Colorfully wrapped presents with a filter overlay that makes it look like snow is falling

The holidays are here and maybe you’re wondering what to get the self-published author in your life. As a self-published author, myself, I’ve got some ideas for all budgets — including no budget at all.

But first….As you might have noticed, this month’s blog post is a little different from…

The only image of the October 24, 1870 aurora borealis over Paris that I’ve found. Based on a sketch by meteorologist and eyewitness Monsieur Chapelas-Coulvier-Gravier, it was published in Le Monde Illustré, on October 29, 1870. (image source)

The colors rose and fell like something breathing, as though the whole soul of the earth were there. He felt as though he were witnessing something greater than himself, than anything. The red wave rippled among the stars, at once something unknown and the blood of his heart.

(description of…

A communiqué from the Minister of the Interior, Léon Gambetta, announcing the start of the Siege of Paris. This would have been posted on administrative and public buildings throughout the city for everyone to read. (image credit: Les Archives de Paris)

The Siege of Paris began nearly exactly 151 years ago, on September 19 1870. That day, the city was entirely surrounded by Prussian troops, and all train and communication lines had been cut. The Parisians were truly isolated from the world.

Well, the wider world, that is. Parisians could go…

Un tapis Smyrne (Smyrna carpet) in a Parisian stairwell

One of the most important elements of a Beauty and the Beast story is the rose that sets off the whole tale. And then of course there are the enchanted gardens.

So what do you do when your Beauty and the Beast retelling takes place in a typical 19th -century…

Alysa Salzberg

is a writer & worrier. She recently published her first novel, “Hearts at Dawn”, a Beauty & the Beast retelling set during the 1870 Siege of Paris.

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