Jenn Burke’s Fave Canadian Places to Set a Book + Giveaway

December 13, 2017

Jenn Burke's Top 5 Places

Whenever possible, I prefer to set my books in Canada because, well, I’m Canadian. Setting my books close to home is fun, and I don’t see enough books set in the True North. But there are only so many books I can set in the Ottawa area, so here are some other locations I’ve got on my radar.

 

Toronto

Toronto is Canada’s largest city. Seriously, it’s huge. At last count, the GTA—Greater Toronto Area—is home to nearly 6 million people, and it’s just as cosmopolitan as, say, New York City or L.A.

The CN Tower in Toronto

Why I want to set a book here: The Toronto area is so diverse. You’ve got upscale areas and rundown areas; harbourfront and countryside (or close enough). You’ve got major business and industry located there, as well as huge national sports teams, and museums, and tourist attractions like Canada’s Wonderland, and…yeah, you get the idea. It’s a treasure trove of a setting.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: A few! I’m working on plotting out a Toronto-set paranormal mystery featuring a demon who broke free of his summoner and a witch-knight with PTSD and a service dog who have to work together to solve a series of murders.

 

Prince Edward Island

PEI—also known as the Island—is Canada’s smallest province. With a population of just under 150,000 people, only slightly more people live there than in the Ottawa suburb I grew up in! It’s largely a rural community with a focus on farming (potatoes!), tourism and fishing. Fun fact: you can drive from the east point of the Island to the west point in about three hours.

Wind turbines on the east point of Prince Edward Island

Why I want to set a book here: I love PEI with a passion. It’s my favourite place to visit. The pace of life is so much slower than Ontario or other urban centres, so you really feel like you get a chance to breathe while you’re there. There’s a rich history, too—PEI is the home of Canada’s most famous literary heroine, Anne of Green Gables, and it’s the birthplace of Canadian Confederation (kind of like the US’s Declaration of Independence). It’s like a small town in province form.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I have a sweet contemporary mostly plotted, about a university student who has to abandon his dreams of a mainland career to take over his family’s goat farm and goat soap business suddenly to support his sister, and a school acquaintance who comes to his rescue when times get tough.

 

Almonte

Almonte, Ontario, holds a special place in my heart because it’s my adopted hometown. We moved here in 2013, and it was honestly the best choice we ever made. It’s just far enough away from Ottawa to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city, but close enough that it’s easy to access Ottawa’s conveniences, and it still has a lovely small-town feeling to it.

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Downtown Almonte, Ontario

Why I want to set a book here: On our first night here, someone told us that Almonte is this really interesting mix of yuppie and redneck—and it’s totally true. You have the wonderful ruralness of the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County mixed with the hipster/yuppy artist vibe of upscale gift shops and galleries. There’s a Riverwalk right next to the Mississippi River (not that Mississippi River…this is another one) where you can watch the water as it works its way through rapids and a couple of dams.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I have ideas for a couple of contemporaries, one of which involves a sugar shack farmer (someone who collects maple syrup) and his best friend, and the other is about a kids’ hockey coach and the father of one of his players.

 

Alberta foothills

I spent a good chunk of my early years in Edmonton, Alberta, and the prairies will always have a place in my heart—but some of my best memories come from spending a week at a horseback riding camp and ranch in the Alberta foothills when I was 10 years old. It was an incredible experience.

Why I want to set a book here: When you think of a book set in the West, you normally think of the western or southwest states. Canada has a west, too—one that is often overlooked. I would love to introduce readers to this area that was dear to me in my childhood.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I have thoughts about a LGBTQIA+ guest ranch set in the foothills. I’d like to write a romantic suspense in this setting, but the plot isn’t jibing for me yet.

 

Cape Breton

Cape Breton is part of Nova Scotia and is situated off the province’s east coast, connected to the mainland by a causeway. Unlike PEI, Cape Breton is not at all a tamed environment. There are a few farms, and towns polka-dot the landscape, but mostly it’s filled with wilderness and mountains. It reminds me a lot of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta—smaller, of course, but the same level of wildness.

Part of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Why I want to set a book here: The wilderness of Cape Breton calls to me. When my family visited this summer, I was inspired over and over again by things I saw. Like a barely visible cabin tucked on the side of a mountain, only detectable because of powerlines and a hole cut in the trees. Or a distillery in the middle of nowhere that uses spring water from the nearby mountain to make absolutely delicious single malt whiskey.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I had some thoughts on a story set in the same world as The Gryphon King’s Consort, but nothing has really jumped out at me yet. I’ll need to keep thinking about it!

Thanks for joining me on my wishful tour of Canada! If you’ve ever visited Canada, please share your favourite spot in the comments section—and if you haven’t visited Canada, let me know where you would like to visit.

 

Check out The Gryphon King’s Consort today!

 

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Blurb:

Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

 

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Author Bio:

Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of The Gryphon King’s Consort from Dreamspinner Press and the co-author of the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press. She’s also the author of Her Sexy Sentinel, a paranormal romance from Entangled Publishing.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

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Thank you so much for joining me on The Gryphon King’s Consort blog tour. Enter for your chance to win one of two $25 store credits for Dreamspinner Press!

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3 Responses to “Jenn Burke’s Fave Canadian Places to Set a Book + Giveaway”

  1. Didi says:

    This post really makes me want to visit Canada more, thanks for sharing! My wishlist for when I get to go there would be to visit each one of them, and other town as well. (Greedy planner here. XD )

  2. Susan says:

    Canada is one of my favorite vacation destinations! I’ve been to Toronto the most, but I’ve loved everywhere I’ve visited, including Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Montreal.

  3. Jenn Burke says:

    I’m always happy to hear that people are planning to visit Canada or have visited and enjoyed it! There are so many wonderful places to explore. ❤

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