A few years ago, when I started writing, I wasn’t sure what my preferred genre would be. As a reader, I adored mystery, suspense, mild paranormal, and historical novels. I wasn’t into porn, not even soft porn, but I needed a happy ending. When I decided to take being an author seriously, my first releases were romantic suspense thrillers. I followed them with a contemporary romance with some humor in it, and then tried my hand at historical fiction. After that, I sort of bounced from one genre to the other, based on where my muse sent me. Recently, I’ve dabbled in romantic comedy, too, but somehow, I always feel the need to go back and rethink things.
I began my writing career in 2013, not that long ago in the scope of things. In 2014, I released The Price of Honor, a Canadian historical romance, with a traditional publisher. Five years later, when my rights reverted to me, I edited the book to suit my own tastes, added a few things to the story–after all it was a fictitious account of my own family’s arrival in New France–and released it independently.
Books about early New France, Canada’s original name, aren’t plentiful. My country seems to lack the romance of kilt-clad Scottish lords, philandering English and French royalty, lusty sheiks and sultans, and rebellious Americans. In fact, it lacks the glamor attached to the historical development of many other countries. We had our rebellions, our battles, our wars, but they were so low key that the rest of the world didn’t notice. And yet, we made a lot of mistakes along the way as recent history proves.
In the seventeenth century, it was all about empire building. Europe was crowded. The kings and queens wanted more land, more power, more influence. Most importantly, they wanted more riches. The prevailing thought was that if they could find another route to the orient, one that didn’t involve Marco Polo’s Silk Road or require circumnavigating Africa or South America, it would be easier to get rich quick. The Spaniards were the first to try their luck at things and found the Mayans, Aztec, and Incas and their gold.
England and France both wanted a piece of that action, but it didn’t quite work out that way. England di find the rich tobacco growing lands of Virginia and the fur trapping of the northern thirteen colonies–after they took New Amsterdam away from the dutch of course. states. So what did that leave for France? Land farther north–rich in furs, but far less hospitable. Still, there was more to New France than furs and the French crown set out to prove that their decision to claim the land hadn’t been a mistake.
The Price of Honor, Book One of the Canadiana Series is set in 1668, at a time when New France’s boundaries were set by the land explored by Champlain. Trappers were required to stay within those boundaries because the Crown saw that as the best way to protect the few settlers there from the Dutch and the English to the south and a host of hostile indigenous tribes who didn’t want to give up their lands but were given no choice in the matter.
What is the price of honor? For Isabelle de Caen Gaudier, it’s disobeying the king, leaving her home, and giving up her identity.When King Louis orders Isabelle to marry the Chevalier d’Angrignon, she’s appalled. There is no way she can obey and wed the man she believes may be involved in her husband’s murder and her father’s poisoning. Add to that, the monster may be paving his way to the throne of France for the children she’ll bear him by killing all those ahead of her in line, something she can’t allow. For the sake of her honor, Isabelle de Caen must die.Hoping everyone will believe she drowned in the millpond, Isabelle disguises herself and sneaks aboard the ship taking her beloved cousin Sophie to the New World. That’s where the charged of treason against her husband originated, and that’s where Isabelle hopes to find the answers to clear his name and implicate the chevalier. But her plans threaten to fail when Guy Poirier, an old friend and her first love, finds her hiding under his bed.Guy knows Pierre Gaudier isn’t a traitor. The man was on an errand for the governor-general of New France, bringing him critical information, but he was killed before he could deliver it. Someone doesn’t want the king to know what’s really happening in the colony. When Guy finds Isabelle hiding under his bed, he jumps at the chance to help the woman he’s always loved and clear his friend’s name, and if Isabelle can some day return his affections, that would be the best reward he could get.But things are far more complicated than either of them suspects. After examining information found aboard a vessel attacked possibly by pirates and a wampum belt pointing to an alliance between the Iroquois Confederacy and tribes to the south, Guy fears for the lives of all those in the colony. There’s more than one conspiracy afoot, and with Isabelle at his side, he seeks to find the men behind it all to save not only the woman he loves, but the place he now calls home. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BRTL4P6
It had always been my intention to write the sequel to the story, but life and my muse had different ideas. Finally this summer, I finished the second book in the series.
This sequel to The Price of Honor continues the adventure.
When the enemy is faceless, whom can you trust?
Former trapper Lucien Rioux joins Guy Poirier, the governor-general, and the intendant in the search for the conspirators who want to see New France fail as a settlement to allow for more exploration into the rich, fur-bearing lands to the north and west. His mission is to verify that all of the estates in the hands of absentee landlords are being farmed, but he finds far more than he expected–a pregnant woman and her children left to die, escaped convicts searching for a missing treasure map embroidered on a pair of leather mittens, and one man searching for the former Isabelle de Caen, Guy’s pregnant wife, and her cousin Sophie Gaudier, the girl who has stolen his heart.
Torn between duty and love, Lucien will do whatever it takes to protect Sophie, but will he have the courage to open his heart to her?
This isn’t only Sophie and Lucien’s story. It also looks at the difficult life faced by everyone, from Nugoomee, a Mi’kmaq woman whose husband is murdered while she and her children are left for dead, rescued by a Mohawk who should’ve been her enemy but makes her his wife instead.
It continues the love story between Izzy and Guy, now expecting their first child, and let’s us take a look at Aline, Guy’s mother, and Henri, the former ship’s cook who leaves the sea to run and inn and adopts half-Huron, half-french twins.
It shows us what happened to Murielle, Isabelle de Caen’s nanny. And finally, we get a glimpse of the ongoing machinations of the Chevalier D’Angrignon as he continues to worm his way to the crown.
Life was hard in seventeenth century France, but for those determined to turn this land into a nation, it abounded with rewards, too.
The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadian series is available for pre-order. It will go live August 23, 2021. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BBF32PB
Will there be a Book Three? Maybe. There are certainly many untold tales to tell.