The Anti-Opium Crusader

Caroline posts to History Imagined every three weeks.

History Imagined

Lin Zexu

Not all the interesting and colorful characters from the 1830s were British. Lin Zexu, also known as Lin Tse-hsu, a Chinese scholar and government official, rubbed against the British mercantile ambitions of that era with dogged determination and incorruptible integrity. Unfortunately, the First Opium War broke out as one unintended consequence of his efforts. The humiliating defeat and resulting unequal treaty caused in Lin’s downfall. He became a scapegoat and spent much of his remaining years banished to the mountainous central-Asian Xinjiang frontier province of Xinjiang. Today he is widely regarded as a hero in China.

Born August 30, 1785, in in Fujian province in relative poverty, his father, a teacher, made sure he received a classical Confucian education. His brilliance led eventually to the highest degrees and success in civil-service examinations. By age twenty he served as an aide to the governor of his home province. He…

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First Kiss Friday with guest Caroline Warfield

A sweet excerpt on time for the holidays.

Sherry Ewing

It’s another First Kiss Friday and today I have my friend Caroline Warfield as my guest. Caroline has a new story out entitled Charlotte’s Christmas Vigil that is just in time for the holiday’s. We hope you enjoy this first kiss scene. Happy reading!


“Don’t get up, Lottie. Are you well?” He raised the candle to see her face better. The purple smudges under her eyes hadn’t abated.

She looked back, puzzled. “Well enough. Why did you come?”

His eyes scanned her, from the glorious hair to the tips of those graceful toes. He tried to remind himself of his professional demeanor, but diagnosis played no part in this scrutiny.

“Salvo?” Lottie asked, her voice thick.

“I’m sorry, Lottie. You should not be embroiled in my family’s crisis.”

She pulled her gown down to cover herself. He suspected she blushed rather in the semi-darkness, but he couldn’t pull his…

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It’s beginning to look a lot like….

The “Peppermint Swirl” afghan I made looks very festive!

Now is the time when so many of us – especially the crafters among us – are frantically working on the handmade gifts that we plan to give to our friends and family. A handmade gift is the perfect way to share just a little part of ourselves with those we love. Continue reading “It’s beginning to look a lot like….”

Friday Features Never Too Late

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features


Caroline Warfield

An Introduction

When the Bluestocking Belles let their readers select story elements for their next anthology, I was given a trope (a compromising situation that isn’t what it seems) and three other things (a Bible, an heroine in her thirties with hazel eyes, and a wise old man) that I had to include in my story. The setting that popped into my mind almost immediately was France in 1916. You may guess that unleashed the need for research. The result of it all was my story “Roses in Picardy” in the anthology Never Too Late, which goes live November 4. TOMORROW!

Food in the Trenches 1916

First of all, keep in mind that no one starved. The aphorism that an army runs on its stomach was as true then as ever. The armies made every effort to feed their men, even while civilian populations actually…

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Time Travel

From History Imagined, about the long arc of history.

History Imagined

time travel Standing Stones of Stenness (Author’s Photo)

I learned at a young age that time is relative, particularly historical time. Something ancient history to me might be a fond memory to my parents or grand parents. (Or not so fond, as in the Great Depression or various wars.) My mother liked to laugh about the occasion when she woke up her history-obsessed daughter so she could view a site we passed during a long trip. She knew I hated to miss a historical marker. I supposedly commented, “That isn’t very old. Groton is older,” and promptly went back to sleep. We lived in Groton Massachusetts for less than a year, but it had apparently reset my historical clock from Midwest time to New England time.

On my first visit to London, I had a similar experience. I took the underground to the Tower of London, the first place on my wish…

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Venice, The Foundry, The Ghetto

Lady Charlotte’s Christmas Vigil is set in Venice…travel always wakes up Caroline’s muse.

History Imagined

Islands pepper the well known Venetian lagoon, but canals and rivulets divide within the city proper into islands as well. Venice set aside one of those islands, site of a copper foundry, as the Jewish quarter 501 years ago. I toured it in fascination during my rambles a few years ago; I went back the next day. The Venetian Ghetto was and continues to be a vibrant center of Jewish culture.

The Ponte Vecchio Ghetto, once gated and locked at night. The multi-stories are a clue you are entering the ghetto.

Though confined to their own quarter, Venetian Jews enjoyed relatively more freedom than they did in other parts of Europe—if being relieved from the threat of forced conversion (such as they faced in Rome or Spain in the 1500s) or pogroms (such as took place in Germany and elsewhere) can be considered freedom. The resulting influx of people swelled…

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Perfect for October – A Real Life Ghost Story

by Donna MacMeans

Several years ago, I participated in a reader event held in Huntington, West Virginia several years ago. A fellow author told my editor and I that she had encountered a spirit in her hotel room the night before – an evil spirit that tried to choke her. Now I’ve stayed in that hotel a number of times and never experienced anything other than a good night’s sleep. I said as much and my editor replied, “Of course you’ve never seen a ghost. You’re a CPA. You’re just not built to be sensitive or open to the paranormal.”

Well Cindy, you were wrong. Continue reading “Perfect for October – A Real Life Ghost Story”

With Byron in Venice

History Imagined

While wandering the streets of Venice a few years ago, I asked myself (as I often do when I’m traveling) if I could put a story there. Since I write largely Regency and Victorian romance I specifically wondered what Venice would have been like in the Regency era. Did the English aristocracy go to Venice? Boy did they!

As I was wandering the side streets and neighborhoods as I like to do—it gets me away from the crowds—I came on a particularly fine bookstore, where I found a treasure. In Venice and in the Veneto with Lord Byron opened up visions of the whole lagoon between 1816 and 1819, complete with maps and sketches of buildings from that era. Everything an author might need for world building in advance of a story lay at my feet. How could I resist?

Ivan Constantinovich, Byron in Venice

George Gordon, Lord Byron, left…

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