Speaking at Cottage Grove Library

With the holidays behind us, a new year of book events begins. First stop in 2017 takes me to the public library at my previous hometown, Cottage Grove, Oregon, a small historic town about twenty miles south of Eugene. I’ll be giving a presentation about my books The Shifting Winds and A Place of Her Own in the library’s Shepherd Room on Monday evening, January 23, from 6 to 7:30.

1280-historic-cgThe above photo shows the entrance into Cottage Grove’s historic Main Street, where the community has three bookstores–The Bookmine, Kalapuya Books, and Books on Main–impressive for a town of about 9,800 people. Just two blocks away at 700 E. Gibbs Avenue, on the corner of Gibbs and N. 8th Street, you’ll find the thriving Cottage Grove Public Library, shown below. A very literary community.

1277-cg-libraryFor my presentation I will talk about both of my published books set in the days of Oregon’s early pioneers, while showing a collection of slides related to the stories. I’ll give some background on the history behind the stories, how those books came to be, and about other projects in the works. After a short reading from the latest, Shifting Winds, I’ll open up to Q&A, then sell and sign copies of both books.

This event brings me to a familiar setting. I lived about a block up from the library, on 8th, so it became an easy place to visit and a particularly vital destination during the year my daughter and granddaughter lived with me in Cottage Grove. The librarians all knew my granddaughter Calliope, an active preschooler and lover of books.

So it’s a pleasure to be offering a presentation there. I look forward to it. Thanks to Pete Barrell, City of Cottage Grove Community Services Director, for arranging the event.


Pleasant Evening at Bookmine

Bookmine encore.1029Gail at The Bookmine in Cottage Grove set up a lovely display for my encore signing and reading party for The Shifting Winds Thursday evening, to which I added my new poster for the book (at left).

We also had copies of my first book, A Place of Her Own, available and actually sold quite a few of them as well. It continues to gain interest.

It was a busy evening with the Farmer’s Market just outside, and several people drifted in to join those who’d come for the event.

Bookmine encore.1040.2

An attentive group stayed for the readings. I chose three short segments, a couple of tense cliff hangers and, for a change of pace, one of Joe Meek’s stories. Joe, a mountain man, is one of the real characters in the book. Gail also offered refreshments, shown in the photo above, so folks nibbled and listened.

Bookmine encore.1045.2Bookmine encore.1039.2

After the reading we had a few questions. And I signed a few books.

Altogether a pleasant evening. It was nice to have both of my daughters, Carisa and Christiane, and my granddaughter, Calliope, with me.

Thanks to Christiane for taking the pictures.


Bookmine Encore

bookmine door with bookA chill breeze swept in through the open doorway of The Bookmine in Cottage Grove the evening of the season’s first Art Walk in April.

I was at this bookstore on Cottage Grove’s historic Main Street to sign and sell my books and had planned to do a reading from my new novel, The Shifting Winds.

Proprietor Gail Hoelzle came over to my table toward the end of the scheduled event and smiled. “I think we should have another event for you, a regular signing and reading.”

That sounded good to me. The Bookmine had hosted me a couple of years earlier with my first book, A Place of Her Own, a very successful event.

“Actually we’ve done quite well this evening,” I told her.

“I know. You sold a lot of books, but you didn’t get to read.”

There never seemed a good time for a reading because the people kept moving through, apparently wanting to visit as many businesses as possible on that chilly day–and maybe to beat the rain, which had threatened all day and finally struck in earnest just before the final hour came to an end.

bookmine doorwaySo we’re doing an encore, a regular book signing and reading at The Bookmine, one of my favorite stores. It’s Thursday evening, June 23, from 5 to 7, hopefully a pleasant summer day this time.



Spring Art Walk Event

It must be spring! The first Art Walk of the season comes this Friday, April 29, to the charming historic downtown of Cottage Grove. And I’ll be there with my books at The Bookmine from 6 to 8 pm or later. It’s such a great store–a pleasant place to hang out during the Art Walk, or anytime for that matter.

bookmine & bikesThis small Oregon town enjoys the good fortune of having three bookstores within five blocks on Main Street, from The Bookmine at 702 to Kalapuya Books at 637 to Books on Main at 319, and I’m happy to say they all stock my books. They also have a wonderful library a few blocks away (and, yes, my books are there too). A very literary place.

I lived in Cottage Grove for several years before moving to the family farm in Douglas County, and the people of Cottage Grove continue to be supportive. I am most grateful.

The town’s Art Walk happens on the last Friday of the month from April to October. You’ll find food, art, music, a variety of shopping at the local shops, and of course books.

I’ll read a time or two from my new historical novel, The Shifting Winds, and will have that one as well as my first, A Place of Her Own, available for signing. The Shifting Winds is a fictional tale set in a lot of true history. A Place of Her Own is a true story with some creative conjecture. They’re both Oregon Trail stories about strong pioneer women. I’ll be open to informal Q & A as people stop by and to just chatting about the new story and my other work and your own stories.

If you’re in the neighborhood I hope you’ll visit me at The Bookmine.


At the Literary Salon

710.cg literary salonThis afternoon I went back to the book events after a little time off.

I was pleased to be invited to the first Literary Salon at the Opal Center for Arts & Education in Cottage Grove, Oregon’s historic downtown.

Four local authors–Hal Holbrook, Anastastia Machachek, Theo Czuk, and I–presented our work, each of us taking a turn on stage.

Theo, a composer of music, gave his presentation in song, with a short reading from his first novel, and the rest of us read and discussed our books. Afterward we had a little time for selling and signing.

The event was cosponsored by The Bookmine of Cottage Grove. An enjoyable afternoon with a welcoming crowd! Thanks to Allan and Gail for putting this on, and to Steve for taking the picture.



Lovely Bookmine Event

The friendly atmosphere at Cottage Grove’s The Bookmine set the stage for a lovely signing and reading event yesterday evening. Relatives came, cousins I didn’t know at all, one who’d just made contact a week or so ago. Alerted by the big story in the Register-Guard about the book and me, they made a point of attending this event to get books firsthand and to meet me. What a pleasant surprise to find more cousins.

Bookmine crowd smilesGail, the proprietor, even gave me a beautiful corsage. In the photo above where we’re sharing a pleasant exchange, that’s Gail standing in the back, wearing bright blue. The man nearest the camera is a second cousin, Gary, going back to Martha’s daughter Mary, our great-grandmother. Below, from a slightly different angle you can see his sister, Joan, near the camera on the right. More of Martha’s great-great-grandchildren. In this shot I’m reading a short segment from Martha’s trek over the Oregon Trail.

Bookmine reading

Bookmine making pointThere were points to be made, and I’m evidently making one here on the right. You can see the prominently displayed Register-Guard story by Randi Bjornstad with photos by Paul Carter.


And there were more relatives to meet. Juanita, with me in the photo below, would be a fourth cousin, I believe, going back to Garrett’s sister, Lucinda, who came to Oregon with her husband Parker Bryan in 1851, the year after Garrett and Martha came. The common links for Juanita and I are Perry and Rachel Maupin of Ray County, Missouri, Garrett and Lucinda’s parents.

Bookmine with JuanitaSuch a pleasant evening. Quite a few others from Cottage Grove also came, and from as far as Drain to the south and Eugene to the north. Gail served wonderful refreshments. And afterward my daughter and granddaughter and I walked up Main Street and had a delicious dinner at a sidewalk table at Jack Sprat’s.

Thank you to my daughter, Christiane Cegavske, for taking these pictures.