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, March 28, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “THE BIG FLOOD--CONCLUSION"

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 Fort Hall Road carried a fair amount a traffic, and the demise of the bridge over the papyrus swamp in April, 1922 meant that many people would be cut off (unless they took the train). But one man was nearly swept away when the swamp broke free and released a torrent of water. The following is his eyewitness account

“I was just on the approaches to the bridge” (the eyewitness said) “when I was startled by a curious rumbling and then a sound of rushing water. I drew back hastily and for fifteen minutes I watched one of the most startling phenomena ever I have seen or heard of.”

“The placid surface of the swamp across which the Fort Hall road wends its way, suddenly broke up. Huge mounds of papyrus and mud were heaved into the air and the whole area assumed the aspect of a log-jam breaking on a Canadian river or the clearing of ice fields in the Arctic. Then the swamp smashed, and a rushing torrent of water, mud, and papyrus swept towards the bridge. The earth at the sides first crumbled away like snow in the sun and then the bridge caved-in in the middle. I stood fascinated for ten minutes then I went to the railway bridge. I found it standing but heaped high with papyrus and apparently damaged.”

“I was not the only one who had a narrow escape. In front of me, and probably with his foot on the bridge, was a European police officer. He must have had one of the narrowest squeaks of his life.”

Next week: 1922 Scientist predicts Earthquakes taking Europe under the Sea.

(text and image taken from The Leader of British East Africa, April 29, 1922)

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.”

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter in the UK. Brand new covers! ********* 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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Sunday, March 20, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “THE BIG FLOOD--PART 2”

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 big rains of 1922 were bigger than usual, resulting in heavy flooding and destruction of roads and a bridge. A papyrus swamp present since the British occupied the country had disappeared, leaving a river “fifty or sixty feet wide” and lower in level than the swamp had been.


But what gave way to release the waters held back for so long? “It may be that a barrier across the valley gave way or that, as it has been suggested, the roof of huge underground caverns collapsed and the water is pouring underground.” Or if may have been the result of an earthquake which had been felt ten days prior.

While the Fort Hall Road was made impassible, the neighboring railway bridge was still deemed safe for use.

Next week: A narrow escape from a watery death.

(text and image taken from The Leader of British East Africa, April 29, 1922)

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.”

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter in the UK. Brand new covers! ********* 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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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “THE BIG FLOOD”

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.”

Thanks for being patient and waiting a day for the blog to show. I spent the weekend in lovely Tucson at the Festival of Books and Monday on airplanes coming home.

Last week’s blog mentioned excessive rains in 1922 but that was just the beginning. They went on long and hard that season.

The Fort Hall Road, leading north out of Ruiru (where the electrical generator flumes were) was closed, being entirely under water. It was an unheard of event leaving a “huge rushing muddy torrent” where there was once a road. With the torrent came the usual damage as “by reason of a gigantic washaway, the road bridge over the Theta Swamp at mile 20 has been washed away completely.”

The change went beyond losing a bridge. They lost the swamp. “A permanent change has occurred in the course of the Theta River at that point.” There was always a large swamp on the river, “many miles long and a quarter to a half a mile broad. The whole area is one mass of papyrus.” The swamp had existed since before 1905 when the engineers forded it to map the road and bridges, but within a few days of the swelling rains, whatever clogged the river at the lower end gave way. “Millions of cubic feet of water, held up on the papyrus sudd (floating masses of weeds and reeds) were drawn out at a very rapid rate.”

Next week, pictures and the damage.

(text taken from The Leader of British East Africa, April 29, 1922)

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.”

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

Next week: More Nairobi news:

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, March 07, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “IS IT THE LOCH MUTHAIGA MONSTER??”

NOTICE: DUE TO TRAVELING FROM THE TUCSON FESTIVAL OF BOOKS ON MONDAY, THE USUAL MONDAY BLOG POSTING WILL SHOW UP LATE MONDAY OR EARLY TUESDAY. (SORRY)

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 rains in 1922 were at times excessive and many little tributaries flowed more heavily than at others. As a consequence, aquatic animals ranged farther upstream than in the usual seasons (something that Jade del Cameron discovered in The Crocodile's Last Embrace.) And one animal in particular made the local Muthaiga dogs frantic. The consequence was a lot of noise (kilele) and a brief hunt where no one was sure what they were hunting.

By one account it was a python, then a crocodile in the “spruit” (a small stream that flows only in the wet season). Another description led the hunters to think it was a big iguana. But the creature only turned out to be an overly large otter, exceeding four feet in length. Otters are carnivores with sharp teeth and the wherewithal to use them. Apparently one of the dogs, an airdale, found this out the hard way.

After the otter was killed, the hunters cooked the meat for the dogs. However, the airdale that had been bitten, refused to eat it, eventually taking the meat and burying it. Possibly he feared it would bite him again.

(text taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 11, 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.”

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

Next week: More Nairobi news:

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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