Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another Halloween in Canada

Halloween will soon be upon us. I hope there won't be many creepy clowns lurking about and spooking the sensitive souls.  

As a kid from Canada, I can relate to the costume/snowsuit imagery shared by good ole CBC.

As a chocolate-loving adult, I am enjoying that variety box of small chocolate bars we bought last week. We don't entertain trick or treaters in our building but I make a point of sharing the treats with family, friends and book shop patrons. 

Anyway, here's an attempt to lure you to an excerpt about Halloween night in The Year of the Rabbit.
Join others who enjoyed this hidden gem of Canadian fiction.  Read the first few chapters of the eBook online or download for free from Smashwords.  If you like what you have read, you can then purchase the entire book for 99 cents or more (you set the price).


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Small thanks

It is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. 

The Red Hare restaurant would have been a nice place to host a family gathering rather than toiling away in a cramped apartment kitchen.  

I invite you to read an excerpt from The Year of the Rabbit where Sera and her extended family share in a Thanksgiving meal. 

Sera soon learns news that will add to her sadness and feelings of abandonment.  

It's a good thing she had Edgar and Jenny Young to give her some comfort

Drop by the novel's domain for links to other blog entries, reader comments and deep dark secrets.  You will have to dig a little for those...  

Giving thanks every day - 
beginning, middle and end.  
Waking from a dreamy state 
The cycle starts all over again.

Note: Most of the content of this blog post is a reheat, a rehash from the one in 2012

Thursday, July 14, 2016

New ebook cover image fits the Smashwords request

Finally, I updated the ebook cover image.

It was after a few reminders from my publisher that the cover image was too small for e-reader criteria set by various publishers. 

The new cover is a lovely sample created in 2015 by the resident artiste. I was holding off until we got a chance to publish a new print edition. After much nudging, I finally got around to uploading the new cover to Smashwords.

I wonder if it will attract eyes and increase sales? That would prove that you can judge a book by its cover.

Thanks for dropping by. Visit Flo's blog too, okay? 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Here's to the good Fathers

This post is in recognition of Father's Day.

One can imagine how it must feel for some families to celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in a home divided or where one parent has passed away. 

One can admire families with dedicated, responsible fathers. One can also envy women who have had the good fortune to find a man, a mate who is faithful, patient and supportive, and who sticks around to help raise their children. 

In the novel The Year of the Rabbit, we are introduced to Matthew Fletcher, father of Sera and her older siblings.  Only a handful of people had been aware of Sera’s true paternity.

After Marie passes away, her hidden letter of confession reaches Matthew via an unlikely messenger. 

I wrote Matthew Fletcher's character as an ideal husband and a good father.  He was gentle and loving with his children.  He was forgiving of his wife’s wild behaviour.  He performed honest work as a carpenter and cabinet maker.  Read more here

I invite you to read more excerpts from The Year of The Rabbit, a Novel About Fate, Family and Forgiveness.  

Join others who enjoyed this hidden gem of Canadian fiction.  Download the first few chapters of the eBook for free from Smashwords.  If you like what you have read, you can then purchase the entire book for 99 cents or more (you set the price). 

Thanks for dropping by.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

What is family?

Well, we're coming to the Family Day holiday in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Many workers are relieved to have a long weekend in February. Many businesses will be closed. 

As I witnessed at the book shop yesterday, many parents of young children are grasping at options for indoor activities to take their bundled-up rambunctious kids to since it's too cold to play outside this weekend. One tired mother informed me that they also had Friday off as a PD Day!

It's too bad that libraries will be closed on Family Day Monday. I guess Librarians also need time off to spend with their families.

This year, I hope to spend the day with two of my young adult children. I was hoping to see another but time and travel options were not in favour.

In the novel, The Year of the Rabbit, Sera Fletcher faces loss of a close friend then people in her "family". When she discovers a secret project in her father's workshop she realizes the approaching death of her mother.

After a shameful teen pregnancy situation has divided her extended family, Sera courageously visits the Red Hare Restaurant to speak with Carl Young. She later shares in the joy when the birth of her illegitimate nephew reunites the families and friends one cold February night.

She is the unwitting messenger who reveals information that breaks her father's heart. After Matthew's descent into depression, she is pushed away, relocated to the Young family's apartment. Thanks to the kindness and love of Jenny and Carl, she is treated like family in their home.

This resilient young girl creates her own coping methods for dealing with the loss of her best friend, her mother, and others close to her. She later confronts a monster and is eventually united with her biological family.

Throughout the novel, the reader will encounter different situations where the concept of "family" will change and evolve. Whatever form of family you will celebrate this weekend, may it be one filled with love, respect and hope.

Sample some excerpts. See what others have shared after reading The Year of the Rabbit. Download the first 20% of the novel for free at Smashwords.

If you have already read the book, why not offer a brief review? Indie authors appreciate if readers post even a short review of how a book made them feel. Please do it!

Thanks for dropping by Stay warm :-)


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thawing a cold heart

Well, it looks like we are finally getting some winter weather in the Ottawa Valley. The Rideau Canal Skateway isn't open yet but preparations are under way.

Permit me to lead you back to a solemn winter during a time of innocence.  Imagine yourself in a small town on the shores of Georgian Bay in the 1970s. Meet a lonely yet brave 11 year-old girl - a girl on a mission to convince Mr. Young to let his pregnant daughter come back home. 

- - Begin excerpt - - 

After she finished her soup and blew her nose again, Sera sat quietly and gazed at the rabbit painting above her booth.  She took in the red, gold and green designs, the curves and simple patterns.  She felt sadness.  She felt a distant joy and contentment.  She smiled.  It was her first in a long time.  I miss this, she thought.  

The kitchen door swung open slowly.  Carl Young emerged, wearing his kitchen whites, as usual and holding a towel.   He approached Sera's booth with slow, even steps, wiping his hands.  

Sera perked up nervously and smiled, "Hello, Mr. Young."

"Hello, stranger, " he responded.

"Would you like to join me?"

"Sure.  Sure." he smiled briefly and sat across from her, "I guess I could take a break."  He sighed and groaned as he sat down on the bench.  Within seconds, Jenny swiftly brought over a coffee cup and saucer, filled the cup and dropped off the cream and sugar.  Carl gave a curious look, almost surprised that his wife was so quick in serving him.  

Sera bit her lip, looking down then slowly lifted her gaze to meet his tired eyes.  He appeared old and sad.  She rarely saw him sitting still for long periods.  

"Happy New Year, Mr. Young."

"Happy New Year, Sera."

"Soon it will be the Year of the Rabbit, yes?"

"Yes, that's right," he responded, looking up at the painting. 

Sera leaned forward, "It's my favourite year, you know, since I was born in it and.. that was the year you opened the restaurant."

Carl smiled slightly and nodded.  "That's right.  I forgot."

"I was wondering if you were going to have a celebration of any sort.  You know, like an anniversary party?"

"Oh.  I hadn't thought of that.  I've been.... busy."

"You could invite a lot of people."

"Really?" he shifted in his seat.

"Sure.  I could help with the decorations. I'm sure Dela and Gwen would like to help too."

"Sounds nice," he nodded, his eyes scanning the booths and front of the restaurant then took a sip of coffee.  

"I miss Amy!" she blurted out.

Carl, closed his eyes, breathed out slowly and set down his cup.

"I miss her, Mr. Young.  So do Dela and Gwen.  So does.. Mrs. Young."


"I may just be a kid but I know she didn't do anything horrible.  She's pregnant and yes by my brother.  Stupid teenagers," she rolled her eyes, "Stupid. But.. but, it's not like she killed someone."

Carl looked at her sternly. 

"Please, Mr. Young," she pleaded with a soft whisper, stretching her hands across the table, "Let her come back home.  The place isn't the same without her.  I miss coming here with my family.  I miss that, Mr. Young."

"Sera..." he said in a tired manner.

"Please." Her green eyes watered and bore pitifully at him.  He did not want to destroy her youthful innocence.

"Sera.  It's a matter of honour, of family pride.  She shamed the family.  I gave her the best of everything and this is what happens... If this was another place and time, a girl in her situation would be…"

"I understand, Mr. Young. Well, I don't really ... I respect your opinion."

"Thank you."

"If it's a matter of you not wanting her at home right now, can she come and stay with us?"

"Oh.. Now I see.  Did your father send you here?"

"No!  I came by myself.  They don't know that I'm here. It was very hard for me to come here by myself especially seeing ..." she scowled, "seeing HIM here." her head jerked towards the front of the room.

"I see..."

"My friend was sent away with her mom because he hit her.  I haven't seen her for months. I've only received one letter from her. I miss her. I also miss Amy. Dela and Gwen miss Amy. I miss coming here with my family. Please, please, can we just put things back the way they were?"

"I don't see how we can do that, Sera.  My heart is broken. My family is shamed."

More people entered the restaurant, stomping the snow off their boots, shaking their hats and heading to join their companions.

"I.. I…  should let you get back to work, Mr. Young." said Sera, rising, "Looks like the winter carnival has brought a lot of people out today."

"Yes, I should get back...."

Sera put Aunt Georgette's money on the table and slid it under her empty soup bowl.  She grabbed her coat and got up to put it on.

Carl sat back and stared sadly at her.

"Thank you for the soup, Mr. Young.  It was delicious and warm as usual."

"Thank you for dropping by, Sera."

"Happy New Year,"  she said as she put on her tuque, turned and walked quickly towards the front door. 

- - End excerpt - - 

Sample more excerpts.    See what others have shared after reading The Year of the Rabbit.  Download the first 20% of the novel for free at Smashwords.  

If you have already read the book, why not offer a brief review?  Indie authors appreciate if readers post even a short review of how a book made them feel. Please do it!

Thanks for dropping by Stay warm :-)