Ah, the best of plans: not something I’m used to any more—plans, I mean. Who plans right now? Except to get “The Jab,” which I have, thank goodness—being old and all.
One year ago, I was preparing to launch of the third book of The Maggie Chronicles: the library date was booked, the presentation complete, the books purchased, the cupcakes readied.
Then the world and life slammed to a halt. So, it seems fitting that I should publish the last installment of the series, book four, The Illusion of Loss, on the pandemic’s one-year anniversary. And here it is.
If you have followed my site for long, you’ve read about the Croy and Payne Family, especially their time in Western Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Ohio. This book is the culmination of my fictional accounting of those families, in which they finally meet up, in Coshocton County, Ohio, during the years leading up to the Civil War.
Likewise, as a recipient of my posts, you may recall my travel tales, as I researched in those places. I’ve dedicated this book to my dear friends Ben and Phyllis Harstine, who opened their home—and my 3X great-grandfather’s one-time home in Ohio—to me. While there, they taught me how to make maple syrup, an important thread in The Illusion of Loss.
During our short friendship, Phyllis contracted bone cancer. Hoping to out flank death, I sent her a draft version of the book. She printed it out, but the pages got jumbled, so she enlisted her cousin’s help getting the book into a binder with pages in order. Phyllis died before she was able to read the draft version I sent her, but her cousin said that, “The day before she passed, her sister held the phone up to her (Phyllis) ear, and I told her that her book was all in order in the binder, just as she wanted it.” It was that important to her.
It isn’t often that two hearts can touch the way ours did, and THAT is what The Illusion of Loss is all about. Even when your story is finished, your imprint lingers on. Hope you enjoy the read, Phyllis. Much love, Donna