Archive | September 2012

Our Story

"Bookcover photos"

T.L. (Tamy) Burns, Marilyn and K.R. (Kim) Hughes

Since writing What She Knew, our lives have gone in a way we never dreamed possible. T.L. for one was really surprised by the journey for her personally. K.R. has been an author for forever, lol! Writing and story telling is in her blood. T.L., well, not so much!

Our Story….

A few years back, while K.R. (Kim) and I were both still living in Amarillo, Texas, Kim was taking a writing class for published authors. Let me stop here, and share a bit about Kim. She has always loved writing and journalism, and has written five historical novels set in the Regency Era, 1811 time frame. One is published, Treasured Love, and currently available on Amazon under her pen name of Kymber Lee. Kim’s next Regency romance is due out in little under a month titled Lord Tristan’s True Love. It will be available on Amazon in ebook form first. Woot Woot!!

As for me, T.L. (Tamy), I was drug into the business after Kim had taken a class with a well-known published author. The author giving the class, Jodi Thomas, has over thirty historical romances and is a best-selling author herself. This special creative writing class was for a select few, of which Kim was personally invited to attend. Wonderful opportunity for her is what I thought way back then. But, in a very short amount of time, a couple of weeks if I remember correctly, it was going to be a wonderful opportunity for me as well.

At this time (2008), she and her husband along with my husband and I were very good friends. The night after her first class, we all went to dinner together. She told us she really thought she was going to love the class and what her first assignment was: write about something that has never been written about. Well, after the laughter died down, because, really, what hasn’t been written about? We put our thinking caps on and started to throw around ideas in the ‘what if’ category.

A little history, at this time Anna Nicole Smith had recently died. And for months after her death, everyone kept comparing her life to Marilyn Monroe’s.   The fairy tale story of a girl going from rags to riches.   So, after several minutes of banter, Kim and I came up with – what if Marilyn Monroe had lived and because of living, it changes the course of history and John F. Kennedy is saved from assassination? Kim’s eyes really lit up. She loved the idea. What more could an author ask for. We all knew that Marilyn had never died to the public, and neither had JFK for that matter. Here we have two iconic figures in history, never forgotten.

Because I had helped her come up with the idea, she asked me to do the research and she would do the writing for this assignment that was due the following week. I said sure. I love research. We worked together that week, came up with what is now chapter two of the book and she presented it to the class. The class loved it along with her instructor, Jodi. Jodi told her that if she didn’t finish this and make it into a novel, she was an idiot.  This had the makings to be a best seller. And this from a best-selling author no less.
Well, the rest is history as they say. She came home from class, shared what Jodi had said and promptly announced that ‘we’ were writing a book.  My answer was well thought out, “We!?!?, I’m not a writer.” “No,” she said, “but you are an excellent researcher.” Well, I’m not one to back away from a challenge.  We worked together between family, jobs, volunteer work and friends and one year later had finished “What She Knew.”
For Kim and I, making the book as realistic as possible was uppermost in our minds.  As a result, the book is historically accurate. I took great pains to make sure that the dates and places were correct in every sequence. We both love that it feels so real for a fictional novel.
Now, here we are.  Five years later, the second edition of the book is published, the screen play is written, and we have just finished book 2 in the series and are ready to start book three.  It’s been an interesting journey.  In Nov of 2008 we self published the book, did some local book signings and sold basically to our friends and family.  We did have some sales to people we did not know, but not many.  It’s a hard road to choose and we knew nothing about promotion. This is just before Twitter, Facebook, and all the other Social Media that is out there now even existed.

Then three years ago, Kim and her husband moved to Atlanta, Georgia and a whole new world was opened up to us. It was in Atlanta that Kim met some great people both in the film and book industry.

A year and a half ago my husband and I followed and moved to Atlanta too. We came so that Kim and I could work on the script for “What She Knew” and to write the second book in the series. Thankfully, we were in a position to stay. From there, we met our agent, Janet Espy.

We are about to start writing book three and make book two into script form; all the while, working (the dreaded day job), promoting, and doing book signings.  It’s great fun, very scary, and wildly energizing to be working our dream. Kim and I are very blessed. Yes, very blessed.


We would love it if you would join us on Facebook and Twitter. We can be found at our website www.kandtproductions.com and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whatsheknew.krhughestlburns  and Twitter at @whatsheknewbook. We love all things Marilyn and discussions on her life; things we learned while researching; and anything to do with writing in general. Feel free to contact us at whatsheknew@gmail.com.

Book one is now out of print.  The new trilogy will encompass book 1 and more!!

Blessings to you all, K.R. and T.L.

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Continuing the list of little known tidbits about Marilyn Monroe

Hi again! Let’s just jump right in. Here are some fun things about Marilyn that you may have never known before:

~~Marilyn was only the second woman to head her own production company (Mary Pickford was the first). She was a talented producer. Marilyn Monroe Productions, which she formed in 1955 with Milton Greene, the photographer, only solely produced one film, The Prince and the Showgirl. Marilyn showed her tenacity in winning the script: she managed to wrangle a meeting with the writer, Terence Rattigan, in New York, where he was stopping over en route to Hollywood to discuss the script with the director William Wyler, luring him from the airport to a downtown bar. When Wyler failed to make him a concrete offer, Rattigan went with Marilyn.

~~Marilyn had a fixation on Clark Gable, her co-star in The Misfits; as a young girl, Marilyn dreamed that he was her father. She said that she cried for two days when he passed away.

~~During the filming of Let’s Make Love, Marilyn’s no-shows added 28 days to the shooting time and $1 million to the budget.

~~Her career in front of the camera began when she was discovered working on the assembly line at Radioplane, a munitions factory, by a photographer named David Conover. These pictures became known as the ‘famous red sweater’ photo’s.

~~Arthur Miller’s play After the Fall is generally thought to be a thinly veiled portrayal of his marriage to Marilyn. The writer James Baldwin walked out of the play because he thought that “Maggie”, the Monroe character, was so cruelly written.

~~Her funeral was literally a riot. Hundreds of her fans rushed into the cemetery after the service and stole the flowers from the floral tributes that had been sent.

~~Marilyn’s beaded Jean Louis gown, worn when she sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy, was sold in 1999 for £820,000. At the time, it was the record price for a single item of clothing, until Marilyn’s billowing white Seven Year Itch dress was put up for sale by Debbie Reynolds in 2011, where it made $2.8  million dollars.

~~Marilyn’s casket was open at her funeral. She wore an apple green Pucci sheath dress made of nylon jersey and a platinum wig (her head had been partially shaved during the autopsy).

~~For 20 years after Marilyn’s death, Joe DiMaggio arranged to have roses sent to her crypt three times a week.

Well, that’s all for this post and we hope you have enjoyed these tidbits. If you would, please comment below and tell us which one of the above did you find the most surprising? Also, if you have any other tidbits of your own that you would like to share, please do! Again, just comment below.

Blessings,
K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns
Website: http://www.whatsheknew.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/

Things you might not have known about Marilyn Monroe

 

Though Marilyn has been gone for over 50 years now, she remains to be a much sought after mystery.  Women want to be her, crossing generational lines still today; and men want to be with her.  Her untimely death has been the catalyst that haunts us even today about the woman who became the quintessential sex symbol.

Over the next several blogs, we are going to reveal some little known, tidbits shall we call them?, about Marilyn Monroe.  These tidbits of one of America’s most iconic people will serve two things:

One ~ to show the fun, quirky and unexpected side of the “Sex Goddess” Marilyn Monroe

and

Two ~ to show the vulnerability and humanness of a woman who has always seemed bigger than life.

This is the fun part, so let’s get started!!

~~Marilyn owned many dogs during her life; her last was a Maltese terrier given to  her by Frank Sinatra, which she named Maf (short for Mafia Honey). At the  Christie’s sale in 1999, two Polaroids of Maf sold for £220,000.

~~Goya was her favourite artist: “I know this man very well, we have the same  dreams, I have had the same dreams since I was a child.”

~~Her weight went up and down so dramatically during the filming of The Prince  and the Showgirl that the costume designer, Beatrice Dawson, had to create  facsimile dresses in different sizes. “I have two ulcers from this film,” she  said, “and they’re both monogrammed MM.”

~~Marilyn whitened her skin with hormone cream, one side effect of which was to  encourage the growth of blonde down on her face; Marilyn would not remove this  peach fuzz, believing that it gave her face a soft glow on camera.

~~She was named “The Most Advertised Girl in the World” by the Advertising  Association of the West in 1953. Among the brands she represented were American Airlines, Kyron Way Diet Pills, Pabst Beer, Tan-Tan Suntan Lotion and Royal  Triton Oil.

~~In 1950, Johnny Hyde, her agent, paid for her to have two plastic surgeries: a  tip rhinoplasty (reshaping the soft cartilage at the end of her nose); and a  chin implant.

~~She was an early devotee of yoga, and was taught by Indra Devi, a  Swedish-Russian Bollywood film star who also taught Greta Garbo and Gloria  Swanson.

~~Marilyn’s intervention got Ella Fitzgerald her first major engagement at a Los  Angeles nightclub. In 1955 the colour bar was still in force, but Marilyn  convinced the management to let Fitzgerald play by promising to sit in the front  row for a week. (For more information, see our blog “Marilyn and Ella, an unlikely duo?”)

~~She preferred to go naked. Among female studio employees – wardrobe mistresses,  hairdressers, make-up artists – she often went without clothes. She gave  interviews in the nude and often went out wearing nothing under the black mink  that Joe DiMaggio had given her.

~~Marilyn’s hero was Abraham Lincoln: “I used to read everything I could find  about him,” she wrote in her (ghosted) autobiography, My Story. “He was  the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood.”
~~Veronica Hamel, an actress, bought Marilyn’s house in 1972. She claimed that  when she was renovating the house she discovered an extensive system of  wire-taps. (Four sets: FBI, Mafia, Kennedy’s and Marilyn herself!)
~~The books she was reading at the time of her death were Harper Lee’s To Kill  a Mockingbird and Captain Newman MD, a novel by Leo Rosten based on the  life of Monroe’s psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson.

~~Two men claimed paternity of Marilyn on their deathbeds: C Stanley Gifford,  who both Marilyn and her mother believed was her father, but who refused to meet  Marilyn when she was alive; and Edward Mortensen, who was married to her mother  at the time of her birth, and whose (misspelled) surname appears on her birth  certificate.

~~She was athletic. As a young married woman on Catalina Island in the early  Forties, she studied weightlifting with a former Olympic champion named Howard  Corrington. She later went tandem surfing with a boyfriend, Tommy Zahn,  balancing on his shoulders as they cut through the waves.

~~She only owned one home by herself: the house she died in at 12305 Fifth Helena  Drive, Brentwood.

~~She was an excellent cook, and famous for her bouillabaisse. When writers at The  New York Times tried to make her recipe for stuffing, they were  surprised to discover that it was highly complex – it took them two hours to  finish. (We would love to find that recipe, and others of hers today!)

Well, we think this is enough to digest for one post.  We would love to hear from you and find out which one of the above is most surprising to you?  If you have a juicy tidbit to add, please feel free to comment below.

 

Blessings,

K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much is that Marilyn in the window?

"Bookcover photos"

Official page about us

Like us, we are sure you have seen many images of Marilyn Monroe in store fronts all over the world. Our picture above is one such find. My co-author and I were having our photo’s taken for promotional purposes, when we happened by a little boutique with this famous picture of Marilyn beautifully framed in the store fronts window. We couldn’t help but feel that it was meant to be and had the photographer take our picture with Marilyn Monroe!! It just so happens that it’s our favorite photo of the shoot, and it’s the one we chose for the back cover of our book, What She Knew.

So, it’s no wonder that we ran across this beautiful display one day.

The artist putting the finishing touches on his creation is Clark Hanford. He is known for his ‘out-of-the-box’ creativity. While literally millions of pictures of Marilyn Monroe adorn thousands of store fronts, this artist is constructing a ‘Marilyn Monroe Sculpture’ instead. This beautiful work of art is in the window of Max’s Art Supplies on Post Road East in Westport, CT.

Hansen, who recently hosted an art show at his home, started to design celebrity sculptures when he was looking for half-size mannequins for his clothing shop several years ago when he was living in London. His works have been displayed in galleries in New York, Beverly Hills, and Maui. He plans to automate of one of these figures in the near future.

If you find yourself in Westport, CT, make sure you take the time to go by and see this wonderful tribute to an American icon. The legend of Marilyn is one that will never die. Though she has long left this world, her muse continues to inspire.

Blessings, K.R. and T.L.
Website: http://www.whatsheknew.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whatshekne/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/whatsheknewbook/

Journey’s End

For the TTC VBT, this marks the end of a wonderful journey.  K.R. and I have to first say a huge THANK YOU to Tasha Turner for organizing, promoting and teaching all of us who participated in this blog tour.

For this last post in the tour, we would like to share a few things that we have learned about ourselves by participating with this wonderful group of people.

1) Thanksgiving:  Always be thankful. Everyone is going through something.  At times, we are all overwhelmed by our own burdens that we forget that others are too.  While participating with all the other authors on this blog tour, we learned that every last one of them, like us, are dealing with struggles in their life.  And, every last one of them, are overcomers. They are people of integrity and courage.

2) Responsibility:  Always be dependable.  It’s important to realize that when you participate in any group activity, you must shoulder your own weight.  You must be dependable, or the group is in danger of failure.  We participated with some outstanding people on this tour, every last one of them is dependable.  Now, that’s not to say that the road was smooth for us.  It’s only to say that even when the road was hard, each one of these people took the bull by the horns and dealt with the issue, notified leadership or came to the group for solutions.  Never, were we left wondering ‘what’s going on?’

3) Cooperation: Always be a grace giver.  In this world, people are very leery of their neighbors.  And, it’s with good reason.  The world we live in is by nature, unforgiving and harsh.  It has the habit of tearing down instead of building up.  For us, this blog tour reminded us that though we may differ in upbringing, philosophy, or education, we can all still work peacefully together.  By giving worth to the person, we bring a spirit of cooperation and can then achieve a common goal.

We love this quote of Reba’s!!    In our hearts, all of those who participated with us on this tour, possess all they need to succeed.  They are already literary greats.

So, as this comes to an end, we want to say thank you to everyone who hosted us on their blog!  And, thank you to those who graced our blog with your talent, heart and humor!  We have both enjoyed our time with you all and look forward to when we do this again.

Blessings,

K.R. and T.L.
Website: http://www.whatsheknew.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whatsheknew/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/whatsheknewbook/

Marilyn Monroe-does passing time bring new light to her death?

As 50 years have come and gone since Marilyn Monroe’s death, and more people are willing to share what they knew about the tragedy that tugged at the hearts of Americans. Marilyn Monroe, dead at the age of 36, was discovered on Sunday morning, Aug 5th, apparently from an overdose. Many people who were close to her were in shock. Those who knew her best, just couldn’t believe that she would take her own life. Besides, as we have all read since that day, many factors just negate that she did. Little things like; no glass by her bedside; the drugs in her system were too much to have been ingested; she was busy proofing photo’s of herself; she was expecting her new furniture from Mexico; she was back in good with the studio’s; and so much more.

Marilyn was always plagued with ups and downs. Today, her mood swings could probably be easily managed with meds. However, there are some who would argue that they are what made her who she was and that those fears that tormented her, made her a better actress. We don’t know about that, but one thing we do believe is that she did not commit suicide. Marilyn was more intelligent than most knew at the time; she had an entry into every social circle from mobsters to politicians; and she was so easy to talk to, too easy some would say. It is these reasons that could have landed Marilyn on someones ‘list’ and they would stop at nothing to silence her. Fear is a huge motivator, even if that fear is unfounded.

There have been numerous accounts of people who were there with her that weekend, who knew the truth. Some of these people are still alive today. We think that it’s because of just how much time has passed that some of these people are coming forward and sharing what they knew about the events of that fateful weekend.

Lawrence Schiller, famous photographer, is one such person. He had been working on the assignment of his dreams, capturing Hollywood’s sexiest star for Look magazine in 1960. The chemistry with Marilyn Monroe seemed promising, and their professional relationship deepened when he photographed her on the set of her final, never finished movie, Something’s Got to Give. Marilyn would work with Schiller up until the day before her death. He had even been at her house on that Saturday, talking about some of her photo’s (her famous nudes that Playboy would wait until January of 1964 before publishing out of respect.)

That morning, when Schiller pulled up to her house in Brentwood, he found Marilyn was in her front yard. Her face unmade and wearing slacks. Since he showed up unexpectedly, Marilyn was not as friendly as usual. He handed her a large envelope with a few prints and more foreign magazines with cover shots of her. As he was leaving for the weekend, he wanted to discuss the Playboy deal. She said that she would look things over and let him know. She told him that it was all about the nudity and was that all she was good for? She said she’d like to show that she could get publicity without using her ass or getting fired from a picture. She told him that she hadn’t made up her mind about letting Playboy have the photos. He left her that day with the confidence that they would speak again on Monday and that she would have made up her mind. But for Marilyn, Monday never came.

On early Sunday morning, Schiller got a call from Billy Woodfield breaking the news to him. Schiller was in shock. How could this be? Marilyn was moody yes, but suicidal? He rushed back to Hollywood and headed to Marilyn’s house in Brentwood. He arrived to see Eunice Murray, her housekeeper, leaving; and a man who he thought was Marilyn’s lawyer taking her dog from the house. Though the place was covered with police, no one was checking badges or credentials, so he did what came natural to him. Schiller took his camera out and started shooting. It was later that same day, returning to his studio, that he found an oversized envelope, hand delivered and pushed through the mail slot. It was the very same envelope that he had left with Marilyn on Saturday that contained the photo’s for her to either approve or not for Playboy. In it, in Marilyn’s own hand, she had written on the back of one photos “Send this to Playboy, they might like it.”

The world may never know exactly what did happen to Marilyn Monroe, but one thing is for sure. She was a woman who captured the nation when she was alive and over the last 50 years since her passing has captured the world. She is an icon that will live on long after we are gone that’s for sure. She lived a very public life filled with rumors amid bits of truth; many personal achievements amid failures; and many dangerous liaisons amid few true friends.

Blessings,
K.R. and T.L.
Website: http://www.whatsheknew.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whatsheknew/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/whatsheknewbook/

Please welcome our guest Scott Seldon!

Please help us welcome Scott Seldon to our blog! His science fiction books are popular reads. Besides the new series Pirates of I’ab, he has three other books out:
~~Edge of Hyperspace
~~Well of Dreams
~~Not Past Redemption
They can all be found on Smashwords and Amazon. For anyone who loves sci-fi, you can’t go wrong with these books. For today, Scott is going to share with us his newly released book, the start of a new series, Pirates of I’ab.

Spotlight on Pirates of I’ab, the new release by Scott Seldon

~~Ven Zaran takes over the last three months of a contract as a favor for a fellow trader. The system is known for its piracy problem, but Ven is willing to take the risk. What he encounters are well-connected pirates who can seemingly take any cargo at will. Each time they stop his ship and take a cargo, Ven resorts to more extreme measures. In the end he breaks the contract and sets out to take down the Dolf, the most feared pirate leader on I’ab.~~

Breakdown:

The premise is simple, but Pirates if I’ab is a many layered title. Some of it may go unnoticed until later books are published, but in addition to the obvious Pirates, there are others in the story. Within the greater story of actual pirates, is the story of a corporate executive, a pirate of a different sort. He doesn’t steal what he wants, he buys it. But his story is pivotal to later events. He’ll be back in Volume 4. It is really a story about unfair business practices on many levels and my hero’s struggle to make his way.

Now, the hero, Ven Zaran, isn’t exactly squeaky clean himself. He’s a space tracer, and known as an honest one. He also has fake identities and does a fair bit of smuggling. Trading is a hard business and he wouldn’t be where he is or be able to plan the future he wants, if he didn’t make a bit (well, really a lot) on the side. He is a family man, but doesn’t get much time because of his work. He has a past that has yet to be fully revealed, but it does include a drug problem he is struggling to recover from.

Ven Zaran’s story has many facets. In Pirates of I’ab he faces a fierce foe, he sends his family on vacation (joining them as time allows), and brings in a friend from Customs Intelligence. Characters from Edge of Hyperspace and Well of Dreams join the story, and it won’t be the last time. Their fates are interwoven in a saga that starts with this epic adventure.

Excerpt

They waited an agonizingly long time for the pirate to dock and break through the unpowered airlock. When they did, Ven instantly sensed this was someone new. He was short, and Ven made a side note to himself that all the Dolf’s henchmen seemed shorter than he was, and came onboard exuding arrogance.

Although suited up, this pirate didn’t bother to conceal his face. He was a small wiry man with a big black moustache.

“Go get the cargo while I handle this lot,” he told his men. A total of five men rushed aft to the hold to start transferring the cargo.

Ven just stood there looking at him. The surveillance system he’d installed was getting a very good look at this guy and he might give them the lead on the pirates they needed. A space suit could be traced, but only so far as how many were sold and to who. That usually was a huge number. But add a face to that and it narrowed it down a lot. Hopefully to just one. Ven would send a copy with his piracy report and send a copy to Jim as well.

The pirate came up to Ven when the last of the cargo was gone.

“You are in such deep trouble,” the little man said. His eyes were scanning over Ven and the men behind him. He suddenly pulled his pistol out and aimed it at Ven.

Ven didn’t flinch, he just looked the pirate in the eyes, eyes that couldn’t seem to hold still for a second. Ven thought to himself that this guy must be on something or was getting a huge adrenaline rush from this. He didn’t need to even look to know that Wally, Roldan, and Laren had their pistols trained on the pirate.

“I might even get a reward if I blow your head off,” the pirate said. “The boss doesn’t like you. You’ve cost him way too many loads.”

“That wouldn’t do any of us any good,” Ven said in a level voice. “If you shoot me, my men shoot you. They might even shoot first.”

The pirate looked around nervously at the three weapons pointed at him, but he didn’t back down.

“There is a price on your head, trader. Watch your back, you never know who may be gunning for you.”

“The same goes for you. Now I suggest you leave before anything happens.”

Ven could see the thoughts run through the pirate’s head and he slowly lowered his pistol and backed toward the airlock. Ven was tempted to goad him some more, but the look in his eyes made him think twice. If he was on something, he might go off at any little thing. It was one thing to stand up to him and answer his threats, it was quiet another to stupidly provoke him when he was leaving.

Author Bio:

Scott Seldon lives with his family in Colorado and works as an IT administrator. Visit his website (sites.google.com/site/scottrseldon/) for the latest updates and to find where his books are sold. Find his latest novel, Pirates of I’ab, at Smahswords and Amazon.

Scott, thank you so much for being with us this week. Your book sounds awesome and we cannot wait to get it for ourselves! Everyone make sure and check out all of his books on either Smashwords or Amazon.

Blessings,
K.R and T.L.
Website: http://www.whatsheknew.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/whatsheknew/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/whatsheknewbook/