Life in the Past Lane

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

Chrismas traditions during the Civil War

I had such a great response to previous posts on Christmas during the Civil War that I thought I would share some others tidbits that I've discovered.First of all, just like a variety of other issues that are covered in Shades of Gray, the North and South were divided...

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A thank you to readers of Shades of Gray

It just occurred to me that my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray reached its 11-month anniversary on Dec. 19. Hard to believe that almost a whole year has flown by since its publication date -- and my goodness, what a year it has been!I can barely remember the...

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Wreath project born from Marine’s death

This post is a little off topic from my usual focus on the Civil War, but relates perfectly to my customary theme of honor and self-sacrifice -- virtues that have been exhibited by those who have served in our military through the ages.Many of you may have seen short...

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Civil War Battle of Monterey Pass

It's sad how we travel from Point A to Point B these days, our eyes focused on the road ahead, with no thought of the landscape surrounding us.But as I drove to a mall to do some Christmas shopping last weekend I paid attention to the landscape. My shortcut route took...

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Santa Claus and the Civil War

As we close in on the Christmas holiday, I thought I'd share a little information that I discovered while doing research for my Civil War novel Shades of Gray.When I was getting the manuscript critiqued before publication, I had so many readers question a comment...

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Happy Birthday John Singleton Mosby

I didn't want this day to pass without acknowledging its significance as the 175th anniversary of the birth of Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby (1833-1916).I know this, of course because the main character in my Civil War novel Shades of Gray is patterned...

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Emotions ran deep even after Civil War

I ran across this interesting tidbit and, though it's a strange time of year for it, thought I would share.See if you can answer the following question:After 1863, in which southern town was the Fourth of July holiday not officially celebrated again until 1944, near...

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Real-life hero a model for historical fiction

Since this week is the anniversary of Colonel John Singleton Mosby's birthday -- the real-life Confederate officer that the main character in my Civil War novel Shades of Gray is based upon -- I wanted to post a few snippets about him.The following excerpts from...

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Anniversary of Civil War hero’s death

Probably few people north of the Mason-Dixon line have heard of Sam Davis, but the courage he showed in the face of death durng the Civil War is the stuff that legends are made of. He lived his life with integrity, valor, and honor -- and his death is just one of the...

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Civil War proclamation still resounds

At a time when everything that surrounds us seems to be global in nature, it is nice to have a day set aside that is distinctly American. Established by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War in 1863, Thanksgiving celebrates the American spirit - a...

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