Sharon McAnear, author of the Jemma series and Stars in My Crown series, was raised in the small towns of the Texas Panhandle, where anybody and everybody helped a child know who she was and what was expected of her. Her Jemma series, which introduces some of the lively Chillaton residents, is “more than a love story,” Sharon says. “It rekindles a sweeter time when family and friends were everywhere, and you were frequently glad of it. When needed, the good citizens of Connelly County stood ready to help out with chores, form a prayer circle, or stretch the truth about your situation. Take your pick. It was a place where sweet companionship soothed lonely hearts and ‘porch company’ abounded.” Her Stars in My Crown series covers the eventful, exciting lives of Jemma’s three children: Annalisa, Drew, and Betsy. Pictured above with a quilt, handmade by her grandmother Grace almost a century ago, Sharon says, “Both of my grandmothers were accomplished quilters. My mother remembers, as a little girl, watching Grandmother stitch the tiny hexagons together for this quilt. It’s beautifully preserved and hangs nearby my writing desk.” To the right is Sharon with her beloved cat, Squirrel—her sharpest critic and most trusted confidante. The pull-out step stool at the left of the photo is from her grandmother Grace’s kitchen. In the late forties and early fifties, it was a shiny yellow and always her seat for mealtime at her grandparents’ house—an upgrade from the usual stack of Sears catalogs. “It won’t be long before my grandsons will use it in my kitchen,” Sharon says. Sharon now lives in Colorado with her very patient husband, and her periodically dramatic family is scattered around the country. As a writer, she has come to rely heavily upon the frozen talents of Marie Callender and the Grace of God. Well, perhaps only a couple of times a week for Marie.