/*from pinterest*/
Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh

This is Mary Balogh signing “A Summer to Remember” for my hubby Rolf.

On Sunday night, Rolf and his friend Bryan returned home from a two-week car/bike trip from Calgary, Alberta to Winnipeg, Manitoba and back.

Along the way, they stopped in the little town of Kipling in southeast Saskatchewan. The town is named after the English author Rudyard Kipling. And, the town is also the summer home of Welsh Canadian author Mary Balogh.


A long time ago, when Rolf was looking for a new book to read, I suggested one from my Mary Balogh collection. Since then, he has been hooked.

Naturally, he looked up Mary Balogh’s website . . . and discovered she might be in Kipling when they were travelling through. So he visited the town.

paper clip in Kipling, Saskatchewan

The town is home to the world’s largest paperclip.

World's Largest Paper Clip

World’s Largest Paperclip

Rolf and Bryan are congenial sorts, and while walking through the town, they took up a conversation with a friendly, retired gentleman. When this gentleman learned that Rolf is a fan of Mary Balogh’s, he walked them over to Mary’s house.

Rolf had been hoping she might be in her yard, because, of course, he knew not to knock.

This is the sign I have on my Writing Room door.

Over the years, I have trained Rolf not to interrupt writers. (Or so I thought…)

Unfortunately, Mary wasn’t in the front yard. But since Rolf is persistent and hopeful, he went around to the alley to look in the backyard—where he saw her on her screened-in porch. She was typing, and looked up.

Rolf: I hope we’re not interrupting you.

Mary: Well you have now!

And then this gracious lady signed the book Rolf had with him, and talked to him and Bryan for twenty minutes about how she creates her characters.
Mary Balogh

He phoned me that night to tell me he’d met her. This was the highlight of the trip for him.

Mary Balogh

Mary Balogh Place

The town has named a street after its famous author, but she doesn’t live there. The full name of this street is “Mary Balogh Place”.

Here is Rolf creating his own Summer to Remember.

Rolf with his autographed book

From the realtor listing: Mary Balogh Place has lots for sale “offering a wonderful countryside view with unlimited possibilities for landscaping dreams.”

I first met Mary Balogh at an Alberta Romance Writers’ Association workshop in Calgary in March 2001. I had just started writing.

I also heard her speak at workshops for the Calgary Association of the RWA. Since she is a teacher by profession, she is also an excellent teacher of writing. And she is one of my favourite authors.

If you are ever in Kipling, please do not interrupt Mary while she is writing. After all, we do want to get that next book. Why not go to this coffee shop instead? You might just get lucky and find her here!

Paperclip Cottage Cafe, Kipling

Paperclip Cottage Cafe

Here is the first book in a new Mary Balogh 3-book series. It releases on July 12. Mary was writing the third book in this series when Rolf spotted her.

Remember Love by Mary Balogh

For lots of information and an interesting read, check out Mary’s website here.

Have you read Mary Balogh? Have you ever met her? Have you ever attended one of her workshops?

Saskatchewan map from Depositphotos #53987815

Corner Gas

Corner Gas

Rolf completed his bicycle trip. On May 9, he flew to New Orleans, then bicycled up the Mississippi River Trail. On July 1, he reached the headwaters of the Mississippi at Lake Itasca in Minnesota. From there he continued west across North Dakota. On July 9, he crossed the border into Saskatchewan.

The next day, he made it to the little town of Midale, 80 km from the border.

Saskatchewan is prairie. And while those vast yellow fields of canola are beautiful, the headwinds are challenging. Rolf decided to finish in Midale. The next morning, Friday, a local gave him a ride to Moose Jaw. On Saturday, I drove from Calgary to Moose Jaw and met him there and then we toured “Dog River”, half an hour south of Moose Jaw.

Dog River Sign

Corner Gas is set in the fictional town of Dog River, which is really the little town of Rouleau, Saskatchewan. This is Corner Gas.

Corner Gas

The award-winning Canadian sitcom ran for 6 seasons from 2004 to 2009. Last month production started for Corner Gas: The Movie. It will be filmed at the original location in Rouleau with the original cast. Here is a summary of The Movie from the Corner Gas website:

It’s been five years, and there’s still not a lot going on 40 kilometers from nowhere. But that’s all about to change as the fine folks of Dog River, Saskatchewan face their biggest crisis ever. Brent and the gang discover that the town’s been badly mismanaged, leaving residents with little choice but to pack up and leave. As residents make one last rally to save Dog River as they know it, they discover a devious plan by a corporate giant that would change life for Dog Riverites forever.

Rolf and I had a perfectly sunny day to visit Corner Gas and Dog River. Here I am at the Police Station where Davis and Karen hang out.

Police Station, Dog River

And this is the newspaper: the Dog River Howler

The Dog River Howler

Let’s not forget the grocery store.

Food Mart

Back at Corner Gas, Rolf and I are sitting outside Lacy’s coffee shop, The Ruby. (She inherited it from her Aunt Ruby.)

The Ruby

Behind the set, you can see the movie trailers.

behind the movie set

Rolf is posing in front of the gas pumps. The place looks so real that people sometimes stop while looking for gas.

gas pumps

And across the road from Corner Gas, the Dog River grain elevators.

Dog River grain elevators

Have you seen Corner Gas? Are you waiting for the movie? Who is your favourite character?