Sunday, December 20, 2015

Fascinating Gravestones

It's been a while since I've posted any unusual gravestones, but as some you know, exploring old cemeteries is one of my favorite things to do. I grew up in Buffalo, NY, where there is a famous cemetery called Forest Lawn. My sister Bernadine and I spent afternoons exploring it, especially the section we dubbed "Mausoleum Row."

Enjoy the following photographs.

Bellefontaine Cemetery and the spooky figure that overlooks the tomb and family plot of the David R. Francis family.

Can't remember where this gravestone is but it is so unique, with the child "penetrating the thin veil" between this life and the next.

The statue of C.S. Lewis in front of the wardrobe from his book, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in East Belfast, Northern Ireland

A small primer on decoding symbols in old cemeteries.

In Pere Le Chaise cemetery, France.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fascinating Ancient Textiles

I came upon this amazing article while doing research for my pandemic flu novel. As you will see, ancient textiles are few and far between and here are the top ten finds.

All are fascinating, but I think Egtved girl, shown above in her hollowed log coffin, and the pleated Egyptian tunic are my favorites. About as close as you can come to time travel!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Civil War Medicine Chest

Here is a Civil War medicine chest similar to the one that my character, Kate, in The Battlefield Bride, receives as a gift from General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Note all the nooks and crannies for medicine bottles and vials, the mortar and pestle for compounding medicine, and what looks to be an antique stethoscope or possibly an enema tube.

In the story, Kate uses a drug named 'calomel' to stop thieves stealing sweets from her hospital kitchen with excellent results!

Medicine chest images and content used with permission from the Bangor Historical Society of Maine.

Their Facebook page is

Check them out!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

ellis island

Fascinating photographs from Ellis Island

I came across this article in the Washington Post this week, with absolutely amazing photos of immigrants in their native dress, coming through Ellis Island in New York in the early 20th century. 

The differences are spectacular and leaves one to imagine how all the different variances arose. 

Click on the above link and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New Novella Cover Status: Thrilled!

Here is the cover for the newest Barbour collection coming out July 2016!

My novella, The Battlefield Bride, is featured, and tells the story of a Civil War nurse who finds love on the battlefield while fighting her own personal demons.

My character, Kate Wilkes, is a composite of many spirited nurses who strove to provide comfort and care to wounded and dying men on both sides of the conflict.

The story begins right here in Paducah, Kentucky, in 1862, where much significant Civil War history took place. I can't wait for you to meet Kate!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


I recently had the e-book cover for my first historical novel redesigned by the fabulous Diane Turpin of Diane Turpin Designs.

This design more accurately catches my original idea for the cover and gives a hint about the story within, the tale of a young Irish princess who hears the gospel from Patrick and makes the decision to follow Jesus Christ. And in 432 AD Ireland, that was a dangerous choice.

You can use the link underneath the cover below to download a free copy.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Amputations were performed as early as 950 BC in Egypt, where a wooden prosthetic toe was found in the mummified remains of an ancient king in Egypt.

Known as the "Cairo toe", it showed great attention to detail in the carving of the toenail and the stain to match the wearer's skin tone.

In the 4th Century Hippocrates described the amputation procedure in his medical text on on "Joints."

But was the American Civil War that brought about the real prosthetics industry in the USA, due to an estimated 70,000 amputations performed. About 70% of injuries suffered by the soldiers involved a limb. "Minie" balls almost always shattered the bone it hit. Amputation was the only  way to save the soldier's life in the days before modern sterile surgery and antibiotics.

One of the earliest documented amputees of the war was James Edward Hanger, an eighteen yr. old Confederate soldier who lost his leg above the knee after being hit by a cannonball. After the war, Hanger went on to form J.E. Hanger & Company, and one of his earliest patents, US Patent No. 111741, was titled "Artificial Leg."

The J.E. Hanger company went on to become a leader in the prosthetics industry and today is a billion dollar company.

Here is a photo showing the evolution of the prosthetic limb. Today there is burgeoning industry in bionic and robotic prosthetics, as shown in the photo below, especially for our military men and women.

Wouldn't Mr. Hanger be amazed to see the end result of what he started? He turned what, for some men, would have been a reason to pass the remainder of his life in despair. Instead, he revolutionized the prosthetics world. Thank you, James Edward Hanger.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

GORGEOUS CLINT WALKER - This is the fun part!!!

When I was a little girl, I had the biggest crush on Clint Walker.


 Yes, the cowboy Cheyenne Bodie sure was a hunk. 

So, just because I can, I am using Clint Walker as the model for my hero, major James Logan, in my current WIP, the Battlefield Bride. 

I could swim forever in those deep blue eyes. So will my character, Kate!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Convenient Bride collection
 is #15 on the ECPA Christian Bestseller List!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Blog Hop Giveaway!

I thought I would give a bit of insight into how I created my main female character, Anna, in Have Cash, Will Marry. It's been especially fun to research the clothing of the late 19th century, although I'm not sure I would have enjoyed wearing them. Those corsets! This is the second story I have written that takes place in the Gilded Age and in both stories, jewels were very important.

Rene Lalique was a French jeweler who turned the design world upside down at the end of the 19th century. Instead of using only traditional jewels such as diamonds and rubies, Lalique used a variety of materials to create jewelry that were works of art in their own right.

The dragonfly lady brooch above is a good example. Semi-precious green chrysoprase was used for the head and body of the woman while the wings are enamel set with gold and irregular moonstones, then ringed with diamonds to create an iridescent effect. The woman who wore this brooch surely created a sensation! I used the idea of a dragonfly pendant for my character Anna, who received it from her father in memory of a special place in the forest that was precious to both of them.

The silk ballgown shown here is what I pictured Anna wearing at the Met ball when she first encounters Rob. Except for the color, which here is a sort of ice blue.

While researching for the story, I found an amazing article about a New Year's Eve ball at the Met in 1899, in which all the dresses worn by the ladies were described. And among all the whites, pinks, blues, and yellows, one gown stood out for me from the others because it was made of "apple-green silk." And who better to wear apple-green silk than a fiery redhead?

The nine authors of The Convenient Bride collection are having a great giveaway to celebrate the release of the book. So if you haven't entered the giveaway raffle for the 7" Kindle Fire, pre-loaded with my new novella and eight other wonderful stories, plus additional novels from these talented authors, go back to my previous post and click on the white Kindle pic to enter the giveaway!

Clicking on the Convenient Bride book cover will take you too the Amazon page to order the book as a paperback or for your Kindle.