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The more things change…

Guidebooks for travelers in the 19th century provide an interesting glimpse into the way things have changed—and the way they haven’t. Then, as now, people often set off for foreign lands with a picture in their minds drawn from books they have read. I know my picture of Paris was permanenty etched in my mind by BABAR THE ELEPHANT back when I was a toddler. The wrought-iron balconies are just what I expected, but I'm always surprised that there aren't any little old ladies wearing long dresses.

Madrigals and murder

The other day I had the radio on while I was eating breakfast and the announcer introduced a piece by “Carlo Gesualdo, composer of madrigals and murderer.”

Madrigals and murder. Now that’s a combination you don’t usually encounter.

Lorenzo's galley slaves

I'm always intrigued by the untold stories of the people who don't get into the history books, the ones who get sideswiped by the major players.

One of the major players of Renaissance Italy was Lorenzo de’ Medici, the de facto ruler of Florence later known as The Magnificent. In 1478, he had a rough year.

A peachy combination

This post has nothing to do with history or writing. It’s about cooking, another love of mine.

Or rather, in honor of a recent spell of miserably hot, humid weather, about not cooking, as in salad.

Contessa Maria della Torre

The Contessa Maria della Torre was not one to sit quietly at home while great events were changing the world around her.

Bits and Pieces

When I tell people I write historical romance novels, they almost always say, “Oh, I could never do all that research!”

I’m not sure they believe me when I say, “But the research is fun.

It’s also distracting. I go to look up one thing, and there’s a mention of someone who sounds interesting, or some odd little fact is mentioned, and that sends me down a brand new road.

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