Tag Archives: KARI BOVEE

Bessie Coleman – High Flying Aviatrix

A woman who made her high flying dreams come true, Bessie Coleman was the first woman of African American descent and the first woman of Native American descent to obtain her pilot’s license, and the first black person of either sex to earn an international pilot’s license

Born in Atlanta, Texas in 1892, Bessie was one of thirteen children—and one of nine who survived. Her father was Cherokee Indian and her mother African American. The family made their living sharecropping in Waxahachie, Texas.

At 22 years old, Bessie moved to Chicago where she worked in a barber shop as a manicurist. Many of the shop’s clientele were pilots who had returned from World War I with stories to tell of their delights and terrors in the sky. It was then, Bessie decided she wanted to become a pilot—but flight schools did not accept women or African Americans at the time.

Robert S. Abbot, an African American lawyer and newspaperman published an ad highlighting Bessie’s dreams of aviation, and through that, she received a sponsorship from Jesse Binga, founder of the first privately owned African American bank in Chicago. After taking French lessons, Bessie took her dreams to Paris where she learned to fly a Nieuport 564 biplane.

In 1921, Bessie made history by obtaining her pilot’s license from the Fédération Aéronautique International. Emboldened by her achievement, Bessie was determined to excel at her passion and spent the next year honing her skills, and then came back to the US to launch her career in exhibition flying.

She made her first appearance at an airshow in New York in 1922. Christened “Queen Bess,” Bessie became a popular draw for the next five years and was known for her difficult and sometimes dangerous stunts. In 1923 at an airshow in Los Angeles, she crashed her plane and broke three ribs and her leg.

Determined to use her success to help combat racism, Bessie spoke to audiences across the nation about the pursuit of aviation for African Americans. She is quoted as saying, “The air is the only place free from prejudices. I knew we had no aviators, neither men nor women, and I knew the Race needed to be represented along this most important line, so I thought it my duty to risk my life to learn aviation…”

And risk her life, she did.

In 1926 during a practice flight with her mechanic, William D. Wills, Bessie’s plane took a sudden and unexpected dive. Not wearing her seat belt, Bessie was thrown from the cockpit at a staggering 2,000 feet and died on impact. Unable to gain control of the plane, Wills perished in a burst of flames as the plane hit the ground.

Bessie’s life was cut short at age 34, but her story serves to inspire all of us, still today.

 

Sonora and her Flying Horse

For nineteen years, Sonora Webster Carver made her living on the back of a flying horse.

Photo of Sonora Webster Carver and her horse
pressofatlanticcity.com

 

Clad in a trim bathing suit, Sonora climbed a forty-foot wooden tower and when a galloping horse charged up the adjoining ramp, she jumped on its back and the two would sail through the air, eventually landing in a tank filled with twelve feet of water.

The notion of diving horses was developed by Doc Carver, a sharpshooter who toured in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. After he left the Wild West Show, Doc took his own circus show on the road, featuring the captivating horse divers.

Sonora was born in 1904 to a working-class family in Waycross Georgia, and at nineteen years old, she was looking for some adventure and a way out of a life of what she called “genteel poverty.”

After seeing an ad placed by Doc Carver calling for “a girl who could swim and dive, and was willing to travel,” Sonora felt she’d found her ticket. Her sister Arnette followed in Sonora’s footsteps and at fifteen also joined the show.

Both Sonora and Arnette loved the thrill of sailing in the air on horseback. The girls reveled in their jobs and in their fame, and for Sonora, the adventure also led to love and marriage. Doc Carver’s son Albert, who took over the show after Doc’s death in 1927, was smitten with the feisty horse diver and he and Sonora married in 1928. Sonora and her horse diving into the water

Although horse diving by nature is a dangerous occupation, Arnette, in an interview, said the secret to avoid injury was to “keep your head tucked down to one side, so that when the horse raised his head as he jumped up at the bottom of the pool, you wouldn’t get smacked in the face.”

Unfortunately for Sonora, she couldn’t avoid injury all together. In 1931 while diving her horse Red Lips off Steel Pier in Atlanta, Georgia, Sonora hit the water off balance with her eyes open. Both retinas detached resulting in blindness. But the loss of sight didn’t deter the amazing young woman. She continued for eleven more years and went on to become the most famous horse diver in history.

Horse diving continued until 1978 when the SPCA grew concerned over the safety and well-being of the horses. According to Arnette, Doc’s horses were always treated well, and no horse was ever injured while on his watch.

historical mystery novel books grace in the wings 1920s interview kari bovee

The Authors Show Interview

WHAT IS “THE AUTHORS SHOW®”?

The Authors Show is a professional interview podcast created in 2005 that offers participants multiple benefits that authors who are serious about marketing their work need to consider, especially inasmuch as these benefits have long lasting effects. The Authors Show broadcasts interviews on multiple “channels”, each featuring one individual author for a full 24hrs Monday through Thursday, and 3-day weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun).

Grace in the Wings

Grace in the Wings a historical mystery series - Historical Fiction Book by Kari BoveeGrace Michelle has everything she wants; a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for the Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who was orphaned at a young age and living on the streets of New York City during prohibition. But when her sister Sophia, the star of the show is murdered, Grace’s once protected life is shattered.

Beholden to Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., the man who saved her from the streets, shy and introverted Grace must fill her sister’s Broadway shoes to save the fledging show and ultimately find Sophia’s killer. But on a transcontinental publicity train tour to California, it becomes clear that Grace’s life too, is in danger. Who could want her and Sophia dead? Flo Ziegfeld who is gaining publicity from the murder? His jealous wife? The man she and Sophia almost killed while on the streets? Grace has nowhere to go and no one to trust, even the Private Investigator, Chet Riker, who’s been hired to protect her. She is exposed to the dark nature of the era and shady characters of the prohibition.

Chet Riker is trying to piece his life back together after return from the battlefield in France. But he has a problem, a big one. In an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, he’s become indebted to prohibition era mob-boss Joe Marciano. Marciano wants him to pay up, or else. Chet goes to former client Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.,  for work who just happens to need a body guard for his new star. Chet’s hardened theory that love only produces pain is tested when he meets the mysterious and innocent Grace.

When things get desperate for the show, Ziegfeld turns to wealthy and ruthless Marciano for a fast fix, but there is a price. Chet’s debt and the mob-bosses access to the beautiful Grace Michelle. When things go wrong and Marciano kidnaps Grace and neutralizes Chet, Grace must find a way to avenge her sister’s death, save herself, and the man she’s grown to love in the age of prohibition.

historical fiction books kari bovee historical mystery interview wally on the weekend

Wally on the Weekend Interview

Author Kari Bovee https://karibovee.com/

Author Kari Bovee https://karibovee.com/ visits with Wally On The Weekend about her award winning work.

Posted by Wally on the Weekend on Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Wally on the Weekend – tune in as we discuss the Annie Oakley Mystery Series, my writing and some of my recent awards!

Award winning historical fiction book by Kari Bovée

Review of the Week – 12/11/2019

Jim Says:

HIstorical Fiction Books sleuth award winning kari bovee“A great light and fun read that will take you to the old West’s most noteworthy wild west show and meet its most famous historical figures. A whodunit mystery, Girl with a Gun doubles as historical fiction – the word fiction is emphasized. Not everything that happens in Kari Bovée’s debut novel actually happened as Annie Mosey from Ohio transitioned to “Little Miss Sure Shot” in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Readers looking for a factual account should peruse the non-fiction and biography shelves.

For those who simply want to be entertained, and get a sense of life in 1885, then stand by for a good time as bodies keep dropping, a horse gets poisoned, and attempts are made on Annie Oakley’s life. Of the three major themes in mysteries, the reader will find them all in Girl with a Gun. There are multiple instances of characters seeking revenge; characters doing bad things while they attempt to obtain something that does not belong to them; and characters wanting to stop something that is happening that they do not like. Enough intertwining of facts with fiction, of plot weaving, and characters not being all they appear to make even Agatha Christi blush.

Author Kari Bovée manages to introduce some very important, and unexpected, serious themes into Girl with a Gun. We are faced right away with the choices available to women in 1885 – marriage, the whorehouse, or an uncertain life alone. Indeed, woman’s place in society is a major refrain as Annie doesn’t even get to choose her new name when she enters the show. Abuse of women and strong prejudices against Indians illuminate the dark underside of 1885 American society.

The strong bond between horse and human is today less understood by modern society but figures as a strong motivator in the plot. And like today, everyone has secrets – some of those matter to the outcome of the mystery and others are complications and red herrings tantalizingly introduced throughout the pages in excellent fashion.

Girl with a Gun will give the reader an inside view of the historic wild west show. We see jealousies, manipulation, rivalries, and choices to be made when the main attractions in the show come to understand they are just employees under the thumb of the owner. The reader learns quite a bit about horsemanship, shooting, showmanship, costumes and dress. Regardless of how the author adjusts the real world to tell her story, the life and times of Annie Oakley are vividly brought to life in a way that cannot be replicated by histories. Annie is depicted as a woman ahead of her times – brave, adventurous, willing to shoulder responsibility, and full of life. She is loyal to a fault. Readers will have no problem identifying with Annie and recognizing that her decisions, like their own, are sometimes made for all the wrong reasons. Supporting characters in the story are larger than life as are the real-world figures they represent.

Girl with a Gun is a major prize winner that bears your investigation. The book is very readable with a nice pace and short chapters. The major events of the story take place during April 1885 with the denouement occurring a few months later. There are some great lines worth remembering such as: “And as far as being friendly goes, I’m friendly, all right – just ask the boys.” Read the book. You will not be disappointed. Just ask the boys.”

Buy on Amazon

Girl with a Gun (An Annie Oakley Mystery #1)


Olive Thomas: Her high powered life and mysterious death

After winning The Most Beautiful Girl in New York City contest in 1914, Olive Thomas’ life would change forever. Her win led her to become a popular artists and illustrators model and she appeared on numerous magazine covers including The Saturday Evening Post.

Her beauty captured the eye of Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., and he hired her to perform in his wildly popular Ziegfeld Follies, and later his more risqué show The Midnight Frolic.

In 1916, she began a career in silent films. She also met and married Jack Pickford, the younger brother of silent film star Mary Pickford. Four years later, she died while on a second honeymoon with Pickford in Paris, France. News of her hospitalization and death were the subject of speculation in the press, and has been cited as one of the first publicized Hollywood scandals.

Was her death an accident? Suicide? Or Murder? The world may never know!


Fanny Brice – Ziegfeld’s Funniest Lady

Famous funny lady, Fanny Brice, was one of the many stars who got her start in the Ziegfeld Follies.

Born with a gift for comedy, an excellent singing voice, and plenty of acting chops, Fanny Brice took the world by storm.

From humble beginnings and a less-than enviable love life, Fanny rose to mega-stardom. She will forever be remembered through two films made about her, Funny Girl and Funny Lady, starring the incomparable, Barbara Streisand.

You can learn more about this early 20th century dynamo in the video below. You can also read about her in this post I wrote in May! Enjoy!

 

historical mystery book Grace in the wings Kari Bovee

Are you a historical fiction fan? Do you love the Roaring Twenties and a strong female lead? Check out my latest novel, Grace in the Wings!


 

Billie Burke & Judy Garland

Ziegfeld’s Girl – Actress Billie Burke

Who was Glinda the Good Witch?

Watch this video and learn about actress, Billie Burke who was forever immortalized as the enchanting witch, Glinda, in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.

Married to the famous Broadway showman, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., she had an amazing career of her own on stage and screen.

Just tap your heels three times, click on the arrow, sit back, relax and watch this ten minute video!

historical mystery book Grace in the wings Kari Bovee

Are you a historical fiction fan? Do you love the Roaring Twenties and a strong female lead? Check out my latest novel, Grace in the Wings!

 


 

Kari and Horse

Book Trailer & Writer of the Week Interview


Seven Fascinating Facts About Hawaii’s Last Royal Heir – Princess Ka’iulani

Referred to as “The People’s Princess,” “The Tragic Princess,” “The Peacock Princess,” and “The Island Rose,” Princess Ka’iulani is one of Hawaii’s most beloved royal Princesses. Born in 1875,  this amazing young woman  lived her life with heart, passion, and a sense of duty to her native land. Unfortunately, her destiny to rule would be cut short  by the abrupt end of her family’s legacy, and the end of an age. Here are some fascinating facts about this young Hawaiian heroine.

#1)  She was the first ‘hapa haole’ (half western/white) heir to the Hawaiian throne.

Born to Princess Miriam Likelike, sister of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani, and the Scottish financier, Archibald Scott Cleghorn, Victoria Ka’iulani’s birth was a gift to the Islands. Kaʻiulani was named after her maternal aunt Anna Ka’iulani, and Queen Victoria of England who helped restore the independence of the Kingdom of Hawaii during King Kamehameha III’s reign.

She was christened Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani Kawekio I Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Cleghorn at St. Andrews Catherdral in Honolulu with the King and Her Highness Ke’elikolani standing in as godparents. After the christening, the King hosted an elaborate celebration at the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. Upon her birth, Kaʻiulani was gifted the estate of ‘Ainahau in Waikiki where she grew up with her parents and three half-sisters from her father’s first marriage.

#2)  She was an accomplished athlete, musician and artist.

Growing up in the paradise of ‘Ainahau (which means ‘cool land’), the Princess spent much of her time outdoors. She loved to ride her pony, Fairy, and also excelled in swimming, surfing, and dancing the hula. She and her half-sister Annie would often play the ukulele and sing for visiting dignitaries and honored guests. Influenced by her mother’s lady-in-waiting, art enthusiast and painter Isobel Strong, and the landscape artist Joseph Dwight Strong, the Princess developed an interest in painting. While pursuing her education in Europe, she took several trips to Scotland and France to study. While in school she also enjoyed many hours of tennis and cricket.

#3)  She loved peacocks.

The birds, native to India, were highly prized in Victorian England. Ka’iulani’s godmother, Princess Ruth Ke`elikolani, gifted the young princess with a small flock of the birds called pikake in Hawaiian. They soon became favored pets of Ka’iulani and her fondness of them was so great, she was sometimes referred to as The Peacock Princess. She also adored the white blooms and fragrance of Arabian jasmine, also native to India, and the flowers also became known as pikake. Today, a small park that was once part of her family’s estate is graced with a statue of Ka’iulani feeding her beloved peacocks.

#4)  She received a British education.

As future Queen to the Hawaiian throne, an well-rounded education was extremely import for the Princess. After discussions among the King, the cabinet minister Mr. Lorin Thurston, and her father, it was decided that thirteen-year-old Victoria would to pursue a private education at Great Harrowden Hall in Northhamptonshire.

Prior to her departure, Honolulu was honored with a visit from the famed author Robert Louis Stevenson. The royal family welcomed him with open arms and he became close with the King and Ka’iulani’s father. To help ease the anxiety of leaving her home for the first time, Stevenson told the Princess tales of her father’s homeland, and of great Celtic Warrior Queens. He also gifted her with a poem that he wrote in her autograph book.

Forth from her land to mine she goes,

The island maid, the island rose,

Light of heart and bright of face:

The daughter of a double race.

Her islands here in southern sun

Shall mourn their Ka’iulani gone,

And I, in her dear banyan shade,

Look vainly for my little maid.

But our Scots islands far away

Shall glitter with unwanted day,

And cast for once their tempest by

To smile in Ka’iulani’s eye.

Ka’iulani and her older half-sister Annie, with whom she was closest, traveled to England to pursue their education for one year. However, for the princess, one year became four. She excelled in her studies of Latin, Literature, Mathematics and History. She took courses in French, German, and English, and art.

#5)  She was an impassioned advocate against the annexation of Hawaii.

During Ka’iulani’s years abroad, there was much unrest in Hawaii. Her uncle, King Kalakaua, died in 1891, and her aunt, Princess Lili’uokalani, became queen. The new queen appointed Ka’iulani as her heir, making her Crown Princess of Hawaii. In 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and her aunt was deposed. The movement to annex Hawaii to the United States was in part lead by Lorrin Thurston, the very man who took part in the decision to prepare Ka’iulani for her future life as queen.

In an attempt to fight the overthrow of her kingdom, Ka’iulani traveled to Washington to plead “for my throne, my nation, and my flag.” Upon her arrival she made a statement to the press:

“Seventy years ago, Christian America sent over Christian men and women to give religion and civilization to Hawaii. Today, three of the sons of those missionaries are at your capitol asking you to undo their father’s work. Who sent them? Who gave them the authority to break the Constitution which they swore they would uphold? Today, I, a poor weak girl with not one of my people with me and all these ‘Hawaiian’ statesmen against me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can hear their wail in my heart and it gives me strength and courage and I am strong – strong in the faith of God, strong in the knowledge that I am right, strong in the strength of seventy million people who in this free land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonor to mine!”

She also met with President Grover Cleveland to plead her case. Impressed with the seventeen year old Princess, President Cleveland agreed to reassess the situation in Hawaii. However, in the end, the annexation took place, much to the devastation of the Princess.

#6)  She died at 23 years of age.

After the overthrow of the Hawaiian royal family, Princess Ka’iulani’s health began to deteriorate. A family friend stated that the weakness of her heart was due to shock, the direct consequence of her promised kingdom being wrenched away from her. On a happier note, she became engaged to the Hawaiian Prince David Kawananakoa, and the couple made plans for a joyous celebration.

Despite her weakness, the princess continued to partake of swimming, surfing, and other outdoor activities. But, when she was caught in a thunderstorm while riding horseback in Waimea while visiting the Island of Hawaii, she became ill and never recovered. She died on March 6, 1899 of “inflammatory rheumatism” to the heart-break of her fiancé, her family, and the Hawaiian people.

#7)  A movie was made about her.

A dramatized movie of her life was released in 2009. The film’s original title, “The Barbarian Princess,” was very controversial, and hearkened back to the pro-annexation press referring to her as a half-breed, or “dusky” or “heathen.” The title was changed several times and was finally released as “Princess Kaiulani.”

 

historical mystery book Grace in the wings Kari Bovee

 

Are you a historical fiction fan? Do you love the Roaring Twenties and a strong female lead? Check out my latest novel, Grace in the Wings!