LOST & BOUND, Book 2 in The Dream Dominant Collection, will be released on January 31, 2017.
It’s the story of a spoiled former child star, Shasta Pyke, who, when she gets into some legal trouble, is sent to cool her heels for a while, out of the limelight in the wilderness of northern Ontario. There, she meets former wilderness counselor Blake Walker, who pilots a bush plane and helps run his family’s remote guest lodge.
I have wanted to write a book with this setting for a while, and when the idea of Blake and Shasta came to me, I knew it was the perfect time. The remote forests and lakes of northern Ontario have always been special to me from the time I was a little girl.
Beginning in the mid-1940s, my family has owned a log cabin on a tiny island in what locals there call ‘Cottage Country.’ It seems lots of folks from Toronto like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city and relax on the area’s many quiet lakes.
In about 1947, my great-grandparents purchased the property on Rawhide Lake from a friend of theirs, a woman whose husband unexpectedly died there. I can recall spending time there with them, my grandparents, and my parents when I was a very small child. My kids were the fifth generation to vacation there.
For the book, I changed the name to Lake Miranda, but Rawhide Lake is located about 30 miles away from the town of Elliot Lake. For the purposes of the story, I created two towns: Eliot Lake and Elliott Lake. You’ll have to read the book to see why I did that.
Rawhide Lake is extremely isolated, accessible only by bush plane, or by portaging across several lakes. Blake’s family’s home, Lake Miranda Lodge, is based on a couple of wilderness lodges in the area. While in the story, Shasta could see the lodge from her island, our cabin is the only structure on that end of Rawhide Lake. There are some remote guest cabins, belonging to one of the local lodges, situated a couple of miles down at the opposite end of the lake.
The Island Cabin, where Shasta initially stays, is based on my family’s cabin. I took some liberties with the design of the structure, adding a bedroom alcove and a fireplace. It does have a cast-iron wood burning stove, which my grandmother swore was carried in on the back of a very large Native American man. There is no electricity, and it doesn’t have running water, unless you count the green hand pump Shasta confronts when she first arrives. And it does, in fact, have an outhouse way out back.
For the book, I conveniently placed a spring on the island. In reality, we had to take a 15-20 minute boat ride to get drinking water from a spring on the mainland.
While the cabin is rustic and lacks basic modern conveniences, the beauty and tranquility of the place makes it completely worthwhile.