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NEW BOOK Coming Out Soon!

Fascinating True Tales

from Old California: 

Crooked Con Men, Eccentric Immigrants, and Fearless Females Who Shaped the Golden State


For over four centuries, California has been an ever-changing landscape of innovation and revolution, triumph, and tragedy.

In Fascinating True Tales from Old California: Crooked Con Men, Eccentric Immigrants, and Fearless Females Who Shaped the Golden State, Colleen has collected nearly fifty tales of famous and infamous people, places, and events throughout the state from 1542 through 1940.


For many, like Samuel Brannan, Leland Stanford, and John Downey, California was a place to become fabulously rich and successful. Others sought a new beginning, including Abel Stearns, a wealthy American, who married a fifteen-year-old girl from the rich Bandini family and wound up owning much of Southern California.


James Lick, one of the state’s early millionaires, died alone and unhappy. In his will, he stipulated that a portion of his money be used to build an observatory near San Jose with the stipulation that he be buried under the telescope. Flowers were to be placed there daily. Lick’s body remains there to this day.


Some of the stories are about people who lived outside of society’s rules, like swindler James Reavis; and the cross-dressing stagecoach driver, Charley Parkhurst, who fooled everyone into thinking she was a man.

Enslaved men and women, like Biddy Mason, were forcibly brought to the state. Biddy fought for and gained her freedom in a trial that

would help determine California’s decision to side with the North and remain a slavery-free state.


These and dozens of other entertaining and enlightening true tales are shared in this enjoyable nonfiction book.

Or wherever books are sold!

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"I love historical fiction and this doesn't disappoint.

I was captured in the story from the first page."

Image by Thought Catalog

A Bit About Me

Even as a young child I was always conjuring up stories and filling them with colorful characters, sharing them with anyone and everyone who would listen. Since then, I’ve progressed quite a bit to formulating longer and more complex stories and sharing them with much larger audiences. As a professional storyteller, I’m adept at using my imaginative thinking and creative flair to bring my stories to life in engaging and entertaining ways.

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Join Colleen and other historical panelists on an exciting armchair journey through the harrowing modes of travel before modern times.

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