Working Title: The Christmas Prayer
This Book Is In Development
Nettie Perkin’s life is turned upside-down due to her father’s financial problems. When an opportunity to teach opens in Wisconsin, she and Bertha Carlson jump at the chance for a new beginning. No one could have predicted they’d both fall in love with the handsome young man who accompanied them on their journey. Will either of them win his heart?
In 1805, President Thomas Jefferson ordered Lt. Zebulon Pike to purchase the Summit HIll area from the Dakotah Indians. I have driven down the streets of this area for the past 50 years, and the large trees and beautiful homes are part of my Minnesota history. It became clear before I began writing that this is the area where the girls would live before their big move to Menomonie, WI.
Every wedding is beautiful. I tried to be true to the period of the 1880's when I created the Christmas wedding for Nettie and Raymond. During the age that my grandmother and mother grew up, each young woman worked for months to create a crocheted tablecloth worthy to be handed down to their daughter one day. It is remarkable that the women of the church would offer their finest treasure for the pastor's wedding.
Life in the 1880's was difficult in the logging center of Menomonie, WI. When Nettie's pregnancy enters a difficult stage, her best friend offers to find a substitute teacher and help her at the parsonage, Nettie can't refuse Bertha's unselfish offer. Determined to make Nettie's holiday as perfect as possible, Reverend Henson and Bertha decorate the house for Christmas and attend to her every need. Even in difficult times, we have always made an effort to bring joy and blessings to those we love in the days before Christmas.
Elle's desperate to find her kidnapped brother. She teams up with the winged warriors from the dimension of Fiori to save him, but JJ isn't the only one in danger. What will Elle sacrifice to bring her brother home? Can she fulfill the ancient prophecy and restore the magic of the Bronze Pendant? If you like magical realism you will love this action-packed fantasy for middle-grade readers. Elle Burton's goal is to rescue her brother. What she discovers is pure evil. The author provides a female role model who strives to overcome her flaws and inspire kids everywhere. "Missing" blends the magic of a fairytale with the contemporary realities of the world today's youth inhabit. You will discover a new world order through the journey of a young girl who exhibits both compassion and jaw-dropping courage in her quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Find yourself caught in the ultimate struggle between good and evil. "Missing" is the second book in the "Lessons from Fiori" series.
I loved creating the character of Jimmy Backus for the Elle books. He is loosely formed based on my son's numerous encounters with the class bully. The teacher thought I was nuts when I requested a class project be assigned to my son and the bully. The project would take an entire weekend to complete and the bully would be spending all that time at our home working with my son. Like Jimmy, the boy was nasty and rude as the project began. The two boys built a beautiful replica of an early American fort. They remained best friends throughout the rest of their years in school. Sometimes a little kindness can change everything. It's an important lesson to share with our children.
When I was a little girl, I believed my Guardian Angel watched over me. She held my hand tightly during the abuse and comforted me when I hid under my covers. At church on Sundays, I would look at the stained glass windows of the angel and Jesus, and pray that I could be saved. While writing "Missing," it was important to create a moment for Elle where she could be comforted by her father who was killed in Afghanistan and also by Jesus who admonished us to protect all children. Are Guardian Angels real? I believe they are and Elle Burton does too.
The babysitter never asked my permission to take my child from the suburbs into Minneapolis. He had been missing for over four hours when someone thought to call me and tell me what had happened. I understand the blood-draining range of emotions that a mother endures when her child is missing. My child had recently had surgery to restore his hearing, so I knew all the sights and sounds of an unfamiliar city would be terrifying for him. A woman found my four-year-old cuddled under a bush in her front yard crying and called the police. The terror I felt during the time he was missing is what I wanted to share in this book. I also wanted to show how a sister becomes the motivating factor in the search for her little brother, while her mother remained paralzed by fear.
I wrote the first two books in the Elle Burton series to give parents an opportunity to use the story characters to discuss difficult issues with their children. I'm convinced if I'd had a story like this, I could have gathered the courage to tell someone about my childhood abuse. I was delighted when I heard from a mother who shared the audio versions of both books with her daughter. She told me of the rather deep discussions they had about the social injustices Elle's friends experienced in the story. She shared with me that it took a really long time to get through the story because of those discussions, but went on to say that she believes that's what a really good book should do. She ended by saying she hopes these books show up in every school library in the nation. Share the love with your children this Valentine's Day. Forget the book club this month and share a book with your child that may make all the difference.
Every girl dreams of getting a doll house for Christmas, but Elle's gift became so much more than a replica of the home she loved in Fiori. Christmas is a time of love, hope, and a promise for the future. When Mother Blue presents Elle with a miniature of her castle, it includes a Fiorin fashioned from Elle's very essence to become a counselor for the young girl who everyone believes is the girl the prophecy predicted would arrive to save the world from ruin. Home is where the Christmas spirit brings hope to children both young and old. Isn't that what you're looking forward to this Christmas Season?
Children disappear and soldiers die in battle far from home. I wrote this series as a way for parents to begin the tough discussions with their children. One of my readers summed it up very well when she described reading the book with her 11-year-old daughter: It took us considerable time to read through, however, as it prompted much discussion about some of the issues she sees/faces at school and with her friends (like her best friend's recent loss of her dad, for instance). That's the best reason for a book to take a long time to get through, of course, so I'm certainly not complaining! We both truly appreciated the beauty, heartfelt compassion and lessons contained in this lovely tale - a wonderful read all around!
The abuse I suffered as a child was horrendous. The one thing that saved me was my belief in Guardian Angels. That's why I've written this series...to help kids believe in something if they're being hurt and to help heal the other moms out there who suffered as I did. You'll love the Christmas ending to this fantasy about a young girl enlisted to help winged creatures protect the children of Earth. Elle Burton is the child I always wanted to be. She's compassionate, filled with faith, and has the spunk to stand up to the bullies and abusers who plague our world.
Elle Burton was frantic when she discovered her brother was missing at the Dunn County Fair at the end of book 1 of the series. Desperate to get to the winged protectors of Earth's children, she pulled Jimmy Backus, the class bully, through a reflective portal into the dimension of Fiori. They landed on the back of Pegasus with the warrior, Amadeus. A deadly battle with a monster on the cliffs above Fiori nearly cost them all their lives. This excerpt picks up when Jimmy is taken to the leader of the Forins after the battle. It’s up to the Fiorin leader to determine what Jimmy’s fate will be. Elle’s immaturity created a major problem in Fiori. Jimmy is the only human from Earth who has ever entered the dimension of Fiori without being a designated guide to the winged creatures there. Elle and Amadeus have already returned to the Fair to find Elle’s baby brother. Jimmy is now alone with the Fiorins and his fate will soon be determined by Mother Blue.
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