The Ghost of Morgan Gulch – A Middle-Grade novel published by Page Publishing in March 2018
There’s gold in them thar hills—along with a school bully, a family feud, and a very special ghost. Kyle, a young and enthusiastic treasure hunter, searches for the rumored gold which could be the answer to Grandpa’s financial problems. While Kyle and his younger sister, Kimmie, are out searching for the mother lode, they learn about the history of the small town of Morgan Gulch. Along the way they discover the secrets of the mountain, family secrets and feuds, and they learn more about their great-great grandpa for whose gold they are searching. Kyle’s adventures on the mountain bring him closer to his family and help him discover not only the gold, but more about himself.
The Ghost of Morgan Gulch is my first published middle-grade novel. It was inspired by the adventures and events that took place at my husband’s family property in Grand County, Colorado.
My father-in-law purchased the family property in 1986, and thereafter, we have worked to make it a place where we enjoy family, nature, hiking, and our very favorite pastime – roasting marshmallows over the campfire to add to the delicious chocolate and crunchy graham crackers, making the ultimate in s’mores. Ah, yes!
There is so much history in the Morgan Gulch area. I found it spell-binding to read about the history of the people, their struggles, and their successes in growing such a quaint and peaceful place to reside. The history of the valley added much to the creating of my story.
The inspiration of the characters come from my two older grandchildren, Jayden and Shylah. Their character, their unique and wonderful personalities, made it so easy to portray them through Kyle and Kimmie. I watched them over the years and slowly entwined their real-life fun into the fiction lives on the Morgan Gulch Ranch. Jayden and Shylah love adventures, and love being adventurous together. It doesn’t take much to envision them doing exactly what Kyle and Kimmie experience as they searched for treasures.
I hope you enjoy reading The Ghost of Morgan Gulch as much as I enjoyed writing the story. It is a fun, feel-good story the whole family can enjoy.
The Ghost of Morgan Gulch is available for purchase today.
Darby and the Dollberry Dare – an early reader book soon to be published by Page Publishing TBD 2021
Darby and The Dollberry Dare takes Darby, a young m’ite boy from Dollberry Hollow, on an adventure into the B’lack Forest and the Cave of the Haunted. On the eve of each Red Moon, the village Elders choose a dare for the boys of the village who have turned ten seasons old since the rise of the last Red Moon. When Darby draws the short hedgehog spine, he is dared to pluck the hair from the head of the ogre who lives in the cave and take it back to the village. Darby is scared, but he wants to prove to the other m’ite boys that he isn’t afraid of what awaits him inside the cave. However, he is driven to enter the cave for nobler reasons than plucking a hair from the ogre’s head. What Darby finds is not only courage, but something more incredible.
This endearing 1,660-word story is written for early reader aged children who are eager to embark on a delightful adventure that encourages self-confidence and friendship.
I originally wrote this story many years ago after my husband had spent time in Alabama. He met a few people who lived in Dollberry Hollow—or “Holler” as they say, down by Scottsboro, southeast of Huntsville. I loved the area as well as the name, and thought about writing a fictional story about a robbery that occurred in the Hollow. What came from my pondering on the topic was something completely different; The Dollberry Dare short story was born. I have submitted it to two contests but one day I decided that I would try turning it into a book for young readers that would include adorable illustrations to enhance the experience.
I may even attempt to write a series out of the concept. What’s on the Horizon for Darby?