Guest Author Anne C. Kelly

Today, it is my extreme pleasure to welcome Nova Scotia author Anne Kelly to my blog to tell us a bit about her first published novel, Jacques Escape. If you are not familiar with her work, here’s a bit about Anne.

Anne Kelly’s first published novel is Jacques’ Escape, released by Trap Door Books in 2019. But she has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She got her first taste of sharing her writing in grade four, when she wrote a class newspaper with a friend. Anne is an avid reader, and especially enjoys reading historical fiction, crime novels and stories from Atlantic Canada. As well as being a writer, Anne is an English teacher at heart. She taught English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) to adult newcomers to Canada for over twenty years, and loves learning about different cultures and traditions. She currently works as a language assessor with Learn English Nova Scotia.

Without further ado, here’s Anne.

My novel, Jacques’ Escape, is the story of a fourteen-year-old Acadian boy, Jacques Terriot, whose family is deported in 1755 from Grande Pre to Massachusetts. I first learned about the Grand Derangement (or the Expulsion of the Acadians) when I was in Grade Four. I began to wonder what happened to the families after they were put on the ships and sent away. Most of the Acadian stories and histories I read focused on the time period before and during the deportation. So I decided to dig a little deeper. With the help of the Centre D’Etudes Acadiennes at the University of Moncton and the Boston Public Library, I began to piece together what life was like for the Acadians who landed in Massachusetts. I spent a week on the ground doing research in Boston, including a visit to the Massachusetts Archives. It was both exciting and touching to hold in my hands actual letters and documents written by real-life Acadians in the months following their arrival. And to finally find the answer to the question asked by my nine-year-old self!

Thanks so much for sharing this with us Anne and so interesting to read about how this stayed with you from childhood. I am looking forward to reading it and have added it to my TBR pile. Jacques Escape can be purchased from

NevermorePress– (https://atlanticbooks.ca/books/jacques-escape/

Nimbus Publishing– https://nimbus.ca/store/jacques-escape.html)

Atlantic Books.ca—https://atlanticbooks.ca/books/jacques-escape/

A Rainy November Day

The soft sound of rain reaches me on this November morning as I sit working at the kitchen table on another novel while waiting for Mum to wake. It is within these quite early morning moments that I often block out the noise from the radio and turn my thoughts toward my computer screen. But today, the rain persists, competing with the music coming over the airwaves, both of which I am able to block out while writing. I know, I know, it seems weird to be able to create in a noisy room. I am not one of those writers who must have silence in order to write. I learned to block out sounds when my kids were small.

November is a rainy month and, for me, a good time to spend in quiet reflection. November skies have always me interested me, their yellows and grays merging with the textures and shapes of the clouds.

It seems that I spend much more time these days reflecting upon my life, and the direction it is presently taking, than I ever have in the past. Perhaps it is my changing role from working five days a week to now being a fulltime caregiver.

There have been some challenging times over the past three years, but so too, have I had many moments of gratitude for all the good things that found their way to me–spending time with my kids and grandkids, completing a YA novel and signing a contract for publication, the publication of my latest middle grade novel, a morning spent discussing my writing with a book club recently, the thoughtfulness of the friends who continue to keep in touch , moments sitting by the lake, quiet midnight conversations with my husband and so much more.

Life is not perfect. We all go through challenging times that may last a short time or a very long time. It is one of the many things we have in common with others. While we will all face hard times, those challenges will be different for all of us. I have learned a lot about myself these past few years and the people who support and love me, and even the ones who don’t. I have no doubt that some aspect of these experiences will be integrated into my writing in one form or another. It is what we writers do, how we make a story our own.

One of the themes my current WIP explores is friendship (an important topic in MG novels) and I’ve been reflecting upon some of the friendships I’ve had over the years. Some of which I continue to value to this day. I’ve had friends I could count on, friends who counted on me, friends who lifted me up when I needed, friends who listened, friends who never listened and the list goes on. I expect that, in the writing of this story, I will learn more about human behaviour, about forgiveness and caring and loyalty and what friendship is all about.

I will leave you with these thoughts and head back into my work in progress. Although I have not heard a weather forecast, I am hopeful that we will be back to having sunny skies tomorrow. There is always that hope.

Enjoy your weekend.

#IREADCANADIAN–2022

For anyone who hasn’t heard, I Read Canadian Day is happening on November 2rd this year.

What’s it about, you might be asking?

To take a direct quote from the I Read Canadian Day site: “I READ CANADIAN DAY is a national day of celebration of Canadian books for young people. This is a day dedicated to ‘reading Canadian’ and will empower families, schools, libraries and organizations to host local activities and events within the week.”

The day is all about raising awareness of all the great Canadian books out there in the world. Something that is worthy of celebration.

The challenge is for all of us to read Canadian for 15 minutes and to share our experience with someone, anyone–schools, libraries, family, friends, social media. It’s about encouraging young people to read a Canadian book of their choice and that is always a good thing!

In honour of I Read Canadian Day, I decided to give a shout to to some Canadian kids’ books that have recently caught my eye. When you get time, check them out!

And since Lark is so very new on the publishing scene, I didn’t want to leave her out so I’ve added her to the list for books to check out for I Read Canadian Day.

Whatever book you’re reading on I Read Canadian Day, I hope you stop to reflect upon all the wonderful Canadian books being published right here in Canada.

Feel free to add a book or books into the comment section. After all, the idea is to help introduce people to Canadian Book and hopefully something on the list will spark your interest and you’ll check it out.

Happy I Read Canadian Day.

It’s a Girl, Lark Harnish!

This is it, Lark Harnish has finally arrived at the Nimbus Publishing warehouse. It has been a mighty long gestation period, from conception to the final product,( Oh like, maybe thirty years. Yes, seriously!) but here she is. The very first photos courtsey of Nimbus Publishing.

Isn’t she lovely?

You’ll soon see Lark gracing the shelves of your favourite bookstore and hopefully into the hands of readers very soon–like maybe this week soon.

That’s the big news this week!

Off to Frankfurt

Yay, I’m in Frankfurt, Germany.

Well, not exactly me, but my novel, GOOD MOTHERS DON’T is. It’s pretty much the same thing, right?

Nimbus Publishing is at the Frankfurt Book Fair and look what I see on the shelf! I borrowed the photo from author Jane Doucet who got it from our wonderful editor Whitney Moran who is actually in Frankfurt. ( Thanks, Jane and Whitney!) Jane’s book FISHNETs AND FANTISIES also made the journey to Frankfurt along with a whole lot of other wonderful books by Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press.

Who knows maybe one day I’ll make the journey myself. 🙂

Fall into Perfection

In the quiet of a late September day, the lake welcomed us into her waters, lapping against the sides of our boat in anticipation of our visit.

Sun and wind against our faces, we trolled along the shoreline marvelling at the beauty of this perfect autumn day. Trees are succumbing to the season; their leaves changing into subtle reds, oranges and yellows and slowly blending into the landscape. And I thought, what a difference a week can make. Last week we were bracing for Fiona and then enduring the wind, rain and power outages. So sorry to hear that there are people in the province heading into a second week without power. My heart goes out to them.

Now heading into October, we had our first frost overnight as the temperature dipped to -3 c at our location. It is time, something that can’t be denied, although we try and pretend that this year might be different. September seemed to be an unusually warm month. Seasons change as they are meant to, just as life changes, sometimes so subtly we barely take notice, other times that change can come in the blink of an eye. I welcome autumn with an open heart. It’s my favourite season.

I have been spending much time reflecting lately and deciding what is truly important in life as well as trying to put some of these beliefs into practise. I’m anxious to explore some different themes in my writing and recently finished the first draft of a short story, the idea for which I’d been thinking about for quite some time.

My next middle grade novel is due to be released around the first part of November. Hopefully, it will be back from the printer on time! It is a simple story but one I’m so happy to be sharing. I’ve been going through my library of photos, looking for possible images to use for another book trailer as well as finding the words to condense a novel into a few short sentences–all challenging. But I do so enjoy that kind of challenge.

May we allow these pleasant autumn days to fill our hearts with joy. May we look out at the world each day and see the beauty that surrounds us moment by moment. And may the season fill our hearts with a sense of joy and peace, something our world is in desperate need of. Happy fall!

After Fiona

While Fiona has come and gone here in the Atlantic Provinces, she left much behind to remember her by. Here in my small corner we lost power for about a day and a half but we sustained very little damage from the wind. We are so very fortune to have escaped Fiona’s wrath, but my heart goes out to other places in the Atlantic Provinces where trees were uprooted, homes destroyed and washed out to sea, as well as loss of life. I can’t begin to imagine what these people are going through. There will be so much clean-up in the days and weeks ahead.

This link will take you to some photos of the damage. Here

Thoughts and prayers to all those dealing with the aftermath of Fiona.

Staying Safe During the Storm

As we prepare here in Nova Scotia for the arrival of Hurricane Fiona, many of us are reminiscing about the time Hurricane Juan hit the province back in September 2003. It is almost impossible to imagine that was nearly twenty years ago. Reports are coming out that Fiona could be worse than Juan. In my small corner of the province, we faired well during that storm but Halifax did not. At this point, we can only hope the damage from Fiona will be minimal. She has a nasty side to her.

I have storm chips, storm chocolate, a good storm book, and my laptop is charged so that I can work on the short story I began awhile back.

Now is the time to wait.

Will see you on the other side of the storm. Take care and stay safe.

Those Old Ads

The old magazine ads had plenty of panache, unlike what we see today. I once inherited some old magazines from decades back.

I love flipping through the pages from time to time and catching a glimpse of what life might have been like. I find the colours, the imagines inspiring. The world is changing rapidly. We now rely on tv ads and the ads that appear in our social media feeds, the ones the powers-that-be decide we should see!

The ads I’ve posted have a lot going on and I enjoy taking notice of the details. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

I am taking some time out from novel writing to work on a short story that suddenly edged its way to the surface, demanding that I do something about it and, quiet honestly, I’ve been enjoying the process.

As we head further into September, may you enjoy your weekend and the hint of fall that is in the air.

The End of an Era

“Time will pass and seasons will come and go.” Roy Bean.

All things come to an end, it’s part of the flow and ebb of life as we know it. There are times when we may choose to believe it to be different, that the people in our lives will always be there, but that’s impossible.

Yesterday marked the passing of our queen and it was a sad day for many of us. It has been wonderful to see the photos and clips of Her Majesty over the years, something that technology so easily allows.

I wanted to share some photos that I love of Queen Elizabeth that were published in some old magazines and perhaps ones that are not being shown on social media. I hope you enjoy them.

When looking into the eyes of this young princess, it is hard to imagine all that lies ahead for her.

What we can say is that she lived a good long life and was adored by many.

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