Gloria Houston

award winning author, lecturer and writing coach

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Sad News

So many readers were planning to help us celebrate Ruthie's 100th birthday on 9 March, but she will celebrate her birthday, not with us, but with her beloved, J. Myron, who was my dad. He died in 1993, and Ruthie died on 15 January 2014.

On Wednesday evening, as fluffy snowflakes fell outside the window of Ruthieʼs room a glowing sunset broke through the clouds lighting her face. In that glow, I held her hand as she stopped breathing and was gone. This was the visual image with which she left me. Her death was peaceful, and our conversation was vital until a few moments before.

She was disappointed that she would not celebrate that 100th birthday and that she
would not be voting for a woman for President, but she said that she was “so tired.” Her heart was exhausted from the effort of the past few weeks, but, on Tuesday she had visited with her beloved only son, Jerry, for much of the day as she worked on her latest napkin making project, at the request of a friend. Then she walked to her bathroom and to the table to join us for pizza--with garlic.

In November, her dear friend, filmmaker Edwin Dennis, made a video available on YouTube called "Ruthie's Plea." As he was testing sound and lighting, she told him about how she met my dad, not knowing that the cameras were on. It is on YouTube as "Ruthie and J. Myron."

The website for donations is: (https:/​/​​paygov/​forms/​formInstance.html?agencyFormId=23779454)

We also suggested that memorials may be made to the Active Scholarship Fund for future teachers at Appalachian State University, undergraduate Alma Mater of both my brother and me. Her greatest dream was to become a teacher, but the Great Depression got in the way of those plans.

Apologies for not making this announcement earlier. Gloria Houston

Celebrating Ruthie's 100th Birthday and the 25th year of THE YEAR OF THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE in hardcover, available with the celebration seal and signed by the real Ruthie.

A few copies signed by Ruthie are still available for $35. each, plus shipping.

Celebrating Two Important Events 90th birthday portrait by Sandra Hite

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile (HarperCollins) is selected by the Bank Street College of Education, NYC, for its prestigious Best Children's Books of 2012 List

The new edition of LITTLEJIM is now available on both Kindle and Nook for downloading.

Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile

Gloria Houston has been named the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Author by the Federated Women's Clubs of North Carolina. She received the award at the FEWC-NC state conference in Greensboro in April.

A new larger edition of LITTLEJIM with teaching materials will be available on this webpage in May. they are currently available with an email to: authorhouston24@​ will also have LITTLEJIM in softcover and in downloadable format. Ask at your favorite bookstore, too.

Inquiries about starting a Young Writers Conference at your school should be directed to: authorhouston24@​ Written instructions for starting at any level are available.

Other out of print books and some new ones will soon be available on this website. If you have a favorite you would like to purchase, send an email to authorhouston24@​

Selected Works

a heartwarming story about a favorite librarian
A loving tribute to a very special teacher
a young adult novel about a mountain girl's courage during the civil war
Young adult novel about a young girl and the underground railroad
A heart warming Appalachian Christmas story
a young adult novel about a young man growing up with a stern father in a small rural community
A Christmas story featuring the popular Littlejim character
a young adult novel featuring a teenage Littlejim and his family's dramatic changes
Dr. Houston's first book about a young girl living through her brother's death

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