Life in the Past Lane

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

Civil War landmark is almost history

One of the many benefits to come out of book signings is the wonderful people I get to meet. The signing I did at Historic Blenheim in Fairfax, Va. is certainly no exception.Mentioning to one visitor that the main character in Shades of Gray is based loosely on...

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Honoring history on Confederate Flag Day

"Who will scorn or frown to see veterans of the South’s shattered armies unfurl that other banner, the riddled and blood-stained Stars and Bars, to look upon it and weep over it, and press it to their bosoms? For it is hallowed with recollections tender as the...

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Civil War authors gather at historic site

I attended the Civil War authors Book Mart at Historic Blenheim Saturday and had a wonderful time meeting Civil War enthusiasts and other authors. What a fantastic facility it is! I highly recommend this historic treasure to anyone who lives near, or is planning to...

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Civil War anecdotes from Lincoln

Somehow I missed President Abraham Lincoln's real birthday on Feb. 12, but since today is President's Day, I thought I'd go ahead and print a couple of his humorous anecdotes from the Civil War.A.K. McClure writes in his book Lincoln's Yarns and Stories, "I recall...

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Prison break a part of Civil War history

Today is an important day in Civil War history - not for a famous battle or skirmish - but for an event that required no less courage and perseverance than the bloodiest encounter.On Feb. 8, 1864, Yankee prisoners in Richmond's infamous Libby prison finally tunneled...

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Words of love straight from the heart

Find out who wrote the stirring words below - and why the date and the time are so important. You might be surprised that a man was writing a sweet, enduring love letter to his wife at this moment in our nation's history.Now, I go; but remember always that I love you...

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Words from the heart during the Civil War

I couldn't let Valentine's Day approach and not write something on the art of letter writing, which was so important during the Civil War.Eloquently written love letters were part of Victorian era courtship and continued through a couple’s marriage. Today, no form of...

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Civil War hospital contains diary on walls

I always get excited when I’m invited to a historic venue for a book signing, and could not be more pleased to be attending a Civil War author Meet and Greet at Historic Blenheim in Fairfax, Va., on Feb. 21.I don't know about anyone else, but I had never heard about...

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What a difference a hundred years makes

This is basically an email I received, but I thought it was worth sharing to show how different life is now from a mere 100 years ago. For instance, did you know that in 1909 the average life expectancy was 47 years?Other things that were different 100 years ago...

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Sidesaddle soldiers part of Civil War past

Many readers of Shades of Gray have said they didn't know women took such an active role in the Civil War. There are actually many documented cases of women dressing as men and taking part in the fighting. I had never heard, however, that there was an entire cavalry...

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