Category: blog

Living off the grid.

I wrote a blog post about my book club for the Gems blog this week, and it got me thinking about our latest book, Kristan Hannah’s The Great Alone, set in off-the-grid Alaska in the 1970’s. As I read it, it brought back memories of the years I spent living in a log cabin in small town, Northern Ontario.

Our log house, Eganville, Ontario

This picture was taken right after we took the Insulbrick off the cabin. It was an asphalt, roofing-like covering made to look like brick that people covered old buildings with at one point in time, trying to make them look “modern”.

We were delighted to find these beautiful logs underneath in perfect condition!

But I met my elderly neighbor up at the mailboxes one day and she observed, “You’ve taken the Insulbrick off. I remember when they moved the house down here near the road from that hill over there. Then they put the Insulbrick on. Now you’re taking it off.”

No, “it looks great”. Her comments put a lot of things in perspective for me!

We had electricity, but we heated our log cabin with a wood stove and while we did have running water, it was in the form of a hand pump at the kitchen sink. My enterprising husband hooked up an almost complete plumbing system and, in the end, we had hot water in the kitchen, a bathroom sink and a shower—but no toilet. We put an outhouse in the corner of the woodshed that was attached to the back of the house, and that was considered luxurious by some of our neighbors, that we didn’t have to go out in the snow. Some of our friends had no electricity, no plumbing, carried water in from an old well, and skied in half a mile from the dirt road in the winter.

Once, before we moved up to Renfrew County, my husband, who was not my husband yet, and I decided to visit our friends. There was no cell phone then, so we took a chance and showed up at their log house late one Friday night. They were so-o-o happy to see us. Cabin fever had set in.

“We’ve made an Italian restaurant,” they said. They had thrown a red checked table cloth over a giant spool for electrical cable, made fabulous sauce from their home-grown, canned tomatoes, and we ate and drank wine late into the night by the light of an old oil lamp.

Hannah’s book deals with darker subjects of PTSD and domestic abuse, but she does a great job of explaining the lure, and the pain, of living in the north. There’s something very freeing about living off the grid, but we did find a darkness descended in the winter, both literally and emotionally. Many of our friends separated, families broke up and, at one point, we almost did too.

I guess, in spite of my Finnish blood, I’m not built of sturdy enough stock to tough it out. The last straw came one winter day when my husband and I both had bad colds and high fevers, and had to go out to shovel the snow off the woodshed roof so it wouldn’t cave in.

When we came inside to warm up, my husband said, “Let’s go visit Mike on Vancouver Island.”

Reaching Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park, 1980.

So we did. And the rest is history.

Don’t forget – The Good Neighbor is on sale until the end of May, everywhere online that ebooks are sold.

Stories about Friendship, Family and Happily-ever-after

I don’t think valentine’s day should be limited to romantic love. I’d like it to celebrate all types of love between all types of people.


The Inuit have 50 words for snow. Surely we should have more than one word for love.

Happy Valentines Day.


Cover Confusion

Looking back on 2018 – well, it’s been a crazy year. Despite The Big Move, I managed to publish three books, two that were already mostly written, Starting Over (Fortune Bay) and Temple of the Jaguar (Rocky and Bernadette Mystery #1), and the last Fortune Bay book (I think) Starlight and Tinsel, that I did write this year. In the confusion of packing, selling a business and moving our workshops, I’m amazed I got them out!

My scattered state of mind is evidenced by how I mixed up my two free books here on the page! Sorry if it had new readers scratching their heads.

Summer of Fortune – the first full length Fortune Bay e-book – is free at all online retailers.

(Please let me know if Amazon changes it back to 99cents, as they do randomly. I think just to show they can!).

And Lake of Dreams, the prequel novella is now my gift to new members of my readers group. If you are a member and for some reason have never received it, let me know. If you’d like to join, Click Here.

You can email me anytime about anything at Judy@JudithHudsonAuthor.com  I love hearing from readers.

I also changed some covers, but just to confuse people even more, I’m changing the cover of Summer of Fortune – the free book – back to my original cover.

I was starting a rebranding but realized I loved most of my original covers, ones that resonated with me from the start since I designed them myself with my graphic-designer daughter Rosey. So I’m changing Summer of Fortune back.

Summer of Fortune is free at all online retailers.

 

I do plan to change the covers of Home for Christmas – again. The original only said “Christmas” to someone from the pacific Northwest -lol. And the new one is too visually confusing to see the title and my name.

I’m also going to change the cover of The Good Neighbor, which I think is too static and does not reflect Frankie’s character. So watch for all that in the new year!

I’m talking about these covers on Jo-Ann Carson’s podcast, Blood Sweat and Words, that aired Christmas Day 2018. It was fun. Have a listen.

So I hope 2019 is a quiet year around here.

Now – on to the next book!

A new Fortune Bay Christmas Novella!

Get this 100+ page Christmas novella on Amazon.  (Only 99 ¢)

I’m excited to get this book out in time for Christmas! <G>

I know, that should be a given, this being a Christmas story and all, but this has been a difficult year in a lot of ways. First we had the big move and downsizing for my husband and myself, some health issues and, just when I thought we were sliding into the new normal, a death in the family in September.

But as always, the writing was a balm, and as well, real life provided lots of inspiration.

You might remember Star, independent and plucky, arriving in Fortune Bay in Home for Christmas, and saving Marshall from the paparazzi in Starting Over.

But in the end, she still hadn’t found her own happily-ever-after. (I know a lot of you readers were rooting for her. ) As usual, though, the HEA is not exactly what she’d thought it would be – although it might be exactly what she wanted.

And when she moves into the Murphy’s cabin, of course Augusta can’t help but interfere  lend a hand!

You can read the back blurb HERE.

Get this 100+ page Christmas novella on Amazon. Only 99 ¢

And of course it will also be available in paperback form.

Don’t have a kindle? Don’t let that stop you.

It’s easy – and free! – to get a kindle app on your phone &/or tablet. (I read on my phone all the time.) You can find the easy instructions HERE.

Now it’s time for me to take a deep breath and do some reading myself. Any suggestions?

(Don’t forget to get Starlight and Tinsel today!)

Until next time,

 

Don’t miss this Summer Long Weekend Sale

 

Book one in the Fortune Bay series available for 99¢ until July 4, 2018.

at Amazon.com

and KOBO US

 

 

Don’t have and eReader? Click here to read how to access these eBook deals on your android tablet, iPad or phone.