Marlene Austin is fascinated by history and always has been. When, as a child, her sister gave a talk telling about their ancestors in Nauvoo, she became captivated by family history. After graduating from Brigham Young University and teaching several years, it seemed natural for her to retrace the journey of her pioneer progenitors to their colonial homes and roots.
Boston was a startling change to a young woman born in Idaho, raised in Montana and educated in Utah, and working as a secretary in the history department of Harvard was vastly different than what she had expected to do as a student in a one-room, one-teacher, eight-grade school in Montana. It took her much longer to fall in love with the land which her forefathers had settled than it did to fall in love with the man who talked with her at church on her first day in Cambridge. She married Tony Austin two years later. They made their home in Westford, Massachusetts not knowing that they were living less than ten miles from the town where her nineth greatgrandmother had raised her family until the family was forced to leave by an Indian masacre. Marlene was always intrigued by New England’s history, stone walls, quaint villages and cemeteries, and the whole atmosphere seemed to set a natural background for mysteries—family history mysteries.
It was not easy to do family history research or find time to write while motherng Mary Elizabeth and Jennifer, and a trip through a graveyard with all three deciphering names on stones, or an hour in a town hall (with Jen generally practicing cartwheels down the granite hallways) was always followed by a stop at a playground or a doughnut shop (or both) and Marlene generally carried a notebook, then laptop, with her to music lessons, gymnastic classes and the other activities in which they were involved. After fifteen years of on and off writing, her first novel, Grave Secrets was published. It was a Whitney Awards finalist and sets the pace for the rest of her family history mysteries.
Life's pace has changed and there has been more time for research and writing. Marlene is delighted to announce the release of Grave Consequences in October, 2014 and the upcoming release of Grave Conspiracy in April, 2015 along with a group of family history games and books age-appropriate for all family members in Climbin Ye Olde Family Tree Family History Kits, many of which are or will become available soon.
Click here to view the family photo album of the William Harvery Harris family.
Click here to view the Harris extended family photo album.