Life in the Past Lane

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

Taking a step back in time with sealing wax

Being an historical fiction author, I enjoy doing things the old-fashioned way (maybe that's why I haven't caught on to text messaging yet). Pictured at right is my wax seal set - a wax candle, "J" stamp and spoon.I bought the set from an estate auction because I...

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The golden season of autumn

Love this time of year - though I don't feel I'm getting a lot done. My eyes are constantly drawn to the leaves tumbling and frolicking outside as if some giant being from above has cast golden tickets into the air and sent them spiraling to the ground.I took a few...

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Civil War etiquette in the Ballroom

When doing research for my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray, I was always intrigued by the rules of etiquette that were observed during the Civil War and Victorian era, and amazed at how far away from "polite society" we've moved. Here are a few examples of how...

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19th century etiquette tip of the day

In meeting a lady, it is optional with her whether she shall pause to speak. If the gentleman has anything to say to her, he should not stop her, but turn around and walk in her company until he has said what he has to say, when he may leave her with a bow and a lift...

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Remembrance Day weekend book signing

Just found out I will be doing a signing of my Civil War novel Shades of Gray at the new Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center on Nov. 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is Remembrance Day weekend so there will be a lot going on, including the must-see parade that starts at...

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A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia

Book Review: A Southern Spy in Northern VirginiaThe Civil War Album of Laura RatcliffeBy Charles V. MauroIt's not often that an historical fiction author runs across a book that provides the perfect combination of war, romance, history, espionage, and famous...

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Death of Gen. Robert E. Lee

Guest Post by Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.General Lee died at his home at Lexington , Virginia at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 12, 1870. His last great deed came after the War Between the States when he accepted the presidency of Washington College, now Washington and...

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Making time for the important things

"Lost time is never found again." - Benjamin FranklinIt's been at least three years since I've visited my college friend - probably more like four. We keep in touch the usual way - an email now and then, sometimes a phone call. You know how it is, you'd like to visit,...

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Excerpt from Noble Cause

Background: Union spy Andrea Evans wakes up in the home of the Confederate officer she believes sent her to prison, and takes every opportunity to voice her displeasure about the situation. In this chapter, her supposed tormentor Alexander Hunter is wounded in battle,...

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Nature Note

Hummingbirds and Monarchs disappeared on Monday, almost as if a switch was pulled. Poplars are beginning to dress themselves in gold.

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