New Book, Voices of Yesterday

Voices of yesterday 0.2In part one Kate is confused and overwhelmed about her parents’ divorce. Her teacher gives the class an assignment to research and write about a historical event, person or place in Riverdale. Kate chooses the Franklin Manor where she lives with her Mom. Her classmate Rose finds information about a fire that left Kate’s Gran an orphan. Kate sets this information aside until she has completed her assignment. As Kate continues her research, she finds her Great Aunt Rebecca’s journal. She stumbles across a link between the Franklin’s and her family. What is that link? How does it affect Kate?

In part two Kate and her mom spend the summer at her Gran’s farm. Kate helps her Mom sort through the items hoarded over the years. She finds old journals written by her Great, Great Grandmother. Old treasures turn up in unexpected locations. A rift has developed between Kate and her dad. She doesn’t accept that he has a girlfriend who he intends to marry. Will Kate find all the family secrets? Will she resolve her issues with her dad?

My book is available on Amazon.

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Dear Sixteen

How are you doing? Have you accomplished all the things you set out to do? You were so innocent and naive. Have you learned to identify the difference between your dreams and the reality out in the world you were unfamiliar with? What have you learned?

You never took life seriously but tried to imagine everything away. It’s a shame you never learned how to put that imagination to good use instead of just daydreaming the time away. All you ever wanted was to have fun.

The biggest worry you had was how to get into town to watch GI Blues. You had the usual teenage yearnings but most of your time was spent with your nose in a good book. The biggest highlight of that year was a train trip across the prairies and through the rockies . It was great fun wasn’t it?

You weren’t prepared for what you found when you finally left home three years later. You led a protected life up until that point. Most of the things you learned were out of books but that didn’t help you did it? You were always taught the basics and right from wrong. This didn’t seem to help you when you finally went to the big city where people were so different than what you were used to. It was a big difference going from the farm to skyscrapers that towered above your head. Cars zipped up and down the streets making you nervous and people hurried down the street. No one stopped to smile or offer you guidance. You had such a romantic view on things.

What was your hurry to try so many different things? Do you think it was worth it? Your a country bumpkin and remained so throughout the years. My dear it might have been better to stay in school for another couple of years but you were in a hurry to escape from all the home difficulties. You found problems worse than you could have imagined.

My dear at sixteen you were unprepared for life outside the family fold. In some ways it wasn’t so bad was it? You shouldn’t have listened to all the things other people said because they were often said out of context and when push came to shove they didn’t really matter. It was what you felt deep inside that really mattered in the end.

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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.

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. I shivered violently making my teeth chatter. I looked around the room as moon light streamed through the open drapes. I pushed back the tangled blankets. I slipped my feet into slippers and pulled on my terry robe. I 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 onto the Oak Tree that loomed above everything. I held my warm cup in my trembling hands as I gazed at the tree.

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The Missing Pony

It was a warm day with a blue cloudless sky. Too nice a day to be cooped up indoors. Teresa had finished her chores and felt restless. She wandered around the house feeling listless.

“Would you like to run an errand for me?” Granny asked.

“Sure,” Teresa answered, as she gazed out the window.

“I have some apples and preserves for Mrs. O’Shea. Your father and Robert are busy in the field and won’t be able to take them,” Granny said.

“Can I take Blacky out with the pony cart? He needs exercise,” Teresa asked as she put the dishes away.

“Good idea. He doesn’t get enough exercise with Kat visiting at Aunt Mabel’s.” Granny answered. “You go get him ready while I put everything in a basket.”

In a few minutes Teresa had Blacky harnessed to the pony cart and headed to the house.

Blacky’s ears perked up and he nickered as he anticipated a gallop across the field. Teresa loaded the white pony cart and was on her way. She inhaled the scent of clover. The tall grass and wildflowers swayed in the breeze as Teresa guided Blacky along at a gentle trot. The black birds took to the air when they passed underneath the grove of willows. It was a peaceful ride and before long Teresa arrived at Mrs. O’Shea’s bright little cottage.

Teresa loved visiting Mrs. O’Shea’s  yellow cottage with red geraniums marching up the stone walk to her spotless stoop. Blue and yellow nasturtiums and petunias spilled over the edges of the green window boxes. Teresa paused in front of the white picket fence when Mrs. O’Shea walked towards her.

“Good to see you,” Mrs. O’Shea said as she opened the gate. “Let’s put your pony in the correl. There are fresh oats in the barrel and hay in the stable.”

“There is a basket of goodies from Granny. She sends her love,” Teresa said as she unhitched Blacky.

“Lovely.” Mrs. O’Shea said. “Just made a fresh jug of lemonade. I saw you a ways back.”

“Granny asked if I would bring these things over for you.”Teresa said as she closed the correl gate securely.

“Do come in,” Mrs. O’Shea said as she held the cottage door open. “It gets lonesome with the Mr. in the field all day.”

“How have you been?” Teresa asked as she accepted the frosty glass of lemonade.

“Oh, just fine,” Mrs. O’Shea answered. “The Mr. got new bantam roosters with a few hens this time. Those roosters kick up an awful racket early in the morning but they are beautiful.”

Teresa sipped on her lemonade while Mrs. O’Shea put chocolate chip cookies on a plate. “Oh yum my favorite.”

“Always have them for emergencies, you know. Never know when someone might drop by,” Mrs. O’Shea answered. “There is something in the back room you might want. Come have a look.”

“Okay,” What could she have? Teresa followed Mrs. O’Shea down the dim narrow hallway towards the den.

“I made these pink curtains for your attic bedroom. Thought you’d like them,” Mrs. O’Shea said as she unfolded the curtains. “They will look good in your window.”

“Thank you. They will match the quilt Granny made for my birthday. I don’t know where Granny found all the pink and white scraps.” Teresa said.

“Glad you like them. Knew you would,” Mrs. O’Shea said as they went back to the old fashioned kitchen

“I should head home. Thank you very much,” Teresa said as she opened the front door. She stopped short for a second. The corral gate was open. Blacky nowhere in sight. What am I going to do?

“Don’t worry. I will get the Mr. to look  for him if he doesn’t turn up. Looks like you have a bit of a walk, lass.” Mrs. O’Shea shielded her eyes from the sun.

“Blacky knows his way home and has done this before,” Teresa said as she started down the walk. “Blacky doesn’t like being away from home.”

Teresa walked down the narrow road between the two farms hoping to see signs of Blacky. As she walked she noticed a black cloud in the western sky and hoped she would make it home before a storm broke. She was just about home when she noticed Blacky drinking out of the creek. She was too tall to ride him so would have to lead him home.

“Blacky you rascal. You have done it again. You always outsmart me,” Teresa took hold of his halter. “The only person you stay put for is Kat but she’s away right now. So you have to put up with me. Let’s go home.”

Teresa walked along the path feeling much better now that she knew Blacky was safe. If anything had happened to Kat’s pony while she was away she would never forgive herself. When she reached the stable she put Blacky into his loose box stall. Blacky neighed and tossed his head. “You rascal.”  Teresa entered the house banging the screen door behind her. “Blacky played his usual trick.”

Granny looked up as she took bread out of the oven. “Found him though didn’t you?”

“Yes. The pony cart is still at the O’Shea’s. She made curtains for my bedroom. They’ll look good with my quilt.” Teresa said.

“Lovely. Wonder how she managed to match the fabric,” Granny  spread butter on the bread before it cooled.

“I am starving. It was a long walk home,” Teresa sliced a thick crust off a loaf of bread.

“What else is new,” Granny smiled as she watched her granddaughter devour the slice of bread.

“Will go hang up my curtains. Was tired of the white ones,” Teresa said giving Granny a hug. “See you in a bit.”







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Future Book Voices of Yesterday

I am currently editing and doing art work for my upcoming book titled Voices of Yesterday. There are two separate stories. Instead of writing two books I have written it as Part One and Part Two. Part one deals with her school assignment. Part two concentrates on family and hidden secrets.

Kate has a hard time accepting her parents divorce. Her social studies teacher gives the class an assignment which distracts her. When the story starts she is sitting in her family room with a classmate doing research. She has decided to research the famous Franklin family who used to live in the Franklin Manor where she lives with her mom. She finds some interesting things but reaches a dead end.

Her classmate Rose discovers information about Kate’s Gran and Great Aunt when she started her research about a fire near the railway station. Kate is curious but has to put that information to one side while she continues her research into the Franklins.

Kate sees shadowy figures in the house and when she goes into the turret she discovers a door inside the wardrobe. This door leads her back in time where she meets a former servant. This gives her an insight into what it was like for the family. Kate finds old journals written by a former resident. She continues her search in the turret and discovers many artifacts.

Once her assignment is completed she goes to Grans farm with her mom. There she continues family research and finds more journals and hidden family treasures. She helps her mom sort through the years of accumulated boxes of stuff. Gradually she comes to grips with her parents divorce and finds peace.

Will Kate discover all the hidden family secrets? Or will some things remain hidden forever?

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My pets Patches, Deliha and Odie


Delilah getting acquainted with Patches.


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Review by klbradley. The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin

The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin Wrap Cover 1For a mystery novella to grab my attention, it usually has to be something with an increasing build of anticipation, followed by some dramatic happenings along the way to pave the road for excitement. This is typically harder done in a novella than a novel, due to the short time span to build that suspense. Although The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff was a shorter read, at roughly 100 pages via Kindle edition, I was pleased with the building suspension throughout.

Published in late 2017, The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin features a main character known as Bess and several of her family members, peers and neighbors. The mystery in the story begins when Bess moves to the small town of Pineview after the loss of her father, where her cousin Megan and some other family members already live. While doing some home renovations, Megan’s father discovers an old cabin behind a kitchen wall. Contained within the small cabin walls are journals, a large trunk, and some other ledgers documenting the lives of former residents. Knowing how much of a mystery buff Bess is, Megan insists on bringing all the items to her to try to decipher.

Bess becomes totally enchanted by the mystery and story behind the former occupants and soon begins seeing a ghostly figure near her, as well as picturing herself in the past alongside the occupants. Will Bess be able to figure out the mystery of who the former residents were, and how will she be able to finally uncover their story?

It’s very obvious upon starting the story that the author has an impeccable eye for attention to detail, as numerous parts of the story seemed to transport me right into their world. With inclusive diary entries by Bess, the main character, followed by diary entries written by the former lady of the house, it’s clearly shown how much attention was put into the time-span of dates between the two characters. While the portion of entries by Bess occurs in the mid 1950’s, the discovered mystery diaries contain entries from the early 1900’s. It’s quite obvious while reading that  the author took careful consideration into how to depict the accurate description of the change in dates and atmosphere that would surround the characters during their specific lives.

Although The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin is the sequel to Bess’s Magical Garden, it was easily read as a standalone novella and I had no trouble with keeping up with characters and situations. The character development throughout the story was well displayed, especially when it came to the main character. The author carefully showed that although Bess was still a child, she cared about her studies and managed to maintain a mature enough personality to be interested in solving a mystery involving the discovered trunk and contents.

While I felt that the story-line presented as well as I could imagine in such a short read, I did feel like the suspension building throughout the novel did not match well to the resolution of the story. The ending seemed a bit rushed and didn’t allow as much of an insight as I was hoping for while reading. I was pleased with the editing of the novel, as I was able to read without any pause for grammatical or spelling errors. The story felt as though it read smoothly, and I would gladly recommend to others looking for a shorter read, while also enjoying a bit of mystery thrown in. I rate The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin 3 out of 4 stars. Although I would have liked to rate this one a full four stars, I felt that the ending didn’t suffice for my appetite for suspense.


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