Hello, and welcome to my website. I wish I could invite you into my kitchen for a cup of tea, introduce you to my goldendoodle, Harley, and chat about books. Failing that, this website is an attempt to share my books, my writing journey, and the story behind the stories.
I love history and family backgrounds, which prompted the research and writing of The Art of Rebellion. It’s set in Paris in 1900, in the middle of La Belle Époque – the Beautiful Era. The main character, Gabrielle, was inspired by my grandmother Carmen Gabrielle, who was French. I’ve included lots of photos of Paris, some maps of what Paris was like back in 1900, and even a suggested itinerary if you want to trace my character’s journey through the City of Lights. The book was on Calgary’s Bestseller List for 4 weeks and has had tremendous reviews – check them out under News and Reviews. My favourite review has to be the one from the Historical Novels Review: “… a French Jane Austen…” https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-art-of-rebellion/
I also love parties – and my book launch for The Art of Rebellion was no exception. With 91 guests, we sold out our stock of books, ate fabulous food and celebrated the “village” that supported me in writing, publishing and launching my first novel. See my Blog for photos and details about the launch.
My non-fiction short story, Robin Hood of the Prairies, was published in August, 2020 in an anthology, YYC POP, Poetic Portraits of People, ed. Sheri-D Wilson, published by Frontenac House. My story was also excerpted, along with 9 other authors/poets, and displayed by. banners on Calgary buses and C-Train cars during fall 2020. Follow this link for media coverage and a photo that depicts my banner among others. https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/calgary-transit-will-truly-be-poetry-in-motion-this-october-1.5128920?cache=envhbmdlvitqz%3Fot%3DAjaxLayout
My middle grade adventure/fantasy novel, Dirt Warriors, was inspired by my childhood growing up on a prairie farm. You couldn’t find a more social, adorable and playful prairie animal than the prairie dog. The personalities of the two main characters – Notch and Churry – are taken from my two awesome (now adult) children.
My second YA novel, After Matt, is contemporary fiction. It’s set in the Rocky Mountains, in a small town where a high proportion of residents are world calibre athletes. The story involves biathlon and tackles tough issues like suicide grief, competition, faith and first romances.
My first picture book, FLIP, FLOP, FLAPJACK, is an historical non-fiction story about the origins of the Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast. Yahoo! My grandfather, known as Wild Horse Jack, started the tradition, serving flapjacks and coffee from his chuckwagon in 1923. His legacy has become the most-attended event of the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. Over a million people go to the Stampede each year and many more enjoy free pancake breakfasts around the city. Red Barn Books will publish FLIP, FLOP, FLAPJACK! in 2023, and I’m fortunate that artist Hugh Rookwood will illustrate. (See my Blog for details.)
Welcome to my world…
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW: “This charming book of manners (think a French Jane Austen) is entertaining, well-written and surprising. A delightful read.”
THE GOOD LIFE FRANCE MAGAZINE: “a beautiful story set in France in 1900…through her storytelling she has given the lucky reader not only a wonderful tale but a glimpse into what life was like in the early 1900s”.
A copy of The Art of Rebellion has recently been entered into the catalogue of research resources at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Author Brenda Leahy presented a copy of her novel to Mme. Francoise Mardrus, Director of the Dominique-Vivant Denon research centre, Musee du Louvre.