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Melinda McDonald

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: McDonald lives in Rochester. Her two books are centered around Springfield.

Biography: Originally from Iowa, Melinda was a reporter and photographer for three newspapers before starting a career in business communications.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; History

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Dot's War

Divorced and out of money, Dot gets a job at the newly opened Sangamon Ordnance Plant making bombs to support the nation’s war effort in World War II. She quickly becomes romantically involved with a handsome German immigrant who also has a job that plant. But soon her sordid past becomes an obstacle to the relationship and Dot’s licentious boss threatens to give her secret away if she does not yield to his advances. Set against the ethnically diverse town of Springfield Illinois in the 1940s, this novel explores the newly liberated women worked in the plant as well as the discrimination faced by the many immigrants who lived in Springfield.

Water and fire
ISBN: 9781434843272 OCLC: 226234054

[M. McDonald], [Rochester?, IL] : ©2008.

Springfield Illinois 1906. The hometown of The Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, seethes with racial hatred and Negroes are limited to homes in the impoverished Badlands or to businesses on the vice-ridden Levee. A young Negro woman, Sheba Tully, ventures into this simmering caldron of tensions in search of a better life. After landing a coveted position as a maid for Susan Lawrence Dana, one of the wealthiest and most notorious women in town, she meets Elliott Loper, an attractive white reporter for the Springfield Record. Elliott's goal: to become a respected journalist at any cost. As Sheba and Elliott pursue their dreams, the pair encounter obstacles and romance, with explosive consequences. Culminating with the city's 1908 race riot, Water and Fire vividly recreates life in Springfield at the turn of the century, populated with people of the time including poet Vachel Lindsay, Illinois Governor Charles Deneen, Eva Carroll Monroe, and Frank Lloyd Wright.