Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Joyce Proell - Deadly Series Blitz.

Historical Romantic Mystery
Date Published: 5/25/2015

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When Doyle Flanagan finds two strangers in his library—one dead and the other the beautiful but meddlesome Cady Delafield, his life begins to unravel as all clues point to him for the murder. As the sexual tension sizzles and Victorian conventions crumble, Cady risks job, reputation and family ties to help him clear his name. But even as his life hangs in the balance, his passion for her drives him on, but will the truth about him be the one thing to scare her away?

Historical Romantic Mystery
Date Published: 5/25/2015

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In 1881, the air in Chicago is rife with worker discontent, yet business titan Doyle Flanagan is hopeful for the future. He looks forward to a lifetime of peaceful bliss with Cady Delafield and leaving the wretched past behind. But his life is once again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke.

Plagued by memories of four brutal deaths, school director Cady Delafield is determined to drive the recent tragedies from her mind and enjoy being courted.  Although his commanding personality threatens to overshadow her, Doyle Flanagan is the most dynamic man she’s ever met. When another tragedy unfolds placing him at the center, she takes action—action that could shatter her future dreams.

Historical Romantic Mystery
Date Published: 9/27/2015

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The wedding date is set, and life is magical for Doyle Flanagan and Cady Delafield. Honor bound to repay an old debt, Doyle agrees to help an old friend find her sister. As he searches for the girl, painful memories surface, stunning Cady when she discovers facts about Doyle’s hidden past.

In spite of incredible odds, Cady and Doyle’s love has flourished. But in the midst of a life threatening accident, murder, and Doyle’s secrets, their wedding date and happiness are in jeopardy. Mired in tragedy, can they overcome the turmoil with a fateful decision that changes their future forever?

About the Author

Joyce grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health, she retired at a young age to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. The Cady Delafield mystery series followed next with A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and the last, A Wicked Truth published in September, 2015. When she isn’t writing mysteries or historical romances, she loves to swim, walk and is a crossword puzzle fanatic. She and her husband live in Florida and Minnesota, in her very own little house on the prairie.

Contact Links

Purchase Links


One ebook each of: A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and A Wicked Truth

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sans Armes, Ni Haine, Ni Violence ("without weapons, nor hatred, nor violence")


I was seventeen years old in 1976. It was the summer before my senior year in highcshool. My son is seventeen and will be a senior in highcshool next Fall.  Forty years later I cannot help but reminisce. The summer of  1976 was exciting and eventful. I lived at the time in the Washington D.C. suburbs and it was the big summer of The Bicentennial . The USA celebrating 200 years; of course declaring peace and achieving it was not on the same date!

The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially called the Games of the XXI Olympiad (French: Les XXIes olympiques d'été), took place in  Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1976; the first Olympic Games hosted by Canada.





Healing after the turmoil of Watergate America was also preparing for the 1976 elections. In my 17 year old experience out of no-where JIMMY CARTER appeared everywhere, often in posters with long hair and the slogan  J.C. CAN SAVE AMERICA

Sans Armes, Ni Haine, Ni Violence 
("Without Weapons, Nor hatred, Nor violence")

However the event that most impacted my seventeen year old imagination took place in France that summer. I eventually moved to France to study in 1977, and perhaps in part it was the curious movie like robbery that ignited my tremendous curiosity for all things French.

The story of Albert Spaggiari  who led a group of men to commit the well planned robbery of the Société Générale bank in July 1976 during the Bastille Day celebrations in France that year..... is still the strongest memory for me of the events that summer.  (Image Source)



When Spaggiari heard that the sewers were close to the vault of the Société Générale bank, he began to plan a break-in into the bank. Eventually he decided to do it by digging into the bank vault from below. Spaggiari rented a box in the bank vault for himself and then put a loud alarm clock in the vault. He set the clock to ring at night in order to check the possible existence of any acoustic or alarms protecting the vault because it was considered utterly impregnable; the door wall was extremely thick and there was no obvious way to access the other walls.
seismic detection gear. In fact, there were no
Spaggiari contacted professional gangsters from Marseille, who, after examining his plans and the site, decided not to participate in the heist. His accomplices probably were recruited through old OAS friends. His men made their way into the sewers and began a two-month effort to dig an eight meter long tunnel from the sewer to under the vault. Spaggiari had taken many precautions during this long dig. His men worked long hours continuously drilling. He told his men not to drink coffee nor alcohol and get at least 10 hours of sleep every shift to avoid any danger to the mission.
On July 16, 1976, during a long weekend due to Bastille Day festivities, Spaggiari's gang broke into the vault itself. They opened 400 safe deposit boxes[citation needed] and stole an estimated 30-60 million francs worth of money, securities and valuables. It was the largest heist in the history of bank robberies to that date.
According to some accounts, Spaggiari brought his men a meal including wine and pâté, and reportedly they sat down in the vault for a picnic lunch, after welding the vault door shut from the inside. The gang spent hours picking through the various safe deposit boxes. Before they left on July 20, they left this message on the walls of the vault: sans armes, ni haine, ni violence ("without weapons, nor hatred, nor violence"). This was Spaggiari's message to the world, implying that he considered himself to be something more than a common thief.

Capture and escape

At first the French police were baffled. However, by the end of October, they were closing in, and on a tip from a former girlfriend, they arrested one of the errant thieves. After a lengthy interrogation he turned over the entire gang, including Spaggiari. When Spaggiari, who had been accompanying the mayor of Nice Jacques Médecin in the Far East as a photographer, returned to Nice, he was arrested at the airport.
Spaggiari chose Jacques Peyrat, a veteran of the French Foreign Legion who belonged at the time to the National Front, as his defence attorney. Spaggiari first denied his involvement in the break-in, then acknowledged it but claimed that he was working to fund a secret political organization named the "Catena" (Italian for Chain) that seems to have existed only in his fantasy.
During his case hearings, Spaggiari devised an escape plan. He made a fictitious document which he claimed as evidence. He made the document coded so it had to be deciphered by the judge. He distracted judge Richard Bouaziz with this document and then jumped out of a window, landed safely on a parked car and escaped on a waiting motorcycle. Some reports claimed that the owner of the car later received a 5000 francs cheque in the mail for the damage to his roof.
Left-wing papers later claimed that Spaggiari had received help from his political friends, in particular from ex-OAS militants close to the mayor of Nice, Jacques Médecin. The accusations forced Médecin to go through a second round of voting at the local elections of 1977.
In 1995, Jacques Peyrat accused Christian Estrosi, French minister and former motorcycle champion, of having been Spaggiari's driver. But later Estrosi proved that on that day he had been motorcycle racing in Daytona .

Life in hiding

Spaggiari remained free for the rest of his life. He was sentenced in absentia to a life in prison. Reportedly he underwent plastic surgery and spent probably most of the rest of his life in Argentina. However, it is reported that Spaggiari came several times clandestinely to France, visiting his mother or his wife "Audi". For the publishing of his last book Le journal d'une truffe he gave an interview to Bernard Pivot for the TV program Apostrophes that was reportedly recorded in Milan, Italy.
According to a CIA document declassified in 2000 and publicised by the National Security Archive, Michael Townley, the DINA international agent responsible for the murder of Orlando Letelier, a member of Salvador Allende's government, in Washington DC, 1976, was in contact with Spaggiari. Information contained in the document suggests that Spaggiari (code name "Daniel") conducted operations on behalf of DINA.  read more at WIKIPEDIA

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1128 Pope recognizes Knights Templar (From This Day in HISTORY)


On January 13th 1128, Pope Honorius II  grants a papal sanction to the military order known as the Knights Templar, declaring it to be an army of God.

Led by the Frenchman Hughes de Payens, the Knights Templar organization was founded in 1118. Its self-imposed mission was to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land during the Crusades, the series of military expeditions aimed at defeating Muslims in Palestine. The Templars took their name from the location of their headquarters, at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. For a while, the Templars had only nine members, mostly due to their rigid rules. In addition to having noble birth, the knights were required to take strict vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. In 1127, new promotional efforts convinced many more noblemen to join the order, gradually increasing its size and influence.

While the individual knights were not allowed to own property, there was no such restriction on the organization as a whole, and over the years many rich Christians gave gifts of land and other valuables to support the Knights Templar. By the time the Crusades ended unsuccessfully in the early 14th century, the order had grown extremely wealthy, provoking the jealousy of both religious and secular powers. In 1307, King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V combined to take down the Knights Templar, arresting the grand master, Jacques de Molay, on charges of heresy, sacrilege and Satanism. Under torture, Molay and other leading Templars confessed and were eventually burned at the stake. Clement dissolved the Templars in 1312, assigning their property and monetary assets to a rival order, the Knights Hospitalers. In fact, though, Philip and his English counterpart, King Edward II, claimed most of the wealth after banning the organization from their respective countries.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

10 Things You May Not Know About Agatha Christie

English crime writer Agatha Christie and her daughter, Rosalind, (right), are featured in a newspaper article reporting the mysterious disappearance of the novelist.  (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)From HISTORY IN THE HEADLINES

English crime writer Agatha Christie and her daughter, Rosalind, (right), are featured in a newspaper article reporting the mysterious disappearance of the novelist. (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
9. She was the subject of a huge manhunt.
Reeling from the recent death of her beloved mother and the revelation that her first husband had been unfaithful, Christie removed her wedding ring, left her daughter in the care of household servants and drove off into the night on December 3, 1926. The next morning, her car was found abandoned several miles away, thus kicking off an intensive search-and-rescue operation that involved thousands of policemen and volunteers. Though divers, bloodhounds and even airplanes were brought in, no trace of the missing crime novelist turned up. The press ran wild with the story, with one publication offering a 100-pound reward for information leading to her whereabouts. Finally, 11 days after leaving home, she was recognized at a spa hotel in northern England, to which she had checked in using the surname of her husband’s mistress. Christie claimed to have virtually no recollection of the entire incident, attributing it to a form of amnesia.


Where did the phrase “mad as a hatter” come from?


Book Trailer: The Bridge Of Deaths

Sunday, January 10, 2016

10 Things You May Not Know About London’s Underground

From This Day in History


On January 10, 1863, after nearly 20 years of failed attempts at alleviating crowding on London’s busy city streets, the world’s first underground railway roared into action beneath the British capital. What began with a 4-mile-long stretch of rail connecting the stations of Farringdon and Paddington soon became the world’s first mass-transit system, transporting millions of passengers annually—decades before cities like Paris or New York were able to do so. On the anniversary of that initial triumph, here are 10 things you may not know about London’s Underground.


Images Daily Telegraph
1. The first Underground trains ran on steam.
Recent studies have found that London’s air quality below ground is 70 times worse than it is above, and that, due to exhaust and poor ventilation, a 40-minute ride on the system is equivalent to smoking two cigarettes. This may shock modern sensibilities, but the earliest riders would hardly have been surprised. While steam locomotives, fed by coal, had been traversing the British countryside for decades, few were prepared for what awaited them in the smoky, sooty confines of the enclosed Underground system. For nearly 30 years, the entire Underground was steam-powered. The first electrical powered lines opened in 1890, but a few steam-powered trains remained in regular use until 1961. However, this year, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the system, a series of steam-powered trains will once again travel throughout parts of the system.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Episode #10: M.C.V. Egan Talks Historical Fiction

January 8, 2013 by

Bridge of Deaths
What do you do when all the files needed for researching your book are under embargo for the next few years because of international security? I don’t know. But Maria Egan decided the best way was to research a mysterous plane crash in Denmark over 70 years ago for her book, The Bridge of Deaths, was via Psychic. Houdini would shudder in his grave.
Here’s one of the news clips about the 1939 crash of a British Airway’s Lockheed 10A Electra, en route to Stockholm, that ended in five deaths and is the subject of Egan’s book. Egan claims to have made contact with some of the deceased and says she used the experiences to write her book. Check out her book at The Bridge of Deaths.
Egan talks about never giving up on publishing your book, being flexible in your writing process and finding an audience of fans that you may have never imagined reaching.


Friday, January 8, 2016


On this day in 1877, Crazy Horse and his warriors–outnumbered, low on ammunition and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves–fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana.

Six months earlier, in the Battle of Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse and his ally, Chief Sitting Bull, led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer (1839-76) and his men. The Indians were resisting the U.S. government’s efforts to force them back to their reservations. After Custer and over 200 of his soldiers were killed in the conflict, later dubbed “Custer’s Last Stand,” the American public wanted revenge. As a result, the U.S. Army launched a winter campaign in 1876-77, led by General Nelson Miles (1839-1925), against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains.  READ MORE....

ALSO on January 8th in History

Saturday, January 2, 2016

FROM UPWORTHY ~ 15 badass women of World War II you didn't learn about in history class.

The women of World War II were stone-cold warriors.

By Eric March 

Much like their male counterparts, women in the Allied countries were clamoring to get in the game from the moment war broke out. For the most part, the men in charge were like, "We're, uh, not exactly sure what to do with you." And the women were like, "Too bad. We're doing it anyway. Kthxbye!"
These are just a few of them — some famous, some obscure, all ridiculously courageous.



2. Jacqueline Cochran: Aviator


Photo via the U.S. Air Force.
Before the Untied States entered World War II, aviator Jacqueline Cochran — who had already proven that she could fly a plane faster than any woman or man alive — politely asked Gen. Hap Arnold to let women fly in the U.S. military, to which he replied, "Ehhhhh, no. Nope. No thanks."
Then the war started. And Arnold was like, "Um ... about that..."
For the next three years, Cochran trained female pilots — who came to be known as WASPs — to pilot American military aircraft. She became the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean. She supervised the training program, which spanned 120 bases, until 1944 when it was discontinued by the military because of, like, cooties or whatever.
That didn't stop Cochran, however. After the war, she became the first woman to break the sound barrier. And, according to the National WASP World War II Museum, she "holds more international speed, distance and altitude records than any other pilot, male or female," to this day.



Friday, January 1, 2016

The Humble beginings of the BLACK EYED PEA New Year's Day TRADITIONS

Bowl of hoppin' john - Smneedham/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Smneedham/Photolibrary/Getty Images     
                      Updated December 31, 2015. 





Black-eyed Peas
Do you know why black-eyed peas are lucky on New Year's Day? As with most superstitions, there are several answers to the question. Typically, the belief that black-eyed peas are a lucky New Year's meal is especially popular in the south, so it has to do with our history, right? Maybe.

Most Southerners will tell you that it dates back to the Civil War. Black-eyed peas were considered animal food (like purple hull peas).

The peas were not worthy of General Sherman's Union troops. When Union soldiers raided the Confederates food supplies, legend says they took everything except the peas and salted pork. The Confederates considered themselves lucky to be left with those meager supplies, and survived the winter. Peas became symbolic of luck.



DECEMBER 31st 1999

On this day in 1999, the United States, in accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, officially hands over control of the Panama Canal, putting the strategic waterway into Panamanian hands for the first time. Crowds of Panamanians celebrated the transfer of the 50-mile canal, which links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and officially opened when the SS Arcon sailed through on August 15, 1914. Since then, over 922,000 ships have used the canal.