Book Cover Reveal: My Soul to Keep

I’m delighted to present the book cover reveal for my debut novel, My Soul to Keep. On sale: August 2018 Artist/Illustrator/Designer: Elizabeth Leggett Publisher: Rocket Dog Publishing ABOUT MY SOUL TO KEEP Miranda Clarke lived a charmed life…until she broke the rules. It is 1961 and America’s a theocracy controlled by the Fellowship and its tyrannical council of eleven men. Miranda Clarke’s family is part of the ruling elite, wealthy and privileged. Miranda wants nothing more than to stay out of the public eye, but her power-hungry mother has different plans. She forces Miranda into an engagement to an up-and-coming Fellowship member and schemes to get Miranda’s father elected President of the United States. To escape the arranged marriage and the repressive Fellowship, Miranda makes a break for freedom. But lurid family secrets and a dead man lands her in prison. She not only must escape prison and outwit her mother’s ruthless ambitions but avoid the deadly Azrael, the Fellowship’s enforcers who Take unbelievers. Will Miranda survive ‘outing’ the family secrets? Told from four different perspectives, My Soul to Keep is a spine-tingling science-fiction thriller and will be available in all your favorite online bookstores. My Soul to Keep is the […]

The Forgotten History of Credit Cards. What do stagecoaches have to do with credit cards?

The Forgotten History of the Credit Card

I’m always amazed at the twists and turns that happen during the course of writing a novel. This particular twist came from a beta reader question: Did credit cards exist in the 60’s? I could have simply answered yes, personal history informing my answer. But, I am an insatiable curious creature and found myself researching. And, being a writer, I’m going to inflict my research on you, dear reader. I found the forgotten history of the credit card fascinating. I hope you do, too. Stagecoaches & Credit Cards What do stagecoaches and credit cards have to do with one another? Read on. The California Gold Rush of 1849 led to a lot more than selling panning and mining equipment. Within a year, it became evident that there was a need for more efficient and faster shipping of materials between the east and west coasts. Companies were created by men eager to serve and profit from this situation. On March 18, 1850, three companies consolidated their express transport services. Fargo & Company Wells & Company, and Butterfield & Wasson consolidated to for an unicorporated association of investors The company began transporting goods, valuables, and animals between the east coast and the […]

If you read my post Inspiration on Location you know I discovered a unique institution. I researched the State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded near Lynchburg, Virginia. Synchronicity struck again. First, I learned about Carrie Buck (more on her later). Then I learned about the history of eugenics in the United States of America. Yes, you read that right. Eugenics, here. During my research, I learned about Better Baby contests. The competitions were part of a movement ’scientific motherhood’ to reduce infant mortality. 

Arcane History: Better Baby Contests

If you read my post Inspiration on Location you know I discovered a unique institution. I researched the State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded near Lynchburg, Virginia. Synchronicity struck again. First, I learned about Carrie Buck (more on her later). Then I learned about the history of eugenics in the United States of America. Yes, you read that right. Eugenics, here. During my research, I learned about Better Baby contests. The competitions were part of a movement ’scientific motherhood’ to reduce infant mortality.    Founder Mary de Garmo (1865-1953) was a former school teacher and social activist in Louisiana. In 1980, she formed the Mothers Union in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Mothers Union intended to improve child welfare. Her desire to improve children’s health was the reason she created the Better Baby contests.   Better Baby Contests Begin De Garmo organized the first Better Baby contest. It was held at the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1908. She introduced the idea to Mary Watts who held the first contest in Iowa. The antagonist in my story mentions both of these women.   Contestants Initially, contestants were ages 6 to 36 months. After 1914 boys and girls up to age five […]