I am thankful for all the life experiences that have enabled this primary school teacher to do a 180 degree turn and become an author of suspense thrillers. I never in my wildest dreams expected or even wanted to become a writer.
I am thankful that:
- I was blessed with an adventurous childhood.
- I enjoyed many varied teaching experiences in rural and small town schools.
- I’ve participated in outdoor activities such as kayaking, wilderness camping and winter sports.
- I have traveled to many areas of our beautiful planet including Canada, Australia, Japan, South Africa, South America and of course Europe.
- I am supported by a network of family and friends who never fail to encourage, prod and cheer me on in my writing endeavours.
- I live in a small town where people share their life stories and philosophies.
Writers draw from their experiences, embellish the truth and let their imaginations run freely. I am truly thankful for these tools and a little bit of talent.
Behind her back they call her “The Black Widow”.
Daphne McNeil has been widowed four times in ten years. Each time, her husbands have left her considerable sums of money. She finds that she must use these inheritances to support her beloved charities. The money does not go far enough and with increasing financial pressures, she becomes desperate.
When Steve Johnson, a forensic scientist, discovers human remains in an isolated lake near Daphne’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, he unwittingly puts himself in danger.
He begins to suspect the beautiful widow is not as innocent as she seems. Will he become her next victim?
He stood up to his knees in fetid muskeg, his breath coming in jagged gulps. Adrenaline pumping through his exhausted body, he slid his hand into the cavity under the edge of a crumbling bank. Sweeping his fingers around the dark, narrow space, he struck a solid, cold, hard object. He tugged and pulled at the plastic container, easing it out of its hiding place.
Success. The rush from the find made the hours of trekking through this swampy scrubland worthwhile. He forgot the mosquitos and blackflies biting every inch of exposed flesh; forgot the chill seeping up his legs; forgot the numbness in his toes from his waterlogged hiking boots. He’d found this geocache using only a compass and topographical maps. He had honoured the memory of his dad and did it old school.
Smiling and chuckling, he peeled off the duct tape surrounding the faded, green plastic container. Inside were half-a-dozen rabbit foot key chains, the usual logbook and pencil, and a note that simply said, ‘You’re fortunate to have found this cache. I wish you the best of luck as you journey through life.’
Reaching into the zippered pouch on the front of his backpack, Steve withdrew his own treasure: a piece of amber with an ancient insect trapped inside. Holding it in his hand for a few moments, he remembered when this memento had been given to him. His father had found the amber on one of their hiking trips in the foothills of Alberta. Later that evening while sitting around the dying embers of their campfire, his father had made a bit of a production giving the pretty stone to him. While mumbling something about always remembering their trips in the wilds, he’d gruffly passed the hand-warmed treasure over to him.
Steve gave the amber one last stroke with his thumb and placed it in the worn tub. He hoped the treasure would pass through many hands as it continued on its own journey.
Taking up the pencil nub and selecting a fresh page in the notebook, he carefully scribed the date, how long it had taken him to find the cache, the fact that he’d seen three deer and a grizzly on his way in, and the most important thing, that he had honoured his father.
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Biography and Publication History
I am a recently retired educator and live with my husband in Quesnel, BC. My journey through life has taken me from England, Africa and throughout Canada. My hobbies include kayaking, wilderness camping, photography, reading and writing.
Writing has taken me by surprise and consumes my days. My first novel Strength of an Eagle was inspired by the disappearance of women along the ‘Highway of Tears ’and the drug smuggling problems in Northern BC. In creating Half Truths, Total Lies, I drew upon my experiences as a teacher in both urban and rural settings. Alone, is a psychological suspense, set on Canada’s West Coast. Widow’s Luck is my latest novel.
I have had articles published in Our Canada, More of Our Canada and BCRTA, Postscript. Several photographic essays have been included in the Royal Photographic Society (Canada) on-line magazine.