What’s the difference? A Book’s a Book, Right?

Do you know why I call Timothy’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Adventures devotional books and not a collection of short stories?

There is actually a big difference between a novel, a collection of short stories, and a devotional book. Timothy’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Adventures are devotional books, where my new book, Nadira’s Storykeeper is a fantasy novel.

Often misunderstandings happen because people are not using the same definitions to define a word. So here are the definitions that I used when prayerfully choosing how to market Kaylee’s Adventures and Timothy’s Adventures.

A book as defined by a quick Google search:

1) A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.

2) A bound set of blank sheets for writing or keeping records in.

I would define a book as a collection of pages that may be either bound and printed or kept together in e-format. These pages may contain non-fiction, fiction, pictures, puzzles; abstract lines (as in accounting) as their content or the pages may be blank (as in journals).

A story as defined by a quick Google search:

1) An account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

2) An account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something.

Google defined a short story as a story with a fully developed theme but significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel.

Google defined a novel as a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.

Merriam Webster defined a novel as an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events.

Which brings us to defining a devotional. Google defined a devotional as: of or used in religious worship.

This definition, however, is not very useful in the context of my devotional books.

Merriam Webster defined devotional as:

1) Of, relating to, or characterized by devotion

2) A short worship service

Once again this definition was not very useful. Given these definitions, I decided to ask myself how I would define a Christian devotional.

For me, Christian devotionals are for personal edification and to assist with spiritual formation. A devotional may be read on its own or alongside the Bible. They have some form of prayer and meditation to guide the reader’s thoughts and prayers.

My devotional books are a collection of short story devotionals. Each chapter may stand alone as a devotional taking advantage of the valuable parent/child discussion time. Or you may choose to read the devotionals as part of an ongoing sequence.

I shared in another blog post that my son was often disappointed that his devotionals always had different characters. He was sad that he never got to know the characters, which made it harder for him to relate to them. I found he always wanted to know more, his little mind imagining the rest of the story.

For this reason, I’ve written my devotional books so that children may connect with the characters and their friends. This allows for a meaningful connection with real life and the scriptures.

My new books, Nadira’s Storykeeper and the book I currently writing, are middle grade fantasy novels! Something completely new and exciting for me. I loved writing the first one so much that I’ve already started writing book two of the series.


all 3 books

Nadira’s Storykeeper

I love hearing from parents and love getting pictures like these!

Another mom left this message on Facebook:
“Great story! Wonderful gift for kids 8-12 years old!” Jessanne Bruce


#middlegradeauthor #middlegradefantasy
#middlegradebooks #kidspic #kidsbooks #kidsliterature #bookgiftsarethebestgifts #booksmakegreatgifts #mgbooks #mgbookstagram #giftsforkids #middlegradereaders #canadianwriters #Ireadcanadianbooks #canadianbooks

Remembrance Day special

In honour of my grandfather’s service and all veterans I am going to donate 80% of all profits from the Service dogs collection to a vet who needs a dog.

When was the last time you thanked a vet or current serving member for their sacrifices?

#servicedogawareness #veterans #servicemembers #servicemenandwomen #remembrance #remembering #remembraceday #servicelove #thankaveteran #thankaveterantoday

Character names, meanings, and pronunciation.

A name’s meaning can often give deeper clues into my characters. Often names mean different things depending on the country of origin. This is also true for the pronunciation. *This post doesn’t have spoilers, and some meanings will come in another post.

Anne: Anne is spelled with an ‘e’ to honour my favourite childhood character, Anne of Green Gables. There’s no other hidden meaning other than being a nod to the character I grew up with.

Elletta: Anne’s father calls her my Elletta. In the book, we’re told it means my little elf. Elletta is pronounced ell-e-tta.

Atarah: While in the cave, Saoirse calls Anne Atarah. This word is Hebrew and is pronounced Aet-ah-rah.

Enoch: Also a Hebrew word which is pronounced EE-nock.

Mina: Pronounced Mee-nuh.

Daesyn: We’re given the pronunciation in the book, which is DAY-sin

Agamya: A Hindu name that is pronounced Uh-g-uh-m-y-ah.

Ayana: Pronounced Eye-yawn-a

Shiyoni: Pronounced Shy-o-knee

Lacuna: Lacuna is pronounced La-coo-na, and is an adaptation from the Latin La-kyoo-na

Inara: Pronounced Inn-Arr-ah

Imrie: Imrie is Hungarian and is pronounced imm-Ree.

Saoirse: Saoirse is an Irish name and is pronounced Sure-sa or Shur-sa.

Kronos: Kronos is an old Greek name that is pronounced Kroh-nohs.

Kyrell: An Irish name that is pronounced Key-rell.

Thayer: Pronounced like “they’re”.

Nathair: Narhair is Scottish Gaelic, but my Anglocized pronunciation is Nay-ther.

Killian: Pronounced Kil-lian.

Maksim: Pronounced Mak-sim.

Torryn Declan: An Irish name that is pronounced Tore-in DECK-lan

Kauis Akel: Pronounced Kai-us Ah-kuh-Eh-Luh (Ah-kel)

Valda: Valda is an Old Norse or Germanic name and is pronounced Val-da.

Master Alejo: A Spanish name pronounced A-lay-ho.

Lady Avianna: Pronounced a-vee-ah-na or ahv-ee-ah-na.

Blyana: Blyana is pronounced Blay-a-nah.

Iclyn: Pronounced Ice-lyn.

Character sketch of Agamya

Gavin’s update!

Well what a wild August we had. For those of you that don’t know (or want a fun recap), here’s a little story time

August 12th: Our House went up on the market at 1pm. At 2pm, I posted a story stating that the forest fires in the area were still far enough away that we were fine and safe, and that we had plans in place should we need to evacuate. By 3:30pm, we were told that the fires were less than 7kms away from town and that we had 20 mins to evacuate. So we loaded up our vehicles with a few possessions, our pets, and got out of there. We evacuated from our little town to a town 40 mins away, and got lucky that we got a hotel room, because it was already pretty full from evacuees from around the area.

August 16th: We felt uneasy about how close the fires were, so we got up and left town early and went to a little community about an hour away. Not even an hour after being in this town, the other town was evacuated as well.

August 19th: Mom and I decided to quit hanging around waiting for news about our community and started driving out to ON to visit my Nan. We got to Revelstoke when we received notice that we were cleared to go home (that sounds about right – we leave just as we can go back). Anywho, Lincoln is back at home dealing with stuff and my mom and I are at the AB/SK border.

Sweatshirt available at tanyapackerstore.com

Thanks for all the love and for everyone that knew about the fire who checked up on me and my family. The love, thoughts, prayers, and good vibes were deffs appreciated. We got lucky, and thankfully our town took fire preparedness so seriously. And also a thanks to the fire crews that stayed to protect our homes from the fires. I can sleep easy tonight for the first time in a week.

Day 2: AB/SK border to SK/MB border
Not a whole lot to report today. This stretch of the cross country drive is definitely one of the most boring. There were only 2 fun things today amongst bad drivers, pouring rain, and immense boredum driving alone. 1, I decided I had to pee and hopped out on the side of the road. I told mom to keep driving and I’d catch up. She had 3 mins on me, driving 110kms/h, and I could still see her the whole way. I knew the whole “Can see your dog running away for days in SK” adage was a thing, but it really put that into perspective lmao And 2, we took a wrong turn and ended up at the Regina Corrections Center, so that was fun.

We’re all tired and a little cold as temps drop below 10 in the pouring rain, but like the kitties in these pics, we’re all bundled up and cozy ready for bed. Goodnight friends.

Day 3: SK/MB border to Vermillion Bay, ON
This drive is very long and tiring, and we’re not really taking time to enjoy it, but some highlights from the day include me having a slightly warm-ish shower in the van and putting on a show singing my goddamn heart out to everyone who passed us and chose to stare me down. I got a woman laughing, a wink from some guy, and some woman started bopping along with me. Oh, and apparently Theo tried to climb into mom’s lap during the drive, but got spooked and ran.

Theo’s getting much more comfortable in the van, and I think I’m gunna curl up with him and call it a day.

Day 4: Vermillion Bay, ON to some random reststop in the middle of nowhere NW ON

Well, I knew it was coming, but boy howdy North-western ON is a treat. Little to no cell service, 90kms/h 1 lane highways (oh how I miss the 120s in BC) with God awful highway drivers, and little to no nice scenery to look at. But hey, they do have pink roads, so that’s fun. And I know I complain, but I honestly love the drive, especially since it’s my first time doing the cross country drive in the driver’s seat. I’ve also really been putting my 65hours roadtrip playlist to good use, honing in on my car karaoke skills.

Theo update, he joined mom in the driver’s seat of her van and was loving it until a transport passed going the other way, and that freaked him out. Felix is still the sketchiest little boy, but he actually came out of hiding unprompted when we parked, so that’s something. Bane is a little grumpy this evening, because we didn’t let him go swimming, but nothing new there. And on a phone call with my Nan, she seems to believe that she could go camping with me as long as there was a forklift to hoist her off of the air mattress when she has to get up and pee.

Day 5: Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in NW ON to somewhere in the middle of nowhere somewhere slightly more S in ON.

The fluidity of expression in this picture really sums us all up. Felix is finally starting to come out of hiding again and is exploring every nook and cranny of the van, Bane is wired from being cooped up for so long, and Theo is pissed off ’cause he tried to get out today, and we thwarted his attempt at adventure. On highway watch, there were 4 people who decided to pass us on a double yellow, and 15 attempts at turning me into apple sauce, being almost squished between mom’s van and the numerous aggressive truckers who wanted to pass us but couldn’t, even tho we were going over the speed limit.

We’re almost done this part of the trip, but our life is in chaos, so who knows what’s next. We’re also not taking very many pics this trip, but I’m ok with that ’cause I look and feel like hot garbage atm.

Day 6: Somewhere in the middle of nowhere slightly more S in ON, to our hometown, ON

What can I say, the last bit of the drive is always the longest, and I got my first taste of the 400 series highways and having nowhere to go when an Ambulance is trying to get thru, but we made it. It’s been 11 years since I left our hometown, tho I visited often, but driving for the first time in my “hometown” when so much has changed was so surreal. It got me thinking about how much my life has changed over those 11 years – a lot of good changes, and a lot of bad changes. And since March of 2020, it seems like more bad has come up than good. It would be so easy for me to be overwhelmed by all of the negative changes I’ve had thrown at me this past little bit, but dwelling on that would overshadow all the good. Even just the past few months I was able to spend a great summer in Calgary and got to meet some incredible new people, I was privileged to have been able to help my Mom publish her first novel, and hell, I got to roadtrip between BC and ON not just once, but 5 times over the past year (my next roadtrip I deffs need someone riding shotgun). My life may be chaotic atm, and I may not know what’s next, but if I’ve learned anything over this past year and a bit, it’s that it’s important to focus on and be thankful for all the positives and to look forward to all of the potential things to come.

Bane was also very happy to see his Nan.

Gavin, my son and my sunshine!