Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Barnes & Noble Civil War Day

Last Saturday my local Barnes & Noble (Central Park, Fredericksburg, VA) held a Civil War Living History Event.  I love Barnes & Noble on a regular day, but to add a Civil War event into the mix I was over the moon and blocked Saturday off on my calendar.  The event lived up to my anticipation.

At the door shoppers where greeted by a Confederate soldier from the 8th Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  This set the tone for the event as shoppers knew that they were in for something special.

A solider from the 8th VA standing guard, a subtle way to deter shoplifters.

Since the event was held at a bookstore, Barnes & Noble had local Civil War authors on hand for a book signing.  Historian Chris Mackowski signed copies of his latest releases in the Emerging Civil War series from Savas Beatie, LLC (publisher of the ebook edition of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House).  I was thrilled to pick up an autographed copy of "Fight Like the Devil": The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863.

Also on hand signing books was Eileen Kern Goodman author of the novel Storm Over Fauqier: The Foreboding Tempest: 1860-1861.  I am looking forward to reading this novel which is based on real people and events.

Authors Chris Mackowski and Eileen Kern Goodman at Barnes & Noble Central Park.

The event was more than just a book signing though, as Civil War living historians demonstrated period toys and parlor games, music, and dance (performed by the Civil War Dance Ensemble of Spotsylvania .  Members of the 8th VA Ladies' Aid Society where also on hand to show shoppers how Southern women carried for their loved ones in the army.

A member of the 8th VA receiving assistance from the Ladies' Aid Society, or inquiring on the price of the Nook.

For those curious about all those layers a Civil War lady wore, Miss Frances Allshouse presented "The Layered Lady" clothing demonstration.

Miss Allshouse showing visitors her chemise, corset, and corset cover...how shocking!  Where are my smelling salts?

Propriety has been restored as Miss Allshouse is now properly dressed.

I enjoyed the event and thought that there was a lot to keep shoppers engaged.  This was a well planned event and I hope Barnes & Noble Central Park does another Civil War Day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This past weekend I had a whirlwind trip to Springfield, IL for my book signing at the Lincoln Home NHS.  Leaving Ruther Glen on Thursday evening I arrived in Springfield, IL early Friday evening.  The only hiccup during the drive was getting stuck at a rest stop in Indiana for 25 minutes during a ferocious thunderstorm.  After checking into the hotel, my parents and I rushed out to the Lincoln tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery.  Unfortunately, the tomb had already closed.  

The next morning we arrived bright and early back at Oak Ridge Cemetery and was able to tour the tomb.  Since 2011 every time I visit the tomb I bring flowers for Abraham and Mary Lincoln and was allowed to lay the flowers in front of President Lincoln's cenotaph.  There were already several arrangements commemorating the anniversaries of the passing of Tad and Mary Lincoln on July 15th (Tad) and July 16th (Mary).  President Lincoln in buried in the burial room near the massive marble cenotaph and is protected from grave robbers by several tons of concrete and steel.  Mary Lincoln and three of her sons (Eddie, Willie, and Tad) and also entombed in the burial room in a wall crypt across from the President's.

President Lincoln's cenotaph in the burial room.  The flowers that I left are the small bouquets on the floor.  

Leaving the flowers for the Lincolns.

After leaving the tomb, it was time to head to the Lincoln Home NHS for my book signing.  I had a wonderful time.  It was wonderful to talk to visitors from around the country and the world and sign copies of my book.  

The staff at Eastern National provided me a lovely table for the book signing and even gave me gift bag!

Dave Mull made me feel welcomed at the Lincoln Home NHS.

Signing copies of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House

Mary Lincoln (aka Pam Brown) even stopped by during my event!  Pam Brown is the premier Mary Lincoln living history presenter in the US.  Her programs at the Lincoln Home as part of the summer History Comes Alive is a must see!

It was a memorable weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Signing: Lincoln Home NHS

I am very pleased to announce that I will be holding a book signing of I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears: Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House at the Lincoln Home NHS in Springfield, IL on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site
426 S 7th Street
Springfield, IL 62701

The book signing will start at 10:00 AM and last throughout the day.

Lincoln Home NHS

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review: Shadows of War

Shadows of War: Prelude to the First Memorial Day by Janice Sweet McEllen tells the true story of the origins of Memorial Day at the end of the Civil War.  In August 1862, best friends Sophie Keller and Emma Hunter are looking forward to their first day at school in the small town of Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.  Little could they imagine that by the end of the day their lives would be changed forever.  The girls arrive at school to find that their teacher has been moved by President Lincoln's call for more volunteers and intends to form a company.  Sophie is shocked when her older brother announces that he plans to enlist to fight for the Union.  With a mixture of pride and sadness, Sophie sees her brother and classmates march off to war.  Now left behind, the women of Boalsburg tend to their farms and support the war effort by forming a Soldiers Aid Society.  Though spared from the dangers of the battlefield, the war is still brought to home to Sophie through the letters sent to her from her brother.  As the causalities on the battlefield mount, Sophie is forced to confront the realities of war.  In the midst of grief, Sophie and Emma plant the seeds that would evolve into Memorial Day.

A charming story of family, friendship, and community.  The story stands out for its accurate portrayal of village life in the North during the Civil War.  Largely spared from the clash of armies, Northern civilians were still exposed to the hardships of war through the absence of their young men.  For the lucky families, their solider came back at the end of the conflict.  Those left behind on the home front where surrounded by the grief experienced by the families of those whose solider would not be coming back home.  These themes are touchingly presented in Shadows of War.  Highly recommend for middle-grade to adult readers.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

To order Shadows of War visit Amazon 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Lincoln Train Museum

Yesterday, I celebrated the 4th of July in Gettysburg, PA doing a book signing at the Lincoln Train Museum.  I had a great time meeting new friends and spending more time with fellow author (and a Licensed Battlefield Guide!) Linda Clark.

Author Linda Clark and me both celebrated the day in festive attire at the Lincoln Train Museum.
(I will be reviewing Linda's books in following blog posts.)

Unable to attend, but still want to get an autographed copy of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House?  Don't despair, signed copies are on sale now at the Lincoln Train Museum in Gettysburg, PA.

The Lincoln Train Museum

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Psychic News Magazine

On sale now in the UK (coming soon to Barnes & Noble in the US) is the July 2015 issue of Psychic News Magazine featuring Leslie Price's article on Abraham Lincoln and Spiritualism and my interview about "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House

Psychic News Magazine