Each of the Canadian Historical Brides novels features one of the ten Canadian provinces and two of the novels feature the three Canadian Territories. These novels combine fact and fiction to tell the stories of the immigrant brides and grooms who came to Canada from diverse backgrounds to join in marriage and build the foundation of the free and welcoming country that is Canada.
To celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday, BWL Publishing Inc. chose a group of talented authors to write a series of books highlighting Canadian women and their roles in founding and settling this great country.
In the Dirty Thirties jobs were hard to come by. Having lost her father and her home in southern Alberta, Tilly McCormack is thrilled when her application for a position as a chambermaid at the prestigious Banff Springs Hotel, one of Canada’s great railway hotels, is accepted. Tilly loves her new life in the Rocky Mountain town and the people she meets there. Local trail guide Ryan Blake it quite taken with Tilly’s sparkling blue eyes and mischievous sense of humor. His work with a guiding and outfitting company keeps him busy but he makes time for Tilly at every opportunity and he intends to make her his bride. On the night he plans to propose to Tilly another bride-to-be, whose wedding is being held at the Hotel, disappears.
Tilly has an idea where she might have gone and together with Ryan sets out to search for her. Will they find the missing bride and will Tilly accept Ryan’s proposal?
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The youngest child of the local doctor and evangelical preacher, Annie Baldwin was expected to work hard and not protest. Life on a pioneer farm was tough so neighbors helped each other.
George Richardson the underage Doctor Bernardo Boy, orphaned and shipped to Canada a few years earlier, is loaned to the Baldwins to help bring in the hay. Younger brother Peter Richardson was placed with another neighbor, so the brothers stayed in touch with each other. The Great War brought a lot of changes to life even in the back woods of Ontario. In spite of the differences in their social standing, George and Annie fell in love.
When George departed for France they had an understanding and he promised to return to her when the war was over. Alas, fate had other ideas. After a long silence, Annie received the much anticipated letter. But it wasn’t from George, but from his brother, Peter. Also in the trenches of France. George was killed during the final push on August 8, 1918 at Marcelcave near Amiens. The two who loved him form a long distance bond via censored letters. When Peter is sent back to Canada, rather than return him to the east where he enlisted, he is discharged in Vancouver.
Sick from mustard gas poisoning and penniless, Peter finds work at Fraser Mills. Once he could save enough money he planned to return to the small farm in the northern Ontario bush, but before he does, he sends Annie a box of chocolates in the mail. Inside the box he hid an engagement ring. Bound together by their love for George, they find solace in each other. Will it be enough to last?
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It is 1896 and nineteen-year-old Pearl Owens wants adventure just like her idols Anna Leonowens and Annie “Londonderry” Choen Kopchovsky. In the 1860s, Anna Leonowens taught the wives, concubines, and children of the King of Siam, while during the years 1894-1895, Annie “Londonderry” Choen Kopchovsky became the first woman to travel around the world on a bicycle. She was testing a woman’s ability to look after herself.
To fulfill her dream Pearl is on her to the Yukon River area with her cousin, Emma, to write articles and do illustrations about the woman and men who are looking for gold in the far north.
Sam Owens, Pearl’s cousin and Emma’s brother, has been searching for gold with two friends, Gordon and Donald, for five years without success. Gordon and Donald have decided their quest is futile and it is time to return home. But Sam wants to stay a while longer. Then they hear word of a new gold find on Rabbit Creek.
Over the next ten months, the lives of all five are changed due to love, gold, and tragedy.
Faced with financial ruin and the loss of her good name, Rose Chadwick decides to make a new start for herself and her young daughter Hannah in the rough and tumble gold rush town of Barkerville, British Columbia. However, making a new life is not so easy when it’s built on lies. And, long suppressed emotions within her are stirred when she meets a handsome young Englishman.
Viscount Harrison St. John knows he’s expected to marry well to bolster his family fortunes. Instead, he leaves England to pursue riches in the gold fields of a frontier town in the far off wilds of Canada. Soured on love because of a betrayal by his former fiancé, Harrison resists the attraction he has for Rose. Particularly considering she appears to be a happily married woman with a daughter of her own. Will dark secrets from Rose’s past keep them apart? Or will they find love, happiness and a new life together in the bustling town of Barkerville?
David and Sara Kirke live in a time of upheaval under the reign of King Charles I who gives, then takes. He gives David the nod of approval to range up and down the French Canadian shores, burning colonies and pillaging ships that are loaded with goods meant for the French. When King Louis of France shouts his outrage, King Charles reneges. He takes David’s prizes and returns them to the French, putting David and his family in dire straits.
Undeterred, David and Sara will not be denied. After years, the king relents. He knights David and grants him the Province of Avalon (Ferryland), a large tract of land on the southeast coast of Newfoundland. There David and Sara build a prosperous plantation. They trade fish and fish oil with English, Europeans, and New England colonists. They thrive while England is torn in two by the civil wars.
Soon, these troubles engulf his family. David is carried in chains back to England to stand trial. He leaves Sara to manage the plantation, a daunting task but with a strength that defies a stalwart man, she digs in and prospers, becoming the first female entrepreneur of North America.
French-Canadian soldier, Napoleon, proposes to Lea during WWI, promising golden fields of wheat as far as the eye can see. After the armistice, he sends money for her passage, and she journeys far from her family and the conveniences of a modern country to join him on a homestead in Saskatchewan. There, she works hard to build their dream of a prospering farm, clearing fields alongside her husband through several pregnancies and even after suffering a terrible loss.
When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are stricken by a long and abysmal drought. Thrown into poverty, she struggles to survive in a world where work is scarce, death is abundant, and hope dwindles. Will she and her family survive the Great Depression?
Elsie Nuefeld loves to sit on her porch and watch the children grow in the Mennonite community near Landmark, MB. Returning to the area after moving to Paraguay for a time, Elsie is happy to be living on the wild rose dotted prairie of south-eastern Manitoba. Her granddaughters are growing up and getting married, it's an exciting time. Secure in her long standing marriage to Ike, Elsie is content to observe the community from the sidelines and rejoice in the joys of the young ones. She often walks with her daughters and granddaughters through the graveyard abloom with wild roses and shares the stories of the ancestors sleeping there. It’s important, she feels, for the younger generation to feel connected to those who went before.
Elsie hopes when she joins those resting beneath the Landmark roses the tradition of honouring the memory of the forebearers continues.
Yaotl and Sascho splashed along the shores of the behchà, spears hefted, watching for the flash of fin to rise to the surface and sparkle in the sunlight. Tender feelings, barely discovered, flushed their faces. Waving their spears they laughed and teased one another with sprays of newly melted ice water.
In the distance, the warning about the kw'ahtıı sounds, but on this fatal day it goes unheard; Yaotl and Sascho fall into the hands of the Indian Agents. Transport to Fort Providence residential school is only the beginning of their ordeal, for the teachers believe it is their sworn duty to “kill the Indian inside.”
All attempts at escape are severely punished, but Yaotl and Sascho, along with two others, will try, beginning a journey of 900 Kilometers along the Mackenzie River. Like wild geese, brave hearts together, they are homeward bound.
In 1784, Englishwoman Amelia Latimer sails to the new colony of New Brunswick in faraway Canada. She’s to marry a man chosen by her soldier father. Amelia is repulsed by her betrothed, refuses to marry, then meets the handsome Acadian trader, Gilbert, a man beneath her in status. Gilbert must protect his mother who was attacked by an English soldier. He fights to hold on to their property, to keep it from the Loyalists who have flooded the colony, desperate men chased from the south after the American Revolution. In a land fraught with hardship, Amelia and Gilbert struggle to overcome prejudice, political upheaval, while forging a life in a remote country where events seek to destroy their love and lives.
Maggie Conrad’s husband of ten days is sent overseas in WW1 and never comes home. A second suitor is lost at sea in Nova Scotia’s August Gale. Turning thirty, and on her own, she resolves to make a life for her herself and her younger brother, Ivan.
Against her wishes, Ivan goes to work for the rum runners and operates a surf boat bringing shipments ashore. When war-veteran and Prohibition Preventative agent, John Murdock, arrives undercover in the area he is referred to Maggie for room and board.
With a rum runner and a man she suspects is a policeman living under her roof, Maggie must juggle law and justice, family loyalties and her growing attraction to John as she decides whether marriage might be in the cards for her after all.
When she was twelve, Grace Aitken’s parents were killed in a carriage accident in a London street and she became a ward of her father’s business partner, Herbert MacKinnon and his wife and led a comfortable, privileged, if restrictive life at their gothic mansion in Hampstead village.
When Grace was seventeen, her pious father-in-law convinced her that she owed him a debt of gratitude which could be expunged by marrying his son, Frederick; a kind, sensitive youth two years her senior. However, after five years of childless marriage – a fault placed squarely at Grace’s door, Frederick died after a bout of pneumonia.
Now 23 and Frederick’s widow, her in-laws assume she will take on the role of dependent housekeeper in a home where her semi-invalid mother-in-law and two aunts adhere to the view that Grace‘s “wicked ways” need to be corrected, despite the fact these “sins” are no more outrageous than going for walks without a maid, or reading a Women’s Suffrage pamphlet.
Grace resigns herself to being an upper servant in her father in law’s house, when she discovers an inheritance from her parents has been kept in trust for her until her 21st Birthday. She concludes the MacKinnons have been lying to her and immediately formulates her escape and books passage to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the SS Parisian from Liverpool On board she encounters Aoife [Eva] Doyle, an outspoken Irish housemaid travelling steerage, who is being sponsored as a mail-order bride for a farmer in Alberta.
The ship reaches Halifax harbour, and while they await the arrival of a pilot boat, another ship enters the port and rams the SS Parisian and holes it, causing panic. Grace's adventure takes another mysterious turn when after becoming acquainted with Lucy Maud Montgomery Grace finds herself destined for Prince Edward Island, the home of that charming and outspoken young woman.
Will Grace’s plans for a new life in a foreign land finish before it has begun, or will she survive and forge her own way?
For many Loyalists during the American War for Independence, the perilous journey to Canada is just the beginning of a long and arduous struggle to find a new home and a new life amid the upheavals of war and separation, death and privation. For Elisabeth Van Alen, it also means finding new strength and the will to survive in a new country.
Married to an educated Mohawk warrior, she is distraught when he has to go away shortly before the American rebels force her and her family out of their ancestral home. He will find her while she flees through the forest and, with their Mohawk friends, helps her reach Kanien’kehá:ka, the Mohawk territory in Quebec.
Coming to a log cabin tucked away on a wooded island in Montreal is a great shock for Elisabeth after the life she had known in the comfortable house where she had been born. Undaunted, she takes on the tasks of pioneer women and keeps her family together while waiting anxiously to hear from her husband, Gerrit. Against his will, he has been recruited by the British Army for a special mission. She suffers losses and joys, upheavals and peacefulness. She begins to love her new country where being married to a Mohawk is regarded as normal.
Books We Love acknowledges the Government of Canada and the Canada Book Fund
for its financial support in creating the Canadian Historical Brides series.
Download the Tri-fold Brochure for the Canadian Historical Brides