Life in the Past Lane

Official blog of award-winning romantic historical and military fiction author Jessica James


Dear reader,With so many books now on the market, many new authors get overlooked. I’ve compiled a short list of books/authors that are worth taking a look at—from non-fiction history to YA historical fiction. Of course, since I have an interest in the Civil War, many...

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Civil War service offers glimpse into the past

I attended a church service a few Sunday's ago at the United States Christian Commission Civil War Chapel in Gettysburg, and have been remiss in not writing about it.As you can see from the picture at right, you really get a taste of how services were conducted...

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A memorable Memorial Day

Don't know why it's taken me more than a week to write about my Memorial Day experiences, but I'm finally getting around to it. I thought I'd share because it was such an unusual set of circumstances that led to the discovery of some ancestors who fought in the...

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Remembering what Memorial Day is all about

Since it has its roots in the Civil War, I've covered the history of Memorial Day in other blog posts. Today, I just wanted to remind everyone to remember what this three-day weekend is all about - to honor those who have fallen in service to this country.To help...

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The sweet taste of summer

It looks like summer weather has finally arrived. We've been teased with it here in Pennsylvania since March, but at last I think it's here to stay. I've been picking fresh strawberries by the handful for a few weeks now, but this is an example of what I've been...

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Aldie Mill’s Civil War ties

I had a great time signing copies of my Civil War novel, Shades of Gray, in Aldie, Va. on Saturday during the village's bicentennial celebration.The best part was getting to sit right in front of the historic Aldie Mill which was used to supply grain to horses and...

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Booksigning at historic Aldie Mill

So excited to be going to a last-minute booksigning tomorrow (Saturday, May 22) in beautiful and historic Aldie, Va.Not only do I have an excuse to go to Virginia, I will be signing copies of my Civil War novel, Shades of Gray behind the historic Aldie Mill, where...

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Great post on search engines for history students

Just received this info from a kind reader who has written an excellent post called "75 Search Engines for History Students."Take a look for yourself, but it is really nice that they are broken down into categories like: search engines for history students, search...

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A Civil War connection to Mother’s Day

Since I am lucky enough to have one of the best mothers on the planet, I decided to do a post on the celebration of Mother's Day. What a great surprise to find out that this holiday actually has a Civil War connection.Though the earliest historical records of a...

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Pre-Civil War: The Art of Letter Writing

Ironic that on the day a poll came out revealing that 31 percent of teens send more than 100 text messages daily, I received my 1851 copy of The American Letter-Writer and Mirror of Polite Behaviour: A Useful Guide in the Art of Letter-Writing with Rules of Conduct...

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