Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Remembering an Older November Holiday

by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Idealized picture of
John Van Arsdale raising the flag
Having recently celebrated Thanksgiving here in the States, it was interesting to discover an even older, and now mostly forgotten, holiday commemorated by our ancestors in New York. Evacuation Day was an observance begun at the end of the American Revolution and a major holiday into the early part of the twentieth century. Since 1901, the 125th anniversary of the Continental Army’s first victory over the British, it has been an official holiday in the Boston area. Through the first years of our republic, Evacuation Day in New York City rivaled the Fourth of July in its celebratory nature.

At noon on November 25, 1783, after seven years as an occupying force in the city, the last of His Majesty George III’s red-coated troops sailed from the southern tip of Manhattan into New York Harbor. (In Boston, the occupation army left the city and its environs on March 17, 1776, a date that coincides with St. Patrick’s Day). In New York, the event was marked with a parade of sorts. After the city was secured by American troops under the command of General Henry Knox, George Washington and New York’s governor, George Clinton (yup, lots of Georges in those days), led a procession of rag-tag soldiers into lower Manhattan to Cape’s Tavern, one of the most famous inns of its time. The troops then marched farther on down Broadway to Fort George (now Battery Park).

Menu from Delmonico's
Evacuation Day Centennial
There they attempted to lower the British flag and raise the stars and stripes, but for a bit of British trickery. The pole at the fort, it seems, was “thoroughly soaped,” its halyards cut, and the Union Jack nailed to the staff. This while the artillery had taken up position and guns were held in readiness for a grand salute, and the British in their ships and boats watched from the harbor in amused silence.

After many futile attempts to climb the flag pole, one John Van Arsdale, a young sailor with quickly improvised wooden cleats on his shoes and a pocket full of nails, worked his way up the pole, attached new ropes, and with the aid of a ladder brought from a nearby shop, accomplished the task.

The sight of the American flag waving on the breeze inspired a thirteen gun salute and was the cause for much revelry lasting for days, as rockets blazed through the night, buildings were illuminated, and bonfires burned on every street corner. A public feast was held at Fraunces Tavern, where over 120 guests honored Washington with thirteen toasts…and the celebration continued until the general left the city on December 4, when he resigned his commission. (British flags continued to fly over Staten Island, Governor’s Island, and Long Island until this date.)

The first anniversary of Evacuation Day was observed with a flag raising at the fort…on the selfsame pole…amid the pealing of church bells. Entertainments were held at the City Tavern. And the tradition continued well into the next century, evolving into an official holiday, complete with school closings, fireworks, displays of patriotism, feasting and pageantry. But as the veterans of the conflict became fewer and fewer, eventually dying off altogether, their accomplishments no longer seemed important enough to warrant such a full-blown expression holiday pomp. Neither did the ever-growing expense of such extravagance. Eventually Evacuation Day was supplanted by a new national holiday, Thanksgiving.

On the centennial of the original celebration, in November 1883, New York gave the old holiday what would be its grand send-off. Imagine the bi-centennial of the nation’s 200th birthday in 1976…with tall and small ships jamming the harbor and both the East and Hudson Rivers. Fireworks lit up the night sky, observed by upwards of 500,000 people. Madison Square Garden and Delmonico’s Restaurant hosted banquets.

Even as its observance continued into the 20th century with decreasing fanfare and interest, there were many reasons why Evacuation Day slipped out of favor, not the least of which was the American alliance with Great Britain during World War I. The last official observance was held in 1916.

~*~

Sources: “Evacuation Day: New York’s Former November Holiday,” Megan Margino, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The Memorial History of the City of New-York, James Grant Wilson; Evacuation Day, Many Stirring Events, James Riker
~*~

Kathy Fischer Brown is a BWL author of historical novels, Winter Fire, Lord Esterleigh's Daughter; American Revolution-set novels, Courting the DevilThe Partisan's Wife, and The Return of Tachlanad, her latest release, an epic fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers. Check out her Books We Love Author page or visit her website. All of Kathy’s books are available in e-book and in paperback from Amazon.





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What research can turn up: Hidden History!



http://bookswelove.net/authors/waldron-juliet/

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton



"Home and Hearth was the motto of all women in the 17th Century, but Dutch Women, by the addition of a single word, made a huge difference in their lives. For the Dutch woman, the motto was HOME, HEARTH AND MARKETPLACE."

----Jean Zimmerman, The Women of the House



This essay concerns some truly--to me--new and surprising facts about the legal and social system of the Dutch founders of the New York Colony which I stumbled upon during my research on the origins of the Schuyler family. There were founding mothers, it seems, as well as founding fathers! It's another of those pieces of women's past that has only recently been resurrected and studied by historians and humble readers, too, like myself. It is so interesting I wanted to share what I learned in some detail.

MARGARET HARDENBROECK lived from 1659-1691. At the age of 22 this formidable lady arrived in New Amsterdam from Holland. Margaret, described by her biographer as a "Brute in Silks" came seeking her fortune, exactly like a man.  She did not come to America in the feminine role of domestic or wife, but in the high status position of Factor.  Her task in this booming frontier city was to collect debts for her employer, sell goods on consignment and--of greatest importance, discover and exploit new markets. Margaret was an employee of her wealthy cousin Wouter Volch and had been born into a trading family--nothing small time--for her family owned ships. She was already a seasoned employee who had represented her cousin in court many times, as plaintiff and as defendant. Obviously, she possessed a forceful bearing and excellent public speaking skills.
 

Among the Dutch, such a  woman was known as a She merchant. Unlike other 17th Century Europeans, the Dutch had a tradition of women in business. There were 134 female traders in New Amsterdam between 1653-63.  Even in the relative backwater at Albany there were 47 women traders. 



Business women were common in Holland because of a progressive legal system and other societal factors. First among these was their educational system. Boys and girls alike were universally educated. Bookkeeping, in this nation of traders, was an integral part of the curriculum.

Another unusual factor favoring women was the Dutch Reformed Church. Unlike other Christians, respect between partners in a marriage was stressed, not simply blind female submission. In England, at the same time, woman was, according to Doctrine "a weak creature not endued with like strength and constancy of mind." When an Englishwoman married, her husband owned her person and everything else, including her clothes and jewels. If widowed, she was granted the use of 1/3 of his property, but she could not sell it, as it belong to his heirs after she died.  We are all familiar with Jane Austen's world, in which a widow and her daughters are dispossessed by heirs, as in Sense and Sensibility.


MOST IMPORTANT FOR Margaret and women like her was Dutch Law, unlike that of any other European country at the time. Under English Law, for instance, women were not legal persons. They could not own property, sign legal documents or represent themselves in court. A single Dutch woman, on the other hand, had all those rights, the same that any single man hand. She even had options when contracting a marriage. 

IN HOLLAND there existed two forms of marriage. A woman decided which was the most advantageous when she drew up her marriage contract. The "Manus" was similar to English law. However, here 50% of the property of a deceased husband went to the widow and she could remain in the spousal residence. She was the ward of her husband who would represent her in business. However, in "Manus" financial responsibility too was limited. in the event of a failed business or deal. The legal reasoning was that if a woman had no authority to make transaction, why should she be held accountable? In practice, it was a respectable and common event for a Manus widow to place the house keys on the coffin of a deceased husband who had squandered her share of the community property of goods and walk away, free and clear.


 The alternative contract was called "Usus." This allowed a woman to retain all the rights she'd had while single, as well as the rights to any property she'd brought into the marriage, creating a partnership of equals. A Usus wife would appear in court as Plaintiff or defendant. She could represent her husband before a Judge. A prenuptial agreement signed with her husband circumvented the community property rule and the powers the Manus husband held over his wife. Wealthy widows--with that 50% rule operating in both forms of marriage--were common in Holland.



Dutch law also prohibited parents from relying upon gender or birth order when making their wills. This meant that daughters were not automatically deprived of an inheritance. In England, the firstborn sons received all of a family's major property holdings (land, houses). Daughters only received household goods (flatware and furniture.) Often, female heirs faced a future after a parent's death without a home or the assets with which to obtain one.

Dutch law also protected unwed mothers. A woman pregnant outside of marriage could either prosecute the alleged father or force him to marry her. If he was already married, she was entitled to demand a dowry and compensation for childbirth expenses, as well as child support. Historians report that women had a good chance of winning these suits. A husband's adultery, abandonment or contraction of a venereal disease also gave a wife grounds for requesting a divorce.

Spousal abuse also received attention under Dutch law. If a wife believed her husband was squandering her property, she had legal recourse to request her half of the estate along with her dowry in full. Regardless of whether she was married, a Dutch woman could institute legal proceedings against any individual, even her own husband. These pragmatic Dutch women brought their belief in Equality under the law as well as their education and training in business to New Netherland.

 When the English took over in 1664, they brought their laws; equal rights for women officially disappeared. Fortunately for the She Merchants, the original British rulers of the colony weren't sticklers. For several generations among those of Dutch descent, prenuptial contracts were still drawn while those women with commerce in their bones went on doing business by using their husbands as economic "beards."

When I discovered this fascinating chunk of Herstory, I was gobsmacked. All my life--and I thought I knew more history than the "average bear"-- I had imagined that English law was all there was or ever had been, here in these United States. This was (and is) something  to consider, in terms of our understanding of American history and also in relation to today, where to be born a woman is to be an "almost but not quite" full citizen, even here.   

Roger and Mary Philipse's Georgian NYC home,
now known as the Morris-Jumel Mansion
 To finish Margaret's story: The family founded by Margaret with her second husband (the first husband was a rich elderly mentor and family friend, the second an entrepreneurial craftsman in the shipping trade) would continue to be counted among the largest and richest of colonial landowners for generations.   In 1757 when George Washington was a young fellow on the make, he attempted to capture the fancy of Margaret' Hardenbroek's granddaughter, Mary Philipse, one of the richest heiresses in the colonies. Unfortunately, Mary Philipse married Roger Morris, who chose the British side during the Revolution, thereby losing all their property in America.   
~~Juliet Waldron

http://amzn.to/1UDoLAi    Historical Novels by JW at Amazon, including

http://amzn.to/1YQziX0  A Master Passion, the Story of Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Author Branding—Don’t Muddy the Waters (Part 1) by Connie Vines

I have been researching this topic via workshops, online chats, and discussion with other authors for several years.

The workshop I attended recently wrapped up the final meeting with: author branding was totally unnecessary.  (Well, that was a total waste of my money!)

So, does Connie have a brand?

No.

Does Connie still think she needs a brand?

Yes.  And no.

I know I need a memorable brand for each series that I write.  However, since I write in multiple genres, I don’t know if an all-encompassing brand is possible.  Or even practical.

We all know how much Connie loves to do research, enroll in online workshops, and conduct impromptu interviews with total strangers (to quote my husband, while we are in line at Souplantation, “why were you asking that man about the cost of a sleeve of tattoos?  You are not going there for the sake of research).  I handed him a napkin and smiled.  Now was not, I decided, the time to remind him that I had my eyebrows and eyeliner enhanced with “wake-up with make-up” tasteful, but still permanent ink.

How to Design Your Author Brand

Okay, it’s scramble time.  Find a piece of paper and something to write with.  You can use the note app in your phone, but I think pen to paper works better in this case. (If you write under more than one pen name, just select one.)

Ready?

Write down what your author brand is.  You have 10 seconds. Go!
Time’s up.

Were you able to write down your band?  Did you use 6 words or less?

Good for you.  You probably have a good idea of what your brand is.

If you didn’t (you are with me) don’t worry.  We will go about fixing the problem.

Brands Need to Be Specific

If you failed, the above test the reasons are likely because:

1. You don’t really know what your brand is yet.

2. You are over-describing your brand and couldn’t write it all down fast/concisely enough.
Now is the time to sit and ponder.  Strip away the contradictions, muddiness, superfluous.
What does a brand do?  A brand is a signal to customers to know what to expect when they see it.
Once they have had experience with a brand, they (hopefully) know what to expect.  Ideally this is a favorable expectation that encourages them to purchase your product, talk to their friends, and take chances on your next release.

How about a brand like this?

“Daring, Thrilling, Romantic, Action Packed.”

What if we change it to…
“Daring, Thrilling, Sexy, Action Packed”
A big difference isn’t it?

I selected very genre-esque words.  This was my intention because genres play a big role in branding.

 Brands are also about trust.

Remember genres and sub-genres are their own brands.

This is really important.    We already have a mind-set/ expectations when we select a genre to read.  If you select a “Historical” novel (unless it is a sub-genre) you do not expect or probably appreciate elements of Urban Fantasy in the story-line.  Riding in stage coach, you prim-and-so proper heroine isn’t going to mesh with a hidden magical world featuring Fae, Vampires, and Werewolves.    So, unless you plan on inventing your own sub-genre (SteamPunk/StoneagePunk) with a limited readership, consider what you are inheriting from your genre.

Following these guidelines, I will attempt to come up with a brand for my current Rodeo Romance Series (BLW, BooksWeLove, Ltd.).

Genre:  Contemporary Romance (Lynx), Romantic Suspense (Brede), Contemporary Romance/Humor (Rand), Romantic Suspense (TBT).

I’ll go with Romance as a genre.
Now to the dictionary and thesaurus.

<Suspenseful music plays now>

Will Connie discover her ‘brand’?  Will her readers like her ‘brand’?

<Music continues>

Part 2 will be posted next month 😙

Connie 

Spoiler Alert:  Connie has awakened the ‘inner series branding’ within her mind!

Amazon author page to purchase  X







Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lusignan, a real place and a real family, with its legend of Melusine the Fae

Since the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series is based upon authentic legends, I get to see the places where my characters may have roamed a millennium ago. 

As I am revising ANGEL OF LUSIGNAN for publication in January 2017, I feel very excited about this last novel in the series.

One might believe because Melusine is an immortal Fae, that she did not exist. When you visit Lusignan, however, she seems very real. The entire region of northern Aquitaine is called "Melusine country" and traces of the ondine with a scaly tail is still alive there.

I can see my hero and heroine in this terrain, under the walls of the castle. In Lusignan and all around, in Vouvant and Mervent, you find her name on the many shops.


She is on the facade of official buildings, sometimes discreet, and sometimes flaunting her scales or her dragon wings to whomever is passing by.


Moreover, Melusine founded the very real family of Lusignan, a royal house of French origin, which ruled much of Europe and the Levant, including the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia, from the 12th through the 15th centuries during the Middle Ages.

Out of this family came not only the royal family of Lusignan, but later, through Eleanor of Aquitaine, the royal families of England, and the Valois and the Bourbon royal families of France.



Does this mean the angel blood running in Melusine's veins a thousand years ago still runs in her descendants? I want to believe it. After all, there is always a kernel of truth at the heart of every legend.

Learn more about the legend of Melusine, her mother and her sisters, in the Curse of the Lost Isle medieval fantasy series HERE

Catch up with the series for the best price, with the boxed set of books 1-2-3-4 HERE 
From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret, stirring passions in their wake as they fight the Viking hordes, send the first knights to the Holy Land, give birth to kings and emperors... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz
  Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
  http://www.vijayaschartz.com
  Amazon - Barnes & Noble




Saturday, November 26, 2016

A small tribute from Tricia McGill

Click here for more about Tricia McGill's books and to purchase



There are times in every writer’s life when their Muse will not play fair, when the page remains blank far too long, when the ideas do not spring to mind, and the enthusiasm to do what has always come easily fades. This has been one of those periods in my life.

I have wracked my brain for something to fill the page but nothing will come. It is not a case of writer’s block. I’ve had that before, more than a few times, and have always overcome it by simply writing any old thing that pops into my head, and before I know it, a page is filled.

No, this is far more serious. I’ve always said that life is a series of pathways, and we choose which path to take on our journey, but when Fate plays a nasty hand in things and we do not have a choice or say in the matter, then it becomes disastrous.

I have been fortunate in that I had a happy childhood raised within a family who always saw the funny side of life and despite not having the luxuries of life always remained positive. My parents were good, honest people who strove to do the best for their large family. I married a hard-working, kind man who loved me enough to let me do whatever I wanted. A man who helped me through many difficult situations, and provided me with all the encouragement needed when I chose to follow my dream of becoming a writer.

A few years ago I encouraged one of my sisters to write her life story. If I live long enough I will edit and finish it for her, as although she tells of her many trials and tribulations in the pages she penned, she in no way told the complete story. Currently this beloved sister is very sick, hence the blockage in my brain. She is not afraid of leaving us, in fact in the last weeks has prayed to go more than a few times rather than spend more days unable to continue in the way she wants to. But I am afraid of losing my lifelong friend who has been the best sister I could ever wish for. I have faced grief a lot of times in my life and perhaps time does heal. I think perhaps this is only half true as a tiny part of it remains with us forever, but should never be dwelt on, just touched now and then when memories invade the day to day activities. But then again what is life but a series of memories.

Anyway, to get back to my sister’s story. She has suffered more than any one person should but has always overcome her many health issues stoically. In fact she has concealed the true extent of her childhood health problems so well that most who know her have no idea of the suffering endured throughout her life.

I re-read her story last week and this is how she ended it (she wrote this in 2009).

There are a few regrets. I wish my Mother had lived to see me able to drive a car, I think she would have loved to have sat beside me. I also wished she had been able to see what my sister Pat has achieved with her writing. I wish she had heard me play my music, and to have seen my paintings, I think she would have been very proud of us. This has been my life up to now. There have been a lot of tears, but mostly laughter. I have always tried to be nice to people. I have always tried to be kind. Most of all, I always try to smile. I have a beautiful family, and some lovely friends. You can’t ask for more than that.”

And that says it all—if only everyone could live by those words. Just be nice to people, that’s really what it is all about.

All my books can be found on my Books We Love Authors page.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Randall Sawka, the Journey Continues




https://read.amazon.ca/kp/embed?asin=B01LCGFEUG&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_Jf3kybBF7HXYP&tag=booksweloveromance-20



We have passed the six month mark for our one year vacation. It has actually grown to two years thanks to the amazing prices in the UK thanks to the Brexit pound collapse.

The countryside is so peaceful. I walk the endless trails, roads, and bridle paths. I stop, sit on a rock wall or bench and scribble down words, notes, etc.  Totally relaxed. Sometimes we come across a new friend. We will miss the Ross-On-Wye area. Everyone has been so nice.

This fellow was hamming it up for us.



Here, with Nancy's help, is where excellent story ideas turnup (sp, but coundn't resists.)


Took some time away from writing to make a hearty stew on a Hungarian Kotlich cooker. It works so well.
This is the surprise ending. Yes, that is a zebra in rural England.






Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Fantastic Fan by Victoria Chatham


TO BE RELEASED IN DECEMBER
WATCH THIS SPACE


In the Regency era, the hand fan was so much more than a fashion accessory or a cooling device. It had an art and language, all of its own, not only known to ladies but gentlemen too.

The fan with which we are familiar today has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. At its simplest, it could be just a large leaf or palm frond. At its most extravagant the sticks could be made from

gold, silver, ivory or mother-of-pearl and the leaf (the folding part) from silk, satin, vellum or paper. They could be hand-painted, or made from feathers, especially ostrich or peacock feathers, and are frequently trimmed with lace.



The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used them, two fans being found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. The Chinese use of the fan is reputed to date back to the Shang Dynasty (C.16th-11th BC). At first, the fans were large enough to shelter passengers in horse-drawn carriages, similar to an umbrella. It wasn’t until Song Dynasty (420-479) that the personal fan came into general use. These fans could be simple bamboo fans, or the moon fan so called from its round shape. These moon fans were much favored by ladies in the Imperial court and came to be painted with the most exquisite scenes of mountains and lakes, flowers, and birds.



The folding fan is reputed to have been introduced into China from Japan during the Song Dynasty. The design is said to have been inspired by the way a bat fold’s its wings. The size of a folding fan is determined by the number of ribs the fan has, usually 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, or 18. A fan painted by a famous artist could fetch a high price, as did the folding fan painted by Zhang Daqian, a Chinese artist, which sold for HK$252,000. The earliest evidence of the fan in Japan was discovered in the wall paintings of a 6th-century AD burial mound found in Fukuoka.

Fans were not much in evidence during the High Middle Ages in Europe but reappeared after being brought back from the Middle East by the Crusaders and from China and Japan by Portuguese traders. The fan became especially popular in Spain where it was adopted by Flamenco dancers. In 1609 The Guild of Fan Makers was formed in London, followed a century later by the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. Although no longer fan makers, due to mechanization, the Company still exists as a charitable establishment.

During the Regency and Victorian eras no lady of quality would attend a social event without her fan with which she could hold a lively conversation without saying a word. For a list of the language of the fan, go to http://www.angelpig.net/victorian/fanlanguage.html or https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/ladies-regency-fans/ or just for fun watch this clip from The Princess Diaries 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bE3mRxWwM4.

Quite apart from the social etiquette surrounding the use of the fan, they were favored by burlesque and vaudeville performers such as Gypsy Rose Lee, who teased and titillated with large, ostrich feather fans.
Arguably the largest organization in favor of the fan today is FANA – Fan Association of North America which boasts worldwide membership. Like-minded members study, conserve, and collect antique and vintage fans.

You may wish to flirt with a fan or cool yourself with it. You can use it as a decorative conversation piece. Whatever your use for it, there really is nothing quite like the seductive allure of these fascinating concoctions of sticks and fabric.



http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Was That Really Elvis Spotted Having A High Tea In Victoria?







Was That Really Elvis Spotted Having A High Tea In Victoria?

Whod have guessed that the city that we visit for high tea and whale-watching, where they bang out a few laws to keep us in line and drain our wallets of tax money, is the most haunted city in all of Canada?
            Well, I didnt. I just go for the view and the great dinners. Yes, Victoria, home to our parliament buildings, The Empress Hotel and their traditional high tea, (apparently the English are jealous 'cos were much Englishier than them. I know Englishier isnt even a real word; I just invented it!) and more ghost sightings in all of Canada than your local haunted house on All Hallows Eve.
            Actually the parliament buildings and The Empress Hotel are where some of the spookier denizens hang out. Both were built by Francis Rattenbury. He was found later brutally slain in his home, by either his mistress or her young lover. Neither confessed. Never recognized as a great architect, hes buried in an unmarked grave and it's reported that his ghost has been seen in both buildings, still craving the recognition he deserves.
            The Empress also boasts of an elderly lady dressed in pajamas who knocks on hotel doors and leads guests to the elevator before disappearing, and a maid so dedicated to her work she still polishes the china to this day. Very stiff-upper-lip service.
            But the fun doesnt end there. At the Chateau Victoria it has been reported many times that staff in Clives Classic Lounge have tried to wait on a distinguished old-fashioned lady sitting at the bar, and that the elevators sometimes stop at every floor without anyone touching the buttons. The hotel sits on the site of a former white mansion once owned by Miss Victoria Wilson.
            And you cant even have a relaxing game of golf in this city without ghosts yelling "Fore!" and barging their way through. Usually in April, at the Victoria Golf Course -- the second-oldest golf course in North America and the oldest golf course in Canada -- people have spotted Doris Gravlin wandering the course. She was strangled here by her husband in the spring of 1936. Yes, some people take their golf very seriously and heaven help you if you touch their balls.
            In Bastion Square, where the pubs, markets, and hustle and bustle of tourists hang out, it's reported that in nearly every alley and building after dark you can find ghosts hawking their wares. Hey, theyre even open to haggling and theyll throw in a finger or two to sweeten the deal.
In Market Square, once the red-light area of Victoria, near Johnson Street, you can still find someone to give you a good time for a screaming good price in a dark alley. Even lovely Beacon Hill Park claims the ghost of a woman seen around sunrise, who was murdered nearby.
            St. Anns Academy, a former convent, still houses the original cemetery with several nuns buried there. In the wee hours of the morning nuns have been seen patrolling the grounds. Emily Carr, one of Canadas most famous painters, has been seen at her home on Government Street and the James Bay Inn. Looking for that last scene for another famous painting?
            Many more ghosts have also been seen in Chinatown, Langham Court Theatre, Ross Bay Cemetery, and Hatley and Craigdarroch Castles. No, you wont find these in the tourist brochures. Pioneer Square, built over a former cemetery housing more than 1200 bodies, also reports lots of ghostly unrest.
            Rogers Chocolates, located on Government Street, is the oldest chocolate shop in Victoria and one of the first in Canada. The couple worked all hours, slept in the store, and have been sighted there on many occasions. Apparently they have quite a sweet tooth and havent left yet. Oddly though, high above a door near the front, a childs handprints can be seen.

And to answer the question, with all those ghosts running around, yes, Elvis has been spotted so many times eating at Nautical Nellies on Wharf Street, a block from the Empress, that they're inventing a dish in his honour of chicken, banana and peanut butter to add to the menu. Guess they want to keep him coming back to belt out renditions of Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog on full moon nights.


Click Here To Purchase From Amazon
Click Here To Purchase From Amazon



And coming from Books We Love in the Spring.


Thunderbird's Wake

A penitentiary is a dangerous place and into the world of the criminal enters a saint. Well, bearing rattles and guardian beasts, the native born find him a saint. To the rest he's more nuts than a squirrels winter stash. There's a god asleep, awakening. Humans that seek justice and a sprite that needs justice from humanity.
So what makes you want to break into one?
You can ask Charlie, but he ain't telling. 
And if he did you wouldn't believe it in a dozen lifetimes.
 Come enter, the madness this spring.






Frank Talaber’s Writing Style? He usually responds with: Mix Dan Millman (Way of The Peaceful Warrior) with Charles De Lint (Moonheart) and throw in a mad scattering of Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get The Blues). 
PS: He’s better looking than Stephen King (Carrie, The Stand, It, The Shining) and his romantic stuff will have you gasping quicker than Robert James Waller (Bridges Of Madison County).
Or as is often said: You don’t have to be mad to be a writer, but it sure helps.


Writer by soul. Words born within. 
Karma the seed. Paper the medium.  
Pen the muse. Novels the fire.

My novels on Amazon are at (copy and paste link):  https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Talaber/e/B00UC407R0

Or check out this upcoming book signing with me and Suzanne De Montigny

https://www.facebook.com/events/1817078425207041/

Christmases Past...by Sheila Claydon

My latest book, Empty Hearts, is a vintage romance. It isn't about Christmas, but the cover, designed by the wonderful Michelle Lee a...