Archive for January, 2012

The Mystery of Automata

Maillardet’s Automaton



“In November of 1928, a truck pulled up to The Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia and unloaded the pieces of an interesting, complex, but totally ruined brass machine. Donated by the estate of John Penn Brock, a wealthy Philadelphian, the machine was studied and the museum began to realize the treasure it had been given.


This Automaton, known as the “Draughtsman-Writer” was built by Henri Maillardet, a Swiss mechanician of the 18th century who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms. It is believed that Maillardet built this extraordinary Automaton around 1800 and it has the largest “memory” of any such machine ever constructed…”


Read the rest and learn more about The Franklin Institute’s automaton here.



Lost Fragrances Found…(and a giveaway that you will treasure)


Here’s some exciting news: M.J.’s upcoming new novel, THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES, just got Indie Next Pick for March! It also received a starred and boxed PW review – to celebrate, M.J. is offering something very intriguing to her readers. The details are below…


But first, The Story straight from M.J.:


Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, was fascinated with and some say obsessed by scent. Marc Anthony built her a fragrance factory and the famous queen was said to have kept a recipe book for her perfumes, entitled Cleopatra gynaeciarum libri. That book has been described in writings by historians Dioscorides, Homer and Pliny the Elder.


No known copy of the book exists today.


That missing book stirred my imagination and became the seed for THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES. While writing, to remain in the world of the novel, I burned incense and my favorite candles – those created by Frederick Boucharday. When the novel was finished I searched out Boucharday to give him a copy of the yet to be published novel.


Boucharday was intstantly intrugued by THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES. First, as a reader, he said he was taken with the mystery and romance of the story. In my tale scent plays a strong role when it comes to ones memory. Boucharday, who creates using oils and classic ingredients, said that it spoke to him as a perfumer.


The ancient fictional fragrance at the heart of my novel is called, Âmes Sœurs, which means “Soul Mates” in French. Inspired by the book, Boucharday has brought the scent to life with his version of Âmes Sœurs , the scent of soul mates. Âmes Sœurs hints of Frankincense, Myrrh, Orange Blossom and Jasmine. It’s smoky uncommon finish suggests the past and the future, and lost souls reunited.


In what I hope will be a perfect combination of fragrance, fact and fiction, Boucharday and I have brought both perfume and storytelling to a new place.


We’d like to give our readers a sample of Âmes Sœurs, the scent of soul mates, the exclusive, mystical fragrance, inspired by THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (coming in March). Publishers Weekly has called the book a “deliciously sensual novel of paranormal suspense…”




For every one of you that pre-orders THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES using the instructions below, we will send a sample of Âmes Sœurs. This is a mesmerizing read, a provocative fragrance, a unique collaboration and something special for you.


How does it work?


1. Just click on the preferred website and pre-order THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES from the links below.


2. Email the receipt or a scan of it to along with your name and your snail mail address for fragrance delivery.


Your sample of Âmes Sœurs will be shipped to you on or before March 13th. The book will arrive separately, from the store of your choice, at the same time so you can enjoy both together.




Barnes & Noble


Your favorite Independent Bookstore


Books A Million


*Offer ends March 1st, is limited numbers of supplies available and only to readers in the US and Canada.




Here are some of the excellent reviews we mentioned! –


“Rose’s deliciously sensual novel of paranormal suspense smoothly melds a perfume-scented quest to protect an ancient artifact with an ages-spanning romance. Rose imbues her characters with rich internal lives in a complex plot that races to a satisfying finish.” Publishers Weekly, Starred and Boxed Review


“A simmering brew that mingles the erotic sensuality of Patrick Suskind’s Perfume with the dark and timeless obsessions of Rider Haggard’s classic, She.” New York Times bestselling author Katherine Neville


“One of those rare novels that reminds us of the beauty and enormous complexity of the human soul. This novel is a marvelous discovery.” —Bestseller, Javier Sierra


“Resonates with spirit, blending myth with reality, tragedy with triumph, pain with joy. You’ll find yourself questioning everything you believe—and wanting more.” New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry


“Clever, with beguiling characters; a wonderful mixture of suspense and pace and good old fashioned storytelling.”New York Times Bestseller, Kate Mosse



Ancient Observatories of the Americas




In the ancient world the observation of stars and celestial phenomenon all of kinds was akin to today’s fascination with high technology. So much so that civilizations went to great lengths to create observatories and structures to sight and track anything sky related. Imagine the sense of wonder and mystery these people must have encountered when simply bothering to look up?


If you have not researched Chaco Canyon and the Fajada Butte, we recommend diving down the nearest rabbit hole into these fascinating subjects.


Here’s a great place to start on Chaco Canyon, and here is an introduction to Fajada Butte, home of the Sun Dagger!




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