Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Amusement Parks

For some reason, abandoned amusement parks have more of an apocalyptic feel than other places or things. Giggles and grins are silenced and wiped away; screams of delight hauntingly echo in the derelict spaces. The thrill of adventure now only half-forgotten memories of a time long ago.

Aerial view of abandoned Spreepark Plänterwald, Berlin, Germany on MSN-Germany.

Aerial view of abandoned Spreepark Plänterwald, Berlin, Germany on MSN-Germany.

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Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Railways

My Uncle Bobby was a locomotive engineer on the former Baltimore & Ohio, now known as the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, aka CSX. He retired several years ago, but his great love for all things train-related infected everyone in the family. It’s sad to see so many abandoned rail lines, but there’s also something innately compelling, something that draws me to these forlorn, derelict pieces of history. Sometimes I need to immerse myself in what was and is no longer.

Abandoned Railway Cutting in Otley by TJ Blackwell

This overgrown stone bridge once spanned a twin-track section of the former railway branch line connecting Otley and Pool to Arthington, Burley and Menston. The route of the trackbed makes for a great walk at this time of year; full of greenery and wildlife amid the crumbling railway remains. Photo by TJBlackwell

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For the Love of History (and other interesting tidbits)

Best of History Websites

Whenever I’m in research mode I use a variety of sources. If I can’t find exactly what I need in the history books on my shelves, I turn to the Internet. Sometimes specific searches yield zero hits because the historical documents haven’t been transcribed and uploaded. Today, I simply typed “history” into the google search field  and this site came up. I’ve hit the mother lode! Continue reading

Write What You Know

I love writing historical romance; it’s what I know!  I love researching almost as much as writing.  My problem is knowing when to stop researching and get busy putting word to page.  Everything of a historical nature is so fascinating to me it’s hard to cut myself off. 🙂  When I’m reading someone else’s work and they use a word or object that isn’t true to the time, it pulls me out of the story quicker than someone yelling “free chocolate!”

Resources for Historical Romance Writers

Nothing can take a reader out of a story quicker than an item used before its invention.  I can’t begin to tell you the number of times a match was struck in a time when it didn’t exist.  It’s not the job of an agent or editor to vet the historical accuracy of your story.  Many writers aren’t fond of research, but it’s an absolute must for a credible tale. Continue reading

The Good & The Bad of Today’s Historical Romances

Everlasting by Kathleen Woodiwiss

One of my favorite Kathleen Woodiwiss novels ~ Everlasting

I began reading historical romance at the tender age of 13, when they were called “bodice-rippers”–for a very good reason. I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to. I don’t know what my mom was thinking. She, my aunt, my sister, and I traded novels at an alarming rate. We couldn’t get enough. Mom dropped out of our reading circle many years ago, but my sister and aunt still read as voraciously as I do.

Some of the first stories I read Continue reading