A Roll of the Bones
The Cupids Trilogy, Book 1
Breakwater Books, 2019
In 1610, John Guy established a small colony in Cupids, Newfoundland, on the very edge of a world unknown to Europeans. Two years later, he brought a shipment of supplies to his all-male settlement: 60 goats, 10 heifers, 2 bulls, and 16 women. A Roll of the Bones tells the story of some of these nameless women by tracing the journeys of three young people—Ned Perry, Nancy Ellis, and Kathryn Gale—who leave Bristol, England, for a life in the struggling community.
A vivid reimagining of settler life in the early seventeenth century, A Roll of the Bones is the first in a trilogy of novels wrestling with the realities of colonization. Here, Trudy J. Morgan-Cole presents an array of unforgettable characters inhabiting the space where two worlds will collide, where the limits of love and loyalty will be tried in a harsh and unforgiving landscape.
Such Miracles and Mischiefs
The Cupids Trilogy, Book 2
Breakwater Books, 2021
After pirates attack the Guy family’s plantation near Cupids, Nancy Ellis needs all her ingenuity to survive in the hands of lawless men. Ned Perry crosses the ocean to find her, while Nancy’s employer and friend, Kathryn Guy, must rebuild a home on the harsh shores of the New Found Land.
As the story unfolds in Newfoundland, in Bermuda, in Virginia, in England and on the wild Atlantic Ocean, the characters face not only their worst fears but the darkest secrets of their own hearts. As they encounter other European colonists, enslaved Africans, and indigenous Americans, they are forced to confront the realities of colonization even as they struggle to carve out their own place in this strange "New World."
A Company of Rogues
The Cupids Trilogy, Book 3
Breakwater Books, fall 2023
A Company of Rogues completes the Cupids trilogy, moving the action back to the New Found Land seven years after John Guy’s colonists first settled Cupids Cove.
After their wanderings across the ocean, Ned and Nancy are united—but will the shores of New Found Land provide a permanent home?
Kathryn and Nicholas Guy join the effort to found a second colony at Bristol’s Hope, but their work is threatened by a shadowy enemy who holds a dangerous power over Kathryn.
And a newcomer to the colony, the Wampanoag traveller Tisquantum, settles among the English colonists, challenging their beliefs about the "New World" they have come to settle and the people who call it home.
Shelf Esteem is the podcast where I talk to people about what they're reading. You can listen to on Soundcloud, iTunes, and many other podcast platforms. For more information and lnks to previous episodes and show notes, go to the Shelf Esteem page.
My first full-length, professionally-produced play, The Mirror, tells the story of Armine Gosling, pioneering Newfoundland suffragist. It was produced by Persistence Theatre Company in St. John's in October 2021. You can read about it here, and if it's re-staged in the future, I'll let you know!
Not The Foggiest Clue
In the cold dark lockdown days of February 2021, I started a serial mystery novel featuring a dead St. John's politician and a group of book club ladies solving the crime. The saga is now complete, and you can read the whole story here.
“Think you know the history of New Found Lande? Think again. Morgan-Cole cracks open the past and lights it up. The women settlers of Cupids—a 'parcel of females'—star in a gripping story of identity, class, sexism, colonialism, and outright survival. A refreshing and fascinating look at a neglected side of Newfoundland’s history—the experience of women.” – Michelle Butler Hallett, author of Constant Nobody and This Marlowe.
“Catapulting us back in time to the inception of a brave new world, Trudy Morgan-Cole’s A Roll of the Bones is an immersive, fast-paced tale full of the dangers and thralldom of hacking out a life against the threat of scurvy, unrelenting storms of all sorts, hunger, loneliness, unwanted desires, and the kinds of secrets that unleash harrowing consequences. By charging into the lives that history neglected, Morgan-Cole offers her greatest accomplishment to date, with the promise of even more to come.” – Lisa Moore, author of February and Caught