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Matamoros is a rousing Civil War adventure romance set on the Rio Grande in 1863.

By 1862 the Union had blockaded all Confederate ports. Just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, Matamoros – a foreign port – was the only harbor where the South could ship its cotton to Europe, and smuggle in arms for the rebellion. So it became a haven for Yankee and Rebel spies, gunrunners and cotton smugglers, runaway slaves, Mexican guerreros, Texas Rangers and rogues of every stripe.

But Matamoros was also full of French Foreign Legionnaires and Austrian footsoldiers – because that same year, Napoleon III had invaded Mexico, to install Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Emperor.
Set against the backdrop of two wars, this is the story of Clay – an expatriate Southern gentleman running a gambling hall – and Allie, his ex-con artist partner, bringing her cotton train to market – in a star-crossed affair that may or may not survive their conflicted allegiances amidst the tides of battle.

If Matamoros were a movie, it would be Casablanca meets Gone With the Wind in Deadwood. A Civil War saga in the Old West.

“An in-depth view of the machinations surrounding the Civil War battle for Texas.”
~ Kirkus Reviews

“Kahn mixes his fictional characters with real historical figures, and ably presents an accurate picture of racial attitudes and tensions on the East Texas border and the low regard for human life during the savagery of the Civil War. But what makes this book particularly special is the author’s skilled development of Clayton, a character readers will like despite his many unsavory qualities.”

Two maps and a lengthy cast of characters are presented at the book’s beginning. Readers might refer to the maps occasionally, but they won’t need the character list. Kahn makes each one memorable as his engrossing tale progresses, and readers will enjoy every bit of the journey.”
~ BlueInk Review

But Matamoros isn’t just a novel. It’s also a CD of songs – each track about one of the characters in the novel. There’s an Irish folk tune sung by the Irish Legionnaire; a mariachi anthem about Quintero, the Cuban revolutionary-turned-Confederate-Spy; a sea shanty sung by the naval blockade runner; all rounded out in the Americana folk tradition. The CD is available now at Amazon, CDBaby and Spotify and can be listened to or streamed at https://jameskahn.hearnow.com/matamoros

Vampires and Rabies

JANUARY 11, 2020 A good case has been made by some medical historians that vampires of legend were actually just people with rabies. Consider the natural course of someone infected with the rabies virus. The virus travels from the site of the bite along the nervous system, up to the brain, especially the limbic system. …

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José Agustín Quintero

Jose Quintero, the Confederate States of America Consul to Mexico

DECEMBER 20, 2019 Jose Agustin Quintero was a Cuban revolutionary who fled a death sentence and escaped from the Spanish, coming to America in the 1850’s. He went to Harvard, got a law degree, was a poet, translator, and philosopher, becoming friends with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Quintero crossed paths with Jefferson Davis in social circles …

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