Nashville. He was in town to audition with a band that needed a drummer. More like he was auditioning them. After being in 7’s Mistress, one of the world’s most famous rock bands for the last fifteen years, those in the music world knew what Cade was capable of. Now that his band was no longer together, he was itching to get back on the road. He downed his whiskey and threw enough cash on top of the receipt to cover the tab plus probably five more. When he bobbled getting to his feet, the bartender asked, “You need a ride?”
“I need a blowjob. Got one of those on speed dial?” he replied sarcastically.
Tonight, it is my absolute pleasure to introduce Sage Marlow, author of contemporary gay erotic fiction.
SM: Hi Genella, thank you so much for dating me *grins* It’s a pleasure to be here and chat with you. Big thanks to everyone who’s dropping in—hey, are you gate crashing our date??? No worries, we love guests. The more, the merrier, right?
GdG: Giggles* Now, I always like to ask for a picture, Sage…. Taps foot on floor*
SM: I’m pretty camera-shy, but I do have a pretty, rainbow-coloured logo 🙂
GdG: You big tease! Don’t make me come over there – Oh, wait, I AM going to visit you one of these days, and there will be no hiding, then! LOL – All right, enough flirting (for now. . .) How’s the weather where you live at the moment?
SM: In short, it’s f-f-f-f-freezing here. I live in Germany, and we’ve just had ten days of temperatures below 0 degrees centigrade. Fortunately it’s been crispy cold with a beautiful clear blue sky and the most beautiful sunrises behind our house, as you can see in the pic.
GdG: How beautiful! I can’t even imagine what 0 degrees feels like… What is your favorite piece of winter/seasonal clothing? Where did you get it?
SM: My favourite piece of almost all-season clothing is my trusty outdoor jacket. It might not be a beauty or fashionable, but it keeps me warm (enough), and the pockets are huge, so I can stuff anything from keys to tissues to children’s toys in them.
GdG: Looks toasty! I’ll bet Miss M is thrilled when you hand her one of her toys from seemingly out of no where! Magical Papa! 🙂 OK, now Pet Pix!
SM: These are my much beloved fur babies, Mrs Cat (the tortoiseshell one), who, despite being around 15 years of age, is excellent at hunting mice and is known in our part of the village for walking me and Miss M to the bus stop in summer.
Mr Cat, the white Persian, is actually a living, breathing sofa cushion. And he’s a diva.
GdG: Cute little fluffies!! So how do you get into the writing zone if you happen to be unmotivated that day?
SM: I’m not usually unmotivated, but sometimes my head is just not in the writing zone because I have too much other stuff going on. If I can’t get into a story at all, I’ll just put on one of the many other hats I wear and get back to writing the next day.
GdG: Good plan. What is your preferred media when writing? (Pen & paper, audio notes, laptop, cocktail napkin?)
SM: My laptop or my iPhone.
GdG: What is the weirdest thing upon which you’ve written an idea? (hand, a mirror with lipstick)
SM: None, actually. As my iPhone is virtually an extension of me by now, all my ideas go in there.
GdG: Likewise, my iPhone’s notes are jammed with ideas and… shopping lists… LOL. Do you have a favorite work space?
SM: Um, yes. My bed. I’m also finally going to have a spare attic room converted into the home office I’ve wanted for years, but at the time I’m writing this, that room has nothing in it but bare walls, cobwebs and very cold air.
GdG: Your bed, huh? Hmmmmm, interesting…It appears that you’ve ruffled my curiosity 😉 Tell us about a time when you weren’t writing and a fantastic idea hit you like a truck
SM: This just happened a few weeks ago, when the SO and I were having lunch with his mother. An idea hit me mid-conversation, so of course I zoned out, took my phone out and wrote it down. Yeah, that resulted in frowns all around me, but really, they should be used to it by now.
GdG: LOL, right? Anyone who is close to a writer should know that when the mysterious muse hits, all bets are off. 😛 😉 Kindly provide how you came up with your latest WIP.
SM: My latest WIP is the next book in the Sub-Series. It’s a follow-up on Chester and Sheridan’s story, which began in Roses & Thorns. I came up with the idea when I realised that these two men’s story just wasn’t over yet, and some of the things that were hinted at in Roses makes it fit in well with the Sub-books.
I don’t have a blurb yet, so here’s the first paragraph:
Roses & Kinks
Copyright Sage Marlowe, 2016
Sheridan pulled off his gloves on the way to the sink and dumped them in the bin he passed. He turned on the hot water, poured a liberal amount of soap onto his right palm and started scrubbing his hands, as usual taking extra care to clean under his nails, even though there shouldn’t be anything yucky there, couldn’t, really, because of the gloves. He sighed. It’s not rational. It wasn’t rational. It was the soul-deep need to wash away the traces of a workday spent digging through deceased people’s intestines and sometimes, worse. He squeezed his eyes shut for a moment while he rinsed his hands once more, then he opened them again, blinking as the neon light promptly made them tear up. He grabbed a handful of paper towels and tossed them in the bin, after the gloves.
GdG: Ooooh, how intriguing! Please tell us about your latest work that is available now?
GdG: Do you have any plans to attend book conferences in 2016? If so, please tell us which ones
SM: I’d love to attend some of the conferences, but for a number of reasons I’m not a big fan of travelling these days. I might make it to EuroPride Con in Berlin, but nothing’s been decided yet.
GdG: Where is the best place for people to follow you where you consistently post? Twitter, FB, etc.?
SM: Facebook! That is, if you want to meet the more personal me. I use Twitter to keep my followers updated on my books, like new releases and sales, but Facebook is definitely my go to place to post personal stuff.
GdG: Cool! Please provide your official website or blog
SM: My website is www.sage-marlowe.com. I try to keep it up-to-date, so visitors can find all the important info on my books there. My blog can be found at www.sage-marlowe.blogspot.com It was recently re-named Flavours of Sage and is mostly dedicated to hosting fellow authors and their new releases, so it’s always worth a visit if you want to discover new books
GdG: Any final words of wisdom or well wishes for the New Year you’d like to share?
SM: Live, love and laugh. Seriously, life is short. Enjoy it and make the most of it.
Thanks again for the interview, Genella, it’s been lovely. And thank you for being here with us, dear visitors!