On a Book Launch, Baltimore, and Echoes from the Alum Chine —


On a Book Launch, Baltimore, and the Alum Chine –

I’m heading to Baltimore this week to formally launch my second historical novel, Echoes from the Alum Chine. It’s another journey back in time for me –to my favorite era, the 1910s. It’s where I live when I’m writing, or thinking about writing. This period calls to me, resonates in a way that I must heed. I’m not sure why; perhaps I had another life then. And if I did, it was definitely in Baltimore. This was the time of a city that was real – complete with watermelon rinds floating in the Pratt Street harbor, and Norwegian sailors, arm in arm, drunkenly wending their way back to their ships after a night carousing. A time before multi-million dollar condos and pretentious restaurants and bars catering to the pseudo-glamourous.

Okay, rant over – and who can stop progress, and it is tax-base, after all, and all those factory jobs and work at Bethlehem Steel are not going to return. I get that – but still, one can remember, even if those memories are tinted sepia.

Now for the commercial – The Baltimore launch of Echoes from the Alum Chine will be held on Saturday, April 22, at 1:00 p.m. at the Irish Railroad Workers’ Museum, 918 Lemmon Street. The museum is in the heart of SoWeBo, just south of Hollins Street and Union Square, an area, I might add, that has kept its authenticity without succumbing to pretention. If you are nearby, I do hope that you will consider attending.

Echoes from the Alum Chine draws on Baltimore history – specifically, the aftermath of the 1913 explosion of the steamer ship Alum Chine in Baltimore harbor – to share the tale of three families who persevere to transform tragedy into triumph during the early 1900s. The novel explores the complexities of class and race that have challenged Baltimore for centuries, as well as the intricacies of family dynamics.

I’ll also be presenting “Writing the Historical Novel:  Fact, Fancy, and Research” at the Irish Railroad Workers’ Museum on Lemmon Street at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, and again at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 at the Baltimore County Historical Society, 9811 Van Buren Lane, Cockeysville.

Dear readers, thank you for allowing this bit of blatant self-promotion, and I do hope that you will read, and enjoy, the book.

www.cynthiastrauff.com Echoes from the Alum Chine






I’m delighted to let you know that my book, ANOTHER SUNDAY, is here. It’s an historical novel set in Baltimore in the early part of the 20th Century, and chronicles the life of Celeste Wells, who was born expecting that life would deliver her dreams – love, and a house on Mt. Vernon Place. However, as life most often does, fate selects other paths for her, as she learns to live in a time and society radically different from what she envisioned.

Set when life seemed a bit simpler, at least to the modern eye, ANOTHER SUNDAY gives us a glimpse into Baltimore, and the world, as it was, complete with streetcars and train trips and a young woman coming to grips with a changing world and the costs of her own independence.

ANOTHER SUNDAY is currently available in both print and electronic versions. You can purchase it by going to my website: cynthiastrauff.com, or by going directly to Lulu.com. (Please note that I have written this under the name Cynthia Strauff, so this is the name that will be on all sites and search engines.

Please excuse this bit of “shameless self-promotion.” I do hope that you’ll consider purchasing the book. And, in even more self-promotion, if you know of anyone who enjoys historical fiction, family sagas, or women’s fiction, it would be great if you would share this blog post with them.

And as we end this holiday weekend, I thank you and hope that your Thanksgiving was filled with joy, contentment, and, of course, gratitude.