Archive for category History

How to Code Messages Like a WWII Spy

This blog post will take you through the steps of encoding a message using double transposition, just like British and American spies did in WWII. Should you feel like trying it out, it will be up to you to look up the Morris code, secure a radio, and find someone to transmit it to. Early in […]

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I have a new title, and a map

The title for my third novel was finalized last month: Deadly Alliance. I like it. A lot. No, it wasn’t one of my suggestions, but I’m completely OK with that. I have a fascination with titles that include the word dead or any of its derivatives (as long as it doesn’t sound like a novel about zombies). In […]

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Things not to do if you’re an agent in a Nazi-occupied country

This past summer I read a nonfiction book about several British agents who went into France during WWII as part of the Special Operations Executive. SOE was created by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze.” Its agents organized local resistance, gathered intelligence, and performed acts of sabotage. (You know, all the type of stuff I […]

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A Post About Alexanders

This blog post revolves around two very different subjects that have come up for me this month. Their connection: the name Alexander. The first is Alexander the Great. My husband and I both enjoy history. While I tend to study more recent history, my husband’s passion is for ancient history. Recently we watched a four-part documentary […]

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The 69th Anniversary of D-day

Last year I posted some pictures my sister took of the WWII memorial in Washington DC. Now that another anniversary of D-day has rolled around, I thought I’d post those pictures and captions again. I also want to say thank you to all who served during WWII or during other conflicts, and to those who serve our […]

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Happy Memorial Day and some Sworn Enemy Links

Memorial Day I know it’s not Memorial Day yet, but the weekend is about to start, and I expect most people won’t be at their computers on Monday, so I wanted to post this today. Memorial Day has its origins in the American Civil War. For many years, Decoration Day was a time to visit […]

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Sweeney Todd, Sherlock Holmes, and Stephen Ambrose

A friend of mine asked me about the name of one of my characters, Sherlock. He’s in Sworn Enemy, a British medic and a paratrooper, and his real name is Richard Holmes. I thought it would be fun to explain how he got his name, in case anyone else is curious. A few years ago […]

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What’s in a Name? Part Two: Commander Courage and Other Names That Border on Perfection

I recently read an article about the first naval battle of Narvik, which took place in April 1940 between British and German ships in Ofotfjord (also called Narvik Fjord) in Norway. I won’t give a detailed blow-by-blow of the battle, but I’ll give you a summary. I also found a map in the public domain, […]

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What’s in a Name? Part One: Paulus and Paullus

Seventy years ago today, on February 2, 1943, the last German troops in Stalingrad surrendered. The fight for Stalingrad was huge in terms of lives lost and prisoners taken. (Estimates of total casualties vary, but are somewhere between one and two million.) It’s easy to argue that the German defeat on the Russian steppes was the […]

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My New Maps

I didn’t have a map for my first novel, Espionage. Most of the novel took place in Calais, France, so hopefully it didn’t need one. But when two test readers for my next book suggested I include maps (note: one of those test readers has an advanced degree in military history and the other has […]

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