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HOME >> Product 0510 >> Now And Forever>>

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Now And Forever

Shirley C. Whitman

Emma Rose Johnston seems to have it all—youth, beauty, and brilliance. Beyond that, she is headstrong and impetuous. When Emma Harrington invites her granddaughter to spend the summer in Nova Scotia, she wonders if she’s getting in over her head. Emma Rose, alias ER, arrives on the east coast with her parrot, Magoo, requiring the Harrington household to adapt to an entertaining and foulmouthed bird, plus a spirited teenager.


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Little does ER suspect that her seventeenth summer will change her life forever. Since childhood, she’s had one passion—animals and nature, and when she decides to spend her vacation volunteering at a wildlife refuge, it is evident she’s found her niche.

There, she meets eighteen-year-old Jesse Anderson, sensitive, complicated, and aloof. They are immediately drawn to each other and soon realize their feelings go much deeper than those of a teenage romance. One obstacle to a lasting relationship stands in the way—Jesse’s conviction that he and ER are destined to spend their lives in separate worlds.

At the close of the summer there are two broken hearts, when Jesse pulls away. ER believes the door to love is forever closed and returns to Ontario to go ahead with her plans for advanced education. Jesse’s life proceeds in a much different direction.

The years go by until ER, by a twist of fate, returns to southwest Nova Scotia to begin her career as a veterinarian. In the intervening time, Jesse’s life has taken an unexpected and dramatic turn. Now, they must come face to face with the soul-deep feelings they’ve never been able to put to rest. One of them is ready to forgive and reclaim their love; the other is not sure reconciliation is possible.





97356 Words





Cover Art:

T.L. Davison


Terrie Lynn Balmer


Shirley C. Whitman

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PDF; Microsoft Reader(LIT); Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Older Kindle (MOBI); Newer Kindle (AZW3);

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“BUT A PYTHON, Mom?” Hannah bellowed. Emma held the phone away from her ear and grimaced.

“I have to admit; that’s pretty far out,” she said, with a shiver.

“Ya think?”

“How big is this thing?”

“He’s only a baby but he’ll grow and I’m absolutely, unequivocally, not having him in this house!”

“Where is he at the moment?” her mother asked.

“In Emma Rose’s bedroom—along with the guinea pig, the lop, the newt, and Magoo, of course. By the sounds of the squawking, I’d say Magoo isn’t any happier about this than I am.

Her mother sighed. “What does Warren say? Or does he know yet?”

“Oh, he knows all right. And when he gets home from work, he’ll be dealing with it. This is one time when dear ol’ dad is going to have to put his over-indulgent foot down—hard! It’s either me, or the snake. One of us will be exiting, and fast.”

Hannah and Warren Johnston were the parents of headstrong seventeen-year-old Emma Rose, alias ER, and fifteen-year-old Jared, together the main focal point of their lives. Beyond that, they were both corporate lawyers in Toronto, and commuted daily to work from their recently purchased home in suburbia.

“One of the incentives for buying a house,” Hannah continued, “was to accommodate ER’s critter passion, but this time she’s gone too far. She begged for the rabbit and the guinea pig and I guess she sneaked the newt in on the sly. When she started pining for a parrot, I nixed it at first, so of course, she started working on her father. You know he’s an absolute wuss when it comes to the kids—I’m the heavy around here. When I finally buckled and we bought Magoo, along with all the paraphernalia—which wasn’t cheap—we told her that her menagerie was complete.

“Now, what does she do but bring home, in her words, ‘a poor abused Python’ which belonged to a friend of a friend.”

“Well,” Emma Rose’s grandmother, Emma Harrington, who’s name ER had inherited, said weakly, “It could be boys you’re dealing with.”

“I think boys would be easier,” Hannah grumbled. “At least that’s more normal. You know, Mom, ER could be just about anything she wanted. Let me tell you what her biology teacher said to me the other day. He thinks she’s the brightest student he’s ever had—brilliant, was his word. He predicts she’ll be a famous scientist someday. How many kids finish high school at seventeen and get accepted at McMaster University on full scholarship?

“On top of that, she’s gorgeous, if I do say so myself. She takes after her grandmother. One boy or another is forever calling here. But does she care about any of that?” Hannah was shouting again. Her mother winced. “Not on your life! While most of her friends are guy-crazy and into smearing make-up on their faces, all our ER cares about are birds, bunnies—and now reptiles.”

“She has kept up with her dance classes,” Emma interjected in her defence.

“That’s true,” Hannah conceded, dropping her voice a notch. “And she does take excellent care of the animals.”

“And she’s a straight A student in advanced studies, not to mention, bilingual,” Emma added. She paused for a minute, wondering what she could do to ease the apparent mother/daughter friction playing out in the Johnston household. She knew that everything was basically okay, even though they were going through a bumpy stretch. Hannah loved ER to the moon and back, Emma had no doubt.

“I have a suggestion you might want to discuss with Warren,” she said, tentatively, wondering if what she was about to propose was biting off more than she could chew. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d done that in the name of goodwill. “What would you think of Emma Rose coming to Nova Scotia for an extended visit this summer? I know Richard would be ecstatic and so would I. Maybe it would take her mind off her obsession for a while and give you a bit of a break.”

“Do you know what you’re proposing?” Hannah’s laugh held a touch of sarcasm. “How are you with parrots? Magoo goes where ER goes and he can be quite a challenge. He requires a lot of care and no one else in the household is prepared to take over his routine while she’s away. On top of that, you know he has a whole vocabulary of off-colour words thanks to his former owner. We’ve never been able to break him of that.”




Now and Forever is the second in a three book series authored by Shirley C. Whitman, in the Mainstream/Women’s Fiction genre, published by Club Lighthouse Publishing, in 2020. This is the second book from this new author that I have had the pleasure to read and I will certainly be looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I have no doubt after reading this book that Ms. Whitman has a successful writing career ahead of her.

In Now and Forever Ms. Whitman has created an engaging story of an independent minded 17 year old, Emma Rose, who comes to spend her summer break with her grandmother in Yarmouth, NS. It is a poignant story of young love and its unforeseen consequences. I have no hesitation giving this book a five star recommendation.


I recently finished reading this engaging book “Now and Forever” by local author, Shirley C. Whitman. It is Book 2 in her “Finding Home” series.

Reading Shirley’s books, is like looking into the windows of people’s lives and following along, through the many twists and turns, furiously turning pages to find out where they all end up.

She is not afraid to tackle tough issues, without getting too deep. The stories are not flighty, but they won’t weigh you down either. Nature, love, home, friendship and family are very much the central themes.

I really enjoy that she has made Yarmouth the setting for these books. But they would be relatable to anyone, anywhere.

When I’m reading Shirley’s books, I feel as if I’m strolling along the beautiful streets of Yarmouth, chatting with old friends and meeting new ones. Or sitting on a front porch or the waterfront, listening to their problems or observing from afar.

Her books are similar to the Mitford Novels by Jan Karon, but without the religious themes. They also remind me of the classic Miss Read novels, but with more depth.

Shirley has a great way of including all age groups in her novels. “Now and Forever” would especially appeal to fans of Young Adult fiction, as this second novel focuses more on the teenage granddaughter, while not losing the “adulthood” of the book.

If you are looking for a pleasant way to spend an afternoon reading on the beach, by the lake, in your garden, on your front porch, or in a cozy chair on a rainy day, I highly recommend making yourself a pot of tea and curling up with both of these books.

I am anxiously awaiting the release of the third book, hopefully in June.

Leanne Pearce Schneider

To submit a review for this book click here




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 summer romance, separation, dyslexia, wildlife rehabilitation refuge, parrots, art, artist, Halifax, Nova Scotia,

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