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Where Historical meets Paranormal Romance...


Click each cover to go straight to references from that book.

The Irish Devil The River Devil The Southern Devil The Northern Devil

General US History

Hakim, Joy Reconstruction and Reform, 1865-1896 (A History of US, vol.7) YA history of the US. Colorful anecdotes and illustrations.
Lord, Francis A. They Fought for the Union, A Complete Reference Work on the Federal Fighting Man The book that explained Hal’s military background.
Pearson, David W. This Was Mining in the West A photographic history. Invaluable.
Shep, R.L. Civil War Era Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook & Vulgarisms in Conversation Two Civil War-era etiquette handbooks.
Strouse, Jean Morgan, American Financier A detailed history of J.P. Morgan, with lots of insight into his time.
Time-Life Books,
the Editors of
The Miners (The Old West) Priceless.
Varhola, Michael J. Everyday Life during the Civil War, A Guide for Writers, Students and Historians Useful reference book.


Bartoletti, Susan Campbell Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850 A YA history of the Great Famine and winner of the Robert F. Sibert Medal. It truly brought home the realities of life during the Famine and constantly reminded me of my grandmother’s stories.
Donnelly, James S., Jr. The Great Irish Potato Famine Ah, the pictures in this book will break your heart.
Hoagland, Kathleen, ed. 1000 Years of Irish Poetry Lots of insights into William’s character from these poems.
Kinealy, Christine The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology and Rebellion (British History in Perspective) A recent book (pub. 2002), very scholarly and uses new sources. A good link between anecdotal accounts and very formal academic studies.
Thomas, Donald The Victorian Underworld Detailed account of London’s underworld. More academic than anecdotal.

Victorian Life

Goldman, Marion S. Gold Diggers & Silver Miners: Prostitution and Social Life on the Comstock Lode Vivid discussion of prostitution and how it fit into society at that time.
Himmelfarb, Gertrude Marriage and Morals among the Victorians and Other Essays A collection of essays about what was acceptable and unacceptable for English Victorians
Hutson, Jan The Chicken Ranch: The True Story of the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Priceless, especially for its account of the mores and the posted rules.
James, Ronald M. &
C. Elizabeth Raymond,
Comstock Women: The Making of A Mining Community Fascinating account of life on the Comstock Lode, including a great deal of information on American women everywhere at that time. One of the books I kept coming back to.
Lewis, Judith Schneid In the Family Way: Childbearing in the British Aristocracy, 1760-1860 An interesting account of fertility (including contraception) and childbearing.
Lowry, Thomas P., M.D. The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War A great read.
Marcus, Steven The Other Victorians: A Study of Sexuality and Pornography in Mid-Nineteenth Century England If you’re writing Victorian erotica, you need to have read this book.
Mason, Michael The Making of Victorian Sexuality What did the Victorians think of sex? Useful, extremely detailed and sometimes hard to read.
McLaren, Angus A History of Contraception: From Antiquity to the Present Day Scholarly, covers ancient Greece through today.
Steele, Valerie The Corset, A Cultural History Great, great illustrations and much more information than expected.
Walker, Henry Pickering The Wagonmasters: High Plains Freighting from the Earliest Days of the Santa Fe Trail to 1880 This book gave me the idea for William.
Willett, D. and
Phillis Cunnington
The History of Underclothes A must-have.



Alvarez, A. Poker: Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats A gorgeously illustrated, short book about poker as a way of life. It gave me a real feeling for the game and its players.
Asbury, Herbert Sucker’s Progress: An Informal History of Gambling in America Once again, Mr. Asbury really makes the past come alive. If you only read one book on 19th-century American gambling, make it this one.
Brunson, Doyle Poker Wisdom of a Champion Great insights into a poker player’s mind. This helped me understand Rosalind’s approach to life.
Brunson, Doyle
“Texas Dolly”
Doyle Brunson’s Super System: A Course in Power Poker Yes, betting on Seven-Card Stud really is that complicated.
Fabian, Ann Card Sharps and Bucket Shops: Gambling in Nineteenth-Century America A more academic look at 19th-century public attitudes towards gambling.
Harroch, Richard D.
and Lou Krieger
Poker for Dummies A great introduction, full of basics that other books assume you already know.
Longstreet, Stephen Win or Lose: A Social History of Gambling in America Good book. Unfortunately, it didn’t spend much time on the areas important to The River Devil.

Kansas City and Missouri River

Bristow, David L. A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha Fascinating stories about a fascinating town.
Discovery Center,
Kansas City
Link Lovely people who told me what the Missouri River was like in 1872, including what the bill of fare onboard a steamboat would have been.
Folzenlogen, Robert Birding Missouri: A Guide to Seasonal Highlights Organized by time of year and places to go. It has some helpful pictures of the Missouri River at different times of year, with a description of the birds then.
Haskell, Henry C. Jr.
& Richard B. Fowler
City of The Future: The Story of Kansas City, 1850-1950 Fascinating anecdotes.
Montgomery, Rick
and Shirl Kasper,
edited by Monroe Dodd;
The Kansas City Star
Kansas City, An American Story Great pictures and thumbnail sketches. Very, very useful.
O’Neill, Pat From the Bottom Up: The Story of the Irish in Kansas City Excellent pictures and it tells the story of Kansas City too.
Savage, James W.
and John T. Bell
History of the City of Omaha, Nebraska and South Omaha by Consul W. Butterfield 1894 history of Omaha, full of all sorts of interesting facts.
Tekiela, Stan Birds of Missouri, Field Guide A pocket book with good pictures and useful comments about the birds’ whereabouts and behavior.


Arabia Steamboat
Link A very good website, a fun museum, and a lot of people who love their steamboats. Their enthusiasm is contagious.
Davis, William C. Portraits of the Riverboats Pictures and commentary on all riverboats, not just the big Mississippi packets.
Delta Queen
Steamboat Company
Link A 1927 steamboat still sailing America’s rivers with engines that Hal and Rosalind would understand. A lovely boat with an incredibly friendly, happy crew.
Gandy, Joan W. and
Thomas H. Gancy
The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs, Natchez to New Orleans 1870-1920 Boy, did I pore over these pictures!
Gillespie, Michael Wild River, Wooden Boats: True Stories of Steamboating and the Missouri River The Missouri River was not (and is not) like the other western rivers. Its steamboats therefore had some very interesting differences from those on the Mississippi or Hudson. This book helped bring the Missouri River’s unique world to life.
Hunter, Louis C. Steamboats on the Western Rivers: An Economic and Technological History Priceless. It relies on primary sources and is incredibly thorough and detailed.
Lass, William E. A History of Steamboating on the Upper Missouri Excellent history. Since it focuses on Sioux City to Great Falls stretch, I primarily used it for background.
Merrick, George Byron Old Times on the Upper Mississippi: Recollections of a Steamboat Pilot from 1854 to 1863 A newspaperman recounts his former life. Very vivid and very well-written, it truly bought steamboats alive for me. I primarily relied on this book and Hunter for the steamboat passages.
Robert Kelley
Unruly River: Two Centuries of Change Along the Missouri A scientist’s history of the Missouri River ecosystem, including the politics. Very interesting, although the bulk is about the 20th century.
Twain, Mark Life on the Mississippi What can I say? It’s a great book.
USS Cairo Gunboat
and Museum
Link USS Cairo was a City-class gunboat sunk during the Civil War at Vicksburg. She was raised and partially reconstructed fromn 1965-1977 and can now be seen at the Vicksburg battlefield. Looking at her was like walking into the past.
Watson, Ken Paddle Steamers: An Illustrated History of Steamboats on the Mississippi and its Tributaries Good diagrams and descriptions of the technology.
Way, Frederick, Jr.
compiled by
Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994 Lots of very interesting information in this book.

Union Navy

Anderson, Bern By Sea and by River: The Naval History of the Civil War Solid but more attention to ocean operations, rather river-borne.
Bennett, Michael J. Union Jacks: Yankee Sailors in the Civil War Fascinating book about the everyday life of Yankee sailors. It told me a great deal about Hal’s interactions with his men.
Gott, Kendall D. Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862 Includes excellent information on how the Mississippi squadron was created and manned.
Lord, Francis A. They Fought for the Union, A Complete Reference Work on the Federal Fighting Man When it says complete, it means complete. I found it very useful for explaining how the Union navy got its officers for the Mississippi River theater.
Musicant, Ivan Divided Waters: The Naval History of the Civil War Very useful overview. Includes information on Vicksburg and Shiloh, including anecdotes.
Shea, William L. and
Terrence J. Winschel
Vicksburg Is The Key: The Struggle for The Mississippi River Very well written.

Victorian High Style

Bain, David Haward Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad Fascinating and beautiful written, it told me why Nick Lennox was blackballed from Omaha, a Union Pacific town.
Cooper, Edward S. William Worth Belknap: An American Disgrace Very detailed and solidly written, I found this book extremely useful. Anyone interested in any aspect of 19th-century American military, Indian Wars, or politics should consider this a must-read.
Douglas County
Historical Society
Link A wonderful group of people, who answered all of my questions, including the ones I hadn’t thought to ask.
Gregory, Alexis Families of Fortune: Life in the Gilded Age Fabulous pictures and interesting text. I used it to find out about the Schuylers and Lindsays’ mansions.
Kidd, George The Irish Terrier A fun book about some great dogs.
Patterson, Jerry E. The Vanderbilts Juliet Townsend’s mansion is patterned after the Vanderbilts’ Breakers.
Stasz, Clarice The Vanderbilt Women: Dynasty of Wealth, Glamour, and Tragedy Tells many of the nuts-and-bolts for a young woman growing up in New York’s 1860s smart society.


Back, Joe Horses, Hitches and Rocky Trails

Called “the packer’s bible,” it’s full of old-time western humor and wisdom. Murphy’s Law reigns supreme in this book. Priceless, absolutely priceless.

ISBN 1-55566-141-6

Carter, General William,
US Sixth Cavalry
Horses, Saddles and Bridles

A classic manual, circa 1920 on cavalry horses, including their purchase, training, equipment, stables, riding, and travel history. Comprehensive and vital reference book.

ISBN 1-59048-046-5

Daly, H.W.,
Chief Pack Master
of the U.S. Cavalry
Manual of Pack Transportation

When I started writing The Southern Devil, I didn’t realize that pack transportation had gone through different technology generations during the 19th century.

HW Daly learned his trade under General Crook, chasing Geronimo across Arizona. The pack mules described here made that campaign possible. If you want to understand that time, you’ve got to read this book.

ISBN 1-59048-045-7

Friddle, Martha Coe
and Linda A. Bowlby
Illustrated by
Sandi John Petrie
The Sidesaddle Legacy: How to Ride Aside the American Way

Sidesaddle riding is a complex art. The Southern Devil takes place when its saddle was undergoing a significant change.

This book contains very useful information on the nuts and bolts of sidesaddle riding, especially the different saddles and how to fit a sidesaddle to the horse – an issue which became critical in The Southern Devil.

ISBN 1-884011-09-8

Post, Charles John Horse Packing

First published 8n 1914, this former cavalryman passes along lessons learned, including those from a trip over the rugged Andes mountains of South America. Includes lots and lots of drawings about how to secure a load.

Pony Boy, Gawani
Photographs by
Gabrielle Boiselle
Horse, Follow Closely: Native American Horsemanship

As much philosophy as a manual of horsemanship, this book is visually stunning and very clearly written. Very, very fascinating.

ISBN 1-889540-22-6

Thomas, Mary L.
Illustrated by
Linda Knudsen
The Fair Lady Aside

If you want to know about ladies, how they rode, and what they wore – you need this slim book.

Priceless, absolutely priceless.

Published by the World Sidesaddle Federation, Inc.

Watts, Rhonda C. The Western Side Saddle

Focused on today’s western side saddle competitions, it includes a brief history of the western side saddle, plus solid discussions of equipment, riding techniques, and clothing. Lots of drawings.

Very useful.

Published by the International Side-Saddle Organization (ISS0).


Beebe, Lucius and
Charles Clegg
The Age of Steam: A Classic Album of American Railroading

Photos, drawings and paintings from American railroading, complete with detailed captions. So many images that it’s almost like a newspaper’s morgue. A vital reference.

ISBN 0-88394-079-5

Cooper, Bruce C.,
compiled and edited by
Riding the Transcontinental Rails: Overland Travel on the Pacific Railroad, 1865-1881

A collection of first-person accounts, not all written for publication. Dozens of period engravings, maps, advertisements, and time tables.

Fabulous and a total godsend. It was at my elbow much of the time, while I wrote THE NORTHERN DEVIL.

ISBN 1411599934

Fisher, Leonard Everett Tracks Across America: The Story of the American Railroad 1825-1900

A children’s history of America’s railroads. Includes many interesting details not found elsewhere, like J.P. Morgan caning a photographer.

ISBN 0-8234-0945-7

Gould, William John Gilbert
Edited by William R.
My Life on Mountain Railroads

Memoirs of a fireman and engineer who worked in the high country during the last days of steam locomotion. Very vivid storytelling.

ISBN 0-87421-193-X

Maiken, Peter T. Night Trains: The Pullman System in the Golden Years of American Rail Travel

A detailed history of essentially passenger overnight travel, by state. A very useful reference book.

ISBN 0-8018-4503-3

Modelski, Andrew M.,
Geography and Map Division,
The Library of Congress
Railroad Maps of North America: The First Hundred Years

A set of historical railroad maps, each with a page of explanatory text. Most of them have cities, states, mountains, rivers, etc. in vivid detail. It’s a map maker’s history of the United States, as well as the railroads themselves.

ISBN 0-517-64297-2

Reinhardt, Richard Workin’ on the Railroad: Reminiscences from the Age of Steam

First-hand accounts of working men from the 19th to the early 20th century, during the Age of Steam. Vignettes are both vivid and critical to understanding the railroad’s work.

A book I read again and again for THE NORTHERN DEVIL and for my own enjoyment.

ISBN 0-8061-3525-5

Solomon, Brian Steam Locomotives

If you’re not mechanical – like me! – but you still want to understand locomotives, this is a great introduction. Lots of pictures. The text makes it clear why the big technical advances were useful.

ISBN 0-681-87882-7

Stover, John F.
Mark C. Carnes,
series editor
The Routledge Historical Atlas of the American Railroads

A great overview and my first stopping point for information about a time period or major railroad. I’m very, very fond of this book.

ISBN 0-415-92140-6

Welsh, Joe and Bill Howes Travel by Pullman

If you want to understand how passenger traffic worked, read this book. The text is as interesting as the pictures. I pored over it again and again.

ISBN 0-7603-1857-3

Wheeler, Keith and the
Editors of Time-Life Books
The Old West: The Railroaders

Wonderful, wonderful book! The text is as good as the pictures, which is saying a lot.

One of the books I kept always at hand while writing THE NORTHERN DEVIL.

Withuhn, William L.,
consultant editor,
Curator of Transportation,
National Museum of
American History,
Smithsonian Institution
Rails Across America: A History of Railroads in America

A collection of nine, copiously illustrated chapters, each written by an expert in its field. Fabulous book. Fascinating either as a quick skim – ah, the glorious pictures! – or an in-depth read. It was one of the few books I kept at hand, while writing THE NORTHERN DEVIL.

ISBN 0-8317-6482-1

Ziel, Ron American Locomotives in Historic Photographs, 1858 to 1949

Very high quality photographs of individual locomotives, each one with a detailed caption. A vital reference.


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