Excerpt from Kate's Ring

Excerpt from chapter 16 - Bitter Peelings

I woke up with a start. What was that noise? Was someone out of bed? How long ago had I


heard the bed creak? I fumbled in the darkness to make sure Mamma was still sleeping, but

her bed was empty and the sheets cold.

I whispered into the emptiness: Mamma, where are you? I raced into the hallway.

The register in the floor over the kitchen breathed cold air. I bolted down the stairs. The

wind had caught the opened porch door and it slapped the side of the house over and over

again. Dampness leaked into the kitchen. I grabbed my cardigan from the hook by the stove

and flew outside. The door slammed behind me. I knew she was drawn to the water, so I

headed for the government wharf where she had gone earlier in the week.

Fog rolled in like a thief, stealing all that was familiar. I scrambled through the field

and prayed. Please, God, help me find Mamma.

The steel plant boomed and roared. Blinded by clouds of thick fog, I stretched my

arms out in front of me to avoid the thorny branches that sprang out of nowhere and

snagged my sweater. Another boom from the steel plant and the mist oozed a reddish glow.

I saw her like a ghostly apparition on the wharf. Her silk nightie curled around her ankles.

Haze swirled and circled and wove around her shadowy shape and then draped like a

shroud around her sagging shoulders. I didn’t want to startle her as I crept slowly through

the pebbles and pungent seaweed that curled along the waterline. Waves lapped against

the pilings. I leaped onto the wharf. Her blank eyes stared into the night.

Gingerly, I moved toward her.

Amanda Walther Comment
Youth Readers Respond
youth readers.jpg

Over the last few months a small panel of youth readers has been formed, through High School Administration selections and other youth involved in writing and studying literature. We've asked them to read Kate’s Ring in manuscript form (prior to the final edit) and let us know what they think about the book.

Many Thanks to our Youth Panel for taking the time to share their thoughts and feelings about the book. We are thrilled that so many youth readers have enjoyed Kate's Ring, and we will be sharing the reviews as they come in.
Here are the comments from the first few readers:


A real eye-opener and heart-wrencher! Donna transports her readers to the ‘20s, investing them in the lives of a struggling family. Her forthright dialogue, relatable characters and thought-provoking topics explore issues that mirror concerns in today’s society. Donna is able to connect with and enlighten her audience on these topics through her characters’ variety of perspectives- something of which I really appreciated in the book.
— Jocelyn Coulombe (age 18) Caledon ON, May 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, finding it relatable and captivating. The characters were strong individuals, bringing their unique points of view to each chapter and each facing their own demons. It was a great read and brought me right into the world of Cape Breton in the early 1900s. I think this book is great for all ages, offering a taste of history and a heartwarming view of family struggles and perseverance.
— S.G., (age 16) Toronto, ON. May 2018

Kate’s Ring is a fascinating book about a brave girl who, despite the challenges, took care of her family even when it was not her job to do. Her selflessness is inspiring and her journey to help support not only herself, but also her 5 siblings, is beautiful. It brought me into another time and made me realize just how hard it could’ve been to live in the 1900’s. I loved the book.
— Ysabel (age 14) Newmarket ON, April 2018

Amanda WaltherComment
Behind the scenes: The Editing process

Writing a novel is a long project.  Once the story is completed and the publisher accepts it, some tough work begins in the editing process – where an experienced editor reviews the manuscript and sends it back to the author for revisions.


First Edit - Donna has completed the first edit which required adjusting some dialogue plus conducting additional research to verify times, places and methods of travel (a good challenge when your novel is set in a time nearly 100 years ago).  Big thanks goes out to the Beaton Institute (Cape Breton University) and especially Dr. Jim St. Clair, author, historian, and broadcaster for providing essential information about the Mount Pleasant area of Cape Breton in the early 20th century.

Second Edit - Donna is currently working with the editor on the second edit which needs to be completed by mid April.  This second edit will include more research reviews plus clarifying the role of some of the minor characters and events in the story.

Upon completion of the second edit, the manuscript will be moved on for review by a copy editor who will check all punctuation and expressions for accuracy and clarity. This may also involve modifying dialogue to match local expression in the setting and time of the novel.

Donna’s work continues…