I grew up in a large and loving family--parents, grandparents, and three children all under the same roof, a big white house in Portland, Oregon. At school, I was able, but not brilliant. I liked to draw. I liked to play pretend. I liked dolls, too, right through eighth grade, and only fear of what others would say made me give them up then.
Most of all, I loved to read! And I dreamed of a time when, a grown-up married lady with thirteen children, I would write books.
But childhood dreams have a way of getting lost. It was not until I was in my mid-thirties, after marriage, a child, divorce, and remarriage, that I was able to complete college. By then, my family included not only my daughter Beth, but my husband's daughters, Cynthia, Laurie, and Shaley.
It was in college that an important thing happened. I rediscovered stories and remembered my dream of writing them. My first published book was a story for children (CIRCLE OF GIVING, 1984).
Since then, our daughters have grown up. Now we have seven grandchildren. I work at home, writing. I speak at schools. I teach writing. I give speeches to teachers, librarians, and others. But most of the time, I am at home, gardening, cooking, washing, and ironing . . . and writing.
I know my life sounds boring, but for me it is filled with all the adventure, excitement and drama I can find and make in books. To me it is the best kind of life!
THE LOG CABIN CHRISTMAS
Ages 4 and up.
It's Christmas time, but things just don't feel the same for Elvirey and her family at their new log cabin in the Michigan woods. There is no church, there are no stockings, and worst of all, there is no Mam . . .
THE LOG CABIN QUILT
ages 6 and up.
When Elvirey and her family set out in their wagon for the woods of Michigan, Granny insists on bringing her quilting scraps. Elvirey wonders, how will their log cabin ever feel like home without Mam, left behind in the Carolina graveyard?
THE GATE IN THE WALL
Ages 8 and up.
Late by only a minute, ten-year-old Emma has been locked out of the mill where she works ten hours a day . . . Then, she sees a gate in the wall, a gate she has never seen before. Hesitantly, she pushes through and finds a whole new future.
THE LOG CABIN WEDDING
Elvirey misses her mam something terrible. She doesn‚t know how her family will get through the harvest without her. Then Elvirey has a good idea: team up with another family to get the work done! But she never bargained on Pap falling for the Widow Aiken.
THE LOG CABIN CHURCH
Ages 4 and up.
Now that it's springtime and new families are settling around them, Granny thinks it's time to build a church. Elvirey wonders why. But when their neighbors gather at the log cabin, over corncakes and laughter, sorrow and song, Elvirey recollects church back home--and understands.
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