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British Drug Pushers in China–The First Opium War

Bayard & Holmes ~ Jay Holmes China became involved in direct trade with Europe when the Portuguese established a trade center in Macau, China in 1557. Then, in 1565, Spain established a permanent colonial presence in the Philippine [...]

The Man Who Stole Tea from China

By K.B. Owen   With stories in the news about Chinese hackers breaking into U.S. corporate computers and stealing proprietary software and information (for example, this 60 Minutes’ feature: The Great Brain Robbery), here’s [...]

Ghostbusting 100 Years Ago

Ghostbusting, 100 Years Ago By K.B. Owen Among the joys of writing historical mysteries is running across cool nuggets of research. While writing Unseemly Pursuits, I needed to learn more about late-19th century spirit mediums and their tricks, [...]

Ghostbusting — 100 Years Ago

Ghostbusting, 100 Years Ago By K.B. Owen Among the joys of writing historical mysteries is running across cool nuggets of research. While writing Unseemly Pursuits, I needed to learn more about late-19th century spirit mediums and their tricks, [...]

Is There a Santa Claus? Yes, Virginia.

  In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon asked the question that makes all parents of young children squirm: “Is there a Santa Claus?” Her father, in a brilliant example of strategic parental deflection, suggested she [...]

19th Century Halloween: The Tricks

By K.B. Owen It’s tempting to think of the 19th century as a time of staid decorum.  However, the young people of the 19th century were a surprisingly mischievous lot.  If toilet paper had been a common household item in the 19th century [...]

The Science of the Inevitable Taupo Apocalypse

Today, Holmes and I welcome FIRELANDS Apocalypse Blogger Challenge Winner MJ Wright. MJ is one of New Zealand’s most published historians and writers and a heckuva nice guy. His latest release, the Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand [...]

10 CHRISTMAS Fun Facts

  10 FUN CHRISTMAS FACTS By Vicki Hinze   Have you ever wondered about some of the things we see and embrace at Christmas? We know that Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. That story is familiar to us all, [...]

The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

By Vicki Hinze   While this isn’t an article on writing specifically, it is a reminder to all writers that words have power—they can change lives, open closed minds and hearts, offer different perspectives that might be just what’s [...]

Veteran's Day things-to-do. Show your spirit.

Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens November 11, 2012. Mount Vernon, Virginia. Special activities include a patriotic community concert by the all-veteran barbershop chorus at 11 a.m., at 2 p.m. wreathlaying at the tomb of our first commander-in-chief, [...]