My editors are a gift from God.

After spending many hours writing and rewriting my books I tend to lose focus. The story makes sense to me because I know my characters inside out.  I begin to worry whether a new reader will like my book.

My cousin, Mary Lynn gets the first draft. When I give it to her I worry until I get it back.  She checks grammar and punctuation. If something seems confusing she points out the problem. She hates compound sentences.  Mary Lynn is the first person to get to know my characters. In the new book, Four Season Friends there are so many characters I was worried it would be confusing.  But when the phone call came, when she finished reading it the first time through, she said she loved the characters in the book.  I felt so relieved.

Holiday Series

The books in the Holiday Series are a year in the life of Kyla, Olivia, Maddie and Sophie and all their friends. Difficult issues are faced this year in all four books. In book one, No Christmas for Olivia, it is time to learn the true meaning of Christmas. In book two, Easter Trip to Florida, the students go on a mission trip where they learn humility and the importance of sharing God's love. In book three, Independence Day, Internet bullying hurts two students. In book four, A Very Thankful Thanksgiving, new zero tolerance rules have an unexpected consequence.

The Holiday Series is a new series written by Mary Ellen Shea Clifford. After the success of the Saginaw Series, with over 1,000 books downloaded, Mary Ellen writes about a new set of friends in Saginaw, Michigan.  In the Holiday Series Olivia, Kyla, Sophie and Maddie are best friends.  Come along and enjoy the drama, mystery, love and budding romances in the newest series.

Holiday Series tackles some pretty difficult subjects.  My hopes are that Mothers and Daughters, Aunts and Nieces, Brothers and Sisters, and even Grandmothers and Granddaughters read these books together and then discuss them.  Internet bullying, abortion, zero tolerance and its consequences, disrespectful and rude behavior as well as forgiveness, cancer, waiting for answers from God in God's time not ours, finding out the world does not revolve around us are some of the issues in the Holiday Series.

Click on books to go to Amazon

The books in the Saginaw Series follow the friends from the summer before Freshman year to the summer before Senior year. In Webber House meet Katy and Jen, best friends. In Bertie's Bakery Heaven Scent, it becomes a trio adding Colleen. In Andersen Pool add James and Adam. In Daniels Den follow the band "The Lifeguards" as they work their way to possible stardom. You will get to know the friends throughout their high school years as they blend the best of Saginaw old with Saginaw today.



Click on the picture below to download a FREE app from Amazon to read Kindles.

Dear Readers

Please go back to Amazon to review the books. Click the sign "Your Attention Please" above. It would mean so much to me because this really helps sell the books. People are more likely to purchase a book if it has lots of reviews.  Additionally, some distribution services will not send out my books unless there are more reviews.  I would greatly appreciate your help.  Thank you so much.

Issues and Conflicts

Issues and Conflicts in the Books

Four Season Friends, The Saginaw Series and the Holiday Series are filled
with loving families faced with difficult situations. 
There is a strong faith-filled community of adults to help the teens find answers
through prayer, faith, love and friendship. 

Holiday Series: Book One - No Christmas for Olivia - Chapter One


"Are you finished packing your suitcase, Liv?" Mom yelled up the stairs. "Almost," answered her daughter as she stared unhappily at the empty suitcase open on her bed. She was thinking about how she didn't want to go to Aunt Fran's for Christmas. Olivia didn't like their family traditions thrown to the side, as if they didn't matter. Each Christmas had always been filled with rich family traditions. Until this year!

Holiday Series: Book Two - Easter Break in Florida


Kyla walked up the staircase to finish homework due on Monday. She needed to write a report about dissecting the frog in Biology class yesterday. She paused when she saw the sunshine streaming through the window on the landing between the first and second floors of her family home in Saginaw, Michigan. She couldn't resist. She climbed into the window seat making herself comfortable, plumping the pillows and pulling the handmade quilt over her legs. Her mom made a yellow curtain to pull across the front of the opening and when Kyla pulled it closed she was in a sunshine cocoon.

Holiday Series: Book Three - Independence Day

Chapter One

Kyla's phone chimed. Even though she didn't know the sender, she looked at the new message, "New exciting blog about students at Saint Mary Cathedral High School! Click the link below!" She clicked the link.

"Oh no, Kyla!" screamed Liv, as she ran up the stairs two at a time to their room. "KyKy, don't open the link!" Liv's warning was too late. Kyla opened the bedroom door. She had tears streaming down her cheeks. Liv ran to give her sister a hug. Sadly, Liv whispered, "Where's Mom?" With tears in her eyes, Liv answered, "Sewing."

Holiday Series: Book Four - A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

Chapter One

Mr. Dontay put his thumb and forefinger in his mouth and blew out a shrill ear bursting whistle. Then he yelled, "Okay everyone, settle down! Settle down." When it finally quieted down, he said, "Welcome back Children of God!  This is the first gathering of the school year of the most fabulous teens in Saginaw, Michigan!" The hooting, hollering and clapping teens turned the room back into chaos. Miss Montalvo smiled as she watched Mr. Dontay join in the pandemonium. She could tell he loved it as much as they did.

As she looked over the room full of high school students she couldn't help but focus on one very small girl. She was watching everything with wide-eyed wonder. She had dark circles under her eyes, and very little hair peeking out of a close fitting crocheted hat. It made her look fragile and actually quite ill.


Lately people have been sending emails and stopping me to say they love the Saginaw Series.
A young lady told me today she loved the grilled cheese story. A gentleman from Maryland emailed to say he loved the memories. A woman from church asked when the next series will be out. Even a woman from Australia who can't wait for the Holiday Series to come out because she has read the Saginaw Series over and over!
You all warm my heart.  Take time to give compliments - these people have made me more aware of how important it is to reaffirm the people who touch our souls.
Thank you for the lesson!

How ridiculous you look, my dear!

This picture was my Grandma Florence Shea's.  In the picture below she actually had pictures taken of herself wearing a hat like the one the 1911 woman is wearing.  Even the dress and the long chain with the watch are similar.  I never noticed this until I was writing this blog post.  I find it amusing that she copied the picture for her photograph.  In the Four Season Friends book Grandma Caroline sends these pictures to Clare for her report on fashions.

Clare researches and finds out that Haute Coutier - French for High Fashion - is often copied today and mass produced.  A few years ago, I took a picture of my granddaughter, Sheala, on her way to her junior prom in a dress that looks like it was copied from a Marchesa original.  When she sent me a text with a picture of the dress she was trying on I was amazed because I had just seen the original dress in the magazine I was reading.

Photographer for Holiday Series!

I met with Hope Sweigart this afternoon. My daughter Joanna suggested I may want to use her photos for the Holiday Series covers. She was right!

After seeing just a few of her pictures I could tell she has a discerning eye for art in nature. Hope is a delightful young woman and I look forward to working with her.

One more step forward to the Holiday Series being published on Amazon this summer! Keep saying prayers for inspiration!

Hillside Bible Church Author Visit

I was so pleased to be asked to speak to the middle school girls of Hillside Bible Church in Ortonville, Michigan.
Every week they were read a couple chapters of Webber House then they discussed those chapters.  They have started writing journals, too. They even drew pictures of Katy and Jen and the detective with the mustache.
Tonight they asked me questions and told me they loved Webber House. Thank you Mrs. Bills for choosing Webber House and sharing it with the girls. Thank you girls for the wonderful evening.

When using one of my books in your classes

This is a great class idea we could use when I come visit or Skype to a "Meet the Author" night - or the teacher could use it at the end of reading the book.  I found this on Pinterest, but the original site is not available.  I did find another site with the poster - I do not know anything about this company - I just know they have the poster available.

Inspiration from Donna

I always say that I just never know who or what is going to inspire me. I try to look at things in life with an open heart and soul. Always willing to be touched by something.

Last week I was on Pinterest looking at pins of people I follow. One of my favorites is Donna at Funky Junk Interiors. She finds ordinary junk at a flea market and turns the pieces into works of art.
I clicked on the picture and read about how picking up a blue drill changed her life. I wrote to Donna and asked her if I could put her and her blog about the drill in my book. They fit perfectly in one of the storylines. Thankfully, she agreed. She will be included in the fourth book of the Holiday Series, A Very Thankful Thanksgiving.

I love including real people in my books. For your own inspiration - Click on the "Funky Junk Intereriors" or "read about how picking up a blue drill changed her life" links above.