Hello, I’m Christy.
I always kind of wondered if there wasn’t something wrong with me. Even as a kid, while everyone else seemed to have their feet securely planted on terra firma, I saw stories everywhere. And, of course, I was right smack dab in the middle of them.
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The Christmas Cactus
The Christmas Cactus sprang into being and kind of surprised me. Out of nowhere, the story line of a feisty young woman traveling to Washington Territory in the 1870s popped into my mind.
I’ve always held a fascination for life in the 1800s, particularly in the west. I loved to read about the experiences of people who lived then. Granted, everyday life didn’t have the conveniences we have now. Can you imagine laundry day on the farm? Washing clothes, bedding, towels, etc. using a washtub and scrub board? It took fortitude.
But beyond the many physical challenges, there was also the simplicity of family pulling together—being together. Mamas wiping runny noses. Dads giving piggyback rides. Tiny hands learning to cut out gingerbread men. Lullabies. Bedtime prayers.
In The Christmas Cactus, I wanted to portray those aspects of life in 1873. Challenges, yes. Triumphs, laughter, and tears, certainly. But most of all, when all is said and done, I wanted to portray the making of a family.
available autumn 2021 in hardcover, paperback, and kindle
It all started with a name.
While visiting friends, we sat down to watch a movie about Norwegian resistance during World War II. I was caught up in the story but when the credits rolled, the name Halstad piqued my interest. Then, for some unknown reason, the word “house” popped into my mind and I linked the two together.
A completely different story began to take shape. A boarding house? Yes. Over the next few days the setting, plot, and characters unfolded. Grace, Soren, Allie, Ethan, and all the others.
It all started with one name from a random movie. Just one name and Halstad House was born.
Love, Mary Elisabeth
Mischievous kids. Nosy cows. Pig-headed horses. I was convinced my father grew up on a funny farm. Stories of his childhood peppered my youth – transporting me back to life in the boonies in the early part of the 20th century.
The tales became legend and I determined to save them. I began to write. And came up with a rambling list of events. Boring. All of a sudden an eleven-year-old girl popped into my mind, waving at me frantically. She could move to the farm. She could live out those stories first-hand. She could have her very own book.
I grabbed the idea and ran with it. Love, Mary Elisabeth was born.