Archive for May 2012

Back Home after my Red Maple Travels!

When I leave the B&B in Gander very early in the morning, snow is settling on the picnic table. Because I flew on points, I go home via Goose Bay, where the sun’s shining brilliantly and from the air the bogs are full of wonderfully swirling patterns…my son meets me in Halifax, and it’s good to be home again.

Visit to Fogo Island Central Academy’s Grade 6 Class

It’s snowing when I leave Tilting. I was so lucky with the weather.

I visit Fogo Island Central Academy’s Grade 6 class, where I read to them from “The Nine Lives of Travis Keating” – yes, they liked the book – and we do a bit of writing. Thank you for the warm welcome!

Back to Gander via a wetlands trail at Carmanville, where I saw this wonderfully painted box…


Hike to Devil’s Rocking Chair

Jo-Anne Broders, the teacher in Gambo, is from Tilting. She and I hike to the Devil’s Rocking Chair and the Devil’s heart.


I’m invited for dinner at her sister-in-law’s. Delicious food, finishing off with partridgeberry tart and thick cream. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth??

In the afternoon – gotta walk off that cream – I hike to Oliver’s Cove, where the community gardens are nestled along the shore. From there, I walk along the coast to Green’s Point. Spectacular scenery, and I don’t see another living soul.

Ferry Trip to Fogo Island

After Gambo, I drive west and north, take the ferry to Fogo Island and book into the B&B in Tilting, a heritage community on the northeast shore of Fogo.
Old houses, fish stages and flakes, fences, a small harbour sheltered from ocean storms by Pigeon Island. I walk to the old Irish cemetery (Tilting was settled by Irish Catholic immigrants in the 1720s), then hike to Lighthouse Point and along the coast to the beach at Sandy Cove. Small Arctic flowers on the barrens. Terns swooping overhead.

There’s a wonderful artists’ retreat along the shore just out of sight of Tilting, designed by local architect Todd Saunders. It looks for all the world like another iceberg. And any angle you look at it, it looks tilted. An architect with a sense of humour.

The sun shines the whole day.

Reading Party at Smallwood Academy!

I arrive in Gambo, a beautiful community on a river about half an hour east of Gander. Smallwood Academy’s Grade 7 English class and their wonderful teacher, Ms. Jo-Anne Broders, are more than expecting me.
Theya introduces me.
Each student is wearing a t-shirt that says on the front, “Smallwood welcomes author…” and on the back, “Jill MacLean.” I’m presented with one.
There’s vanilla cake and chocolate cake with icing (lots of lovely icing). I pass out big slabs.
The walls are decorated. The kids are excited. It’s a party!
And I’m overwhelmed by the welcome.

The kids ask lots of great questions, we do a bit of writing, I read from “The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy,” I’m thanked by Torey, and given a bracelet by Travis. Two hours have flown by.

My thanks to Ms.Broders for her enthusiasm for “The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.” Thanks to the student assistant, Val. Thanks to the principal of the school.

What more could any writer ask than to visit Smallwood Academy?

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The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

Pick up your copy today!
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Nix Minus One

Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013


Jill MacLean's books on Goodreads

Home Truths
Home Truths

reviews: 34

ratings: 143 (avg rating 4.20)

The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

reviews: 14

ratings: 69 (avg rating 4.19)

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating

reviews: 26

ratings: 91 (avg rating 4.16)

Nix Minus One
Nix Minus One

reviews: 6

ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.15)

Brevity of Red, The
Brevity of Red, The

ratings: 1 (avg rating 3.00)