I’m Robin Van Auken, a writer living in the Pennsylvania highlands. I write books on historical topics, and I write novels. My nonfiction books focus on local history and baseball. My novels (sometimes using the pen name Madeline Sloane) are romantic adventures, thrillers and mysteries.
I’m also a professional archaeologist, and I teach at a local college in both the Archaeology and the Communications departments. I’m an avid reader and cook, and I advocate (loudly) eating whole, healthy foods. My husband and I enjoy traveling, boating, scuba diving, camping and hiking. Many of my novels are inspired by our adventures and the people we meet along the way. I also blog on this site, so you’ll see links to articles on a variety of topics.
If you’re interested in my portfolio of work, visit Hands on Heritage, which profiles projects and case studies conducted by me and my husband, Lance Van Auken. We’ve had an exciting life so far, meeting amazing people, going to amazing places, and doing amazing things.
If you enjoy Pennsylvania history, feel free to explore my local history books. I’ve co-authored several books with my husband, Lance, and my good friend, Lou Hunsinger Jr. We have an assortment of narrative and photographic books I’m happy to share with you, including my tribute to Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper and Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball®.
Lou and I also have a collection of articles of historical interest on News of YesterYear, a hobby website dedicated to educating and entertaining visitors of all ages with stories and illustrations of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and its surrounding towns.
In addition to nonfiction, I’m a creative writer and I publish in the romance genre. C’mon, admit it, we all appreciate a good love story. I became interested in the genre as a young girl, sneaking peeks at my Mum’s gothic and Harlequin novels. I’m not talking about “The Great American Novel” ~ I’m talking about a fun, fast read with a happy ending.
With a tip of my cap to William Shakespeare, I’ve developed a romantic novel series titled When Love Speaks:
And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
William Shakespeare, Loves Labour’s Lost
Some of characters in my books may seem familiar, and it’s because they’re patterned after the bard’s heroes and heroines. For example, Katrina Hall in Dead Line is the irascible Kat from Taming of the Shrew. Some of my characters are drawn from people I know or meet while traveling.
If you’re a fan of romantic fiction, I have a free book available that introduces my imaginary town of Eaton, Pennsylvania, and some of its loveable characters. Check out my romantic mystery novel West Wind on all major booksellers, or download it free here >>>
There is only one story in the world, and I enjoy telling it again and again. I’m thrilled that we’re all a part of that story, trekking along on our individual hero’s journey. Even if your journey is only to the grocery store today, take time to appreciate it. You never know what’s next in your heroic quest.
Robin Van Auken’s Books
Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball
By Lance and Robin Van Auken
Play Ball! The Story of Little League® Baseball is the remarkable story of Little League® Baseball, from the first diamond in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to the playing fields of the world.
On any given spring evening, 360,000 children around the world […]
The Little League Baseball World Series
(Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2002)
This book is a photographic companion book to Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball (Penn State University Press 2001). It profiles more than five decades of the World Series. In 1947, when the first Little League Baseball World Series […]
Williamsport: Boomtown on the Susquehanna
(Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2003)
This book relates the history of Williamsport, as well as many towns and boroughs of Lycoming County. Williamsport, a struggling frontier village that grew into a town […]
Williamsport: The Grit Photograph Collection
(Van Auken, Robin and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2004)
This book is a look through 100 years of Grit newspaper history. Dietrick Lamade, a German immigrant and self-made man who settled in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, published Grit […]
Lycoming County’s Industrial Heritage
(Robin Van Auken and Louis E. Hunsinger, Jr., Arcadia, 2005)
This book reviews Northcentral Pennsylvania’s rich industrial history, first in lumber and then in manufacturing. After the Lumber Boom, many company towns collapsed. Boards of trade were created […]
Muncy (PA) (Postcard History Series)
(Robin Van Auken, Arcadia, 2006)
Muncy Postcard History Series by Robin Van Auken examines the small river town of Muncy, Pennsylvania. Founded shortly after the French and Indian War, Muncy was the earliest European settlement in the […]
Make room on the shelf for another book about local history. Written by author Robin Van Auken and published by Ogden Newspapers, parent company of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, “Sunday Grit: A Newspaper Legacy” is the fourth volume in a limited […]
For decades, tens of millions of people in small-town America depended on Sunday Grit to tell them the news of the world, long before television became widely available. Sunday Grit correspondents were on hand to record momentous events from a […]
by Robin Van Auken
writing as Madeline Sloane
Anna Johnson is tormented with guilt after her best friend is injured in a house fire the night of her birthday party. Then her father’s car catches fire at a traffic light. Were the blazes accidental […]
by Robin Van Auken
writing as Madeline Sloane
Daily News reporter Katrina Hall returns to the office after a long trial in the state capitol to discover a new reporter’s been hired, and he’s been using her desk and computer to […]
Robin Van Auken’s Blog
I’ve been on a hiatus from my fiction writing career. It wasn’t intentional; I let other tasks and chores get in the way, and failed to prioritize.
My writing is important, and if I want to wrap up my current series […]
The Paleo Pool collects, curates and shares content and links to quality information about the Paelo / Primal Lifestyle. We encourage the use of organic, whole foods and healthy living.
We recommend the books in this Amazon bookstore. We own them […]
One man’s quest to memorialize the victims of the worst airline disaster in Lycoming County history, the crash of Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 on Bald Eagle Mountain, is coming to an end. The crash site has received designation from the Commonwealth […]
A year ago, during American Archaeology Field School, one of my students asked about Cultural Resource Management in Pennsylvania. I told her about CRM and about PA Act 70, which has devastated professional archaeology in the Commonwealth, and encouraged her […]
This postcard gallery is from the collection of Richard and Miriam Mix, authors of “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport.” You may send one of these postcards via email to your friends and family, sharing your enthusiasm for local history. […]
Pennsylvania Historical Museums Commission
Grant Supports World of Little League ®
Language professionals are among those who teamed up with the World of Little League® Museum and Official Store for the audio tour guide project that is now available in eight languages.
The interactive, multilingual […]
Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places
As the celebration of the 75thAnniversary of Little League® comes to a close, the organization’s first home, Carl E. Stotz Field at Memorial Park in Williamsport, Pa., better known […]
Camping in the dark isn’t fun. Sure, you have a fire, but when you’re sitting around the campsite, especially if you have a canopy or awning, a string of lights not only increases visibility, it creates ambiance.
Now, we’re not full-time […]
I know, they’re completely unacceptable when you’re living the Paleo lifestyle, but they’re okay on special occasions when you’re adhering to the Primal lifestyle.
Crash Potatoes are cooked potatoes that are smashed, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, sprinkled liberally […]