Welcome to my newsletter where I share updates about my writing projects and discuss the importance of historic places.
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Volume 3, Issue 3, September 29, 2018
September is almost over and I'm just now getting out this month's issue. My apologies for the delay. I have been working on the essay I was asked to write for a history journal about music and Thomas Jefferson. This means the October newsletter will be late, too, although not as late as this one. This journal is scheduled for publication in November. Also, my novel, The Unicorn Tree, is a finalist in the Book Talk Radio Club awards in the Young Adult category. Winners will be announced in November.

This newsletter is a slightly different format than before. Instead of a short summary of a few paragraphs about a historic site, I've used my newest article as the featured site with a link to the full article. Also, please check out the latest favorite classic fiction selection.

Cynthia Collins
Cynthia Collins 

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The Alamo

The Alamo: From Mission to Museum
The Alamo

Mission San Antonio de Valero, later known as the Alamo, was the first mission in the San Antonio area and was established in the early 18th century when the region was under Spanish rule. In its 300-year history, it has been a Catholic mission, a fort, a shrine, and a museum.  Its history became an inspiration and rallying cry for liberty.

In 1718, Father Antonio de Olivares established a mission that would serve to teach the local indigenous people, the Coahuiltecans, about Catholicism and the Spanish way of life, and would also serve a rest stop for anyone traveling to the Spanish settlements in East Texas. It was called the Mission San Antonio de Valero, in honor of the Spanish viceroy of the time, Marques de Valero. Continue reading

Favorite Classic Fiction in Historical Settings...

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton's novel about an upper-class love triangle set in New York during the 1870s takes readers into the subtleties and lavishness of America's Gilded Age. Everything in Newland Archer's life is done because it is within the rules and expectations of society. His fiancee, May Welland, is a shy young woman from a proper family who is always doing and saying what is socially expected. The norms are set by the most prominent of the upper class families. Annual balls, parties, even when certain people arrive and leave the theater are ingrained in everyone within this highest social circle. Everything goes along accordingly until May's cousin, Countess Olenska, returns from Europe under the cloud of scandal of having left her husband due to a bad marriage.

Archer, an attorney, agrees to help the countess get a divorce from her rich, powerful husband. In the process, they reminisce about
their childhood. He finds himself falling in love with her but both of them are always mindful of May, who is now his wife. The countess is not accepted socially by upper-crust society until the oldest, most established, prominent family in New York agrees to host a party and invite the countess. This signals to others that she can be accepted. As Archer's feelings deepen for Countess Olenska, his wife announces she is going to have a baby. Archer resigns himself to being a good husband and father, and the countess moves to Paris and out of his life. Years later, after the death of Archer's wife, he and his oldest son are in Paris. Does he or does he not visit his lost love.

Edith Wharton won a Pulitzer Prize for this novel in 1921, making her the first woman to do so. The story is set in the type of environment she grew up in. It is filled with descriptions of the lavish surroundings of those who did not have to work for a living, innuendo versus reality, and inward desire versus duty and honor. 

The Unicorn Tree

The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins © 2018A teenage girl whose brother is lost at sea –
The diary of a nineteenth-century woman –

And the special place that binds them…

Lisa Duncan, a seventeen-year-old high school senior, has an assignment to tour historic Mirabelle Manor, a large estate built in 1850 by a sea captain for his wife. During the tour, she begins to suspect that Mirabelle's ghost is watching her. One of the items on display is a diary, open to a passage about going to a place called the unicorn tree to watch for ships. This appeals to Lisa whose brother is currently sailing across the Atlantic on a commemorative voyage. When news arrives that his ship is lost at sea, her interest in the diary deepens as the past and present lead her to discover what happened.

For reviews and more information, click on the book cover to go to my website.

Ghost story and maritime adventure in a historic setting...
Available at

A Lazy Day Anthology - 1

A Lazy Day AnthologyThis collection of 21 short stories by various authors is the latest book published by the non-profit writers’ group, Bugs2writes, which raises money for children’s medical research in the United Kingdom. The stories range from humorous to serious, fiction and non-fiction, and are suitable for older children, teens, and adults.

Featured Bugs2writes authors are: Elizabeth Allen, Rosemary Baxter, David G. Hulson, Graham Mcglone, Audrey Nye, Sally Saunders, Suzanne Stack, and Julie Hatton (Editor). Featured non-member authors are: Lynne Thelwall and Cynthia Collins.

My story, "The Grass Patters," is a humorous tale of a curious, but not nosy, woman who sees her neighbors poking around in their yard. What starts out as a little eccentric ends up of interest to the whole community with the curious neighbor having a front row seat.

Available in Kindle format at  All proceeds go to children's medical research.
Photo credits: The Alamo: courtesy of Daniel Schwen, CC by SA 4.0. A Lazy Day Anthology: courtesy of Julie Hatton, editor. The header banner, author photo, and cover of The Unicorn Tree: courtesy of Cynthia Collins.

All articles in this newsletter are by Cynthia Collins. The articles may not be reprinted without written permission. Subscriber lists are not sold or given to any third parties and historic sites are not charged for being featured. To suggest historic sites for future issues, request article reprint permission, or any comments/questions regarding this newsletter, please contact Cynthia Collins.
Copyright © 2018 Cynthia Collins, All rights reserved.

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