Frozen in Death

After years of blogging about my own adventures in the mountains and wild places of  the earth, I can at last tell the stories of people I wish I had met doing things I wish I could do. I know these people because I created them and allowed them move into my life, which they have enriched for the last three years. They are now ready to leave the protection of my endless revisions and go forth into a world that may love them as I do, find them wanting (the fault being mine, of course), or simply ignore them (the most likely fate for the creations of a self-published author).

Announcing the first in a series of mystery/adventure novels set in the Canadian wilderness:


FROZEN IN DEATH: A Tale of Murder and Survival in the Canadian Rockies, by Jo Ann Creore

Available on Amazon Kindle for $2.99.


Mora Lassan, a tough-as-nails mountaineer and retired professor, travels to a remote mountain pass north of Banff to scatter the ashes of her late husband. As she hikes from her high camp to the pass in worsening weather, she encounters two inexperienced climbers who claim that all their camping gear has been stolen and their guide has abandoned them. She takes the young couple to her camp and next morning finds the guide’s body at the bottom of a gorge. On returning to her camp, she discovers that her own gear has been stolen and the two climbers are missing.

Mora is drawn into a web of treachery and murder that has roots years in the past and will involve not only the missing climbers but also all of the people who are camped below the pass. As a savage storm cuts off help from the outside, the killer strikes again, and Mora may be his next victim.

But in the wilderness, nature always has the last word, and survival becomes the only imperative.

Written by an author with an intimate knowledge of the Canadian Rockies, the book evokes the beauty and harsh reality of the mountain environment.


One final note: If you buy the book, could you please take the time to post a review on Amazon? I will be very appreciative.



From Fact to Fiction


ANNOUNCING a series of mystery adventure novels set in the Canadian wilderness and featuring the following cast of characters:

Mora Lassan. Mountaineer, adventure addict and retired professor of medieval and Renaissance literature, who swears like a trooper in Elizabethan English. A tiny bundle of grit and determination, she has attitude, lots of it. She knows how to survive in the wilderness, but sometimes attitude, grit and knowledge aren’t enough.

Joe Harris. Good looks, a brilliant mind, a generous heart. But also a tendency to act without thinking and a quick temper, qualities that sometimes get him into more trouble than he can handle. Every story needs a handsome young hero, but Joe has a lot of growing up to do. That is, if he lives long enough.

Wally LaPierre. Outfitter in Banff and rancher, passionate about his work. A shrewd, muscular, gentle giant with a medieval sense of chivalry. His steadfast loyalty to friends sometimes conflicts with his strong sense of right and wrong, leading to decisions that have unintended consequences.

Erin Soames. A young lawyer with all of the toughness of Mora. She hopes that Joe will eventually mature into the man she knows he can be, the man she can marry, but she’s cutting him no slack.

Nature. Yes, Nature is an active participant in my stories, exerting her power on heroes and villains alike.

These novels arise from my lifetime of climbing, backpacking, ski mountaineering and exploring the Canadian mountains and arctic tundra. The characters and stories are fictional, but the landscape is as real as I can make it, and my goal is to evoke both the beauty and the harsh reality of the wilderness.

The first book is ready to go. Details in the next post.

A Life of Adventure Revised (slightly)

For most of my life, I have gone wherever and whenever wilderness and adventure called. No part of the globe was too remote, no means of access too difficult. Material possessions mean nothing to me; I spend my available time and money on that which gives me joy: experiences and memories. These don’t wear out, don’t need replacing or updating, and since they take up only enough room in my little apartment to hold my outdoor equipment, there’s always room for more.

Since my husband passed away ten years ago, I’ve been to Patagonia, the Galapagos, Kilimanjaro, Botswana and Mongolia, to name only a few destinations. I’ve earned enough Aeroplan miles to be treated with extra courtesy in Business Class. And I have finally had to admit that I HATE FLYING! I hate it enough to stop crossing oceans and wandering around airports in the middle of the night waiting for a connecting flight. The forty-five hours it took to travel from a lodge in Namibia to my apartment in Edmonton last July was the last straw (the entire time was spent on planes and in airports).

Am I giving up on adventure? Not at all. The Canadian wilderness, especially the Arctic and the Rocky Mountains, offers all that I need. I’ve sort of been neglecting these places for the last few years, but no longer. In June I will do a two-week rafting trip on one of my favourite rivers, the Firth, that flows into the Beaufort Sea. This summer, there will be some serious backpacking in the Rockies. In September, I’m booked for a trip to the Pantanal in Brazil (have to use those Aeroplan miles), but that will be the final long flight. I’m considering cancelling and instead donating the miles to MSF.

Am I slowing down? Definitely. Last summer’s bungee jump at Victoria Falls notwithstanding, my 78 years are weighing on my joints. They would appreciate a little moderation.

So what do you do when there isn’t enough time for all the places you would like to visit, or do all the things you still want to do? When there are far more kilometres under your boots than lie ahead?

Two years ago, I sat down to write about an encounter I once had with a grizzly bear in Jasper National Park. But instead of using first person, I inserted a fictional character in the scene. And when I finished, I asked, “Where does she go from here?”

And thus an obsession was born. I have become a writer of fiction, riding on the wings of characters who are not bound by my limitations. My first novel, Frozen in Death, is about to come out. It is set in the place I know best: the Canadian Rockies. More about that in a later post.