Book Excerpts

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Angel of Mercy by Melina Druga

Angel of Mercy

April 1914. Barrie, Ontario. Hettie Steward is feisty, educated, ambitious and stubborn. While Hettie is thrilled to be starting her life with Geoffrey Bartlette, the love of her life since childhood, 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.Soon tragedy strikes.

Heinous: Forgotten Murders From the 1910s by Melina Druga

Heinous: Forgotten Murders From the 1910s

In 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.

A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WWI

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.

1918 by Melina Druga


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.

1917 by Melina Druga


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.


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.


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.


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.

Enterprising Women: A Practical Guide to Starting Your First Business by Melina Druga

Enterprising Women: A Practical Guide to Starting Your First Business

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.

Enterprising Women: Practical Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs by Melina Druga

Enterprising Women: Practical Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs

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.

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