nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Nova Scotia

Stained Glass – new cozy mystery

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It’s all ready for ordering! Stained Glass, my new Kaye Eliot Mystery is live on Amazon, in both paperback and ebook. Stained Glass takes place in Nova Scotia and will take you on another adventure of the Eliot family… Kaye, Michael, Katie and very funny, very lovable, Matthew.

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When Kaye discovers the body of a suicide in his living room, she is unsettled to hear he has made a special request in the event of his death. Spread across the countryside are seven stained glass windows, telling the story of four friends in the 1950s. One of the four has disappeared, never to be seen again. But what happened to her and who was responsible for her disappearance? Only the stained glass windows will tell the story.

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Join Kaye’s family as they drive the countryside to find the windows. Some of the owners will be happy to see her, some will not be welcoming at all. The book will also take you back to the 1950s, to meet the four friends and to see what they were doing to pass the time, all those years ago.

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To order the book from Amazon, click here. If you would like to get the book directly from me, or from Westminster Books in Fredericton, I will have copies by April 20, 2022.

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All my best,

And happy reading.

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 31, 2022 at 7:00 am

A Kaye Eliot Mystery: number four in the series

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Next week, the fourth volume in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series will be released. Stained Glass continues the story of a family who loves solving mysteries together. Set in Nova Scotia, the cozy mystery sends Kaye and her family on the search for seven stained glass windows. The windows will tell the story of four friends in the 1950s. They will also show what happened to one of the friends, Rita Carn, a beautiful woman whose vanity and jealousy result in her destruction.

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Four friends go on a picnic and only three return.

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To date, there are three previous titles in the series, all available by clicking here.

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Stained Glass will be available at Amazon on March 31, 2022. I will have copies by April 20.

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All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 26, 2022 at 4:42 pm

a book to lose yourself in …

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My most recent read is a book I could not put down. The first in the Tim Brown Mystery series is ‘January: CODE’ by Jan Fancy Hull (Moose House Publications, 2021). The book is funny, engaging and makes me want more!

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Tim Brown is a newspaper editor in small-town Nova Scotia who has decided to take a year off to dig deeper into local stories of interest. He finds himself over his head right away when he is asked to solve a mystery that has no clues and no suspects … the mystery itself is a mystery. Readers will be charmed by Tim’s personality and his relationships with the characters he encounters. His attempts to dress the part of a local ‘detective’ are funny and relatable.

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I am looking forward to the next adventure in the series — if the book’s title provides a clue, I can look forward to eleven more of these mysteries! Write faster, Jan Fancy Hull!

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Enjoy your reading in the New Year!

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 31, 2021 at 7:00 am

next Kaye Eliot Mystery: Stained Glass

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Set in Nova Scotia, the Kaye Eliot Mysteries feature a woman and her young family as they set out to solve local mysteries. You will love the kids, especially Matthew who adds his own naive curiosity to the mystery.

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When I started writing the mysteries, I wanted each one to include a communication from the past. The mystery in How Her Garden Grew is sparked by a dusty bundle of letters found in a crawlspace. In Something the Sundial Said, Kate finds an old diary that leaves clues to a century-old murder. In Land Between the Furrows the family finds a stack of post cards and solves the mystery of a valuable stone.

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Stained Glass presents a new mystery to the Eliot family. This mystery is also a communication from the past, from an artisan in the community. He has created a series of stained glass windows in houses along the Bay of Fundy shore. The stained glass artist asks Kaye to solve the mystery by finding the windows and discovering a secret he has kept for forty years.

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Stained glass has always been my favourite art form. The interplay of colour and light creates a magical medium for telling stories and expressing emotion. In this mystery, Kaye will also make use of her botanical skills, interpreting the meanings of various plants and flowers included in the stained glass windows she finds.

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Stained Glass will be published by the end of March 2022.

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Here is a short excerpt from the story:

I looked into the room where the cat had gone. Not a room, but a long hallway, with a stairway at the end. I shrugged and followed the hall. At the foot of the stairs, I hesitated. Wandering around the main floor of an empty house was one thing. Climbing those stairs would be brazen, even for me.

The stairs led to a landing where a huge stained glass window let in a marquee of coloured light. I was very like the glass panel decorating the landing of our house. Even the picture was similar. Two women and two men. A grape vine gone crazy. One of the women, the one with the wings and a crane of stars, was looking out to sea, precariously near the edge. One of the men held on to her elbow. If I had to name the piece, I would have called it ‘teetering on the edge.’

I turned to face the room opposite the stairs and screamed.

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Happy New Year and happy reading everyone!

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 29, 2021 at 7:00 am

Kaye Eliot Mysteries

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There are now three books to read in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series. Set in Nova Scotia, these mysteries feature a mystery-loving family, Kay Eliot and her kids Matthew and Katie. The mysteries they solve are always based on a message they discover from the past: old letters, an old diary, post cards sent long ago.

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How Her Garden Grew

A mystery in a bundle of letters and a weird sea shell in an old garden …

In 1994, when Kaye comes to Acadia Creek to spend a quiet summer with her two children, she has no idea what waits for her. Instead of passing stress-free days of swimming and hiking, she finds herself embedded in mystery after mystery. A missing vagrant and a gang of thieves have the community worried. And neighbours seem determined to occupy all of Kaye’s time and energy in restoration of an old flower garden. Meanwhile, she and her kids have stumbled into a century-old legend of a treasure buried on the property. At the root of it all is a sinister sea-shell that will not stay where it is put. Can Kaye recover her calm or will she be the victim of neighbours, vagrants, thieves and a shell called the Grinning Tun? just click here to see the book on Amazon. Or pick up a copy at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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Something the Sundial Said

A mystery in a diary and a murder by a sundial …

In 1995, Kaye and her young family attend a country auction, never dreaming the stone sundial in the garden is the site of a century-old murder. They end up buying the old house but someone else buys the sundial. Then Kaye finds a diary written in 1880, chronicling the days leading up to the murder. When Kaye reads the diary, she decides to search for the sundial and return it to the property. And she decides to try and solve the mystery with the clues left in the diary. At every corner, she is outmaneuvered by a local genealogist who is anxious to obtain the diary and keep information damaging to her family hidden. The woman will go to ridiculous lengths to obtain the diary, even stalking Katie, Kaye’s teenaged daughter. As Kaye discovers someone is entering her house at night to find the diary, she wonders who she can trust. The former owner of the house? The handsome stonemason who offers to mend the stone walls on the property? Or the genealogist who will go to extraordinary lengths to protect her family name? Just click here to see the book on Amazon. Or pick up a copy at Westminster Books in Fredericton.

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Land Between the Furrows

A mystery in a stack of post cards and the search for a missing stone …

When Kaye and her friend Clara hold a yard sale, they never dream a box of old post cards will send them on a search for a valuable ‘stone.’ With the help of the stone mason, Daniel, Kaye’s family will try to solve the messages in the post cards and find an old house where the lost artifact must be hidden. When Katie’s pet, Cow, gets lost in the woods, Kaye’s family gets a sudden boost in the game of ‘who finds the stone.’ Their efforts are stymied by some new arrivals in the community: the determined member of a Heritage Association, a bird watcher who doesn’t seem to know a robin from a starling and Daniel’s new, rather unlikely, apprentice. Where is the ‘stone’ and how can it save a community from loss of everything they hold dear? The third in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series is available at Amazon here. This week it will be available at Westminster Books in Fredericton or from me directly.

These are the coziest of mysteries, perfect to curl up with on a rainy day or during the long days of lockdown.

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Stay safe everyone!

Jane

A Book Review: Where’s Home by Jan Fancy Hull

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I am originally from Alberta, but left for Nova Scotia as a teenager and remained there for twenty years until I took my first job. Although I have not lived there for years, Nova Scotia has a way of tugging at my heart-strings. I love the ocean, the rural landscape of the Annapolis Valley, the silver waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes. My Kaye Eliot Mysteries are set in the Rawdon Hills of Nova Scotia. For these reasons, I was so happy to hear about a writing project by my friend Jan Hull, a book exploring the ideas of people who consider Nova Scotia ‘home.’

Where’s Home? by Jan Fancy Hull (Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia: Moose House Publications, 2020)

An honest and charming mixture of memory, experience and connection.

This book explores the difficult idea of acceptance (how you accept your community/landscape/province and how it accepts you). Through anecdote and survey response, the book explores the idea of ‘home’—where you live, why you live there, who you are, when you arrived, and how you seek to be part of community.

A reader will begin the book expecting a series of anecdotes about down-east warmth and soothing ocean vistas. But, as the cover states, the answer to Where’s Home? can be complicated. Here you will find stories of people who love Nova Scotia, would never live anywhere else. You will find stories of those who love the ocean, the rural landscape, the home cooking and the welcoming people. You will also find stories of those who hate cold and snowy winters or have ambitions for urban success in other parts of the world.

The book does not avoid difficult subject matter but discusses problems of ‘home’ throughout Nova Scotia’s history—the loss of home by indigenous peoples who did not surrender title to their lands, the loss of home by Acadian people who were deported by the English, people who lost homes when a federal park was established, people whose idea of home has changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The anecdotes and survey answers in the book consider the complex idea of CFA (Come From Away). Some new arrivals have been welcomed with plates of scones. Others have not found acceptance and the author considers some of the barriers to feeling at home—local colloquialisms, lack of business opportunities, even racism.

My favorite idea in the book?—a way to make people feel welcomed: organized Campground Hosts at Kejimkujic Park, unofficial community greeters, local refugee organizations, local people all set to welcome newcomers to a home in Nova Scotia.

As you read Where’s Home? you will compare your experiences with those in the book, even if you are not from Nova Scotia—the experiences related are applicable to any place where we live or wish to return. These are stories of entrepreneurs, artists, immigrants, people of various cultures and backgrounds. They are told with consideration, empathy, humor and understanding.

Where’s Home? is available at Amazon here, at your local bookstore, or by contacting Jan directly at the website here.

Enjoy your reading during these uncertain spring days.

All my best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 30, 2021 at 7:22 pm

Coming Soon: New Title in the Kaye Eliot Mystery Series

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Every afternoon, I spend some time working on reviewing/revising the proof of my new mystery in the Kaye Eliot Series. I have a cozy spot to work, in my big reading chair in front of the fireplace. Not hard to take a fanciful flight to Nova Scotia where the mystery unfolds.

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The new book focuses on stones of various types and the part they play in our history: gemstones, millstones, standing stones, building stones. It may take a while for readers to understand the title of the book: Land Between the Furrows.

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In each book, I include three illustrations. Here is one of the three: an old grist mill and its grind stones figure in the mystery. This drawing will be the basis for the painting featured on the book’s cover.

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In this book, Kaye finds a stack of very old postcards that tell the story of a missing stone. Kaye welcomes the chance to solve a puzzle with her kids but some of the visitors to the community make their sleuthing a little dangerous. Then the family discovers the ruin of an old stone house on an unexplored part of their property and finding the missing stone may be only part of their venture into history.

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Land Between the Furrows is planned for release on March 15, 2021. A perfect cozy mystery to enjoy during these long winter afternoons.

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All my best!

Jane

time on the shore

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On this Father’s Day, I remember times spent with my dad.

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When I was a kid, he would take us to the shore near Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, to look for chunks of iron pyrite (fool’s gold) in the rocks.

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time on the shore

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spit of sand

grains in an hourglass

poured through gaps

in a cobble sea

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waves advance

try to tangle me

wash me, turn me

like a sea-smooth stone

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but I know about tides

I move myself inland

each hour

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3.

he watched whales blow here

saw sea horses dance

filled his pockets with sea glass

pitied the sandpiper

sprinkling tracks the waves erase

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I hear the hiss of air

the echoing wail

small stallions prance on my toes

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I close my eyes

forget to move

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he takes us prospecting

we wedge into crevasses

keen for pyrite gold

cube within cube

embedded in stone

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we always forget the hammer

we chip and scratch with fingernails

reach across rock

dare the waves

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a sanderling cries

quit quit!

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shorebirds

befriend me

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a dowitcher sews a seam with her bill

bastes salt water to shore

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the sanderling shoos back the tide

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terns

plunge into the ocean

and complain they are wet

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Published as: ‘Time on the Shore’, Canadian Stories 16 (89), February/March 2013

Part of manuscript ‘mnemonic‘ winner of the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick 2016 Writing Competition

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

June 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

dancing around the daisy pole

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Perhaps strange to talk about a Maypole in July but Maypoles have been used for summer celebrations throughout the years. In the old stereoscope photo below, published by a company in Meadville Pennsylvania and  St. Louis Missouri, the Maypole is referred to as a Daisy Pole.

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Maypole

A rather blurry scan of a stereoscopic photo, blurry because it is curved for the viewer. The title of the photo is ‘A June Carnival – Dancing Round the Daisy Pole’ 1900

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When my Aunt Jane was young, attending a small school in Nova Scotia, field days were held in June. In her book, she recalls participating in a field day:

… I was in grade 1 … we had a “field day”. My dress was made of blue and white crepe paper and, holding on to the end of a white paper streamer, I danced around a May pole. I remember my great embarrassment as a gust of wind took the streamer out of my hand and sent it high in the air to flutter in the breeze …

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The decorative Maypole we made years ago to celebrate May 1 every year. Through the years, when I needed ribbon, I occasionally snipped a length from the pole, so there are a few short ribbons!

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July 1 2016 'dancing around the daisy pole' Jane Tims

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daisy pole plan

sketch for ‘dancing around the daisy pole’ … in some ways more lively than the final drawing

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

early schools – the exotic and the common

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In my Aunt’s book about early schooling in Nova Scotia, she tells an amusing story about field days at school:

… I recall another field day when Dr. DeWolfe, Miss Harris, and Miss Baker came with shrubs to our school. The shrubs were ten cents each. My mother had always longed for a weigela and a snowball and we were delighted that at last she could have her wish, for both these varieties were among Dr. DeWolf’s  collection. They were duly planted at my home on the bank of the French River. One turned out to be a high bush cranberry and the other a spiraea, but today we still refer to them as the “snowball” and “weigela” and, I may mention, they have many an offspring throughout our province.

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I must have seen the high bush cranberry and spiraea many times at my mother’s old home, but I don’t remember them in particular. I do remember the gardens, lush with rose bushes, tiger lilies, and grape vines.

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June 17 2016 'an exotic shrub' Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

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