guest post: The French Nelson

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When British and French fleets met in battle during the 18th century, as a general rule, it was always the British that won. Not every time, granted, and there were plenty of encounters that ended in strategic draws, but overall this is true. But there was a notable exception to this rule. The French admiral who led his nation’s fleet… Read more »

review: The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Esther Greenwood is a promising, young college student from Boston who had been given the chance to gain real world experience and connections at a month-long literary program in New York City. Somewhere along the way she began to lose pieces of herself, and once she returned home her reality quickly unraveled. She started… Read more »

guest post: Winston Churchill’s Tattoo

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Philip K. Allan is back with another intriguing article! At the end of the 18th century, a new craze was sweeping the lower decks of the Royal Navy. The very latest fashion accessory for the well turned out sailor was to have a tattoo. Then, as now, young men found the lure of decorated skin irresistible. The reason for its… Read more »

guest post: The Real Blackbeard

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Who, Truly, Was Blackbeard, And From Whence Did He Come? Will The Real Pirate Commodore Please Stand Up? by Samuel Marquis In Blackbeard: The Birth of America, Historical Fiction Author Samuel Marquis, the ninth great-grandson of Captain William Kidd, chronicles the legendary Edward Thache—former British Navy seaman and notorious privateer-turned-pirate, who lorded over the Atlantic seaboard and Caribbean during the… Read more »

guest post: John Nuckel on a Chance Meeting with Teddy Wilson

One of the most important events in American music happened at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1938. There was a Benny Goodman concert that night. It actually was radical to have Goodman there at all playing his brand of swing music on the stage of such a prestigious venue. The seminal moment came when he brought out his quartet to… Read more »

guest post: Why Did Ships Have Figureheads?

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Please welcome back author Philip K. Allen with another article relating to his new novel! Figureheads are magnificent things. Stroll along the ranks of huge, colourfully painted ones in the naval museums at Greenwich or Portsmouth, and you cannot help but be impressed by the skill and effort that went into carving them. All of which begs the question why… Read more »

review: Martha Berry: A Woman of Courageous Spirit and Bold Dreams

Martha Berry: A Woman of Courageous Spirit and Bold Dreams by Joyce Blackburn This young adult biography was first published in 1968 and reissued in 1986 with photos and an author’s postscript. Martha Berry was the founder of The Berry Schools (later called Berry College) in Rome, Georgia. She had an early interest in the “mountain people” at the foot… Read more »

review: Lost in Austen

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Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure by Emma Campbell Webster A note beforehand: although released a year previously, this book has nothing to do with the 2008 TV Mini Series titled Lost in Austen (of which I knew nothing about until I Googled for a book image.) Book Description: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a… Read more »

guest post: Google and the Death of the Historical Novel

Please welcome author Philip K. Allan today with his take on the pros and cons of writing in the digital age. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google. As a writer of historical novels, it is the search engine that I have open on my PC as I work, ready to be dipped into to check a fact or study… Read more »

review: The Secret Kingdom

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The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola This story follows a boy named Nek Chand as he grows up in the village of Barian Kalan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan. He had an ideal childhood, learning his people’s history and legends… Read more »

guest post & audiobook giveaway: The Master of Verona

Please welcome author David Blixt, who has a brand new audio version of his book The Master of Verona on its 10th anniversary. The eBook version is also only $1.99 across platforms today (December 11th)! I’m one of “those” authors. The ones you have to discover for yourself, through a friend, or a comment, (or a blog!). There’s no big… Read more »