Life in the Past Lane

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

Little garden still producing fruit

I love summer - not so much for hot weather - but for the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. My little patch of strawberries is still producing a huge bowl of fruit every other day, so I've been eating fresh strawberries (and Cool Whip) every day. It's so nice...

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On a wing and prayer

Wow, I didn't know little birds grew that fast! They are gone. Their little house sits empty now after so much activity over the past few weeks.I'm very disappointed that I didn't get to witness their first flight, but I'm not really complaining that their gone. The...

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Bad weather during the Civil War

If you've ever wondered what the weather was like during the War Between the States, it's pretty easy to sum up - it was bad.The war took place at the end of the “Little Ice Age,” a period of general cooling and unpredictability that scholars date from 1310 to 1850....

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Civil War novel debuts on YouTube

I am excited to finally announce the release of a video book trailer for my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray.Video trailers for books are a lot like their counterparts in the movie industry - a visual promotional tool that gives viewers an idea of the basic...

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This house is for the birds

When spring cleaning my smokehouse earlier this year, there were a few things I wasn't sure what to do with, so I hung them on the side of the shed. One of the items was a birdhouse, and within a few hours, it was being investigated top to bottom by interested...

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Fans did the talking during the Civil War

Today's youth do most of their communicating with their fingertips through text messaging, but courtship during the Civil War era was a little more complicated. The etiquette and manners that men and women observed during the Victorian era is a far cry from what we...

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Readers help writers get back on track

I enjoy the solitary life of a writer, but it is still wonderful to hear from readers. In fact, nothing can make my day like the wonderful comment I received this morning from Marie in Charlottesville, Va.In part, she said: "Just finished reading your book, "Shades of...

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Women soldiers in the Civil War

I'm reading a great book called, They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War by Deanne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook. As I was doing research for my historical fiction novel, I discovered a few women who dressed as men and fought as soldiers, but I am...

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A taste of life in the country

We have certainly been lucky in the northeast to have had one of the coolest July's I can remember. Usually the heat and humidity settle down on us the end of June and hot, sticky nights are the norm.This July, most days have been in the comfortable high 70s to low...

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Civil War general’s romantic courtship

"I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I advise to go a course which I myself was unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers; you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government...

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