Life in the Past Lane

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

Inaugural balls have long tradition

Like many of the traditions that go along with the Inauguration of a new president, I found that Inaugural balls have quite a history.The first Inaugural ball traces its roots to New York City on May 7, 1789, one week after the Inauguration of George Washington. But...

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Presidential inaugurations: A look back

Since we are one week away from a historic Presidential Inauguration, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the customs and history of Inauguration Day. Rather than go into all the background, I've picked out a few odds and ends that I found interesting...

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Winter Wonderland in Gettysburg

Just wanted to add one photo of the Winter Wonderland in Pennsylvania (and all over the Northeast) that I missed putting on my blog.The camera lens doesn't quite capture the sparkling beauty of the landscape, but it gives those in warmer climates at least an idea of...

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Off topic: A world that glitters

Rather than complain about the quarter inch of ice that enveloped my car earlier this week, I decided to take a walk with my dog and enjoy the glittering, sparkling world outside my window.For those of you who live in warm climates and only see news clips of crews...

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Thanks to Civil War reading poll voters

Just a short note to thank everyone who stopped by and voted in my poll. I never expected 99 people to respond - and I didn't really know what the outcome would be - but sure am please with the results!For those who don't know the reason for it, I was told by...

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A true Civil War love story

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. I found that out many times in doing research for Shades of Gray. Here is an unusual story about a well known Confederate general - George Edward Pickett - who of course gained infamy for Pickett's Charge during the...

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Civil War novel tops ’08 Favorite Book list

"If you only buy one book in 2009, make it this one." - The Book ConnectionI know this is a little off topic, but it's the end of the year, so I've given myself permission to stray a little bit. Since I never wrote about the wonderful early Christmas present I...

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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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