Isabella Orr was the youngest daughter of Paul Orr and Isabelle Boyd of Aghadowey Parish, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. She and her husband left Ireland in 1863 to join her brothers in Missouri, but Ephraim died at sea and Isabella soon after (in the home of her brother George, in Lawrence County, MO). This book chronicles their children's lives in America. Because the Campbell family came to the U.S. 30 years after her brothers William and James, Isabella Orr Campbell's children attended many years of school in Ireland. The families that helped settle the U.S. frontier sent their children to school less often -- because there were no schools when they arrived in Lawrence County. Thus, while William and James (who settled in Indiana) had smart offspring, the first generations in America were more likely to be farmers. Isabella's descendants also had teachers and librarians, and even some of the girls went to college. Eventually education levels and careers became more similar. All of the families had millers -- a family tradition in Ireland that carried to America.
BIOGRAPHY Elaine L. Orr writes four mystery series, the eleven-book Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series, the three-book River's Edge series, the three-book Logland series, and the two-book Family History Mystery series.
The Jolie Gentil series is set at the Jersey shore. Behind the Walls was a finalist for the 2014 Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards.
The first book in Elaine's River's Edge cozy mystery series, From Newsprint to Footprints, debuted in late fall 2015, followed by Demise of a Devious Neighbor. The latter was a Chanticleer finalist in 2017. The fictional South County sits along the Des Moines River in Southeast Iowa.
In 2016, Elaine issued Tip a Hat to Murder, first in the Logland mystery series. Set in small-town Illinois, its protagonist is a police chief rather than an amateur sleuth. The third book, Final Cycle, was published in June 2019.
Finally, a series set in her native Maryland! The Family History series in the Western Maryland mountains examines crimes of the past with a sleuth in the present.
Nonfiction includes Writing When Time is Scares -- and Getting the Work Published, and many family history books. In 2019, she published Fitting in After Fifty -- to Your New Town. The guide to breaking into a community at a 'mature' age is practical and adds a touch of humor.
Elaine also writes plays and novellas, including Falling Into Place and In the Shadow of Light. Biding Time was one of five finalists in the National Press Club's first fiction contest, in 1993, and her play, Permission to Hope, was part of the Bethesda, MD Plays in Progress series in 1989. The one-act, Common Ground, is a story of three couples planning big moves -- with a twist.
Elaine conducts presentations on electronic publishing and other writing-related topics. Nonfiction includes Words to Write By: Getting Your Thoughts on Paper and Writing in Retirement: Putting New Year’s Resolutions to Work. She also conducts online courses on writing and publishing on the TabletWise and Teachable platforms.
Thought her degrees are in government, Elaine studied writing at the University of Maryland, Georgetown University School of Continuing Education, the Writer's Center of Bethesda, Maryland, and the University of Iowa's Summer Writing Festival. A member of Sisters in Crime and the Indiana Writers’ Center, Elaine grew up in Maryland and moved to the Midwest in 1994.
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