For All The Bookworms Out There

Your getaway doesn’t have to start when you arrive at your destination. When you travel by train, getting there is part of the fun! Turning pages make the kilometres fly and escape is within reach between the covers of your next favourite tome. Get lost in a good book crafted by local authors from South Eastern Ontario. Here are 15 authors and their books that are worth checking out!

1. Rick Revelle

Born in Smiths Falls, raised in the Odessa and Wilton area, Rick Revelle is now settled in Glenburnie. As a member of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, Revelle writes books for teens which feature stories centered around an Algonquin family surviving over 18 years. He’s also an avid golfer, has his black belt in Judo and is an inductee into the Loyalist Township Sports Hall of Fame for softball. They can be purchased at any book store in North America or online through Amazon or the Dundurn Press. 

2. Peggy Collins

Peggy Collins is an award-winning author, illustrator, designer and educator. When she is not working on books or teaching she can be found in wild places in Eastern Ontario playing in water, hiking, biking, reading and making books and memories every moment.

3. Sherry Pringle

Accomplished artist and author of All the Ship’s Men: HMCS Athabaskan’s Untold Stories and Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Times: Canadian Women of WWII Pringle currently resides in Napanee. Her extensive research for both books has led to a collection of 100 personal stories and vignettes of Canadian men and women at home and in the war zone.

4. Helen DeVries

DeVries received devastating news in November 2013: she had an extremely rare form of cancer of the appendix. After a 20-hour surgery and lengthy healing process, Napanee resident Helen DeVries expresses “Hesitant Hope” in her new memoir about the experience. In Hesitant Hope, A memoir of anguish, endurance, and healing, DeVries wanted to use this outlet to help others who may be facing a cancer diagnosis, especially one as rare as hers.

5. Iain Reid

You might recognize some of Ian Reid’s books from the big screen, but the Kingston writer earned acclaim for his debut novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, before it was adapted into a film for Netflix in 2020. His writing is known as genre-defying. Reid’s second novel, Foe, was published in 2018 and is also being made into a movie, with filming just beginning. His third novel , We Spread, is expected out later this year. CBC has already heralded it as a suspenseful novel which explores our understanding of aging, existence and conformity.”

6. Steven Heighton

The award-winning author who has published novels, poetry, short stories, essays, a memoir and even an album for thirty years, Steven Heighton has been exploring new genres. He is the author of The Waking Comes Late, which received the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry, and the novel Afterlands, which has appeared in six countries, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and was a “best of year” selection in ten publications in Canada, the USA, and the UK.

7. Sandra Jackson

Sandra has four published works (three of which are also available as audiobooks) with Next Chapter Publishing. Her first novel, Promised Soul, received a silver badge from Global E-book Awards in August 2019. Her other two books are part of a trilogy. The first book in the series, Playing in the Rain, received the Golden Quill Award in 2018 and in 2019 was a finalist and received an honourable mention for the Cygnus Sci-fi Award through Chanticleer Book Reviews. Jackson’s work is known for not falling into any specific category or genre. However, her stories pull readers into the book and make them feel as though they are a part of the story.

8. Ralph Connor 

This Canadian icon started out as Charles W. Gordon and was educated at University of Toronto, but ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Under the pseudonym Ralph Connor, he successfully published more than 30 novels that built him up into an international best-selling author, including Glengarry School Days.

9. Roger Caron

This author of the celebrated true story of Bingo! The Horrifying Eye Witness Account of a Prison Riot gives a rare prisoner perspective on the infamous riot at the Kingston Penitentiary in 1974 that lasted four days. Roger “Mad Dog” Caron (who passed away in 2012) was a Canadian robber and also the author of the influential prison memoir Go-Boy! Memories of a Life Behind Bars (1978). According to Wikipedia, at the time of publishing, Caron was 39 years old and had spent 23 years in prison.

10. Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi is an emergency physician and award-winning writer. In her newest crime novel, Scorpion Scheme, Dr. Hope Sze lands in Cairo and discovers a man with a nail through his skull who might hold the key to millions in buried gold. Previous Hope Sze thrillers were recommended by The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, and The Next Chapter as some of the best Canadian suspense novels. Yi was shortlisted for the Derringer Award for the world’s best short mystery fiction. Under the name Melissa Yuan-Innes, she also writes medical humour and has won speculative fiction awards.

11. Maggie Wheeler

Maggie Wheeler has reigned for 20 years as the Seaway Valley’s Queen of Crime, author of the Farran Mackenzie Lost Villages historical murder mysteries. She has spent two decades showcasing the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project construction. She resides in Brockville and has garnered accolades over the years including a nomination for the Ontario’s Premier’s Award for Arts.

12. Jen Gilroy

This author of heartwarming romance and dual timeline women’s fiction is all about the uplifting stories finding home, family, and community at the core of life. Gilroy describes her writing as, “Where ordinary women overcome sometimes extraordinary challenges to earn hopeful, happy endings.” In other words, these are stories to bring your heart home. After living abroad with her family for quite some time, they have settled back in the Rideau region where Gilroy continues to write.

13. Lynn L. Clark

Lyn L. Clark’s book The Home Child is a poignant tale of a home child wanting simply to be reunited with the family he lost so many years ago. Set in eastern Ontario, against the backdrop of a rural town in transition, this story combines historical detail and the supernatural. She’s since published three additional books, and is known for her unique supernatural fiction.

14. Michael J. McCann

Crime novel fans – buckle up! Michael J. McCann has penned more than a dozen crime novels in numerous series including the March and Walker Series; the Tom Faust series, The Donaghue and Stainer Crime series and more. A retiree from the Canadian Border Services Agency, McCann puts his knowledge on paper in Oxford Station. He is married to author, Lynn L. Clark.

15. Katie Tallo

Tallo’s debut novel, Dark August, may not be written by a local author (Tallo is from Ottawa), however it takes place in small town Elgin, Ontario in the Rideau Lakes. This mystery–thriller combination is touted as an international bestseller due to its electrifying, page-turning storyline about a young woman haunted by her tragic past. She returns to her hometown and discovers that there might be more to her police detective mother’s death—and last case—than she ever could have imagined.

Curl up on the train with a good read and settle in to pass the time in comfort while weaving through memorable storylines created by authors local to South Eastern Ontario!