Undercover Operation for a Great Cause!

Cover Reveal 

Coming February 14th, 2017 to online retailers:
Coloring under the Covers Vol. 1


A coloring book filled with 40+ covers from the best & brightest authors on bookshelves now.

Stay tuned for more information as we approach release day! Proceeds from the sales of this coloring book will go to Shriners Hospitals for Children. We are so excited to be working with them for such an amazing cause!

Covers by:

Hunter S. Jones
Anne Conley
Diane Rinella
A.M. Cosgrove
Diantha Jones
LeTeisha Newton
K. S. Haigwood
Wren Michaels
Jennifer Theriot
C. Streetlights
Lori Saltis
Gina Whitney
Leia Madison
Ahren Sanders
Ashley Suzanne
S. E. Hall
Katelynn Pinson
Alexandrea Weis
Jas T. Ward
Dawna Raver
Kelly Cozzone
Leddy Harper
Amber Garza
DL Gallie
DM Earl
Tricia Daniels
Jax Newman
M. Clarke
Elaine May
Kristi Cramer
KJ Farnham
Tara Vasser
D. Kelly
Nina D’Angelo
Al Daltry
Nikki Sparxx
A. M. Gillham
Megan Keith
and more …

Unravelling the Sexual Mystique of Sleeping Beauty

This is reblogged via Folklore Thursday.

Sleeping Beauty has an allure that is undeniable. Her story has retained a place in our traditions. Time has reshaped her dilemma and salvation.

Source: Unravelling the Sexual Mystique of Sleeping Beauty



The last hour of Anne Boleyn

only 99c/99p November 25-28


Past,Darkly Release Blitz

Thank you Stacy Schneller! xoxo

Books, Dreams, Life


by Hunter S. Jones

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PAST, DARKLY by Hunter S. Jones

Shared via Jude Ouvrard!

Jude Ouvrard

by Hunter S. Jones

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Past, Darkly: The Backstory

What if you blended history with fairy tales and dreams?


With that thought, I began working on a series called The Dreams. For over a year, I’ve been researching the Battle of Chickamauga in north Georgia. (Those who study the US Civil War will understand how complex and brutal the battle was.) From there, I began looking into the universal appeal of fairy tales and folklore, and what makes the stories so topical in our contemporary society. They tap into our collective consciousness and their appeal is timeless. While studying, I discovered that many cultures share similar tales, sagas and fables. And, I’ve been a student of dreams and the subconscious for a lifetime, so it was easy to develop a plotline where symbols, imagery and a vivid dream world merge.

swirlMost of us have had at least one incident where we have shared a dream with someone close to us. In The Dreams, rock star James van Lee (stage name Jago) shares a dream world with Dr. Maggie Pickett, a professor on folklore at Emory University. In Story 1, Lovers & Sinners, the separate worlds of James and Maggie were introduced. James is charismatic and his abusive past lead him to seek adoration from the stage. Along the way he meets his best friend and mentor who, along with his band, TASTE, become the family he has always yearned for.

Maggie is from a small Southern town and has loved Rhett Turnquest her entire life. But, Rhett is drawn to the seductive allure  of Maggie’s best friend, Annie Bragg. The three move to Atlanta–Maggie and Rhett pursue their education, while Annie changes her name to Natasha and seeks fame as a rock singer.

Vicswirl1Past, Darkly begins in Chickamauga during the Reconstruction Era which followed the Civil War. The Chattanooga area has a different history than most Southern cities in that the town grew from a tiny population to over 8,ooo people following the war, the majority of whom where Northerners. In the generation before the war, the Chattanooga and Chickamaua areas were part of the Cherokee Nation. With the influx of industrialists and entrepreneurs, medicine shows were popular in the area, as Chattanooga had been a medical hub in the Civil War. The shows were the only way to sell medicine in a time where only a few men came back from the war intact – both physically and mentally. Plus they gave a rural population some much needed entertainment in the era before vaudeville and radio. In this era, James is the medicine man in a traveling show and finds Maggie abandoned in a field. The subplot develops from there. Here’s a list of the characters in 1873 and 2016:



James van Lee, real name of traveling medicine man Dr. Garrett Cleighton

Maggie Pickett, lost waif found by James in Chickamauga, Georgia            

Rhett Turnquest, performer in the traveling show, spice trader and notorious womanizer.

Natasha, Rhett’s favorite prostitute during the Civil War, now a dancer in ‘Dr. Cleighton’s show.

Frank Vletzen, primary investor in Cleighton’s Original Kaleidoscopic Elixir and the traveling show which sells it.

Sugar, widow with a small farm who sells herbs to the show in order to make the elixir.

Charlotte, the French wife of the owner of the Stanton Hotel in Chattanooga.

Moz, bearded lady in the traveling show.



James van Lee, rock star known as  Jago

Dr. Maggie Pickett, Emory University professor      

Rhett Turnquest, med student and lifelong love of Maggie.

Natasha, rock wannabe and lifelong seductress of Rhett. Maggie’s best childhood friend.

Frank Vletzen, James best friend and mentor.

Sugar, Frank’s protegy and European actress; ménage partner of Frank and James.

Aunt Charlotte, the fairy godmother and Maggie’s aunt.

Moz Art, guitarist in James’ band, TASTE.

swirlThe contemporary story finds James and Maggie meeting at an encounter unknowingly arranged by Rhett and Natasha. You’ll have to read it to see how the fairy tale evolves. I’ve drawn heavily from the Russian story of The Firebird , The Ice Queen, and the French version of Sleeping Beauty, along with some Russian history and even connected it with Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. The book includes exclusive photographs shared with the permission of the Library of Congress. And, there is a special picture from the first school in the US to be co-ed and open to all races and ethnic backgrounds. That school was in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thank you in advance for reading my book. As you can probably surmise, this story is truly a labor of love; to me a magical combination of historical facts, rock & roll, and make believe. Many thanks for allowing me to share my creative process with you!

Where do dreams end and reality begin?

Look for an upcoming dream journal to accompany the series, which will be available soon. I’ve worked extensively in developing that with Dr. Beth Lynne, Ed.D, and a Jungian dream analyst to allow those who dream to better understand the symbols and motifs hidden within behind a wall of sleep.



Pre-order now for only 99c/99p!


Where do dreams end and reality begin?

Sexy rock star James van Lee and Dr. Maggie Pickett meet in Atlanta, at an encounter unknowingly arranged by Rhett Turnquest and Natasha. This complex story continues, taking it’s intriguing cast of characters from the Reconstruction South of 1873 into contemporary 2016. Past, Darkly blends historical fantasy, fairytales, and a dash of Victoriana into a enchanting read. This version includes Story 1 & 2 in The Dreams Series.
Please note: The story from 1873 is written in a southern US dialect used in the late 1800s. For historical accuracy, this book includes exclusive photographs and maps shared by permission of the Library of Congress.

Editorial Reviews:

  • If you are looking for a steamy Victorian Romance with a hot, contemporary vibe of adventure and suspense, then this is the book for you.” Jennifer Theriot, USA Today Best Selling Author.
  • “As magical and sexy as Outlander or Human Croquet.” C.P. Mandara, USA Today Best Selling Author.

Looking Back: A History of Lipstick

looking-back-lipsCosmetic products have captivated the human race since ancient times.  Yet there has been one item that has never gone out of style, or lost its popularity. No matter how large fashion changes  or extreme swings occurred over the last thousands of years, a few essentials manage to remain in widespread usage. Soap, shampoos, kohl eye liners, nail polishes, and forms of facial make up paints have survived the rise and falls of civilizations. But one stands above the others, often being in vogue with members of both genders, and that most iconic of cosmetic products is lipstick.

There isn’t any exact way to determine who first discovered a need for lipstick, or whether it was in the form of a balm for protection from the sun, or used in religious rituals, or if it was simply used to attract members of the opposite sex. Archaeological digs and the relics found show that humans have employed a form of lipstick throughout history. It has been with us since the dawn of time, when women and men used various fruit and plants to mark their faces in religious ceremonies. The Grolier Codex of ancient America shows two Mayan woman wearing lipstick. Although we don’t know much about the Mayans, As ancient civilizations developed in the Mesopotamian region, the first manmade lipstick appeared as a cosmetic tool for the wealthy women and men living in the areas of ancient Mesopotamia, Indus Valley Region and Egypt.

Ancient Sumerian men and women crushed gemstones and used them to decorate their faces, mainly on the lips and eyes. Were they possibly the first to invent and wear lipstick, about 5,000 years ago, for fashionable reasons? The ancient Indus Valley Civilization applied red tinted lipstick to their lips for face decoration. Ancient Egyptians wore lipstick to show social status rather than gender. They extracted a red dye from seaweed, iodine, and salt, know known to be bromine mannite, but this dye resulted in serious illness. Lipsticks with shimmering effects were made using a pearlescent substance found in fish scales. Finally, Egyptians crushed bugs to create a red color on their lips.

The Egyptians managed to advance the art of lipstick making by producing bright red carmine lipstick made from insect pigments. This timeless technique is still in use. Lipsticks were eventually made from powdered and processed bodies of insects or seaweed extracts, mixed with various oils and waxes. cleo

History and cinema will forever immortalize the beauty of Cleopatra derived through the figures that were depicted in hieroglyphic images or in myths left to us of her cosmetic enhancements through her seductive bright red lipstick.

From Dawn (of time) to Dark Ages

2500 BC to 1000 BC – Ancient Mesopotamia was a home of first lipstick known to mankind. Women used crushed gemstones to decorate their lips.

2000 BC – Indus Valley Civilization used dyes to color their faces and lips. The products often contained harmful ingredients that caused serious illness.

2000 BC to 100 AD – Egyptians used lipstick that was made from crushed carmine beetles. This popular red lipstick, sometimes decorated with a pearlescent affect, which was extracted from fish scales. This was used only by the wealthy and powerful, most notably by the legendary Cleopatra.

8th – 12th AD – One of the most important moments in the history of lipstick occured during the Islamic Golden Age when famous cosmetologist and chemist Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi (936–1013) invented solid lipstick that was based perfume sticks rolled in special molds. These are the basis for all modern lipsticks.

Europe in the Middle Ages – Until the late 16th century, lip coloring was banned by the Christian church. They believed that lip coloring was connected with Satanic rituals and cult worship. Thus, lipstick was only used by the lowest classes of the time period, those being prostitutes and actors.

Gloriana to Cinema

The history of lipstick tells of the European Middle Ages almost removing lipstick from fashion forever. Harsh living conditions, constant wars, plagues, lack of food and other factions led to years where very little or no advancements in cosmetics. With the church maintaining fashion and common laws, they actively discouraged lipstick usage or facial coloring of any type.

Times evolved, and lipstick returned to the height of popular fashion once again during the reign of English Queen Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603). During the time of Queen Elizabeth I bright red lips and a stark white face became fashionable. During this era, lipstick was made from a blend of beeswax and red stains from plants. Only upper class women and male actors wore makeup.


Throughout most of the 19th century the obvious use of cosmetics was not considered acceptable in Britain for respectable women, and it continued to be the trademark, so to speak, of groups on the outside of the social order, such as actors and prostitutes. It was considered brazen and uncouth to wear makeup. In the 1850s, reports were being published warning women of the dangers of using lead and vermilion in cosmetics applied to the face. By the end of the 19th century the French perfume house, Guerlain, started to manufacture lipstick for commercial usage. This version of lipstick was covered in silk paper and made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax. 

16th century – Reign of English Queen Elizabeth I, bright red lips and a stark white face became fashionable. This enabled popularization of lipstick that was made from beeswax and red stained plants. Only higher classes of noble women, and stage actors wore lipstick.

18th century – During this era, lipsticks slipped from the fashion of the higher echelons of society and found its popularity among the lower classes.

19th century – Lipstick remained in widespread usage only with actors and prostitutes. The latter is referenced in Oscar Wilde’s poem, The Harlot’s House.

But one pale woman all alone,
The daylight kissing her wan hair,
Loitered beneath the gas lamps’ flare,
With lips of flame and heart of stone.

Change to this centuries long tradition came to an end when French perfumers began producing lipstick commercially in 1884, when the House of Guerlain produced the first commercial lipstick. 

1880s – Famous American actress Sarah Bernhardt begun openly wearing lipstick. During that time, lipstick did not come in tubes, but was applied with a brush.

Carmine dye was expensive and the look of carmine colored lipstick was considered unnatural and theatrical, so lipstick was frowned upon for everyday wear. Only actors and actresses could get away with wearing lipstick. In 1880, few stage actresses wore lipstick in public. The famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt, began wearing lipstick and blush, or rouge as it was known, in public. Before that point, women applied makeup at home. Bernhardt often applied carmine dye to her lips in public.

In the early 1890s, carmine was mixed with an oil and wax base. The mixture gave a natural look and became acceptable. At that time, lipstick was not sold in screw up metal tube; it was sold in paper tubes, tinted papers, or in small pots. The Sears Roebuck catalog first offered rouge for lips and cheeks to American women by the late 1890s. By 1912 fashionable American women had come to consider lipstick acceptable, though an article in the New York Times advised on the need to apply it cautiously.

By 1915, lipstick was sold in cylinder metal containers, which had been invented by Maurice Levy. Women had to slide a lever on the side of the tube in order to move the lipstick to the top of the case. In 1923, the first swivel-up tube was patented by James Bruce Mason Jr., from none other than Nashville, Tennessee. Dark red was one of the most popular shade throughout the 19th and 20th century. Dark red lipstick was popular worldwide in the Flapper Era of the 1920s. Flappers wore lipstick to symbolize their independence. Lipstick was worn around the lips to form a Cupid’s bow, inspired by actress Clara Bow. At that time, it was acceptable to apply lipstick in public and during lunch, but never at dinner.

In the early 1930s, Elizabeth Arden began to introduce different lipstick colors. She inspired other companies to create a variety of lipstick shades. In the 1930s, lipstick was seen as symbol of adult sexuality. Photography and the cinema made lipstick acceptable among women. Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder were among the first to sell lipstick in their salons. I have always been told that cosmetic counters are in departments stores because cosmetics, and especially lipstick, became so popular during World War II that the sales clerks needed protection from the public.

During the Second World War, metal lipstick tubes were replaced by plastic and paper tubes. Lipstick was scarce during that time because some of the essential ingredients of lipstick, petroleum and castor oil, were unavailable. With World War II enabling women to enter the workplace, and take careers in areas such as scientific research, in the late 1940s, Hazel Bishop an organic chemist, created the first long lasting lipstick, called No-Smear lipstick.


By the 1950s, movie actresses Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor helped bring back dark red lips. A 1951 survey revealed that two-thirds of teenage girls wore lipstick.

1912 – Fashionable American women accepted lipstick as an important part of their daily and public attire.

1915 – The first lipstick sold in cylinder metal containers was invented by Maurice Levy.

1920s – Rise of photography made lipstick acceptable across Europe and North America.

1921 – Use of lipstick became widespread in the U.K. by the general female population.

1923 – Cylinder swivel-up tube was patented by James Bruce Mason Jr. in Nashville, Tennessee. This invention made lipstick easy to apply.

1927 – Frenchman Paul Baudercroux invented “Rouge Baiser” which was marketed as kiss-proof lipstick. It was banned from the market because it was so long-lasting that it caused problems when removing it from the lips.

1930s – Max Factor invented lip gloss.

1940s – World War II made lipstick scarce, because several of its essential ingredients were used in the war effort (petroleum and castor oil). During those years, metal tubes were replaced by plastic and paper.

1950 – American Hazel Bishop created the first long lasting, non-smearing lipstick.

1950s – American actresses Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor popularized dark red lips. Their influence, and new inventions by the companies Gala and Max Factor created exciting colors and trends.

1960s – Rock groups Ronettes and the Shirelles popularized white lipsticks, but the majority of female popularization preferred darker and colorful tones. By then, lipstick and high heels were one of the biggest examples of femininity.

1970s – 1990s – Black lipstick was popular in Goth and Punk subcultures. marilyn_manson_cannes

It was only in late 19th century when industrial advancements enabled cosmetologist to mass produce lipsticks for commercial sales. From that point, lipsticks slowly become highly popular. New innovations made their packaging easily accessible, and it evolved lipstick into the forms we know today…tubes that open, glosses, no smear formulas, and every-shade-of-the-rainbow colors.

Worldwide acceptance of lipstick by both genders acknowledges it as an integral part of daily life. We choose colors by current fashion and by our individual preferences. We are still much like the earliest humans, using lipstick either to enhance our attractiveness, or in the immortal words of Prince…

want your




Liberato Portillo M.; Ana Lilia Vigueras G. “Natural Enemies of Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus Costa): Importance in Mexico”, 2009. 

Riordan, Theresa. Inventing Beauty: A History of the Innovations that Have Made Us Beautiful. New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group. 2004.

Eisner, T. For Love of Insects. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2003.

Behan, J. The Bug that Changed History. 2006.

http://www.elizabethancostume.net/makeup.html Elizabethan Makeup

Sherrow, Victoria. For Appearance’s Sake: The Historical Encyclopedia of Good Looks, Beauty, and Grooming. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing. 2001.

All pictures/photographs are public domain for non-commercial usage, or are owned by the author.  

Report from the Battle of Chickamauga

From the project Decoding the Civil War, a note written from the Battle of Chickamauga.

Decoding the Civil War

mssEC_09_146 - battle of chickamauga.jpg840 PM
Gen Halleck  Chattanooga Tenn Sept 20th 5 PM 1863
We have met with a serious
disaster extent not yet ascertained Enemy
overwhelmed us drove our right pierced
our centre and scattered them Thomas
who had seven division remained intact
at last news Granger with two
brigades had gone to support Thomas
on the left every available reserve
was used when the men stampeded
Burnside will be notified of the
state of things at once &
you will be informed troops from
Charleston Florida Virginia & all along
the sea board are found among
the prisoners it seems that every
available man was thrown against us
sig W S Rosecrans Maj Genl

#OTD in 1863 Major General William Rosecrans sent this telegram to General-in-Chief Henry Halleck to apprise him of the situation at Chickamauga, which was not a good one for the Union forces. Among the few high points…

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Confessions from Chickamauga: “Taking Chattanooga is as important as taking Richmond.”

From the Emerging Civil War site.

Emerging Civil War

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome guest author Hunter S. Jones

Although I’d visited the Chickamauga Park my entire life, I knew next to nothing about the actual battle. When I started this journey, I had no idea what a corps was or a brigade, even though I have an undergrad degree in History. I learned enough to get me through the war eras, pass the exams and write the papers, and move to the parts of history I enjoy: the fashion stories, the love stories, the epidemics. There’s nothing like a plague to capture one’s imagination and change the course of world history. The further I ventured into the study of the Battle of Chickamauga, the more intriguing it became. This wasn’t about Union and Confederate Armies; these are the stories of 150,000 American soldiers. Chickamauga is the saga of broken hearts and shattered dreams which happened on…

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Women and Whiskey are Plentiful Here: Occupied Nashville in the Civil War

Thanks to Dirty, Sexy History for spotlighting my Civil War story today!

Dirty, Sexy History

NashvilleNashville, Tennessee was the largest city on the Western Front during the Civil War. With over 100,000 troops passing through the city from its occupation in 1862 until the end of the war in 1865, there was a real problem with idle troops and prostitutes.

The state of Tennessee was the last state to join the Confederacy on June 24, 1861. Following a vote by the people, Governor Isham G. Harris proclaimed “All connections by the State of Tennessee with the Federal Union dissolved…Tennessee is a free, independent government.” Nashville became a target of the Union forces due to the city’s importance as a port on the Cumberland River. Its importance as the capital of Tennessee made it a desirable prize. When it became the first Confederate state capital to fall to Union troops, the city was evacuated and Governor Harris issued a call for the legislature to assemble in…

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