Martha Conway’s ‘The Underground River’ [EXCERPT]

Loading food on the Ohio

Cruising in a steamboat along the Ohio River, an actress and her cousin travel the border between the free North and the slave-holding South. (Photo by suemon123, Flickr)

 

Having lived along the banks of the Ohio River for more than a decade, I frequently heard stories about the Underground Railroad and how it ran through the area in the midst of the Civil War. Visitors to Cincinnati can learn much about this history by visiting the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (she’s the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center downtown (a visit here will change your life!). But until you can make the trek to one of these venues, you can lose yourself in the pages of an incredible new book by Martha Conway, The Underground River. To whet your appetite, here’s an exclusive excerpt from chapter one. Enjoy! —Jathan Read more of this post

Susan Spann Finds Her Muse High Atop Mount Koyasan [GUEST POST]

Konpon Daito Pagoda

Structures like the impressive two-storied Konpon Daito Pagoda elicit quiet contemplation and meditation from even the most experienced traveler. (Photo by Susan Spann)

Most of the time, the plot of each new novel drives my research, but in the case of Trial on Mount Koya, a sacred mountain turned that process upside-down. Each Hiro Hattori novel features a crime in a different setting, and a victim from a different social class or niche, allowing me to keep the series fresh and interesting. Read more of this post

A Letter to My Pre-Published Self [GUEST POST]

Tools of the trade

Historical mystery writer E.M. Powell offers words of encouragement to unpublished authors everywhere, including her younger self, in this candid letter. (Photo by Chris Blakeley, Flickr)

If you enjoy reading mysteries just as much as you like historical fiction, we bet you’re really going to take a shine to the work of E.M. Powell. Her new novel, The King’s Justice (published under Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint) starts a thrilling new series of medieval mysteries you won’t be able to put down. But like many writers, Powell’s career wasn’t an overnight success. Find out what she overcame on the road to publication in her guest post, “A Letter to My Pre-Published Self.” Enjoy! —J&H Read more of this post