New England

New England, March 1883


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Now that I’ve discovered the Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner at the Pawtuxet Valley Historical and Preservation Society, I’ve become a devotee. It all ties in with my love of local history and genealogy. Looking back in time can help us see more clearly, understand our shared past, maybe even foretell the future. So, what was going on around New England on this day in 1883? Have a look:

CONNECTICUT

  • ‘Henry C. Robinson, in a speech at Hartford, said that many of the mill owners of New England were educating their employees in virtue, domestic comfort, intelligence, and all good things; but he also knew of a man who was laying up $72,000 a year while paying little children 15 cents for ten hours’ work.’cartoon-or-sketch-of-mill-woman_0

VERMONT

  • ‘R. Smith, of Essex Junction, has a cow from which, within eight months, has been sold 610 quarts of new milk and 105 pounds of butter, besides supplying a family of three persons.’glass-1587258_960_720

MAINE

  • ‘The hotel to be erected at Mount Kineo is to be able to accommodate 400 guests.’kineo_cdv_1885

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • ‘It is rumored that a new cotton mill is to be erected at Hooksett, where there is considerable idle water power.’manchester-cotton-mill-manchester-new-hampshire

MASSACHUSETTS

  • ‘A ruralist at a recent Millbury festival ate seventeen plates of ice cream.’vanilla-ice-cream-17809427
  • ‘A young man of 28, said by the Worcester Spy to be Alvin E. Ross of Blackstone, was found dead in bed in a tenement house on Mechanic Street, Worcester. About a week ago, the young man hired the room in company with a woman somewhat older, who paid for the room in advance. The woman disappeared Sunday. Ross had apparently been dead about thirty-six hours.’

RHODE ISLAND

  • ‘Newport has, it is estimated, ninety-five licensed and unlicensed rum shops, and 1,200 male adults who visit them.’
  • rum
  • ‘A three-year-old son of James Brown, of Pawtucket, pushed a sleeve button up his nose. The family was unable to remove it, and a physician was called, who found it necessary to make an opening on the inside of the mouth in order to remove it.’
  • ‘The East Providence probate court on Saturday probated the will of George F. Wilson, despite the opposition of his youngest daughter, Alice, who received in trust $22,000 in Rumford stock, and who claims her father was of unsound mind. An appeal will be made to the supreme court. By his first will, in 1880, he left $500,000 of his $800,000 to Alice, but subsequently quarreled with her because of her relations with a certain person. An unpleasant family skeleton will probably be revealed.’

Winter Rules


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As we march toward spring, take a look at these Winter Rules, as published in the Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner, February 5, 1881.

  • Never begin a journey until the breakfast has been eaten.
  • Never take warm drinks and then immediately go out in the cold air.
  • Keep the back – especially between the shoulder blades – well-covered, also the chest well-protected.
  • In sleeping in a cold room, establish the habit of breathing through the nose, and never with the mouth open.
  • Never go to bed with cold or damp feet; always toast them by the fire 10 or 15 minutes before going to bed.
  • Never omit regular bathing, for unless the skin is in an active condition, the cold will close the pores and favor congestion or other diseases.
  • After exercise of any kind, never ride in an open carriage nor near the window of a car for a moment. It is dangerous to health, and even to life.
  • When hoarse, speak as little as possible until it is recovered from, else the voice may be permanently lost, or difficulties of the throat be produced.
  • Merely warm the back by a fire, and never continue keeping the back exposed to heat after it has become comfortably warm. To do otherwise is debilitating.
  • When going from a warm atmosphere into a colder one, keep the mouth closed, so that the air may be warmed by its passage through the nose, ere it reaches the lungs.
  • Never stand still in cold weather, especially after having taken a slight degree of exercise; and always avoid standing upon ice or snow, or where the person is exposed to a cold wind.

So, are you a rule follower?!

It’s December!


lamott

Isn’t that the truth? For those of us who have been connected way too much to every tweet, snipe, or carp, perhaps it’s time to pick up a book. A real book, with pages you turn.

I just finished my Book-a-Day #Giveaway here on the blog (although each post stays ‘live’ for a week, so you can go back to November 25 and still comment on any of the last six posts for a chance to win) – this November series has led us up to what we in the Association of Rhode Island Authors call our BIG EVENT – the Fourth Annual RI Authors Expo. It’s this Saturday, from 11:00am to 5:00pm, at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet http://www.rhodesonthepawtuxet.com/directions/

Come join me and about 125 other talented writers – we’ll have plenty of books, discussions, raffle baskets, and I hear there’s even a bar. 😉

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! The Pie Sisters by Leigh Brown and Victoria Corliss


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Bonded by blood, sisters Shelby, Yeardley, and Lily Lane are three uniquely different young women. Shelby, the eldest, is a born leader and self-appointed caretaker of the people in her life. Smart and decisive, she thinks she can do it all. Middle child Yeardley is a ship without an anchor, unsure of where she’s going or where she belongs. Lily, as the pampered baby of the family, has never had to do anything for herself. But that’s about to change. At their Aunt Nola’s lake cottage where they spent their childhood summers, the girls return to a special place and time filled with familiar faces and favorite traditions. It’s a walk down memory lane that may help define their uncertain futures, as well. Set in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region, The Pie Sisters is a timeless tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

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Writers Victoria (Vikki) Corliss (on the left) and Leigh Brown are friends who became co-authors in 2009. Soon after, they published their first novel, Second Chances, followed by The Pie Sisters in 2015. Creators of women’s fiction, Brown /Corliss novels feature universal themes and literary elements that resonate and connect with most female readers. They are often asked: 1) Are they sisters, and 2) How do they write novels together? In fact, they are sisters in spirit only. To learn more about how their collaboration works, visit their website at www.Browncorlissbooks.com.

The Pie Sisters is available from Amazon, and select bookstores and gift shops in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Both women live with their families in Rhode Island where they are currently working on their third novel, due out next year.

Sorry, there is NO book giveaway but……….you can still WIN a $5 Amazon gift card (use it to purchase the book!) by commenting below. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by me. Contest ends one week after publication.

 

 

 

 

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! Hunting the Merrow by Heather Rigney


hunting-the-merrow

In the author’s debut novel (and first in the series) Waking the Merrow, she explores mermaid-ish beings found in Irish folklore, known as merrow, a Gaelic term. One of these creatures, Nomia, is not pleasant at all, and has made it her mission to turn Evie’s life upside down. As Evie struggles to keep her family safe from Nomia, Evie learns that her husband’s Irish roots might have some aquatic history of their own.

The second novel, Hunting the Merrow, picks up where Waking ends, further exploring the strange history of both Evie, the unlikely hero, and Nomia, the evil mermaid who might have a good reason for being so nasty. Hunting the Merrow presents readers with a variety of mermaid legends found in historic folklore throughout Europe, as both Evie and Nomia race to find their missing siblings.

Nicole Hill of Barnes & Noble Book Blog stated: You know what’s great about Rigney’s horror-ific (that’s horror-filled and terrific), hysterical debut novel? Besides the bloodthirsty merfolk, our antihero protagonist is an overweight, drunk, subpar mother, who also happens to be a funeral director. I can’t even describe the premise of this book without getting giddy, because how many times does a plot involve both vicious mermaids and Rhode Island colonists?” 5 Girl-Powered Sci-Fi and Fantasy Releases You’ll Love

Waking was also featured in Rhode Island’s Motif Magazine’s 2015 Summer Reading Guide to Classics and Local Soon-To-Be-Classics and Hunting appeared in Motif’s 2016 issue Summer Beach Reads.

So while you’re enjoying the silence after the holiday (and are shopping online in your warm jammies!) maybe head on over to Amazon.com. Waking the Merrow would be a great gift for an individual who enjoys fun historic books based in the Ocean State! It’s FREE for today, so go ahead and gift it! (Psst -No one will know that you didn’t pay full price!) Did you know you can gift an ebook? You can! It’s underneath all those purchasing buttons on the right on any Amazon page.

heather-rigney

Heather Rigney is a native Rhode Islander and author of Waking the Merrow and Hunting the Merrow. Both books are based in Rhode Island’s own Pawtuxet Village and adjoining Narragansett Bay, as well as Cape Cod, Ireland, and Europe. These dark historical fantasy novels take readers on a journey through pre-Revolutionary War Rhode Island, then jump to present day, where narrator Evie McFagan, alcoholic funeral director and hot mess mom, fights a centuries-old mermaid posing as a playground mother for her family’s safety.

You can WIN a copy of this book (or Heather’s first in the series – your choice)! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! A LIFE BEFORE by Julien Ayotte


 Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00028]This article is from the US Review of Books:
“… I can’t explain it, but I think I was this woman in another life.”

In 1989, a young newlywed is murdered. At the time, her husband, attorney Mike Strange was working on a case against a company that withheld evidence pertaining to high levels of radon found on a site where they were constructing a large condo complex. Amid detailed investigations, courtroom drama, and his paralegal being run off the road, Strange continues to mourn the loss of his wife and her killer remains at large. Twenty two years later, young coed Samantha Collins is plagued by dreams suffered since adolescence, about a woman brutally attacked. When unexplained coincidences and an unexpected detour land Collins in the neighborhood of the decades old Strange crime, she soon realizes a deep connection to the murder victim. This same young woman who had once given an eerily topical valedictorian speech regarding life after death, suddenly feels compelled to flush out the killer.

For those drawn to the popular “Cold Case” television series or headlines of faltering investigations that benefit from the insight of uniquely gifted individuals, Ayotte delivers the perfect read. This is a story filled with emotionally distraught characters searching for answers, from a broken-hearted husband, devastated families, and determined detectives, to a young woman desperate to find peace in her own existence. In contrast Ayotte provides a cast of wrong-doers who need to be held accountable for their actions.

This is a smart, well-paced thriller that will give readers pause to rethink their own deja vu experiences. As an homage to the past life theme, Ayotte brings the plot full circle with creative touches that tie the opening and closing. A shocking, explosive twist plays into the well-crafted epilogue that not only bolsters the premise of A Life Before, but cleverly entices us to think about the possibilities of life ever after.

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Visit the author’s website here

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! Homecoming by Jake Logan


homecoming

What if the US Army had access to magic? And what would happen to those soldiers when they came home?

In Homecoming, First Magus Brent Rogers has been in Afghanistan for two years. His role is to find improvised explosive devices, also known as IEDs, and disarm or explode them. He also tracks and finds Taliban to make it easier for soldiers to find the enemy. Underneath the magic is an ability, limited psychometry that he had used to help his father, and some telekinesis augmented with magical spells.

Informed that he will be captured in two weeks, the Army sends him home on leave. Brent returns home, welcomed by his mother, father, and sister; however, he still has a rough and rocky relationship with his brother.

Brent meets Chrissie, his brother’s neighbor, and the two hit it off immediately. As he begins to relax, he realizes that he still can use his magic and abilities. But if he relaxes his vigilance for even a second, who knows what could happen . . .

Homecoming is available on Amazon, iTunes, Nook, Smashwords, and other ePub sites. It is also available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

About the Author: Jake Logan is the pen name of Lisa Jacob, who has been writing contemporary and military fantasy for over 30 years. This is her first published novel.

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! A Girl from the Hill by Patricia Mitchell


a-girl-from-the-hill

I remember feeling very proud at age four-and-a-half. Practically ready for kindergarten, I knew my ABC’s, the days of the week, and that on Sunday nights at eight, I could see my TV pals Dan and Dick and those girls who danced with paint all over their bodies. In 1968 my parents allowed me to watch Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In, a show full of sexual innuendo and political satire.

I am the youngest of five, also known as ‘the baby.’ My parents referred to me as ‘the baby’ until middle school, maybe even high school. In my family, being ‘the baby’ held significant meaning: I was not allowed to hear bad news, witness any kind of family strife, or be disappointed. This meant that I played only a minor role in the actual family dynamics. Reality and I would not meet until many years later.

For me, the best part of being ‘the baby’ were those early years where I spent every day with my Mom. While the others schlepped off to school or work, I stayed home with the nicest person I knew, who totally got how babies should be treated. While she drank coffee by the potful and picked up after everyone else’s mess, I plopped myself on the sofa with my coffee milk to watch Captain Kangaroo. While she made the beds, I helped shake out the sheets. When she hung the clothes out to dry, I ran around the backyard jumping off my favorite rock, pretending to fly. In the afternoons, we’d watch our ‘stories,’ like Search for Tomorrow and The Guiding Light. I ignored the mature plots and drifted off to nap while my mom rubbed my back. The perfect life for the perfect baby.

What I didn’t understand until I wrote my mother’s memoir, A Girl from the Hill, was that my mom was a survivor. She also grew up as ‘the baby,’ with siblings and parents who shielded her, too. Like me, she loved being pampered and the center of attention. But before she got a chance to graduate high school, my mother lost her mother forever, forcing her older siblings to inherit an impossible task – shielding ‘the baby’ from death.

On Federal Hill in 1941, wakes were held in homes. Watching her father sit and stroke her dead mother’s hair dealt my mother a harsh blow that changed her forever.

I didn’t appreciate her journey until I stopped being a baby and listened to her story, a story of strength and determination, sprinkled always with a bit of laughter to endure reality.

Sure, I may have resented my over-protective family growing up. But I’m over it. My mother understood how important it was to let me be ‘the baby’ for as long as possible.

patty-mitchell

Patricia Mitchell’s lifelong love of writing and desire to capture the story of her mother’s life prompted her to embark on her first professional writing project – A Girl from the Hill. She holds degrees in mass media and communication, English literature and creative writing. This work expresses her interest in Italian-American culture as well as the relationship between mothers and daughters.

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! BELIEVE IN FOREVER by Mary Catherine Volk


Believe in Forever

Have you ever felt the presence of a loved one after death? Or wondered if you did? Do you yearn for a connection with a loved one who has died? Our departed loved ones do come and visit us. They show us their presence through the use of signs. They give us a sign that is unique to them, everyone is different. This book will teach you how to navigate this new landscape, it is just a new way of communicating. Based on the author’s firsthand experiences, she details the specific ways that contact with the other side occurs. The numerous stories in this book will give you chills as they touch your heart; teaching you to trust your own intuitive ability. A must read for anyone grieving a loss or curious about life after death. This book makes a wonderful gift!
Mary Catherine Volk
Mary Catherine Volk is a spiritual medium, author and speaker. She serves as an ambassador between the worlds relaying messages of healing and love from those in spirit to their loved ones here on earth.
Find the book on Amazon here or visit the author’s website http://marycatherinevolk.com
You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week after publication.

Book-a-Day #Giveaway! ANGEL FRIENDS by Tara Williams


Angel Friends

Do you have an angel friend? Young India has a special friend, an angel friend, Julia. They love to play and sing together. But India’s mother doesn’t believe her friend is real—or does she? Angel Friends is based on a true story of India, who at the age of 2 lost her dad. India kept getting messages from her father but her mom didn’t believe her until there were too many coincidences. Angel Friends is a ‘child friendly’ story. It is a great stepping stone for parents to talk and listen to their children about a loved one who has passed away. It is a touching story of friendship, love, and believing.

Tara Williams Angel Friends

Tara Williams began writing books when she became an early childhood educator. She realized books can be for both enjoyment and an amazing conversation starter with children. Many difficult topics can be addressed using a great book. Tara lives in Rhode Island with her husband Chris and their daughter Aria. Most people think that seeing is believing. Tara thinks first you believe and then you will see.

http://www.angelfriends.tateauthor.com

https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Friends-Tara-Williams/dp/1680977601/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472570313&sr=1-6&keywords=Angel+Friends

You can WIN a copy of this book! Just leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly if you’re the winner. Contest ends one week after publication.