Mindshadows

Epic. Enthralling. Evocative.


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Watch for a new Muskoka Novel in 2015!

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Trailer for Books 1 & 2

Trailer for Book 3


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Book 1 of
"The Muskoka Novels"

by Gabriele Wills

Book 2 of
"The Muskoka Novels"

by Gabriele Wills

Book 3 of
"The Muskoka Novels"

by Gabriele Wills

The Summer Before The Storm

Elusive Dawn

Under the Moon

"Historical fiction at its best" - FOCUS ON BOOKS

"If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, trust me, you will love [the Muskoka Novels] series!" - Teddy Rose, So Many Precious Books, So Little Time



Book 1 of
"The Muskoka Novels"

The Summer Before The Storm
ISBN 0-9732780-2-1
Cover photo by Melanie Wills





Buy Now - Online or Link to e-book stores

The Muskoka Chautauqua Reading List Winner


Visit Book Drum to explore The Summer Before the Storm


The Summer Before The Storm

Muskoka, 1914. It's the Age of Elegance in the summer playground of the affluent and powerful. Amid the pristine, island-dotted lakes and pine-scented forests of the Canadian wilderness, the young and carefree amuse themselves with glittering balls and friendly competitions. But this summer promises to be different when the charming, ambitious, and destitute son of a disowned heir joins his wealthy family at their cottage on Wyndwood Island.

Through Jack's introduction into the privileged life of the aristocratic Wyndhams and their social circle - including captains of industry and financial titans - he seeks opportunities and alliances to better himself, including in his schemes, his beautiful, headstrong, and audacious cousin, Victoria.

A cast of engaging and memorable characters vividly brings to life the idyllic lifestyle of endless summers on tranquil lakes. But their charmed lives begin to unravel with the onset of the Great War, in which many are destined to become part of the "lost generation".

This richly textured tale takes the reader on an unforgettable journey from romantic moonlight cruises to the horrific sinking of the Lusitania, regattas on the water to combat in the skies over France, extravagant mansions to deadly trenches - from innocence to nationhood.

The Summer Before The Storm, the first of "The Muskoka Novels", evokes a gracious, bygone era that still resonates in this legendary land of lakes.


"The Summer Before the Storm is a richly detailed, complex novel - one that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page." - Jonita Fex, The Book Chick

NEW! Read the latest reviews from a 2012 Blog Tour.
Here's a sample:

"Watch out and move over, Downton Abbey, because The Muskoka Novels are here." - EmSun

"Ms. Wills is one of the most talented writers I have read in a long time." - A Book Lover's Library

"When I came up for air, I was actually surprised to find myself in 2012 instead of 1914." - PopcornReads.com

"The Summer Before the Storm is a keeper on my bookshelf." - The Eclectic Reader

"The book is sweeping and epic in scale and feel with a marvelous grandeur of times past." - BookNAround

"It has EVERYTHING I adore. Ms. Wills is such a great author that she has created characters that I cannot wait to continue with in the next volume." - Bags, Books, & Bon Jovi

Read the first 2 chapters of The Summer Before The Storm. To view it full screen, click on the 4-arrows-box in the bottom right corner after the book opens.

Meet some of the main characters.

For an immersive experience, see photos, videos, and listen to relevant music in the annotations for The Summer Before the Storm. Visit Book Drum, and explore the "Setting" and "Bookmarks".


For a "novel" experience, listen to the companion soundtrack CD of authentically rendered vintage music quoted in the book. "Music for Muskoka" was created specifically to accompany The Summer Before The Storm by ragtime historian and performer, "Perfessor" Bill Edwards, who has consistently placed in the top five of the World Championship of Old-Time Piano Playing, and won the title in 1991.

The CD can be ordered directly from Bill's website.

To see a list of the tunes on the CD plus historical notes about each piece, please visit NovelTunes.com



Book 2 of
"The Muskoka Novels"

Elusive Dawn
ISBN 978-0-9732780-3-3
Cover photo by Melanie Wills
Cover design by dubs&dash





Buy Now - Online or Link to e-book stores





Elusive Dawn

It happened slowly at first. Thread by thread, the fabric of privilege and complacency enveloping the Wyndham family began to unravel. A carefree summer at their island house, disrupted by the arrival of long lost kin, ended in tragedy, betrayal, and war.

Now, in the compelling sequel to the acclaimed epic, The Summer Before The Storm, Ria and her friends find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

It's late summer, 1916. While some members of the Wyndham family revel in the last resplendent days of the season at their Muskoka cottage, others continue to be drawn inexorably into the "Great War", going from a world of misty sunrises across a tranquil lake to deadly moonlight bombing raids, festering trenches, and visceral terror.

For Ria, too many things have happened to hope that life would ever return to normal, that innocence could be regained. Caught in the vortex of turbulent events and emotions, she abandons the relative safety of the sidelines in Britain for the nightmare of France.

Her fate as an ambulance driver remains entwined with that of her summer friends, all bound by a sense of duty. Living in the shadows of fear and danger awakens the urgency to grasp life, to live more immediately, more passionately amid the enormity of unprecedented death. Together, their lives weave a tale of liberation and loss, evolution and redemption. Those who survive this cataclysmic time are forever changed, like Canada itself.

Impeccably researched, beautifully written, Elusive Dawn will resonate with the reader long after the final page has been turned.


"In Elusive Dawn, author Gabriele Wills shows talent that is anything but elusive. Her skillfully crafted scenes populated by well drawn characters will pull readers into the story and not let go until the very last page." - Writer's Digest Magazine

NEW! Read the latest reviews from a 2013 Blog Tour.
Here's a sample:

"There was never a moment in reading Elusive Dawn that I wasn't completely captivated with the story. I absolutely adore Gabriele Wills!" - Peaceful Wishing

"I can't tell you enough how much I adored this book and the characters it holds." - Stitch - Read - Cook

"I highly recommend you read Elusive Dawn. There are definitely similarities with the Downton Abbey series." - M. Denise C.

"Wills writes her characters in such a way that you literally feel like you're on this journey with them. The second book in this series is fantastic." - To Read, or Not to Read

"[Ms. Wills] truly brings history alive through her descriptions and her characters. I didn't want the story to end." - Broken Teepee

"I recommend this novel not only to historical fiction fans, but to readers who crave an emotional experience with characters who start to feel like family." - Mom in Love with Fiction

"I love fictional novels that bring history to life in a personal way. Gabriele Wills is a skilled author who expertly weaves this family saga together." - Sweeps 4 Bloggers

Read the first chapter of Elusive Dawn. To view it full screen, click on the 4-arrows-box in the bottom right corner after the book opens.

Meet some of the main characters.


Be sure to visit the Bonus Features after reading Elusive Dawn.



Order Now!

Book 3 of
"The Muskoka Novels"

Under the Moon
ISBN 978-0-9732780-7-1
Cover photo by Melanie Wills
Cover design by dubs&dash






Buy Now - Online or Link to e-book stores




Under the Moon

When Chas Thornton returns to the mystical island of Wyndwood as a decorated hero, more than flesh wounds remind him of his tumultuous past. Once merely a realm of carefree indulgence, this lavish retreat in the vast, haunting wilderness has now become a place of healing and rebirth. But can the serenity and stirring beauty that he abandonned five years earlier to fulfill his patriotic duty ever again feel the same?

For Chas, his wife Ria, and their family and friends who survived the catastrophic war, the final battle is to rebuild their shattered lives. From the ruggedly genteel Canadian Shield to the cafés of decadent Paris and the opulence of the blossoming Riviera, some seek to reinvent themselves among the avant-garde. Moving on and ascending the social hierarchy comes naturally to opportunistic cousin Jack, as he never had much to lose - until now. But for those whose sorrows and secrets lie in foreign graves, resolution seems impossible.

Meanwhile, the inevitable momentum of civilization ushers in a daring new era of scandalous excess and social upheaval that threatens the strictures of Edwardian society. On the forefront of this revolution are two diametrically opposed Wyndham cousins, Lizzie and Esme, who struggle to defy convention in the name of love and ambition. Only time will tell whether their worlds are ready to embrace change.

In this gripping third volume of the acclaimed Muskoka Novels series, Gabriele Wills vividly evokes the triumph and tragedy of the glittering Jazz Age as it seduces a privileged summer community, and we stand witness to its sultry dance on the dock, Under the Moon.


See the trailer for Under the Moon on YouTube

Click here to read Chapter 1 of Under the Moon now!


Gabriele Wills
Gabriele Wills

books@mindshadows.com



Find out about Gabriele Wills's other novels. Click on the graphics below.

Moon Hall
Moon Hall

A Place To Call Home
A Place To Call Home

 
 

Copyright © 2008 Gabriele Wills, Photos Copyright © 2008 Melanie Wills