Jacqui Nelson’s North of the Border with guest Laura Stapleton

Who’s next on my North of the Border guest blog series? Today we have Laura Stapleton, author of the Nova Scotia Murder Mystery series.

Where does Laura get her inspiration? How is Canada part of her inspiration? Read on and see...

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I’d been a fan of everything Canadian since the early 1980’s. From watching SCTV to adoring the later Corner Gas, when the opportunity presented itself, I was more than happy to attend London, Ontario’s Ignite Your Soul Author Event. Check it out here: www.facebook.com/groups/241391349387419 for yourself. I’d never been to the Great White North and couldn’t wait to see if the country was as wonderful as TV had shown it to be.

It was better than I’d expected. So much better. The people are wonderful, the landscape beautiful, and those All Dressed chips? So yummy. Molson’s is terrific, I’ve made the best friends from Vancouver to Halifax, and we plan to live in Canada at least part time someday soon. My husband and I are debating over his desire to live in Newfoundland and my need to live in Nova Scotia. Actually, I think we’ll both be happy in either place. St. John’s is on our must visit list and we may not come back home.

Until we set our move, we’ve been making do with watching Republic of Doyle and Schitt’s Creek on Netflix while cobbling together poutine from US ingredients. It helps that the Ignite Your Soul event happens every other year. The gathering gives me a chance to hug on most of my Canadian friends while refueling my Tim Horton’s gift card. I gain a couple of pounds from the massive amount of Timbits every time. I also smuggle back All Dressed and Zesty chips. By smuggle, I mean tell the border patrol everything in our rental car. I’m a really bad liar and the back seat full of chip bags would tip them off anyway.

With all this northern love of mine, you’ll probably not be surprised to learn I couldn’t resist writing a Canadian story or two. In fact, I had to write a series, which is still a work in progress. Three books are finished with four more planned. I love the Atlantic Maritime and had to set a romantic suspense in Halifax and Dartmouth. The hero is from Vancouver, the heroine from Halifax and I’ve been to both places for research. Yes, I’m bragging. No, I’m not ashamed.

I found writing and researching Canadian law and law enforcement fascinating. I’ve had to study tax law, medical issues, small businesses, and the little things Canadians take for granted. I wanted the stories to feel as if someone who lived there had written them. I had my assistant from Ontario read over them, making sure my neighbors were neighbours and I had all of my colours correct.

Now it’s show and tell time! I’d written Imposter, a short story that kicked off my Nova Scotia Murder Mystery series. A few years later, I was able to visit the exact place my hero had an “accident” over a cliff. A scene of a crime I created and so much fun to see in real life.

But before then, I’d been able to visit Crystal Crescent Beach for the final action setting in Betrayal, the first full book in the series. We had the best time on our family vacation/research trip. The beach is so lovely, a great place for an attempted murder. But, only in fiction!

I do have several Canadian based historical romances planned. Since the United States tend to focus on only our history, I’m looking forward to learning far more about our terrific neighbors to the north. There’s an entire past I’ve created for my Nova Scotia characters and I can’t wait to get started on their saga.

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Death rolls in with the tide. 

Beauty salon owner Mandy Hays was distracted by a painful divorce and a sexy new neighbor until a friend of her family is found dead on a local beach. After talking with her friend on the force, Officer Evan Rogers, Mandy and her neighbor, Dr. Aaron Nicholson, decide to help find the killer.

One by one, they eliminate people least likely to carve up someone before dumping them in the North Atlantic Ocean.

When Mandy gets too close to finding the killer, can Aaron or Evan get there in time to save her from a kidnapper's bullet?

"...a story with all of the romantic mystery of Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh."

On Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B01KJ7JZ9K

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With an overactive imagination and a love for writing, Laura Stapleton decided to type out her daydreams and what-ifs in order to share her lovable characters and their worlds with readers. She currently lives in Kansas City. When not at the computer, you'll find her in the park for a jog or at the yarn store's clearance section.

Don’t be a stranger. Hang out with me in my readers group here www.facebook.com/groups/533987740310913, on my Facebook page here www.facebook.com/llstapleton, or read my blog at http://lauralstapleton.com for more. Want to know just the sales? Check me out at BookBub here www.bookbub.com/profile/laura-stapleton. They’re amazing at giving just the new books and sales for readers.

~ All pictures (except for the 1st) are supplied by today’s guest with their assurance of usage rights. 


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post Laura and taking a mini trip to Canada reading it. The pictures are beautiful and definitely makes one wonder about changing the scenery with murder most foul. Although I do confess to wondering aloud just how many bodies can you fit in one of those large hotel refrigerators... Your series sounds like a great read! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Thank you for posting such wonderful pics and also for a day in Canada! Sounds like a great book. Jacqui thank you for these posts! peggy clayton

    1. You're very welcome Peggy! I always have my next trip north planned before I even leave the country. Fingers crossed you like the book as much as I do. <3

  3. From Kansas City to Atlantic Canada--that's culture shock. Maybe it's because you live in a land-locked state that Nova Scotia and Newfoundland seem so attractive. Thanks for your enthusiastic embrace of all things Canadian, including Timbits.

    1. Alice, lol! Yeah, that's part of why we're renting instead of buying when we're ready. I like being able to undo. You're right, too, that living in first Oklahoma, then Texas, and finally Missouri makes the ocean seem so appealing. In Missouri, we have all of the humidity and none of the shore. Canada is just wonderful. One of the things we'd like to do is visit the middle and northern provinces. A goal of mine is to ice skate on a frozen lake up there. :D

  4. Thank you C.H.! The top photo was a thrill because I'd tried to "kill" a character there. It also made me realize I need to update how the EMT's went to Aaron. By foot Eh, I went to the location by foot and it wasn't easy. Much better to send a boat and retrieve him that way. The second photo was so much fun. I love Crystal Crescent Beach and the portapotty in the book is there in real life.Thank you so much, too, for taking the time to comment. :D