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In this new sneak peek of my work in progress, Hold Fast, a historical novel based on a true story, I imagine Ann McIntyre invited for a visit to Conrad Gugy’s manor while her sons and friends live in scarcity in the refugee camp on his land at Machiche.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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In my upcoming historical novel Hold Fast, I tell the story of Ann MacLean‘s real-life struggles in Canada’s first refugee camp, Machiche.

A place of conflicting identity, Machiche is the perfect setting for the story of a woman from two worlds.

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The American Revolution wasn’t the beginning of only one nation.  It was the catalyst to the birth of a second, too.

Think about it.  Without the American Revolution, how different would Canada be?

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One of the fun things about doing research for my historical fiction based on a true story, Hold Fast, is finding out about real-life characters that fit into the story.  Among the people Ann MacLean would have known at the refugee camp at Machiche, Quebec was the Loyalist captain Jeptha Hawley.

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In this latest sneak peek from my work in progress, an historical fiction based on the life of Ann MacLean, she has just given birth to her second son while fleeing as a Loyalist refugee from the American Revolution.  Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Every hero has an origin, and it would be impossible to understand Ann MacLean without knowing where she came from.

She was born on the shores of Loch Dunvegan, on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.  But at her core she was really a child of two worlds.

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In doing the research for my work in progress, Hold Fast, I’ve come across some very interesting facts.  Not least of these facts is the Scottish laird with the nickname “The Wicked Man”.

You see, when I got Ann MacLean‘s story, all I knew was that she was the granddaughter of a Scottish laird who lived in a castle on a cliff on the Isle of Skye.  It didn’t take much sleuthing to discover that castle was Dunvegan.  And based on the timeline (Ann arrived in Canada in 1774 at the age of 16) I narrowed her grandfather down to Norman MacLeod, the 22nd chief of Clan MacLeod.  That’s where things get interesting.

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Right now I’m working on a historical fiction based on a true story—the remarkable true story of Ann MacLean.  But I wouldn’t have even heard of Ann if it weren’t for another Loyalist who lived at the refugee camp at Machiche with her—my five times great grandfather Josiah Cass.

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Here’s another sneak peek of my new work in progress, a historical fiction novel based on the life of Ann MacLean.  In this excerpt, Ann gives birth to her second son while fleeing to Canada, fresh from the loss of her husband.

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Are you descended from a refugee?  The answer might surprise you.

With Syrian refugees so prominent in the news right now—and such a hot topic for debate—it’s easy to think that refugees are a new thing for Canada.  But they’re really not.  In fact, it was a group of refugees, mainly, that made up the bulk of citizens in the newborn country of Canada.

Some of your ancestors may have made the perilous journey into Canada and stayed for months or even years in a squalid, disease-ridden, food-scarce camp.  Some of mine did.

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