book tour

Research for the Historical Author

Research for the Historical Author

Hi everyone! I’m guest posting at Jami Gold’s site today, talking about my Top 7 online resources for historical research. Hope you can stop by!

Researching History for Fiction Authors


If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the latest Concordia Wells mystery, it’s available now at all the major online booksellers. Here’s a bit more about book #5 and what the lady professor is up to:


A stolen blueprint, a dead body, and wedding bells….
Change is in the air at Hartford Women’s College in the fall of 1898. Renowned inventor Peter Sanbourne—working on Project Blue Arrow for the Navy—heads the school’s new engineering program, and literature professor Concordia Wells prepares to leave to marry David Bradley.

The new routine soon goes awry when a bludgeoned body—clutching a torn scrap of the only blueprint for Blue Arrow—is discovered on the property Concordia and David were planning to call home.

To unravel the mystery that stands between them and their new life together, Concordia must navigate deadly pranks, dark secrets, and long-simmering grudges that threaten to tear apart her beloved school and leave behind an unseemly trail of bodies.

Available at your favorite online bookseller (buttons are clickable):

Thanks so much! Hope to see you at Jami’s place!


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Feeling lucky? Contest results!

Feeling lucky? Contest results!

Not this kind of “feeling lucky.”

It’s time to announce the giveaways from my book tour, and I’m so excited! When I was first planning the tour, I was really looking forward to connecting with blog readers via the comments section, and wanted to give out some freebies to say thank you! And you guys did not disappoint: it’s been so much fun chatting with you all.

I’m also grateful to the fab writers and bloggers who acted as hosts along the way: Susan Spann, Elizabeth Craig, Nancy Lauzon, Margot Kinberg, Bayard and Holmes, Julie Glover, Jess Witkins, Jill Kemerer, Tiffany White, Misterio Press, and Jenny Hansen. Thank you! You all rock!

Last week, when the last post had been released, I realized it was time to figure out how to randomly give away the prizes. Hmm. What’s the best way to do that? I got to thinking about all of the board gaming I’ve done over the decades, and the variety of randomizing tactics they use.

So I dug deep from my own experiences. The spinner from The Game of Life, or maybe Candyland? (Told ya I dug deep, LOL).  Or perhaps a roll of the dice, the time-honored tactic of countless games?

A shuffle of the cards? A flip of the coin?

Should I visit Vegas for inspiration, and take a turn at the roulette wheel? (Great excuse for a road trip!) How about the dart board at our local pub?


Maybe I should have y’all over for a game of bingo:

Image via

But if we’re doing that, I’d rather we play a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock. Let’s see…Spock refutes paper; lizard poisons Spock… 

 Imag via

Image via

 Sigh. I couldn’t decide. It looked like I needed some expert help.

Hello,! Not nearly as interesting, but it beats throwing a medicine ball in the air:

I get sore just looking at that.

Okay, so now I’m ready! I’ve kept you folks waiting long enough.


Winners of an ebook copy of Unseemly Pursuits:

Janet B. Taylor (from Susan Spann’s site)

Dario Ciriello (from Elizabeth Craig’s site)

Marcia Richards (from Nancy Lauzon’s site)

Cavershamragu (from Margot Kinberg’s site)

Marcy Kennedy (from Bayard and Holmes’ site)

Kellwillknit (from Susan Spann’s site, round 2)

Jansen Schmidt (from Julie Glover’s site)

Alica McKenna Johnson (from Jess Witkins’ site)

Susan (from Jill Kemerer’s site)

John Holton (from Tiffany White’s site)

Rhonda Hopkins (from Misterio Press’ site)

Cate Russell-Cole (from Jenny Hansen’s site)

…and the Grand Prize Winner is:

Bill Bliss!

Congrats to everyone, and thanks to all of you who followed, read, and commented along the way!

For any winners who might be reading this, please send an email with your contact info to: contact (at) I will also get in touch with the host bloggers to help me reach everyone.

Until next time,


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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

stpatsdayLuck o’ the Irish to you! Today’s post is a mashup of fun jokes, factoids, pictures, and links to brighten your St. Paddy’s Day Monday. I’ll leave the green beer and bar-hopping to you more adventurous types. 😉

Facts and Tidbits: 

Did you know St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish? He was born in Britain (387 AD), abducted at age 16, and taken to Ireland as a slave. He later managed to escape and return home. After converting to Christianity, he went back to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Most of you are familiar with the legend of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland. The fact is, there never were any snakes, because post-glacial Ireland became separated from Britain and surrounded by water from melting glaciers well before any snakes could migrate from more temperate areas.

Tell that to the artists who have drawn the saint over the centuries:

It's time to're needed in an Indiana Jones movie.

It’s time to go…you’re needed in an Indiana Jones movie.





Eww, right?

The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with special food, wearing o’ the green, drinking, and parades first started in the United States, not Ireland. New York’s yearly St. Paddy’s Day parade is the biggest of them all.

Speaking of drinking (that’s what we were talking about, right?): until recently (40 or so years ago), there was no public drinking in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.  It was considered primarily a holy day, and all the pubs were shut down. As to how the faithful were honoring their saint in private is another matter. *wink* That law was overturned in 1970.


Q: Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day?

A: Regular rocks are too heavy.


Q: What do you get when you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover?

A: A rash of good luck.


Cheers…And may ye be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows yer dead…


Murphy was selling his house, and put the matter in an agent’s hands. The agent wrote up a sales blurb for the house that made wonderful reading.
After Murphy read it, he turned to the agent and asked, “Have I got all you say there?”
The agent said, Certainly ye have…Why do you ask?
Murphy replied, “Cancel the sale, the place sounds grand to me.”


9 Surprising Facts You May Not Know About St. Patrick and the Irish Holiday

History of St. Patrick’s Day (with a cool visual)

NPR: The Dark History of Green Food on St. Patrick’s Day


More Jokes


Adding a bit o'Irish to my snowy backyard today...

Adding a bit o’Irish to my snowy backyard today…

Have a wonderful St. Paddy’s Day! May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. We’ve got snow here, LOL.


P.S. – Stay tuned tomorrow, when I post the winners of the book tour!

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Concordia joins the More Cowbell posse!

Concordia joins the More Cowbell posse!
1905 Washington Times, via Chronicling America.

1905 Washington Times, via Chronicling America.

Yep, the intrepid 19th century lady professor has dared to step into Jenny Hansen’s “More Cowbell” inner sanctum today, to talk about the popular (and sometimes ridiculous) beauty products of her time.

Not familiar with Jenny Hansen and her “More Cowbell” blog? You’re missing quite a treat! The “More Cowbell” concept is all about exuberance for the big and little joys of life, and participating fully in them. It’s inspired by this Saturday Night Live skit:

Fun clip, right? Notice that Jimmy Fallon’s having a very hard time keeping a straight face. 😉

By the way, this will be the last guest post in my book tour, and all commenters are entered for a chance to win a free ebook copy of my latest novel, Unseemly Pursuits, and a chance at the grand prize: the Unseemly Swag Kit. All of the tour winners will be announced next week!


Click here to join us!

See you there,


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There’d be no detective fiction without detectives…

There’d be no detective fiction without detectives…

Happy Thursday, everyone! We’re almost at the end of the week…whew. I don’t know about you all, but the weather around here sure has been showing us who’s boss. We’ll be turning our clocks ahead this weekend with snow still on the ground. Madness.

But it’s good reading weather! If you’re anything like me, that means…mysteries. Come join me today at Misterio Press, where I’m talking about the formation of the first official police force in England, via the 1829 Metropolitan Police Act. It was quite controversial at the time, but aren’t we glad they did it?

Manchester Police, 1880s. Wikimedia Commons.

Manchester Police, 1880s. Wikimedia Commons.

Click here to read more about it. Remember, commenters at the host sites are automatically entered in a random drawing for a free ebook, as well as for the grand prize, pictured below:


the grand prize!

Thanks, and stay warm…spring’s coming soon. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. 😉


P.S. – Next week I’ll be announcing the ebook winners so far. Stay tuned!

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Just one more thing: Columbo’s Ooo Factor

Just one more thing: Columbo’s Ooo Factor

Does Columbo have that “Ooo Factor”? Well, YA mystery author Tiffany A. White and I think he does! Join us today at Tiffany’s site “The Ooo Factor” (things that make you say Ooo), where we’re talking about everyone’s favorite rumpled detective, Lieutenant Columbo.  Click here.

Publicity photo 1973, Margie Korshak Associates. Wikimedia Commons.

Publicity photo 1973, Margie Korshak Associates. Wikimedia Commons.

See you there!


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Red-Headed or Red-Handed?

Red-Headed or Red-Handed?

red02Happy Friday! I’m over at Jess Witkins’ place today, talking about that classic Sherlock Holmes story, “The Red-Headed League.” Did you know that a real-life crime like that took place 15 years before the Holmes story was published? Come join us and find out more!

Click here: The Red-Headed League

Have a terrific weekend,


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