Tunisian Interlude

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    After highlighting Casablanca and El Jadida, Morocco, I had not planned to write about other North African locations, but in light of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet receiving the 2015 Nobel… Continue reading

Maps, Markers, and Meandering: Place Matters

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When we moved to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, it took some adjustment, but mostly that went smoothly. I’ve been here almost three years and have become comfortable. Besides the joy of… Continue reading

A Brief Tour of Steubenville, OH

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I had to go out of town last weekend for a wedding in southern Ohio. This was home to a large chunk of my ancestors–Monroe and Belmont counties, along the Ohio river– and… Continue reading

Moroccan Discovery

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For authors of historical fiction, research is a time consuming, but critical element that lends  authenticity to their work. Some hate it while others are completely absorbed in the wonders of tracking down… Continue reading

Of Popes and Politics

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As I write this, Pope Francis has arrived here in Philadelphia and my city has gone mad with joy. It seems as if the whole city has poured downtown to greet him. I… Continue reading

The Draft Riots of 1863

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Most of us in America are familiar with the Military Draft, which was implemented in 1940 prior to the Second World War and abandoned following the Vietnam War, although men between the ages… Continue reading

Casablanca: Unconditional Surrender and a Strategic Error

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Like so many people, the movie Casablanca is at the top of my favorites list. It is set in 1941 when Morocco was still under the control of the Nazi collaborating Vichy government in… Continue reading

Tide, Wind, and Timeline

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The need for an accurate, believable timeline challenges any storyteller’s craft. Writing historical fiction makes this problem especially complex. A number of complicating factors can wreak havoc with the timeline, and my newest… Continue reading

From Pegleg Pete to Cutting Edge Prosthetics

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Historical details come in all shapes and sizes. For my latest book, A Widow’s Salvation, a Civil War story set in an Army hospital, I had to find out about prosthetic devices. My… Continue reading

Ciamar a tha, Y’all? or Celts in America

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In January of this year, I began an exploration of family history through American Civil War short fiction based on family stories and research into things Scottish. As the final piece in the… Continue reading