The Books

Coleen's Books are available at bookstores, and from Amazon or Magoo Nature Photography

Coming June 2012
All the World in a Blade of Quack: Reclaiming a Garden, Growing a Gardener
Ever seen a wild turkey eye to eye? Or a hummingbird? Had wrens rock the boat above you? Watched a hawk sail above you and wonder what he thinks of you? Seen the woods write messages to you? Coleen has. She'll tell you all about these experiences and more in Quack. On sale soon at a bookstore near you.

Hooper the Whooper
In her second picture book, Coleen tells the story of Hooper, a baby whooping crane with a big problem: he can't whoop. His brother, Cooper can whoop, but not Hooper. Fly along with these beautiful brothers as they earn their wings. (Photographs by Jim Backus)

Alphabet Tracks
Ecology meets an alphabet of animals and the tracks they make, reminding readers that "you're making tracks, too!" Jim Backus's colorful photos of wildlife across North America make this a book for all ages.

Photos and Reflections II
Coleen's first published poem collection is accompanied by the snowy landscapes and scenic wildlife photography of Jim Backus. Includes "Back to Where I Came From," "Candidate Bob" and 12 others.

The Founders (Volume 1, The Gairden Legacy)
Thomas Gairden leaves his first love Sarah Roberts behind in Pennsylvania after she is betrothed to another. He makes a new start in Charles Town, South Carolina, where he meets and falls in love with the beautiful Crickie Rawlins, whose father has gambled with fate, losing his daughter to the one man she hates. The British crown is as intent on squelching a textile industry in the colonies as Thomas is on establishing one, but Thomas's commitment to justice and his love of this new land fire a passion that brings him to the forefront of a conflict often overlooked in our study of how the United States of America came to be.

The Guardians (Volume 2, The Gairden Legacy)
The dynasty saga continues in The Guardians, set during the American Revolution, where Thomas is raising his daughter, Lily, alone after the death of her mother. During her hours spent in his weaving shop, a childlike affection for his partner, Paul Durant, gradually grows into love. When Paul asks for her hand, Thomas refuses, and Lily discovers a shocking secret about her birth. As war comes to South Carolina, Lily sides with the Loyalists--and with the Rebels—before finding the peapce of mind and heart that had so long seemed destined to elude her. The Revolution has been called America's first civil war because of the natural division of the northern colonies from the southern colonies based on differing trade interests and economic status. The Guardians captures the ambiance of the growing plantation system, the fervor of patriotism, and the changes coming so rapidly to the fledgling textile industry Thomas Gairden still seeks to establish.

The Inheritors (Volume 3, The Gairden Legacy)
The Inheritors picks up the story of Thomas's grandson, Fox Gairden who is torn between love for his cousin Adelle Durant, and another man's widow, Anne Vardry. Caught up in the War of 1812, Fox cannot forget either woman, but when the war is over he heads west into Tennessee to carve out a new life as he fights the demons of his past.

Garage Sale Decorator: A Pennypincher's Shopping and Decorating Guide

From eBay to Craig's List to the neighbor's driveway, bargains abound. Some need a little TLC, some need only to be repurposed to make a great addition to your home for just pennies. Garage Sale Decorator tells what to look for and avoid in used furniture, how to shop for metal products, what the difference is between porcelain and pottery, and what to do with all of those textiles piled up on tables at thrift stores and flea markets. Written in a ground-up approach for everyone from novices to seasoned shoppers, Garage Sale Decorator gives readers ideas for enhancing their homes that will never go out of style.


And the Reviewers Say:

The Founders
"On the cutting edge of Eastern westerns." --Publisher's Weekly

The Guardians
"Excellent pacing and colorful language give substance to this enthralling drama."

The Inheritors
Its "charm rests in its brilliant and realistic portrayal of a divided nation struggling over economic and human issues fifty years before the Civil War."
--Harriet Klausner,


Awards and Honors

Winner, Paul Gruchow "To Love the World" Essay Contest, 2008 (Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Writers Rising Up, Sponsors)
County Lines anthology, League of Minnesota Poets, 2010
Poetic Strokes anthology, SELCO Libraries, 2011
Minnesota Literature Essay Contest finalist, 2005
SELCO Hot Reads Author, 2001
SELCO Coffeehouse Author, 2000
Romance Writers of America, Sweetheart Award Finalist 1994
Redbook Fiction Contest, Finalist, 1987