Blog—Where I fill in the Blanks

Lincoln—My working Timeline for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words

For all books I work on, I compile a timeline during my research—one that ultimately shows the breadth of that research, though that’s not the reason for its creation. The timeline keeps me grounded in time and context and offers the quick reference I need while experimenting with different story approaches. As you peruse my [Read More]


Step Right Up is a Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee!

I am immensely honored that Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness has been named to the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list for 2018-19. Many hundreds (500-700?) of books are considered before the twenty finalists are chosen for this list. What a thrill! Thank you, Texas librarians! Thank you, [Read More]


Lincoln—Select Sources/Bibliography

You won’t see a full bibliography or quotation sources in the back matter of Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words. Wanna know why? Simply put, even my super-whittled-down select sources resulted in a book that was too long to fit the standard 32-page format. So my editor and I made the difficult decision to direct readers here, to the [Read More]


Lincoln—Dueling Terms & What Led to the Lincoln-Shields Duel

General Dueling Rules: American dueling took root as early as the first colonial settlers in the 16th century and was popular throughout most of the 19th century. During these times, nothing was more valuable to a man than his honor—how he was viewed by the public. In the 19th century, politicians, lawyers, and newspaper editors [Read More]


Lincoln and the 19th-Century Gentleman’s Code of Conduct

      As a society, we are a very casual lot these days. It was different in Lincoln’s time. A man’s worth was wrapped up in his honor and how he was esteemed by others. Only gentlemen were allowed in upper-class social circles and in many business and political dealings. To be considered a [Read More]