Friday, May 29, 2015

The Old Wagon - Part 4

Hello FFFs,
It's a rainy morning here at my grandparents'. We are going to help my aunt get her new house organized and decorated today and, since we have to move many boxes, we're rather hoping the rain lets up before we get to work. :)

Last week's History Day was such fun! And it didn't rain. :) There were so many different era's represented that it would make the post much too long to post individual pictures of each outfit. However, I will let you see the group shot.
L-R: 1760s, 1770s, 1810s, 1850s, 1860s, 1870, 1880s, 1890s, 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s

My writing has gone better this week than it has all month. I wrote more than 3,000 words. And the first chapter of the new Graham Quartet is written. It hasn't been checked at all, but it's written. :) Anyone interested in reading it on here? Let me know.
I'm hoping I'll be able to write more next week as this story is quite fun. :) I think you'll like it.

But now I'm going to end this post and go eat some breakfast. Enjoy the next to last part of 

The Old Wagon
Part 4

    Well, the days and seasons passed. I grew used to carrying the Bergman family into town to church or for shopping. I brought supplies for the farm out from town or carried sacks of harvested grain to be milled into flour. Some of my most pleasant memories of that time are of carrying the family and friends out onto the prairie for picnics, and later taking Elijah and Wesley to pick up their girls for a social function in town.
    The time passed swiftly, and it seems like just yesterday when I think of the children growing up. Elizabeth grew up too, and though I think she was still fond of me, she was busy. A young man started calling on her, but to my sorrow, he had a buggy of his own, and it wasn’t often I had the delight of carrying them places. On her wedding day I did carry her, her parents, and Will and Ester into town to the church. It was a lovely spring day and the windows of the church were opened, so I heard part of the doings inside. It will always be a regret of mine that I didn’t get to carry Elizabeth and her new husband on their first trip as Mr. and Mrs. Erik Mattingly.

    More time passed and I thought I would remain there with the Bergman family the rest of my days. But then one day Elizabeth and her husband, arrived at the farm in their buggy with their three children. That wasn’t unusual, for the Mattinglys lived only on the other side of town, but something was in the air. I could tell. After the children had run off to play, the adults began talking as they strolled slowly towards the house. Pausing beside me, Elizabeth placed a hand on me and suddenly asked, “Pa, is this wagon still in good shape?”
    Mr. Bergman looked surprised. “Sure it is. I wouldn’t have gotten a new wheel for it if it wasn’t. Why, I’d say this wagon is good for another thousand miles of travel and at least another fifty years.”
    “Would you consider selling it to us, sir?” Erik asked.
    “Sell it? Whatever for? You folks aren’t thinking of moving west are you?” Mr. Bergman looked somewhat sharply at his son-in-law.
    It was Elizabeth who answered. “No, Pa, not west. We want to move south.”
    “South? How far?” Mrs. Bergman asked quickly.
    Looking up at her husband, Elizabeth waited for him to answer.
    “We aren’t just sure yet. Some folks have a yearning to head west and settle in the vast land beyond, but our calling is to the south. We heard that Texas is an open land.”
    There was much more talking, but I didn’t get to hear more, for Mrs. Bergman suggested they go inside out of the sun where they could sit down. I was left to wonder and dream. South. What land lay to the south which would attract and draw folks? Travel. Another trip with a family. Elizabeth’s family. I was pleased about the prospect, and even the thought of the heavy load I must again carry, were I chosen to go, couldn’t keep me from being eager to get started. After all, I had been built for travel.
    When at last the family came from the house, Elizabeth patted me once again and said, “I’m glad we can take this wagon with us. It was such a good wagon on our trip out here.”
    And Mr. Bergman said, "Do you recall how you said good night to it every evening before you would go to sleep?”
    “Yes. And it always said good night to me.” Elizabeth smiled. “No one else could hear it, but I did.”
    So it was true. I was going to be going south.

    I remember the day we started off. I had been loaded almost as full as I had when I was carrying a family of seven, and now I only had a family of five. But there was no cow, and no chickens were tied to the side. There were horses pulling the wagon and not oxen, so I knew we might move at a faster speed than on my first trip. I felt like a veteran as the wagon started forward and good byes were called to Mr. and Mrs. Bergman, Will and Ester. Even Elijah and Wesley, with their families, had come to see their sister off for the great southern lands. I wondered if I would ever see them again.
    That first day was spent getting everything settled in the most comfortable position for me. Of course, Erik complained that things must not have been packed right, but I think Elizabeth knew I was just trying to get comfortable. After all, I wasn’t a new wagon any more. My canvas top had been replaced with a new one, and I was glad because the old one had become torn and dirty. I would have been embarrassed for Elizabeth to ride in a wagon with such a cover on it.
    Crossing small streams and rolling across the flat prairies, we traveled south. Then we came to the hills. I heard folks talking and they called them the Ozark Mountains. All I know is they were very difficult to cross. There were times when the rocks caused me the greatest difficulty staying upright. I got so tired of fighting those hills and rocks and steep slopes that I was strongly tempted to just tumble over on my side and roll down to the bottom. But then I would remember who was riding in me and I would put forth my greatest effort to remain upright. I knew that if I fell over, it would cause immense trouble not only for myself, but also for my Elizabeth and her family. So I fought those treacherous places and kept going.

Will you come back for the last part?
Do you want to read the first chapter of the new mystery?
Which era did you like best?

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Old Wagon - Part 3

Good morning FFFs,
I almost forgot to post this morning because I was so focused on the big day before me. You see, today is "History Day" and we are having a party. :) Each girl (Yeah, only girls are coming.) is dressing in an outfit from a different era in American History, bringing a food dish from that era and is going to share a little about that era. We are going to have 14 different eras represented and boy, is it going to be fun! We're just praying for no rain and a little bit warmer weather so those of us in light summery dresses don't freeze. :) You wanted to know what era I am doing? Well, for those of you who know me, it's not what you might expect. I'm doing the 1920s! Short hair, headband and all. :)

This week was a little better for writing. I actually started writing part of the new Graham Quartet story. However, I need your help!!
This story takes place on the shores of Lake Michigan and I need a picture. I would really like a picture of an old boathouse, shack or cottage along the water's front. And I don't really care if it is on Lake Michigan or not because I can always "put" it there. :) So, if you can find a picture online, copy and paste the link into a comment or, if you have a picture that you or a family member took and are willing to share it with me, please, send it to me.

Well, that's all for now. I have things I need to get done before people start arriving. I hope you enjoy this next part of

The Old Wagon
Part 3

    I don’t know how many days we spent on the trail before we came to a large river, I never learned to keep track of days and weeks; after all, I never went to school. The river was larger than anything I had ever imagined and I wondered how we would get across. I knew I would never be able to float across with my heavy iron wheels. If they could have been taken off easily, I think I would have made a fairly good raft. Thankfully, I didn’t have to try. There was a ferry, and I was driven on and we were taken across. I didn’t like that ride. I’ve never felt so dizzy as I did then. I was rather wobbly on my wheels when the oxen pulled me up the farther bank, but no one seemed to notice. Perhaps they were all feeling the same way.
    There were more days of travel and more nights spent under the stars. The boys had each been allowed to sleep outside with their father a few times, but I always liked having them in where I could feel them moving in their sleep. Every night Elizabeth would whisper good night to me, and every night I managed a slight creak in response.
    During the days, the children often walked along beside me. Baby Ester was learning to walk, and often Elizabeth or one of the older boys would steady her steps in the grass as I slowly rolled along. There were days when everything was cloudy and grey. Sometimes it would rain, and all the children and Mrs. Bergman would sit in the back of the wagon with my canvas pulled tight and sing and tell stories. If the rain got too hard, Mr. Bergman would unhitch the wagon and join the family in the shelter of my canvas. Then the stories would grow more interesting, for he was a good story teller. Perhaps that is where I learned to tell a story.
    But many days were sunny and everything was beautiful. The flowers growing in the tall grass smelled so pleasant, and the songs the birds sang sounded so sweet, that I wished every day was as nice. On and on we went, traveling slowly, for I did discover early on that oxen are plodders. They don’t seem to have the lively get up and go that the horses do. But, for the sake of the younger children’s shorter legs, I was glad we moved slowly.

    At long last we reached a town. It was quite small in comparison to the one where I was made, and there weren’t people all around. Mr. Bergman stopped the oxen on what seemed to be the main street.
    “I’ll just go in and ask about our land,” he told his family. “You all wait here.”
    The children were anxious to get out and explore the town, and Mrs. Bergman said they might get out, if they stayed right near the wagon. I was rather interested myself and would have enjoyed a quick trip around, had I not been carrying the load I was. I wondered if any of my fellow wagons had come this far, but I didn’t see any.
    Long before the children tired of looking around, Mr. Bergman was back. “It won’t take us much longer to reach our place, children,” he said, climbing back up to my seat.
    Quickly the children scrambled back in and we were off, lumbering down the street and out of town, back to the seemingly endless prairie. Mr. Bergman had been right, it didn’t take us even an hour to reach our new place. I heard Mr. Bergman mention that fact to his wife when we arrived.
    There was a cabin already built, and soon everyone was running around, in and out of the door, and shouts and exclamations filled the air. When at last they had all settled down and the oxen had been unhitched, Mr. Bergman said something about unloading me, but Mrs. Bergman shook her head.
    “Not yet, Henry. This cabin needs cleaned first before we put any of our things in it. Who knows what kind of people lived here or what kind of creatures have made themselves at home here.”
    I heard the groans from the children, but soon everyone was busy scrubbing the house. Everyone that is except Baby Ester. I was left to watch her while the others worked. She had been tied to me by a stout string attached to her little pinafore. Perhaps some wouldn’t think that was very kind, but what else were they to do? There were no neighbors to watch her, and she had become quite an active young thing. Attaching her to me was the only sensible thing to do. I wouldn’t let her toddle off and get lost, nor would I allow her to wander too close to the oxen or the horses and risk being stepped on. Neither of us minded. I was content to sit still and rest in the lovely sunshine, listening to her baby prattle as she played with the rocks or tried to grab a grasshopper.
    Finally the cabin was clean enough for Mrs. Bergman and the unloading began. You’ll never think what a relief it was to me as each thing was lifted from my bed and carried inside. I creaked my gratitude, but I think Elizabeth was the only one who understood me. My canvas top was taken off and the sun felt so wonderful on my bed, where I hadn’t felt sunshine for such a long time.
    That night, I no longer bore the heavy load I had carried for so many weeks, and I missed it. I felt lonely. My family was not with me, and I missed feeling them settle down to sleep in my bed. Elizabeth came out and whispered good night to me, just as she had every night on our trip. At least she hadn’t forgotten me. The stars were bright and all the night sounds meant little to me, for I no longer had to think about the safety of my family. They were inside a sturdy house with a solid roof over their heads.

How would you feel to finally sleep in a house again?
Do you think you'd like to travel by covered wagon?
Would you like to read a part of the new Graham Quartet?

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Old Wagon - Part 2

Good Morning FFFs!
It's a bit cloudy this morning and there is a chance of rain. It's rained a lot these past few weeks. But we are really hoping and praying it doesn't rain tomorrow as we are attending a large outdoor "craft fair" (for lack of a better term to give it). My sis and I have a tent and my books will be there as well as other things. I'm also in charge of the "games." Don't you wish you could come walk on the stilts, play tug-of-war, jump-rope or participate in our "Farm Girl Challenge" and earn a candy stick? Farm Girls is always a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to it. (We've done it in the rain before but this is a new tent and we aren't sure it's waterproof.)

My writing last week and this week has not really happened. I think part of it is because I am not in the middle of a story, and we've been really busy trying to get ready for Farm Girls, and a friend and I are putting together a History Day party next Friday, and I've been really busy with that. Not to mention that I was re-reading TCR-5. I think there is one part I need to change a bit, but otherwise it sounds pretty good. I don't think it's as good at TCR-4, but . . . :)

I did get another "Ria and the Gang" story finished or at least almost finished. :) And I hope you like it because it is 10 parts long!!!!! But that's for later. Right now I'm going to get busy with other things and let you enjoy the next part of 

The Old Wagon
Part 2

    One day she came out with her little brother and brought him over to the wagon. “See, Wagon, this is Will. He’s only three, but he gets to ride in the back with all of us older children. Mama is going to hold Ester much of the time, she said. Wagon, we are going to leave very soon!” She gave me a soft pat, and I watched as she skipped off with her little brother.
    The packing went on and I stretched my sides as much as I could without cracking my boards so they could fit in just a few more things. I really couldn’t tell you all that they piled inside under my canvas. They not only tied crates with chickens on the outside, but there was a large keg of water and several tools, an axe, a saw, parts for a plow, a butter churn and a few other things tied on as well. I was loaded heavily.
    At last the morning came to start off. Two oxen were yoked up front to pull me. The eldest son, Elijah, tied two horses on behind me, along with a cow. Then Mr. Bergman helped his wife up onto my high seat, handed her the baby, and climbed up himself. The other children had all scrambled up into the back and we were off. I rumbled proudly down the lane, onto the dirt road and off towards the west. My load might have been a heavy one, but I didn’t notice. All I could think of was the fact that I was finally taking Elizabeth to her new home.

    That first night was a new experience for my family. We were the only ones to be seen and they sat around the fire eating their supper. The horses and oxen were grazing and the cow had been milked. As the sun sank in a glowing sky and dusk settled around us, we heard the night sounds.
    “It’s time for bed, children,” Mrs. Bergman said at last. “Ester is already asleep in the wagon, so be careful not to wake her.”
    “Pa, can’t I sleep out here with you?” Elijah wanted to know.
    “Can’t I too, Pa?” Wesley pleaded.
    But Mr. Bergman shook his head. “No, not tonight.” His voice was low and rumbled in the silence of the night. “Perhaps later on I’ll let you. Now get to the wagon. I’ll pass Will up to you, Elijah, once you are in. He’s already asleep so just take his shoes off and tuck him in bed. No need to wake him up.”
    I felt the children climb up into my bed, and soon they settled down.
    “Good night, Wagon,” Elizabeth whispered.
    “Elizabeth,” Wesley hissed, “who are you talking to?”
    “I was just saying good night to the wagon.”
    The boys tried to smother their laughter, but I heard them. “She talks to the wagon,” Wesley chuckled.
    “Did the wagon tell you good night?” Elijah whispered.
    The wind rippled my canvas top and I managed a slight creak. Perhaps Elizabeth would understand.
    She did. “Yes, it did,” she assured her brothers. “It’s a very nice wagon.”
    The boys exploded into muffled laughter once more.
    “It did say good night,” Elizabeth insisted. I felt her sit up in her little bed. “You were just too busy laughing to hear it.”
    “What’s going on in here?” the low question from Mr. Bergman brought instant silence.
    “Oh, Papa,” Elizabeth said, “they were laughing because I told the wagon good night, and I heard it creak and I know it was telling me good night."
    I heard Mr. Bergman clear his throat before he spoke. “You can tell the wagon good night every evening if you want to, but right now you need to get to sleep. And boys, there’s to be no more laughing at your sister’s ideas, understand?”
    “Yes, Pa.”
    “Then get some sleep. We have another long day tomorrow.”
    Soon everything was quiet. The flickering of the fire cast strange lights on the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Bergman. They talked softly together, but I was tired and didn’t try to listen. Only Mrs. Bergman climbing into her bed beside Elizabeth roused me some time later. And then all was still.

    I was awake to see the sunrise, or I would have seen it had the trees not been in the way. But I could tell by the lightening of the world that the sun was coming over the eastern rim of the world, where ever that was. Mr. and Mrs. Bergman were the first ones up, but soon the children were tumbling from the wagon, wiping sleep from their eyes as they hurried to do their assigned chores. Elizabeth paused just long enough to whisper good morning to me before she went on her way.
    It was another long day, as Mr. Bergman had said it would be. We crossed a few streams, but the water didn’t even reach the boys’ ankles. They had taken off their shoes and stockings and crossed the streams on foot. There were many hills, and I was glad for the horses’ sakes, as well as my own, that the oxen were pulling me. Oxen are more steady and dependable on hills. Going up the hills was hard work, but going down was a different story. If the hill was fairly steep, Mr. Bergman would set my brake and I’d almost slide down on my front wheels. That was rather fun except for the rocks and the fact that we had to go so slowly. I think perhaps I would have enjoyed racing down just one hill, for I was a young wagon at the time. But I never did. Had I been allowed to do so, I might have gotten so excited before I reached the bottom that I might have indulged in a few jumps and flipped over. Such scandalous doings could have had terrible consequences for me and my family, so I am glad Mr. Bergman knew enough to keep me in check.

Would you have said good night to a wagon?
Are you looking forward to reading my new story?
What would you like to read about on here?

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Old Wagon - Part 1

Good morning old and new Friday Fiction Fans,
Thank you all so much for making my first giveaway (at least for one of my books) so much fun! I wish I had books to give everyone of you. But I don't. *sigh* However, don't despair, this was so much fun, that I will probably do another one. :)

Well, I don't really have a lot to tell you this week. I have reached the end of "Triple Creek Ranch - Set Free" and now have to reread it all and make sure it makes sense. You see, I wrote this book in 2 months. Usually it takes me 3-4 months to write a TCR book. My illustrator has at least begun a little bit on the illustrations and I'm hoping to send her the last things she needs for the rest of them. And yes, I do plan on writing a book 6, but I'm still thinking it over and trying to get a good plot figured out. I also don't have a "sneak preview" written. :) We'll see if I can get that written before the book gets published.

Right now I'm working on finishing up another "Ria and the Gang" story. :) But until that get's finished, I hope you will enjoy this story. I know it's completely different from anything I've posted on here before, but when I saw the picture, I just knew I had to write something about it. My best friend takes such interesting photos. Right now she is doing a 365 day challenge. Check it out.

Used by permission from Angela the Twin

The Old Wagon
Part 1

    There it stood, out in the back field, weather worn with rusty parts, and paint peeling; its boards were beginning to rot in places and a wheel had come loose. It was no longer the gaily painted wagon used to pull the Lake and Mattingly cousins around their grandparents’ farm in Texas. Its top had long since been torn up and rotted away, and the frame for the canvas covering, well, no one in the past three generations had seen it. Yet still the old wagon stood as though waiting. Waiting, for what? Perhaps for Mr. Mattingly to hitch up the team for a wagon ride, perhaps for Mrs. Bergman to load up the children for a trip to town, or perhaps for Elizabeth to come and whisper, “good night.” Maybe the wagon is waiting–for us. If it could talk, what stories would it tell? Where has it been? Let’s listen and find out.

    It was a cold, windy afternoon in early March when I arrived with Mr. Bergman before a little farmhouse and heard him call out, “Frances! Come out and see what I brought home.”
    In a moment the door opened, and Mrs. Bergman appeared with baby Ester in her arms and little Will hanging on to her skirts. From the barn Elijah and Wesley hurried towards the house while Elizabeth came around the corner carrying a basket of clean laundry.
    “What on earth—“ Mrs. Bergman began as she caught sight of her husband perched on my seat. I wasn’t sure if she was pleased or only astonished. I hadn’t been around long enough to tell by her expression.
    “Pa,” Elijah exclaimed, “is that our wagon?”
    “Sure is, Son. Well, what do you all think?” Mr. Bergman looked about at his family. “You all willing to travel out west in this wagon?”
    I waited almost anxiously for their reply because I was built to head west, and if this man who had bought me didn’t end up going west, well, I wasn’t sure what would happen. Eagerly everyone crowded around me, and many were the exclamations as nearly every inch of me was inspected from my canvas top to the spokes of my wheels.
    The boys felt my wheels, scrambled up inside and felt my sturdy sides. Even Elizabeth climbed inside and rubbed her hands over my canvas top and peeked out the front.
    “Is it large enough?”
    “Where will we sleep, Pa?”
    “How far west are we going?”
    “When are we leaving?”
    At last, with questions still filling the air, Mr. Bergman laughed. “Whoa! Let’s talk about it at supper. Right now, Elijah and Wesley, unhitch the team and take care of them.”
    “Then come in and wash up,” Mrs. Bergman added. “Supper is nearly ready.”
    Soon all was quiet in the farm yard. The lights were on in the house, and in the silence I could still hear the sound of the family talking. I wondered if they were talking about me and about the trip I was ready and willing to take with them. Sitting out there, alone under the stars, I wondered how far west I’d go. I knew of other wagons who had gone west, but I never heard where they were headed or if they even made it. But somehow I knew I would make it. Hadn’t I been built of the finest, strongest, yet lightweight wood, by the finest wagon maker around? Didn’t I have the sturdiest wheels anyone could hope for? Wasn’t my canvas top the best to be had? I don’t mean to brag, but I was rather proud of the work that had been done on me, and I longed with all the longing a wagon has to take this family out west.

    When morning came and the sun rose, the family, my family, as I had already begun to think of them, stirred. The boys and Mr. Bergman came out into the fresh morning air and stopped to look at me before heading to the barn. Later, Mrs. Bergman came from the house and looked me over quite thoroughly while she talked to herself. I thought at first she was talking to me, but I realized she was a sensible woman and wasn’t the sort to go around talking with strange wagons, even if one was going to carry her and her family out to a land they had never seen before.

    All day I sat in front of the house and wondered if I was really going to make that trip. I desperately wanted to go west. That is all I heard about while I was being built. Then, along about evening, Elizabeth slipped from the house and came over to me. Using one of my wheels as steps, for she was only eight, she climbed up into me and sat down. “We are going west, Wagon,” she whispered, and I nearly quivered with delight.
    “We really and truly are going to go west. Papa said so. And we are going to pack everything inside here, and Papa said we could tie some crates to the side and take the chickens too. We’ll be so happy to go, but Papa said it would be a long trip, Wagon. I don’t think you’ll mind. I’m glad you are going to take us. You look so nice, and some of the other wagons I have seen look as proud as a peacock and probably don’t work half as hard as I know you will.”
    “I have to go now, Wagon. But we’re really going to go west in you!” Before she hopped down, Elizabeth did something that I didn’t know people ever did. She kissed me! Right then and there I knew I would take the best possible care of my family that I could.

    For days there was a flurry of activity. I seemed to be the only idle one around, just sitting there waiting. Even when the boys were helping their pa carry things from the house and load me, all I had to do was wait. I often heard them talking about how heavy things were and how full the wagon was going to be. I wanted to tell them not to worry about overfilling me because I was strong and sturdy, but I decided to let them plan and pack themselves. Elizabeth came out almost every day and said a kind word to me and patted my wheel or my side. She had taken quite a liking to me as I had to her.

Would you like to travel by covered wagon?
What will happen on their trip?
Will you be back next week?

Friday, May 1, 2015

It All Began and a Giveaway!

A lovely morning to all you Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
The sun is coming up and the birds are singing. The flowers are blooming and the trees are covered in their summer dress of green! (Of course it's not summer yet, but . . .) That Cardinal outside is having a wonderful time singing.

Well, today has arrived. And it's time for a party! Do you like parties? I was going to do this party last week since my birthday was last week, but I was out of town and didn't have a chance to get it ready. But now it's here.

And this news just arrived hot off the press (or from an e-mail I should say). My book "The Graham Quartet and the Mysterious Strangers" is now available on audio! You can get a copy from Audible. If I knew how to give you a sample to listen to right here, I would. But if you click on the Audible link above, you can listen to a sample of the perfect reader for this story!

I decided to do a giveaway for my birthday and I hope you will enter. This is open to those in the US and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who may have wondered when and where and why I started writing, here is a bit of information. As I have mentioned before, I hated writing when I was in school. It was terrible! I remember crying because I had to write a few sentences. It wasn't until after I had graduated that I discovered just how much fun writing could be and it wasn't long before I fell in love with it. Now I can't seem to get enough writing done. :)
These two letters you are about to read (if you keep reading this post), are the very first "letters" which got me started as an author. They were to two friends and these letters were just for fun. They each wrote me back and soon we had families created and were enjoying our "pretend" letters. As you may notice, these were extremely short letters, but this is how I got my start.

 My Dearest Elizabeth,
    I am writing to tell you if the wonderful vacation I am having. I got to see General George Washington himself! It happened this way. My Aunt Grace, cousins Lee and Annah, and I were walking in the park one day when a horseman rode by. Cousin Lee saluted. He then told us that it was General Washington. And he ought to know because he was in the army.
    Elizabeth dear, are you coming to Boston soon? Aunt Grace and cousin Annah would be very glad to see you. And you won’t have to worry about the British soldiers because the war is over. Do come if you can.
    Well, Uncle James is calling me to come and play the violin for him.
                    Your Loving Friend,

Dearest Ellen,
     How I wish that you had been with me yesterday. As I was walking down the street I saw Henry Wadsworth Longfellow! That famous poet who wrote "Paul Rever's Ride." I wouldn't have known him except that Uncle Mark told cousin Mary and I who he was. Imagine seeing that great poet walking down the street in Boston!
     Mama said I could invite you to spend the afternoon with me on Friday. I do hope you can come. It might be the last time I get to see you before I go to Concord with Uncle Mark, Aunt Sara, and Mary, Polly, Phoebe & Philip. Be sure that you write me while I am gone. I really must be going Ellen dear.
               Your Loving Friend,

So, did you enter the giveaway?
Have you ever written "pretend letters" with a friend?
Next week will start a new story.
Will you be back? 

P.S. If you've already left reviews for any of my books, you can count them towards your entries for reviews. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier.