My love of writing isn’t confined to this blog. Over the past eight years, I’ve written four novels, of which I’m quite proud. A description of these works follows:
THE WAR OF 1812/JEREMY VAN HIJSER TRILOGY
Inspired by my love and knowledge of history, these three books follow Jeremy van Hijser as he navigates through the War of 1812 in the Niagara Peninsula.
Book One: A Question of Loyalty:
Jeremy Van Hijser finds himself drawn into the War of 1812, but at a personal level that he could never have imagined.
It is 1813 and the year-old war between the United States and what would eventually be known as Canada has bogged down in Niagara. Groups of British raiders are fighting a forward action with the help of native allies. Mostly uncontrolled volunteers and Canadian traitors, meanwhile, are prosecuting the war for the Americans. Many Niagara citizens are recent immigrants from the U.S. and are unsure where their loyalties lie.
Most average citizens just wish to get on with their lives and have little interest in this battle. One of these is Jeremy Van Hijser, a former farmer and now a trapper. Like many others, however, the war is not about to pass him by. He is about to learn just how cruel the fortunes of war can be, not to mention the value of loyalty at many levels. For Jeremy is destined to encounter one of the worst that war can produce.
Thrown unwillingly into the conflict he has tried to avoid, it threatens to destroy everyone and everything he holds dear, including his values. As the fortunes of the two North American powers swirl about him, he must do what he can to survive.
Book Two: In the Name of Honour:
Life has almost reached a semblance of normalcy for Jeremy van Hijser since his forays into the war during the summer. He is quite content to return to the simple life of hunting and trapping even though there are yet some lingering bad feelings from those he fought. But that is about to change once more.
An American cousin that Jeremy does not know he has appears at on Jeremy’s doorstep. After fighting against the British raid on Black Rock, his mother has sent him to find his long lost relative in the hope that Jeremy might help him find a normal life, but both their lives are too complicated to be normal and they find themselves involved in a search for a mystery cache.
Jeremy is thrown back into the conflict known as the War of 1812 with a vengeance as the treasure hunt rapidly degenerates into an all-out war with a group of religious fanatics and Jeremy’s old nemesis. He suddenly finds himself hunted by all sides in what for him is a matter of honour.
Book Three: A Tireless Vengeance:
Jeremy Van Hijser finds he just cannot keep himself out of the War of 1812, but everything is extremely personal this time.
It’s 1814 and the war between the United States and what would eventually be known as Canada has now been going on for two years. In Niagara, things have quieted down for a while, since the Americans withdrew and the British burned the American side of the Niagara River, from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. But some groups of uncontrolled volunteers and Canadian traitors, meanwhile, are continuing to harass the citizens and assisting the Americans.
Most average citizens would prefer to stay out of the conflict. One of these is Jeremy Van Hijser, a former farmer and now a trapper, just wishes to get on with his life but, like some friends of his, the war is not about to leave him alone. In the process of helping a neighbour’s daughter seek justice, he is caught up in a seemingly never-ending pursuit of vengeance, not just his own, but that of others as well.
This time, it threatens to take Jeremy’s very soul as he fights his enemies on both sides of the border. He and his family become involved in the greatest battles of the war, while the two North American powers continue to battle for the land known as the Canadas.
My fourth novel gets away from the historical novel genre, in favour of a tale of survival and rebirth in face of the human race’s ultimate failure.
DREAMS OF UTOPIA
Devon has lived all his life in a work camp. Like the others there, he has no last name and no parents or family, nothing that can tie him to a past. Their only knowledge of what has gone before and why they are there is supposed to come from those who control their miserable lives.
Fortunately for those who have the courage to challenge the camp rules, they have another source: the elders of the camp, who give them a solid education, partly to prepare them for the Outside, should they ever gain their freedom from this hell-hole. It’s training, it’s hope, it’s dreams, all of which they need to survive in the here and now, but also on the unlikely chance of a free future.
However, when the chance arrives, Devon finds out that the outside world is hardly Utopian. Unlike his expectations, not everyone is welcoming of strangers, as had been suggested. It soon becomes apparent that every Eden has its serpents.
And, as Devon discovers, even Utopia is a relative thing.
For more about Dreams of Utopia, read the St. Catharines Standard write-up, by Cathy Pelletier.
All novels are available through me directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Dreams of Utopia is presently also available at Chapel Street Designs Artisan Boutique at 46B Front Street South in Thorold.