RSS Feed

Tag Archives: The Maggie Chronicles

The Maggie Chronicles are Complete

Posted on

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.

Available, as are all The Maggie Chronicles, HERE!

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. 

Phyllis and I, boiling down the sugar water and getting ready to skim off
the impurities.

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

Cover Reveal: The Legacy of Payne—Publication? A Long Way Off


Legacy of Payne Front Cover_

Check out the cover for The Legacy of Payne, the third book of The Maggie Chronicles. Pretty darn exciting!

One week and two hundred forty-two years ago, Gen. John Stark and Col. Seth Warner thwarted Lt. Col. Friedrich Baum‘s attempt, under orders of Gen. John Burgoyne, to abscond with supplies housed in Bennington, Vermont. The Battle of Bennington, fought just inside New York’s borders, was a pivotal moment in the American Revolution AND my upcoming book.

Fittingly, my fantastic cover designer, Pam Mullins, and I finalized the cover within days (and 242 years) of that momentous date in history. I’ve gone into great depth on this battle, my trip to Vermont for research, and the book’s featured Payne family heroes and heroines on my blog. Just go to the search square in the upper right corner and type in Vermont to learn more.

Here is the back cover featuring a painting called The Old Mill by George Inness, 1849. The blurb tells you more about the story. Back CoverNeither the date of the work nor the setting, likely upstate New York, match the time frame or the exact setting of The Legacy of Payne, but it certainly evokes the feel of a Vermont country mill in the 1780s.

But hold your horses, so to speak. In the hopes of avoiding some of the pitfalls of a rush to publication (slowly learning), I’m taking my time bringing this book to publication. Anticipated Amazon debut: April 2020!

Ugh! What?

Until, if you haven’t yet, there are always books one and two.

Find them here and here.

A Place on Wills Creek: A Short Story Prequel to The Scattering of Stones

Posted on


The second book in what I now dub The Maggie Chronicles will soon be ready for publication. So, to express my delight, here’s a gift to all who’ve read the first book, The Scattering of Stones, (or who might want to).

It’s a free (longish) short story about how Jacob Carter arrived up on Wills Creek.

The cover designed by Pam Mullins gives you a sneak peak at the cover style for the series. I’m so excited about it. The cover to the new book, The Forging of Frost, will have a similar look, and The Scattering of Stone’s cover gets a facelift to match! THANK YOU, PAM!

Select the link below to view the prequel!