Films, Books, Musings-With the Glamour of Old Hollywood and the Flair of the Retro

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Kiss River by Diane Chamberlain- A Book Review

In Books on January 29, 2013 at 10:55 am


The secrets they keep at Kiss River are always just below the surface like the fractured lens of the lighthouse that lies beneath the sea there. There are secrets of the past told only to a young girl’s diary and the secrets of the present that cannot be kept much longer.

Gina has travelled to Kiss River on a single-minded mission to raise the lens but her motives are unclear and unnerving to the lighthouse caretaker Clay, who is wounded by the loss of his wife, and cannot face being hurt again. Gina and Clay may not be able to deny their attraction to each other but they can’t deny that keeping secrets from those you grow to love is painful and living with the fear of being discovered is just as agonising as the inevitable pain of betrayal.

Diane Chamberlain is the go-to author for novels with everyday characters facing danger or dilemma, yet finding healing or redemption through love. Kiss River’s purity defeated by time and a world at war into a now windswept coastline weather-beaten lighthouse show the attention to detail and thorough research Chamberlain applies to all her novels. She writes engaging novels that will have you eager to seek out all her works and eagerly await her future works.

For more information on Kiss River and her other novels visit Diane Chamberlain’s website .


If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck

In Books on January 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm


Oh happy days! Fans of humourist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) will be pleased with the news that Open Road Media have released a selection of her books as ebooks! No more musty library copies of Bombeck’s books for me! I have been lucky enough to revisit “If life is a Bowl of Cherries…” and would like to share some of Erma’a words to whet your appetite for a bowl of cherry-delicious humour as Erma finds the fun and beauty in domestic life.

“I worry about scientists discovering someday that lettuce has been fattening all along.”

“A woman can walk through the Louvre Museum in Paris and see 5,000 breathtaking paintings on the wall. A man can walk through the Louvre Museum in Paris and see 5,000 nails in the wall.”

“Now a fitting room to me has always been like a confessional…where my body and my contrition take up the entire room.”

” I’ve seen kids ride bicycles, run, play ball, set up a camp, and race for eight hours…yet have to be driven to the garbage can.”

“The last time my family laughed was when my oven caught fire and we had to eat out for a week.”

“The bad times I can handle. It’s the good times that drive me crazy. When is the other shoe going to drop?”

Oh Erma, I wish you were still with us… I would love to hear your take on mobile phones and texting each other when you are all in the same house, reality t.v and idol, teenage boys with the waist of their pants around their knees and botox foreheads and collagen lips. Somehow, I don’t think she would bat an eyelid.

Read more about Erma Bombeck and her recently re-released titles at Open Road Media- Erma Bombeck

Your Power as a Woman by Alma Archer- Part 1.

In Books on January 14, 2013 at 3:35 pm


In 1957 Alma Archer wrote the book Your Power as a Woman- How to Develop and Use it. It was a guide to ‘a happier and more rewarding life’. Her qualifications for writing such a book were based on her experience as a newspaper columnist with the New York Mirror, writing a column on style that was also carried by over 1,100 newspapers. She also ran a charm school-The Fifth Avenue School for Smartness. Some of the advice is still applicable and some is outdated and will even be found as politically incorrect to some readers, but it is still so entertaining for the ‘retro’ lovers. The blurb from the back cover enticingly promises;

“Have fun losing weight with an amazing new 14 Day Reducing Diet! 9 tested tips for getting and keeping the man you want most! How to get rid of ugly blackheads and pimples – have a lovely skin! 16 secrets of being more popular at home, at work and at play! 22 practical ways to get far more out of life after you pass 40! 19 ways to make sure you pick the right clothes – and wear them with assurance and chic!”

I don’t know if the book was sold in Australia, but there are some old copies for sale in the U.S., if anyone finds an inexpensive copy in Australia-let me know! An online copy of the book (which I have used when it is not checked out) is available to borrow from Open and a pdf copy is available to buy from PDF Classic Books (which I may decide to purchase).

The first excerpt I would like to show you in this blog is titled:

Do’s and Don’ts for Past Forties.

Alma says,” Follow these rules and you’ll still be lovely at seventy. Life can be beautiful even at eighty, if you don’t lose your power as a woman.”

Some of the do’s and don’ts;

Do make a career of being cheerful and well groomed.
Do avoid indigestible foods which irritate your skin and disposition.
Do put special creams around the eyes and on the neck.
Do develop new interests, whether it’s raising Siamese cats or learning to paint.
Don’t believe vicious scandalmongers about the dangers of forty.
Dont get rusty in looks or conversation.
Dont go out without being well-groomed from head to toe.

One ‘Don’t’ Alma does leave out is ‘Don’t smoke’, but looking at the advertisement featuring Alma and her ‘habit’ above, I see that she must have believed in only preaching what she practised, ahem. Alma did, however,write this book though when she was nearing 60 and continued to impart her wisdom on charm,beauty and style for many more years.

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