Category Archives: books

Major Thomas & Jamie Fraser, the Outlander? Related?


Some time after writing Major Fraser’s I read Outlander the fictional story of Jamie Fraser by Diana Gabaldon. (I fell in love with Jamie, too.) There were so many similarities in the facts of my Thomas Fraser and Gabaldon’s Jamie that I wondered if she had used the same research that I did as a basis for Jamie. Of course Jamie and Thomas Fraser were very common names in Scotland back in the 1700s, probably still are today.
In Major Fraser’s, Thomas’ life is so much more than recording his role in the American Revolutionary War history. Writing is exhausting. Writing non-fiction is even more tedious because the facts must be checked and double checked. When I lay down in bed at night I fell quickly into a deep sleep, needing to be restored for the next day’s battle. I thought I was finished when I typed The End. But no, I was not.
Thomas and Anne Fraser’s children came to me during the night. These young adults woke from my deepest sleep to talk to me. They pleaded with me to continue on and tell their stories, too. So, I did and found more fascinating facts about part of the family emigrating from New Jersey to Europe in the 1800s. Caroline Georgina had married Prince Napoleon Lucien Charles Murat in Bordentown New Jersey. He was the son of Joachim Murat-King of Naples and Sicily, and nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. This made him royalty and royalty entitled the family to so much more.
Other siblings of Caroline Georgina including her twin, led exciting lives in their own country. This family made a mark in history that I have not read anywhere else. It includes a grand love affair between Major Thomas Fraser and the southern belle, Anne Loughton Smith, of the noted Smith family of South Carolina.
Major Fraser’s is also a complete history of a house on Prince Street that includes a history of the people who owned it, didn’t own it but lived there, and about the men who owned the property before a dwelling was built on it. Major Fraser is one of those who did not own it, yet it is still referred to as Major Fraser’s.

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Filed under American History, books, Bordentown, New Jersey history, psychic phenomena

LUNCH WITH AMY NEWMARK of CHICKEN SOUP for the SOUL FAME!


Yup! I drove 185 miles last Wednesday to have lunch with the delightful Amy Newmark, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame! She graciously treated me, along with 5 other women and a few husbands and a friend in the mix! We dined at Bonefish Grill in Arlington, VA on the best Lump Crab & Corn Chowder, Fish Tacos with steamed spinach/garlic and too full, I brought my cheesecake home for later indulgence. It was just great to chat with the other authors and to hear Amy’s story of the Chicken Soup books. She started telling us from the beginning, about buying the company when other book publishers were fading from sight; into the process of reading all those stories that come in, sorting them out, finding titles for a new series, etc. Ms. Newmark is a woman who exudes happiness as she talks and who leads an interesting life loving what she does.
Her cool assistant Maureen put together gift bags for each of us with Chicken Soup books and a charming mug & matching spoon with the CS for the S logo. It was a lovely 3 hours with a smart, informative and imaginative woman. THANK YOU AMY NEWMARK! You offer opportunities for writers to stretch their writing muscles and get published!
H-m-m-m. My 185 mile ride home gave me plenty of time to think about another story to submit.

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TELLING YOUR STORY IS . . . .

Telling Your Story- Writing memoir is many things to the writer. It’s often a trip down a path that got you to where you are today, showing the result of sometimes funny things that happened to you and sometimes not so funny. You can write parts of that path, starting out at a bend in the road and ending at a bend further down the road. There is no need to try to start at the very beginning. That may overwhelm you, especially if you are older than 30 and have lived a full and varied life. I can promise you that if you write everyday, even if it is only a half hour, you will begin to remember moments you thought you had forgotten forever. It’s true, the more you write, the more you remember without effort. It just comes, sneaking up on you like a kitten trying to get your attention with a soft, tiny paw tapping on your knee.

About a year ago, I began writing about the 15 years of traveling Angelo and I did stopping at horseracing tracks from as far away as Australia, across our country, Canada, and even the Curragh in Ireland. So, look for RUNNING WITH THE HORSES, expected publishing date is August of this year.

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Filed under books, horse racing, Ireland, European travel, Australia, Cairns horse racing,, Memoir, reflection, women's stories, wormen writing, writing

more of HAVE I TOLD YOU? Ellie Newbauer booksigning party

HAVE I TOLD YOU? Booksigning for Ellie Newbauer went beautifully well today at the Rosemont Winery. A good turnout of friends from near and far on a lovely, sunny afternoon raised glasses in tribute to our 92 year old leader of the pack. Many HAVE I TOLD YOU? Conversations were carried on. We each read a page from Ellie’s book before we asked her to do the same.

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HAVE I TOLD YOU? Booksigning Party for Ellie Newbauer

HAVE I TOLD YOU? Booksigning for Ellie Newbauer went beautifully well today at the Rosemont Winery. A good turnout of friends from near and far on a lovely, sunny afternoon raised glasses in tribute to our 92 year old leader of the pack. Many HAVE I TOLD YOU? Conversations were carried on. We each read a page from Ellie’s book before we asked her to do the same.

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HAVE I TOLD YOU? Ellie Newbauer

DSCF4686have i told you

HAVE I TOLD YOU? . . .Ellie Newbauer
Book Signing . . .January 24, Rosemont Winery 1 – 3 pm. Light refreshment served. Wines available for purchase. 1050 Blackridge Rd, La Crosse, VA 23950 A book to be read slowly to savor all the sage comments that are what Ellie does best. Her words zero in on exactly what you want and need to hear. It’s a bedside book and one to slip into your pocket to take with you. Let her thoughts sink into your heart, mind, and soul. I highly recommend this for yourself and as a gift for a dear friend.

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NANCY DREW?

Snow Jan


What are snowy days for? To start a 1,000 piece puzzle of Nancy Drew book covers. That’s what. The puzzle takes me back to when my brother Bob and I put a jigsaw puzzle together on the dining room table. Always after the Christmas holidays were over. We wouldn’t need that table until Easter.
The subject of Nancy Drew took me back, too. I loved her books! I could hardly wait until library day at school, even though the librarian would not allow me more than two books! How unfair! That means I would go for days on end without a good book to read. Of course I wanted to be Nancy Drew.
Fast-forward to the time I opened a new, used & rare bookshop in the 90s. Gary Wheelock offered me the opportunity to meet a Nancy Drew author! WOW! Until then I had no clue that the stories were written by multiply writers. Carolyn Keene was the listed author on the cover of all the series. I went straight to the internet to do some research. Edward Stratemeyer created the series as a female counterpart to the Hardy Boys series.
Well, as least I would have the thrill of meeting one of the esteemed authors. Feeling like a 50 year old groupie I joined Gary in the visit. Some thrill! She was a miserable, unhappy woman who felt no pleasure, no pride in being the writer of the few books about Nancy Drew that she wrote, that were adored by millions of girls. It devastated me. A numbness settled on me. All my happy images of Nancy Drew and all they entailed slapped out of me by this empty woman.
Time passed as I realized that there were many other authors that I could still look up to with anticipation of meeting them. And I have. No more Nancy Drew authors, but there you have it.

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