Cape Spear Lighthouse began shining out to sea in 1836.
It is located on is the most
easterly point of land on the North American continent. It was later replaced by a more modern structure however this 1836 building is now a national treasure and has been refurbished with period furniture to suggest how the early Cantwell family lived.
Knowing how much Canadians enjoy Newfoundland tales, I feel eager and ready to introduce you to my latest novel. It is about love and hard work and a shipwreck. It is about the rigours of early Newfoundland life and it tells tales of the adventures that come with being those firstNewfoundlanders. Readers will learn that these are Rock Solid people. My writing career began late in life. My husband and I had sold our farm and by happenstance we bought a local community newspaper a fact that caught the attention of CBC-TV. They ran with our story as the first episode of their newly created TV show called Out Your Way. It featured Canadians who had unique, sometimes weird ways of enjoying life. We were weird. We were the farmers who bought a community newspaper. Our story went coast to coast— in prime time. The newspaper and stories that were waiting to be told each week became an obsession for me. Eventually I won several first, second and third prize awards through the Ontario Community Newspaper Association Annual Awards program. My first published book Why Not? is my memoir of my husband, Harry and I running our weekly newspaper. Why Not? still garners comments such as "Your stories made me laugh and they made me cry." And now it's time for Rock Solid to take centre stage in the age of webpages, Twitter, email and Facebook in countries around the world. Rock Solid weaves a tale of a very special friendship that is formed as two young survivors of a shipwreck are rescued by two Newfoundlanders: a fisherman, Ted, and his wife, Marion. The innocence of the young strangers and the strength of the Newfoundland couple build an amazing connection based on trust and admiration. The Newfoundlanders learn to read and write, the survivors become true Newfoundlanders. Ted is passionate about his lovely Marion who can be as hilariously funny as she is a natural musician and always, a best friend. Alicia becomes the dedicated Bell Island schoolteacher and James continues to manage the Arab horses he inherits from the beloved Mr. Penney of Bell Island.
Their children grow up and take centre stage in Rock Solid. Anne becomes a teacher following in the footsteps of her mother, but she chooses to work with down-and-out sailors along St. John's Harbour. Ted Junior leaves behind his father's love of fishing and finds a place for himself as right-hand-man to a wealthy Water Street merchant. A grandson, Billy (soon to be called Bill) joins a Scottish doctor (who the author writes was born in Cooper Angus), and together in 1846 they assist families fleeing the fire that leaves 10,000 people homeless in St. John's.
Alicia had forsaken any contact with her English family, yet over the years the guilt of that decision in her youth to elope became almost too painful to bear. In an ironic twist of fate, an invitation to return to Dorchester, England with Marion and Ted brings her face to face with the one person who can provide the redemption she never imagined possible.
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