Monday, September 19, 2016

I Believe in Prophetic Dreams and so did Matilde of Ringelheim!

Do you believe in prophetic dreams? I never used to believe in them, but then something happened that forever changed my mind and convinced me otherwise. I dreamed the lottery numbers. Yes, I did!

In my dream, a friend approached me with a lottery ticket we had purchased together. He told me that our ticket had won a $46 million dollar jackpot and that we would split it. In my dream I took the ticket into my hand and studied the numbers. 3, 18, 21, 38, and my excitement grew. That’s when I began to awaken, and as I slowly rose out of my slumber, I suddenly sprang out of bed in a frantic search for pen and paper. By the time I stumbled around the kitchen and found what I was looking for, I had forgotten the last two numbers and could only remember those precious first four numbers.

As a non-believer of prophetic dreams, I didn’t make too much of it. That was my first mistake! I did, however, go to the grocery store on my way to work that night and bought  lottery ticket. The jackpot was $10 million dollars. Of course I played those four numbers – 3, 18, 21, 38, but then used 46 and 23 as the missing numbers because they were the other two numbers mentioned in my dream – the $46 million divided by the two of us – hence $23. That was my second mistake. I should have bought enough tickets and played every combo of numbers to replace those two numbers I could not remember. 

That entire day, I experienced very strong feelings that I was going to win. During my drive to work, I even planned what to do with the winnings. In the middle of my shift, I took a break and called the lottery line. The four numbers I recalled had won, but my choice of 46 and 23 were wrong. Instead of $10 million dollars, I won a mere $87.00.

I am now completely convinced in the veracity of prophetic dreams. Abraham Lincoln dreamed of his death. Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity came to him in a dream. Mark Twain dreamed of his brother’s death on a steamship. And there are many, many more examples throughout history.

It is no wonder that after my own personal experience, the topic of prophetic dreams has fascinated me for years. When I accidentally stumbled upon a bio of a little know woman of history named Matilde of Ringelheim, one phrase caught my attention – her prophetic dreams. It immediately sparked my imagination. The more I delved into her life, the more fascinated I became. In Matilde’s case, her dreams foretold of her family’s successes and their deaths. The most famous of her dreams happened when she lay upon her deathbed and was visited by her grandson. She had dreamed about his death and before he left her bedside, she insisted he take her last possession, her burial garments. A few days later, he died an accidental death.

I recently released a fictionalized biography about her life entitled THE PROPHETIC QUEEN. The book follows history as closely as possible, while exploring her thoughts, emotions, and reactions to her ability to prophesize the future through her dreams. A truly fascinating woman of history!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Laura Bullion - Outlaw of the Wild West

Laura Bullion:  Whore, Fraud Artist, and Robber of trains and banks. 
Poor Laura, all she ever knew was a life of crime. She was introduced to crime early in her life. Her father was a notorious bank robber. At the age of 13, she became a prostitute. When she was 15, she became romantically entangled with William Carver and began to run with notorious outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid of the Wild Bunch. Of course, it was only natural for her to help out with a few robberies here and there, and was known for disguising herself as a man. She earned the moniker "Rose of the Wild Bunch." She continued to work as a prostitute in a San Antonio brothel until the age of 17. In between, she was very adept at pawning off stolen good and forging checks. The law caught up to her in 1901 and she was arrested and convicted of train robbery, receiving 5 years imprisonment. She served 3 years and was subsequently released. She must have learned her lesson, however, because she immediately gave up her life of crime and lived her life quietly thereafter. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lizzie Borden Took An Axe and Gave Her Mother 40 Whacks!

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one

To this very day, the horrific tale of Lizzie Borden is still talked about.

Lizzie Borden was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on July 19, 1860. When she was three years old, her mother Sarah Borden died, leaving both Lizzie and her elder sister, Emma motherless. Their father, Andrew Borden, soon remarried a woman named Abby Durfree Gray in 1865 and the newly formed family lived a relatively quiet life in their home on 92nd Street.

Lizzie and Emma grew to womanhood. Lizzie was a strong churgoer and taught Sunday School, belonged to Church organizations, and even travelled a little. Lizzie Borden's father was a hard working man and had acquired a significant amount of wealth, but he was stingy with his money, spending little, even refusing to add modern plumbing to their relatively nice home of decent size.

In 1884, Andrew bought his wife's half-sister a home. This incensed the two sisters who objected vehemently. Conflict within the home escalated. The siblings fought with their stepmother and referred to her as "Mrs. Borden" instead of "mother".

In an effort to eliminate the growing hostility between his daughters and his wife, Andrew gave Lizzie and Emma some money of their own and permitted them to rent out his old family home. But tension between the three women continued to grow. When some thefts were discovered from Andrew and Sarah's bedrooms, each member of the family bought and installed locks for all their bedroom doors.

In July of 1892, Lizzie and Emma went to visit some friends. Lizzie returned soon thereafter, but Emma remained. During the same time, Lizzie's uncle, the brother of her deceased mother, came to stay at the house for a visit. In early August, Andrew and Abby fell ill with an attack of vomiting. Abby confided to a friend that she suspected someone had poisoned her. On August 4, Lizzie's uncle and father went into town together. Andrew returned home without his brother-in-law and and lay down for a nap in the sitting room.

The family's maid was also taking a nap at this time and was awoken by Lizzie who urged her to come downstairs. Lizzie's father had been murdered, hacked in the face and head with an axe or hatchet. Lizzie said it happened while she was in the barn. The doctor was sent for. Upon his arrival, they discovered Abby dead in a bedroom, also hacked numerous times.

Andrew died without a will, therefore the entire estate, worth between $300,000 to $500,000, would go to Lizzie and Emma and not to Abby's heirs.

When evidence revealed that Lizzie had tried to burn a dress several days after the murder and that she'd tried to purchase poison, Lizzie Borden was arrested even though there was no bloodstained clothing found and only a washed, very clean hatchet made to look dirty was discovered in the cellar.

The widely publicized trial of Lizzie Borden commenced June 3, 1893 and popular opinion as to her innocence or guilt was split. Some Massachusetts feminists wrote in Lizzie Borden's favor and other townsfolk vehemently voiced their anger at her guilt.

Lizzie Borden never testified because she was adamant she had been in the barn searching for fishing equipment and eating pears outside while the murders were occuring. She insisted that she was innocent and kept her silence and allowed her lawyer to speak on her behalf.

Lack of direct evidence failed to convince the jury of her guilt and she was acquitted on June 20, 1893.

Afterwards, Lizzie continued to live in Fall River, but bought and lived in a new, much bigger home called "Maplecroft". She called herself Lizbeth instead of Lizzie. She and Emma lived in their new home together until they argued sometime in 1904 or 1905. Lizzie and Emma owned many pets, and left their estates to the Animal Rescue Leauge.

Lizzie Borden died at Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1927. She never outlived her notorious reputation as a murderess. She was buried next to her father and stepmother. The home in which the murders took place was turned into a bed-and-breakfast in 1992 and is now a popular tourist spot.

In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime.

Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters. 

Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes…

Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.

The story of Lizzie Borden and the murder of her parents have fascinated generations. Did she or didn't she do it? This question circulates to this very day. Now, Brandy Purdy has stepped up and wrote a compelling biographical novel about Lizzie Borden, her life, and her dark motivations. Anyone who reads a novel by Brandy Purdy must be prepared for a grippingly well told story that often bend the facts to enhance the story. And that's what I love most about Brandy Purdy! She knows how to spin a tale and make it soar. She definitely did just that with The Secrets of Lizzie Borden.

By using a very person, first personal narrative, the author knows how to delve deep inside her protaganists thoughts and emotions to make them larger than life, and that's what stands out the most about this novel. Lizzie Borden became so real that I truly felt I understood her and why she did what she did. I instinctively knew that I was not supposed to like or hate her - rather to comprehend her motivations. 

This book definitely left me haunted, exposed to conflicting feelings of loathing and understanding. And that's the sign of a great book. For anyone who loves biographical murder mysteries and novels set in Victorian times, then this is a book you have to read. Compelling, engrossing, shocking! I loved it.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beauty Secrets of the Ancient Egyptians

Find out body and hair care secrets the ancient Egyptians used!

In ancient times in no other country like Egypt, was the concern with body and hair care so extensive. Cleopatra VII wrote a book of beauty secrets, because she was a master of this art. Even today eye makeup styles based on the ancient Egyptian technique are still popular.

Body care

Body care was a common daily ritual. The ancient Egyptians used body scents for fumigation and flavouring of the body. Women and men also used body oils. They provided skin protection and moisturizing effect in a hot climate. They worried about weight gain and hair loss. The ancient manuscript is entitled «How to Make the Old Young». Such a book could be a best-seller today.
Hair Care
As we know, many of the ancient Egyptians wore wigs. It was aimed not only to create a look of beautiful hair, but also to protect people from the heat of the sun. Their own hair was often dyed with henna and braided. They liked to adorn it with lotus flowers, gold tubes, ribbons, petals and berries. Researchers have discovered that people used over 20 aromatic oils not only for body but also for hair care.
Make up
Both men and women wore makeup to be more attractive. Their makeup techniques made the natural beauty of the face more expressive. They mixed different ingredients with fats and waxes to make the cosmetics. The egyptians colored the lashes, brows and applied eyeshadow around the eyes. They used different pigments such as malachite to outline the eyes, galena or lead sulfide so-called kohl as the eyeliner, the spice saffron as the eyeshadow. Red ochre and wine helped to add color to lips and cheeks.

So, we can copy a lot from the ancient Egyptians. First of all, their regular application of natural oils for body and hair care.

This is a guest post from Viki Howell. More tips for your beauty here


Monday, January 18, 2016

The Atrocities of Ilsa Koch

Lurking behind the face of this pretty German girl named Ilsa Koch is pure evil incarnate. The wealthy wife of a high level Nazi officer, she had a lot of time on her hands. Instead of normal entertainments like shopping, dinner parties, or tea with the ladies, Ilsa would entertain herself at the concentration camp. She loved to watch the abuse of prisoners. Her delight progressed into things too gruesome for understanding. The camp became her playground, the prisoners her props. 
Many atrocities are attributed to this debauched woman - torture, murder, starvation, sexual enticement, and many more. Mostly, her claim to fame is she created ornaments from human skin, including shrunken heads and lampshades made from human skin, with which she decorated her home. Many Nazi socialites even gave her special orders for these baubles for their own homes. There many existing images of these objects on the internet, and I shall not post them here because the sight is too haunting and heartbreaking. 
After being prosecuted by the U.S. for personally selecting prisoners for murder, which she denied, she was sentenced to life in prison. Koch committed suicide at Aichach women's prison on 1 September 1967 at the age of 60 years. She never showed any remorse.  

Below is a comprehensive YouTube video worth watching. 
In memory of all the Jewish people who suffered at her hands and that of the Nazis, let us never forget!