I'm very excited to welcome Sherryl Caulfield, author of Seldom Come By to my blog today. I fell in love with Sherryl's beautiful writing when I read Seldom Come By earlier this year and that love affair with the Iceberg Trilogy continued with Come What May. Now I wait impatiently for the final installment, Come Full Circle. Here's a little taste of what to expect :)
Rebecca and Samuel's love story spans continents, the Great War, triumph and adversity ... it's a love that endures.
There's so much to love; the scenery and icebergs of Newfoundland ... harsh, unforgiving, stark beauty. The severity of the Crowe family's life in sharp contrast to Rebecca's thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for life. A wonderful blending of historical fact and mesmerising tale; lyrical prose, characters to love and loathe, with a tangible sense of hope throughout.
To be so completely transported and immersed in characters' lives is testament to an author's care and skill, and despite the heartache I loved every minute.
(excerpt from my review ... a 5 star read)
Hope you enjoy Sherryl's guest post about how Seldom Come By came to be. Take it away Sherryl ...
I loved following Teddyree’s recent travel updates and photos of her time in the United Kingdom. They reminded me of so many great novels and movies: Pride and Prejudice, The Pillars of the Earth, The Stonor Eagles, Outlander, Braveheart. The list goes on.
Travel has been very important to my life also – for many reasons – not least for providing me with the inspiration to write my debut novel, Seldom Come By, and its two sequels that make up The Iceberg Trilogy.
As you most likely know, Seldom Come By is set in Newfoundland, the most easterly Canadian province, home to St John’s, the oldest English-founded city in northern America (settled in 1583), and the best place in the world to view the stunning seascape that is Iceberg Alley.
However the inspiration for Seldom Come By didn’t start there. Oddly it started 7,500 km west, in British Columbia. This is the story of how that one fateful trip took my life in a totally new direction.
My partner Mark and I flew to Canada late one July, in the northern summer, after working 18 days straight at computer industry events that ran over two consecutive week-ends. Our well-earned break was to be for 52 days straight! Oh, how I love long holidays. We flew Sydney to Honolulu (business class!) having been upgraded (much to the surprise of the check-in attendant and Mark and much to my delight. Michael, a colleague, and his Qantas contact had come through. Mwah Michael.) In Hawaii we changed and flew Air Canada direct to Vancouver.
Now I don’t know about you but a country’s international airport says so much about a country, don’t you think?
Five seconds after we disembarked I had this overwhelming sense we had arrived somewhere elemental and majestic. The walkways were adorned with Haida art from the northwest: whales and fishes and birds. As we headed towards customs we came down an escalator and there to our left was a pounding waterfall, something out of the wilds of Yukon. The water pristine, crashing over a life-like rock wall nearly ten-metres high draped with small native ferns bathed in the faintest freshest mist. Clean fresh moist Canadian air – after the dry and closed-in cabin a welcome like no other. Towering either side of the natural spectacle were two imposing totem poles, their eagle beaks and eager eyes studying all who passed underneath. My heart sighed. Oh Canada.
A Four Host Nations totem pole at the YVR International Airport terminal
In Vancouver we walked around Stanley Park and admired more striking totem poles and took photo after photo (well not quite, as this was pre-digital). We went to their stunning aquarium to see orcas and other sea creatures. We went through Chinatown, Gastown, up to Grouse Mountain, all of which feature in my third novel. We had delicious barbecued salmon with New Zealand friends, and then the Murphy’s Law of holidays kicked in. Mark got really sick and fainted in the bathroom. He had fever and chills. We suspected he’d picked up a flu bug on the plane. His rest day was spent travelling to Victoria on Vancouver Island and laying low while I toured around this beautiful town and their stunning gardens with their butterfly arboretum.
Two days later we travelled north on our way to Tofino on the west coast of the island. But soon I was burning up. We had to stop at Nanaimo and, as it was Sunday, go to a hospital emergency department. I don’t think I’d ever been so hot before or since. I wasn’t allowed to leave until my temperature came down. Three hours later, drugged up, we continued on our way, finding a very accommodating taxidermist come B&B owner who let me crash in her one remaining fanned room. Later, on the settee in her large glassy living room, hawks and kestrals and peregrine falcons circled above me. I had to close my eyes and shake my head. On opening, they were still there. I wasn’t hallucinating. Those birds have flown into Come Full Circle.
We recovered. We travelled into the wilderness, winding through tree-clad mountain passes full of legions of grand firs. The Christmas tree of Christmas trees. The vistas in the late afternoon were breathtaking: an ocean of trees shimmering in the mid-summer light. Eventually we left our hire car behind and caught the ferry at Port Hardy, bound for Prince Rupert. For the first few hours I read Pat Conroy’s Beach Music and cried.
We glided through the Inside Passage, past rugged coastlines that plunged to the tideline, past humpback whales breaching and log barges dumping, while my fingers clicked away on my Pentax, till I was at 37 on my dial and had to change my roll of film. It was then I discovered that I had never loaded any film in the first place. ‘That’s a lesson for us,’ said Mark, full of sympathy. Thirty minutes later he went to change his roll, only to discover he’d made the same silly mistake. A lesson indeed. No shots of the first 10 days of our holiday.
We docked in Prince Rupert, then a few days later, in remote British Columbia, we were walking down a street, ten paces behind a person, a woman it appeared, wearing jeans, workmen’s boots, no high-vis vest in sight, but that didn’t matter because what she was wearing was hard to miss. On her head was a nun’s wimple and veil. A head, by the way, that she kept nervously turning to check if we were following her. Which we were. But only because we were going in the same direction.
I had never encountered such a woman. We saw her three times that day. Each time she was striding out yet constantly peering over her shoulder. We continued our travels but returned to this same town a few days later. As we opened the door to the place where we were staying there was no escaping the woman staring at us with her intense blue green eyes, blowing her cigarette smoke forcefully out the corner of her mouth. There was no mistaking her wimple. It was her.
Upstairs in our room, I said to Mark, ‘What is her story?’
‘Make it up,’ he replied.
And so I did, though it took me many years to do so. She became Gene, the wimple woman. The mystery of this thin flighty character is fully revealed in my third story, Come Full Circle. But in trying to unravel Gene’s story, I went back to her childhood, which for some reason I saw happening out east, in Newfoundland and Ontario. I saw her wonderful family and her parents who had a special, all-encompassing love. And those parents were Samuel and Rebecca and their story is Seldom Come By.
To celebrate the first anniversary of Seldom Come By, I am giving away 5 signed copies of this novel. Enter via the Rafflecopter link below.
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Cedar Pocket Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: Iceberg Trilogy
Genre: Historical Fiction
READ AN EXCERPT.
Two years after the sinking of the Titanic, fifteen year-old Rebecca Crowe’s fascination with icebergs leads her to save a shipwrecked survivor, Samuel Dalton, the nineteen-year old son of a Toronto medical family.
Love sparks in the crystal cave of an iceberg but is thwarted by an unreasonable father and the Great War that drags Samuel and his brother, Matthew, to the Western Front as medical officers. Knowing Rebecca is home and safe in Newfoundland brings Samuel great comfort. But as the war moves towards its final harrowing days, they both discover that tragedy and terror can strike anywhere, setting their love on an unforeseen path.
Only when Samuel and Rebecca can fully come to terms with such devastating loss and their impossible choices can their love soar. With an emotional intensity reminiscent of The Bronze Horseman, Seldom Come By, named after an actual place in Newfoundland, is an unforgettable journey across waves and time and the full spectrum of human emotions.
Buy the Book:
Barnes & Noble
About the Author:
Australian-born Sherryl Caulfield is a marketer, writer and traveller. After twenty years working for some of the world’s leading technology brands and a stint with Outward Bound, she longed to write about the human experience and the redemptive qualities of nature.
In 2006, haunted by an encounter with a woman she met in Canada, Sherryl started what has now become known as The Iceberg Trilogy. From her home in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, she distilled the lives of three generations of women – Rebecca, Evangeline and Lindsay – over the course of a century. In the telling of their stories she crafted a series rich in landscapes – of sea, land and the human soul.
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GiveawayTo enter to win one of 5 Autographed copies of Seldom Come By, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below.
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Bonus eBook Giveaway ~ 1 eBook copy of Seldom Come By ... just leave a comment or question for Sherryl. International. Ends Dec 13th
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