Life Near Water is a collection of short stories that transports readers to locations across Nova Scotia and on a short vacation to the coastal waters of Newfoundland. McGyver’s love for the sea shines in The Ocean Between Them, and her keen interest in genealogy and history plays interesting rolls in The Man Who Reads Obituaries, Dancing in the Shine and War on His Shore.
McGyver’s quick wit takes centre stage in Miss Tuttle’s Lemon Tarts where neighbours bond over a cup of tea. Mutated Blood Lines beams readers into the future to a time when high water levels transform Nova Scotia into an island.
Genre: Fiction-Short Stories-Mixture of Contemporary, Science Fiction and Historical
Published: October 3, 2013
Paperback: (ISBN: 978-1-927625-03-3ISBN: 978-1-927625-03-3; 109 pages; 5 x 8 inches): is available at
eBook (ISBN: 978-1-927625-01-9; 30,160 words) is available at
Nova Scotia – Life Near Water is McGyver’s first anthology.
Excerpt from The Ocean Between Them, one of the short stories in the anthology
The rhythm of the rocking boat cast a hypnotic trance on Cindy Fletcher, leaving her mindless of time and place and the reality of her situation. But her wayward mind held fast to the stark truth: she was lost.
She pulled her dark hoodie around her and peered into the thick, white fog. It had consumed the twelve-foot row boat within minutes, erasing the Newfoundland coastline and casting her and her childhood friend, Michelle Purdy, into a dense cloud-like world.
The fog had devoured all sound save the oars striking the water. Michelle rowed in the direction both believed would deliver them to the wharf where they had rented the boat. In thirty minutes, it would be Cindy’s turn to row again. It would also be 5:00 pm, marking the fourth hour in the fog.
Michelle froze and stared off into the white nothingness.
“What is it?” Cindy gawked in the same direction.
“I thought I heard something.”
They exchanged uncertain glances, then cried for help. They stopped to listen. The silence deafened Cindy.
“I hope it isn’t a ship.” Michelle’s eyes remained set on the fog.
Cindy stared dumbfounded in the same direction. If a vessel crashed into them, they wouldn’t have a chance. Several minutes passed without a sign of a ship, land or anything else emerging from the fog.
Michelle resumed rowing. She mumbled under her breath and glared at Cindy with the same expression she had worn since becoming lost. Cindy had ignored it, but couldn’t any longer.
“What?” she asked. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You’re the one who wanted to sightsee on the ocean.” Michelle furrowed her brow. “We’re lost because of you.”
“I have no control over the weather.” Cindy crossed her arms and hugged the hoodie tighter. “Anyway, it was you who wanted to get closer to the seal. It was only a grey seal, nothing special around here.”
Michelle clamped her thin lips shut and avoided eye contact. When they exchanged seats so Cindy could take over rowing, the silence between the two grew colder than the ocean waters.
Several hours later the light slipped away, pitching them into darkness. Cindy’s fingers felt numb as she rowed, but the constant movement kept her body warm. She had no idea whether she was rowing towards land or deeper into the Atlantic Ocean. For all she knew, she was rowing across the Bay of St. Lawrence to her home in Nova Scotia. She silently cast wishes into the blackness above, hoping a shooting star would catch them and grant her safe passage.
Author: Diane McGyver
Diane McGyver is the author of several novels, including Shadows in the Stone, Scattered Stones, Revelation Stones, Healing Stones, Beyond the Myst, Northern Survival, and the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes. Her short story “The Whispers of Words” appears in the short story collection The Coldest December.
Her first dystopian novel, Natural Selection, will be released October 2021.
Learn more about this author by visiting her website: Diane McGyver.