My dear Finders, it’s been a while. A year in and here we all are still coping with a global pandemic. Hard times but with the arrival of vaccines I can only hope that we are slowly moving toward better days.

In troubling news, it appears I have finished television. Highlights: Schitt’s Creek, Unorthodox, Ted Lasso, Unbelievable, Trying, It’s a Sin, The Dig. Lowlights: every available episode of Law & Order. I tell you there’s simply nothing left. The good news is that there are still more books in the world than I could ever read.

Speaking of books, if you’ve been around this site long enough, you will recall a fellow Finder known as Downith aka the Duchess, and as of yesterday she shall henceforth be known as published novelist, Damhnait Monaghan.

Ah, Downith. She’s a rare bird. Fiercely intelligent. Funny and warm. Kind and supportive. A witty and talented former lawyer and mother of two who has carried a dream of becoming a writer for a long time. I bumped into her years ago on Betsy Lerner’s blog and since then we have become allies in the struggle to realize our shared goal of writing a novel. Despite the fact that I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia and she lives in England, I’ve had the profound pleasure of being with her every step of the way of this book—reading early drafts, daily emails and messages on Twitter, talking each other off the ledge via FaceTime. And thanks to her, I found an agent and a home for my own novel. In sum, she’s the best person I’ve never met.

And now Downith’s dream is a reality. I have her beautiful book in my hands.

New Girl in Little Cove (Amazon, Indigo, your local bookstore) is the story of Rachel, a young teacher who lands in a small Newfoundland village in the 80s to find all that the Rock has to offer and then some. It’s brimming with the culture of my homeland—sea and sky, our delightful dialect, the music, the food, the salty characters—and every time I read it I feel homesick. It’s an uplifting sweetheart of a novel and the perfect read for these troubled times.

Of course I’m biased because I love Newfoundland and I love Downith. But I’ll tell you who’s not biased: The Globe and Mail. Here’s what they had to say: “Prepare to have your pants charmed right off by this warm hug of a book.” They took the words right out of my mouth. I mean the minute I cracked the cover, my pants suddenly flew across the room and a hot as hell redheaded man was wrapped his arms around me. So, it’s five stars from me.

Please join me in raising a glass to toast the grand Duchess. Here’s to you my beautiful friend. May all you deserve arrive at your door. Now, all of ye crowd go buy a copy. The Duchess has bills to pay.