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, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

Taking a brief hiatus for the Christmas holidays, folks. I'm posting an image of a Christmas ad from old Nairobi (The Leader, Dec 1920) this week and see you all after the first of the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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Monday, December 13, 2010

1921– “SNOW IN NAIROBI?”

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.”

“Oh the lions outside are frightful
But the theatre is so delightful
I want to go see the show
Let’s see Snow, let’s see Snow, let’s see Snow”

Okay, I sort of apologize for that parody of “Let It Snow” but it suited the general atmosphere of the season and Midwest winter weather as well as today’s blog topic: The motion pictures of Mr. Snow.

Several weeks ago (November 22), I blogged about H. A. Snow, film maker and big game hunter who was in Kenya Colony shooting wildlife in both the camera and rifle sense of the word. And at the close, I promised to tell about his movies in the next blog. I didn’t, getting distracted instead by other issues. Well, it’s time to get back to Mr. Snow.

The May 7, 1921 issue of The Leader of British East Africa reported “From time to time Nairobi has been regaled with pictures of Kenya’s unparalleled fauna disporting in their wild and natural surroundings. . . it is doubtful if any of these forerunners were quite as good as those exhibited this week at the Theatre Royal by the kind permission of Mr. Snow of the Oakland Museum’s expedition.” Snow apparently managed to show wildlife up close and still and stampeding in the distance and all points in between. Zebra, hartebeeste, “Tommies” and other hoofed animals appeared in his picture along with a lion hunt where Mr. Snow himself was shown stalking, shooting, and warily approaching the fallen animal.

“Almost equal in interest are the veldt scenes of trundling a motorcar down a stony bank, crossing a stream, and up the other side.” Snow also captured a tribal dance on film (the tribe not named). As the Leader described it: “We have some fine and numerous pictures of native ngomas (dances) with the savages in full paint and feathers and the bibis” [ladies] “resplendent in their savage finery.” [Apparently, knowing the tribe was not important as long as they were identified as savage.]

The Leader article concludes with the hope that Mr. Snow can be persuaded to show a matinee to the children of Nairobi. After that, it’s a showing of Zane Gray’s masterpiece: Desert Gold. And don't forget, Jade del Cameron's sweetheart, Sam Featherstone is a filmmaker, too. Read about their adventures in the latest: The Crocodile's Last Embrace.

Headline and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa, May 7, 1921.
Theatre Royal ad taken from The East African Standard, May 3, 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:

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion and Stalking Ivory in the UK. Brand new covers! The Serpent’s Daughter will follow in January.********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller

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

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Monday, December 06, 2010

1920’s– “MINERALS AND EARTHQUAKES AND LAVA-OH MY!”

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”

The Kenya Colony had long hoped for some vast mineral wealth with which to enrich the crown and itself only to be continually disappointed. Yet around them in South Africa and Tanganyika (former German East Africa, now Tanzania) were gold, diamonds, and other gems. Kenya would have settled for a coal seam on which to run its steam locomotive. And now, as more mineral assays were performed, rich veins of quartz were found. Alas, they were not diamonds as some had mistaken. And so some people wondered why the government bothered spending the money on such geologic explorations and mineral assays. (mining is a plot point in Jade del Cameron's 6th mystery: The Crocodile's Last Embrace)

As stated by The Leader of British East Africa, May 13, 1922, “It becomes necessary to justify the analysis of rock by saying that it is very desirable to obtain knowledge of the future of the earth’s crust because it is very possible that many of the farms in this country may be buried with their owners beneath volcano ashes and lava before their 999 years’ leases have expired, that such a catastrophe may occur at any time and that it is only by research that interested parties could be notified of the probable date of its occurrence.” (It seems that the greater indignity wasn’t being buried by lava, but by not getting the full use of the lease.)

As regards all 74 mineral assays submitted by the Commissioner of Mines and private fortune hunters, “nothing of economic value was met with.” Perhaps it’s just as well. The refining of any mineral wealth required a good fuel source which the colony lacked. (see last week’s clear-cutting timber problem).

Quotes and images taken from The Leader of British East Africa, May 13, 1922.

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.

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