Saturday, August 28, 2010

Becky Melby bio

Becky and brother Bob

Becky Melby has hopped around the Midwest all of her life. Born in Minneapolis, her family moved to St. Joseph, Michigan when she was four, then to Zion, Illinois for a few months while building a house in Wisconsin. . .and that’s where she stayed for the next twenty years until her husband went to chiropractic college in Davenport, Iowa. After his graduation, they moved back to Wisconsin.
Married to her high school sweetheart, Bill, for forty years, Becky is the button-popping-proud mom to four grown sons and Grandma Becky (a.k.a Damma) to a dozen brilliant and adorable grandkids.

These two adorables hadn't arrived
yet for the last family pic!
Lots of Christmas stockings on the mantel!

After years of tent camping with their boys, Bill and Becky finally upgraded to a thirty-foot RV. They love the spontaneity of grabbing clothes and a bag of groceries and taking off to visit kids in Illinois or Missouri. In 2008 they took a month off for “retirement practice” and drove through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, ending at a chiropractic seminar in Las Vegas. Gas prices have grounded them to the Midwest in the last couple of years. . .but who’s complaining?

Copper Falls State Park
motorcycle trip

For a more economical way to see the country, the Melbys jump on their Honda Gold Wing. With sun on her arms and wind buffeting her helmet (safer, but not as romantic as wind in your hair), Becky loves listening to praise music and brainstorming her work in progress on the back of the bike.

But the best events are the ones involving grandkids. Sledding, snow forts, walks to the pond behind the house. . .all through the eyes of a child. A favorite Melby tradition is a Door County, Wisconsin-style fish boil in the backyard.

Becky has co-authored nine books for Heartsong Presents with her longtime friend, Cathy Wienke, and has written three novellas. Tomorrow’s Sun and Yesterday’s Stardust, the first two books of her full-length Lost Sanctuary series released in January and June of 2012. The third book, Today’s Shadows, will be out in December. A novella, Contest of Wills, in Cedar Creek Seasons, releases in September.

The Melbys host a lead a small group study and are the prayer team coordinators for their church. Becky draws on past experience as a crisis pregnancy center director, youth group leader, and board president of a teen coffee house for several of her novels.

Becky is also a contributor at She can be found on facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or at


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peggy Wirgau

Peggy Wirgau
The world of books and putting my own thoughts on paper came to life for me in first grade. I even
wrote my first poem then, which my teacher proudly displayed on the classroom wall.

 When I fly my kite, I hold onto it tight.
The wind takes it high into the blue, blue sky,
And then at night, I dream about my kite. 

That was the last the world saw of my great poetic genius for awhile, but I wrote plenty of stories and articles for the next 30 or 40 years, none of which ever made it past a teacher’s desk or my own notebook. I became a travel agent, then a secretary, then a registered nurse, and somewhere along the way I married and became a mom to an awesome son and daughter. Life was full to overflowing and my writing days appeared to be over.

Then, on what seemed to be a totally fluky whim, I signed up for an online children’s writing course. And on another even flukier whim, I submitted one of my assignments to a magazine. The crazy thing is – they bought it! From there, I sold several stories and articles to Appleseeds, Learning Through History, Insight, Kidmagwriters, Stories For Children, and other publications. 

I finally took the plunge into novel writing and kicked it off by entering the Nanowrimo about five years ago. That messy beginning became a YA novel set in northern Michigan, on an island similar to Mackinac Island. A middle grade novel followed, based on a true story about a 12-year-old passenger on the Titanic. I’m now on the slooooowwww road to publication and doing some editing for a nonprofit organization and an investment banking firm.

You can find me on Facebook at Writer Peggy Wirgau and on Twitter. I’d love to meet you, so come say hi!

Meet Sophie Dawson

Sophie Dawson writes Historical Christian Fiction which of course has romance and a happy ending. Her goal is to share the wisdom of God she has found in His Word, through study and worship, as well as reflection on events in her life.

Married for over 36 years, with two sons, a daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Sophie lives on a family farm in rural western Illinois. A stay at home mom, she has done a variety of things including professional machine quilting, treasurer of International Machine Quilters Associations, is a hospital board member, and for a number of years head of the visual media team at her church.

Urged by our Lord to leave her work at church behind, Sophie is now writing and has published Healing Love and Lord’s Love, the first two books in the Cottonwood Series. Her stories in faithful living illustrate that by obeying God’s commands, setting self aside and making the tough but right choices will lead to a blessed life and conforming more each day to the image of Christ.


Twitter: @sophiedawson76

Healing Love eBook
Healing Love pBook

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach has been writing as long as she could hold a pencil. (Or so the legend goes.) When she was a kid, her picture and story was chosen from throughout the Milwaukee Public School District as “best” for the Thanksgiving holidays. She won a children’s book, which she still has today.

She once won a trip to New York over Thanksgiving just by writing a 50-word essay. Her friend got to go with her, too. Can you say Macy's parade!

These days, Cherie's a full-time freelance writer, specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She is the expert on Friendship at and is Life Goes Strong's midlife dating writer for NBC/Universal. She has penned eleven books and ebooks, including Internet Dating Is Not Like Ordering a Pizza and 21 Ways to Promote Your Book on Twitter.

Her work has appeared on numerous on and offline publications, and she's been quoted in articles for, AOL’s Gumdrop, Yahoo Shine,, and the Poynter Institute, and was also featured in the book What to Do When No One Has a Clue: Advice for the Brave New World, along with a few Real Housewives and a Top Chef or two.

She loves football and is obsessed with anything having to do with the Green Bay Packers or Tudor history. Readers have resonated with Cherie's "This I Believe" essay, which has remained one of the most popular on the NPR site, even after six years. For more information, please visit Cherie's website or follow her on Twitter.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Meet Shelley Wilburn

Shelley Wilburn grew up in the small, Southern Illinois town of West Frankfort. Just an hour away from Paducah, Kentucky, her husband jokingly tells people, "We're just far enough this side of the river that we wear shoes." Shelley says, "Speak for yourself!" She loves going barefoot, but when she does have to wear socks and shoes, she makes sure her socks are mismatched. "Gives 'em character!" she says.

She married her high-school sweetheart, Don (DA), in 1983 and together they have raised three children (two girls and a boy) who are all now married. In July of 2012, they became "Empty Nesters" (yeah right). They also have two grand-boys.

Shelley's writing is a "gift from God." She has written many poems, self-published a poetry book, and has written many magazine articles. She recently got into blogging and says that has taken off, "only by the grace of God." In May of 2012, she was healed of a lifetime of oppression and intimidation, mental and emotional. She surrendered herself and her hands to the Lord and He gave her a ministry to write her Journey to Forgiveness, helping hurting women find healing through her story. Through her website, women can mend their fences and experience "Healing Our Lives Through the Hand of God."

In addition to writing, being a wife, mom, and "Nonney," Shelley loves to read, play with her grandsons, play music and dance, ride motorcycles, quilt, and many other things. She has what she calls a "warped" sense of humor. Loves to laugh, and loves to make others laugh. Shelley came to know the Lord when she was seventeen, but over the years has fallen more in love with Him than ever before, especially since her healing. Although she's from Southern Illinois, Shelley loves the mountains and continually tries to talk her husband into taking her to her favorite spot in the Smoky Mountains... Maggie Valley, North Carolina. She and her husband ride their motorcycle there as much as they can. Together, they have a unique motorcycle ministry called Where 2? You can link to it through her website.

Shelley loves hearing from readers and friends. She will be posting on The Barn Door on the 8th of every month, writing about various things going on around her in her neck of the woods. You can also reach her through Facebook, email, and her website, at


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