Rebecca Coram, Christian Author….Local Hidden Gem

Rebecca Coram, Christian Author….Local Hidden Gem

Grace Phillips

Ashland Beacon

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It has long been known that the tristate area is overflowing with talented musicians, singers and artists.  However, we have an entire treasure trove of those with another talent that many times goes unnoticed….those who are talented with words.  Rebecca Coram, a Christian author is a hidden gem right here in our own community.

She has always had a love for books and stories.  Rebecca told me, “I have memories of before I’d learned to read. I would look at the pictures in books and make up a story of what I thought the book was about.”

That desire to write down the stories she imagines has led her to become an accomplished writer of children’s books and adult Christian fiction mysteries.  Rebecca wrote her first children’s book, The Lost Soldier, at the age of 17.  The storyline focused on a little toy soldier in a large department store that felt as if he would never belong.  He went on an adventure to find that special love he craved and to find his creator.  Sadly, it would be seven years before she would see the book in print. Rebecca began her publishing career under the pen name R.C. Burch.   “I never knew how to get a book published.  The wonderful KYOWA writer’s group helped me navigate through the publishing process.”  Rebecca continued, “I got such an amazing response when that first book was released that I continued writing children’s fiction.” 

The first children’s book series was called Life Lessons for Children and included the titles, Sam’s Close Call and Rain’s Bad Day. Rebecca’s new series focuses on kindness in schools. She is very excited to share her latest release, The Prize Money Mystery. It was released on March 1st in conjunction with National Reading Month.   “My mission is to share Christian morals in stories that will help children learn how to treat others and themselves as they develop. The Prize Money Mystery does just that.” 

The story is written in rhyme form and teaches kids about showing compassion instead of passing judgment on others.  Rebecca went on to say, “This book came to me like an epiphany.  I simply picked up a pen and paper and wrote it down.  I have to believe God gave it to me.  This is a difficult topic to write about but one that needs to be written about more.”

Although there was success with the publishing of her children’s books, Rebecca’s heart still longed to enter the Christian fiction market for adults.  The recent pandemic presented the opportunity for that desire to come to fruition.  “When the pandemic hit, I began spending more time on my first novel, The Secret of the 14th Room.  Before I knew it, I had finished it.”  She credits her husband, Paul Coram, who she also calls her best friend and hero, for making this possible.  Paul also serves as Rebecca’s editorial designer.

An interesting fact is that Rebecca writes under two different names. When asked the reason for the different pen names, she explained that so many of today’s children’s books have inappropriate things in them.  “After I wrote my first mystery suspense, I didn’t want anyone getting that impression from me.  I knew I would need a new pen name for my adult Christian books. Since my children’s book pen name was R.C. Burch, I knew I wanted to stick with the nature theme but wanted something that said MYSTERY AUTHOR…thus, Rebecca Hemlock was born.”

According to Rebecca, her novels are written in similar fashion to the children’s books.  There is an entertaining story with food for thought and an underlying life lesson.  At this point, Rebecca has five children’s books, four novels and three novelettes that have been published.

There is no stopping point for this writer!  She and Paul have two children and in addition to her writing, she is finishing her bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing that focuses on historical literature and fiction. 

What does the future hold for Rebecca Coram?  She has four novels and one children’s book in the works.  With a twinkle in her eye, she said, “I’m going to let you in on a secret.  I’m actually working on a project with a group of other Christian authors from all over the country.  There are New York Times best-sellers and USA Today bestsellers in this project.  I will have more details in a few months.” 

The next novel from Rebecca Hemlock will be released in June of this year.  It is book two in the Oakwood Springs PD series.  According to Rebecca, if you have read Fury in the Shadows and want to read more from that series, then be on the watch for Fatal Perception.

Rebecca will be at the Gathering Place in Wheelersburg, Ohio on Saturday, April 1st from 10 am- 4 pm with all her books.  You can also purchase them from her website or from

Celebrate Women’s History with the Mother of Folk at the Highlands Museum

Celebrate Women’s History with the Mother of Folk at the Highlands Museum

Pamela Hall

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The Highlands Museum and Discovery Center has been presenting the 1st Annual Kentucky Chautauqua Series in conjunction with Kentucky Humanities each month since November. The series concludes this week on Thursday, March 16 at 6 p.m.  

Kentucky Chautauqua is an organization that provides speakers that portray various Kentuckians who have made an important impact or valuable contribution to the history and development of our state. The Kentuckian being portrayed may be someone that everyone is familiar with, such as Daniel Boone or Adolph Rupp, who was presented at Highlands Museum in November, or it might be someone who most people have never heard of, but who has done something unique that has contributed to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The performers travel to various schools and community organizations throughout the state giving historically accurate dramatic performances of the Kentuckians they represent.

Kentucky Chautauqua began in 1992. Since that time, they have “brought to life” more than 70 Kentuckians who have had a historical impact. The current catalog has 25 portrayals that include Pee Wee Reece, Dr. Ephraim McDowell, Grandpa Jones, Alice Lloyd, and Henry Clay, just to name a few.

In conjunction with Women’s History Month, Thursday night’s Chautauqua performer will portray Jean Ritchie (1922 – 2015). She will be portrayed by Rachel Lee Rogers in a presentation entitled “Damsel with a Dulcimer”.

 Jean Ritchie was born in Perry County, the youngest of 14 children. Music was a way of life for her family. They not only sang as they did chores or rocked babies to sleep, but would also gather each evening with neighbors, family, and friends on the front porch, or around the fireplace in colder weather, to sing folk and Appalachian songs. These folk songs originated in Britain and Ireland and were handed down orally through the generations. This way of life instilled in Jean Ritchie a love for folk music. She went on to study at the University of Kentucky, as well as in Britain and Ireland on a Fulbright Scholarship. She later gained notoriety on a national level, with the dulcimer as her trademark and became known as the “Mother of Folk.”

Rachel Lee Rogers, who portrays Ritchie, is an actress who trained at Northern Kentucky University, Rutgers, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She lives in Versailles, where she is a local educator as well as the current arts facilitator at the School for the Creative Performing Arts at Bluegrass.

“Our Chautauqua series has turned out to be everything we hoped for,” said Kim Jenkins, Executive Director of the Highlands Museum. “The performances have all been tremendous. We will definitely be doing our second annual Kentucky Chautauqua at The Highlands series starting this November. We are grateful to Kentucky Humanities for providing such a wonderful view into the history of the Commonwealth.”  

“Every performance in this series so far has been phenomenal,” agreed Karen Pierzala, Education and Social Media Coordinator of the museum. “So far we’ve had Adolph Rupp, Mary Carson Breckinridge, Colonel Sanders, and William Wells Brown visit the museum. And this month, we get to meet Jean Ritchie. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they were all extraordinary Kentuckians who lived fascinating, meaningful lives.”

The series concludes Thursday night at 6:00 at the museum. Admission is $25 per person or $15 for members.

For more information about the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center go to their website,

Hidden Corners of History: An Unexpected Heirloom: Part 1

Hidden Corners of History: An Unexpected Heirloom: Part 1

Jarrod E. Stephens

The Ashland Beacon

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   Life certainly is a strange journey. There are parts where you plan and get the opportunity to watch the plans unfold before your eyes and there are other moments where the events simply surprise you. Recently while speaking with an acquaintance the topic of old log homes came up. I must say, it’s a topic that I have a lot to say about since I did indeed restore one to become my home. Here’s a retelling of the journey.

   Late in the winter of 1997 discussion began to buzz throughout my family about the eventual fate of my Great Grandparents', Eugene and Lillian Meadows, home place. Their five children, all of whom were living at the time, had decided that it was time to sell the 56-acre farm that was mostly hillside. Still standing on the farm was the family home where my Great Grandparents raised their family. Each of their children was born in this house including my Grandma Mildred Claxon. The house was in terrible condition and to many, it seemed irreparable. The roof was part metal and part shingle. The weatherboard siding was faded and coming loose in some places. The chimneys that stood on each end were crumbling and the entire house had settled until it rested upon the ground. To me, it was a sad sight. I had grown up just ½ mile from this house and it had been a part of my life since the day that I was born.

   Not long after we were able to purchase the land, my dad and I went up to the old house to look around. As we pulled up to the house it seemed sullen and sad yet there was a welcoming feeling that surrounded it. We walked around the house looking at its many flaws. From one chimney to the other we discovered that there was a 12” sag in the house. That day dad and I decided that we were going to preserve the house in its present condition just so that it would stand as a monument to the family.

   Much had to be done to the house in order to just make it safe to go into. The first major part of our plan was to raise the entire house off the ground and take out the massive sag from the middle. Since all of the downstairs floors were resting upon the ground, we had to remove the old flooring. By removing the floor, we would gain access to the beams that the house rested upon. Then we’d be able to place pillars under the beams. After the entire downstairs floor was removed, we realized what a daunting task lay before us. Luckily, my dad had access to some 20-ton jacks that we planned to use to bring the house up. The house would be brought up a few inches at a time using the jacks.

   Although it was now January 1998 and hard winter was upon us, dad and I crawled around on the ground for many days jacking the house up inch-by-inch and placing pillars under the beams. Each time that the jack’s handle was pumped the old house creaked and moaned like it was coming to life. Satisfactory progress was being made each day until we moved to the front where many years of dirt had piled up in front of the beam that we needed to raise. I distinctly remember digging the dirt away from the beam and trying to get the big jack under it. The ground was frozen and hard. I struggled to get the jack into place. Just when I thought that I had enough clearance, I slipped the jack into the hole only to realize that a strip of lumber that was holding the weatherboard onto the house was blocking my way. Dad came over to help. We both grabbed onto the board and pulled with all our might. The weatherboards began to pull away and with a final snap, the entire front of the house fell off revealing something that was truly unexpected.

   It was a moment sort of like when young king Arthur pulled the sword from the stone. We stood in awe staring at a complete log structure. We were shocked. All of the time we thought we were dealing with a simple hollow-walled structure but instead a 19th century work of art had been our medium. I approached the well-preserved logs and rubbed their rough surface. Dad was just as awestruck as I was. One of the first things that I did after making the discovery was to ask my Grandma Claxon if she knew that her home place was a log cabin. She was seventy years old and had been born in the house but had no idea that it was a log structure.

   That day a work of passion began. Stay tuned for the rest of the story on March 28.

Ashland’s Run Ends in Elite 8

Ashland’s Run Ends in Elite 8

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

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   Ashland trailed McCracken County by 12 with just over seven minutes to play in the Kittens quarterfinals contest with the Mustangs at Rupp Arena in the 2023 Girl’s State Tournament.

   But the Kittens would not go down without a fight after a basket by Jenna Delaney, two free throws and a pair of treys by Ella Sellars, Ashland pulled to within two with 2:08 to go. After a McCracken basket, Gabby Karle got a stick back off a Kenleigh Woods missed free throw to get Ashland back to within two, 49-47, with 39 seconds to play. Ashland had a chance to tie the game or take the lead with seven seconds left but the Kittens could not complete the comeback as they fell 51-47.

   Sellars led the Kittens with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Woods added 17 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

   Ashland trailed by four in the opening frame, but a 5-0 run capped off by Sellars gave the Kittens a 9-8 lead after one. Sellars netted all nine in the first quarter.

   Ashland closes its season at 26-8 and returns all five starters next season.



   Ashland went wire-to-wire to open the Girls Sweet 16 with a 46-34 win over Knott County Central.

   Kenleigh Woods led the Kittens with 21 points. Ella Sellars added 12.

   Ashland held Knott County Central scoreless through the first quarter after outscoring the Patriots 11-0. Jaidyn Gulley pushed the lead to 20 with a layup before the half as the Kittens defense held the Patriots to six points in the opening half. Gulley led the way with 11 rebounds.

   Jenna Delaney gave the Kittens a 26-8 edge to start the second half, but the Patriots would close to within 11 to end the frame. Knott County Central cut the Ashland lead to 41-32 with 2:47 to play, but Woods promptly answered with a layup to push the Kittens lead back to double figures the rest of the way.

Five in a Row! Ashland Defeats Boyd County for Region Title

Five in a Row!

Ashland Defeats Boyd County for Region Title

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

boys sports

   Give me five!

   Make it five in a row for the Tomcats after they handed out a 73-51 spanking of Boyd County in the 16th Region Championship at Johnson Arena Tuesday night. It is the second such streak in the history of the story-rich program as the Tomcats led wire-to-wire in the title affair.

   Zander Carter paced the Tomcats with 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds to earn the tournament MVP honors. Nate Frieze dumped in 17 points off the bench while going 8 of 9 from the field with several of his easy looks coming off feeds from Rheyce Deboard who dished out nine dimes to go with his 16 points as both joined Carter on the All-Tournament team.

   Ashland raced out to a 10-2 lead behind a pair of Carter triples and a Tristin Davis layup. Ashland’s lead grew to double figures soon after on a Deboard triple and a Davis 3 to end the quarter and gave the Tomcats a commanding 24-6 edge.

   Tucker Conway splashed home a triple to give the Tomcats a 21-point lead to open the second quarter, but the Lions could only trim off four points before the break as Ashland held a 39-22 lead at the half.

   Boyd County mounted a surge to start the second half with a Rhett Holbrook bucket to put things in motion and an Alex Martin layup midway through the frame to pull the Lions to within nine. Ashland answered out of the timeout with a pair of layups and a Frieze trifecta to put the Tomcats back in front by 15.

   Deboard and Frieze worked the pick-and-roll to perfection in the final stanza as the give-and-go with 5:37 to play by Frieze pushed the lead over 20 the rest of the way while the Lions struggled to close the gap with a 1 of 25 night from beyond the arc.

   Davis rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Tomcats with 10 while earning All-Tournament honors. Asher Adkins grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Holbrook paced the Lions with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Martin added 10.

   Cole Hicks, Jacob Spurlock and Martin represented Boyd County on the All-Tournament Team.

   Ashland will meet Region 3 Champion Owensboro Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. in the Boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena.



   Ashland left no doubt who the top team in maroon was after an 89-65 hammering of Russell in the regional semifinals.

   Zander Carter led the way with 25 points. Braxton Jennings tossed in 19 off the bench while going 5 of 6 from downtown. Tristin Davis and Rheyce Deboard added 14 each with Davis tossing in four 3s as Ashland drained 15 as a team, which fell two shy of tying their record of 17 made 3s in a game.

   Russell finished with four players in double figures led by Damon Charles 14 points. Elijah Neel and Tatum Fleming each had 13. Caleb Rimmer kicked in 12.

   Charles and Rimmer were named to the All-Tournament Team for the Devils who closed their season at 26-7.



   Boyd County needed another overtime thriller to punch its ticket back to the regional championship after outlasting Lewis County, 61-58.

   Alex Martin led the Lions with 19 points off the bench while going 10 of 12 from the charity stripe to guide the Lions back to the championship contest. Cole Hicks added 13 points and Jacob Spurlock had 10 despite playing only 15 minutes of the contest while battling a foot injury.

   Neither team could find separation in the first half after the game went to the half knotted at 29-29. Boyd County took a four-point led to the final stanza of regulation but would score only five points in the final eight minutes as Lewis County tied the affair at 48-48 on a Trey Gerike and-1 with 44 seconds to play.

   Boyd County led 57-55 with 90 seconds to play in the extra period, but Lewis County would get no closer than a 57-57 tie with 1:06 to go. Lewis County had the basketball while down two in the final 30 seconds but their 28th turnover in the contest sealed the win for Boyd County.