The Importance of Patience

We’ve been having some really great temperatures here in Nova Scotia for the last few days. +30 makes it feel more like summer than spring.

Hubby is ploughing the garden and I noticed he had some seeds out earlier. Feels a bit early to be thinking about planting but there are some plants that do okay in cooler temperature. I’m sure we’ll be having many days of temperature dips before summer technically arrives. It wasn’t that many years ago that we were hit hard by frost here in Nova Scotia the first week in June.

That’s when trees and plants are beginning to grow. I live in Christmas tree country and, believe me, it was brutal. The new growth was damaged severely. People were worried. What would this mean to the future of the Christmas tree industry?

But low and behold, the damaged trees healed with time and today they virtually show no signs of the damage they incurred. In fact some might say they look even better than before!

Things heals over time. What is required from us, is patience. (I actually needed to hear that message myself today.)

There is a reason it is said that patience is a virtue. Having patience is not always easy. We sometimes want to know what’s going to happen even before it happens.

Today will be an inside for me to do a little writing and some house decluttering. While I don’t consider myself a packrat (maybe I should) things eventually pile up. But as one friend said, if you haven’t looked at something in years, do you really need it in your life? She has a point.

Enjoy your weekend and this fine weather while it lasts. And wherever you are, may you allow patience into your life today.

Is It Really Worth It? $$$$

I recently had a conversation with someone about all the work that is involved in my being an author. It was a short conversation. This person asked me if it was worth it, meaning was I actually getting rich from my efforts. My reply was that we all put effort into things that we enjoy doing and not because we plan to get rich. In fact, most people I know with a “regular” job aren’t rich. Her reply was, “That’s one way to look at it.”

I think she felt sorry for me, the poor lonely author, slaving away in some tiny room, cut off from the rest of the world.

What I find interesting about being an author is that people often inquire about your book sales, those same people who certainly wouldn’t ask how much money your office job pays per hour. And if you think about it, there’s really no difference. You’re still inquiring about the money someone makes. What many people don’t understand is that authors don’t know about every book sale as it happens. We receive royalty payments two times a year.

Not About the Money.

Life is not about the accumulation of money. Many of us think that when we’re young and our whole purpose revolves around accumulating stuff. As we get older, we begin to see that stuff is something that just weighs us down and there is a huge big difference between a need and a want.

All that aside, I didn’t begin writing with the notion that I would one day retire from my efforts. It began as a means of self-expression, something inside seemed to be calling me to write, to say something. Any money that happens along is an added bonus, seriously.

Needless to say, this person does not see the value in what I do–books, big deal. Pfffff. Not that I expect people to fall all over themselves when I walk into a room, because I don’t. I’m the same person I’d be if I didn’t write. But publishing books is nothing to sneeze at. It’s an accomplishment, something that at the end of the day you can hold in your hands and feel proud of. People who do it, deserve some credit.

This person looks at the effort I put into my writing versus the monetary gains in the end. I don’t drive a fancy car or own a huge big house by the sea, I don’t travel the world. And I’m busy a lot, not only writing, but revising and editing the same story many times over. Sometimes I’m unavailable. Writers need their alone time. There are some who just don’t get that. But writers do find time for the important things in life. For us, writing happens to be one of those things.

So, if I were to define “worth it” it would mean something different for all of us for we are all as individual as the very things we think about and value the most.

Is writing worth it to me–absolutely.

The sun is shining here in Nova Scotia this morning and we’ve been promised a lovely weekend. If you are spending time with your family this weekend, consider yourself blessed.

Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all the mothers out there!

Interview For A Sure Cure for Witchcraft

Diane Tibert recently interviewed me about my latest middle grade novel, A Sure Cure for Witchcraft.

If you are interested in checking it out, the link is here. That is all.

Enjoy your weekend even if it is rainy in your corner of the world.

A Title AND a Cover

I know, I know I promised a title but today I’ve added a bonus just for all of you! As you can see I’m posting the cover too because as it seems to me a title alone would not give any sense of what the book is about unless you’re psychic which is totally possible. Who am I to say you aren’t?

This cover will be tweaked before the book comes out, but this image will go into the Nimbus fall catalogue.

The book is set not long after the Spanish Flu pandemic and is about a young girl, Lark, who takes a job working for a family in a neighbouring community. Her father died during the pandemic and she’s determined to help her mother make ends meet. This book is about her adventures with this family and finding acceptance with all the members of the family.

I started the book back in the nineties (I know, forever ago!) and stubbornly refused to let it go. Not that I worked on it for thirty years straight, but from time to time, I’d go back to it, revising and reworking. So glad I stuck with it. This book was inspired by my neighbour who lived to be one hundred. She was a natural story-teller and loved by many. I wrote a blog post about her years ago that you can check out HERE if you missed it earlier or if you just want to refresh your memory. Of course the post really didn’t do her justice. She was someone you really had to spend time with in order to fully appreciate her fun-loving spirit. She loved nothing more than to spend time with others and share her stories. (She had so many.) These days, I look at her home and remember so many of the good times we spent together. I was so glad to have had her in my life and so glad to dedicate this book to her. I only wish she might have seen the book published. I think she’d be a wee bit pleased even though she probably wouldn’t admit it.

So there you go, a title and a cover. The suspense over and I’m sure you’ll sleep better tonight. 😉

Enjoy the rest of your week!

The Title Not Meant to Be

In my last post, I promised to share the title of my upcoming middle grade novel that ultimately ended up being axed.

First, I should say that way back, in the very beginning, this book began as a short story titled The Hired Girl. Also another fun fact about this book is that I wrote that original story some time in the 90’s. A very long time ago, I know.

But all stories come about in their own time. Some take longer than others. That is the case with this book. What I can say is that I’m so pleased that I didn’t give up on it. There are reasons why this book is close to my heart and I’ll share that in another post. Today’s post is about lost titles.

So the title I gave the book when I submitted the manuscript was Winter Beech. Some of you may be familiar with winter beech and more than likely have seen them. Perhaps you didn’t give them a second thought even.

Winter Beech are small beech trees that hold their leaves all winter. While they do turn brown in the fall, these papery-thin leaves stay attached until the following spring. As a matter of fact I saw some just recently, persistent little buggers that they are. Last winter I snapped some photos of some winter beech growing on our property back when I thought this might likely to be the title–so pretty with the snow. I happen to think they’re quite lovely as does the protagonist in my book. For her, they symbolize hope and remind her of her father who died during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Nature provides us with some neat spectacles if we keep our eyes open.

In case you feel sorry for the lost winter beech title, I can assure you, I like the sparkly new title even more. There’s a book cover. FYI–it will still go through some tweaking before the book comes out. Right now my publisher needed it for the upcoming fall catalogue. I’ll be posting the cover very soon.

Enjoy your weekend and I hope wherever you are the sun is shining down on you.

You Can’t Judge a Book Without a Title

As I’ve mentioned earlier on this blog, my next MG novel will be coming out this fall. But have I mentioned that for a long time my soon to be published middle grade novel did not have a title? I wanted to, just now, say that it was titleless but WordPress doesn’t acknowledge titleless as a word, contrary to Google which says it’s an adjective meaning “without a title.” Interesting.

Titles can be very important to a book. I can remember when my first book Bitter, Sweet was published; so many people commented on the well placed comma in the title. I had originally titled the book Bittersweet and when my publisher asked my thoughts on tweaking it a bit, I wasn’t quite sure. I needed time to think about it. I was told they wanted the title to stand out. There were other books out there with similar titles. I took a few days to mull it over, but ultimately agreed with them. Later, I was so glad I did. I now couldn’t imagine it being all one word and, as I said, many people seemed to be slightly curious about that comma.

But this last book of mine, coming out this November (yes, I did say November!) has been without a title for awhile now. I did title it when I submitted the manuscript, of course I did, but my publisher didn’t love the title. (Hey, these things happen!) So my editor and I brainstormed some ideas and sent our suggestions along. Our list was narrowed down to three, of which I was asked an opinion on. And suddenly my book had a title. Just that simple, dimple.

Did I say simple? Hmmmm, not quite.

The first list we submitted didn’t have anything that jumped out for my publisher. Could we come up with more suggestions?

No problem. We came up with another list. And then finally, within that list, three nuggets were found. I picked the biggest and shiniest nugget of the three. Hello book title!

I find it interesting that so often when people hear that you’ve an upcoming book, their first question is “What’s the title?” Never fail.

I find that interesting because, without knowing anything else about a book, the title doesn’t sem all that important to me. For instance is it an adult fiction? childrens book? non-fiction? What’s the story about? All things you might not be able to discern by a title alone. But that is just my thoughts on it.

So, happy that I am to have a sparkly new title. I won’t yet share it with you. Not to be intentionally cruel, but I’ll wait until I’m ready to show the cover. Believe me when I say, you’ll appreciate the title much more when you have a visual to go with it.

But stay tuned. I will share the original title in my next post, but only because there’s a story to go along with it. You may even learn a little something from the post. See you then!

Guest Author Barbara Carter

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Barbara Carter as a guest on my blog. Barbara Carter was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Grew up and resided next to the town of Mahone Bay, until moving to the Halifax area in 2002.  She is a visual artist and writer who likes to take walks, read, watch TV dramas, and practice Qi-gong.

Making Dreams Happen

I was born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Grew up near the town of Mahone Bay, famous for its three churches by the sea. As a young person my dream was to become a visual artist or a writer. I thought I had to choose, that I couldn’t do both. My beliefs were so limited. I chose images over words. But life had other things in store. The journey I wanted to take didn’t happen. My dreams faded.

With only a spark of a dream left, in 1988, I started showing and selling my artwork. Staying safe hidden behind images. Eventually, I needed to say more. Felt that if I didn’t, I would lose my mind. That led to writing memoir: Real life stories. First person accounts of my experiences. Intimate. Emotional truths. Structured to tell a good story. I was a child in the 60s. A teen in the 70s. There was no talk about trauma and its effects on children. Mental health was not considered. My father’s drinking was kept a secret. Nothing was ever talked about. We had to figure out our own ways to survive. To sink or swim.

My life was far from ordinary. Yet that search for love and understanding is universal. That’s where others can relate. My writing is about letting go of shame. Breaking the silence. I believe that denying darkness doesn’t bring anyone closer to the light. That silence keeps us isolated and alone.

When I was in elementary school, around the age of 10 or 11, I remember sitting on a grassy hillside in the schoolyard with the older girls telling us younger ones about the facts of life. They told us the things no one else would tell us. I like to compare that to the sharing of my stories, that it’s like whispering secrets in your ear. Telling you something no one else will tell you.

The reality is: home is not always sweet. Life not always kind. But the truth is you are stronger than you think. Change is possible. And dreams can come true.

My books can be read in chronological order, or on their own.

Floating in Saltwater, Balancing Act, and Loose Gravel are best read in order. Especially because of Dorothy. After my first book’s release, readers kept asking me: What happens to Dorothy? I guess it was obvious I survived because I wrote the book. But Dorothy’s future remained a mystery. She started living with my family when she was thirteen. They kept her captive. Even as an adult, she wasn’t permitted out on her own. Readers wanted to know: Would she ever leave? Would she marry? Would her dreams come true? By the end of the third book those questions are answered.

Ain’t Easy was released in 2020.

Joined, my next book will be released September 15, 2022.

Books can be found on my website: http://www.barbaracarterartist.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16278274.Barbara_Carter

Or by contacting me: barbaracarter849@gmail.com

Guest Author Sean Paul Bedell

It is my extreme pleasure to welcome author Sean Paul Bedell to my blog today. While he has worked as a paramedic and as a captain with the fire service, Sean Paul Bedell has been writing and publishing for more than 30 years. He lives in Dartmouth with his wife Lisa, and Somewhere There’s Music is his first novel.

The Forties and the 40s – a Call for Help by Sean Paul Bedell

Laura, thanks so much for letting me sit in as a guest on your blog. I am delighted and appreciate it. This is my first foray into blogging and using social media as a communication tool. Anyone who knows me will attest that I’m horrible at doing the requisite likes on Facebook and lagging in retweets on Twitter. Don’t get me started about my website….

Though I haven’t met Laura in person (thanks to COVID) I did feel an immediate kinship to her when I bought and read Good Mothers Don’t.

When the first pages spoke of the Forties Settlement, the book took me back to when I was a paramedic working the streets of Halifax. We used 10-codes on the radios then because scanners were everywhere and the encryption technology of today wasn’t in use. Medics used the term “forties” to mean the police. As in telling dispatch, or Control, “send me the 10-40s.” which was then shortened to the “40s.”

I know the “Forties Settlement” has no connection to ambulance crews calling for the “40s.” It’s a case of the same word used in different ways with different meanings.  Except that Good Mothers Don’t then talked about “…crazy, crazy, crazy Elizabeth.”

When I worked as a paramedic, we requested the 40s for calls where there was violence or we worried about getting beat up. But more commonly it was for calls involving patients with mental health issues. In paramedic and dispatch terms we called those types of calls “psychiatric complaints,” almost always shortened on the radio to “psych calls.”

My brain does a sickening little twist now when I think of the language we used then. It wasn’t even all that many years ago. Language and the words we use are a powerful manifestation of how we think. The Greek root logos means both “word” and “logic.”  The words we choose and use colour our perspective, attitudes, and outlook.

It was normal to need the police to help with such patients.  Little wonder we needed help. Though, as we see through the Black Lives Matter movement and incidents with Indigenous people, interactions with police can have tragic results, especially where mental health is the essence of the concern.

Depending on the shift I estimate that anywhere from 10-25% of the ambulance calls I did were for psychiatric complaints. And it’s a hard no; a full moon does not make busier shifts. That myth has been debunked by science years ago. Yet, it still flourishes in paramedic, police, and other first responder circles. It is a convenient reinforcement that someone suffering for poor mental health is the outsider, the one-to-be feared, like werewolves are to be feared. They are labelled through wrong word choice again, words like “lunatic,” from the Latin luna, of the moon. Language is powerful.No, it means the luck of the draw, what calls you get dispatched to, and what is happening on the streets during any given 12-hour period.

Unlike heart-related or breathing emergencies, or even splinting broken bones or dealing with trauma victims in car collisions or other incidents, in a year-long training program to be licensed as a paramedic our training on heart issues was about a month of that year. A month for breathing emergencies. Trauma and patching holes and splinting bones were about as long. All that is good, you want thoroughly trained paramedics responding to such events. In a year-long program, the total amount of learning we spent on psychiatric complaints was one hour. One hour followed up with a few mock scenarios to top up our learning. No wonder we called the 40s for help.

So in Good Mothers Don’t, Elizabeth – in the Forties Settlement – starts to crumble into a disintegrating reality. She is removed, whisked away. That was how we handled crises with injured mental health for so much of our history. Our response has always been a litany of the “ize’s” minimize, stigmatize, ostracize, institutionalize.

I’d like to think much has changed with society’s treatment of those who suffer health setbacks, including mental health concerns. And it has, but we have a long way to go.

Years ago, when I served on the board of Capital Health (a predecessor of today’s Nova Scotia Health Authority) I had the privilege of talking with Senator Michael Kirby as he was doing a cross-country road-show to establish what would become the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

I told Senator Kirby about the ratio of training for mental health issues (one hour) versus the frequency of psychiatric complaints (10-25 %.) Senator Kirby was surprised, but not shocked. That ratio parallels other allied health professions.  Maybe with comments from me and others who know improvement is possible and necessary, we will eventually have a better balance in the training of all health care providers for treating people experiencing mental health crises.

In the Halifax area, the Mobile Mental Health Crisis Team made up of social workers, psychiatric nurses, police officers and paramedics is a step in the right direction. Examining what types of calls police are dispatched to, and how they interact with the people when they arrive needs to be the next pieces to figure out. A recent report by El Jones, Defunding the Police: Defining a Way Forward in HRM, is full of ground-breaking, constructive ideas to start that journey to improvement.  

It was this link that I had observed that lead me, in part, to write my novel Somewhere There’s MusicThis story is about many things, and it’s hard to sum up the complexities of a novel in a few words. It’s a coming-of-age story, it’s about brothers, it’s about fathers, and loss, and about small towns, big cities, and books, and, of course, music. Always music!

A thick thread through the story deals with the impacts of untreated mental health deterioration in general, and the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that first responders deal with. In my novel, I dig down another level to focus on the families of first responders. I explore how the first responders’ loved ones experience this vicarious trauma and how it ripples or rips, through families.  

Everyone has mental health, everyone has physical health. How we respond when that state of health is injured is key to creating a better state of mental wellness for our communities and beyond.  We need to encourage another word, another “ize” word, and the idea behind the word: normalize. We need to normalize mental health and mental illness at every turn. That begins with inclusive and honest recognition, acceptance, and discussion.

Thanks again, Laura for having me as a guest! I appreciate it, take care. Sean

Thank you, Sean for your service as a paramedic and for providing some insight into that life for all of us.

The launch for Somewhere There is Music is at 7 p.m. on April 21st at Lisa Drader Murphy–Historic Properties.

Somewhere There is Music is available through Amazon.ca Amazon.com Indigo/Chapters , at Kings University Bookstore and at your local Independent bookstore. I hope you will check it out. I know I will be!

Guest Author Suzanne Atkinson

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Suzanne Atkinson as a guest on my blog.

L. P. Suzanne Atkinson was born in New Brunswick, Canada and lived in both Alberta and Quebec before settling in Nova Scotia in 1991. She has degrees from Mount Allison, Acadia, and McGill universities. Suzanne spent her professional career in the fields of mental health and home care. She also owned and operated, with her husband, both an antique business and a construction business for more than twenty-five years. Suzanne writes about the unavoidable consequences of relationships. She uses her life and work experiences to weave stories that cross many boundaries. She and her husband, David Weintraub, make Bedford, Nova Scotia their home.

April 4 2022

According to my mother, who told anyone who would listen, I began my writing life as a poet. This phase of my growing up is difficult to recall. As an homage to my departed parent, though, I included a poem in my latest book, spoken in the voice of a character familiar to readers.

As the stack of books in the picture suggests, I’ve written a few. There is a work of creative non-fiction titled Emily’s Will be Done – a cautionary tale about wills and estate planning; a stand alone novel called Ties That Bind – on a theme which relates to the lessons we are taught as children, serving us in good stead through the toughest of times; the four-part mystery/suspense series subtitled Regarding Hayworth and set in the fictional northern Alberta town of Hayworth; and finally, the Stella Kirk Mystery Series — specifically, a cozy mystery series. Fictional Truth: A Stella Kirk Mystery #4 became widely available across all platforms and by order via any bookstore as of March 15, 2022.

What exactly is a cozy mystery…as opposed to a suspense, thriller, police procedural, sci-fi, or fantasy mystery? I am asked this question often. Cozies are a genre all their own. They range from the library, cat, and cupcake variety to the historical, or more noir versions. They most often follow a list of basic rules: someone dies, and the murder is solved by the end of the book; the main characters are a police detective and an amateur sleuth; the reader does not have a personal relationship with the victim; there is no overt gore or sex, because the reader’s imagination is considered a powerful tool; there is a specific setting (so usually a few murders in a small area – readers expect this); and fans of the genre like to see a pet of one sort or another. My books are somewhat darker than average. The themes speak to the “why” of murder, more than to the “who.” I’m not concerned if you figure out who did it early in the novel. Can you isolate the reasons behind the crime and why the perpetrator was reduced to killing?

No Visible Means: A Stella Kirk Mystery # 1 introduces the reader to Stella, the reluctant owner of Shale Cliffs RV Park, along with a motley crew of residents and staff who populate her property every summer. The story explores the blurred lines between good and evil.

Witnesses saw Lorraine Young arrive home. Her 1977 black Malibu remains parked beside her twenty-seven-foot Holiday Rambler trailer. Her windows and doors are bolted from the inside, but she’s nowhere to be found.

Stella has the instinctive ability to frame questions in formats that elicit long-buried answers. She tackles the disappearance of one of her seasonal residents with a vengeance.

Aiden North, a police detective, and her first love from thirty years ago, investigates with Stella’s help. Nick Cochran, the park manager, and Stella’s partner in ever increasing ways, supports their efforts.

Didn’t Stand a Chance: A Stella Kirk Mystery #2 illustrates how perceived sacrifice and devotion can be twisted into horrible results for a family.

The assumed accidental death of a young bride leads Detective North and Stella into an investigation fraught with sibling secrets, revealing choices, and unforgivable misunderstandings. Which household member holds the ultimate power of influence? Will Lucy Painter’s murder be confirmed? Will the perpetrator be exposed? Will family ties be unbreakable to the end?

Sand In My Suitcase: A Stella Kirk Mystery #3 acknowledges how old habits often die hard. Can people really change in the face of external pressures?

Her dear friend is dead. She finds the body. Follow Stella and Detective North as they uncover Paulina McAdams’ secrets. Will a diary reveal her life story once the code is broken? In their search for answers, they untangle the clues of a clandestine affair, a long-held confidence, and a past indiscretion refusing to be left behind. Did a series of random encounters ultimately lead to blackmail and murder?

In Fictional Truth: A Stella Kirk Mystery #4, the mystery to be solved depends on whether a young author’s death was a simple case of misadventure, or if his murder was the culmination of sinister secrets paired with decidedly poor writing.

The First Annual Shale Harbour Writers Retreat ends almost before it begins when a budding author is found dead at the bottom of the stairs in the Community Hall and Playhouse. He was a collector of the indiscretions of others; an unpleasant young man disliked by most. The workshop instructors have questionable backgrounds, partake in covert affairs, and are cloaked in confidential circumstances. Stella Kirk and Aiden North sort through the noise, understand the victim’s methods, and finally determine what is fiction and what is truth.

Now you have a flavour for my books and the most recent series. I want to add that although most writers strive to sell books, they also yearn to be read and see good reviews about their work. I am including some links, but in addition, each novel is available via Hoopla, as a borrowable e-book from your local library — for free. Support for authors by borrowing as well as buying is appreciated. As always, signed copies can be obtained for purchase directly from me.

Thanks so much to Laura Best for affording me the opportunity to share my writing with you today.

L. P. Suzanne Atkinson

Author contact:

Email – lpsa.books@eastlink.ca

Website – http://lpsabooks.wix.com/lpsabooks#

Face Book – L. P. Suzanne Atkinson – Author

Face Book – lpsabooks Private Stash

Chapters/Indigo Kobo

Amazon

lpsa.books@eastlink.ca

Titles:             Emily’s Will Be Done (2012)

                        Ties That Bind (2014)

                        Station Secrets: Regarding Hayworth Book I (2015)

Hexagon Dilemma: Regarding Hayworth Book II (2016)

Segue House Connection: Regarding Hayworth Book III (2017)

Diner Revelations: Regarding Hayworth Book IV (2018)

No Visible Means: A Stella Kirk Mystery #1 (2019)

Didn’t Stand a Chance: A Stella Kirk Mystery #2 (2020)

Sand In My Suitcase: A Stella Kirk Mystery # 3 (2021)

Fictional Truth: A Stella Kirk Mystery # 4 (March 2022)

Mallory Gorman Won’t be Buried Today: A Stella Kirk Mystery # 5 (due 2023)

Guest Author–Denise Adams

Today it is my extreme pleasure to welcome Denise Adams to my blog. Denise’s latest book was published last fall and she’s graciously agreed to tell us about what inspired her to write Round Trip: A Seabird’s Pursuit of Darwin’s Route. But before we get underway here’s more about Denise.

Author-artist Denise Adams holds a Masters of Arts and Art Education from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, Canada. The retired high school art teacher, now part-time landscape consultant and full-time nature enthusiast, is once again inspired to put out a book about her seaside surroundings near Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. Adams is also the author of Atlantic Coastal Gardening, The Little Book of Sea and Soul, For the Love of Lobster, The Little Book of Wildflower Whispers, and Seeing Stars.

What inspires me most to get writing is the sea. All my books revolve around it. I am happiest by it, in it and on it. I can see water from just about every window of my house. The sea is so photogenic and I have the great privilege of easy access to unique breathtaking photo moments.  I don’t take that for granted. Nor do I take for granted that life, as we know it, could not exist without healthy oceans. I want to spread the love, I guess. My first serious writing project was about the challenges and joys of gardening by the sea. Thanks to Nimbus Publishing, “Atlantic Coastal Gardening” was born in 2014. From that point on, I continued writing about the sea and taking photos to accompany text.  

I was thrilled to learn that Pegasus Publishers wanted to publish my sixth book “ROUND TRIP” A Seabird’s Pursuit of Darwin’s Route. It was a perfect fit as Darwin’s theory of evolution (now a truism) was first presented in 1859 at the now called University of Cambridge, England  –Pegasus Publishers home base.                             

I learned about Charles Darwin’s rather late in life. I’ve been bothered by the fact that I had not heard of him throughout my entire schooling. Then I became a teacher. After twenty-two years in the public school system, I noticed that there was still little to no mention of evolution in the curriculum. So, in my retirement, I set out a way to make the basic principles of evolution easy for young people to grasp through story telling. If they couldn’t learn about it at school, they could pick it up in a book. This story I would say, is my most important and meaningful writing project. The cover design and the forty pen & ink drawings inside are mine. The entire concept of an early chapter book for youth was five yeas in the making (143 pages).

ROUND TRIP is still relatively unknown to Atlantic Canadians but I am working on getting a Canadian edition of it published. Stay tuned. In the meantime, it can be ordered through Amazon.  If you do get your hands on it, please leave a review.

OUTLINE

This story begins in coastal Nova Scotia Canada, where a cormorant from England is in distress. Micheline, a middle school aged girl, finds the seabird and takes it upon herself to rescue him.  They fast become friends. Miche manages to secretly get the seabird to her mother’s place near Peggy’s Cove while she is away.

Encouraging the cormorant to take flight, Miche watches as this unique seabird embarks upon his mission to meet his cormorant cousins and fellow-seabird relatives up and down the coast of the Americas. During the arduous journey, the cormorant is helped along by kind oceanic strangers, who he notices are not so different from himself as revealed by Darwin’s enduring theory of evolution.

Will the cormorant reach his ultimate destination of the Galapagos Islands to see for himself what Darwin saw? Will he ever see Micheline again? Embark this sweet and ambitious tale of one bird’s quest to find his true destiny. Round Trip: is available through Amazon.ca or Pegasus Publishers.

Thanks so much, Denise. Getting to know a bit more about the authors whose books we read is always interesting and it’s so very important to support our local authors.

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