Saturday 13 April 2024

The Story behind the Story with Tina Lalonde of Ottawa, ON, Canada.


 Let’s welcome Tina to the Scribbler.

She is sharing the SBTS for her book and wants to tell us all about it.

Read on my friends.




Hey there and welcome to Done For You Journals. My name is Tina Lalonde. I am an Amazon Publishing Strategist and the owner of Done For You Journals dot com.

I help women in the health and wellness industry such as coaches, counselors, course creators, yoga instructors, and the woo woo’s make passive income creating and self-publishing their own custom branded journal, workbook, or logbook to sell on Amazon for FREE! However, once you learn the process of creating and self-publishing, you will be able to self-publish that book you’ve been procrastinating on. You know the one, it’s on your bucket list😉


For those who are curious about me when I’m not working…

·       I play competitive women’s volleyball and Pickleball, while my knees can still take it. lol  If you don’t know what pickleball is, check out Henry Burris on CTV News Ottawa to see what it’s all about.

·       I love to travel to the Caribbean during the winter because well, not a big fan of the cold. My favorite place is St Lucia.

·       My favorite drink is sparkling wine is Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava…mmmm soooo good.

·       I live in Ottawa, Ontario with my amazing man who will be referred to as “Bebe”.

·       I like to go second hand shopping, but don’t tell Bebe. He hates when I go there. He says they all have bed bugs. lol

·       I’m a TV show binge watcher. I don’t like to wait for next week. My favorite one is Rizzoli & Isles, and Bosch.

·       Love horseback riding. When the horse gallops, I have this huge smile like a kid.

·       Favorite music is new country, dance music from the year 2000, Socca and I love the song from Shakira “Waka Waka”. I cry every time I hear it.

·       I love playing minute to win it games with my friends. I usually win😉

·       Love to eat ethnic food. My favorite is Vietnamese, then Indian, Thai, and Greek…

·       Like to try new recipes that take less than 30 minutes to make, but I admit I make a mess. So, if you come for dinner, you have to help clean up. Oh and bring BRUT sparkling wine as that’s my favorite.

·       I speak French. Ou est la toilet. Lol. Seriously, I am fluent in French.

·       I did synchronized swimming when I was 10 years old and one 1st place. I can still hold my breath under water for 45 seconds…maybe 30 seconds now.

·       I wrote 2 books and have a few stories published in other people’s books.

·       I am also working on learning Spanish so that when we retired and travel, I’ll be able to have a conversation.


Title: How to Create and Self-Publish Your First Book on Amazon in Less than a Day!


Synopsis:  What if I could show you that getting published is not as complicated as people make it out to be, or at least to get on the biggest platform like Amazon!

In this book you will learn the 4 simple things you need to go from dreamer to being published on Amazon!

I’ve been where you are. Wanting to know how to become published, but not sure where to start. Well, this book is a step-by-step instruction for how to create your first book with a project of a journal. Once you get this book project down, the process is the same for any type of book. By the end of reading the book, you WILL be a Published Author on Amazon!

The Story Behind the Story: Have you ever gone to the bookstore like Chapters or Barnes and Nobles and was hoping to find the book you needed? Mine was a book on learning how to rent out your cottage in Canada.  I bought a cottage in 2013 and wanted to rent it out to make extra money when I wasn’t using it.  I loved that little cottage!

I search Chapters, local libraries, and through dozens of online websites and found a few books about owning a cottage, but nothing really on how to rent it, what the rules are, and how to make money from it, where to advertise. After a few months, I didn’t find the book I was looking for.

I really wanted or rather needed to rent my cottage to help pay the mortgage, but the information out there was all over the place and I was getting frustrated.  After doing all the research I thought to myself “if I’m searching for this information, maybe someone else is too?”.  I thought about just creating a website and linking the pages to the rules, where to advertise, etc. so people would be able to find it quickly, but that still meant there was no book out there.  Then, I stumbled on a book that talked about how to get paid for what you know. This gave me the idea to write a book about what I know. And that’s when I decided to write my first book -  Turn Your Cottage Into Money: How to rent your cottage and make a profit in Ontario and Quebec.

However, that was just the first part. Now I needed to learn about getting it published. I searched online on how to publish a book. I didn’t want to go the traditional publishing root because they take longer and they own the rights to my book! Also, they could tell me how to write it and what I could and could not add to the book. No thanks!

I came across a course on creating and self-publish journals and get them on Amazon. I thought “wouldn’t that be the same thing as publishing a book?” I also thought “I am always writing in journals, so why not create my own and make money instead of giving my money away”. So, I signed up to learn about creating journals and self-publishing on Amazon and published my first book in 2003 and then, created my first journal in 2004 and have been creating them for myself and clients ever since. I love creating journals and workbooks! 


My goal is to help 1,000 entrepreneurs who have a journal or workbook they want to turn into a book and publish it on Amazon!


If you’re a DIY kind of person like me, I create an online course that teaches what’s in the book, plus so much more. I provide templates for the interior and cover. It’s almost like I’m hand holding, but without me being there. My course is called DIY Self-Publishing Bootcamp and you can find it HERE

Anyone who messages me to sign up in the next 30 days, I will offer the DIY Self-Publishing Bootcamp to them at 50% OFF, which is $99 (Value $199) plus…they will get a 1 hour coaching session with me (value: priceless).

Quote “ScribblerDIY24”.

Website: Please go HERE.


A question before you go, Tina:


Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

Tina: Wow, well, that’s a good question. When I was first creating the How to book, I would go every morning to Starbucks at 7am on Saturday and Sunday morning because I needed a different space with no distractions. I would order a medium vanilla Bean Latte, sometimes the almond croissant, and I would put a headset on so people wouldn’t talk to me. However, when I needed a break, I would look around and start talking to random strangers. This gave me the distraction I needed, but also the push to get back to work😊

Another way, I love a good glass or 2 of chardonnay or cab sauv wine, and when I need to get shit done, I pour a glass and go up to my office and set a timer for 30 minutes and do the thing I have to do. Sometimes, I have to go back down to fill it again, as I did when writing this bio.

I don’t do well if there’s a lot of people talking, or music because as I’ve gotten older, my brain doesn’t multitask anymore☹. I like seeing people talking or walking, but I need quiet time.

Thank you for being our guest this week, Tina.

We wish you continued success with your writing.

And a BIG thank you to all out visitors and readers.

Please leave a us a comment. 
And if you do, please put your name in the comment box if the system makes you reply as Anonymous. 

Saturday 6 April 2024

The Story Behind the Story for the Anthology - Spring Paths. Angela Wren & Gianetta Murray of Great Britain.

 I have the tremendous, good fortune to be part of the Seasonal Collective and as a group we are extremely pleased to have Angela and Gianetta, both fine authors, as part of the Collective.

Together with seven others, we have contributed to the Anthology, Spring Paths.

Read on my friends and learn more.



Angela Wren is an author, actor, and has worked as a director at a small theatre a few miles from where she lives in the county of Yorkshire in the UK.  She has always loved stories and story-telling – no matter what the media.  So, having ditched her full-time and very pressured job in business change and project management, it seemed right to try her hand at creative writing.

Starting with short stories, one of her earliest pieces was published in an anthology which was put together by the magazine ‘Ireland’s Own’ in 2011.  She hasn’t looked back since, going on to create many more short stories in, the Miss Moonshine, the Dark World, and the Seasonal Paths series of anthologies, along with stories for the UK Crime Book Club Group on Facebook.  She also has a successful cosy crime series of full-length novels set in the Cévennes and featuring her private investigator, Jacques Forêt.

 When she’s not writing, Angela likes to spend as much time as possible each year travelling in France.

***Angela has been a guest previously and if you missed it, please go HERE.



Gianetta Murray was a librarian, technical writer, and knowledge manager for over forty years on two continents before she hung up those hats in 2022 to fulfill her dream of being a writer.

Spring Paths was her first publication, followed quickly by a collection of humorous paranormal stories called A Supernatural Shindig. Her first novel, Moved to Murder: A Vivien Brandt Mystery, will be published in June 2024 by Troubador Press, and she is currently working on a story for a mystery anthology as well as the second of the Vivien Brandt mysteries (and, of course, a story for the upcoming Summer Paths anthology).

Besides writing, she enjoys walks in the English countryside when the weather allows, and when it does not (which is often) she binges on TV mysteries, Hollywood musicals, and rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is also a willing slave for two very demanding cats.


Title: Spring Paths


Angela’s Synopsis:  Madame Beauvary’s Curio Shop is a mystery that is not quite what it seems.  Set in 1983, The action takes place in the village of Beauregard in central France.


Gianetta’s Synopsis: Demeter has had just about enough of her bossy brother Zeus, but when he reveals her recent actions might very well doom the Earth, she realizes she must once again take an interest in human affairs. Unfortunately, godly affairs always seem to get in the way…


Angela’s Inspiration: In spring a couple of years ago I was taking a few days out in a small town on the Lincolnshire coast.  Whilst there I discovered a bizarre antique shop - one of those places where every inch of shelving, wall and ceiling space is jam-packed with stuff that no-one needs or wants.  I jotted down some notes about the location.  The more I thought about the shop, the more I realised it needed an eccentric and mysterious owner.  A couple of months later and Madame Beauvary became a fully formed character.  Her back story took various twists and turns before I was happy with it and the mystery story in the Spring Paths collection developed from that.

That short story is not the end of Madame B!  There is a history to her that has yet to be fully revealed and I will be letting readers know more about her in the new series of cosy crime mysteries that I am developing.  News about that will be on my blog – so watch that space!


Gianetta’s Inspiration: I joined an all-female online writing group and early last year the leader posed the theme of ‘spring’ as a writing exercise. Having adored Greek mythology since childhood, I immediately thought of the story of Demeter and how she controls the seasons on Earth. I was tickled by the idea of writing a story about gods who were really incredibly human, and maybe also tying in a bit about climate change—but, you know, in a fun way!

The story then sat there until a fellow author asked me to join the collective behind the Paths anthologies, and the fact that the next issue was Spring Paths seemed like, well, a godsend! 😊

Angela’s website – please go HERE.

Gianetta’s website – please go HERE.



A question before you go ladies:

Scribbler: Can you tell us about the perfect setting you have, or desire, for your writing? Music or quiet? Coffee or tequila?  Neat or notes everywhere?

Angela: I’m lucky enough to have a writing shed of my own.  It’s the smallest bedroom at the back of my house.  The window looks out over the garden, which is not massive but is neatly planted and over by the fence at the bottom is a small apple tree that is surrounded by a mass of snowdrops in early spring.

When I’m working in there with all my books – and I have loads and loads of those – the world could explode I wouldn’t know a thing!  Having spent a lot of time in open-plan offices, I’ve developed the art of completely shutting out all peripheral noise to focus on whatever I’m doing.

As for sustenance whilst I’m there, I mostly drink water during the day.  But black coffee is essential for early morning starts and chocolate – in any form be it biscuit, cake, in a mug or whatever – feeds my brain when I run out of words.


Gianetta: A quiet room with a view of the garden, a chai latte at hand, and the day’s housework done, so I can focus purely on the writing! :)


Get your copy HERE.

Thank you both for taking the time to share your inspiration for Spring Paths.

I know you both hard at work for the next anthology – Summer Paths – due for publication in August/September.


And thank you dear readers and visitors for stopping by today.

Feel free to leave a comment and if you do, please add your name in the comment box if the silly blog only lets you use Anonymous. (A glitch I can’t fix.)

Saturday 30 March 2024

The Story Behind the Story with author Raymonde Savoie of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


Let’s welcome Raymonde to the Scribbler.

It is her first visit as our guest and we  are happy to share the SBTS of her novel.

Read on my friends.



Raymonde Stella Savoie was born in July of 1952 and grew up on the family farm in Saint-Maurice, New Brunswick. Surrounded by forests and streams, she learned the language of trees and wildflowers as a teenager, the skills of which were put to good use when she obtained her Plant Scientist Diploma later on in life.

An avid reader and journal keeper since the age of sixteen, Raymonde escaped into the written word whenever she could. This led to a fascination with her night dreams, which she also recorded faithfully. Growing an extensive repository of inner stories became second nature, initiating a search for self-knowledge. Thus, she found her own unique writing voice to provide an outlet for her discoveries.

Her first book Dreaming The Child Self Whole is the result of several years of those discoveries, both exhilarating and devastating, but all necessary for the growth Raymonde’s unconscious demanded through her dreams. She lives in Moncton, NB, and is now working on her second memoir, along with creating abstract art pieces and art journals to contain more recent dreams. 



Title: Dreaming the Child Self Whole


Synopsis: I’m not usually radical, so I guess writing this book has been the most radical action of my whole life. This memoir speaks for me because I couldn’t speak up whilst, at the age of six and seven, I was being sexually abused. Since then, my dreams have guided me on a sometimes crooked, sometimes straight, path toward finding peace and healing I could not have imagined at the time. This book is the culmination of years of journaling and dreams that kept me from unravelling at the seams.  

This memoir may speak for others who have undergone the same suffering and never told anyone about it, as I delayed telling for lack of courage, support and opportunity. May it be different for the reader!

May the girl and woman who reads this have the courage to reach out and seek help when she needs it. For she must realise and truly believe: she is not alone.


The Story Behind the Story: When I researched “healing from childhood abuse,” I found a number of brave souls who had written their story on how they had dealt with the devastating after-effects commonly suffered by abuse survivors. My journey thus far had been full of denial and addictions, but when it came down to my book’s subject, I knew from the start that it had to be about dreams, first and foremost, or else the whole project would be for naught.

My journey from being a hard, aggressive person to an empathic artist took eleven long years of alternatively fighting and accepting my dreams, labouriously journaling my childhood pain and transforming it all into the written words to which I hoped my readers would relate.  Judging from the multiple responses to my book, many women do relate, even if they have not gone through this exact experience. 

Dreams have always fascinated me and though I knew they were important when I started writing my story, I didn’t realise just how much until an earth-shattering revelation came from being able to understand the recurring dream that had haunted me all my life. This dream informed me of a psychological condition – a complex – that had been with me since the abuse, but of which I had been until then, totally unaware.  This momentous event catapulted me into deep research, deciphering my dreams, studying analytical and archetypal psychology, art therapy, and doing divination with feminine-based cards. With all my energy concentrated into one sphere of occupation, I endeavoured to write a book about my experience and understanding dreams as symbols of deep transformation. The book, and my dreams, changed my life, and healed me in profound, unconscious and positive ways, for which I am truly thankful.   


Website: Please go HERE.



A question before you go, Raymonde:


Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

Raymonde: When I’m writing in my studio, I have the choice between a computer table, an art table or a journal table. I can sit at all three in one day to compose a story, work on a painting, or jot nots for a chapter. I find that moving around my studio gives me inspiration and helps change perspective on whatever I’m writing or working on at the time. It has to be early morning and quiet, with only the wild birds in my backyard for vocal company. No caffeine, just rooibos tea, and I have piles of books, notes and scribblers everywhere. So yes, my studio’s a bit messy. This is my world, my writing, art world.

An Excerpt from Dreaming the Child Self Whole, from Chapter 17.

I can put on a brave front when I want to. I’ve gotten good at the art of duplicity, being and feeling one thing on the inside while exhibiting a totally false façade on the outside. This is how I survive now. My unconscious twins thrive in this environment of make-believe and wishing and hoping, but their nefarious influence is slowly gnawing at my insincerity as a Ground Hog does at spring roots.

Unbeknownst to me consciously, I am going through a psychic shift as I sit every morning to write. Most of the time, I’m in a frenzy to get my message out. Words and sentences surge up from the depths, only slightly hinting at the still-unresolved anger buried there, but which I ignore steadfastly. I can’t afford to unleash anything volatile lest it come between Peter and I. My old friend denial holds back the flood, protecting my ego from the knowledge of not living my authentic self’s desires, and it sits there like a hardened cap on an old volcano. Then, at times, I find I can’t write a single word. Little by little, the purpose for my book – to tell my story – which originally got me started at this project in the first place has morphed into an obligation to fund our dream of building an earth house. The story I’m writing has taken on too many generalities, inclusive of others’ stories, which act as a blanket to suffocate my own. Or is it to obliterate it altogether?

Thank you, Raymonde, for being our guest this week. We wish you continued success with your writing.

And thanks to all out readers and visitors.

Please feel free to leave a comment and if you do – note that sometimes you may have to post your comment Anonymous and if so, please add your name in the comment box, after the comment so we will know who did it.

Saturday 23 March 2024

The Story Behind the Story with author Dianne Pennell of New Brunswick, Canada.

 Let’s welcome Dianne to the Scribbler. 

She is sharing the SBTS of her novels and we are extremely pleased to have her as our guest this week.

 Dianne will be participating in the GMRD Book Fair in July and we hope to see you there. 

Read on my friends.




I was born and raised in the beautiful province of Newfoundland where the heart of storytelling is well known.

I graduated from nursing with honors and been awarded.  It had taken me to the province of New Brunswick where I worked as a Director of Nursing for Veterans.

In between, my immense energy guided me to further my knowledge into the world of fitness. I trained and became a fitness instructor  with the YMCA, Sir Wilfred College, and Forever Young Fitness , promoting wellness.

Fitness like writing is still a major part of my life to competing in races, triathlons, doathlons, marathons with many medals, ribbons, and trophies to show.

I received during that timing my First Aid, First Responder training  to teach many  classes enhancing care for individuals in need.

I have and will always be a story teller, a story writer. It is a passion from childhood and with life experiences, it lead me to writing novels in the form of series whereas I am completing my series and starting a new one.

I enjoy long stories leaving each book to be 500+ pages of pure enjoyment!





The Second Book in the series is titled:  SECRETS AND VENDETTAS

The Third and final book of this series is in the finishing stages of writing.



Truth Behind the Lies

Julie Collins has always longed for a true family and hopes to expand her marriage happiness with a child.  But her husband, Mike, has become increasingly career-driven, uninterested in complicating their lives with a baby. With Mike now almost entirely absent from their home, Julie begins to suspect more could be going on than she first thought, and her life isn't quite as on track as she had hoped.  Her determination not to give upon her dreams of motherhood has unintended consequences, and Julie is flung into an unexpected encounter with friendship and, perhaps, a chance at a family.  As her perfect future draws nearer, her past begins to close in;  can anyone truly escape from the lies of their past


Secrets and Vendettas

The light of Julie’s soul is fading. One pain too many; one more loss to endure. Julie, herself, is fading from reality. She lies dormant below the fire of rage, hate, and revenge. Yes, that’s where Julie has gone, and no longer able to awaken from its burning control. The shell of the old Julie can be deceiving as she carries on life without anyone knowing her secret. Only the fire can disguise her that way. The new Julie has only one focus, revenge on her once believed mother. Flames run through Julie’s veins; she begins to lie and plot, only to have her day of payback to see her mother trampled to dust. Yet, how far will this fire Julie go, and to what lengths will be taken when the unexpected challenges face?

Samantha, once believed to be an enemy, becomes a trusted soulmate when they are drawn together by a force neither can explain. Unknown to the other, both suffered as children only to live with revenge of payback to the ones that caused it. Now two women are left with the same fire burning: controlling their every move.

How far will they go to remove the stain of the past from their lives while risking losing of what’s precious to both. What are they willing to let go, just to have that day.



The Story Behind the Story:

That is a question which takes me on different avenues  to give a true answer. “What” inspired the writing of this series.

I was at the end of a 25k run in training for a marathon. As I passed the Hospital on my route, I came  upon a group of men and women holding signs as they marched back and forth the side walk  leading to the entry of the hospital.  I read the signs, asking simple to say a life that could not speak for itself. To give a chance to life and then allow that life to breath, to walk, maybe run like me. Allow a life the opportunity to experience , feel, and give love. Maybe that life not to be perfect, but at least a chance to find out.

I felt  a caring, a mission, as they protest for what they believed in without fear. Then it came to me, what if , in one of my stories, a young girl not wanting to lose the life of her baby, had that life cruelly taken from her and the consequences arising thereafter.  Maybe we don't know what goes on inside the life of another. Maybe we don't know what the reason is it could happen.  Maybe they simply not want the life inside them, but why. Then I realize life can be taken in many different ways. What happens  when motherly love is taken without warning, without guilt, or with guilt. What happens  to the child, the youth, the adult in the end when never to find it. What happens to young girls that somehow are found to travel one of those paths.  And so , my story begins to follow the lives of  two women, searching for that motherly love. Searching for a reason and in the end what they would sacrifice to finding it.



Website: Go HERE.        


A question before you go, Dianne:

Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

Dianne: After a good workout, a long run, a morning of skiing  and swimming, I find my way home, where I like to be allow in my house office. Silence, cup of Chai Tea, and nothing to distract.  I sit, and for some reason, it happens, words begin to flow. A story line takes place. The pleasure of writing leaves me enchanted as I watch what is overflowing in my thoughts to dance across the keyboard.  That stimulation of the mind's wanting to unload the stories that built up begins the moment I  start my workout, speeding my endurance to get home and begin. Oh yes, I'm in heaven in front of my computer as my fingers dance across the keys and  my ears plays the tune of the many never ending stories waiting to be released just for everyone to enjoy and themselves get lost in a world of a story I created for them.


An Excerpt from Truth Behind the Lies:     (Epilogue)


Constantly, we search for that feeling, the one we cannot survive without.  If for any reason, we cannot find it our longing for it will keep us searching. It haunts our inner souls until the day comes that we have found it.

That longing is inside each one of us, pushing until we find satisfaction. What is this feeling! Will it give stability, peace or happiness?  

Yet, having it, and suddenly taken from you, why is it then, you remembered how it felt?

It is always through that moment of loss that you truly understand the feeling.

It is one with pain, and it is one with pleasure.

Strange is this want, the need is desperate, yet never to understand the complexity of what it holds to maintain survival?

We search until it becomes our greatest craving. The most exhilarating one a human being can feel.

Simply, it is love.




Thank you for being our guest, Dianne. We wish you continued success with your stories.


And thank you to our visitors and readers. It’s all for you! 

Please leave a comment. 

AND IF YOU DO, you will have to do it as Anonymous so put your name after the comment in the comment box so Dianne & I will know who it is from. Thank you.

Sunday 17 March 2024

The Story Behind the Story with Rick Revelle of Napanee, On, Canada.

This week you get to meet Rick and he is sharing his SBTS for all you visitors.

Rick will be joining us in July at the GMRD Book Fair and I’m looking forward to meeting him.

Read on my friends.



Rick's early years were spent in Wilton and Odessa Ontario. He lived for 32 years in Glenburnie Ontario and since 2019 in Napanee, Ontario.

He is the author of four Historical Fiction books and one fiction novel. 
I Am Algonquin (2013), Algonquin Spring (2015), Algonquin Sunset (2017) were published by Dundurn Press. Algonquin Legacy and The Elk Whistle Warrior Society by Crossfield Publishing.

The Algonquin Quest series takes place on both sides of the St Lawrence River Valley and the Great Lakes and to the Rocky Mountains during the years of 1320 to 1350’s. It follows an Algonquin Native family unit as they fight to survive in the harsh climate of warfare, survival from the elements and the constant quest for food of this pre-contact era. His readers are introduced to the Algonquin, Anishinaabe, Lakota, Mi´kmaq, Mohawk, and Lakȟóta, languages as they are used in the vernacular in the four novels.

The Elk Whistle Warrior Society is about a secret society of Native women who hunt down human traffickers and murderers of Native women and abusers of Native children. All the women have either a masters or PhD degree and a Martial Arts black belt. They do not use guns, only the weapons of their ancestors.


Title: The Elk Whistle Warrior Society



Synopsis: The Elk Whistle Warrior Society (2023) is about a 650 year old Native women secret society. They have always been protectors of Indigenous women and children. They have always hunted down human traffickers and murderers of Native women, plus the abusers of Native children. The women all have either a PhD or master’s degree, plus a Martials Arts black belt. They do not use guns, only the weapons of their ancestors. They are aided by selected male warriors and the legendary Memegwesi warriors who are the Little People and the protectors of children.

All the women have a tattoo of two blue feathers on their right shoulder and the men have the tattoo is found on their left calf.



The Story Behind the Story: I have written five books. My first book was published when I was 61 years old. Each of my books have strong Indigenous women. My previous four books were a series called The Algonquin Quest Series that followed four Omámiwinini (Algonquin) brothers during the early 1300’s pre-contact. The books are I Am Algonquin (2013), Algonquin Spring (2015), Algonquin Sunset (2017) and Algonquin Legacy (2021). During the writing of the final book, I wrote in the beginnings of a Native woman’s society. I was very excited about what I could do with this idea. As soon as Algonquin Legacy was finished then published,

I had The Elk Whistle Warrior Society almost done. My publisher Tina Crossfield liked the story, and I sent it out to a dozen women across Canada for a pre-read. All the responses from these women were that they really liked the premise and the strong women. One lady who is an actress said she wanted to make a TV series out of the book. I now have a Shopping List contract with her to produce the book into the TV series in the USA.


Website: Go HERE.

A question before you go, Rick:

Scribbler: What is the ideal spot for you when you write your stories? Music in the background or quiet. Coffee or tequila? Messy or neat?

Rick: I do my best writing long hand. I have always found that when I write this way my pen can keep up with the quickly flowing ideas that are streaming out of the file cabinets in my brain. I have a favourite bar here in Napanee where I have written two books, my 4th and 5th. Plus, now working on my 6th. I love writing on the train or when we go on a cruise, always longhand. When I write long hand in scribblers, I usually write about twenty-five pages in a session. Once I get home, I can turn these twenty-five pages into fifty or sixty when I add dialogue and do my research.

When I write at home, I brew a carafe of green tea with sage and lemon added, plus about five tea bags. I close my office door, then write until my kidneys almost explode. While writing in my office, I am surrounded in a world of battles, hunts, smells, noise, and everything else that I am creating.

I have always found that I am much more relaxed transposing from my scribblers into my computer. The long hand notes are sometimes 4 to 6 weeks old and many times when I read what I wrote I get excited about the notes. Usually, I have forgotten what I had written and when I re-read the pages it gives me an injection of adrenaline to continue with the book.






I was twelve years old in the summer of 1959.  It was the first week of July and it was hot. Having just finished cutting two lawns in the town next to our reservation, I had $4 in my pocket from my morning’s labour of six hours. Looking down at my sneakers, I saw that they were green from the juices of the dewy grass. I had bought the lawnmower in the spring with money made trapping muskrats and beaver that winter. I knew I smelled like gasoline and fresh cut grass, but my work was done for this day and my stomach was growling.

       Parking my lawnmower on the lawn in front of the big windows of the café, I made sure that the bungee cord that held my gas can on the deck of the mower was secure. Checking to make sure I still had the eight quarters and two one-dollar bills in my small, beaded change purse, I walked up to the door and peered in at the clock; 2:10 in the afternoon. Next, I checked out the large hand-printed sign in the window:




Good! I was in the time frame that I could get served.

       The slight breeze coming from the south caused the overhead oval sign hanging by chains to emit an eerie creaking sound. Dabs of rust pocketed the white background of the sign, faded blue lettering seeped through the patina to silently announce Judi’s Café.    

When I opened the door, the warning bell rang and I hurriedly clambered into the booth where I could watch over my mower and still see the soft pine lunch counter where eight stools were lined along the counter. They were chrome with red leather seats, matching the leather seats in the booths. I was the only customer in the place.

       The owner, a scum bag, who we called the Toothless Wonder, came over and growled at me, “What do you want today, Buck?”

       “Can I have a hot dog and fries,” I answered.

       “Yep, if you have the money to pay ahead of time. You know the rules, Injuns pay up front!”

       I took a dollar and twenty-five cents out of my pocket. When I gave it to him, I said, “I also want a coke and a banana split.”

       He wiped his nose with his apron. “Coming right up Injun Boy.”

       I glanced out the window, keeping a close eye on my lawnmower. A Native guy who I had never seen before walked into the restaurant, announced by the bell on the door, and sat on the end stool near the cash register. He had shorts on with a tattoo of two feathers on his left calf and wore a tee shirt that said Warrior on it. Huge biceps rippled when he moved his arms. His hair was cropped in a brush cut, definitely residential school upbringing. He looked Blackfoot, no meanness in his eyes, just a sense of purpose. A roll of duct tape, a hatchet and a knife hung from his belt.

       The owner came over and said, “I have never seen you before, and I know all the Injuns around here. What do you want?

       “I came to handle some business in town and then taking the 3:04 train east. I’ll have two cheeseburgers and a Fanta orange drink.”

       “Money up front, Red Man.”

       The guest paid with a two-dollar bill, looked the Toothless Wonder in the face and just smiled.

       My food came along with 5 cents change which I put in the jukebox to play my favourite song Lonely Teardrops, by Jackie Wilson. The food had only cost $1.10 but the scum bag kept a dime for himself.

The dog had mustard and onions on it and I put a big dab of ketchup on my plate to dip my hot dog and fries in. The food calmed my nerves down and I had to keep wiping the mustard from my face as it drippled down my chin. I loved onions and when one fell from the bun, I would stuff it into my mouth with my fingers. My hands were dirty. The Toothless Wonder wouldn’t let Indians use his washroom to wash up or to pee.

       I finished my dog and fries washed down by the ice-cold coke and he brought me my banana split. I looked at the clock, 2:31.

       The bell above the door rang again, and in walked a tall Native woman dressed in shorts with a tank top and a tattoo like the Blackfoot man, except it was on her right shoulder. She looked Anishinaabe, but not from around here. Her hair also had the residential school cut.  From her waist hung two knives, one on each hip. As she walked by me, I caught a whiff of perfume, soft and spring like. Lilac. She sat three stools down from the Blackfoot man.

       “Well Pocahontas, what can I do you for,” sneered the Toothless Wonder.

       “A ginger ale, I have to catch the 3:04 train and haven’t got time to eat.”

       “Money up front, Injun Girl!”

       She tossed him a dime and smiled.

       She turned and looked out the window as a small funeral procession passed. All of the people were Native. The men were solemn, and the women were sobbing and wailing.

       The Native woman turned, looked the Toothless Wonder in the face and said, “Who died?’

       “Some Injun girl hung herself.”

       “Hmm, I heard that was the third one in a year and a half and they all worked for you at one time,” she replied sharply.

       “Coincidence,” he replied.

       Yea, I muttered to myself, except Lisa Beaver had told me what had happened here last fall. She was so ashamed. The sudden sound of duct tape being tore from a roll brought my attention back to what was about to happen.

       The Blackfoot stood up with a strip of duct tape and grabbed the Toothless Wonder by the head and wrapped the duct tape around his mouth in three quick turns.

       The woman grabbed the Toothless Wonder’s wrists in a vicelike grip and laid them flat on the pine counter. Meanwhile, the Blackfoot man pushed his back against the owner, pinning him against the counter so he couldn’t move. Next, he slipped his knife from its sheaf and laid it on the hot burner where the hotdogs simmered in a pot of water. He then turned and reached around the man with both arms and held his hands flat on the counter.

All the while the Toothless Wonder was trying to scream through the duct tape and all that came out was a muffled sound.

I watched as the woman quickly pulled her knives, one in each hand and drove them into the Toothless Wonder’s flattened hands pinning them to the counter.

       As The blood spurted up, the Blackfoot warrior swung his hatchet, cutting off both of the owners’ thumbs with a swiftness of a hawk diving for a rabbit. Blood spurted all over the counter The Blackfoot warrior reached for his red-hot knife and cauterized the spots where the man’s thumbs had been and around the two knife blade wounds, stopping the bleeding.

       The Toothless Wonder looked like he was going to pass out, so the Blackfoot man took a cold pail of water and doused his head.

       The woman grabbed the man’s sopping wet head in her hands and said, “Listen carefully to me. We know you raped those three dead girls while they worked for you. We also know that they never reported it to the law because it would be an Indian’s word against a white man’s word. Today you lost your thumbs, but if we ever hear about you again, it will be the rest of your fingers, and maybe your life. You tell the law this was an accident; your life depends on it”

       The Blackfoot warrior handed the woman a wet dishtowel and she wiped the blood from her hands. I heard the train whistle as it pulled into the station and looked at the clock; 3:03, a minute early.

       As the two walked out of the restaurant, the Warrior nodded at me. I watched as they boarded the eastbound train. I went to the bathroom, peed, washed my hands then walked out the front door. I grasped the handle of my lawnmower and pushed it down the dusty street back to the reservation. One wheel was squeaking, I’ll have to oil that.








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