Marshall, Michigan --where its stately landmarks and tree-lined neighborhoods have endured the tests of time and met the challenges of historic preservation. And in the process, Marshall graciously passed along a legend so believable that this clever work quite naturally was conceived.
CUNNING PASSAGES is a children's adventure tale set in contemporary Marshall's annual historic home tour. As it re-creates the simple pleasures of living in small town U.S.A., the mystery remarkably rekindles the legend that young and old, then and now, have always longed to discover. Namely, where was Marshall's infamous tunnel the slaves used before passing into Canada on the Underground Railroad? Weaving historic preservation with the distant winds preceding the Civil War, the narrative casts its net in the midwestern town that once provided hospitality to a runaway slave - and whose return to Kentucky was the precursor to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act.
The book, written for middle-grade readers, was released with a teacher's guide in 1995 and sold in Marshall as a souvenir, limited edition during the 1995 home tour. It is currently out of print. Autographed copies are sometimes found on Amazon or with independent booksellers or rare collectors. The late Lori Hayes Konkle painted the cover and the interior illustrations with a mouthstick brush. Afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis since 1961, Konkle worked with color, light, and shadow rather than a finer detailed drawing. Although she had passed through Marshall but once, her innate sense of architectural proportion, coupled with impressionistic artistry, underscored an unusual interpretation of the story and the setting.
About Rebecca Templeman (Marshall, Michigan Author)
Born and raised in historic Marshall, Michigan, Rebecca 'Becky' Templeman was educated at Colorado State University, where she earned a B.A. Degree in English with a minor study in Journalism. A professional background includes a career in bank marketing, (then The First National Bank of Colorado Springs), and licensure to sell real estate in 1988.
Becky's family relocated to Albemarle County, Virginia in 1993 where they raised grass-fed Beefmaster cattle on a sustainable 1,000-acre farm. From 1995 - 2000 Becky was the marketing director of the public service announcements and development projects at the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville. She holds real estate licenses in Colorado, Virginia, and Wyoming, first licensed in 1988. Her avocation is writing fiction, with a strong female-upward thrust and set in places that are familiar and friendly. Fascinated with setting and old houses surrounded by local color, Becky completed her debut novel in 2015 and published its sequel in 2017. Volume 3, SUMMER STORIES was released in July of 2017. Volume 4, SEASON OF LIFE, An Ode to Joe was published in May 2018. Volume 5 IF STATUES COULD SPEAK is due out in May 2019.