“Barefoot Alice” is a heart-warming tale of one woman’s journey of loves, lost and found, of discovering ancestral ties and the magical interconnection with life.
Dumped by her husband and homeless, middle aged Alice finds herself at the Rail Stop Café in a northern gold mining ghost town during a snowstorm.
Surrounded by wilderness and a strange community at Golden Lake, Alice finds shelter in a 200-year-old schoolhouse with its ethereal teacher and students. Facing the inevitability of a life alone, she unravels legacy secrets with the help of a kindly old man, the community around and a mysterious wilderness man. She encounters descendants of Dr. Barnardo’s British Home Children, gold rush fever, an unconsecrated baby burial, ghost hunting tourists and infringing upscale cottage estates.
Befriended by the old schoolhouse ghosts and community, Alice is challenged to survive and overcome a lonely life.
Alice’s heartwarming journey celebrates the life-affirming qualities of resilience, the importance of community; of this world and spirit world, and the power of love to change lives.
Available in ebook, paperback and large print.
Targeted Age Group:: adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I once lived in a 200 year old schoolhouse in northern Ontario, an area rich in anecdotal history.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to write about single middle-aged women who overcome personal and social issues, such as; loneliness, body image and shaming, divorce and friendships. In this book, Alice was orphaned as a child and as a lonely plus size woman, finds her sass and a sense of belonging through new friendships.
Sleepy, grateful and happy-proud that she had taken two normal adult steps today and hopeful that maybe everything was going to be okay, Alice relaxed. Ears listened to the wind pick up to disturb the calm. Through the window, shadows of large trees gently swayed. A stunning full moon peeked through clouds as snow glittered blue under expansive night stars. Alice had never seen anything like it, the city was always lit in an orangey yellow glow at night. Deliciously drifting off to sleep, she had become used to the strange ghostly noises inside of the house and it’s creaking in the winds.
After the legal, banking and bill paying bits were attended to, she would figure out who the ghost people were that co-habited the old schoolhouse and explore the countryside. Yes, it was almost time to find out exactly where she had moved to.
SCREEEEEEECHHHHHHHHH … SCREEEEEEECCCCHHHHHH! … SCREEEEEEEEEECHHHHH!
Alice bolted upright with heart pounding in chest and ears perked. “Jesus, what the heck is that?”
What sounded like something being killed by insane murderer or someone screaming in a horror movie, was not coming from inside of the house. It was not the normal sounds from the ghosts occupying the house but, coming from right outside of the bedroom window.
Terrified, Alice slid off the bed and onto the floor and hid under the bed. Pulling a blanket off the bed, she covered her head. A pounding heart threatened to pop right out of her chest. She sobbed, “Oh God, please help me.”
Thinking fast, she crawled across the floor, turned out the light and felt around for a weapon to defend herself from the poltergeist trying to get in. Finding nothing, she crawled back under the bed, hoping whatever monster or madman was out there, would not see her through the window or break into the house. The next screeeeeccchhhhhing sound seemed a bit further away and was met with playful yip barking sounds. Ears tuning in and hearing nothing more, she calmed, yet still frozen in a fetal position under the bed. Alice fell asleep curled where she lay. Jerk had remained contentedly curled asleep on top of the bed. Why did Jerk seem unfazed? Had it not heard the terrible screech?
“God, what a jerk.”
Early the next morning, Alice boldly ventured outside, around the house and studied the back wall of her bedroom, expecting to see blood, a dead body or some other unfathomable horror. Seeing nothing of the kind, merely tiny paw prints, she ventured back inside, somewhat perplexed. As she moved past a bookcase, a book dropped off the shelf and landed at her feet. “Northern Ontario Wildlife.” Looking around, sensing no wind to have blown the book off the shelf, nor was Jerk anywhere to be seen, she understood the ghost’s suggestion. Alice settled into the easy chair and flipped through the pages.
Page 49; ‘The distinct mating call of the Vixen Fox, while not scientific, can best be described as that of a haunting murderous scream. Often a chilling sound for humans, this screeching sound is a loving mating call from the female fox to a male counterpart.’ The chapter went on to show photographs, food preferences and paw prints.
“Well, what do you know Rabbit, how about that. I believe we had a fox romance going on in our backyard!”
Closing the book and laying it gently on the side table for further learning later, Alice stood, stretched and then glanced out of a window at the easing storm.
A change must be made, and she knew if not taking the time and purchase the right weapon for the job, the mice would overtake the house. Each night the mice waited until lights were off, to exit walls to freely scurry in and out of cupboards, re-build nests and feast on countertop crumbs. Each day she cleaned bread crumbs, turds and pee only to find more the following morning. Standing with hand on hip, and with brows furrowed, she studied yesterday’s fresh bar of hand soap. Three quarters were gone, with teeth and tiny claw marks left on it as evidence. Either today was their last day, or she would have to call Bill Callaghan the Realtor and promptly leave.
Haunting children and adult ghosts seemed friendly. The mice, however, were another matter and could not be tolerated. Images of the house condemned because of mice and disease plague, repulsed her. It had taken a full day to clean the bathroom, yet the next day, the top cupboard displayed a massive toilet paper nest and the bottom shelf had become a toothpaste mishmash of rodent pee and tiny black poop pellets.
Alice stood in front of Rabbit, “Well, I can’t risk going all of the way to Williamsford today, it looks like more heavy snow on the way. What should I do? Jerk is catching some of these mice, but each time I clean up, I wake up to more mouse destruction and poop. We’ve got to do something, Rabbit. Hmm . . ., oh ya, you’re right. There is a General Store up the road. I guess it’s time to go see what it has. I hope they have a phone book and a phone I can use. Maybe they even have a banking kiosk and I can see if I can take some money out.” Alice turned to review the local map.
Bounding over a snowbank out of the driveway and sliding out onto the county road, freshly plowed, and still snow packed, she swerved slightly. Letting off gas to adjust to the snow packed fresh sand and salt, the tires gripped. With one hand on the steering wheel, the other madly swiped frost covering the inside of the windshield. The old pickup truck chugged along contently.
Expecting to find a century old, run down creepy old place for a general store, Alice veered around a bend to meet a beautiful large log building, the kind you would expect to see in the Yukon or Alaska. On the deck lay piles of ice salt bags, newspaper bins, a block ice bin, luxurious Adirondack cottage chairs and a wooden two-person swing chair.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Barefoot Alice Print Edition at Amazon
Buy Barefoot Alice Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy Barefoot Alice On Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.