Welcome to Lori’s Lane for the first post of 2018. We’re in a deep freeze up here in the Midwest, with temperatures below zero Fahrenheit (below -18c). Remember when I used to live in Florida? Believe it or not, I still don’t miss it.
Living on a peninsula wasn’t too unlike living on an island. I didn’t care for it much. There was only one direction out of Florida when hurricanes came.
My friend, Anneli, lived on an island way farther north than Florida with a drastically different climate. She didn’t have to deal with hurricanes, and she had some breathtaking scenery.
I’ll let her tell you about it, and how she used the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia to weave a tale of new beginnings, setbacks and romance.
When I lived on Graham Island, the northernmost of the Queen Charlotte Islands, I was surprised to see that the highway was only about 70 miles long. In two hours you could easily drive from one end of the island to the other. My first thought was, “This could get boring really fast.”
Luckily my husband is a commercial fisherman so we explored much of the island’s coast by boat and the interior on logging roads in our 4×4 truck. Without a boat, we would have missed seeing some beautiful bays and inlets. Seeing sea lions and humpback whales, digging for razor clams on long sandy beaches, diving in crystal clear waters—these were all part of the ocean experience. Bears, raccoons, deer, ducks, geese, grouse, and beavers were frequent sightings when we went on a trout fishing trip.
One thing that became clear to me is that we always had to be prepared to keep ourselves safe. Picking up the phone and calling for help does not always work in these remote locations. No cellphone coverage and, in many cases, no one there to call.
I have included some of the charm of the islands in my novel, “Marlie.”
The main character, Marlie, is new to the islands, hoping to make a new start after ending a bad relationship. A local artist in the community of Masset where she teaches has taken an interest in her. She is flattered by his attentions and finds herself drawn to him. He seems like the perfect gentleman. But Marlie, being kind and generous by nature, has given him too much credit and it becomes her undoing. She makes a terrible error in judgement and things turn nasty. Discouraged and alone, she finds inner strength she didn’t know she had, and sets out to deal with her problem on her own.
Once again, she sees the handsome fisherman who helped her out on her first day on the island. He hunts and fishes, and is a bit more real than she is ready for. And yet….
She would be quite happy if she could find someone to love her for the person she is, and not just for her pretty face. She’s had bad luck with men and knows she should be more choosy. Will she go through her life being too wary, and shunning those who offer her real love?
Set in the mystical beauty of the islands, “Marlie” will give you a sense of being there with her, while she fights her personal demons.
Anneli Purchase lived in the Queen Charlotte Islands for several years and has a special fondness for them. She now lives on Vancouver Island and spends her time writing and copy-editing when she is not pursuing her other hobbies of mushroom picking, photography, gardening, and quilting. “Marlie” is her fifth novel.