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Feb 09

What’s New?





I’m facing the blank page that’s 2016 and wondering what will this new year bring?
Having completed my tenure as Write Canada conference Director (June 2015), I confess I’m at a bit of a loss.
I launched into a new writing project in the fall and at first it seemed to go well. Until I ran out of steam.
Sometimes life is like that.
These days I feel a bit like exhausted Elijah dozing  under the broom tree. God recognized Elijah’s need to rest and provided shade and sustenance until the weary prophet was fully recovered. He then hiked all the way to Mount Carmel where God’s spoke.
Elijah heard God’s still, small voice of guidance.
I’m not sure a trip to the mountains is in my immediate future. I do know, though, that when this season of rest has past, I will be ready for wherever God’s still small voice leads me.


Where is God leading you in 2016?

Dec 14

Self Family Letter Christmas 2015


It seems each year gets busier than the one before. How can this be? Maybe because our family keeps expanding! Here are our highlights.

March 2015, Harvey & I celebrated our 35th Anniversary a bit early. We spent an absolutely wonderful week in Barbados being wined and dined by our brothers-in-law. There aren’t enough superlatives in the English language to describe how amazing our visit was, or enough ways to say thank you.

May 3, 2015 Our newest granddaughter joined Allan & Natalie’s family to make Five Little Selfs in one little house. That she arrived the day after Allan received his Masters of Theological Studies only added to the excitement.  Our baby is a delightful little bundle of sleepless giggles. She is adored by all.

June 10, 2015 Jon graduated from the University of Waterloo. He sandwiched the big event between his return from Burkina Faso and two months touring Europe. This fall he began working for Free the Children’s We Day Events and living in Toronto. We’re glad to have him so close.

October 1, 2015 Bec received her Canadian permanent residency. What a relief for us all who feared Jamie might be forced to follow her back to Australia if it didn’t come through. But it did! Jamie & Bec celebrated with a sunny & warm month long vacation down under.

And so, from our household to yours, may you have a wonderful Christmas full of joy, peace & love and a blessed new year. All our love, Harvey & Jayne

Now for the photo spread! Harvey & I in Barbados. Jon in Paris. Allan receives his hood. Jamie & Bec receive their good news. (No kids shots this year. Gotta keep our little ones safe.)








Sep 11

Review: Bloom and Doom

51BOp9+ZNYL._AA160_Bloom and Doom

by Beverly Allen

Berklyy (2014)

Bloom and Doom, Beverly Allen’s first Bridal Bouquet Shop Mystery, is an entertaining read. Allen has created the perfect heroine in Audrey Bloom. She’s intelligent, imaginative, quick-witted, and just a little clumsy. Totally delightful. Audrey and her cousin Liv co-own a florist shop in Ramble, Virginia. Ramble’s the ideal setting for a cozy mystery, a small town with plenty of off-beat characters and oodles of regional charm.

In this first mystery, Audrey’s friend Jenny is accused of murdering her fiancé—the town’s most eligible bachelor. As with all mysteries, people aren’t what they appear to be and Jenny’s dream-man is no exception. Neither is Jenny, for that matter. With the help of a handsome sidekick, cupcake baker Nick Maxwell, Audrey must sort through the weeds to find the truth. But can she stay out of trouble while doing it?

What fun would that be?

I give Bloom and Doom a solid five stars and I look forward to Allen’s next mystery, For Whom the Bluebell Tolls.

Sep 04

Review: Beneath the Surface


Beneath the Surface

by Mike Martin

Biaco Publishing (2014)

Once again Mike Martin delivers a gently meandering mystery set in beautiful Newfoundland. Always polite Sgt Windflower, the star of this series, has been farmed out to another detachment as part of a task force investigating drug related crimes. There’s a murder, this is a mystery after all, with a dash of international intrigue—human trafficking—and even some timely Canadian issues—the way the RCMP treats its female members. Although the book’s pace is relaxed, the issues addressed aren’t. As the title suggests, there are many things lurking beneath the surface.

Like Martin’s first two mysteries, The Walker on the Cape and The Body on the T, this books is full of Newfoundland colour, Newfoundland food and Newfoundland lore. Martin delivers a pleasant tale that will please the fans of his other novels.

Mike Martin is presently on a book tour. To check when he’ll be in your area go to

Mar 04

Eric Wright Interview

Celebrating Riptide



I’m pleased to welcome Canadian author Eric Wright and to talk about writing and his newest novel, Riptide.

Hi Eric.

Can you tell us about your varied writing experience and how you came to write romantic suspense?


I’ve been writing ever since I went to Pakistan as a missionary in 1964 when I was challenged to write prayer letters every month. I wanted to make sure they were interesting to read. Then I got involved in theological education by extension where we had to write our own self-teaching texts. In the 6 or 7 years following I wrote 5 courses. When I returned to Canada and took a pastorate, I felt deeply about two things; the need for all of us to have a forgiving spirit and our need to minister in the area of our gifts. Out of those came two books, Church–No Spectator Sport and Revolutionary Forgiveness. A missionary colleague had recommended me to a British publisher.

So I’ve done five non-fiction books including books about missions. Then in 1992 I began to write what became two books on country living because we moved to a country home. These two books reflect my love for nature.

I began writing suspense in about 2004 when I became frustrated with the books I was reading. I enjoy books with contemporary suspense and realistic characters in a realistic setting. Also a neighbour suggested that I write in story form, not just in prose, non-fiction style.


What three words would you use to describe Riptide?

That’s hard!

Suspense, Christian, romance


Riptide is set in the southern U.S. but you live in Canada. What’s the secret to your ability to bring this town and culture to life?


When I was writing one of my books, we took a sabbatical from the pastorate in St. Simons Island and fell in love with the place. Since then we’ve also vacationed there a couple of times. Plus, Mary Helen, is from the south.


Riptide is written from a woman’s point of view. What were some of the challenges of writing from a woman’s point of view?


I found it very challenging to put myself into the persona of a 40ish woman, but I feel considerable compassion for single mothers, divorcees, many of whom are the more innocent victims of male insensitivity. My all female critique group helped immensely where I stumbled.


Usually I ask if there’s a little of you in the hero/heroine. Does she reflect you in any way?


The heroine reflects what I would hope to do in such situations; persevere in spite of pain, fight for her freedom.


Did Riptide require much research? What was the most surprising thing you learned?


It required research in money laundering and shrimping. I was shocked at the amount of money laundered into the world economy without any taxation or accountability. I learned most about shrimping from a couple of books I read on the subject; the different kinds of shrimp, the high quality of shrimp from this area of the coastline, the devastation of shrimp beds by industrial pollutants in the Gulf, the effect on the industry of Asian shrimp farms, the competition against shrimpers by sport fishermen and the turtle conservation lobby.


Do you have another book in the works?


Yes, I have a third Josh Radley suspense novel in the works. This one is set in Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Seattle. It concerns smuggling of illegal immigrants, etc. I also have a children’s adventure book in revision.


You are a busy man, Eric. Thank you for taking the time to drop by and share.


You can visit Eric’s website.

and sign up to receive his blog: Country Inspiration



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