Category: Melina’s Books

Canada History Melina's Books

A Family Church: St. Andrew’s, Barrie

The Steward family’s church in Angel of Mercy is St. Andrew’s in Barrie, Ontario. Why St. Andrew’s? The church is Presbyterian, which kept with the family’s Scottish roots.  I also used it because Presbyterian was a very large denomination at the turn of the 20th century. History of St. Andrew’s St. Andrew’s began in 1843. […]

Canada History Melina's Books

The Inspiration Behind an Angel’s Hometown

The hometown of my main character in Angel of Mercy, Henrietta Steward, is Barrie, Ontario. Many real-life buildings were the inspiration for her family and friends’ homes and workplaces. Without leaving many spoilers, here are a sampling of photos that inspired places in the novel: These houses were the model for the Steward home which […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Melina's Books Victorian era Women's history

Toronto Normal School: Establishing Standardized Teaching Practices

Hettie Steward, in my novel Angel of Mercy, is not the only woman in her family to have a profession. Her mother blazed the trail, becoming a professional teacher after attending the Toronto Normal School in the 1880s. What is a “normal school”? It is what today we call a teaching college. The purpose of these […]

Canada Edwardian era Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books

A Brief History of Royal Victoria Hospital — Barrie, Ontario

My fictional character Hettie Steward worked at her hometown hospital, Royal Victoria, in the year between finishing nursing school and joining the Canadian Army Medical Corps, Even though the hospital plays a very small role in Angel of Mercy, its history gives us an interesting glimpse into medical care during the first part of the […]

Canada Edwardian era Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history

Nursing School in the 1910s — the School of Nursing Toronto General Hospital

Hettie Steward, my main character in Angel of Mercy, is a 1913 graduate of the School of Nursing Toronto General Hospital.   By the time of her graduation, it was the largest and among the most prestigious nursing schools in Canada. Competition to be accepted into the program was stiff and had been since 1894. Let’s […]

Canada Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history World War One

Canadian Army Nursing Service

The Canadian Army Nursing Service (CANS) plays a pivotal role in my novel Angel of Mercy, yet it is little mentioned in the history of World War One. The CANS was founded in 1901. The first women who enrolled served in the South African (Boer) War. Three years later, the CANS consisted of 25 women. In […]

Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history World War One

The True Stories of World War One Nurses

My novel, Angel of Mercy, focuses on Hettie, a young woman serving during the First World War with the Canadian Army Nursing Service. While her experiences are fictional, she and her colleagues are based on the brave nurses who served overseas during nearly five years of war. “In his much-admired book published in 1975,” Baroness […]

Edwardian era Fiction Melina's Books Writing & Editing

The Final Holiday of Innocence — Part Two

The following short work of fiction, a slice-of-life piece, was never intended for publication. I wrote it a year ago as a creative exercise and have opted to present it now because it introduces Hettie Steward, the main character in Angel of Mercy, along with many of her friends and family members. New Year’s Eve […]

Edwardian era Fiction Melina's Books Writing & Editing

The Final Holiday of Innocence — Part One

The following short work of fiction, a slice-of-life piece, was never intended for publication. I wrote it a year ago as a creative exercise and have opted to present it now because it introduces Hettie Steward, the main character in Angel of Mercy, along with many of her friends and family members. Christmas Eve 1913 […]

Books & Publishing Edwardian era History Lucretia's World Melina's Books Nonfiction United States

Welcome to the Jungle

The Jungle might very well be the most influential novel you probably don’t know. Written by Upton Sinclair in 1906, the novel was intended to show the horrible conditions in America’s slums. Instead, Sinclair exposed the unsanitary conditions in meatpacking plants. The novel first appeared as a serial (a common occurrence in the 19th century) in […]

Books & Publishing Canada History Melina's Books World War One

Canada: Our Fascinating Neighbor to the North

I have been a history lover for many years, and I am obsessed with World War I to the point of addiction.  This focus has grown to include Canada and its history. Why, you may ask, would an American be interested in Canada? It began with the conception of my novel, Angel of Mercy. The […]

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