Victoria Day Weekend

Since it is Victoria Day weekend, I thought it would be fitting to post an excerpt from my third novel, “Julia’s Violinist,” that relates directly to that weekend. The setting is Nanaimo in the 1960s and the Victoria Day parade is about to begin.

EXCERPT from “Julia’s Violinist”

The family had decided to walk the two blocks to town and find a place to watch the Victoria Day parade. Karl had the little ones by the hand, as usual giving most of his attention to Reinhard and barely looking at Rosalie. I suppose I can’t expect anything else from him. As always, Julia’s stomach burned with worry for her neglected daughter.

Juergen swaggered out the door with his hands in his pockets. Almost fifteen he was beginning to give orders more often and take them less. “Come on, Mutti! The parade is going to start in a few minutes.”

“Yes, Juergen. Just hold on a minute. I have to find the right key to lock the door.” Julia fumbled in her purse. Lena tapped her foot and waited for her mother.

“We’ll go ahead and you can catch up.” Juergen jumped down the four steps to the sidewalk and ran to catch up to Karl, Reinhard, and Rosalie.

A roar followed by an explosive blast shook the door and windows of the house. Julia felt the blood draining out of her face. She looked at her children. Yes, they were all right. But the bomb? What happened?

“Wow! Mutti! Did you see the jets? That must be because of the parade,” Lena said. “Mutti? What’s wrong? You’re crying! What is it?”

Julia ran into the house and threw herself sobbing onto the couch. Lena sat down and put an arm around her mother. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh.…” Julia took a deep breath and choked back another sob. “For a second I was right back in the war. I thought we were getting bombed.”

“Oh, Mutti.” Lena gave her mother a hug. “It must have been terrible.”

“You can’t imagine how terrible,” Julia said, “but I’m thankful that you can’t. I hope you never find out how terrible war is.”

“Try not to think about it now.” Lena patted her back. “Let’s go to the parade and everything will be fine again.”

“I think I need a drink of water first.” Julia clutched at her chest. “I feel like I swallowed a rock.”

“You do look a bit grey. I’ll get you that water.”

The door flew open and Juergen stuck his head in. “Come on. Are you guys coming? Let’s go. Did you see those Voodoo jets? Wow! Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, Juergen. Mutti needs to catch her breath for a minute. Thought you’d gone on? You go tell the others we’ll be there in a few minutes, okay?” Lena ran to get the glass of water.

Julia writhed and twisted her upper body to try to rid herself of the pain that was creeping up her chest to her throat. It would pass. It always did.

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Julia’s Violinist is available in Courtenay at Laughing Oyster Book Shop, in Comox at Blue Heron Books, and in Bowser at the Salish Sea Market.

Farther afield, you can find it in paperback or e-book at amazon outlets and at 

Anneli’s website has all the particulars as well as photos and reviews.