My Books For Your Reading Pleasure

My Books For Your Reading Pleasure
Proud Indie Author

Monday, November 20, 2017

SOCIAL STUDIES - Book Two - putting the focus where it belongs on social issues

Social Studies - Book Two is part of a trilogy of short story anthologies focusing on social issues.

SOCIAL STUDIES - Book Two sub-titled "Shattered and Broken Plus Eleven"  is a compilation of 12 short stories with the focus on social issues including such subjects as spousal abuse, elder abuse, child abuse, and animal welfare.

 I have drawn from my experience as counselor and psychospiritual practitioner in order to write and compile  this trilogy of anthologies about contemporary topics that, sadly, are far too common in the world in which we live.

Available in both Kindle & Paperback formats
on all Amazon sites.
Books make great Christmas gifts.
Cover design:  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dinner At Seven ... a romance novel

The story begins in 1985 at The Carrington Club in Toronto. Marsha feels in the doldrums until David arrives on the scene. Love and romance flourish until deception and betrayal raise their ugly heads. To escape Marsha flies to Bermuda where the power of love cannot be under-estimated.

Dinner At Seven  is available in both Kindle & Paperback formats
on all Amazon sites.
Check out my author's page at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Human Condition

I am sometimes asked, "What are your books about?"

What a difficult question this is for me and I am rarely, if ever, able to come up with a good answer simply because I am very eclectic in my creative writing just as I am in my choice of books to read.

Recently at a local event where I, hoping for some sales with my table of books plus three oil paintings on display, met a gentleman who struck up a conversation with me.  The three paintings were of women's faces.  One painting I call The Lady in Blue while another I call The Lady With an Earring and the third I call The Lady with a kerchief.     This gentleman looked at the covers of my nineteen publications and he smiled as he looked at my Ladies.

"Ah, I see you write and you paint about the human condition."

"Indeed I do," I responded with a genuine smile because now, thanks to him,  I have a good answer to the question when asked, "What are your books about?"

"I knew that," he said, "by looking at your book covers and your paintings."

I continued to smile and responded, "Thank you."

This gentleman hit the nail on the head because, yes, indeed, all my writing and all my painting is my expression about the human condition.



My first book, Sara, a Canadian Saga is about a struggling family making its way from the Maritimes to Ontario in search of a better life during the years of the Great Depression. 

My second book, Reawakening, is a story about unrequited love in a world where the human condition no longer exists, yet the power of love surfaces. 

My short stories focus on social issues and there are many issues I've written about including incest, alcoholism, domestic abuse,  child abuse, animal abuse, teen suicide, body image, and many more.  I let the characters share their stories and I hope their stories will be of help to readers.

Ellen and The Hummingtree is about a woman who, throughout her life, never seems to fit in; one who talks to her God in a rock; and one who in her last days is a victim of Alzheimer Disease, yet even in death she remains spiritually strong.

Crabapple Court is about a kidnapping but, more than this, it is about a single street in a small town and its inhabitants who live so nearby yet care and know so little about one another.

Beyond The Blue is a story for young readers about one young boy's challenge and victory over bullying.

Recompense is about an older couple who discover a chat room for the first time and find that their lives are turned upside down as a result.  They are forced to take a real look at their lives; something they had not done in many years.

Moose Road, a Canadian Tragedy is about a collision just before Christmas between a school bus and a snow plow but, more than this, it is about the impact that this tragedy has on the lives of the residents of Moose Road and how this tragedy leads to an even greater tragedy.

Dinner At Seven is a light romance about a man and a woman and about miscommunication so often evident in relationships today.

Keeping It Simple - Imagine Being Whole is a self-help manual, sharing some knowledge of the chakras, their emotional relevance, and the healing power of psychospiritual therapy for those struggling with emotional issues.

The Last Drop is a book for very young readers.  It is about a rainy day, umbrellas, and it offers the opportunity to the reader to learn more about rhyming and the alphabet.

When God Gives Us Spring is about the life experience of a black slave during the dark days of slavery and the civil war in America. 

Poetry From A to Z is an anthology of poems, all of which focus on the human condition.

Simply Be is not a story.  It is a collection of thoughts, quotations, and words which encourage the reader to take the time to be who he is; not what he does.

All Them Houses is my most recent publication.  It is part one of my memoir.  I don't promote it much because I sometimes have my moments when I wish I did not publish this book; when I wish I did not put my own human condition on view for the critical eyes of others.   Yet, it is written, and it is hoped that by sharing some of my personal life challenges it may help another to say, 'hey, that happened to me too', or 'Yes, that's right.  I can relate to that.'  Sometimes we mere mortals feel alone in our struggles but I find it helpful to know that if something undesirable happens in my life, that I'm not the only one, and that there is strength and there is power in the ability to make lemonade out of lemons.

Recently my life partner passed away.  And by attempting to paint his portrait; to record his life in an album; to write a book about grieving; I continue to do my best to meet some of the challenges in my own human condition.

And life goes on.  ♥♥♥

I love creative writing.  I love to read books.  I love to sell books.  But I don't write just in order to sell books because even if I never sold a single book, I would still love creative writing.   I always have loved writing stories ever since I was a young child.  I hope you will want to buy a book because your purchase is a reward for this author;  it makes me feel good to know my work is wanted and appreciated.   But mostly I hope you will want to buy a book because you will really like the story.  All my books are available in both Kindle and Paperback formats on all Amazon sites.

It's less than one year ago that I picked up a brush and discovered that I love oil painting.  For most of my life I was intimidated by the talents of family members.  But I feel more aware recently and I am of the opinion that art is a very subjective form.   I am sure it is evident to anyone who sees my work that I am untrained, and unpolished, but I hope it is also evident that I am expressing who I am .............. far from perfect.   I said to a friend recently, "I probably have more nerve than talent when it comes to oil painting."    Yet, I put myself out there.  I put my work out there.  I put my thoughts, my hopes, and my prayers for a better world out there.  And this is what I try to encourage others to do with my book titled Simply Be.

The Human Condition is not in very good shape.  We have much to learn.  But we also have much to give, much to share, and much to appreciate.

Life is good and life goes on.  ♥♥♥

Monday, November 13, 2017

Crabapple Court

Susie Donnelly is missing. Has she run away or is she just a little girl playing hide and seek? Is it a kidnapping? A murder?

Without exception the residents of Crabapple Court do not like to draw attention to themselves or to their homes. They do not like publicity. They do not appreciate media attention but this day, whether they like it or not, the Fairmont residents are keeping them under strict scrutiny. Indeed the eyes of the entire country are fixed upon them.

Available in both Kindle and Paperback formats
on all
Amazon sites
Books make great Christmas gifts.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Chanti's Escape - a short story

Chanti is a 13 year old girl living in Nawada, South Bihar, India. Her parents introduce Chanti to Sam Saraswati, a Canadian, and within a very short time the marriage takes place. The child bride travels with her new husband to Elliot Lake, Canada where they live with Sam's parents. Life is good for Chanti until Sam's parents are killed in a car crash. Suddenly at the age of 15 Chanti is mistress of the household and expected to take over all the household duties Shirley Saraswati performed. Children are born of the marriage. Chanti's husband becomes more abusive as time passes. Feeling alone and trapped in her situation Chanti dreams of returning to Bihar but it is not until she has reached the age of sixty-eight that she finally makes her decision to leave her husband. Will she succeed in her attempt to escape?
Chanti's Escape, a short story, is available in the Kindle Store on all Amazon sites.
If you like this short story, check out one of my anthologies of short stories which are available in both Kindle and Paperback format on all Amazon sites.
My author's page is located at

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Keeping It Simple ... Imagine Being Whole


It Really is Possible to Heal
 Mary Belanger 
This  very well written manual  is by Audrey Austin; a wonderful therapist, author, and teacher.  
This book is written in a  sequential manner.  A reader is given a methodical overview of meditation, psychospiritual therapy, and the chakra system.  Learning to open  blocked chakras enables the reader to unite mind, body, and soul.

I am very grateful for Austin who has created such a wonderful resource on chakra meditation.
It really is possible to heal. Keeping it Simple has my Five Star rating. It has changed my life for the better.

A very easy-to-understand explanation of chakras

By Anu 
This is a well written book - very easy to understand the concept of chakras and the significance of each chakra. I am yet to try out the exercises for opening up each chakra. But if you are looking to familiarize yourself with the 7 chakras of the Indian/yogic tradition, I highly recommend this book.

From the Author

When I put together the pages of Keeping It Simple my thought was that if this book helps one person in this chaotic world I will feel I have accomplished a job well done.  I was unprepared for the number of people who have come to me and told me that the reading of this book for them has been positively life-changing.   For this I am happy and I am grateful.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE  - Imagine Being Whole   is available in both Kindle and Paperback formats on all Amazon sites.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Passion For Staying Put - a short story FREE in the Kindle Store Friday, November 3rd

Free in the Kindle Store Friday, November 3rd.

Eleven years have passed. Arthur and Marion attempt to move on in the aftermath of the tragic loss of their only child, Jennifer. Passion for Staying Put was a semi-finalist in the 2013 John Kenneth Galbraith Short Story Writing Award Competition.

As a mother and a grandmother I cannot imagine anything more devastating than to experience the loss of a child. To move on; get over it; get on with life must be near impossible yet there are many who, like the characters in this story, do find a way to take the steps from one day into the next. To write about such a life event was an emotional experience for me. God bless all who lose a child yet find the inner strength to carry on.

If you enjoy this short story you will enjoy many more short stories with the focus on social issues found in my 3 anthologies titled Social Studies, Books 1, 2, and 3. Check it out. The anthologies are available in both Kindle and Paperback formats. Available on all Amazon sites.


Monday, October 23, 2017

NO PLACE TO LAY HER HEAD - one woman's journey through grief

I am three thousand words into my next publication.   Its working title is NO PLACE TO LAY HER HEAD - one woman's journey through grief.

It is my hope that by sharing this journey it will be of help to others.   It is not an easy story to tell.  I am trying to keep it simple but I learned a long time ago that it is not always easy to be simple.

The writing is definitely cathartic.  I find that with each word I type, I am coming a little bit closer to the way I am truly feeling.  Yes, feelings are elusive.  They don't want to be identified, singled out, or pinned down in any way.  They want to sometimes hide; sometimes fill a headline; and sometimes change every thirty seconds.

I have no idea how long I will be working on this project before I will feel ready to share my journey.   It is this writer's hope that once it is finally released that it will be of benefit to others who have lost a loved one.

When God Gives Us Spring

Michael Custis Washington is a young black slave living on a cotton plantation in the Province of Virginia. He was born in 1802. Left an orphan at the age of five he is taken into the big house by his master, Alfred Gordon, to be trained as a house servant. While in this house he suffers severe emotional and sexual abuse. When he finally runs away with his wife Lucinda he is helped by the Quakers. Through the Underground Railway they reach the Elgin Settlement in Ontario, Canada. Freedom is his at last. But when the American Civil War breaks out in 1861 Michael chooses to join the Union Army. He works his way back to Virginia. Is he seeking justice or vengeance?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Moose Road, a Canadian Tragedy makes the Best Sellers List

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Canadian > Drama
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Drama > Canadian
#2 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Canadian > Dramas & Plays…/digital-text/5790283011/ref=sr_bs_0…
Amazon Best Sellers -- Moose Road, a Canadian Tragedy made the
'Best Sellers' list as best seller in drama on

Cover design by Susan RK of

Friday, August 4, 2017

When God Gives ..........

Michael Custis Washington is a young black slave living on a cotton plantation in the Province of Virginia. He was born in 1802. Left an orphan at the age of five he is taken into the big house by his master, Alfred Gordon, to be trained as a house servant. While in this house he suffers severe emotional and sexual abuse. When he finally runs away with his wife Lucinda he is helped by the Quakers. Through the Underground Railway they reach the Elgin Settlement in Ontario, Canada. Freedom is his at last. But when the American Civil War breaks out in 1861 Michael chooses to join the Union Army. He works his way back to Virginia. Is he seeking justice or vengeance?
Writing When God Gives Us Spring  was a wonderful experience.   Michael Curtis Washington endures more pain and suffering throughout his life than most of us could ever handle, yet handle it he does, and in the process he never loses his ability to love nor his sensitivity to the needs of his wife who adores him.
To date I have written and have had published many books.  If anyone ever asked me which is my favourite I would struggle to answer but I would, indeed, have to say that this book is one of my favourites.
And what I have learned since the writing of this book is that When God Gives us anything, He/She is giving us opportunity to learn, to grow, to broaden our vision, to strengthen our faith, and to share the love that sometimes hides, but that is always there within us, just waiting to be called upon to serve.
Recently, in my own life, I have sometimes felt the urge to believe that nothing is going right; nothing is going the way I had planned; and nothing is the way I want it to be.   
I allow myself to visit this dark place but within a very short time my good friend, Faith, steps up to the plate and says, okay, that's enough.   You can stay here and wallow in the darkness or you can take the hand I am extending to you and come with me back into the light; back to where you belong; back to where you can continue to grow, to learn, and to love.
I choose to take the hand of Faith.  I feel grateful for the inner strength she reminds me that I possess. 
I remind myself that When God Gives me anything; however I may perceive it because I may judge it to be good, bad, irrelevant, or important; I need only be accepting.   Acceptance is not always easy but it is rewarding.
I am also reminded of an equation taught to me by an instructor years ago when I was a student in the Transformational Arts College in Toronto.  That equation is, 'Awareness, plus acceptance, plus action equals change'.  
For me, the 'acceptance' part of the equation is the challenging part.  Awareness sometimes takes its sweet time in arriving; awareness, for me, is sometimes a procrastinator.  And then, sometimes, awareness is swift and sure.   But awareness does arrive and I am grateful for awareness.
Acceptance is the hard one for me ......... I want it my way.  I want it the way I planned it.  I want it the way it made some sense to me.    
But Acceptance is like a sigh of relief when it happens within me.   Acceptance is my best friend.   Acceptance tells me I can let go.   I can let God.  I don't have to carry the burden, whatever that burden may be, alone.   Acceptance is a light breeze on a lovely sunny day 'When God Gives Us Spring'.
I hope you will enjoy reading When God Gives Us Spring as much as I gained in the writing of it.
I hope you will want to read any one of my many books.   Even I have lost count but I do believe I now have nineteen publications.    I should take a photo of them all.  My most recent photo of my books does not include every one.    And it is time that I put myself to work, though how such pleasure as writing can be called 'work', I don't know, and begin writing book number twenty.
I did write part one of my memoir and I titled it All Them Houses.   I struggled so very much writing this book and 'hesitation' stepped up and partnered with 'uncertainty', these two keep getting in the way of my writing part two.  
Fiction, for me, is easier to write than truth.   Sometimes, for me, I find more truth in fiction and, in truth, I sometimes scratch my head, and think the truth sounds more like fiction than fiction.     
I love to write and, more recently, I discovered that I love to paint.    Yet, I have done none of these things for the past several months.     Maybe this blog post can be another beginning.  Maybe it is time to write about That Man on the Bench.   He has been lurking in the back of my mind for some time.  If I close my eyes I can see him.  And recently a friend posted a picture of a lovely empty bench in a quiet park setting that spoke to me.   This friend has now given me permission to use this photo and, yes, maybe it is time to put the story down on paper.  It has been in my heart and in my mind for a long time now.  Maybe, the time is drawing near.
And in the meantime, I hope you will read and enjoy When God Gives Us Spring.    
My books are now all in the beautiful, new, Elliot Lake Public Library but I do hope there are some of you out there who want to buy a book; be it in kindle or print edition.      If and when you do, know that I appreciate always your encouragement and your support.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Books

I'm happy to say that all but one of my books are now available
for your reading enjoyment
in our beautiful brand new Elliot Lake Public Library

Saturday, July 22, 2017

a single red rose

A single red rose sits in a bud vase on my kitchen table.   It is in full bloom and I am inspired by the multi-layers of perfection; inspired to stay strong; to smile even if I don't really feel like smiling.  Thank you, dear Frances, for this rose and for your beautiful card.  You are a true friend.

It is only because of friends that this past month has been as productive as has been necessary with the lllness of my loved one and the move to a new 'old' house.  Many friends to thank but especially John, Bevy, and Treena.  These young people have been the stars in my sky.  Without them, a move would not have gone smoothly; perhaps a move would not have happened at all.  John worked so very hard; Bevy took loving care of my pups; and Treena, without her ready supply of boxes and smiling encouragement, I would not have achieved nearly as much as I thankfully did.

I look at Sam, resting in his little bed here with me in the kitchen.   He is such a good boy yet can be such a challenge when he decides to be.  He, along with his sister, Lila, are adapting to their new surroundings.  I'm sure they miss their Dad.   I sometimes call them good twin/bad twin but in my heart I know they are both pure goodness.

A most challenging month has offered the gifts of sadness, fear, hope, love, and faith renewed.

My heart is full as I prepare to once again make my trek to the hospital to visit.  I think of many past visits to hospital to be with my mother.  I think of my Dad who died so suddenly that there was no time for a hospital visit.  I think of dear friends who have spent more time than they would like in hospital; and I think of my beautiful sister who, thankfully, avoided the hospital and spent her final days in her own home.     Mostly, right now, I think of Brian as I prepare to leave the house; the one to which I pray he will soon be able to return.

These thoughts, and many more, have presented themselves in the glory of the single red rose that sits atop my kitchen table.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A bit of this and that ......

As a writer I am fulfilled when creating poetry, stories, characters, and situations which before never existed outside my imagination. I was born and raised by my parents in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I often describe myself as one who tends to do everything backward. At a very early age I married and before long my two daughters arrived. Having only a high school education I waited until my children were grown before going back to school. I attended University of Toronto and later graduated from Transformational Arts College. For the past seventeen years I have lived in Elliot Lake, Ontario but in the past I have lived in Toronto and its suburbs; Prince Edward Island and in New Zealand. I have also enjoyed other international travel but as a tourist in countries including Thailand; Korea; Bahamas; Bermuda; Columbia, Puno and Cartagena in South America. I have held several jobs throughout my life; primarily the positions of legal transcriptionist; teacher and psychospiritual practitioner in private practice.

I always wanted to write and I did write in a small way as a hobby but I never made any attempt at publication. It was not until I retired at an uncertain age that I finally made the promise to myself that I would fulfill my dream of being an author. Since that day I have worked very hard though it does not feel like work. I love creative writing and how can something one loves so much be classified as work? I have written novels, novellas, short stories, some of which are in anthologies, and some, like Daniel, which dare to stand alone. Drawing on my experience as a teacher/therapist I put together what is so far my only book on personal growth. The majority of my short stories deal with social issues. I have no diplomas or degrees in creative writing. I have only the imagination and the desire to allow the wonderful characters I create the freedom to express and the time to tell their stories. I do my best to keep up with the characters and I hope others enjoy reading what I write."

Poetry, for me, is a pleasurable challenge; one that I want to meet. The writing of poems is something my mother loved to do and I remember as a child being taught, "It's not poetry if it does not rhyme". Perhaps this is why rhyming seems to come easy for me but to write free verse; there is my mountain to climb. I am climbing, albeit using baby steps, but I am always thrilled when I meet with even the slightest poetic success. This encourages me to keep trying.


I don't like waiting; never have. Patience has never been my virtue. I'm waiting for contractor; waiting for window coverings; and, most important, I'm waiting for Brian to be well and home where he belongs.

I'm the type of personality that doesn't even lilke waiting in line for groceries or waiting for a bus. I know God doesn't give us more than we can handle but moving house was a big one; Brian's illness even bigger; and my daughter's surgery was at the same time. She is thankfully recovering.

I often question why challenges can't come one at a time to be more manageable. I never get an answer. But maybe the message is that it's about time that I learn to wait ..... patiently. I don't think I have it in me but I'm trying.   Ever impatient; that's me!

Sunday, May 28, 2017


I've learned of the death of three friends in the past two weeks.  Such knowledge has led me to contemplation.  

As I spend each day packing boxes and discarding unwanted 'stuff' in preparation for a residence move, I can't avoid thinking about how important it is to put one foot in front of the other and plan the future even as I deal with the acceptance of the loss of friends no longer a part of my day to day life.

Throughout the past two years more friends than I can count on all fingers and toes have either moved away from my little town or they have died.   

Despite this deep sense of loss, I continue to pack the boxes.   

But along with the packing, I am feeling a need to purge; a need to eliminate so much 'stuff' that fills my home.    A garage sale helped.  And further sales and give-aways of 'stuff' have been helpful as well.

As I participate in this purging of physical items, I make the attempt to purge emotionally and spiritually.   I yearn for simplicity.

As I sit here in my living-room that now more closely resembles a warehouse I realize that I can't even remember what I have packed in the, at least a dozen, boxes that sit on the bare hardwood floor in front of me.

Not only do I not remember what the boxes contain, I realize that my life is carrying on quite well, thank you, without the contents.       There have been fewer dishes to wash; fewer ornaments to dust; fewer carpets to vacuum.  

It is the loss of friendships over the past couple of years that has led me to realize, not for the first time in my life, the futility of filling my home, and my life, with 'stuff'.

And then I will visualize perhaps an ornamental angel that was heavy and very difficult to wrap and pack in its box.   And my thoughts go directly to the love and the pleasure evident in his eyes as he gifted me with this angel.    

And when I look at the small, slightly battered, old three-legged table, I don't see its old age.  No, what I see is my dear mother, as she dusted this table and the telephone that sat upon it in the front hall of my childhood home.   How can I possibly let this table leave my life?

I have far too many framed prints and paintings hanging on the walls of this house; each with its own story.  Maybe one was painted by my brother, by my daughters, or, yes, even by my grandson when he was a very little boy.   How does one not pack these things and take them to the new home?

I remember a time in my life, many years ago, when I moved to a new country.  Other than clothing, I carried no 'stuff' to this new home.    When I moved into the first flat there was no furniture.  Something deep inside of me liked this.  I had a desire to live in this way without material 'stuff'.

But, of course, this desire was fleeting; not one that could be fulfilled because I did not live alone.  Family requires necessities like beds and tables and TV sets.    A neighbor who lived down the street from this flat felt compassion for a family that she believed were poor because they had no furniture.   The neighbor gifted me with an upholstered chair.  I didn't want it but how could I not accept this generous gift?   And so it began.  In no time at all the little flat was filled with sofas and beds and chairs and dishes and all the usual 'stuff' one finds in a western home.

And when we left this flat it was necessary to pack all this 'stuff' into boxes to move to a more permanent home.

I don't remember today what any of that furniture and other 'stuff' was.  I do remember the upholstered chair, but only because of the nature of its arrival.

My life in terms of 'stuff' is a contradiction.   I am packing.  I am purging.  I am down-sizing and I have a desire to live in a Zen environment.

Yet, yesterday, I removed the laptop from my desk, googled the Walmart website, and bought myself a new tea kettle that should be arriving this coming week.

And life goes on.   

Monday, May 15, 2017


Thoughts on a Monday morning. In the process of preparing for our move I realize how easy it is to bog ourselves down in this world with stuff. George Carlin had it right. I yearn for simplicity; a Zen ambience, but it seems the more stuff we give away or sell, the more stuff that seems to arrive. Stuff has secondary importance. What matters in life are the relationships; the love, the family, the pets, the friends. This is where I want to keep my focus. Yes, even as I pack all the stuff into boxes.