Featured Book

About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 0 comments

There’s a razor-thin line between history and fiction. Scholars used to think the Iliad was all made up, until the actual ruins of Troy were found. What fascinates me about the bandit Joaquin Murietta is that no one really knows how much of his story is true. My book Finding Joaquin is not the first fictional narrative about this man. In fact, one of the first novels written in California was inspired by his life. This was The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, by John Rollin Ridge. Note the difference in spelling of the bandit’s name. There are a number of other variations,...

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Combat Casualties and Battlefield Medicine through the Ages by Lloyd Lofthouse

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Tidbits | 0 comments

It has been estimated that the Roman Empire’s Legions, over a nine-hundred year period, lost an average of one-thousand troops annually from combat. When we compare modern combat deaths, this is amazing. Though the number of killed and wounded in the U.S. Civil War (1861 – 1865) is not known precisely, most sources agree that the total number killed added up to an average of 160,000  – 175,000 combat deaths annually. In the Korean War, the US lost an average of 18,081 from combat deaths annually. In the Vietnam War, that number dropped to 3,063. In Desert Storm (1990-1991) there were only...

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Haworth Then and Now by Karen Perkins

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in 19th England, Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 2 comments

Haworth has a great deal to offer today’s visitors, including a working steam railway, the iconic cobbled high street (thankfully lined by a myriad of interesting shops and teashops that provide very pleasant rest stops along the climb), and of course wonderful walks through the stunning moorland that makes up so much of Brontë Country. As a booklover, I can think of no more inspiring place than the home of my literary heroines, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, and I visit as often as I can. The Brontë Society and Parsonage Museum has lovingly re-created their home, demonstrating how they...

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Ah, the spa! A short history of the long soak, by Anna Castle

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in 19th England, Featured Book, Historical Tidbits | 1 comment

I’ve always loved a long soak in a hot tub, especially with some fragrant salts or oils added to the mix. I’m not alone! Tolkien wrote a poem about the pleasures of the bath, “Sing hey for the bath at the end of the day.” He seems to be channeling fellow Oxonian A. E. Houseman with these lines: “But better beer when drink we lack, and water hot poured down the back.” Personally, I prefer hibiscus-mint tea with a swirl of agave nectar to beer. Bathe away your blues Alienists and other health practitioners in the Victorian period prescribed many forms of...

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The (Not Quite) True Story of the Real Cinderella By Libbie Hawker

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Ancient Egypt, Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 2 comments

I’m a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them whenever I get the chance—while I’m going for walks, working in my garden, cleaning the house, or traveling to the mainland to take care of all the errands and chores I can’t do here on the island. Not too long ago, I came across a podcast called Disney Story Origins, a well-produced and fascinating show that explores the real history behind all the best-loved Disney films. Sadly, the podcast hasn’t had any recent updates, but it led me to research the source material behind of many of the films that hadn’t yet been covered by Disney Story Origins....

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The Proud Sinner or How I Tried to Channel Agatha Christie by Priscilla Royal

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Fiction Influences, Medieval Great Britain | 2 comments

One of the criticisms often leveled at historical mystery fiction writers is that we emphasize the history rather than the mystery in our books. Not so, in my less than humble opinion. Several historical mystery writers do very well with both, a conclusion that is probably shared by most of us. That said, I freely admit that my series tends to be very character driven with a background of, I hope, historical surprises. So when I came to write The Proud Sinner, my thirteenth book coming out this month, I challenged myself to be more devious in plotting. Learning to develop my inner...

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