Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.
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Location: Oregon

The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at

Friday, January 09, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

Normal isn't a word in Karly's vocabulary so I guess it didn't surprise anyone when minutes before she was supposed to go onstage last night for her Christmas program, she shoved out the two bottom teeth that have been dangling from her mouth for many, many weeks. A little blood won't stop my girl, though, so paper towel in hand (and 20 minutes after the show was supposed to start), she sang proudly and gave lots of wide smiles to show the laughing audience her latest achievement.

Kiki, on the other hand, mastered her bows and curtsies during the show and even danced a bit. When the teacher called three of the school girls forward to recite a verse, Kiki proclaimed, "I want to go too!" So she joined the group and surprised the teacher by knowing it. This was her first time doing a show like this so I thought she might be nervous to be in front of a crowd. Apparently not...

Never a dull moment around here. :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Exploring UR Stations in Indiana

This week I've been researching for my historical novel set in Liberty, Indiana (comes out in June). The story is about a Quaker woman who ran a station on the Underground Railroad so the past few days I've been living at the beautiful Carriage Lamp B & B in Liberty and immersing myself in what life would have been like here in 1850. I've had a blast!

I've explored old cemeteries and waterways, crawled into secret rooms and hiding places, learned how to cook on an open hearth, hiked along a canal path, read mounds of old articles, and met some amazing people who have opened up their homes and family history for me. A special thanks to Karen Coffey who opened up doors and gave me a personal tour of the area as well as an incredible amount of information. She is amazing!

My sister said that what I'm doing sounds too much like writing a research paper, but I reminded her that I used to like writing research papers. :) This is so much fun for me!

For those of you who like history, here are some of the almost 300 pix I've taken. Now I have to get busy writing...

Liberty's Quaint Downtown

The Wonderful Logue Family
Their Home Was a Major Station on the UR
Hiding Places in Floor, Closet, Staircase, & Dumbwaiter

Entrance to Logue's Attic Was Through a Closet and Rope Ladder
If They Saw Slave Hunters Approaching, The Runaways Could Climb Through a Trapdoor in Roof, Down an Exterior Ladder, and Race into The Woods Out Back

Levi Coffin's Home, "The President of the Underground Railroad"

Secret Door in Levi Coffin's Home
Runaway Slaves Would Hide in Garret, Bed Would Hide Door

Hiding Place

Indoor Well and Springhouse

Slaves Were Hidden and Transported under the False Bottom of This Wagon

Quaker Carriage from 1830s

The Huddleston House Was Filled with 19th Century Relics

My Character Will Live on a Creek Just Like This

Crescent Hill (my next novel) Is Based on This House in Ohio
Legend Has It That There's an Escape Tunnel Under This House
That Leads to The Family Crypt

Karen Coffey, Researcher Extraordinaire

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Christmas Pix

We celebrated a warm, sunny Christmas in Tennessee with Jon's family, and then I headed up to Ohio to spend some quiet time with my family (I actually got to sit and talk to people!).

Jon and the girls are roughing it in Florida right now. Today they went to Disney World though it's almost seven o'clock and I haven't heard from them all day. I think they are having WAY too much fun! Here are a few pix from last week including Kiki's dramatic dive with Dory.

Before Shot: Kiki petting stingrays and small sharks at touch pool.
Across the pond, she sees Dory (blue tang) from Finding Nemo

Kiki dives for Dory and ends up swimming with the rays and sharks

After: Mimi and Papa get Kiki new outfit at Wal-Mart
And we're off to see more fish...

Karly hangin' with her cuz

Christmas Day at the Dobsons, exploring on the Rhino

Daddy's Christmas girlz

One more Daddy's girl. :)