Update on Book Three, The Promise

Newlyweds David and Gracie set out to drive across country in one of her uncle's RVs. They want to retrace her ancestor's travels with the Iowa 24th Regiment during the American Civil War. They're going to have adventures along the way, encounter some interesting people, and grow even closer. At their first overnight stop, they meet cousins in St. Louis who bring them some authentic BBQ and an antique hope chest. It has a hidden compartment where they found a lovely old quilt and a bundle of love letters sent during the Great War, what we call WWI. It belonged to a Grandma Mary, whose 1920s 'flapper wedding dress' Gracie wore to the courthouse. Having heard about Gracie and David's investigative skills, they want answers about the hope chest and its contents. Can they figure out why Grandma Mary hid things in the secret compartment? Why does the quilt look like it was never used?

The second story takes place during the Great War, starting right before America entered the war. It's 1917 and the war in Europe has been raging for three years. High school senior Mary Carlson is in love with classmate Charlie O'Connor and just wants to graduate and get married. Then President Wilson declares war and they get engaged right before Charlie leaves for the Army's training, along with his big brother Liam and Mary's older brother Bruce. Mary is the second narrator.  

The Promise has gone to my publisher, and we anticipate it coming out late summer. Book Three grew out of wanting to explore the early 1900s in Iowa and trace the impact of the Great War on the cities and farms of our state. I was also fascinated with the history of the 19th Amendment and the origins of the League of Women Voters. I learned about the horrors of trench warfare and the bravery of our troops, including the Buffalo Soldiers, American Black soldiers fighting in France who were celebrated for their tenacity. I was amazed by all I learned about the impact of the war on those at home, and the tremendous efforts required to not only feed and equip our soldiers, but help feed a starving Europe. While it was voluntary, there was a real need to get Americans to help feed themselves with backyard gardens, and even raise chickens, and we did it! 


John Busbee interviewed me for Grandmother's Treasures, Book Two, The Legacy. January 12, 2024

I worked on this website two years ago, and then I got excited about Substack as an author newsletter/blog. Then, as work wrapped on Book One, I began work on revising Book Two. Now, with Book Two published, I've wrapped revising Book Three and sent it out to a few readers for their remarks. 

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I was interviewed by John Busbee earlier this month. The interview aired today on his show, The Culture Buzz, from 11:27 to 11:45 CDT AM, June 23, 2023.

News and updates for 2024

As an author, I'm faced with a hard choice--should I be on my computer or the phone arranging for the next book talk, working on the next novel, or updating my website or Substack?

So, please pardon the fact that I didn't update this website for the past year. But I did hold fourteen events, including the Hearst Center for the Arts, Western Home's Craft Fair, several libraries, The Market, T. J.'s Christian Book Store, and The Cedar Falls Christian Writers Conference.

Events posted on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CherieDarganAuthor/

The Cedar Falls Christian Writers Workshop at the Riverview Campgrounds, Cedar Falls. If you're a writer, check it out next year! It was held June 6, 7, & 8, 2024 with keynote speaker Susie Finkbeiner.  www.cfcwc.org

Pictures from this year's conference, which was wonderful! I got to meet my illustrator, Patricia Tiffany Morris. I enjoyed chatting with her, catching up with others, and making a few new friends.

Images from the Cedar Falls Christian Writers Conference 2024

Above, Left--I met my illustrator, Patricia Tiffany Morris, for the first time face to face! We worked by Zoom for the past two years.

Middle--my table at the conference with first two novels on display. Right top -- me with David LaBelle, one of our speakers, and a skilled photographer, novelist, and speaker.

Below, Left -- my friend and former student, Sheri Smith Shonk, another novelist with Robyn Mulder, an old friend from the conference who moved to South Dakota several years ago. Robyn is a writer, editor, blogger, and speaker. It was wonderful to reconnect! 

Middle -- here I am with two former Hawkeye Community College students, David and Sheri.  I just finished Sheri's fourth book, Walk With Me: Houses of Hope Book, and recommend her series! 

Right -- Mary Portzen is the co-coordinator for the Cedar Falls Christian Writers Conference, and a good friend. She and Nick now live in Cedar Falls. 

Below -- I saw this t-shirt and had to have it! "Careful or You'll End up in my Novel"

Fall 2023. Melody Parker interviewed me over the phone about Book Two, The Legacy. She used a lot of photos from a year ago, when she brought a photographer to my house. However, I've lost more than 50 pounds since then, so there was a mix of old and new photographs in the story!



Cedar Falls author's new book 'The Legacy' inspired by 1860 'Rustic Rose' quilt. 

Melody Parker. Dec 11, 2023

Fall 2022. The Waterloo Courier's Melody Parker came to see me several weeks ago and we had a great chat about my quilts, the series Grandmother's Treasures, and my first book, The Gift.


Snippet of an interview with Melody Parker, from the Waterloo Courier's Dec. 11 edition.


Cherie Dargan captured my imagination with the first heartwarming book in her five-part “Grandmother’s Treasures” series, “The Gift.” It was inspired by her marvelous collection of antique quilts and other heirlooms and the strong women in her family, especially her mom and aunts, who have been Dargan’s lodestars.”

Melody Parker, “Five Memorable Stories” (Waterloo Courier)

BUZZ for the book!

June 12 -- John Busbee just interviewed me for his radio show, The Culture Buzz.   When he sends me the link and date, I'll post them here.  11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Central Time. Broadcast regionally on KFMG 98.9 FM; Simultaneously streaming through www.kfmg.org


The Western Home Journal's article about me and my book.


Video invite to come to the market for a book signing event, 2-4 today, Thursday, Nov. 17.

We had fun at the events last week. The first event, on Wednesday, November 9th, was a morning book talk at Prairie Wind hosted by local artist and author Felicia Babb. Prairie Wind is attached to the Jorgensen Plaza, and is part of the Western Home Communities, at 5313 Caraway Lane. I talked about my inspiration for Grandmother’s Treasures, Book One, and The Gift

The second event took place on Thursday evening, November 9th, at the Waterloo Public Library. We used it to raise money for House of Hope. Her publisher donates five percent of all sales to House of Hope, her designated charity. I donated $5 per book Thursday evening and sold a few more books over the weekend. I will continue to sell the book map towels for $25.00 and donate the entire amount to House of Hope. 

More details in my first newsletter

I switched to Substack for my author newsletter. https://cheriedargan.substack.com/ Sign up and it will come to your inbox.

Below: My 70th birthday, complete with cake.  My book signing at T.J.s, dressed up like a school teacher, 1864.

Want to buy the books on Amazon? Use your QR Code reader on your smartphone and the QR code above takes you right to it!

Grandmother treasures Newsletter Book Launch edition Nov 2022CD.docx

The Cover of The Gift

Grandmother's Treasures, Book One, The Gift, was published by WordCrafts Press in October!

The Gift is a dual timeline story about three sisters—a country school teacher Grace, and her younger twin sisters Violet and Vera—who take the train from their Iowa farm to California to build B-17 bombers and nurse injured soldiers during WWII. It's also about her granddaughter, Gracie O’Connor, who juggles teaching at the local community college with curating exhibits at the county museum and writing for her family’s weekly newspaper. Her boyfriend Steve thinks she should move to Des Moines and get “a real job,” but Gracie loves Jubilee Junction. Aunt Violet moves to town and gives Gracie a gift from her deceased grandma Grace. It’s a large wicker basket with a quilt, some aprons, a photo album, and a shoebox filled with two dozen cassette tapes and a tape recorder. As Gracie listens to the tapes with Aunt Violet, Grandma Grace narrates the story of traveling to California with her twin sisters, Violet and Vera, during WWII. Gracie comes to understand her family history and unlocks the mystery of the 'California quilt' that's been hidden away for 60 years. As Grandma Grace used to say, “Every quilt has a story.”

It’s the first in a series of novels in Grandmother’s Treasures. Set in the fictional town of Jubilee Junction, a pioneer town near the Jubilee River, Gracie's family can trace their roots back seven generations on their rich Iowa farmland. 

Wordcrafts Press calls it Historical Fiction. I'm calling it Women’s Fiction—set in the Midwest—with a twist of history, mystery, love, faith, and hope. 

Visit my friend Gail Kittleson's website to read my post about Waiting for the Book (baby), www.gailkittleson.com/waiting-for-the-book-baby/

My friend Beth came up with this clever acrostic to describe my series.




         L O V E



Press release on The Gift from Wordcrafts Press.

Book Two, The Legacy, was published October 3, 2023. 

Come to my events for a chance to win one of three remaining beautiful handcrafted 'hot mitts.'

Below, left, the thrill of finding three boxes of paperbacks at the door!

Below, center, the ebook cover

Below, right, we had fun at a quilt show this fall. Here's my Victorian skirt and blouse, plus the cute bag I found on Etsy.

Where can you find copies of The Gift and The Legacy?

The Market, Jorgensen Plaza, the Western Home Communities, (319) 277-2141 

5307 Caraway Ln, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 

T. J.'s Christian Bookstore, 1806 Waterloo Rd, Cedar Falls, IA 50613 

(319) 260-2160

Where can you buy it online?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gift-California-Quilt-Grandmothers-Treasures/dp/1957344334

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gift-cherie-dargan/1142522421?ean=9781957344331

BN Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gift-wordcrafts/1142519201;jsessionid=F76DA3C8C24D4B614DABCD9BB4D3E082.prodny_store02-atgap10?ean=2940166776594

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-gift-412

Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id644384777

Want to get updates on the series? Review the book or join my launch team?