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.

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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

Monday, November 29, 2010

1920’s Kenya– “CLEAR-CUTTING THE FORESTS”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

When a modern city grows and develops, fuel is needed. This blog has already looked at the problems that Kenya Colony in general and Nairobi in particular faced when the demand for petrol far exceeded the incoming supply. Nairobi’s electricity was hydroelectric and the city was also looking beyond to other falls in the vicinity. But the steam train ran on wood and most homes relied on wood for cooking fuel.

Most of the forests were controlled by “big timber concessions” who hired African tribesmen to cut and haul the wood to be sold in town. Very little replanting took place and this became a cause for concern in 1921. An extensive article written under the name “Shambaite” appeared in The East African Standard, March 21, 1921 warning of the dangers of clear-cutting the Mau Escarpment (near the rift valley) and Mount Elgon. “The rich topsoil full of leaf mould and humus kept moist by copious showers, whose moisture was retained by the protection afforded by the trees from the burning rays of the sun, has been carried away, by tons . . . into the rivers.”

The author continued to caution “One does not obtain smoke without fire, and to obtain a rich and ample rainfall we must have an ample conservation of the moisture that has been shed on the earth as well as big local evaporation. Where forests and bush obtain the rain (it) slowly soaks into the soil, which is able to retain a measure of moisture from day to day.”

These are lessons that still need to be taken to heart today.

Quotes and headline taken from The East African Standard March 21, 1921. Photo from The Leader of British East Africa, January 1, 1921

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

Next week: More Nairobi news:

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.

3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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

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Monday, November 22, 2010

1920’s– “LIONS vs THE CAMERA MAN”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

Last week we considered the fate of lions in the colony and learned that, since people came from afar expecting to see them, they were not classed as vermin and allowed to be slaughtered indiscriminately. Proof of the world’s fascination with the King of beasts appeared in the paper earlier that same year – specifically, the April 30, 1921 issue of The Leader of British East Africa.

Many readers already know of Martin and Osa Johnson, the American explorers and film makers from Kansas, but before they came to Africa there was another American making motion pictures in Kenya; H. A. Snow, naturalist and leader of the Oakland Museum Expedition.

Unlike the Johnsons, who hunted mainly for food and if needed to defend themselves, Snow was set on not only making a movie but in bringing back a complete collection of mammals for the Oakland (CA) museum. The newspaper described him as a “bluff, straightforward American (a deadly accurate shot with his rifle and a man rendered fearless through long and close touch with wild animals combined with the enthusiasm of the collector and film-maker for really unusual stunts).”

The article continued to tell the tale in Snow’s own words. He said that he had a camera man on the Athi plains while Snow went out in a Ford automobile to “beat up the animal life in front of the blinds” when he spied a Grant’s Gazelle four- hundred yards off. He shot it with his rifle, killing it. When they “humped in the gazelle and started the car,” Snow found a lioness one-hundred yards from the car and eyeing him. She immediately dropped low into the grass to hide.

Snow rode in the car at thirty mph hoping to surprise the lioness and shoot her. But when they rounded a hill crest, two lions rose from the grass; a male and a female. “I put the car into neutral, allowing the motor to run, took up my gun and blazed away. The shaking of the car put me off, and I missed the animal and the male cleared.” Snow continued shooting and hit the male on the run, but not fatally. Both lions turned and charged. “They came at me six feet apart. I fired the last shot in my gun and again missed. I had no time to load, and the animals were almost on me so I crashed the car into gear and tried to get away.”

One of the cats (the male) got in front of the car and leaped in. There was no wind screen to stop him either. Snow swung himself and the car to the side and the lion landed on the back of car and fell off. For five hundred yards the two lions chased Snow as he drove away. Just when he thought he was free, he “hit a rock in the long grass and stalled the motor.” That’s when snow discovered the male ten feet behind him. Snow grabbed his rifle and the lion fled into the tall grasses. Snow cranked up the car and drove back to camp where he collected his son, Sidney, to help him kill the wounded male. After an hour of searching, they found the pair, killed them then killed a second lioness that charged. “The car which still shows the blood marks where the lion jumped on the back and rolled off, is being fitted in Nairobi with a crude cage.” He hopes to be able to fire from the top of the cage leaving the cameraman (his son) in safety in the cage.

Even when people came to film lions, the beasts came off badly for it. I doubt the cats took much consolation in knowing that Snow had to pay for the privilege . Snow’s film’s which he had already developed would be shown at the Theatre Royal next week.

Quotes and images taken from The Leader of British East Africa, April 30 (weekly), 1921.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

Next week: SNOW’S FILMS:

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.

3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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

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Monday, November 15, 2010

1920’s– “THE FATE OF LIONS”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

Jade del Cameron has had several encounters with lions in her mystery adventures from the man-eaters and laibon-controlled ones in Mark of the Lion to chasing a young male from her cheetah’s kill in Treasure of the Golden Cheetah. She even resorted to using a pet lion (Percy) to save her (The Leopard’s Prey). It stands to reason for someone nicknamed “the lioness” to have this affinity for the king of beasts, but that wasn’t the opinion of much of the Kenya Colony in 1921 and it nearly cost the animals their right to exist.
In 1921, some changes were made to the Game Schedule to protect the farmer/rancher against animals that carried diseases with would threaten the livestock. Rinderpest had long been a scourge to anyone trying to raise cattle in Kenya. The Director of Agriculture wanted buffalo to be removed from any protected lists. And while they were eradicating one species, why not another. When it came to the lion and the cheetah, the Director of Agriculture had even less sympathy. He “saw no reason why these animals should not be killed out of Kenya as soon as possible.” He claimed that the correct method of feeding the cattle in this climate was to let them out of the boma to feed in the cooler mornings and evenings and to rest in shade during the mid-day. However, due to predation threats, the opposite approach was the general rule of thumb. Lord Delamere agreed and said that “not only should they allow lions to be shot free, but they ought to take further steps to help in their destruction.”

The salvation of the lions (not to mention the buffalo and zebra) came from the Principal Medical Officer (P.M.O.). He argued that one of the big advertisements for Kenya colony was the fact that there were animals to shoot and that shooters needed a license. “If the lion had done a great deal of damage during his life, he should be made to contribute to the revenue by his death.” Removing the pesky animals from any game list would cost the colony 10,000 pounds per year in license revenue. In other words, he was less concerned about allowing lions to live and more concerned that hunters needed to pay for the right to shoot them. And so the lion and the buffalo were put on the list that required a license to kill it although it was recommended that (with license in hand) an unlimited number of these animals could be shot as opposed to the limit of four which had held since 1913. Cheetah were also placed on the unlimited kill list (with license). While it seems as if that would be small comfort to the lions, the alternative was to be listed as a vermin (the leopard) and allowed indiscriminate hunting by anyone at any time. It doesn’t sound like that offered much hope to the lions, but since not everyone was willing to pay the fee, it actually did.

And it looks as if Jade will need to keep her pet cheetah, Biscuit, under close watch now.


Quotes and images taken from The Leader of British East Africa, November 26 (weekly), 1921.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

MORE SURPRISES:

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.

3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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

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Monday, November 08, 2010

1920’s Kenya– “THE GREAT SILENCE”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

In The Crocodile’s Last Embrace, Jade had returned to France to see the battlefields and write about their transformation for an Armistice Day article. Today, most people don’t recognize the term “Armistice Day,” but before we started celebrating “Veteran’s Day” on November 11, there was Armistice Day, commemorating the signing of the armistice that ended The Great War. For many years after the war, the day was remembered and commemorated with “The Great Silence.”

Beginning at 11 am on November 11, two minutes of silence was maintained. Businesses stopped, telephones didn’t ring, teachers broke off their lessons as everyone was asked to bow their heads and pray or at least remember and honor the sacrifices made during that war. To ensure that everyone remembered, a signal such as a loud horn, would blow. In Nairobi, the “train hooter” would signal the time.

Because hardly anyone was left untouched by loss during the war, for many this commemoration was a time of sorrow. But as one letter to the editor of the Leader of British East Africa (1921) put it, it was also a time of rejoicing for “the cessation of hostilities.” It was hoped that the Armistice Day remembrance would be made an official holiday in Kenya Colony in the future.

Since The Great War, we’ve all suffered many more wars and so, Armistice Day evolved into our Veteran’s Day honoring all the military. Perhaps on November 11, it would still behoove us to pause at 11 am wherever we are and honor THE GREAT SILENCE in memory of all those veterans who served.

Quotes and images taken from (images 1 and 2) The East African Standard, November 1920, and (image 3) The Leader of British East Africa, November 26 (weekly), 1921.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

NEXT WEEK - MORE SURPRISES:

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.

3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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

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Monday, November 01, 2010

1920’s– “WHEN ADS COLLIDE”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me”

Advertising has long been the life blood of newspapers and the Leader of British East Africa was no exception. Not only were there advertisements for the various stores and services available in Nairobi and other parts of the Kenya Colony, but various businesses with their headquarters in England or the United States purchased ads in the Nairobi newspaper. Lipton Tea, Michelin Tires, Ford, and various purveyors of alcohol routinely appeared in the newspaper. Another common ad was for Clarke’s Blood Mixture.

If you suffered from “bad legs, abscesses, ulcers, glandular swellings, piles, eczema, boils, pimples, eruptions, rheumatism (or) gout,” Clarke’s Blood Mixture promised relief. Each ad showed a rather dour faced individual who gave testimony to the wonders that the brew did for them (their expressions make the reader wonder just how bad off they must have been to begin with if they look that way now).

However, the January 1st, issue of The Leader showed what happens when ads collide. Whoever put the advertisements together, positioned an ad for Remington Automatic Pistol right next to the Clarke’s Blood Mixture ad. The result, an alternative means of finding relief. This would be particularly effective if one’s troubles were all in the head to start.


Quotes and images taken from The Leader of British East Africa, January 01, 1921

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”

MORE SURPRISES:

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.

3) CAN’T GET TO ONE OF MY BOOK EVENTS? YOU CAN SEE PART OF ONE HERE courtesy of Mr. Patrick Balester. http://bit.ly/a5wNIn

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

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

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