Those Left Behind Now Available!

Those Left Behind

Change isn’t always for the best.  Just ask the Stewards.  

Those Left Behind, the second book in Melina Druga’s World War One trilogy, launched on Amazon Oct. 12.

Here’s what one reviewer had to say:

“Druga pens a wonderfully historical story in Those Left Behind, as part of her WWI series. I read the one that came before it, and though I liked that one, I absolutely loved this one. The characters, the Stewards, continue in this story from the one before. This author brings the many stories within the to life. It’s 1914, and the lives of the Steward family and the Bartlettes are coming together, but with the war lingering around their lives, there is great tension. It’s a story of survival as well as family, and how to overcome obstacles, and deal with what life throws at you. It is always a joy to read this author’s stories. This author is not just a writer but a great storyteller. Magnificent story, kept this reader turning the pages. An inspiring story. I look forward to reading many more stories by this author. “

— Amy Shannon from Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Other Books by Melina Druga

All eBooks are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.

Historical Fiction

Change isn’t always for the best.  Just ask the Stewards.

Those Left Behind1914. The Steward family is eagerly preparing for the event that will forever bind them to the Bartlettes: the wedding of Hettie and Geoffrey.  Little do the families know that the winds of war brewing in Europe soon will rip them apart.

Hettie and her brother, Freddie, join the Canadian Army Medical Corps. This decision is met with resistance and disapproval, causing a rift in the siblings’ relationship with their parents.

Meanwhile, a decades-long friendship is tested, two other daughters’ marriages are in tatters, and the scourge of influenza sweeps through the civilian population.

Will the Stewards bend under pressure or become stronger and more resilient?

Those Left Behind is the second in a trilogy following Hettie and her family as they navigate the challenges and heartbreak World War 1 brings.  Each novel is a standalone story. Those Left Behind is the home front story. It is a collection of slice-of-life pieces that collectively tell the story of what happened in Canada while the events in Angel of Mercy were occurring.  They are based on Hettie’s letters.

Also available: Angel of Mercy, the warfront story.  Adjustment Year, the homecoming story, coming in April 2021.

She had her entire life planned until the Great War began and everything changed.


Angel of Mercy by Melina DrugaApril 1914.  Barrie, Ontario.  Hettie Steward is feisty, educated, ambitious and stubborn.  Her fiancé, Geoffrey Bartlette, the love of her life since childhood, has been a patient man.  He waited while she attended nursing school and worked a year, but now it is time to wed.  While Hettie is thrilled to be starting her life with Geoffrey, she laments that marriage means sacrificing her beloved nursing career, and domestic life brings her nothing but drudgery and boredom.

When the Great War begins a few months into their marriage, Geoffrey enlists and persuades Hettie to join the Canadian Army Nursing Service and follow him overseas.  After all, everyone says the war will be short, and it will be their opportunity to have a proper honeymoon.  Returning to work is exactly what Hettie was craving, and she eager accepts.

The war, however, does not end quickly.  Soon tragedy strikes, proving true the old adage “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”  Geoffrey is killed at the Second Battle of Ypres, and Hettie is faced with a choice.  Return home or stay in Europe and continue nursing?  Moreover, will she discover the person she is meant to be now that her life has been steered onto a new path?

Angel of Mercy is the first in a trilogy following Hettie and her family as they navigate the challenges and heartbreak World War 1 brings. Each novel is a standalone story.

Nonfiction

What do a bubbly six year old, a Christian Scientist and a farmhouse boarder have in common?  They were all brutally murdered by a person that society least expected.

Heinous: Forgotten Murders From the 1910s by Melina DrugaIn Heinous: Forgotten Murders From the 1910s, you’ll travel back to a violent decade – a time when “idiots and morons” were police departments’ first suspects, when journalists had the opportunity to conduct interrogations and when forensics was in its infancy.  It also was a decade when crime of all varieties was surging, and experts blamed everything from immigration to lax parenting.

If you’re fascinated by true crime history, you’ll enjoy these 17 tales of murder and mysterious deaths.  The people you’ll meet include Hans Schmidt, a priest who believed his crime was divinely inspired; Russell Pethrick, a 22-year-old grocery delivery boy who was caught based on a new technology – fingerprint analysis; Thomas Fitzgerald, a pedophile who enjoyed showing little girls “pretty” pictures of dead people; and Nathan Swartz, a murder suspect whose family experienced intense shame after he went on the lam.

Heinous: Forgotten Murders From the 1910s also includes a bonus case: What Happened to Dorothy Arnold?   The socialite’s baffling disappearance made headlines for decades and remains unsolved to this day.

These stories made headlines more than a century ago and provide insight into how the media covered sensational crimes.

How did newspapers report the events of World War 1?  How much of the story was the media able to tell?

Author Melina Druga asked these very questions and weaves together details from key events in the war using contemporary newspapers as her main source.  As a consequence, the events in A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 do not have the benefit of hindsight and analysis.  The reporting is chaotic, incomplete and often inaccurate, but it paints a picture of the war as our ancestors knew it.

A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 is the story of two North American countries that found themselves embroiled in an European war – one by circumstance and one by choice. 

This is the complete edition in the journalism history series originally published in five parts:

Part one, 1914:  The war begins.  Canada is proud to contribute to the war effort while the United States declares its neutrality.

Part two, spring 1915 is consumed with two traumatic events.  The Canadian Expeditionary Force passes its trial by fire, entering battle for the first time and winning glory while becoming victims of a chlorine-gas attack.  A month later, the United States is shocked that German submarine warfare has killed civilians.  The Lusitania is sunk, and war rhetoric is on the rise.

Part three, 1916:  Canada participates in the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in history and the conflict that introduces the tank, yet papers back home are preoccupied elsewhere.  In the United States, the presidential election of 1916 brings out opposing viewpoints and results in a narrow re-election victory for President Woodrow Wilson. 

Part four, 1917:   The Battle of Vimy Ridge often is called Canada’s coming of age, but is that how contemporary newspapers viewed the victory?  Meanwhile, President Woodrow Wilson, after years of pledging American neutrality and his re-inauguration, declares war on Germany.

Part five, 1918:  Armistice is declared at last, ending the Great War.  However, joy is tempered by the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Delight tempered by disease.

On Nov. 11, 1918, the war ends, prompting spontaneous and boisterous parties to erupt in cities throughout the United States and Canada.

Joy follows the deadliest month of the Spanish Flu Pandemic, a pandemic that would kill more Americans and Canadians than the war.

Part five in the A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 series.  The series explores journalism history by examining how newspapers reported on the war, painting a picture of the war as our ancestors knew it.

Like two years earlier, 1917 is a chaotic spring.

Canadian troops easily take their objective at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  The battle would later be called Canada’s coming-of-age.  While newspapers at the time do not use this term, there is a definite sense that something important has occurred.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ran for re-election on the pledge that he kept the U.S. out the war.  However, as submarine warfare increases, Wilson decides now is the time to enter the conflict.

Part four in the A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 series.  The series explores journalism history by examining how newspapers reported on the war, painting a picture of the war as our ancestors knew it.

One nation shows valor on the battlefield.  Another goes to battle at the ballot box.

The Battle of the Somme drags on in Europe and witnesses a new weapon of war – the tank.  The battle receives sparse coverage back home, however, as Canadians are preoccupied with a variety of homefront problems. 

Meanwhile, the United States goes to the polls in a close election that pits Democrats against Republicans and Republicans against Democrats and Progressives.  Suffragists also seize the moment and hope to gain universal suffrage for women on all three parties’ planks.

Part three in the A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 series.  The series explores journalism history by examining how newspapers reported on the war, painting a picture of the war as our ancestors knew it.

Spring 1915 is consumed with two traumatic events. 

Canadian troops endures a trial by fire at the Second Battle of Ypres.  While the Canadians are ultimately successful – to the pride of their countrymen – the battle marks the first widespread use of chlorine gas.   The gas moves across the ground like a yellow-green fog, damaging the mucus membranes and causing asphyxiation.

Meanwhile, Americans are rocked by the torpedoing of the Lusitania, an ocean liner that, like the Titanic, was thought to be unsinkable.  The sinking costs the lives of nearly 1,200 including women, children and babies, and splits the United States into two camps – those who want war and those who still believe in neutrality.

Part two in the A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 series.  The series explores journalism history by examining how newspapers reported on the war, painting a picture of the war as our ancestors knew it.

The story of two North American countries that found themselves embroiled in an European war – one by circumstance and one by choice. 

June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie are shot and killed by Slavic nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia.  At first, the event is only of regional interest, but soon war clouds are enveloping Europe.  

In Canada, the news is met with excitement and pride.  The nation commits 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers to Great Britain within two to three weeks, and there is a surplus of recruits. 

Meanwhile, in the United States, the government is focused on isolationism and neutrality.  Capitalists and newspapers scheme about how Americans can profit from a war, and tourists refuse to change their plans.

Part one in the A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1 series.  The series explores journalism history by examining how newspapers reported on the war, painting a picture of the war as our ancestors knew it.

Considering starting a business?  Unsure where to begin?

Starting your own business is one of the most empowering things you’ll ever do, especially if you’re a woman.  It’s also one of the most challenging.  Business ownership is fraught with pitfalls  ̶  lack of planning, funding, marketing skills, dedication and passion.

Enterprising Women: A Practical Guide to Your First Business is a handbook highlighting the basics of launching a startup. 

In Enterprising Women: A Practical Guide to Your First Business, you’ll learn about:

  • how to decide what type of business to start
  • writing business and marketing plans
  • naming and running your business
  • financing and legalities
  • the perils of self employment

Melina Druga interviewed nearly 100 female entrepreneurs and asked them several career defining questions including the one people don’t talk about:  Did you struggle when starting your business?

The businesswomen did not disappoint, speaking candidly about failure as well as success, self doubt and what the process of launching a business taught them.

Despite coming from various walks of life and different regions of the world, the women experienced similar struggles and learned comparable lessons.

In addition, the majority were mothers, some even grandmothers, who needed to strike a balance between business and family, and most did not start their professional careers with the intent of becoming small-business owners. 

In Enterprising Women: Practical Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs, you will read advice on:

  • Women and business ownership
  • Discovering what type of business to open
  • The importance of business planning
  • Marketing
  • Support during difficult times
  • Asking for help
  • Taking care of yourself

You’ll also read about:

  • What the process of starting a business taught the entrepreneurs
  • Struggles the entrepreneurs faced
  • The advice they give you as you begin your entrepreneurial journey

 

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