Monday, February 29, 2016

Books We Love's Tantalizing Talent ~ Author Joan Donaldson-Yarmey

       I was born in New Westminster, B.C., Canada, and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. While raising my own family, over the years I also worked as a bartender, hotel maid, cashier, bank teller, bookkeeper, printing press operator, meat wrapper, gold prospector, warehouse shipper, house renovator and nursing attendant. I also began my writing career. But I don't write in just one genre. Sometimes I have a story idea, write the manuscript and then decide what genre it fits. My past writing has consisted of historical and travel articles, seven travel books, four mystery novels, and two science fiction novels.
       I was taught in school that Canada doesn't really have an exciting history. Right now I am trying to dispel that myth by writing Canadian historical for young adults/adults, the first two of which are: West to the Bay and West to Grande Portage.

       My mystery novels are Illegally Dead, The Only Shadow In The House, and Whistler's Murder all in The Travelling Detective Series (boxed set), and the stand alone novel Gold Fever. My science fiction novels are The Criminal Streak and Betrayed in my Cry of the Guilty-Silence of the Innocent series.

       I love change so I have moved over thirty times in my life, living in various places throughout Alberta and B.C. I now reside on an acreage on Vancouver Island with my husband and three cats.

West to the Bay

In 1750, Thomas Gunn, along with three friends, join the Hudson's Bay Company and sail from Stromness on the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland to York Factory fort on Hudson's Bay. They believe they are starting a new and exciting life in what is called Rupert's Land, but tragedy follows them, striking for the first time on the ship. At the fort Thomas finds his older brother, Edward, who had joined four years earlier. He also meets Little Bird, sister of Edward's wife, and her family.

During the first year Thomas takes part in the goose and duck hunts, the fishing, the woodcutting, Guy Fawkes Day, the Christmas celebrations, and the burial of a friend. He also deals with the snowfall, the cold, the boredom, and a suicide, and learns how to survive in the lonely and sometimes inhospitable land.


West to Grande Portage
On his sixteenth birthday Phillippe Chabot is told that his brother-in-law has hired him to be a voyageur. He will be paddling west from Montreal to Grade Portage to trade supplies with the Indians for furs. He is overjoyed and receives all the appropriate clothing from his family as birthday gifts, even a tobacco pouch.

As the loaded canoe brigade gets ready to leave, his cousin, Jeanne, accepts the proposal of marriage yelled at her by the clerk who is going along to keep track of the trading.

Unfortunately, disaster strikes the brigade as the men paddle the rivers, make their portages, and get onto the sometimes violent and unforgiving Lake Superior. In Montreal, the city is ravished by a fire and many residents perish before it is extinguished.

Joan Donaldson-Yarmey