Bess’s Magical Garden series

In these three books, Bess Silver has many adventures.

Book One: Bess’s Magical Garden. In this book, Bess and her mother have recently moved to Pineview. Bess misses her best friend Megan. Bess hears whispering voices and encounters a ghostly figure in the well-kept garden and in her dreams. She can’t make sense of anything.

During the summer she makes new friends, including an orange and white tomcat that she names Pumpkin, and her new neighbor Josie. As Bess recovers physically and emotionally she becomes curious about the garden and the unexplained clues that she finds there. She finds hidden items in the garden, including a map. This leaves more questions than answers. Who was the figure that visited Bess? Will Bess and her friends be able to uncover the garden’s secrets? Or will those secrets be mysteries forever?

Book two: The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin. After Bess Silver had settled into her new home in Pineview she thought her biggest problem would be settling into a new school. She was surprised to learn that it was a one-room school house which was different from what she was used to.

That all changed when Megan Skye, her best friend, and cousin. dashed into their kitchen late one afternoon with exciting news. Megan’s father discovered an old cabin, hidden behind a wall when he started doing kitchen renovations. Megan asked him to take the suitcases, ledgers, and trunk they found over to Bess instead of throwing them out. Clues turn up in the suitcases and in a secret compartment in the cabin which leaves Bess puzzled.

Who is the figure that Bess saw in the cabin? What is she trying to tell her? Why is she having dreams about the old cabin? Will Bess be able to figure out who the Mysterious figure is? Or would these secrets remain secrets forever?

Book three: Island Mystery.

Bess and Megan had just turned thirteen. A gift to the girls is an invitation to take riding lessons on Zeus Island.

They travel to Zeus Island and settle into their cabin. Along the way, they meet their roommates, Frankie, Gloria, and Brianna. These girls are unfriendly right from the start. Bess and her friends are determined not to let these girls spoil their stay on Zeus Island.

Bess feels homesick and misses her cat, Pumpkin, and decides to make daily entries in her new diary. Wondering why the roommates are so horrible, Bess hides her diary from the mean roommates.

The Mystery deepens as the adventures begin. Who is leaving Origami Birds in their bunks? Why has Bess started to have visions of a young, mournful woman? Who are the shabbily dressed children they see? How does everything connect?

Learning to ride their ponies and exploring Zeus Island is only the start of their adventures.

This story is set in Canada during the mid-1950s, showing us what life is like without today’s technologies.

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The Giant and the Missing Lens

It seemed like an ordinary day but then Chuck noticed a problem. One of the lenses from his glasses was missing. He didn’t know where or how – it was just gone.

What was he going to tell his mom?

This is a picture book for the beginning reader. Would make a good bedtime story. Available on Amazon.

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The Pen Inspector

It’s a gloomy cloudy day and Tommy is restless. He can’t settle down with any of his toys that he usually enjoys. He wanders around the house looking for something to do. He scowls when he looks at the dark clouds. He longs to go outside to run and play with his ball or ride his pony.

Then as the storm rages outside his bird, Polly, gives him an idea!

This is a picture book that you can curl up with your child and read together. Good for the learning reader. Available on Amazon.

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Even The Birds Don’t Sing

I walked along the narrow path that twisted and turned through the dense forest. The sun filtered through the trees and the meadow was just ahead. I hummed as I looked at the colorful wildflowers and bright green ferns.

Suddenly a dense fog descended making the air cold, and clammy. The fine mist covered everything creating a magical world where fairies lived. Dim shapes appeared making the hair rise on the back of my neck. Goosebumps covered my arms. I stumbled along as twigs snapped and crackled under my feet.

I stopped abruptly as a tree loomed in front of me. I strained my ears listening but there was an eerie silence. As I squinted into the fog, I realized I was lost.

I woke with a start. It was a warm night, but I was shivering violently making my teeth chatter. I looked around the room as the moonlight streamed through the open drapes. Pushing back the tangled blankets I slipped my feet into slippers and pulled on my terry robe and shuffled down the hallway. The dream disappeared into thin air but I was unable to shake the weird feeling that enveloped me.

I stared out the window as the moon shone on the Oak Tree that loomed above everything else. I held the warm cup in my trembling hands as I gazed at the tree.

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Voices of Yesterday by M.E.Hembroff

Rose and I sat cross-legged on the oriental rug in my Franklin Manor home. Our social studies research absorbed us as we scrolled down laptop screens. I squinted scrolling down the screen. I picked up my ballpoint pen to make notes in my black binder. My research involved the manor where I lived and the famous Franklin family. I thought about what I had found so far.

This book is available on Amazon.

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Prairie Sky

Sky unfolds its

Heavenly beauty

Clear blue cloudless sky

Stretches for endless miles

Then slowly small clouds

Appear out of nowhere

Soft, fluffy clouds float by

Out of the west

Black threatening clouds appear

Very rapidly these clouds move

Covering the landscape

Very threatening


Can be sweet

Growing slowly

From a friendship


Can be bitter

Growing quickly

Like a bolt of lightening


Can be joyful

Very carefree

Also productive

Growing stronger every day

Love can hurt

Breaking a heart in two

Like a knife stabbing

Creating intense pain

Leaving wounds that never heal

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The Magical Flute

I snuggled in my cozy bed enjoying the warm sunshine. Pots and pans rattled in the kitchen and filtered up through the wooden grate in the floor. The smell of sausages, toast, and eggs made my stomach growl.

I turned my attention to a small tinkling near my head. I looked up to see Pip, as we called her. We had found Pip in the garden a few weeks ago after a violent storm. She had been huddled in the Hollyhocks close to the kitchen door. Pip was such a tiny little creature, no bigger than my thumb. Her clothes and wings had been torn. Mama had nursed her back to health and her wings were getting stronger. Pip still had no memory of how she got here or where she was from.

I smiled and tossed back my burgundy duvet eager to start another day full of adventures. I stood on my tiptoes while I brushed my waist-length reddish-blond hair. I took an elastic off my wrist and swooped it back into an unruly ponytail. I was only three feet tall and only came up to Mama’s shoulder. Would I ever grow? I tossed my hairbrush onto the dresser after I pulled on shorts and a T-shirt. I climbed down the ladder into the cozy old-fashioned kitchen.

“Morning Mama.”

“Good morning sleepyhead,” Mama said.

I had just sat on the smooth wooden bench behind the oak table when Papa came inside. “Gloria, what are your plans for today?”

“Possibly go down to the creek to practice my flute. I am learning a new song,” I answered as I helped myself to eggs, toast, and sausages.

“Well mind you don’t go further than the creek. The woods can be dangerous,” Papa said as he poured a cup of coffee.

“Yes, Papa,” I answered. “I like to hang out in my special spot in the old oak tree.”

We broke our fast in companionable silence. Mama had prepared a thimble of food for Pip after she gave her a new suit of clothing.

“Thank you,” Pip tinkled as she held up tiny jeans, sandals, and shirt all in lavender. “Love them.” She flew into the sewing room to change and then hovered in front of the hall mirror. Her eyes glittered with mischief when she flew across the room to land on my shoulder.

I helped myself to another piece of toast and slathered it with peanut butter. I stabbed a sausage with my fork while I watched Pip flutter her wings. “What’s up?”

“Take me along,” Pip said in her tinkly voice. ” I remember coming across the creek with my sisters. We were separated when the wind picked up. Our home was deep in the forest.”

“You heard Papa. He said it was too dangerous to enter the woods.” I whispered when Pipa landed on my shoulder. “Even for you.”

Pip pouted while she looked around the room. A tear landed on the table. “When I am sad, I lose a few of my powers.”

“Happy thoughts, then,” I said. “I will play a happy song on my flute.”

I reached behind me and took my flute case off the sideboard. I took my flute out and put it to my lips. I started to play a song that I knew from early childhood. Before long Pip was dancing on the table to the beat of the song. My toes tapped on the wooden floor. “There do you feel better?”

“Much,” Pip continued to dance and hum the happy song,” I will remember that song when I feel sad.”

When the dishes were washed and put away, I picked up my flute case. Pip landed on my shoulder before slipping into my shirt pocket.

We set off across the lush green lawn towards the creek that snaked its way through the rolling hills. Pip had her head stuck out and made me stop at each fairy garden and rearrange the rocks and little dwellings. When each one was done to her satisfaction, we continued. She tapped me on the cheek and made me stop and listen to the little birds that sang in the nearby bushes. She hid her head when we neared the creek bank where willow trees flourished.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Don’t know. I sense danger nearby,” Pip whispered.

“We will have to ask Mama and Papa to investigate,” I answered as I followed the bank towards my special spot. “My spot is safe. The storm didn’t hurt the oak tree. Mama said the oak was magical and would protect me.”

Pip quivered in my pocket. Gradually she calmed down and peeked over the brim of my pocket. “something looks familiar.”

We approached the old oak tree with a large hole in the bottom. I had planted ivy and different vines inside and covered the floor with moss. It was a cozy safe place where I could play my flute undisturbed. I put my flute to my lips and started to play a gay tune. I had only been playing for a short while when rabbits in every shape, size, and color gathered around the opening. They sat in a semi-circle listening. When Pip popped out of my pocket to look around one of the little bunnies started to jump up and down.

Pip climbed onto my shoulder and hide in my thick curly hair. Then the little bunny spoke “Fifi, where have you been? Everyone is worried. Why are you dressed so strangely?”

That was the first time the bunnies had spoken so that I could understand them. This spot was indeed magical. Maybe it wasn’t just my flute, after all.

I put my flute down when Pip or Fifi as the bunny had called her whispered in my ear. “The bunnies are my friends and help me with all the fairy gardens.”

The bunnies crowded around. The tiny bunny squeaked, “Play some more songs.”

“Why do you call Pip Fifi?” I asked.

“Fifi and her sisters disappeared from the fairy village a few days ago,” the bunny whispered.

“We found her huddled among our hollyhocks earlier this week. there had been a bad storm the night before. She was wet, cold, and frightened. Her clothes were ton into shreds. Mama made her new ones.”

“My sisters are Pipa and Holly-Cakes. We were picking daisies to make chains when a strong wind came up. The next thing I knew I was near a little cottage surrounded by hollyhocks and other flowers. I couldn’t remember how I got there or who I was. When you started to call me Pip it sounded natural.” Fifi answered as she peeked out shyly.

“We think an evil witch put a spell on you and your sisters. Pipa and Holly-Cakes made it back to the village safely, but they didn’t know what happened to you,” the little bunny squeaked.

“Is it safe to return?” Fifi asked.

“Stay with your new friends. A messenger will be sent to the Queen. See the robin has been listening and has started her journey deep into the forest. Now, will you play more tunes? Your flute must be magical. It brought us to you and Fifi,” the bunny said.

“I don’t usually hear what you say,” I answered as I picked up my flute to begin playing.

“You have been given the gift to understand animals,” the bunny answered.

I played until my fingers tingled and my lips became numb. Then I heard Papa ring the dinner bell. I put my flute away and straightened my stiff legs. “We have to go. Papa is letting me know dinner is ready. We live in a little cottage on top of the hill. Let us know if it’s safe for Fifi to go home. She is welcome to stay with us. We love her.”

When Fifi and I returned to the cottage for a meal of salad, soup, and sandwiches I told Mama and Papa what we had learned. “That explains why Fifi always wants to tidy the fairy gardens. We must wait to hear from the Fairy Queen. There could be evil lurking. Fifi could be in grave danger.” Mama said.

“Why would anyone want to hurt her?” I asked as I helped myself to a grilled cheese sandwich.

“The hunters are getting closer to our village. There are also woodchoppers cutting down the animal’s homes. Some birds and animals have lost their homes,” Fifi said. “Our Queen has been putting spells on the surrounding forest. Humans are starting to be afraid to enter. Only special ones are allowed a safe journey through our domain. Someone is trying to counteract the spell and make it safe once again for humans to travel through the forest.” Fifi answered as she took a dainty sandwich off her tiny saucer.

“Hopefully you will be safe here,” Mama said when she placed cookies on the table.

“My sisters and I were sent out to put a magical spell on your home. You have been good friends,” Fifi said while she sipped her thimble of tomato soup.

“Do you think you were successful?” Papa asked as he rubbed his round belly.

“Yes. A spell was put on Gloria’s flute. Every time she plays the spell of love, peace and joy surround her.” Fifi answered. “Gloria was also given the ability to hear what the little animals are saying. I am supposed to stay here until further notice. The robins and bunnies will let me know when it is safe to return home. I can feel my magic returning and can start putting a magic circle around your home.”

The End

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Island Mystery

A third book with Bess and Megan.

Bess and Megan had just turned thirteen. A gift to the girls is an invitation to take riding lessons on Zeus Island.

They travel to Zeus Island and settle into their cabin. A long the way, they meet their roommates. Frankie, Gloria, and Briana. These girls are unfriendly right from the start, pulling pranks hoping Bess, Megan, and Miranda will leave the island or the cabin. Bess and her friends are determined not to let these girls spoil their stay on Zeus Island. Bess feels homesick and misses her cat, Pumpkin and decides to make daily entries in her new diary.

Wondering why the roommates are so horrible, Bess hides her diary from the mean roommates.

The mystery deepens as the adventures begin. Who is leaving Origami Birds on their bunks? Why has Bess started to have visions of a young, mournful woman? Who are the shabbily dressed children they see? How does everything connect?

Learning to ride their ponies and exploring Zeus Island is only the start of their adventures. M.E. Hembroff has written another wonderful story. It is set in Canada during the mid-1950s, showing us what life is like without today’s technologies.

This book is available on Amazon.

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Cherry Hill Farm

It’s 1809, and Shannon and Daniel Healy are about to embark on their new life in the New World with their many friends and family after a turbulent voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from their Irish homeland. Their adventure begins as their ship docks in Quebec, Lower Canada. From there, they begin the long bateau trip up the St. Lawrence to Upper Canada.

When the bateau finally reaches its destination, they continue on foot to her parents’ homestead near New Dublin, Upper Canada, all the while experiencing sights, sounds, and terrors never before faced. Then Shannon rejoices when she is reunited with her parents and siblings after years of separation. But their journey doesn’t end there. After finding and claiming their own land, they travel by foot even farther inland through miles of dense, wild forest with carts of cargo, animals. and Shannon’s wee baby in tow. Once at their chosen destination, they begin the arduous work of building a cabin, a barn and a life.

Will Shannon and Daniel make a success of their new lives? How will they endure the hardships they’ll inevitably encounter along the way? How will they overcome the obstacles thrown in their path? And will all the joy and blessings they receive along the way be enough to counter the heartbreak?

About the author M.E. Hembroff

M.E. Hembroff created many games and activities during her childhood. In later years after moving from Manitoba to Alberta she joined the Crescent View Artists Association. During that time, she learned new techniques using different mediums. M. E, Hembroff was still a member of the art group when the idea for two children’s books came to the surface. She did the illustrations for a picture book, Gramma Mouse Tells a Story at art meetings she attended. Her books are Gramma Mouse Tells a Story, Bess’s Magical Garden and sequel The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin and Voices of yesterday. A third Bess book The Island Mystery will be coming soon. Another picture book The Pen Inspector will also be published soon. She is presently working on another chapter book The Flight of Fantasy and illustration for a picture book about a little mouse who crosses the garden to see his Grandma. The picture book The Giant and The Lens will be published soon.

M.E. Hembroff books can be purchased on Amazon.

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There you were poking your head out from the crawl space,

while your mother ate on a straw bale near the crawl space.

You stood beside your brothers and squinted in the light,

You pounced on some loose pieces of straw with your entire mite.

A stranger scooped you up in her arms,

you quivered nervously and peeked up in alarm.

She gave you a gentle kiss and set you down,

you scampered away until you were a long ways down,

under the crawl space,

where you felt safe.

You sighed in relief when she left and you ventured out,

you ventured further and found many adventuresome routes.

You saw the stranger several times from a safe distance,

you maintained a safe distance.

One day she picked you up and tucked you into her jacket,

you made an awful racket,

then you found yourself a long ways away,

you were transported straight away,

to a small room.

You scurried under the bed to cuddle with a teddy bear,

you were as cross as a bear.

You crept out from under the bed to play with a wiggling string,

and attacked it with zing.

You had a feisty spirit underneath that sweet face,

you were more than a pretty face.

You began to explore,

all over the floor.

Then one day one of your brothers joined you,

you ran and hid behind a shoe.

You hissed angrily,

as he fled.

You met an old cat, who, reminded you of mother,

she became your foster mother.

You ruled the roost until the very end.

The End

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