Wednesday, October 30, 2013


As a contributor to this blog, I get to rub shoulders (cyberly speaking) with authors from around the world. Our group consists of writers from the U. S., Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and Australia – a pretty good representation of the globe’s surface and there may be others that I've either forgotten or don't know about.

We come from different places, but we all root for each other so we were all thrilled for our Canadian sisters (Mona Ingram and Cheryl Cooke Harrington), when we learned that Alice Munro had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t be pleased about the award if I didn’t know any Canadians − just that being friends with them made me feel connected to the honor.

I’m not an authority on Ms. Munro’s work, but I’ve read enough of her stories to appreciate that the prize was well-bestowed. She has a gift for capturing in a short story enough of the human condition to fill a very long, very complex novel. The stories with which I am familiar are set in rural communities and are filled with subtle details that put the reader right there. The characters are a mixture of strength and frailty, good and bad, wise and foolish. In short, they are very human human beings, people with whom I found it easy to identify. While Munro never beats a reader over the head with a message, most of her stories have that moment of clarity that literary folks like to call an epiphany. I'll just say that I find them satisfying reads.

So … kudos to the writers of Canada, past and present. You contribute much to the world of literature.

Cheryl Cooke Harrington (more about her later), told me that “way, way back in 1884, early Canadian romance author, Margaret Marshall Saunders wrote Beautiful Joe, a story about her dog. It became the first Canadian book to sell more than a million copies.” (That's a lot of books. I'm trying not to be envious.)

Mona Ingram (more about her later too) credits Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz as the book that gave her an appreciation of a good story, well told.

Other Canadian authors I’ve enjoyed over the years are Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Robertson Davies, and Lucy Maude Montgomery.  How I loved Anne of Green Gables! An older cousin passed the Anne books along to me and I read/re-read them until they literally fell apart.

Helping to carry on this proud tradition are two authors we claim as part of our tribe:

Cheryl Cooke Harrington (Toronto) website:   Here's the blurb for Cheryl’s latest book, Sparks Fly.

What happens when a thoroughly modern woman, longing to return to her roots, meets an old-fashioned hero on her first day home? Sparks Fly. And it doesn't take a forest fire, smoldering in the distance, to turn up the heat between high school science teacher Logan Paris and bush pilot Mitchell Walker.

Logan's dream of a bright future for her grandfather's lodge at remote Thembi Lake hits an unexpected snag when Gramps introduces the handsome pilot as his new partner. It seems that Mitch has plans of his own for Casey Lodge, and Logan is certain they don't include a partnership with a "city girl." Determined to prove herself and protect her heritage, Logan sets out to unravel the many mysteries of Mitch Walker. Where did he come from? Why is Gramps so willing to trust him with the future? And most disturbing of all ... what's she going to do about the undeniable attraction she feels whenever he's around?


Mona Ingram (Vancouver) website:  Mona’s latest release is The Last Goodbye.

Everyone Danielle Flynn has ever loved has left her without saying goodbye. When her Uncle Jake allows his friend Sean’s production company to shoot on his ranch, she fights her attraction to the movie’s director, Grayson Crawford. After all, Grayson is heading back to California once filming is over, and she has no intention of letting him take her heart when he leaves... with or without a goodbye.

To make things worse, her Uncle Jake, a confirmed bachelor, starts acting like a teenager every time he’s around Carmen Santangelo, the woman who plays the mother of one of the actors. But when Carmen is offered the role of a lifetime, it’s a stark reminder that she and Jake come from two separate worlds.

Torn between her love of Green Lake Ranch and her growing feelings for Grayson, Danielle learns the difference between what’s important in life, and what’s make believe.

Again – kudos, Canadian writers – and thank you! You’ve given me hours of pleasure.


Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for including me in your article, Sandy - I'm humbled (and delighted!) to share the page with these wonderful Canadian authors.

Sandy Cody said...

You're welcome, Cheryl. I have a feeling Ms. Munro and the others are happy to count you in their numbers. I'm certainly glad that I have the chance to get to know writers from outside my usual world. I guess that's a large part of what reading and writing are about.