Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

My Photo
Name:
Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 14 – CROCODILES CONTINUED!”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


There is one other Guidebook that Jade del Cameron might have had access to in the 1920’s: A Handbook of Kenya Colony (British East Africa) and the Kenya Protectorate (Protectorate of Zanzibar), 1920, Prepared by the Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence Division, Naval Staff, Admiralty and published by His Majesty’s Stationery Office.

This massive handbook devotes but little attention to crocodiles, mainly to state when an area such as Lake Jipe is “infested with crocodiles.” On page 213, in a section titled: Reptiles and Fishes, the handbook states “Crocodiles, ranging to 30 feet or more in length, are common in the rivers and swamps, and some of the lakes, but do not occur in Naivasha.” What is most notable about this statement is the monstrous, nearly prehistoric size credited to these reptiles. One wonders if this was perhaps an error in the text or if such incredible creatures had existed in some of the more remote portions of Africa. Jade and her friends will have enough trouble with a sixteen footer in the upcoming adventure: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace.


Photo credits: Crocodile shot at Entebbe, from May 29, 1921 weekly edition of the East African Standard, Tinted (by me) photo of dead croc taken from July 9, 1921 issue of the East African Standard
Next week: Crocodiles colors: basic model and options

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.”

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Crocs Continued..... soon

Sorry faithful readers. Today's blog will be up as of Tuesday morning (a day late) due to the flying from Atlanta on Monday. Hang on though, Jade will be with you shortly.

Monday, July 19, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 13 – CROCODILES CONTINUED!”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


As a person who enjoyed fishing, Jade del Cameron would have been well educated about crocodiles in Kenya Colony, since crocs also enjoy fish as well as fishermen.

The South and East African Yearbook Guide for 1922 (page 897) has a small section on crocs, giving their scientific name: Crocodilus niloticus; as well as the Swahili name: mamba Ngwena, along with the Maasai, Kavirondo, and Arabic names. The guide states that “a large crocodile may measure 13 or even 14 feet in length with a girth of 6 or 7 feet at the shoulders.” Of course, they did grow larger and a beast of 15 or 16 feet in length was nigh unstoppable.

Crocodiles, by 1922, were “extinct throughout the Cape Province… but were found “in extraordinary numbers along the Victoria Nile, especially just below the Murchison Rapids where the banks sometimes are entirely covered by sleeping crocodiles (ibid).”

So fearsome were these beasts that, even in areas where they no longer prowled, they were still revered and deified. The guide states that “it is the tutelary deity of the Basutos and of the Bakwena tribe.” (The Basutos live in an inland part of South Africa and the Bakwenas are a people of Botswana.)

Minnie Martin in her book “Basutoland: Its Legends and Customs” (1919, page 73) states “The Basuto are the people of the crocodile (Kuena), the crocodile being their sacred animal. They believe that one crocodile still exists in the Caledon (river), but I have never met any one who has seen it.”

The crocs may have been gone from South Africa, but in Jade’s Kenya, they were alive and well. It will just be Jade’s luck to run into one particularly difficult croc which will add to the plot and adventure of The Crocodile’s Last Embrace.

Next week: Crocodiles continued

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 12, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 12 – CROCODILES!”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


Jade del Cameron’s upcoming adventure, THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE (Sept 07, 2010) will host (as might be expected) a crocodile in Kenya’s Athi River. Crocodiles were not classed as “animals” when it came to hunting licenses. In fact, the East African Manual: Mining & Industrial Publications of Africa (1927) recaps The Game Ordinance of 1921 and states on page 344, “’Animal’ includes mammals and birds, other than domesticated but does not include reptiles, amphibian, and invertebrate animals.”

Reptiles (such as crocodiles) were not the only beasts not protected by game laws. “Carnivora” (excepting Lions and cheetah for which one needed a license) were not considered “game” and so anyone was free to shoot leopards and hyena. In fact, the South and East African Yearbook Guide for 1922 states (page 848) that “Leopards and other vermin are not protected.” And on page 849 state “Carnivora (except lions and cheetahs) and crocodiles are vermin.”

So according to the game laws, crocodiles are in a fair way to be shot on sight. And there was good reason for that. Crocs killed a large amount of humans, and according to the South and East African Yearbook Guide (page 897) “The crocodile probably kills more human beings than any other African animal.”

It will just be Jade’s luck to run into one particularly difficult croc which will add to the plot and adventure of The Crocodile’s Last Embrace.

Next week: Crocodiles continued


MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 05, 2010

1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 11 – MINERALS CONT.”

This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by www.completelynovel.com Thank you everyone who voted for me.


We’ve seen that “the Crown” reserved all “metals, ore, and mineral oils,” and took a royalty of ten percent of the net profits in most mines in Kenya. But that’s ten percent of NET profit, not gross productivity, certainly not unreasonable. So why was mining in Kenya not a going concern?

The East African Manual (for) Agriculture, Industry, and Mining (1927 edition) published by the Mining & Industrial Publications of Africa, Ltd., had this to say. “That Kenya Colony possesses mineral resources well worth investigation and exploitation cannot be doubted, but in past years there has been not the slightest encouragement held out to prospectors.” A variety of reasons had been given for this problem “but in the opinion of many persons with mining experience, most of the arguments used are considered fallacious. It is freely alleged, for one thing, that there are no minerals worth exploiting, and that the great expense of transport to parts of the country which have offered any prospect prohibits any attempt from proving profitable.” (page 49).

The editorial continues with the rebuttal that “mineral wealth has been discovered in South Africa… while the whole area of the Belgian Congo tells the same story.” So again the question is raised, why not in Kenya? “…It is generally admitted that the Mining Laws of the Colony have always proved prohibitive. The prospector has never been given a fair chance.”

And just what mineral would have proven the most profitable?

Coal! The colony was desperate for coal. Any that it used was imported from Great Britain or South Africa and wood was the fuel “being used on the railways,” a fuel that was rapidly being depleted as the great forests were being cut down.

Of course, if you’re a potential “dupe” in a mining scheme, the lure of gold would dazzle more than coal, especially if you're only asked to invest money and not your sweat equity.
Hence the plot of Jade del Cameron’s next mystery/adventure: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace (Sept. 7, 2010).

Next week: Wildlife conflicts

MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx

2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,