Opening Day

IMG_2463To celebrate Opening Day, Hattie’s War is available free on Kindle until tomorrow. Click here to access:


And to keep up the excitement of the baseball season, check out the new blog, The Storied Past, that we are writing with Sandy Brehl and Stephanie Golightly Lowden, who are also historical novelists. A number of baseball books are featured this month.


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Authors and Artists

Plank Road dolls needle-felted by fiber artist Kat Lutze

Plank Road dolls designed by Kat Lutze

Once a story has been read, the characters are no longer solely the author’s creations; they are continually reshaped by the minds of readers.

Recently my daughter Kat Lutze literally shaped the Plank Road Summer characters Katie McEachron and Florence Mather by needle-felting little dolls of wool roving, Katie with brown braids and a crimson dress, Florence with fair hair and a green dress.

When the dolls were posed with copies of our books for a craft fair in Union Grove, Wisconsin, I was reminded of another artist’s interpretation of the Plank Road characters. In 2009 Kathleen Spale sent several cover sketches to our editor Phil Martin of Crickhollow Books. As you can see here, one of those concepts looks startlingly like the photograph of those felted dolls.

An early cover concept sketch by artist Kathleen Spale

An early cover concept sketch by Kathleen Spale

Categories: On Writing, Plank Road Summer book, Plank Road Winter, Uncategorized, Wisconsin | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wade House Arts & Crafts Fair: Top Ten Delights

10.  Viewing the only known photograph of the Wade House featuring the plank road out front

9.  Setting up our book tent under an oak tree near a hitching-post and watering-trough like those at the Mather Inn

8.  Enjoying the sound of hoofbeats and the jingle of harness fittings as the stagecoach passed us on its rounds of the Wade House property

7.  Watching brother-in-law Franklin learn to card wool with an antique drum carder

6.  Helping children make butterflies and bookmark tassels out of rainbow-colored wool

5.  Seeing children’s faces when they learned the wool had been dyed with Kool-aid

4.  Being so enthralled by conversations about wool that Emily had to remind me to mention the book

3.  Hearing people say that after reading about us in the Sheboygan Press they had come to the fair specifically to buy our book

2.  Signing a book for a little girl descended from the Mathers of Racine County

1.  Finding Plank Road Summer on display in the Wade House gift shop

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