Other names
Role in the novels
Physical description
What other people notice about her/him
Significant event that molded the character’s personality
Appears in
Quote about; Quote from 

West Indies

Queen of Swords takes place first in the French Antilles, specifically in

Priest’s Town, on the fictional L’île de Lamantins (Isle of the Manatees);

Kingston, Jamaica

Port au Prince,  Haiti

Spanish Florida

New Orleans and environs.


Travel in the 19th century

On the Rails

See also the article on .

If you want to travel by rail from Manhattan to St. Louis, from Chicago to Austen in the years before the Civil War, you will find not one or two but eleven possibilities.… Read more.

Westward Ho: The Missouri River

Weblog Excerpt: Adapted from a weblog entry.

Little Birds is set in New Mexico territory in 1857 so I have to get these people from New York to New Mexico. That means researching

(1) early train travel — not as well documented as you would guess, unfortunately;

(2) St.… Read more.

New Orleans

Much of Queen of Swords takes place in New Orleans just as the was ending.  This short excerpt takes place as enters the city for the first time, and alone:

Finally she turned from the levee and walked into the city itself, glad now of the shade in the narrow lanes so closely built that the sun was kept permanently at bay.
Read more.

Little Birds

This novel, set in 1858 in New Mexico Territory, serves as a bridge between the Wilderness series of novels and the first two novels of the Waverly Place series.

Backstory: 1845

Callie Ballentyne is a young girl when her life is upended and she must leave the only home she knows.… Read more.

Transportation, New York City

The Crowded City, Then and Now

Manhattan was a very crowded place in the 19th century.

The actress Jenny Lind  arrived to perform at Castle Garden (then a performance space) on September 11, 1850.   30,000 people met her at the dock and another  20,000 lined the streets to her hotel.  … Read more.

The Ambulance

An ambulance service is connected with the New York, Roosevelt, and Bellevue Hospitals. The ambulance is used in nearly all cases of street accidents,  some cases of disease, and many cases of violent inebriety. It can be summoned by telegraph from any police station, or from any alarm box of the Fire Department, by tapping the Morse key twenty times and sounding the box number.
Read more.