Congratulations to Hope Irvin Marston,
winner of the 2021 Charlotte Award (High
presented by the New York State Reading
for her book
The Walls Have Ears: A Black Spy In The
Confederate White House,
published by White Bird Publications.
the main character in E. B. White's
the purpose of the Charlotte Award is to
to read outstanding literature and
ultimately become lifelong readers.
NYSRA (the New York State Reading
presented the first Charlotte Awards in
Welcome! I am glad you
stopped by. I'm Hope Irvin Marston, retired junior high teacher and
library media specialist. I live in Black River, New York,
near Fort Drum and the Thousand Islands.
Since 1975 I have written a
child's devotional book, a handful of photographic essays on large
machinery, a local history for adults, two junior biographies, eight
wild life picture books, an adult inspirational romance, an
historical Scots book for young adults, and a local historical middle grade book that
has been rewritten as a stage play.
I hope you will enjoy browsing my
pages to get acquainted with me and my books. Simply click on
any of the links to the left to begin your adventure.
I'd love to hear from you.
Drop me a line using the form on the
Rising from the Rubble:
The Restoration of Boldt Castle 1977-2002
BILLIONAIRE MOGUL OF THE WALDORF-ASTORIA AND
BELLEVUE-STRATFORD HOTELS LEFT HIS LEGACY IN
THE THOUSAND ISLANDS OF UPSTATE NEW YORK.
1900, George C. Boldt, millionaire magnate
of the Waldorf-Astoria and the
Bellevue-Stratford hotels began building a
multimillion dollar castle on Heart Island
in the St. Lawrence River. Constructed
as a love gift for his beautiful wife
Louise, it would take five years to complete
the project. However, devastated by
her passing in 1904, Boldt ordered the
work to stop immediately.
Thereafter, Mother Nature and vandals
ravaged the venerable old landmark for more
than 70 years. During that time,
summer boat tours brought as many as 200,000
visitors from around the world to Heart
Island to view the legendary landmark.
In 1977, castle restoration began with the
hiring of Dale Fikes. Dale’s challenge
was to remove the rubble, rebuild the
deteriorated walls, and continue the work
left undone when the 300+ workers were
FROM THE RUBBLE: THE RESTORATION OF BOLD
CASTLE reveals the untold story of the first
25 years of rescuing it from its ruins and
bringing it into the 21st Century.
Details of the work are enhanced with
accounts of unexpected happenings and
personal incidents known only to those
Looking back, Dale considers his tenure at
the castle as hectic days and sleepless
The Walls Have Ears:
A Black Spy In The Confederate White House
When Mary Jane Bowser is hired out
as a kitchen servant in the
Confederate White House, she has a
golden opportunity to gather
Southern war plans. Passing those
plans on to a spy for the North
could help bring about the defeat of
the Confederate troops. But she will
be risking her life each time she
slips out after curfew. She must
always be on guard and stay hidden
in the shadows as much as possible.
That is difficult. Richmond streets
overflow with soldiers. Make-shift
hospital tents are everywhere
because the hospitals don 't have
room for all the wounded. And bounty
hunters are there with their vicious
dogs pursuing runaways out without
Mary Jane is no coward. But if in
just one unguarded move, someone
discovers the secret she's been
keeping since her childhood, she
will be hanged.
THE WALLS HAVE EARS is a great way
to help commemorate Juneteenth (also
known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day,
Liberation Day, and Emancipation
Day), the holiday celebrating the
emancipation of those who had been
enslaved in the United States.
This year, Juneteenth is celebrated
on June 19, 2021.
commemorates Union army general
Gordon Granger announcing federal
orders in Galveston, Texas, on June
19, 1865, proclaiming that all
slaves in Texas were free.
Against the Tide:
The Valor of Margaret Wilson
book AGAINST THE TIDE: THE VALOR OF MARGARET
WILSON has been translated and re-published
in the Dutch language. The title in
Dutch is TEGEN DE STROOM IN: De moed van
AGAINST THE TIDE is my story of Margaret, a
young Scots Covenanter and a stalwart in the
faith, who was apprehended by the king’s
forces. When she refused to recant,
she was tied to a stake at low tide and
DUTCH company that purchased publishing
rights for my book changed the cover to
depict an older Margaret above the rising
waters. That will catch the attention
of older readers than the original version.
The cover of the translation is stunning,
and I am delighted.
book was first published in English in 2007.
According to the inside blurb of the
translation, it was published in Dutch in
(English Language Version)
On June 8, 2018 my best friend Gerald
Borland and I had the
thrill and the honor of rappelling together
OVER THE EDGE of
the 155’ Mid-Town Towers apartment building
in Watertown, NY.
Our families and friends sponsored us by
donating over $3,000
to the United Way of Northern New York in
this third annual
OVER THE EDGE event. We had the honor
of being first of
more than 80 participants during the two-day
The IDITAROD !
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an
annual 1000-mile race run in early March
from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Mushers and
their dogs tear through jagged mountain
ranges, frozen river, dense forest, desolate
tundra and miles of windswept coast.
At least 6 dogs must be on the towline at
the finish line.
Renaud, illustrator of my book Eye on the
Iditarod: Aisling’s Quest, has compiled
gallery of his artwork. Be sure to
visit Bob's Art Studio Page at the following
Bob Renaud's Art Studio
find out what it takes to become an Iditarod
musher, read Eye on the Iditarod:
Aisling’s Quest, the autobiography of
ten-year-old Aisling Shepherd.