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History to Learn.  History to Imagine.

Welcome to HistoryMuse.us, a site devoted to history and historical fiction. Mostly. History addresses the question, “What happened?” Historical fiction asks what might have happened. It’s a great way to explore the past.

On this site you’ll find blog posts about historical events, reviews of recent books of history and historical fiction, a little bit about writing in both those genres, and other adventures and observations in the world our history has made.

I love reading history and thinking about it. You probably do, too, or you wouldn’t have come to this web site. Enjoy it!

Recent articles from Susan

Slavery and Its Price

Slavery in the United States was all about business, and it was a complicated and fascinating business, as well as a grim one. The pricing alone is worth a book.

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Disaster Recovery: Rethinking the War Machine

September 29th, 2017|6 Comments

Why doesn’t the United States cope with disaster as well as we would cope with an attack by another country? We could. Our military can build a temporary port in 48 hours. We just need to rethink what we do with what we have.

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History and Heritage: Controlling the Story

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

We want to create our own story, and the stories of our ancestors, with pieces of history. Sometimes we call it our heritage. And from Charlottesville to Timbuktu to Hobby Lobby, we fight desperately over control of the pieces, the right to glorify or destroy.

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Writers on Writing a Novel: How Do You Do It?

August 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Should you write your novel backwards? Are you a planner—making an outline and following it? Or are you a “pantser,” someone who just starts and has no idea how it’s going to turn out? No matter how you write, you’ve got plenty of company.

A young woman’s story of survival, this meticulously researched novel brings to life an era when women wore bonnets and steered a narrow course between the roles of
wife, widow, maid, and “parlor girl.”

The driving force behind this riveting tale is the mystery of Vera’s birth, which contains the essence of the fierce conflict between Protestant and Catholic in 19th century America.

Solveig Eggerz, author of Seal Woman

Clark’s tale reads like a cross between Defoe’s Moll Flanders and Dickens’s David Copperfield, revealing the struggles of females and Irish and blacks in that tumultuous period of American history from the 1840s through the 1860s. . .[She] has done her research, capturing the detail of place and language which brings this tale to life.

Bill King, on Amazon

It is an amazing story about a time in history I thought I knew a lot about, but I now feel as if I have 
lived through this time.

Skj, on Amazon

The Monk Woman’s Daughter is a brawling, lusty novel about brawling, lusty America in the middle of the nineteenth century.  The story will grab you by the lapels and haul you along with the cursed, blessed, resourceful, and fascinating Vera St. John as she navigates a world that grants little opportunity – or even regard – for women so unwise as to be born without advantages.  Enduring waves of misogyny, political turmoil, and religious and ethnic hatred, Vera survives it all and then some.  A terrific read!

David O. Stewart, author of The Lincoln Deception

I read this book in two sittings. Very enjoyable. The dialogue was real, and so were the characters.

Jeanne M. Shepherd, on Amazon

Clark skillfully uses the details of place and dress, of speech and patterns of deference to give a sense of an America obsessed with religion, hierarchy and race.

Mike Wold, Real Change

The Monk Woman’s Daughter takes us back to an era when Irish gangs ran whole chunks of Manhattan and pigs rooted in the muddy streets. You’ll meet low-lifes and high livers, con men and saints, union leaders and union busters, as you race through history with Vera on a quest to unscramble the mystery of the woman who gave her birth.

Frank Joseph, author of To Love Mercy