Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Writing Kennedys

When I came up with the idea to write a novel about the Kennedys--Jackie in particular--I had to figure out: How do you 'write' Kennedys? My main goal was to portray the family as literary characters, but present them as close to their public personas as possible. Of course, some creative liberties are taken when writing about real people that you don't know personally. But one of the qualities that makes O! Jackie work is that readers don't know which parts were based on real events, and which parts were fabricated (well, some scenes are obvious....). And what helps makes those fictional episodes seamless are the people / character themselves. You read about Jackie, JFK, Bobby, etc. talking / acting / behaving in ways you believe were or could be true. And isn't that the point? If you're interested in reading a behind the scenes tale about the Kennedy lifestyle and their scandals, you want to be as submerged in that era and in those people as possible. What also works is that the book isn't salacious just for the sake of being salacious. There's no useless / meaningless sex or nudity--but there is just the right mixture of both throughout the book. But don't take my word for it. Read it for yourself and share your own opinion about O! Jackie.....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why We Love Marilyn, pt.5

Her Sex Appeal.

How many women have been completely sexy, vulnerable, tragic, honest, and so comfortable in their skin? And we're not talking your average 'model' who may be willing to flash her boobs for a paycheck. We're talking Marilyn, a woman who, fifty+ years after her death, continues to sell books, shirts and items of every kind with her story / likeness.  Her playfulness and blond wit are almost as legendary as her nude photos. She was captivating on screen, even in small roles, and through the years, devotion to the star hasn't declined. To find out more about Marilyn, and to discover a new take on her affair with JFK, get your copy of O! Jackie.

Why We Love Marilyn, pt. 4

Her Vulnerability.

She exposed it all: her talents, her body, her triumphs, her tragedies. If there's a lesson to be learned from the life and times of Marilyn Monroe, surely it's the fact that eye-popping beauty and worldwide fame don't mean happiness. Perhaps some of the blame can go to her escalating habit of pill dependency and drinking, coupled with a difficult history of family mental illness. Relationships failed her, and her ultimate desire to be a mother never came true. She put up a brave front, most of the time. We've heard the rumors about how Hollywood used her, passed her around, and in true underdog fashion, we all wish Marilyn could've had the last word, could've come out on top: healthy, with a lengthy, admirable career...and a loving family at her side.

Find out just how vulnerable Marilyn could be, and discover a fictional 'what-if' scenario about her death in O! Jackie.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Why We Love Marilyn, pt.3

Her Personality.

It might sound like the kiss of death, since women today may not like being described as someone with a 'great personality', but let's face it: Marilyn wasn't above making fun of herself. She was whimsical and witty, and the fact that men drooled and forgot themselves over her killer figure wasn't lost on her. She also understood that Hollywood wanted her to play the 'dumb blonde' and that many of her movies only cared about capitalizing on her boobs and flashing as much of her as they could in skimpy clothes (and remember, we're talking the 50s here). Marilyn also knew the camera loved every angle of her. There were also times when Marilyn was a caricature of herself. I mean, why in the world did she ever bother wearing that wig? What was the point? And you have to wonder how difficult it probably became for her, Norma Jeane, to play and be 'Marilyn' all the time. Even so, she was quick to play it up, take risks, and bare it all.


Why We Love Marilyn, pt.2

Her Figure.

In one of the most famous shots of Marilyn, here she is, wearing the iconic 'flesh and beads' dress as she sang 'Happy Birthday' to JFK. For many, her curves were perfection. (Wasn't Tinkerbell modeled after Marilyn?) This dress hugs and exposes just about every feature that she was known for. And photos like this make Marilyn hard to forget. How many women before or since Ms. Monroe could make eyes boggle by simply walking into a room? Sure, there are plenty of beautiful women out there, and Victoria Secret models that come and go, but how many of them do you know by name? How many have left an impression on pop culture? How many have become legends?

Read more about Marilyn and her affair with JFK in O! Jackie.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Why We Love Marilyn, pt.1

In the store the other day and what do I come across? Marilyn Monroe memorabilia--tote bags, lidded tumblers, t-shirts, etc. Her own little section of items relevant, usable for today's fan. But why? After all these years, why do we still love and worship Marilyn Monroe?

Easy....Her Beauty

In a room full of ladies, this was destined to stand out, draw your attention, capture your eye.
Read and experience O! Jackie for a side of Marilyn you didn't know.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cover Girl

Few first ladies have captivated the nation with not only her good looks, but also her "interesting" personal life. Jackie fills the bill on both accounts. The camera loved Jackie from every angle, and despite the decade or fashion accessory she was wearing, Jackie nailed it every time. Most likely, she appeared on the cover of every viable magazine (at one time or another), and, needless to say, was "beloved" by the tabloids. But here are a few of the covers from LIFE magazine, which featured Jackie eleven times.

To read more about Jackie, and to explore what she was like behind those famous images, get your copy of O! Jackie.

Jackie's Sunglasses

It's no wonder that various companies have tried and succeeded at capitalizing on the stylish sunglasses craze that Jackie Kennedy effortlessly inspired. Described as 'the bumble bee' or 'the tortoise' look, Jackie did sunglasses right in several decades. Still today, that look she created is copied by companies everywhere; and celebrities in sunglasses often draw comparisons to Jackie's look. In fact, when you scroll through pictures of her in her famous shades, most of the photos were taken post her White House (and JFK) years. I think when you mention "Jackie O" immediately we conjure up the image of her in those big, round sunglasses. This demonstrates, once again, how Jackie easily transitioned, fashion-wise, from one decade to the next.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

6 Degrees of Separation

A love triangle would never do when talking about JFK's sexual conquests. This is merely one example. Once upon a time, mid thru late 1940s, Jack Kennedy met a woman named Inga Arvad. They met through his sister Kathleen, as both women worked for the Washington Times-Herald. Of course, Jack and Inga became more than friends, but Inga was a security concern; she'd 'befriended' Hitler during two interviews she'd conducted with him in the 30s--and won Hitler's admiration. Guess who was extremely concerned about this, so much so that he kept files on the Kennedy clan? (J. Edgar Hoover. So Hoover had her followed, phones tapped, etc...) Jack was also bed-buddies with divorcee Flo Pritchett--who was also girlfriends with Inga. Oh, and guess who else once worked at the Times-Herald? Jackie--who was also friendly with Flo. Boggles the mind. .  .

But if you're interested in reading about the Jackie-JFK-Marilyn Monroe love triangle, and how it all fell apart, get your copy of O! Jackie.

JFK's One True Love

Before Jackie, Marilyn, and the slew of other women JFK gained carnal knowledge of, he was devoted to one special 'girl'. They were introduced when he was only 15. She was a mainstay in his life, and the night before he died, JFK sketched a rough picture of her and set it by his bedside. Who was she? Victura, an all-wood, 25-foot gaff rigged sloop. JFK's love for the sea had been apparent throughout his life, and many of his doodlings included the boat. Although he owned several sailing vessels, the Victura was his beloved and part of his sailing life until he died.

"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea- whether it is to sail of to watch it - we are going back from whence we came." ~ JFK

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Coming Soon: The Proposal

Be on the lookout for a new short story, The Proposal. Get a glimspe of Jack and Jackie before they were officially an item. Sneak-a-peek at their pre-marital issues and doubts. More details to come....

Bangin' Hitler's "Girl" and Another Man's Wife

Okay, it almost sounds like a bad joke, but we all know by now that JFK had a rare, disgusting talent for sleeping with every able-bodied female he came into contact with. Included in this list of beauties--and I do mean a beauty, as she was a former beauty queen--was Inga Arvad. Her name alone suggests a sultry siren. Danish and a former journalist for the Washington Times-Herald, Inga was also linked to Adolf Hitler. Though the two weren't romantic (Inga interviewed him twice in the 1930s), she was his companion during the 1936 Olympics, and he dubbed her the "perfect Nordic beauty." JFK must've agreed. Although this picture isn't 'authentic', it does give you a dreamy image of them together.

Oh, and that married woman JFK took turns with? The previously mentioned, divorced and remarried, Flo Pritchett. Oh, but Inga was married too (to Hungarian film director Paul Fejos). Busy, busy boy. Read more about JFK's sexual escapades in O! Jackie.

Jackie's Crowing Achievement

Even today, over 50 years later, we still ooh-and-aah over pictures from the White House Restoration, a project headed by Jackie herself. With her love of history and furnishings, Jackie Kennedy was the perfect person to undertake such a task. Not only did she rescue priceless pieces from storage, but Jackie, thanks to her decorator instinct, knew how to adorn many of the White House rooms with splendor. The most stunning room, or at least one of the most memorable, was the Red Room. Take a look....

Spend more time with the first lady in O! Jackie, a fictional take on her life behind the cameras and closed White House doors. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Appearance for O! Jackie

Very excited to add this event to my calendar. The Lori Foster Annual Reader and Writer Get Together is a fun event that brings loads of writers up close and personal with readers. I'll be there, sharing and selling Jackie with the masses. Hope to see you there!

Event link (you must register to attend):

Purchase O! Jackie here:

The Most Famous Coconut

When you get close to a subject, you often grow an attachment, sometimes to the most unusual aspects or items. During my research of the Kennedys, I became fascinated withe the Coconut. Now we're not just talking any old nut here...While serving in the Navy, Lt. Kennedy was skipper of the PT109. Long story short, JFK wasn't 'minding the store' properly; his boat was seared in two by a Japanese destroyer. Surprisingly, only a couple crew members died; JFK and the rest of the men managed to swim to a deserted island roughly 3 miles away. Lt. Kennedy's saving grace? He swam that distance while clenching the strap of another crew member's life jacket; he 'towed' the man to the island (pretty impressive). Two natives happen by in a canoe. Jack springs into action by carving a message into a coconut shell and has the islanders deliver it to a nearby post. The coconut message led to all the men being resuced shortly thereafter. But that wasn't all. Papa Joe stepped in and later insisted that his brave, heroic son deserved recognition for what he'd done--while critics blamed Kennedy for the entire incident, said men were lolling around, sleeping, not tending to their duties. Guess who won that battle? Papa Joe: JFK was awarded a medal for his actions. (So much for the short version....)

JFK had the coconut shell made into a paperweight. It sat on his desk, right along with his his scrimshaw.

But the ultimate fate of the coconut shell? Well, I didn't know for certain. Did someone eventually toss it? Was it in the White House Museum? All of my research told me that it was 'gone' or unaccounted for. Imagine my surprise--my glee!--when I found it! Encased with other Kennedy-items, it found a home, a resting place in the JFK Library and Museum. Not only did I find it, but I also got to see it in person!

Will post the picture separate.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Redefining 'Womanizing'

To say JFK had a talent for seducing women is an understatement. Not only did the man make his way into a slew of untold, nameless girls, ladies, co-eds, assistants, admirers, and movie starlets, but he screwed women that we close to and friends with his wife. Who am I talking about? Florence Pritchett, a divorcee that JFK dallied with from roughly 1957 on. Oh, and when he wasn't making trips to Cuba--in order to see Florence--you might find JFK, and Jackie, enjoying an afternoon at sea on Jack's boat, the Honey Fitz. Hard to believe? Maybe, until the photos surface.

Oh, and they brought along Florence's new husband, Earl E.T. Smith.
How does a wife not only 'turn a blind eye' to such carnal flaws in her husband, but entertain his side dish, too? Want to go deeper into Jackie's mind? Try O! Jackie today, and see how far she could be pushed before she pushed back.

Fatherly Advice

One has to wonder: If JFK had lived long enough to see his children grow into adulthood, what kind of advice would he have given them? For a man who took advantage of teen girls at times, what would he have told his daughter, at say, 16? "All men are rats." (Which was advice Jackie received from her own womanizing father) And let's just go for it and be completely disgusting: Would he have taken advantage of her friends?

What about on John Jr.'s wedding day, would he have given his son the same 'encouragement' that he gave his brother Teddy: "Being married doesn't mean you have to be faithful." Was that a motto that simply went with the last name of Kennedy?

 Worse, how would he have explained his exploits to Caroline and John?

When she was once asked about her father's behavior, Caroline answered: "I wouldn't be my mother's daughter if I commented on that." (paraphrasing) Let's hope that Caroline's marriage doesn't turn out to be a sham like her cousin's, Maria Shriver.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Jackie's Addiction


One doesn't become cemented as a fashion icon without serious retail spending, and let's just say that Jackie did her share when it came to shopping. In fact, her frequent spending sprees, preference for French designers, and effortless ability to keep pace with trends (and perhaps start a few), irked the men in her life. At one point Papa Joe said that all of Jackie's clothing bills should be sent to him; he'd take care of them. But for a man who once owned a $400 million empire, even Joe Kennedy complained about Jackie's tireless addiction. During their White House years, JFK complained that Jackie had spent $40,000 on clothes in one year. Even billionaire Aristotle Onassis blew up a few times over his trophy wife's purchases. Considering the various tragedies Jackie was forced to live with, and the fact that neither of her husband's believed in or practiced fidelity, it's easy to overlook this flaw in Jackie. And in the end, Jackie left us with a stunning display of how every decade (even the dreadful 70s) could be done with taste and elegance.

Find out more about Jackie's flaws and the extremes she went to in order to protect her marriage in O! Jackie.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Devoted to a Cheater

Most of us can't fathom how Jackie Kennedy stayed committed to such a dysfunctional marriage. It wasn't as though she was unattractive. Far from it, and men, from world leaders to the average Joe, admired her beauty and grace.

It wasn't as though JFK worked hard to conceal his tail-chasing, as the Secret Service (Ah! meaning there...) and much of JFK's inner circle kept his activities from the press. Even if they hadn't, at that time, there's a chance the press would've looked the other way, not wanting the nation's leader to look immoral.

It wasn't as though Jackie didn't know about her husband's infidelities; she once quipped after introducing someone to one of her young aides: "That's the woman my husband is currently sleeping with." Plus, there was that agonizing moment she plucked strange underwear from her marital bedsheets and told her husband: "You might want to ask around and find out who these belong to; they're too big to be mine."

So what WAS it that kept these two together? Simple. They shared the same devotion to public image. Jackie had been well-trained by her father-in-law Joe with the mantra, "Image is everything."

To read a more in-depth look at the Kennedys--and to crawl into bed with them--get your copy of O! Jackie.

O! Jackie Giveaway!

I've already done this a few times, and I have to say--readers and fans are the best! I'm so appreciative to the people I've 'met' while promoting and sharing O! Jackie. They've been so warm and kind. So here's another chance for you to win a FREE copy of O! Jackie. It's worked out so well the last few times that I'm happy to do it again. Enter for your FREE copy here. But if you can't wait that long, and if you're like me and not much of a gambler because luck is oh-so-fickle, then get your copy here. Thank you!!