An engrossing and captivating tale that spans four generations and reveals the humanity, glamour, and seedy underside of a family intoxicated by the quest for wealth, power, and perfection. This book is classic literary satisfaction, a real page-turner.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 6, 2010
Levine Communications Office announces the release of The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It by Sharrie Williams. This compelling never-before-told story is derived from 900 pages of family archives and secret diaries dating back to the 1920's.
This richly told saga begins in 1915 when a cooking fire singed his sister Mabel's lashes and brow. Tom Lyle Williams watched in fascination as she mixed petroleum jelly with burnt cork and coal dust in what she called a "secret of the harem" then applied it to her lashes. Inspired by Mabel's simple beauty trick, Williams created what would become an iconic billion-dollar business, naming it Maybelline in her honor.
Throughout the 20th century Maybelline inflated, collapsed and thrived in tandem with the nation's upheavals. While glitz, glamour and scandal swirled from behind the gates of his Rudolf Valentino Villa, Williams launched the careers of Hollywood starlets including Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow, and Debbie Reynolds. Holding the sole advertising contract for the Miss America pageant and to Grace Kelly's wedding, Maybelline became wildly successful, so much so, that the Feds investigated Maybelline as a monopoly.
Tom Lyle revered women, none more than his brother's wife, Evelyn who became his lifelong muse. Entranced by her "roaring charisma," he called her the "real Miss Maybelline" and based his ads on her persona: beautiful, hardboiled and daring. At age 76, Evelyn got a facelift, breast implants and opened the Maybelline Dinner Theatre in Arkansas, with invited guests that included stars, dignitaries, and then Governor Bill Clinton. The next day Evelyn was dead, victim to an arson fire in her home; bizarrely, her 13 wigs lined up on the lawn nearby. To this day her death remains unsolved.
An epic and intimate tale, alive with the scandal, the hustle, the music and the dance of an American dynasty, this is sure to be the most talked about book of the fall.
"I wanted the world to remember Tom Lyle Williams as one of the great American Entrepreneurs. His rags to riches story is inspiring and should be remembered. Also, I didn't want the unsolved murder of my Grandmother, Evelyn Williams, to be forgotten. This is a larger than life tale of a family who lived the American Dream, and survived tragedies as well as its triumphs." - Sharrie Williams
"An engrossing and captivating tale that spans four generations and reveals the humanity, glamour, and seedy underside of a family intoxicated by the quest for wealth, power, and perfection. This book is classic literary satisfaction, a real page-turner." --Nina Siemaszko, actress, The West Wing
About Sharrie Williams:
Sharrie Williams is heir to the Maybelline legacy and family steward of the vast documentation that traces Maybelline's history. Visit: http://www.maybellinebook.com/
The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It
416 pgs • Photos • $18.95
Bettie Youngs Books