Robin Van AukenI’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.

Hands on Heritage and Robin Van AukenIf 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.

Local History

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.

Romance Novels

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

Free Novel!

Read West Wind for FREE!

Would you like a free novel?

If you’re a fan of romantic fiction, I have a free book available that introduces my series, When Love Speaks. Check out my romantic mystery novel West Wind.

Download West Wind

Grit Newspaper

Read the Original Issue!

Read the Original Grit!

Now you can download and begin reading the inaugural issue of Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper, printed Dec. 16, 1882.

Read the Original Grit

Robin Van Auken’s Blog

Grub Hub Camp Kitchen

If you’re in the market for a camp kitchen, you should be looking at the Grub Hub Outdoor Camping Kitchen. This amazing, patented contraption is easy to setup and is packed full of features. The price isn’t for the faint […]

Paleo Carnitas and Plantain Tortillas

I tried a recipe from my newest Paleo cookbook purchase, the The Zenbelly Cookbook: An Epicurean’s Guide to Paleo Cuisine, and even though it didn’t look like the lovely lavendar tortilla in Simone Miller’s outstanding new book, it turned out […]

The Paleo Mom’s Approach

Missing something? Crackers, crepes, pancakes and other goodies? The Paleo Mom has a wonderful book, The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, available on Amazon and the secret ingredient is plantains.

While you’re there, pick up her new […]


I love my Shish Kabob Set. It has simplified life and added a yummy dimension to my cooking repertoire. It isn’t that time consuming and the ingredient list is simple — boneless (organic) chicken thighs, Mayan onions, peppers and mushrooms. […]

Primal Pizza

One of the things most people miss when launching the Paleo Lifestyle is pizza. I searched the Internet and tried various recipes for pizza crusts, and several were alright.

Then I discovered Against The Grain Pizza Shell, a frozen pizza crust […]

It’s Not Easy

I’m not going to lie to you. Going Paleo isn’t easy, and it isn’t cheap. But, it’s the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family, and you can start doing it right now.

My journey begin in […]

Simple Salad

It’s not difficult to stick with the Paleo Lifestyle (and Primal) when you have so many foods available, and simple recipes like the salad above. Keeping quality ingredients on hand is key, and keeping your imagination stimulated with reading recipes, […]


I love the sweet and salty taste of homemade granola, and every so often I make a batch. I can’t have this stuff in my house all the time or I’d never lose weight.

The beauty of granola is the mish-mash […]

Weapon of Love

I discovered an interesting newspaper article from 1918 on the subject of women spies, and thought it might be fun to share with readers of my blog.

While transcribing the article from the scanned (public domain)  newspaper, I couldn’t help but […]

Play Ball! Little League Playoffs Unite Families

A reporter spent the day at day at a North Carolina Little League Baseball field during the playoffs. She spoke with parents and coaches, asking how they keep up with the “hive of activity” the tournaments cause, writing about it […]

Play Ball! Little League Shouldn’t Inspire Fear

I read  a Times Herald column by Jeff Edelstein, “When it comes to 5-year-old Little League baseball, I was 100 percent wrong,” and it summoned memories of steamy summer days at Cross Bayou Little League, in Largo, Fl. I can sympathize […]

Outdoors with Jerry Zeidler

I first met Jerry Zeidler while on assignment for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette. At the time, he was a  Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation officer and I visited his office for background on an article. We chatted and became friends, not only because of […]