An old house. A single mother.
An epic battle with the wilderness.


MARCH 20, 2018


WILDWOOD will be released in February 2018. You may pre-order here: Order Wildwood Now.


Broke and desperate, single mother Molly Bannister of Phoenix, Arizona, accepts the stern condition laid down in her great-aunt’s will: to spend one year in an abandoned farmhouse deep in the remote backwoods of northern Alberta. If she does, she will be able to sell the farm and fund her four-year-old daughter Bridget’s badly needed medical treatments.

With grim determination, Molly teaches herself the basic pioneer skills, chopping firewood and washing her clothes with melted snow. But her greatest perils come from the brutal wilderness itself, from blizzards to grizzly bears. Only the journal written by her courageous great-aunt, the land’s original homesteader, inspires her to struggle on.

But there’s another obstacle to her success: an idealistic young farmer, Colin McKay, wants to thwart Molly’s strategy to sell her great-aunt’s farm to an oil company. Will Molly be cheated out of her inheritance after all? Will she and Bridget survive the savage winter, and what comes next? Not only their financial future, but their very lives are at stake.

Below are some of the images that inspired Wildwood, and I'll be adding to these until Wildwood is published.

When Molly inherits the old farmhouse, she finds a journal written by the original homesteader, her great-aunt Mary Margaret. This image reminds me of the young bride writing in her diary.


One pipe leading to the well under the house, and one pump over the kitchen sink that produces ice-cold water -- that's what my heroine has in the way of plumbing.


In northern Alberta, everything was built of logs. We didn't have a log toilet at my childhood farm in Saskatchewan, but our outdoor biffy was made from lumber. Our farm didn't have indoor plumbing installed until I was fourteen years old!


This old cookstove still sits in the house where I grew up, on a grain farm outside North Battleford, Saskatchewan. My brother took over the farm and lives in a new house in the same yard. In Wildwood, my heroine Molly has to cook on a stove just like this one.


This is an example of the foursquare house that Molly inherits, ordered originally from the T. Eaton Company and assembled on the spot by a team of carpenters in 1924.


The combination of golden fields, dark boreal forest, and blue skies makes for an incredible landscape in northern Alberta. I took this photo not far from Grande Prairie.


Because the farm has no plumbing, Molly must wash her clothes in a tin tub and hang them on the clothesline, just as in pioneer days. Happily she doesn't need to wear petticoats! This lovely painting is by Heide Presse.


The old house that Molly inherits has no electricity, so she has to rely on oil lamps for lighting those dark winter nights.


There is a sparkling creek running past the farmhouse in Wildwood, looking much like the one in this photograph that I took up in the Peace River area.


No old house would be complete without the iconic striped Hudson Bay trading blanket. 



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