Friday, 12 June 2015

The Secret Life of Ms. Brown, Trophy Wife, Murder Victim, Whatever...

The blonde fox in the white Ferrari. 
That is how a screenwriter I know who lived in the same part of town as Nicole Brown Simpson - the poor man's Brentwood, a colony of lush little bungalows and starter condos in the flats south of Sunset - described the woman he used to see tooling around in her sporty little car, driving home after a run or a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or maybe just, as her license plate suggested, L84AD8 ("late for a date").

The point her was making in describing her this way was that he had no idea she was O.J.'s wife, no idea that her romantic affiliations would eventually be the death of her, or that she would ever be world-famous for any reason other than that he, like other guys he knew around Brentwood, thought she was a real hot mama. A hot tomato, I think, was the expression he used.

And I mention this only to dispel a myth that gained some currency - in fact, rich acceptance - during the couple of years or so that constituted the O.J. trial and its prelude and aftermath. It was a dismissive belief that Nicole Brown was somehow nothing special, just another SoCal beach babe, another girl who offers to show you her tan lines, a dime a dance, a dime a dozen. To me,  this was always ridiculous.

As many lovely starlets and beautiful beachcombers as you may find in Los Angeles, in Hollywood, in counties like Orange and Ventura, as many women as there may be waiting for rich husbands or a lucky break in those parts, I was certain as soon as I saw those first pictures of Ms. Brown that she was never among them.

She was also never going to marry a dentist. She was certainly never going to be a dentist. She looks too shielded and expensive to be bothered with such mundane things...

There is something offsetting and off-putting about Nicole in photographs, something eerie and otherworldly in her exceptional, heartrending beauty - beauty of the kind that one assumes, or at least hopes, expresses a spiritual truth greater that just good looks;  though of course it probably doesn't.

Nicole's face had grace, austerity, serenity, the snobbishness of a person rich with secrets, of one who has something to tell and isn't telling.

Which turned out to be the case.

True, Nicole's taste, at least in the public photos that we all saw over and over again - the most commonly repeated one was from the opening of the Harley-Davidson Cafe in New York in the autumn of 1993 - ran to ultra-sheen stretch Lycra, to the tartiest, tawdriest, tackiest mall-girl looks that never quite seem to have gotten out of the mid-eighties - and should have not have been worn by any woman out of her mid-twenties. 

The skirts are too short, the necklines too long, the fit always seems to be inspired by a tourniquet. But forget that stuff. Because the woman was physically just blessed. Her features are so regular, so even and smooth, by physiognomic standards possibly even perfect, with a straight nose, high forehead, sloped cheeks and such fine, fine bones.

And her hair has such shiny blondeness, while her expression is so blank, her eyes so far away: everything about this woman is so golden and frozen, stiff and perfect, just like a statue, a statuette, an Oscar, an Emmy, a trophy that O.J.'s acting was never going to win him.

She is a trophy wife, and in all her tanned bronzeness, she actually looks the part.

What I am trying to say is that it doesn't much matter to me what real refinements this woman, who was simple, would never acquire, that she wasn't educated, that to her a big goal achieved would have been owning a coffee bar in Brentwood.

It doesn't matter to me that her idea of "romantic" was to create a Calgon advertisement out of her bathroom and light scented candles all around the tub - or, for that matter, to arrange the same fiery display in the living room, or bedroom, wherever...

It doesn't much matter to me that Nicole wore real fur and fake leather, that in the late eighties her hair was feathered, that almost all the women she knew had silicone breast implants, that she liked to have a good time, that sometimes she had a few too many margaritas and often she danced with men she didn't know very well. All these issues of taste and aspiration and desperation matter to me almost not at all. 

Nothing matters, at this point, but still life and dead images of a woman who looks so fine and dignified and full of airs. Beauty like hers is greatly powerful, especially in a place like California, because far from being just another pretty face, a slice of sunshine and good cheer, Nicole is arch and strong to appearances, suggesting all kinds of dignity, all kinds of haughtiness.

And at certain times, if she made you really mad, I am sure that you would want to punch that face and make it go away. You would just plain want to bash it in.

That is how I know that O.J. is guilty...

Elizabeth Wurtzel
(Quartet Books Limited 1998)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A Birthday Wish for Nicole Brown Simpson...

Nicole Brown Simpson's youngest sister Tanya Brown is planning a big birthday party for Nicole!
"I know this is what Nicole would have wanted," Tanya told The Enquirer.

"Birthday parties were a time of special happiness for her and I want this one to serve as a reminder of all the good times she gave us."

In an exclusive interview, Tanya revealed the bittersweet details of how the family will celebrate Nicole's 36th birthday to keep her memory alive for her children who are living with their grandparents.

"The month between Mother's Day and the anniversary of Nicole's murder on June 12 is going to be a tough time for our family," said Tanya. "But I want to celebrate her birthday on May 19 just like always..."

"I'll decorate the house with streamers and party favors. I'm planning on a rich triple-layer chocolate birthday cake - Nicole's favorite - with ice cream, candles and all the trimmings. And I'll give out party hats to our family and friends.

"I want to leave an empty chair in front of the cake for Nicole. I know she'll look down at us with a big smile on her face when we sing Happy Birthday.

"We'll all blow out the candles, wishing for a happy and prosperous life of all of us."

The National Enquirer
April 25 1995

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Loving Mother? You Bet!

“Every Mother’s Day, Nicole, O.J. and the kids came to my parents’ house in Dana Point for a big family barbecue. There they were surrounded by my sisters and their kids.

“It was a wonderful day, a family event filled with love and joy – and whatever problems Nicole and O.J. had during their marriage disappeared.

“This was a day when Nicole celebrated being a mother. Instead of hanging out with the adults, she ran around and played games with all the kids. She got down on their level and had fun with them.”

This year in the wake of Nicole’s murder, there will be no joyful family barbecue. “This Mother’s Day is going to difficult for our family,” confided Tanya Brown. “It will be the first one since her death.”

Despite her bitterness over her sister’s death, Tanya is comforted by the knowledge that she and the rest of the Brown family are raising Nicole’s children in a loving environment.

“I know Nicole is looking down from heaven with a big smile on her face. She sees that Sydney and Justin are happy – and that make her happy.”

The National Enquirer
May 16 1995

A Most Favourite Day of the Year…
The Poignant Life of Nicole Brown Simpson

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Strategy of Ignorance? The Testimony of Denise Brown...

Denise Brown was supposed to be different. She had extensive firsthand exposure to O.J. and Nicole's relationship, including its darker sides.

Since the moment Detective Tom Lange called her parents' home on the morning after the murders, Denise was convinced that O.J. had murdered her sister. If anyone could explain how this had happened, it would be Nicole's older sister. When Denise walked to the witness stand on Friday afternoon, February 3, she did not so much as glance at her former brother-in-law...

Properly prepared, Denise could have given the jury some real understanding of Nicole and O.J.'s relationship, the good times as well as the bad. She could have helped explain why Nicole was so attracted to O.J., indeed why she loved him so much and why she stayed with him even though he abused her.

An honest summary of their relationship would have given Denise that much more credibility when she started describing O.J.'s bad acts. Instead, Darden tried to present O.J. as simply a domestic-violence machine, which was untrue and, in any event, unlikely to be believed by a jury already sympathetic to him.

Denise Brown's testimony essentially closed the domestic-violence part of the prosecution's case.

To a jury predisposed to believe such evidence - or one inclined toward hostility for the defendant - the presentation might have had considerable impact. After all, O.J. had been convicted of beating his wife, and there had been a handful more of incidents of violence, at least according to her sister.

The 911 tape from 1993 suggested that O.J. was certainly capable at least of violent anger toward his wife, and the stalking evidence, even if ambiguous, suggested a continuing obsession on his part.

Overall, however, the domestic-violence evidence was just short enough of overwhelming that the defense could continue to ignore it. Shapiro, for example, barely cross-examined Denise Brown.

Cochran's mantra from his opening - this is a murder case, not a domestic-violence case - remained the core of the defense strategy.   

Jeffrey Toobin

Monday, 2 February 2015

'February 2 1985' Thirty Years of a Tragic Union...

STAR - through friends of Nicole and industry insiders - has obtained a sneak peak at this extraordinary footage.

It tells the story of the first day of their marriage - a tragic union that ended in divorce seven years later, and that ultimately led to the most sensational murder case in American history.

One of the wedding's most riveting moments was the cutting of the cake, a touching scene at the time that now is taking on chilling dimensions... because of the knife murders of Nicole and her waiter friend Ronald Goldman.

Said the source: "It was a pretty big cake, so obviously it took a fairly large knife to cut into it.
When you see O.J. pick up the knife and then, with Nicole's hand on his, slice into this large cake, it sends a shiver down your spine."

Star Magazine
November 15 1994

Friday, 16 January 2015

Never Forgotten! Nicole Brown Simpson STILL Exists!

“Every New Year people get you some presents but your best present you get never changes: Your own existence! It is also your best present to others!”

Mehmet Murat ildan

Hello again! As this blog post begins with two apologies, my first apology is that even though January is well and truly upon us and the month of February is now beckoning; I would still like to wish you all a very ‘Happy New Year’!

And secondly, I apologise for the lack of recent updates about Nicole and to my chagrin having realised that I had posted my last story about her in September!

In my defence, I can only say that I have been very busy with other projects and as some of which were and are about Nicole; I had by no means forgotten about her…

Already 20015 promises to be interesting year with the release of the much anticipated ‘American Crime Story: The People v. O.J Simpson’ which will share the tales of the trial that begin an incredible twenty years ago this month!

The mini-series has been inspired by the fabulous book The Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin and will feature John Travolta and David Schwimmer as the two ‘Bobs’, the former as Robert Shapiro, Simpson’s swathe and duplicitous defence lawyer and the latter as Robert Kardashian, Simpson’s mysteriously conflicted friend, former spouse of Kris and the lawyer whose jaw-dropping expression as the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict was delivered remains burned in the image of that unforgettable day.

A statement from the television channel FX, the producers of the ‘American Crime Story’ revealed that ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson’ will share the tales of the “the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and manoeuvring on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defence shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave the jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.”

Personally speaking, I have never had any doubts, reasonable or otherwise as to the question of Simpson’s guilt!

As the ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’ is certain to shine the spotlight upon Simpson who is currently languishing inside the notorious Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada for anything from nine to thirty three years for his part in an armed confrontation in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007; I was disappointed to learn of the statement from Denise Brown that she had withdrawn her support for the Heart & Soul Food, a film that would focus on the life and the memories of her younger sister.

Denise had personally launched the idea for Heart & Soul Food through Kickstarter, the crowd funding website with Jimi James, Message Mon in 2014 to raise $360,000 in a campaign that would last 55 days; Nicole’s age.

Having taken a look at the campaign on Kickstarter today and even though 14 backers have pledged at total of $403, the message board simply reads Funding Canceled: Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on January 5.

The statement by Denise on her decision remains unequivocal: “The minute people said you have to market this with Simpson’s name I said no,” she says. “I won’t do anything to acknowledge the acquittal this year. So many are jumping on the bandwagon and doing the same old stuff, and I thought this could be different because the story is different. But I won’t go there.”

As Denise is apparently ‘brainstorming other ways to honor her sister’s life.’, I still wonder about the publication of her book that never was.

Due for publication in October 1998 by HarperCollins, Nicole’s Story promised to offer ‘a compelling portrait of her late sister which serves a two-fold purpose: to introduce readers to the smart, beautiful, and nurturing woman whom she loved; and to warn other women of the dangers of staying in an abusive relationship.’

With the promise of sixteen pages of colour photographs, this is the book I would love to read and I can’t imagine that I would be alone in thinking this!

Surely a balanced and realistic portrayal by those who actually knew and loved Nicole could begin the long process of shifting the spotlight away from the man who took her life and that of Ron Goldman one Sunday evening in June over twenty years ago.

Alas, until that time comes, I shall continue to do all that I can to keep the memory of Nicole alive…

Thank you for Remembering Nicole!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Exploding the Myth!

Many African-Americans reacted with disbelief and shock when they learned that O.J. Simpson was the prime suspect in the brutal murder of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her male friend. I, too, was incredulous...

I was annoyed that the media, encouraged by incriminating news leaks from Los Angeles justice officials, seemed to delight in the fall of this "all-American hero" - O.J., the handsome, former football star, sportscaster, actor, millionaire, who had risen from poverty to the top with a blond, former homecoming queen on his arm. He had it all, according to the American ideal - at least on the surface.

Then the myth exploded!

The magnitude of such destructiveness to his ex-wife, his children and himself was incomprehensible to me. If he did commit the crime, what possessed him to throw his whole life away in a moment of passion and rage? How could it be explained? Was he mentally ill? Was he temporarily insane?

Or was O.J. not crazy in the legal sense but collapsed emotionally when his wife spurned his reconciliation offer, then allegedly murdered her with the lethal attitude, "If I can't have her, nobody will."

We know from released 911 tapes that he was a jealous, possessive, abusive husband. This final heinous act may have been provoked by Nicole's rejection of him as a Black man. Perhaps she, as a so-called ideal California blond, symbolized the American dream for O.J., and losing her revealed that he could never be totally accepted into the White world he coveted. But this is pure speculation.

I don't know enough about O.J. to know what motivated him. Any maybe he doesn't either. 

The lesson to be learned here is that domestic violence (usually males battering and murdering their female companions) must be acknowledged and prevented.

O.J., from news accounts, seemed to operate in a sexist, narcissistic manner, conveying that he was not only possessive but felt he owned Nicole like a piece of chattel...

O.J. mostly chose his own course and, if guilty, succumbed tragically to its pitfalls...

Alvin F. Poussaint M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Ebony Magazine
(September 1994)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Appalling to Behold...

The presentation of the DNA evidence has ended, at least for now, and not a moment too soon. Everyone has had enough. Like everything else in this trial, it went on too long, especially the cross-examinations...

The fact is, although DNA testing may be as fool-proof as fingerprinting, it doesn't cause excitement. It's difficult to respond to. It's like advanced math, brilliant but boring, astonishing but passionless. It made everybody eager to move on to the next phrase of the trial, which consisted of the autopsy pictures of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, the victims of this appalling crime, whose names are so rarely mentioned.

In most murder trials, the prosecution and defense fight over the admissibility of autopsy photographs. The defense doesn't want the jury to see them. The prosecution does.

Leslie Abramson, Erik Menendez's lawyer, once called autopsy pictures "a cheap prosecutorial trick." Pamela Bozanich, the prosecutor in the first Menendez trial, gave the perfect response: "Those who have committed crimes like these, it ill behooves them to complain of the carnage they leave."

Probably because of the presence of the Goldman family, seated only a few feet away in the courtroom, the autopsy pictures of Ron Goldman elicited a more emotional reaction from the jury than the equally gruesome pictures of Nicole Brown Simpson...

As someone who has seen the photographs of the mutilated bodies close up, I can tell you that they are appalling to behold...

I found myself thinking, only a monster could have done this to a beautiful young mother of two, with the kids upstairs asleep...

Letter from Los Angeles
Dominick Dunne
Vanity Fair
August 1995

Monday, 7 July 2014

Standing By Her Man... Simpson, Nicole and THAT Video!

O.J. Simpson is selling a videotape that he claims reveals "his side" of his murder case - and it's sparking a storm of controversy around America.

Simpson's pushing the tape for $29.95. But here for ENQUIRER readers are key word-for-word excerpts from what O.J. has to say on the tape - and an analysis of evidence that refutes his claims.

On the tape Simpson talks about the small quantity of blood found in his Bronco and at his house.

O.J.: "All the blood drops going on the side of Nicole's house toward the alley, blood drops that are on this driveway, the blood-splattered Bronco." (In a mocking tone:) "My blood-spattered home. All of this blood constitutes less than 15 drops of blood. Less than 15 drops!"

But the police source pointed out: "What O.J. hopes people forget is that the police did a test on his Bronco that revealed there had been much more blood in it, but it had been wiped away."

One thing O.J. does NOT mention on the tape is his hunt for "the real killers," which he vowed to launch after his acquittal.

And about that acquittal, a self-assured O.J. has a stunning comment.

R.B.: "It's a tough question, but what do you think Nicole would have said about the verdict that day?"

O.J.: "Nicole would have stood by me."

That's a lie. Nicole was in therapy trying to find a way to get O.J. out of her life once and for all. And just hours before she was murdered, she told Simpson on the phone: "Get lost!"

R.B.: "You can't be real proud of your relationship with Nicole."

O.J.: "Yes I am. Totally proud."

The National Enquirer
March 5 1996

Read the Words and Blame the Victim!
The Legacy of Nicole Brown Simpson

A Most Favourite Day of the Year...

To Nicole Brown Simpson, Mother's Day was always the most joyful day of the year. Nicole's love of motherhood radiates from every picture in her touching Mother's Day photo album obtained by The ENQUIRER.
It's filled with the devoted mom's most cherished photos of herself and her beloved children.

"Being a good mother was the most important accomplishment in Nicole's life. It was the thing that mattered most to her," declared her youngest sister Tanya Brown in an exclusive ENQUIRER interview.

The heartwarming photos of Nicole with her youngsters Sydney and Justin as adorable tots clearly show the pride she took in motherhood. "These pictures capture the moments that made Nicole the happiest," revealed Tanya...

"Every Mother's Day, Nicole, O.J. and the kids came to my parents' house in Dana Point, for a big family barbecue. There they were surrounded by my sisters and their kids.

"It was a wonderful day, a family event filled with love and joy...

The doting mom loved taking photos of her beautiful, bright-eyed children, said Tanya.

"Nicole once told me, 'The reason I take so many pictures of Sydney and Justin is because kids grow up so fast and I want to remember them how they were when they were little.'"

Ironically, it is Sydney and Justin, now 9 and 6, who will remember Nicole from photos. "Through these pictures, her memory will always be alive," said Tanya.

The National Enquirer
May 16 1995

A Brutal Murder and a Sister's Grief...

The youngest sister of Nicole Brown Simpson has opened up about her sister's brutal murder after 20 years and revealed the moment she knew that the man she called 'Uncle OJ' was responsible for her death.

Tanya Brown, now 44, described how her family's lives were forever shattered on the morning of June 13, 1994, when they found out that Nicole, recently divorced from OJ Simpson, had been stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home along with her friend Ronald Goldman.

She said the grief-stricken family watched on TV as her sister's bloodied corpse was loaded into a van to be taken to the morgue. Ms Brown said she held her mother's shaking hands as she wept: 'That's my kid.'

Ms Brown said that at first she did not suspect Simpson, the former football player turned actor, whom she knew as a beloved brother-in-law.
Simpson and Ms Brown married in 1985 and had two children Sydney and Justin. In 1989, the former football player pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge against Simpson. They divorced in 1992.

After her sister's death, Ms Brown said she was exposed to the harrowing truth - that Simpson was a violent man who had mentally and physically abused her sister for years.
In the days following the murders, the net began to close on Simpson, now considered the prime suspect.

On June 17, the day that Simpson was supposed to turn himself over to police on murder charges, the former football player led officers on an infamous low-speed pursuit in a white Ford Bronco in California.

Tanya Brown revealed to People that during this bizarre car chase, which was broadcast to millions on live TV across the major networks, her father and elder sister Denise were on the phone trying to talk Simpson out of killing himself as he rode along with a gun to his head.

Ms Brown told the magazine: 'What many people don't know is that he called us during the chase and Denise and my dad tried to talk him down.

'''Don't do it, Juice!'' Daddy urged him, trying to get him to put the gun down and pull over. ''Think of your two kids, Juice! Don't do it!'''
Simpson finally surrendered to police and was jailed awaiting trial.

The internationally publicized trial of O.J. Simpson lasted one year and was dubbed the 'trial of the century'. In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and Mr Goldman.

The anguish for the victims' families did not end there. For Tanya Brown, her sister's brutal death unleashed years of depression and drug and alcohol abuse that culminated in her almost taking her own life in 2004.

Following psychiatric treatment and therapy, Ms Brown now says she has turned 'this ugly thing into something good'.

Now a life coach and mental-health advocate, she has recently written a memoir about the loss of her sister, entitled Finding Peace Amid The Chaos...

Finding Peace Amid the Chaos
My Escape from Depression and Suicide
Tanya Brown
(Langmarc Publishing March 2014)

Can't Forgive! A Brutal Murder and a Sister's Grief...

The sister of Ron Goldman, who was brutally murdered along with OJ Simpson's ex-wife, has made the shocking revelation that she almost killed OJ Simpson in revenge.

Kim Goldman revealed this week how she came within inches of taking out Simpson a year after he was found not guilty of stabbing to death her brother and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Kim Goldman told the National Enquirer: 'In 1996, (Simpson) walked in front of me while I was driving my car.
'I thought ''I can kill him, right here, right now.'' I never thought ''avenger'' and ''assassin'' were words to describe me, but in that moment they were.'

As she revved her car's engine and looked straight at Simpson, Ms Goldman's feelings of rage ebbed away.
She said: 'I am not a killer, and he is. I have appropriate hatred toward the man who stabbed my brother in the heart and left him for dead!'

The 43-year-old mother-of-one, who lives in Valencia, Caifornia, is the director of the nonprofit SCV Youth Project, which provides counseling and support for young people.

Her e-book on the murder of her brother, Ronald was published on Tuesday. Her memoir, Can’t Forgive: My Twenty-Year Battle with O.J. Simpson, chronicles her decades-long legal pursuit of Simpson.

In the book, Ms Goldman admits that she dreams about torturing Simpson.

Simpon's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, a waiter, were stabbed to death outside her Brentwood home on June 12, 1994.

In the days following the murders, the net began to close on Simpson, considered the prime suspect, after it emerged that his wife has suffered mental and physical abuse at his hands for years.

On June 17, the day that Simpson was supposed to turn himself over to police on murder charges, the former football player led officers on an infamous low-speed pursuit in a white Ford Bronco in California. Simpson finally surrendered to police and was jailed awaiting trial.

The internationally publicized trial of O.J. Simpson lasted one year and was dubbed the 'trial of the century'.

Ms Goldman writes in her memoir how she attended every day of Simpson's murder trial and the stress almost drove her to suicide.
She said that only the thought of her father Fred, struggling with the weight of his own grief, pulled her back from the brink.

In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and Mr Goldman. The 43-year-old said that watching Simpson go free left her feeling furious and betrayed.

Ms Goldman, who at the time was dating First Lady Hillary Clinton's make-up artist, said that her boyfriend conveyed messages of support from the White House.

She wrote in her book that Mrs Clinton passed messages of sympathy to her family and that when the Goldmans went to meet President Clinton, he said that was proud of how they had conducted themselves throughout the trial.

Following the criminal trial, the Goldman and Brown families pursued Simpson in civil court for $33.5million in damages and won.
The families have only see around 1 per cent of the money - but Ms Goldman says she will never stop trying to get the award from Simpson, not because they want to be rich but because she wants to leave him destitute. 

In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges in what he said was an attempt to retrieve memorabilia and personal items from two sports collectibles dealers in a casino hotel room.

Ms Goldman said that this news left her rejoicing that Simpson's bad karma had finally caught up with him.

Simpson was sentenced to between nine to 33 years in Nevada state prison. Ms Goldman sent him a card when he was jailed which read: 'Congratulations on your new home. Hope you enjoy your new digs! From the Goldman family.'

Simpson, now 66, was granted parole on some convictions last July however he must serve at least four more years. His conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of his ex-wife and Mr Goldman's murders.

Ms Goldman, who only refers to Simpson as 'The Killer' in her writing, says that her only relief now will come from his death.

However she told SignalSCV that writing her book has brought with it a peace of sorts.
'Writing has been important to me in finding my voice and taking back control of my life,' she said. 'I wanted people to know the parts of me that are important and strong, rather than (the victim).'

Can't Forgive.
My 20 - Year Battle with O.J. Simpson
Kim Goldman
(BenBella Books May 2014)