Friday, January 31, 2014

First Documented case involving Forensic Science

I'm a total forensics geek wanna be. If it's been available in my day as a college degree, I might be in a different profession. I love to solve puzzles, and forensics gives us the tools to solve puzzles.

Before CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds, someone had to have the thought about how evidence could lead to the truth. I was curious about how the science of forensics came to be. This is what I found.

Once upon a time in 1235 the story of Sung Tzu appears. It contained the first recorded documentation of forensic use to solve crimes. One case noted occurred during the Song Dynasty in China. A man was murdered and the local officials were looking for his killer. They determined he'd been killed by a sickle by experimenting with different weapons on animals.
They asked everyone in town to produce their sickles for examination. Though it was clean, one sickle was still attracting flies due to the scent of blood. They had their killer. Perhaps scared by the evidence before him, the man confessed.

Sung Tzu continued to record his findings in a book called Hsi Yuan Chi Lu (The Washing Away of Wrongs).

Advances continued starting as early as the 1600s.

Major advances include:

1880- Henry Faulds and William James Herschel published a study on fingerprints. This study was used to push for using fingerprints as evidence.

1895-A study by Eduard Piotrowski on blood stains leads to the science of blood spatter analysis

1901-Karl Landsteiner discovers that human blood falls into 1 of 4 groups: A, B, O, AB

1904-Locard's famous principle is born:  "Every contact leaves a trace."

1912-Victor Balthazard discovers that gun barrels have a unique property to them. Therefore, no two guns will leave the same markings on a bullet.

1974-Gunshot residue can now be detected on a suspect

1984-DNA techniques are developed by Sir Alec Jeffreys

I find this all so fascinating, if you have other major advances in mind, post them in the comments.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Evernight Teen

Food plays an important role in my young adult mystery, Unraveled. Autumn spends time with her family and extended family over the dinner table. Even Caedon gets introduced to the family over a large meal.

In the Hispanic community, meals are a time to gather together, talk to each other, and just spend time together. I remember lunches at my grandparent's house in Mexico. We would travel their every summer. To this day those are some of my happiest memories. Preparation for lunch started right after breakfast, and usually took the whole morning. There were several courses. One of my favorites was my grandmother's carrot soup. I still need to get the recipe from her.

My grandparent's had several lime trees so we always had pitchers full of limeade to drink during our meals. They also had avocado trees, so fresh guacamole was always available. No wonder I'm such an avocado lover. Mangoes were plentiful, and were usually dessert for all of us.

One of my favorite foods is called flautas. They are corn tortillas filled with shredded chicken. They are rolled up tight, then fried or baked. You can cover them in green or red sauce. I just dipped them in guacamole. You can also fill them with beef or ground beef.

I often get comments from readers that reading Unraveled makes them hungry. I love that. Food plays a big part in Autumn's life so I'm happy that came across.

Unraveled is on sale at the following sites:
Barnes and Noble
Evernight Teen

You can read more about Unraveled on Goodreads and Pinterest:

To celebrate, Evernight Teen's 1st birthday, I'm giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon. To enter my prize content, please leave a comment naming your favorite family dish.

On Feb.1st, I will randomly select one winner. Be sure to include your e-mail so I can contact you.

To win Evernight Teen's prize of $100 I-Tunes gift card, enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway You can also enter on the Evernight Teen site. Evernight Teen

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Calling all YA bloggers

Evernight Teen is turning 1, and we're celebrating with some wonderful prizes. We're doing a blog hop from January 24-31.
If anyone else would like to participate, please enter your info here:

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