A Worthy Successor

It was fantastic to return to the world of Mistborn and experience first-hand the salvation Vin, Elend, Sazed and the others paid such a tragic price for. They are the legends of this new generation, the heroes and gods who make up the mythology and inspire the culture and society of what was born from the destruction of the Final Empire. And now we have a new hero, a descendant of Breeze, who steps forward to save the world from a new danger with old roots.

Waxillium Ladrian is a lawkeeper, a man of the Roughs sworn to exact justice on behalf of those too weak to demand it for themselves. Forced back to the big city by his duty to marry and secure House Ladrian's fortunes, he will find leaving his old life behind more difficult than packing away his duster and matching Sterrions. With a humorous sidekick, an intriguing, but ineligible lady justice student, and his own sense of right Wax must face down a living legend who has turned his back on the laws he once swore to defend.

This new addition to the Mistborn saga melds into the established history seamlessly, and proves the seemingly boundless talent of Brandon Sanderson once more. Like its predecessors, "The Alloy of Law" is the perfect blend of drama, magic, humor, action, and deep moral exploration that we have come to expect from this series. I look forward to spending more time with this new cast who have inherited the legacy of a pantheon of beloved characters. May they do it justice! Bravo!


KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE UNEXPECTED SEQUEL, SHADOWS OF SELF, COMING FALL 2014!

Graphic Design

Graphic Design

Rich black leather and some great geometric shapes give a room a strong graphic statement.

Summer Casual

Summer Casual

Meeting for lunch or doing the mall, this striped and flowered shift is just right for summer events. Add the lift of leather and cork slides and a crisp white and navy clutch for a smart look. Whether the cool is the air conditioning or the evening breeze, the white wrap jacket with asymmetrical hem is just the thing to keep you warm while looking ready for anything!
A look for those of us "over50", too!

Pastel Waters

Pastel Waters

A mix of harmonious pastels and gray in abstract flowing lines can give a room the feeling of cool flowing water and peace in our hectic days. Such a combination would be wonderful in your own quiet space to relax at the end of the day to unwind and close out the world for a bit.

Just another wonderful summer day!

Just another wonderful summer day!

Straight jeans and an over-sized stripe top with three quarter sleeves are the basics. A print scarf  and coordinating earrings, and woven bag are great accessories, while smashing red flats and sunnies add the pop of color to a wonderful casual summer day! An outfit appropriate for all ages, including those of us who fall in the "over 50" catagory!

Fashion with C'Attitude

Fashion with Catitude

Save the umbrella for a rainy day, but not the attitude or the outfit! Both C'attitude and outfit can be taken for a spin either rain or shine!

You Just Gotta' Dance!

You Just Gotta' Dance!

Neoprenene off-shoulder flounced dress and nude pumps partnered with rose gold designer jewelry by Betsey Johnson, Allurez and Bonnie Star makes for a very danceable look!

Primary Color Accessories

Primary Color Accessories

What outfit do you have that could use some brightening up? This is just the group of accessories to do the trick!

Casual Summer Combo

Casual Summer Combo

Mixed metals make great accessories to go with everything! Cut-offs and a tee, maxi skirt and a crop top, jeans and a man's white dress shirt! Experiment and see what else you could mix them with!

Beautiful Memories L'amour

Beautiful Memories L'amour

A khaki shirtdress and openweave pumps can take you almost anywhere this summer. Pop on some bright accessories and you're all set to take on the world!

Secrets in Time

Secrets in Time

Digital Art by me!

Hot Summer Coral Accessories

Hot Summer Coral Accessories

The summer temperatures aren't the only thing heating up! You'll be hot in these hot coral accessories! Match them up with coral or contrast them with lime green! Cool them off with white or heat up the night with black!

A Special Treat!

Hello All! Sarah here... So, I'm not a mother in the traditional sense (I don't have any kiddles knocking about), but I am a proud puppy-mom! Today is my sheltie's 6th birthday, and in honor of Rowan I'll be celebrating with a special post today:

Kate Quinn is one of my all-time favorite authors, and her Rome series is a treat I like to indulge myself with by revisiting every now and then. Two years ago, she left off mid-series to take a sojourn through Renaissance Rome and the story of Giulia Farnese, the infamous "Bride of Christ," who delightfully scandalized Europe as the favorite concubine of the Pope! While that duology was a load and a half of fun, I was ecstatic to learn Kate will be presenting us with the fourth installment of her Rome series next year. If you've never meandered over to the Q's on the bookshelf, please allow me to try and convince you to do so...

Wonderful! Kate Quinn hit it just right with her debut novel, clearing the way for subsequent success. I know that some readers have complained that the romance between Thea and Arius was too much in the spotlight or that it detracted from the story as a whole, but I do not agree. The relationship played a key role in how the plot was resolved. True, it was the focus of the first part of the book, but I think that it was important for readers to have the depth of emotion made apparent early on so that the ties between these two characters would not seem superficial when the focus was on other events and interactions later on.

The language was occasionally too modern to be believable in the ancient setting and I found myself tripping over it. Otherwise Quinn's style flowed well and allowed the story to be the main event as opposed to overly-flowery descriptions. The characterization is another extremely powerful component of this book, allowing the reader to not only see things from everyone's point of view, but understand their feelings and motivations (even those of a certain character we love to hate!). Bravo!


~~~

  This second installment in Kate Quinn's Rome series far outstrips its predecessor ("Mistress of Rome"), and that is saying a great deal! Once again the reader is immersed in the vivid color and life of ancient Rome as seen through the eyes of a group of people around whom the warped fate of the Empire revolves. As with the previous book, the language was occasionally too modern for the setting, but Quinn's style is so smooth that the mental speed bumps are easy to move on from.

If there is any single aspect of this book that really sets it apart more than any other, it is the dynamic characterization Quinn excels at. Characters I loved at the beginning of the story proved less-than-admirable by the end. Likewise, those I thought weak or unappealing in Chapter 1 became some of the more impressive individuals by the conclusion. Even so, each character had the ability to win both my affection and my resentment simultaneously. That is a rare feat for any author of any genre. Bravo!

~~~

When a cliffhanger like the one on the last page of this book causes you to screech "NOOOOOO" like I did after reading it, the author has earned the right to say she has written a great book. Kate Quinn has given us another excellent book in this, the third installment in her Rome series. It has just about every human emotion possible evoked from the colorful, dynamic characters. I loved every minute!

Unlike this book's predecessors, EotSH did not tend toward language which was too modern for the setting. This made the story flow so well, allowing me to just immerse myself in the telling. Quinn's shifts from first- to third-person have been criticized, but I felt that it did not hamper the story at all. And (once again) the wonderful characters proved to be the best part of the book, even over and above the plot line itself. Bravo!


~~~

~ BE SURE TO LOOK FOR LADY OF THE ETERNAL CITY, COMING MARCH 2015!! ~

calming

calming

Neutrals have a wonderful calming affect when used in a room.

Mix Red & Black Accessories

Mix Red & Black Accessories

What do you wear with the LBD for daytime? This great grouping of accessories will set off your LBD with flair! Or maybe you have a red dress, white dress, gray dress, jeans and a white tee, cut-offs and a black tee? This great set of accessories will give a finished look to almost any outfit!

A Girl needs a knight in shining armor...

A Girl needs a knight in shining armor...

Well, if no knight in shining armor shows up, go it alone. Cuz' in this outfit, woman, you're going to rock the castle! A lovely chiffon skirt with a cute striped crop top, heels with a pretty bow, a clutch with lots of sparkle and extra sparklies for the fun of it! 
Earrings of 18k gold and 2.7 carats of diamonds (Fred Leighton $18,000) and the Lanvin Victoria bracelet ($4,290)

Neutral with an Accent

Neutral with an Accent

Club chair, side table and Trianon chrome floor lamp are anything but boring with this room full of neutral tones given the splash of blue added in the throw pillows and Chinese vase. Original artwork by Megan Meagher, NYC

Tinted Minted

Tinted Minted

Mix it up to keep it lively!

Overtones of the Empire

Overtones of the Empire

An American Rococo Revival armchair with French side table and Italian drum floor lamp are set off by a natural hairhide rug dyed a soft amber shade, accent pillow in red gold tan zebra stripe and peach roses; drama is added with wild animal artwork, Original artwork by Jenna Snyder-Phillips Japanese sumi ink framed in lacquered black frame

Sleek and Chic

Sleek and Chic

Every once in a while you find the perfect dress, and this is it! Accessories that coordinate and you're good to go anywhere. But be prepared for all those lovely compliments that are going to come your way!

Good morning, Gorgeous...

Good morning, Gorgeous...

Nude, blush, beige, flesh, cream, champagne - Good morning, Gorgeous!

GREEN with everything!

GREEN with everything!

Three looks for summer with shades of green as a major player or just an accent! Look at it this way, everything goes well with grass, right? So whatever your outfit, add a touch of green or a lot of green!

A Brief Span of Eternity

Even though I didn't always know her name I have been familiar with the likeness of Egypt's heretical queen since I was little. Her bust, which stands as a silent, though profound testament to one woman who reached out to grasp at eternity is a treasure for the ages. One of history's legendary beauties, Nefertiti is a name which evokes power and wonder even thousands of years after her reign mysteriously ended. That Moran took on the daunting task of reconstructing her story out of the scattered building blocks, nearly completely destroyed, is an undertaking to be in awe of. She admits that much of her novel is pure conjecture, but that is why it is a fictional account and not shelved amongst the biographies. If you can keep in mind that the story is not an official account then it is a highly entertaining tale.

Mutnodjmet is Nefertiti's half-sister, and the unwilling pawn in Egyptian politics. Her wishes and desires are simple: to settle down away from the rivalries of the court with the man she loves and raise a family amongst the herbs of her famous garden. Nothing about her life is permitted to be simple, however, and through her eyes we bear witness to the break with the Temple of Amun and the construction, glory, and eventual downfall of the Amarna Period. She is used both by enemies of the royal family and by Nefertiti herself. Though she manages to grasp some happiness for herself her life ends in tragedy (as explained in the sequel, The Heretic Queen.) The tale she weaves for us, however, is an illuminating and thought-provoking interpretation of the events pieced together by historians and archaeologists.

As deep as the story is, and as captivating as the characters are, the story has a hurried, unfinished feel in some ways. Events or ideas that could have been capitalized on in order to really make the book stand out only get a passing mention or are left with only an obscure explanation.

This is a sad book in many ways, but it really brings one of the most fascinating periods of Egyptian history to life in the splendor and pageantry of a reign during which a pharaoh dared to replace the pantheon of his people and his queen made of herself a living goddess for the world to worship. They revolutionized art, culture, and politics, even though their time of supremacy ended in blood and betrayal. Bravo!

Sizzling Stripes

Sizzling Stripes

A fun and funky look in almost zebra stripes accented with a great statement necklace and statement bracelet, fabulous shoes with a statement all their own and a clutch that's the gold standard anywhere in the world!

Very Proper

Very Proper

Minimal accessories keep this slim fitting column dress from looking anything but proper, until you sneak a peek at the slashes along the sides of the dress or across lovely shoulders concealed only by sheer red chiffon.

FACES

FACES

Black and white are always a great combination alone or with a lovely pop of summer shine yellow!

A Cool Summer Evening

A Cool Summer Evening

From a minty blue to cobalt blue and a grayed lavender blue, pulled together for a cool summer evening with friends. The punch of a tone-on-tone statement necklace and an oriental look fabric clutch add cache.

Just a Touch Retro

Just a Touch Retro

A fun summer look that a bit of the 60s!

Not Too Girly Pink

No Too Girly Pink

A casual summer jeans look based on a SarahHearts color palette!

Splish-Splash, I was takin' a bath!

Splish-Splash, I was takin' a bath!


Memory, Memories, & Truth

Memory. What is it? How much can we depend on it for truth? Who dictates what it's made of, and how can the deception of a moment forever influence the perception of a lifetime? What are you left with when you build a life of lies, inventing days, events, entire decades? And who has the right to it's secrets?

Judith Kinghorn proved her writing prowess in The Last Summer, and she returns to the emotion-heavy transitional period before World War I. While there is a poignant romance that plays a strong role in the plot, the focus falls on the unreliable history of an elderly lady of the old order. Cora de Chevalier de St. Leger lived a life filled with more sparkle and glamor than a fairy princess. She was the toast of the Continent and maintained her dominance within the high society of Paris and Rome right through her later years. And when she returns to England for the last time the village people are enamored of her charm and the air of a glorious history draped about her like a heady perfume. But there are a few who notice the wrinkles in her stories, and one reaches out to find the truth.

Cecily Chadwick wants so much more than the staid, passionless life of the quiet English countryside. When the handsome Jack Staunton draws her into his orbit she senses a chance to grasp not only love, but the excitement she craves. When he introduces her to his grandmother, though, Cecily discovers the mystery which will become the axis upon which all of their worlds will circle upon: who is this lady and what is the truth beneath the stories of bright ballrooms, French castles, and balmy summers spent in palatial villas. What is the key to unlocking the puzzle of Cora's memories, a series of seeming-fantasies?

Wedged in the very heart of the contention between honesty and fairytale is Cora's long-time friend, Sylvia. She was there almost from the first. She knows much of the story first-hand ... but not all. Obsessed with learning the reality of her friend's life, Sylvia refuses to allow anything to stand in her way. She doesn't hesitate to lock horns with Cecily, whom she views as a rival for Cora's affection and confidence, and even her relationship with the elderly countess comes up short when weighed against unearthing what she seeks. She proves to have been the author of one of the greatest lies which dictated Cora's chances of happiness in the end.

Nearly epic in scope and fearlessly plunging the depths of human consciousness, Kinghorn has crafted a nuanced tale of love. Not just romantic love, but the devotion between friends -- a tie which can be as destructive as it is strong. The love of individual history, a past immaculate in its cherished creativity. A love for truth, even if it is not yours to discover. She demands us to consider just what the nature of that which is called "history," and our own role in crafting it.

Where Kinghorn fell short was the way in which she transitioned from past to present within a scene. It is very dramatic to have that dynamic to the story, but it was executed poorly. The story's strengths far out-distance its failing, however, and the characters we spend such a brief time with shine as a memory as rich and delightful as any Cora invented. I can't help but wonder what Kinghorn will treat us to next. She is quickly establishing a reign of glory over the portion of historical fiction dealing with the English during The Great War. Bravo!

Floral Molded Ceiling Inspiration

Floral Molded Ceiling Inspiration

The inspiration for this room design was the molded ceiling shown at left. I tried to bring in the colors as well as the richness of the design of the ceiling with elegant wallpaper, subtle tone-on-tone rug, and ornate gold decor

Your Reasonable Red Accessories

Your Reasonable Red Accessories

Reasonably Priced Accessories - Red
Vince Camuto heels $70, Coach bag $160, Fendi sunnies $95

Hopeful Romantic

Hopeful Romantic

A neutral look that's anything but boring! A white crop top, gray maxi skirt and nude leather wrap jacket.