The Birth of a Book Series!

When I was about nine years old and still lived in England, an uncle gave me a very special book which I have treasured for years. It was called The Abridged Bible Catechism and was given to small children in Sunday school back in the 1840s.

But it was the inscription inside that intrigued me. It read: “Jane Hopkins, 1840, Her Book given by Mr. Lloyd 1844,” and was written in the handwriting of the child Jane Hopkins when she was four years old. I loved this little book and have kept it safe ever since but the name inside the book was what must have stayed somewhere in the back of my mind to become the seed of an idea for a book.


The Jane Hopkins, in the little book, was apparently my great-great grandmother and I know nothing about her other than she married into my own family tree. The Jane Hopkins I later created in my book series The McBride Chronicles was not her story. My fictional character Jane was an abandoned orphan whose only gift as a child in a home for abandoned children was from the Reverend Lloyd, who delivered spiritual devotions to the orphaned children every week and inspired Jane with music for which she had a natural talent.

Jane suffered abuse in the home and hard work later in service, plus a horrendous three-month sea voyage to the New World (British Columbia, Canada,) aboard the SS Tynemouth in 1862 where in Victoria she met and married Gideon McBride. Their story was the beginning of a dynasty through six McBride generations and slowly developed into a series of four books – Providence, Dynasty, Legacy, and Tomorrow. The books follow the lives of Jane and Gideon, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the present day.

Writing their stories has been a roller-coaster of emotions for me; a combination of joy and pain as my own life has taken some incredible twists and turns since the year 2000 when the story first came back to life in my mind. At that time, I knew for sure I wanted to change from writing historical non-fiction books and begin an historical fiction family saga one day.

I spent almost six years care-giving my beloved parents until they both died in the year 2005 within six months of one another. Later I had a bad experience with the first publisher and then in 2017 a heart-breaking tragedy and loss in our family. During all of this, continuing to write these books became my stress reliever. I escaped into the lives of the McBride family as I stepped back into the past, and it helped me to cope with my own life realities.

The initial very large manuscript entitled “House of Tomorrow” turned into these four books and was picked up by a Canadian publisher that has released all four over the past two years. The official Launch of the series this June was spectacular, and the four books are now available in bookstores, on Amazon, and through the publisher Hancock House Publishers in Vancouver, BC.  You can also go to my website and hit the “Buy Now” button which will take you directly to the publisher. They can mail out all or any of the books to you within three days. I would suggest you begin with PROVIDENCE and then binge-read the rest in order.

As women are not often portrayed in history, it was important for me to depict strong women in these books; women who survive against all odds. I have dedicated each book to the strong women in my own life whose help and support gave me the strength to never give up on my dream.

I often wonder if my uncle, who passed away many years ago, is aware of the inspiration his gift gave me to write this story years later. The name Jane Hopkins and her little book are now immortalized in print forever!

The journey of any book from idea to publication is often long and painful but I thought you might like to hear about my journey about the birth of this series. It was incredible to say the least!