Come with Me Down the Novel Research Hole

Come with me down the novel research hole. Learn about the U.S. Coast Guard(USCG). It is busier than you know. On an average day, the Coast Guard: Conducts 45 search and rescue cases; s Saves 10 lives; Saves over $1.2 M in property; Seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana; Conducts 57 waterborne patrols; Interdicts 17 illegal migrants; Escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels; Conducts 24 security boardings Screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats; Conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings; Services 82 boys and fixed aids to navigation; Investigates 35 pollution incidents; Completes 26 safety examinations of foreign vessels; Conducts 105 marine inspections; Investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels; Facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System. Origins President George Washington signed the Tariff Act on August 4, 1790. The act authorized the construction of ten vessels referred to as “cutters.” The Revenue Cutter Service (RCS) was to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. The Service grew in size and responsibilities as the United States grew. New Responsibilities In 1915, the RCS merged with the Life-Saving Service and was renamed the Coast Guard.  Eventually, Congress […]

Images from the My Soul to Keep Series

Images from My Soul to Keep, my alternate history dystopian novel, represent various bits of research. Enjoy the images or follow the links to learn more. Concept Art For your viewing pleasure these are concept art pieces my husband, Robert W. Burrows, created to inspire me as I wrote My Soul to Keep. (Yes, he’s a keeper!) In an early draft, I described the Fellowship symbol. He used that description to create the image below. The Azrael wear body armor, communications gear, and an assortment of weapons. The Clothes Images of clothing that appears in the novel. Transportation Images from My Soul to Keep include vehicles used in the story. The Doll Finding this doll on the web inspired me to include it in the story. Read more about that here. Developing the Cover Searching for a cover designer was scary and fun at the same time. Here’s an article about how I chose my cover artist. Book In Hand There is nothing so thrilling as holding your book in your hands. Except selling your book…and getting great reviews…and writing the next one…and…having great readers. Want to see more? Take a look at my Pinterest Inspiration board. I hope you’ve […]

Inspiration Behind the Scenes with a Female Sniper

She was seventeen years old in June of 1943. Klavdiia Efremovna Kalugina (also spelled Klavdiya Yefremovna Kalugina) a Russian, born in 1926 came from a “not rich” family. She became the youngest sniper-in-training at a school for Komsomol (Communist Union of Youth). All the other pupils were eighteen. She could stay in the school as long as she didn’t “fall behind.” Sniper School They divided the young women into pairs. Marusia Chikhvintseva, Klavdiia’s first partner, became her best friend.  Accustomed to hard work, Klavdiia helped build the firing range for the school. But when it came time to shoot, she could only hit “milk” (jargon for a complete miss). Her squad commander took her aside and gave her private lessons.  She learned tactics and camouflage and ballistics. And she qualified as a sniper.  After graduation, they grouped pairs into squads and sent them all around the front. On March 1, 1944, six pairs of snipers, including Klavdiia and Marusia, were sent to the Belorussian front.  On the Front They rode in cattle cars with heaters as close to the front as they could get. The truck sent to take them to the fighting couldn’t get through the snow. Klavdiia said […]