My name is Marlie Mitchell. That’s me on the cover of Anneli’s book.
Anneli’s friend Jan Brown painted my portrait. She made my hair a bit wilder than it really is, but I do have trouble keeping it tamed. Jan certainly got my eyes right. One shows the hurt I’ve felt, and the other shows my determination to pick myself up and be strong.
You see, I had great plans to teach young children and build a happy life with a husband and maybe a couple of kids of my own. Hah! That dream went down the toilet almost before I got started. Everything in my life seemed to go wrong.
I was the perfect candidate for an escape to a remote teaching post in the Queen Charlotte Islands, now called Haida Gwaii, off the coast of northern British Columbia.
Many of my students lived in poor homes in Haida village, but the children became very dear to me.
I hadn’t expected the islands to be so beautiful. Neither had I expected the lifestyle to be quite so different. In real life, it wasn’t all as romantic or perfect as I’d hoped.
People on the islands help each other even if they don’t know who you are. Unfortunately, I found out that some will just as readily hurt an unsuspecting person. In my first months on the islands, I ran into both kinds. One unfortunate bad choice I made would hang over me for months, and leave me struggling.
But I had the friendship of Skylar, who taught the grade four class next to me. She took me to the beach one day. We had an amazing time, until we came back to her van. We had a frightening experience then that left our legs shaking.
Canada geese spend a lot of time on the islands. I was lucky enough to see some beautiful flocks.
I got to know the islands better when I met a commercial fisherman. He had a love of hunting that I couldn’t immediately share. Maybe he was just a bit too real for me. He was most annoying. And yet … he showed me some scenic parts of the island. He nearly got us killed, but I suppose that’s all part of island life, and I’m still here to tell about it.
He fishes some beautiful places, like near where this sailboat is anchored, but he said it can also get really rough.
Sometimes he couldn’t even see out the windshield for the rain and spray off the water. I’m not sure I’d want to be out there in bad weather. I soon found out what kind of screaming wild winds would visit the islands in the coming winter.
Juggling my problems and feelings about people I met on the islands, I began to wonder if my fresh start was going to work out for me. I had two choices: quit my job and go back to the mess my life used to be, or sort out the new mess I had gotten myself into and figure out a way to survive up here in this beautiful, godforsaken place.
Why don’t you come spend some time with me in Anneli’s book? I could use a good friend right about now. You might even meet some people you’ve met in Anneli’s other books. Remember Jim, Andrea, and Foissy? You would have met them in “The Wind Weeps” and in “Reckoning Tide.”
Come see me inside the covers of “Marlie.”
Here’s where you can find me.
For Kindle and paperback:
For e-books other than Kindle :
Anneli loves to write and to do copy-editing for other writers. She spent six years living in the Queen Charlotte Islands. She loves nature, gardening, and photography. Animals, especially birds, are a special interest, and although they are never the main focus, they always find their way into her books in some small way. Anneli lives on Vancouver Island with her husband and two spaniels.
Marlie is her fifth novel.
54 responses to “Guest Blogger: Anneli Purchase and Her Latest Book “Marlie””
Thank you so much for hosting Marlie and me on your blog, Luanne. It’s great to visit here and meet your friends.
Anneli, thank you so much for guest blogging and letting us know about your new book! It sounds fabulous, and the setting is unique!
Having lived there, I can honestly say it is beautiful, but there are small hardships to put up with as well. It was fun writing a novel in this setting.
I guess I will find out more about that when I read the book!
Lovely post! I am looking forewrd to read Anneli´s Marlie.
Hi Ursula! I too am looking forward to it! I don’t know anything about the setting of the Queen Charlotte Islands, and I know how intrigued I was by the Baja setting in Orion’s Gift.
Hi Ursula. I hope you really enjoy Marlie. She’s such a nice girl. And what a time she has on the Charlottes! Maybe you’ll recognize some of the places, since you’ve lived there.
I found Marlie to be quite an absorbing novel. Anneli weaves a lovely web and her meticulous attention to details and the geography of the Charlotte’s paints a gorgeous background to her story.
I have enjoyed several of her novels and am always delighted to hear another is in the works.
Thank you, Dawn. It’s great to have faithful readers out there.
It sounds wonderful, Dawn! Thanks for giving us a little review of Marlie!
Marlee is a real read — a vivid portrayal of the wilds of BC and the resilience of its people.
Thanks, Darlene. I wanted to stop Marlie when she was about to do something stupid, but she kind of took over the book as I was writing and wouldn’t listen to common sense. I guess she was a wee bit desperate to make friends and fix past mistakes. She’s such a nice girl, but far too trusting. But she is definitely resilient!
I can’t wait!
So looking forward to reading “Marlie”. I have read many of Anneli Purchase’s other novels, and enjoyed them thoroughly. All of them were filled with adventure, romance, suspense and kept me completely riveted until the end!!
Sonja, I am looking forward to it, too! Thanks for stopping by!
Reblogged this on wordsfromanneli and commented:
My friend Marlie would love to show you some of the photos of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) where she taught at the elementary school. You might think teaching isn’t a very outdoorsy job but her new friends take her out and about to see the islands. She learns that in beauty lies danger.
There is a Sufi saying that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where one is standing right now. Marlie’s choices and decisions have led her to the place where she is exactly meant to be. The adventure for the reader is to see how Marlie finds the true nature of the world of Haida Quaii and her place in it having been drawn there from the very beginning.
I like that idea, Jan. Marlie certainly was where she was meant to be. Sometimes it wasn’t pleasant but she grew up fast in the Charlottes. Thanks again for contributing this gorgeous cover of Marlie.
Jan, what a marvelous saying! I will remember that forever. Thank you!
What a clever introduction to Marlie and the book. Nice hints about the “mess.” Beautiful photos to go along with it and a wonderful cover!
Oh, Diana, this girl attracts mess. It’s her trusting nature. But she learns quickly. In many ways she reminds me of your Catling, except Marlie doesn’t have powers like hers.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Marlie does sound like such an intriguing character!!!
What a fun and clever post. Love how you presented this. Your book sounds very inviting. Beautiful cover too.
Thanks, Carrie. Marlie isn’t usually this outspoken, but today she really wanted friends. Thanks for visiting with her.
Isn’t it cute?! I agree that Marlie sounds intriguing–and love that cover!
How great to see Marlie in the spotlight! I’ve got the book on my Kindle…waiting to be read. I can’t keep up with all of the terrific books by fellow bloggers. I’m trying though!
I know how it is, Jill. I still need to get to yours too, but I promise I will.
I know how you feel, Jill! I want to read your new book, too! I am worried I might have a dream where I can’t get off the couch because I have too many good books to read ;)!
What a creative way to present your book. Love it.
Thanks, Lori. It was fun doing it this way, and not hard to do since Marlie is in my head and I’m in hers.
Thanks for stopping by, Lori. I love it, too!
This post catches my attention and it suggests a drama that I get most curious about.
Life is quite different on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Beautiful, but sometimes harsh too.
Thanks for stopping by! I am intrigued by what Marlie has to say, too. I want to check out her character for myself :)!
I agree with the other writers that your presentation of Marlie is unique and clever. I enjoyed every moment of reading about Marlie’s experiences in the Charlottes. It was time worth spent.
Thanks, Gladys. I’m glad you enjoyed the “trip.”
Gladys, thank you so much. I can’t wait to read Marlie!
I loved this interview. So original and lively. And the photos are wonderful, much like I imagined when reading the book. 🙂
I loved it on the Charlottes when I lived there, but I also missed many of the luxuries of living in a place with more amenities. We can’t have it all. Thanks for reading Marlie, Carol.
So satisfying to see photos of what you imagined!! Thanks, Carol!
Wow, this post is wonderful! I can’t wait to read the book and will be ordering it right away. Beautiful photos too!
I hope you enjoy the ride, Carla. Thank you.
Marlie herself sounds like someone I want to follow along with, but also the setting! I’ve read Anneli’s Orion’s Gift, and the Baja setting was like one of the characters!
I think it helps to have been to these places. It was fun to write about them and relive the time there.
Yes, I”m sure it helps, but you have a way with writing setting that few have.
Thank you, Luanne.
The book sounds interesting. Ordered. 😉
What an an amazing summary and “tease,” Anneli! Your photographs to help us visualize the scenery and island views were beautiful! I have this softbound book by my bedside table. Just haven’t had the time to read “Marlie,” yet. . .
I love what Anneli did here, Robin!
I did love it, too! It was so special with her visuals! When I read her book Orion’s Gift, I wish I had had Baja photos from southern California. 🏖️ This really was a great post!
Thank you, Luanne! This was a wonderful introduction to Anneli’s newest book, “Marlie!” I have had it for over a month or so, but trying to finish a book my friend and I chose to read and discuss. I’m almost there. . .
Marlie sounds great!
I haven’t started this but when I read that my 1982 first book in the ABC series of the private detective Kinsey Milhone’s creator died, I had to borrow the last book she wrote. Sue Grafton left in her “will” or bequest, that No One Continue Her Series! She left off with, “Y is for Yesterday.” It is a good ending book so far. No “Z” book, which I wished she had an outline for Kinsey’s next step in life. Her elderly neighbor in the book who baked bread is still alive in her last one. . . Her legacy is quite huge though since Daniel Balducci declared Kinsey “one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time!”
I am excited to read “Marlie” and I have “My GRL” by John W. Howell here by my bed. 3 of my grandies are in the living room playing as I have only my one bedroom to do my Sunday blogging! 🌞 Have a wonderful day and week ahead, Luanne!