Monday, January 28, 2013

Jackie and Ethel...friendly enemies?

To say Jackie and Ethel Kennedy were enemies is going a bit too far, even for me. At best, these two ladies were dire opposites: Ethel, boisterous and out going, loved being the center of attention; Jackie, reserved and demur, found pleasure in simple pursuits. In comparing these two icons, one might think that Ethel would've been better suited for JFK, and Bobby a better match for Jackie. Jack Kennedy thrived in a crowd and preferred the company of his large, rambunctious family over moments of solitude, much like Ethel, while Bobby was often described as the sensitive, peace-keeping member of the Kennedy clan. Considering that Ethel wrote her college thesis on Why England Slept, a book penned by JFK, one may wonder if she did in fact have a crush on the young senator...For more on the Jackie - Ethel clash get your copy of O! Jackie. Find out who ended up in the pool at a dinnre party, who was known for her "big feet," and more.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Enduring Legacy

Here's a recent article discussing JFK memorabilia owner by a former aide. David Powers, who was a friend to both JFK and Jackie, also helped build the collection currently held by the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Speaking as one who made the pilgrimage there, it's an experience every Kennedy fan and history buff should make. Although my interest goes a bit deeper, possibly, than the average admirer, the library-museum does not disappoint. I had several squeal-worthy moments during my visit, including: staring at various outfits worn by Jackie, JFK's scrimshaw collection, and--a major highlight for me--seeing the infamous coconut from the PT-109 disaster. You may not find a copy of O! Jackie for sale in the gift shop, but this attratction is well worth the journey. Let's hope the Powers family has a few more items that contribute to the never-ending mystique and awe that only the Kennedys inspire. (Read the article here.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A "What was she thinking?" moment

A fabulous picture of the Kennedys. It's one of several taken by Richard Avedon, a noted photographer famous for his work at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Taken on January 3, 1961, the Avedon photos capture the Kennedys shortly before JFK's inauguration. Most striking in this picture is Jackie's expression. I believe it's one of the rare, few instances where you see a crack in her guarded persona. What was she thinking? Was she hopeful that the presidency would end her husband's randy ways? Or was that a look of dread, knowing photographers would be a permanent, sometimes invasive, part of her life? Jackie may be having second thoughts about the turn her life was taking. For a deeper journey into Jackie's thoughts and experiences as first lady, including a peek into her 'journal', get your copy of O! Jackie.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Flawless Fashion

JACQUELINE KENNEDY  photo | Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John F. Kennedy Jr.

From her first night as first lady and beyond, Jackie Kennedy's fashion choices rarely disappointed. She immediately cemented herself as a style icon, beginning with the Oleg Cassini gown she wore to the Inaugural Gala the previous night, and following up with this dress, which she co-designed with Bergdorf-Goodman's, the next evening. Details about Jackie's wardrobe are, naturally, included in
O! Jackie, along with interesting stories behind the various looks. Find out how she set herself apart from the other Kennedy women, and peek in on the argument Jackie and JFK had the night before his historic moment. And find out how Jackie's beloved friend and designer, Oleg, helped her through a traumatic event and saved a well-noted dinner party. O! Jackie celebrates the clothes and the moments that made Jackie Kennedy unforgettable. And O! Jackie explores quite a few moments the first lady would like to forget....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Naked with Aristotle Onassis

The first thing that may come to your mind is, "Ewww!" No one probably wants to envision him / herself naked with an old Greek shipping tycoon. Rest assured, I don't mean you, personally. I'm referring to a scene in O! Jackie, where Jackie Kennedy and 'Ari' have a somewhat uncomfortable encounter (at least for Jackie, the naked one). Many people many not know that Jackie and Ari did in fact meet several times while she was married to JFK; the Kennedys had an interesting relationship with Onassis. To read more about Jackie and Ari, and to find out how Mrs. Kennedy ended up naked with Aristotle Onassis, dive into your copy of O! Jackie.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tea with Hoover controversial?

As an author you want to write believable scenes, no matter what. That can get tricky when you're actually writing 'real' people. In O! Jackie there's a scene where Jackie Kennedy invites J. Edgar Hoover to join her for tea. On the surface, that sounds like something Jackie would do, invite someone to afternoon tea (although she wasn't a fan of ladies' luncheons and making small talk with the masses). But we're talking J. Edgar Hoover. If you recall, Hoover and the Kennedy men were anything but cordial. Hoover wanted to bring the Kennedys down, especially with Bobby serving as Attorney General and Papa Joe Kennedy behind the scenes and pulling his sons' strings. With the growth and success of the FBI, thanks in large part to Hoover, J. Edgar reveled in his own power. He often side-stepped the law (ironically) in his battle against communism and its sympathizers. Due to JFK's association with the mob (via Sinatra) and JFK's dalliances with some 'questionable ladies' (Marilyn Monroe included), Hoover salivated at the thought of ruining the Kennedys with his notorious files. So it might be hard to believe that Jackie would socialize with her husband's nemesis. But, there's a complicated, tangled reason why Jackie wanted to make nice with the famed director. Snatch up your own copy of O! Jackie and see what you think. It's one more layer to the age-old question, Did they, or didn't they?
O! Jackie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another woman's underwear in your bed

Talk about a no-no. In today's society, such an offense would land a husband in divorce court. Immediately. Assuming the wife didn't pound him into pulp or take him on to a daytime talk show. But believe it or not, Jackie Kennedy found a pair of another woman's underwear in her bed. By now we all know JFK is as famous for his romps with various ladies as he is for his love of country, but taking a tart into his private bedroom is a pretty low blow. We are talking the White House with over 130 rooms. Sure, there was construction and remodeling going on, thanks to Jackie's restoration efforts, but for whatever reason, Mr. President couldn't resist soiling his marriage bed. Literally. When Jackie found the panties, she reportedly gave them to her husband and replied, "You might want to ask around and see who these belong to; they're too big to be mine." To me, such a comment captures that 'perfect lady' mannerism that Jackie is known for and hints at what a complex, complicated woman she must have been. Building on that, and many other jaw-dropping truths, I couldn't resist writing about Jackie and the rest of the Kennedys. And what a story there was to tell. Read O! Jackie for more dirty laundry, Kennedy-style. (Yes, the panty scene is included.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oswald's hideout gets razed

It's surprising to me that after all these decades, the one-time home of alleged-JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was torn down today. (You can read about it here.) Surprising that no one was able to acquire and possibly renovate or restore the building. Surprsing that such a dismal fate took so long. Some may argue that the building had no historical significance, especially when compared to the Texas School Book Depository building, where Oswald (allegedly) fired the deadly shots from. For those who still believe Oswald was part of a conspiracy, or that he didn't act alone, it's a news item that stirs up wonder all over again. Speaking of Kennedys and conspiracies, check out my book, O! Jackie, for a surprising take on who really killed Marilyn Monroe.

BookFest at IceFest


Sponsored by the fabulous team that puts together the Mad Anthony Writer's conference, BookFest is held during Icefest in downtown Hamilton, Ohio. This will be my first author-ly (yeah, go with it) event of 2013, and aside from finding a parking spot, I'm excited to meet tons of people and to share O! Jackie with new readers. I'm also looking forward to discovering what authors do at such an event, since this will be my first time on the opposite side of the tables. And assuming I can fumble-stumble my way through the technical stuff, pictures will (hopefully) follow. For those of you who can't make it out, you can still get a copy of O! Jackie here. Hang on to it. More news and events to post. Hopefully, I'll see you soon. ~Mercedes