I’ve been asked many times, “Why do you write the books you do?”
My answer is simple: I write the books I want to read.
Not everyone will like my books. Those who like one book may not like another. I accept that, and I will continue to write books I enjoy reading.
Northern Survival is not like Natural Selection. Northern Survival is for adults and focusses on adult issues: marriage, divorce, betrayal, kids, lost love, survival. The characters are adults in their 50s who have lived different lives but have both experienced the cruelty of people, ones they initially trusted. There is cursing, cruel words exchanged and mild sex.
Natural Selection, on the other hand, can be read by anyone 14 and up. In fact, mature youth as young as 12 years old can read it. Two of the main characters are in their early 20s. They’re naïve, have never had a serious relationship and have no children. They have not been made cynical about love by past experiences. There is no cursing, cruel words or sex.
Olive Tweed planned her trip for two years. She’d vacation at Summer Beaver, gather the research material needed to write the next book and spend a few days hiking the vast wilderness. When she is called home unexpectedly and boards a chartered plane, she never dreamt it would crash, leaving her alone with a man who knew nothing about survival or the woods. If they don’t put aside their differences and work together, they’ll never escape alive.
Not only is this the start of a new year, it’s the start of a new decade. We’re entering the Roaring 20s. Or shall we call it something else? The Fantastical 20s. That sounds perfect to me.
Healing Stones, the 4th book in the Castle Keepers series is set to launch soon.
The story opens with Isla of Maura, McGuigan Mulryan and Lyneth camped on the outskirts of Moonsface. Isla is waiting for the other two to stop arguing when someone steals her horse. She gives chase and the action begins.
This story takes place three moons after where Revelation Stones ends. The trio spent six weeks in Maskil, healing, working and earning coins to finance their trip to Wandsworth where they’ll search for Liam Jenkins.
Moonsface is a large village on the Blue Myst River, south of Edgewood. It has taken the group more than a full moon cycle to reach it from Maskil. They still have at least two weeks of travelling before they reach Wandsworth, but the weather is mild and they are enjoying the journey.
I’ve read a lot about world building in fantasy lands. Of course, there’s systems to figure out: government, social classes, transportation, money…the list goes on. But for me, one of the most vital components in creating the Land of Ath-o’Lea was where its population got its food.
There’s the usual places: shops and markets in cities, towns and villages. Like in the old west, supply shops on the trail, where travellers stopped, picked up the necessities, usually food, and carried on, are also found in my stories. I call them keeps. Depending on location and how busy it is, there may be an inn, tavern or a place to camp on site.
Given the Land of Ath-o’Lea is in an archaic setting, it’s easy to surmise many inhabitants grow their food. Those in the city may be dependent on the supply chain, but all other areas possess some form of gardening. Not only does it fit into the world, I love gardening, so it gives me a chance to talk about it.
This isn’t the finished product, but it’s close to it. The front and back cover of Healing Stones, the 4th book in the Castle Keepers series has a slightly different design than books one to three. On the back cover, the poppy remembers our veterans, and the maple leaf symbolizes Canada.
I’ll have a table at Community Day taking place at the provincial exhibition grounds and raceway in Truro, Nova Scotia, today. I’ll have copies of all four fantasy – Shadows in the Stone, Scattered Stones, Revelation Stones, Beyond the Myst – for sale.
The event takes place at 60 Ryland Avenue from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
NOTE: My Twitter account has been flagged for possibly being hacked, so I have no access to it at the moment. I hope this issue will be cleared up quickly.
On Saturday June 15th between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, I will launch the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series, Revelation Stones, at Dartmouth Book Exchange in Cole Harbour, the community in which I spent the first 29 years of my life.
I will also have copies of Book 1: Shadows in the Stone and Book 2: Scattered Stones of the Castle Keepers series as well as Book 1 in the Mystical series, a series within a series, Beyond the Stone.
After five years in prison, Isla of Maura is rescued when mercenaries break in to the dungeon. Burdened with guilt, she flirts with death while she learns to trust her newfound companions. When she’s caught in a feud between two ancient dwarf families, she must sort truths from lies, friends from enemies. If she fails, she may kill the wrong person.
If you love stories of adventure mixed with magic and romance set in archaic landscapes, you’ll love McGyver’s Revelation Stones. Unlike many fantasy novels, family plays a central part in this story, so be prepared for the hero to have her heart strings plucked by the song of home.
Revelation Stones continues to share the tales of the characters introduced in Shadows in the Stone and takes readers on a journey across Ath-o’Lea as Isla, now a young woman, struggles to find herself and make peace with the past.
Continuing with my March challenge, today I’m to write about my best book haul.
The best book haul was at Word on the Street, Halifax, about five years ago. I bought more than 20 books, some for me, some for my kids. The most recent book haul was bought at Dartmouth Book Exchange, Cole Harbour. It’s a wonderful story. If you live near it, visit.
Continuing with my March challenge, today I’m to write about what I’m currently reading.
Since January 1st, my mind has been preoccupied 80% of the day with events that happened decades ago, leaving me little time to focus on work and the list of tasks to complete the novel I am writing, Mystical Series, book 2, and the one I’m editing, Scattered Stones. This leaves no time for reading for enjoyment.
However, I read blogs almost daily, and when I need a five minute break, I pull The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks from its spot next to my laptop and read a page or two.