Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

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 facebook.com/bangorhistoricalsociety.

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!

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!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


My first traditionally published novella HAVE CASH, WILL MARRY.

In the late 19th century Gilded Age, cash poor English aristocrats flooded the New York City social scene, shopping for a rich bride. And there were plenty of American heiresses eager to trade their fortune for an English title. But what happens when you have an English aristocrat who wants to find a woman too really fall in love, despite his desperate need for her money, and an American heiress who could care less for a title, but wants to be loved for herself not her fortune? Robert Alexander Radclyfe, the son and heir of the ninth Earl of Wentwater, and Anna Randolph MacDougall, heir to the MacDougall Sewing Machine empire, are about to find out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Third Time's the Charm!

I have an agent! And finally, I actually have an agent I like and trust. So important.

Julie Gwinn, with the Seymour Literary Agency, has agreed to represent me and I am thrilled!

Julie knows I can write. She took my 2nd ancient historical novel to the Publication board at B&H Publishing. She is fun to talk to, and full of great ideas.

Over ten years ago, I had my first agent. A man who loved my first historical but had some out-of-the- ordinary ideas about publishing, He didn't last in the market and moved on.

My second (very brief) liaison with another agent only lasted a couple months. I never felt comfortable with her; she was lackadaisical and didn't inspire confidence or trust.

On the other hand, I immediately bonded with Julie. She has many years of experience in the publishing and marketing fields. Right now she is perusing all my "stuff"; figuring out what my "brand" might be, and where I might fit in the market, both CBA and ABA.

I am thankful to finally have an agent who can help me figure out the publishing world, and is so much fun to talk to. Over the moon right now!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Battlefield Bride

I'm researching a new story about a Civil War nurse. As an RN myself, it's fascinating to see how far nursing has come in the last 150 years.

Disease and infection killed far more soldiers than outright battle wounds. And many of the infections resulted as a result of amputations.

This is an actual army surgeon's amputation kit. It looks clean and shiny now but in actuality the instruments would have been covered with blood, bits of flesh, dirt and bacteria. It's amazing that any of the men survived!

Sometimes in the absence of chloroform or whiskey, these amputations would have been completed while the patient was awake. It seems horrible but we have to remember that at that time in history, amputation was seen as a last chance at life. My character will have quite a time of, ministering to these sick and wounded men.

In May of 1863, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was accidentally shot by one of his own men when returning from a midnight reconnaissance ride. His left arm had to be amputated and is buried in a family graveyard in Chancellorsville, Virginia. 

The General was taken away to recover from the surgery but died eight days later. The rest of Stonewall is buried in Lexington, VA. 

As I read through historical accounts of civil War hospitals and battlefields, I am very thankful for antibiotics and sterile operating rooms!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My new book cover! Status: THRILLED

Here is the new cover for The Convenient Bride Collection! I am over the moon to see my name in print, along with eight other very talented writers.

To be released on July 1, 2015 and available for pre-order on Amazon.com.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Back In The Saddle Again!

It's been a while since I have actively posted but that's about to change.

Like Gene Autry, I'm back in the saddle again! There have been amazing archaeological finds since I last actively posted and I'm excited to write about them. More historical tidbits coming, spooky tomb stories, and more!

At this moment I'm trying to discover if all the addresses I had for my blog followers are still intact. So if you'd like to continue to be a part of this blog, please leave me a comment or email me. Thank you so much. I promise it will be interesting!

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo