Hold Fast: A Dinner Invitation

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… Continue reading Hold Fast: A Dinner Invitation



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. The camp of Machiche was put together on the north shore of the St. Lawrence,… Continue reading Machiche


A New Nation

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? Before the war, Canada was nothing more than an annexed territory, won from the French after the Seven Years' War.  In the… Continue reading A New Nation


Jeptha Hawley

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. Jeptha first came to… Continue reading Jeptha Hawley


The Wicked Man

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… Continue reading The Wicked Man


Canada’s First Refugee Camps

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… Continue reading Canada’s First Refugee Camps


Friday Fact: the Viking temple

I've been spending a fair amount of time in a Viking village with Uilleam in my work in progress Son of Courage, so I thought I'd share with you a few things I've learned about Viking religion. The Vikings celebrated their many gods in natural places such as sacred groves, stones, and pools, but they… Continue reading Friday Fact: the Viking temple


Friday Fact: The Cele De

Before the Reformation, before the Roman Catholic tradition we know today, there was a vibrant, active church called the Cele De, or Culdees - the Clients of God. When you think about St. Patrick's Ireland and St. Columcille's Scotland, this is the tradition you're picturing.  It's also the tradition in which I placed my character… Continue reading Friday Fact: The Cele De


Friday Fact: the Fabric of Alba

We all know the iconic tartans of Scotland - each clan has their own, some tame, others quite wild.  But this was not always the case. In the days of Alba, checked patterns would certainly exist, and regional variations would depend on what natural dyes were available in certain areas.  But the tartan system as… Continue reading Friday Fact: the Fabric of Alba