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Tiara Tuesday: Marie Louise’s Ruby Diadem

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Don’t freak out, but technically Marie Louise’s ruby diadem doesn’t exist anymore. We’ll get to why in a moment – but first, let’s set the scene. In 1810, Napoleon ordered this tiara for his second wife, Marie Louise of Austria (Marie Antoinette’s niece). He understood that age-old saying, “Happy wife, happy life,” so he ordered all new jewels for Marie …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Russian Aquamarine Tiara

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This tiara was created around 1900, most likely for Empress Alexandra, wife of Nicholas II (and mother of Grand Duchesses Olga and Marie, for you Romanov Legacy readers). We don’t know this for sure, however, since there are no pictures of Alexandra wearing this tiara. These honkin’ aquamarines are arranged in a traditional Russian kokoshnik style, with a platinum frame …

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The Red Road Book Trailer

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So, I shared this all over social media before I realized, duh, you should probably post this on your own blog, too. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the book trailer for The Red Road. Yes, book trailers are mostly lame, but you know what? They’re also kind of fun to make. Challenging, angering, time-consuming, and yes, fun. I …

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East of Eden: Collected Thoughts, Part Deux

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I‘m about 300 pages through East of Eden. There are some serious shenanigans going on. This book is the strangest combination of soap opera plot points and philosophical musings disguised as fireside chats. Anyhoo, here are a few more random thoughts to keep you guys in the loop while it’s fresh in my mind. I forgot a couple of points …

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East of Eden: A Few Collected Thoughts

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I‘m about a hundred and thirty pages into East of Eden. These are just a few quick thoughts to keep you guys in the loop while it’s fresh in my mind. 1. The beginning had me worried. Several dour, humorless, religious wives. The men are all charming, of course. Steinbeck, you’re on the verge of pissing me off here. 2. …

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Author Interview: Will Hahn

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Today, we’re talking to Will Hahn, fellow indie author and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. We talk about history, writing, and King Arthur. Will’s latest release, Reunion of Souls, will be available on December 26th. Scroll down to the bottom for a chance to win two print copies of the bundled set “Games of Chance” and “Strength …

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Tiara Tuesday: Princess Takamado’s Tiara

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The woman the world calls Princess Takamado was born Hisako Tottori, the daughter of an industrialist. Raised in England, where her father worked, she graduated from Cambridge University with degrees in anthropology and archaeology. After graduation, she went back to Japan and met Prince Norihito (the emperor’s cousin) at a party hosted by the Canadian Embassy. Less than a full …

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Tiara Tuesday: Hessian Turquoise and Moonstone Tiara

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The Hessian turquoise and moonstone tiara was purchased in 1906 by Grand Duke Ernst Louis of Hesse as a Christmas present for his second wife, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolhms-Lich. Although it was made in Russia, we don’t know by whom (some sources say Cartier, others say a competitor of Faberge). This tiara’s stones have special meanings: diamonds for eternity, turquoise …

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Tiara Tuesday: Marie Feodorovna’s Wave Tiara

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Marie Feodorovna’s wave tiara may or may not have been made by Cartier – some sources say it was, but I can’t confirm it. As you can tell by the name, it belonged to the empress of Russia, wife of Alexander III. This tiara came with a matching necklace and brooch, but it doesn’t look like Marie wore them together. …

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Tiara Tuesday: The Duchess of Alba’s Tiara

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Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, the Duchess of Alba, died this past Thursday at the age of 88. She had 57 noble titles, holding the Guinness World Record for most noble titles recognized by an existing government. It’s said that she could cross all of Spain without ever sleeping under a roof that wasn’t …