Story Behind Throw Away Kitten

We asked Candy McMudd what inspired her to write her children’s novel Throw Away Kitten. Here’s what she had to say.

Throw Away Kitten Candy McMudd children bookI live in the country, but I never knew how many pet owners did the unthinkable: abandon boxes of kittens, puppies and kits (short for kittens, which is what baby rabbits are called) on the side of rural roads. That is, I didn’t know until I found a ‘lost’ kitten that had probably been dumped by its owner and told a friend about it.

She was surprised it was my first one. She’s had many boxes of baby animals dropped off near her driveway over the years. She said, “We own a farm. People think we want them. They think we can easily take care of them.”

A farm always has a few barn cats, but they don’t need more. They certainly don’t need boxes of rabbits and puppies.

If I didn’t know this was happening and I lived in the country, I was certain many others didn’t know either, so Throw Away Kitten was born. It can be read to young children and read by children with a grade one reading level. It has a happy ending, and I hope it inspires children to take responsibility for their pets, so generations to come will not abandon these animals on roadsides.

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Swallowed: Coming Spring 2020

Isla Jane has a secret. (Psst; don’t tell her family) She’s written a book; her first one. She’s super excited about it, and here at Quarter Castle Publishing, we’re excited for her. It’s been read, enjoyed and accepted for publication.

Now the waiting begins. It’s scheduled for release in Spring 2020, and we have an exclusive sneak peak of the first scene to share with readers. It’s still in it’s raw form, so expect things to change as production continues.

Swallowed is the story of survival after a plane crashes and two strangers must work together to find their way out of the vast wilderness of Northern Ontario.

“Yeah. Rod speaking.” Rod pressed the receiver firmly against his ear and with his hand over his other ear, blocked noise from the plane testing its engine. “Last flight leaves in ten.”

“Can she get aboard?” came the administrator’s voice on the other end.

“It’s a private flight.”

“Can you ask?”

“What’s the emergency?”

“Her mother’s dying. She needs to get home.”

Rod gritted his teeth and glanced out the large hangar door at the pilot of the four-man plane and his two passengers. The pilot wasn’t the problem; the arrogant bastard from California who financed the short expedition to Northern Ontario and who had rubbed him the wrong way since arriving two days earlier was the real issue. The business associate he’d brought along to document his excursion was approachable enough, but Johnathan Stone, the biggest name these days in Hollywood would brush him off without giving him a chance to ask.

“There’s a flight leaving tomorrow afternoon,” said Rod. “How close to death is her mother?”

“She’s 91; she courting it.”

“Damn.” He rubbed the dark stubble on his chin. This wasn’t the first time he’d solicit a ride in an emergency, but it was the first time he hesitated because of one man.

“It won’t hurt to ask,” said the administrator. “All they can do is say no.”

“Yeah. Give me a sec.” Before he set the phone down, a thought came to mind. “She won’t be able to take luggage. There’s no room.” For a two-day trek to the north, the two Californians had packed enough provisions and gear to stay six months. “We’ll ship it out on tomorrow’s flight.”

“No problem. Just ask before that plane leaves.”

Rod set down the phone and jogged across the runway to where the pilot did his final checks and the two passengers gabbed and took selfies of themselves and the plane.

“Excuse me.” Rod came to a stop in front of the man who had the power to give the okay. “Mr. Stone, we have an emergency.”

“Emergency?” Johnathan Stone lowered his phone, which was only a glorified camera in Summer Beaver with no cell service. “What type?”

“A woman needs to fly out immediately. Her 91-year-old mother’s dying. She doesn’t have much time. Next flight is more than 24 hours away.” He rambled off the information quickly to prevent being cut off by the arrogant cuss. “No luggage. Just her.”

Mr. Stone made a face and looked at his associate. “Can we spare the room?”

“We can. It’s an honourable thing to do.”

Mr. Stone’s grimace deepened. “Ninety-one.” He huffed. “Making her daughter a plumpy, grey-haired, saggy-chinned 60-something broad who’ll chatter non-stop about dear old mom and every misery in her life the entire flight.” He tilted his head forward and peered over his glasses. “Three hours of dull conversation and whining Lord have mercy. She’ll need a shoulder to cry on. Still interested?”

“Could be worse.”

“She sits in back with you.” He turned to Rod. “We leave in ten. We wait for no one. If she’s here, she flies. If not…” He shrugged. “We’re not a taxi service.”

“Thank you, Mr. Stone.” You conceited ass. Rod rushed to the phone. “Get her up here now. He won’t wait, but he’ll take her if she’s here.”

“Excellent.”

“Tell her the company will be horrible, but it’s the best we can do in short notice.”

“Whose flight is it?”

“Mr. Johnathan Stone’s.” Sarcasm dripped on the line.

“Good grief.”

“Yeah.” Rod hung up and watched the scene on the tarmac. The middle-aged man who had sky-rocked to stardom with the movie Roads Apart was poking fun at his associate. Several words drifted in on the wind over the engine: stuffy elderly, gossiping hag, and wind bag full of complaints and gas… Obviously the 53-year-old didn’t think he’d age further. He probably thought marrying the 27-year-old model kept him young. What she saw in the man old enough to be her father was simple: money and fame. Giving him her fountain of youth was not in the deal.

Stay tuned as we share this exciting story with you in the months to come.

Shadows in the Stone: Isla and Liam’s 1st Scene Together

Shadows in the Stone by Diane Lynn McGyver

Isla of Maura and Liam Jenkins meet in Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the traditional epic fantasy series Castle Keepers. They’re just kids, playing kid games in the forest. Yet there is wisdom in their thoughts and words.

This is the first scene in which they appear together. She’s 12, he’s 13, and they’ve known each other for about seven years.

Isla dove beneath the large fern. Her heart pounded against her chest as she struggled to hide from view. The cool moist ground kissed her cheek, stained her bare feet and knees, and soiled her clothes, but she didn’t notice. She waited here to catch her breath before setting out again for the safety of the great oak.

A bird screeched high above in the canopy of the trees. Eight, nine, ten. Isla slipped from beneath the fern and wove around a boulder in her path. The great oak grew nearby. Her eyes darted left and right, looking for the hunter. If he found her… She shuddered at the thought.

A shadow leapt from the depths of a leafy bush, driving her into soft moss. She rolled several times before crashing into the trunk of a tree where she lay on her back, gasping for breath and realising once again today, she had lost.

Liam lay beside her, wearing a big grin. “That makes two weeks’ worth of oatmeal raisin cookies!”

She laughed and slapped her friend in play. “I’m taking to the trees the next time.” Liam had grown faster, stronger. Alaura said he would, being a boy, but Isla still had a few tricks. It pleased her that his meeme had allowed him to join her and Alaura at Moon Meadow after the session hall closed for the day. Out here in the forest, they ran and played freely without the watchful eyes of adults. At twelve, she didn’t need constant supervision.

“You should be sneakier, less honourable,” said Liam.

“Sneakier, yes, but less honourable is not an option.”

He grinned. “At times life, not the person, dictates the level of honour. No use being honourable and dead.”

Interested in reading more? The eBook is free at these locations:

FREE eBook Weekend: Destiny Governed their Lives

This Saturday and Sunday (May 11th and 12th), the short story “Destiny Governed their Lives” will be free at Amazon. Download the eBook today; read it whenever.

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Amazon.uk

Destiny Governed Their Lives: Tale 01

Staring Catriona Wheatcroft, age 17

When a young woman casts a Sight Visitation Spell, it changes her life forever.

Catriona Wheatcroft is an apprentice who aspires to be an impressive sorceress.

When she discovers a scroll for a powerful spell, she hopes to prove to her teacher she is ready to take advanced lessons.

The spell is cast, and the unexpected brings tragedy to her life.

Market Event: A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962-2017

John Grant Oldham Consolidated School historyHistorian and author John Grant will attend the 3rd Annual GLO Crafters Sale on Saturday November 3rd from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Grand Lake Oakfield Community Society, 22 Lakeside Drive, Grand Lake, Halifax County, Nova Scotia.

He will have copies of his book, A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017, available for purchase.

Free admission. Everyone welcome.

The publication is a 36-page booklet jam-packed with details of the schools that existed before the consolidation and the events leading up to and following the building of the new school in Enfield, Halifax County, Nova Scotia.

The back of the book contains a list of principals and vice principals who taught at the school.

In 1962 the school sections of Goffs (Guysborough Road), Oakfield, Oldham and Enfield Border were dissolved and Oldfield Consolidated School was built to serve the new school district. School consolidation is never easy. This is the story of the process and the life of the new school.

A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017

John Grant Oldham Consolidated School historyHistorian John Grant, author of Historic Guysborough, is the author of A History of Oldfield Consolidated School 1962 – 2017. It’s a 36-page booklet jam-packed with details of the schools that existed before the consolidation and the events leading up to and following the building of the new school in Enfield, Halifax County, Nova Scotia.

The back of the book contains a list of principals and vice principals who taught at the school.

In 1962 the school sections of Goffs (Guysborough Road), Oakfield, Oldham and Enfield Border were dissolved and Oldfield Consolidated School was built to serve the new school district. School consolidation is never easy. This is the story of the process and the life of the new school.

Grant opens his history lesson:

On Wednesday evening, 1 May 1963, almost 100 people attended the formal opening of the new Oldfield Consolidated School on Hall’s Road, Enfield. The ceremony was chaired by Councillor Mary T. King-Myers, and Lt. Col. Kendrick C. Laurie of nearby Oakfield was the guest speaker. The students of the new six-room school, already in regular use, also participated in the opening by performing “a number of musical selections.” The ceremonial presentation of the school’s keys saw them passed from the school’s builder to the representative of Halifax County and then to the district school board. They were then received by J. Douglas Fleming, the Chair of the local Board of School Trustees, who presented them to the school’s first principal, Mrs. Jean McManaman. The school’s plaque and a Union Jack were also given to the school during the ceremonies which were opened and closed by the prayers of local clergy.

To purchase a copy of the book, please contact Quarter Castle Publishing.

Celebrating McGyver’s Birthday with FREE Short Stories

That’s right; it’s Diane Lynn McGyver’s birthday today, and to celebrate, we’ve made all three of the Castle Keepers Tale stories available for FREE at Kindle.

Shadows in the Stone - Diane Lynn McGyverThe Castle Keepers Tale series is short stories involving a character from the main books of the Castle Keepers series. They are stand-alone stories that took place before Shadows in the Stone and provide back story for these characters, revealing the pain or tragedy that set them on their course in life. Through these stories, readers can better understand the characters and appreciate a little more of why they act as they do. We are all products of our past and pivotal events shape us into who we are.

There are three stories to date: Catriona Wheatcroft, Bronwyn Darrow and Alaura of Niamh. Pick up the eBook today – the only day of the sale.

Destiny Governed their LivesCatriona Wheatcroft

Destiny Governed their Lives

When a young woman casts a Sight Visitation Spell, it changes her life forever.

Catriona Wheatcroft is a young, ambitious apprentice who aspires to be an impressive sorceress. When she discovers a scroll for a powerful spell, she hopes to prove to her teacher she is ready to take advanced lessons. The spell is cast, and the unexpected brings tragedy to her life.

Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyverBronwyn Darrow

Blade of Truth

Innocence is shattered when a young man falls victim to a horrible prank.

Youth and innocence still reside in Bronwyn. When he attends a celebration with the girl he admires most, he’s elated but extremely nervous. He hopes the night will be one they’ll never forget. Instead, he should have hoped for one easily forgotten.

The Pledge short story epic fantasyAlaura of Niamh

The Pledge

Pressured to accept a dreadful proposition, a young woman desperately seeks an escape.

Alaura doesn’t want to grow up too fast. She’d rather seek adventures and dream of all the places she might travel. When she arrives home one evening and learns her future is in someone else’s hands, her desperation takes her down a deadly path.

Blade of Truth Gets a New Cover

This summer, Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyver got a new cover as we prepared to release the third book in the Castle Keepers Tale series. It also got a new description.

Innocence is shattered when a young man falls victim to a horrible prank.

Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyverYouth and innocence still reside in Bronwyn Darrow. When he attends a celebration with the girl he admires most, he’s elated but extremely nervous. He hopes the night will be one they’ll never forget. Instead, he should have hoped for one easily forgotten.

If you love coming of age stories and moments that shape a person, you’ll enjoy Diane Lynn McGyver’s short story Blade of Truth. One might call it a character story or a back story. It’s both, revealing the turning point in Bronwyn Darrow’s life. It exposes the source of the pain that drives him when he meets a woman who challenges his will to remain single in Shadows in the Stone. It’s a quick, easy read and the first introduction into the world of Ath-o’Lea and the adventures that lie ahead.

Blade of Truth is the second in the Castle Keepers Tale series that will have you wondering what’s next? It will introduce you to the Darrow family and the youngest member’s dreams. Brace yourself for the ride to another time and place.

McGyver wields her pencil in a similar realm where Tolkien released his imagination. It is traditional fantasy of old with magic, legends, dragons and dwarfs.

Buy Blade of Truth today and begin your journey into the Land of Ath-o’Lea where magic and sword clash.

The eBook is available on at Amazon in:

The Coldest December

A Short Story Collection to Remember the Halifax Explosion

Original Stories by Nova Scotia Authors: Sheila McDougall, Phil Yeats, Lawren Snodgrass, Catherine A. MacKenzie, Polly J. Brown, Diane Lynn McGyver, Cheryl Lynn Davis, Bronwen Piper, Barbara-Jean Moxsom, Liana Olive Quinn and Annemarie Hartnett.

Silenced Memories

Lawren Snodgrass

The Coldest DecemberThe warm breeze rustled the leaves on the potato plants as Wilber Coulson pulled weeds with a long-handled hoe. The showers the evening before and the warm July day had made the pesky plants explode overnight. Although Mathilda planned to weed, he insisted she rest instead. In her condition, she needn’t be in the sun working when he could tidy the garden after work. Their son Everett also helped with the chores while she recovered from the most recent bout of bronchitis. Doc Fraser left little doubt her illness would not clear unless she rested and avoided her womanly chores.

Wilber paused for a moment, wiped his brow and leant onto the hoe to stare off at the harbour a few miles away. From his vantage point on Break Heart Hill, he could see the growing cities of Dartmouth and Halifax, their streets divided by the deep body of water. From this distance, he could not make out people, but he knew they were there. Given the hour, most workers had gone home for the night, yet many remained on the docks, loading or unloading and tending to ships either bound for overseas or arriving from there. The war created traffic jams in the harbour he had not seen for more than twenty years.

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A Name is Still a Name by Any Other Name

Roots to the PastThe following genealogy article was written by Diana Tibert, the genealogy columnist for The Citizen (Amherst, NS) and The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County, NS) and author of Roots to the Past. It appeared in newspapers in January 2006.

Quarter Castle Publishing will publish Tibert’s columns in book form. Roots to the Past – Book 1 will be released in late 2018. It will contain columns written from October 2005 (when the column began) to December 2006.  Stay tuned to learn more about this book as the release date approaches.

A Name is Still a Name by Any Other Name

Diana Tibert

William and John TypertPhoto: My grandfather William (right) had a few nicknames, including Wil, Bamp and Pop. His son, John, was recorded in the family Bible as William John, but was later known as John William (1942).

While growing up in Nova Scotia, I had three friends by the name of Michael. At an early age, they were given their own variation of Michael in the neighbourhood so everyone knew which Michael was being talked about without adding last names: Michael (who sometimes was called only by his last name: Harrison), Mike and Mikey.

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The Coldest December

A Short Story Collection to Remember the Halifax Explosion

Original Stories by Nova Scotia Authors: Sheila McDougall, Phil Yeats, Lawren Snodgrass, Catherine A. MacKenzie, Polly J. Brown, Diane Lynn McGyver, Cheryl Lynn Davis, Bronwen Piper, Barbara-Jean Moxsom, Liana Olive Quinn and Annemarie Hartnett.

Business as Usual

Phil Yeats

The Coldest December“JENKSINS,” MORROW, THE DUTY SERGEANT, called out as I followed two other patrolmen into the Halifax Police Station. “Get over here. Now!”

After finishing school in the spring of 1916, I’d volunteered for the army. I’d been declared unfit for service because of my poor vision and thrown back onto the streets, an outcast as I’d been through my school days. I’d always been excluded from sports and treated as an invalid because I wore spectacles.

Rejection by the army turned me into a different sort of pariah. Everyone saw me as a big, strong lad shirking my responsibility to fight the Hun. It didn’t matter that I squinted at them through thick lenses and protested that I’d attempted to join the army. I was seen as a failure, a weak, passive coward who wouldn’t fight for his country.

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Not Enough Blood

Diana Tibert admits upfront that, “I am NOT a doctor. I am NOT a nurse or a medical practitioner of any type. I have no formal education in the medical field.”

But she has a problem, one that started in her late 30s. In her upcoming book, she tells her story in simple terms because there is no need for text-book language when the message is meant for the common person.

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The Coldest December

A Short Story Collection to Remember the Halifax Explosion

Original Stories by Nova Scotia Authors: Sheila McDougall, Phil Yeats, Lawren Snodgrass, Catherine A. MacKenzie, Polly J. Brown, Diane Lynn McGyver, Cheryl Lynn Davis, Bronwen Piper, Barbara-Jean Moxsom, Liana Olive Quinn and Annemarie Hartnett.

Blue

Sheila McDougall

The Coldest DecemberHIS EYES WERE AS BLUE as the May forget-me-nots on Citadel Hill where they first picnicked on the cool spring earth. As blue as the cornflowers Mother grew in her summer garden. As blue as the harbour below, reflecting the summer sky.

When she’d go on, he’d colour up and shake his head in protest. “Don’t be daft,” he’d scold, but she could tell he liked it.

He liked her, too, more than her friends Jane and Mary who accompanied her to the waterfront that day. His cheeky compliments, spoken in accented English foreign to her ears, told her so.

He was short, not much taller than Kate, and slight of build. He looked no more than a boy, a handsome youth in his middy and seaman’s cap, but his wit set him apart from the other young men jostling for notice.

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Throw Away Kitten

Throw Away Kitten by Candy McMudd

Children’s Novel – ages 6 to 12

Charlie McBean has always dreamt of a kitten of his own, but he’s already ten and doesn’t have one. His family moves from the city to an old farm house where he discovers a box of kittens left in his neighbour’s yard.

When his neighbour says he’ll take the throw-away kittens to the shelter, Charlie and his sister Cavell volunteer to find homes for them. As potential owners start to arrive to see the kittens, Charlie worries his plan of keeping one for himself will fail.

Get it now at Amazon.

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Catholic Irish and Protestant Irish in Canada

Roots to the PastThe following genealogy article was written by Diana Tibert, the genealogy columnist for The Citizen (Amherst, NS) and The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County, NS) and author of Roots to the Past. It appeared in newspapers in 2016.

Quarter Castle Publishing will publish Tibert’s columns in book form. Roots to the Past – Book 1 will be released in late 2018. It will contain columns written from October 2005 (when the column began) to December 2006.  Stay tuned to learn more about this book as the release date approaches.

shamrockHappy St. Patrick’s Day

Catholic Irish and Protestant Irish in Canada

Diana Tibert

I haven’t studied any religion in depth. I’m more of a browser, reading bits and pieces of various religions and cults that have been created over the centuries to try to understand why people lived the way they did. With this curiosity, I began reading about the religions that separated the Irish.

During most of my early life, I heard news reports about Catholics and Protestants battling in Northern Ireland. When I was younger, I thought they were stories from long ago because no one in my small world hated another simply because of their religion.

As a young teen in the late 70s, I learned the stories were current and told about a religious war fought in the modern-day world. It was foreign to me, and I couldn’t wrap my brain around it because—to my knowledge—it didn’t happen in Canada. Why couldn’t they just get along?

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The Coldest December – Halifax Explosion Short Story Collection

The short story collection to mark the 100th anniversary (December 6, 2017) of the Halifax Explosion will be called The Coldest December.

Here is a mock-up of the cover. (subject to change)

Quarter Castle Publishing will release The Coldest December in November 2017. It will contain short stories written by Nova Scotia authors. The book will also include information and photographs to help explain the tragic events that changed the lives of thousands of people and decimated the shorelines of the twin cities, Halifax and Dartmouth.