Audrey Austin

Audrey Austin
Proud to be a small town indie author

Friday, November 27, 2015

Welcome featured author for December, 2015 -- Janet Stobie


by Rev. Janet Stobie

Fireweed is an intriguing mystery filled with hope and light. Interwoven throughout the story are fourteen strategies for dealing with grief, offered as part of the daily living of its two main characters, fifteen year old Reneé Grenville and her father, Steve.

Fireweed is a great book club choice. It’s many layers deal with relevant life issues. On Janet’s website you will find questions for discussion.
Fireweed is recommended by teens, adults, teachers, clergy and grief therapists.
Fireweed is available:
Softcover - $20 Canadian plus shipping at
Hardcover, soft cover, ebook at which is the American Publisher.

Chapter 2 - Six months after Renée’s Mom is killed in a car accident.

Tuesday, November 1 The Gift
I stood at the bottom of the attic stairs listening to the slap, scratch, scratch, slap, scratch, scratch as the icy wind whipped the bare limbs of our giant catalpa tree against the windows. Our old house trembled. It matched the trembling in my soul.
The night before, Dad and I had had another yelling match.
He wanted me to make Mom’s special chocolate sauce and give it away, just like she did. He didn’t understand. He wouldn’t try. He didn’t even notice how I felt.

It’s been six months. The ache for Mom just won’t go away. It feels like a lead weight in my stomach that saps my energy and destroys my ability to focus. Dad must feel it too … but he doesn’t have to deal with teachers nagging about homework and that druggie, Richard Stewart, pushing for a date. If they’d all just leave me alone. Why is God punishing me? I hate living. I’d like to just disappear.
Taking a deep breath, I forced my reluctant feet to climb the stairs. As I reached out for the attic doorknob, I shouted into the empty stairwell,
"I can’t do it. I can’t pretend I’m okay any longer."
Only the relentless slap, scratch, scratch of the branches answered me.
I bit my lip hard in an effort to gain control. The pain and the salty taste of blood only added to my misery. I crumpled onto the landing. "Oh
God, why … why did she have to …?"
Once again, that awful night six long months ago replayed in my mind. As always, the scene faded with Constable Filmore’s words, "She died instantly. She didn’t have a chance."

"Please fix it, God," I pleaded. "I’m only fifteen. I need my mom."
Curled up in a ball, I rocked back and forth, seeking comfort from the motion. In time, my sobs slowed. I regained control. Enough, I thought. I’ll get those jars, but I won’t help make the sauce. I won’t replace Mom. I can’t.
Gathering my courage, I scrambled to my feet and gave the doorknob a fierce yank. Creeeeak. Cold, dank air flooded all around me. I shivered.
Where are those boxes? They should be right here beside the door. My foot made a wide arc in the darkness, touching nothing but bare floor. I took several steps forward.

What was that? I flailed my arms in search of the string to turn on the light.
Calm down, Renée, my inner voice ordered. It’s probably just a squirrel. Take a deep breath and relax!
Standing rigid, I sucked air in through my nose and then let it out slowly, the way I had been taught in yoga class. The panic began to subside.
Once again, I reached out for the old string. This time I felt it brush my fingers. Slowly, I brought my hand back, grasped the string, and pulled. One bare bulb, hanging high in the rafters, spread an eerie light over the attic’s chaos. Cartons, bits of old furniture and other junk, everything coated with years of dust, formed a barrier in front of me.


Biography of Janet Stobie
Janet Stobie is a Canadian living in Ontario’s lake country in a small city and hour and a half north east of Toronto. Ordained in the United Church, Janet spent nineteen years in parish ministry, where she developed her storytelling skills both written and oral. In 2009, Janet retired to focus on her writing, enjoying her family and her new husband Tom. Janet has written and published two books of short stories, two children’s books, a worship resource, and her novel Fireweed. She writes a column for a small local newspaper which she also publishes on her website Presently, Janet is writing a sequel to Fireweed.

In her free time Janet enjoys dancing, travelling, golf and reading.
Learn more about Janet Stobie and her books on her website.

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