Author's Nook

Historical Fiction -- set in northrn Britian in 892 AD

Muninn's Keep

Muninn's Keep was a fascinating novel to research and to write. Documented history is abundant in southern Britian at the time, but very elusive and often contradictory in northern Britian and much of present-day Scotland in 892 AD.

Back Cover Copy:

"The god who hangs the stars in the heavens, who gives wings to Mercury, who makes the moon wane and wax; the god who from an acron births an oak tree -- to that god will I pledge allegiance if ever I can find him."

Bold words for a slave, beaten and abused. . .

Standing in the very ashes of victims sacrificed to Woden, Theodoric declares his allegiance to a greater, though still unknown god.

In the harsh world of northern Britain at the close of the 9th century, Theodoric has suffered a beating so brutal it has distorted his memories. now, baffled by a past that has given him rare skills, he searches for clues to his origin, to his heritage.

Laughter & Tears

A book of poetry.  A personal delight, but not a road to riches.

Dedicated to the memory of Dylan Michael Edgcumbe, a Grandson whose comng we celebrated for only five days.      

Word Alive Press 2005  ISBN 978-189429-8660     


A Sampling of Poetry

Copyright Brian C. Austin

Photographs by Brian C. Austin or Used by Permission

A Happy Fool

Ah, wretched paper where I would spill 

a matchless phrase, the heady thrill 

of a wondrous line and a timeless word 

that lifts a heart—or mocks absurd 

pretense of who I want to be, 

a Master Poet. “Come. Read me.”  

I’m a fool! There, I’ve said it now. 

But a happy fool. There’s joy somehow 

in the yeasty foment of nouns and verbs 

and the marvel that we know as words. 

And I’m rich as any fool can claim 

with a dozen lines, where I’m to blame.      

Copyright Brian C. Austin 

February 9, 2011

March 3, 2003 - March 8, 2003

Dylan Michael Edgcumbe

They sneak up without warning, these hot and painful tears. 

They squeeze the chest and crush the will. They do not still the fears . . .  

that torture – though the worst has already taken place. 

A  little one so longed for has hid from us his face.  

So great was our rejoicing! Was it so few days ago 

when the coming of this little one set our hearts aglow?  

Parents, loved ones, grandparents, we joyed to speak his name, 

treasured the glimpses of each day, spread abroad his fame;  

Longed for the chance to hold him, spoke his name with deep delight; 

were sure the world was brighter ‘neath the glow of his small light. 


But he’s gone now and we’re aching with the great unanswered WHY 

God loans a child for so few days then lets that child die? 


Not the first to feel such sorrow; we will not be the last. 

But this pain is OURS – so bottomless. Seems it will forever last. 

But God shares in our sorrows, knows how deep a loved one grieves; 

saw His loved and cherished Son die, hung between two thieves. 


And He does not let a tear fall where He does not share the pain. 

And He sees beyond our present grief to when we’ll meet again.  

Tis a promise that we treasure though the tears still fall today. 

God holds our precious little one to re-unite with us one day. 


And the tears, so deep and painful cannot out-reach His love. 

So we’ll trust our precious Dylan in the hands of God above.

Copyright Brian C. Austin

March 11, 2003

Published in Laughter & Tears 2005

Published in Laughter & Tears Audio CD 2006

The Wonder of a Child

Look with wonder on the creative power of God.

Consider the magnitude of what He has done.  

Look at this little body so perfectly formed.

Stand in awe of the God who has done this mighty work.  

Consider the incredible design and function of life in the womb. Be amazed at the splendid handiwork of God.  

Take His Name on your lips with thanksgiving and praise. 

Exalt Him with your whole being.  

He is Creator! And Lord! And King!  

He is God! And there is None beside Him.

Copyright Brian C. Austin


The image to the left was drawn by Dawn, before she became mother to a number of our grandchildren. She and her husband are also the parents of Dylan, featured in the poem and picture above.

Before Dylan died, I had answers for grieving people. They were good, solid, biblically sound answers. They weren't wrong. But I learned through Dylan's death that the people who cried with us gave far more than the people who had answers for us. I trust I will never forget that.

The Echo of My Weeping

So empty – my words of wisdom! 

So shallow – the comfort of my pen! 

A poet’s skill and talent turned to the task fails! 

Shared tears . . . Shared tears alone speak a deeper language.  

Not the myth of understanding. 

Not even the “I’ve been there” line 

though truth there might be in those words.  

So be still my pen. 

Spill no more ink on paper 

except as tears smudge the print. 

Speak no more words with those who grieve 

except as the echo of your weeping 

speaks the deeper language of shared tears.      


Copyright Brian C. Austin April 11, 2003

Written on hearing the news of a child killed in a farm accident one month after Dylan's death. The numbing stage of grief was just past.

Published in Laughter & Tears 2005  

Published in Laughter & Tears Audio CD 2006

Poetry on a Lighter Note


I’ve got a bottle of nitro in the pocket of my jeans. 

I can’t find any answers on just what a fall means.  

I’d rather not make headlines from a “suicide” attack, 

but what happens if I stumble and this bottle takes a smack?  

I’ve got a bottle of nitro in the pocket of my pants. 

It’s s’posed to help my heart out but what will be my chance . . .  

If it blows me into orbit and sets the house on fire? 

A man-sized hole in the roof might stir my spouses ire.  

I’ve got a bottle of nitro. I’m walking dynamite, 

but every time I stumble it gives me quite a fright.  

I’m shaking and I’m trembling. High risk for a heart-attack, 

cause I’ve got this nitroglycerin and I want to give it back.    

Copyright Brian C. Austin

September 19, 2003

Publshed in A Cup of Hot Apple Cider 2008

Pubished in Laughter & Tears 2005

Published in Laughter & Tears Audio CD 2006


A semi-private room and a semi-private gown. 

The hospital just might not be your favorite part of town.     

But thank God it is open and staffed with many skills. 

You’re better with  staff who know their stuff 

than gowns with fancy frills.

Copyright Brian C. Austin

Sept 2003

What is a Belly-Button For?

I’ve got a belly-button. I don’t know what it’s for. 

It looks a little bit like the lock on our front door.  

I tried a lot of keys out. None of them seemed to fit, 

but I giggled and I wiggled cause they tickled quite a bit.  

I’m made so very special. Mom says it’s God’s design.

I don’t know what some parts are for but I like them still just fine.  

I have two little pinky toes. There’s one on both my feet. 

They help me count higher than ten and they do look kind of neat. When Grandma tries to tickle them, I laugh and run away, 

or I wiggle and I giggle as close to her I stay.  

I’ve got so many pieces. I don’t know what they do. 

I think God made a puzzle. Did He make you that way too?  

My tongue can make strange faces or taste an ice-cream cone. 

My ears are made just perfect for when Grandma’s on the phone.  

But what good’s a belly-button? That’s what I want to see, 

and I giggle and I wiggle as I try another key.    

Copyright Brian C. Austin

June 2003

Published in Laughter & Tears 2005

Published in Laughter & Tears Audio CD 2006

The audio edition of this poem is in Zander's voice, just before his 4th Birthday, and though this Grandpa mght be just a little prejudiced, more than earns the price of the Laughter & Tears Audio CD by itself.

Princess Grace and the Invisible Elephant Shoes

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! went those dainty princess feet. 

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! and they rarely missed a beat.  

THUMPTY - THUMP - THUMP – THUMP! as they ran across the floor. 

THUMPTY – THUMP – THUMP – “WHOAAAAA!” greeting Daddy at the door.  

And Grandpa’s feet, four times as big were only half as loud. 

Princess Grace would giggle, spinning lightly as a cloud.  

If you checked her thumpers they were soft and pink and small. 

And she could dance so daintily, the envy of them all.  

But THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! She could out-stomp men’s big feet. 

And they’d stare at her with wonder as she smiled, small and sweet.  

Till finally they all agreed it was magic of a kind. 

Must be those elephant shoes she wore, 

the big invisible kind.         

Copyright Brian C. Austin 

February 25, 2010

Laughter & Tears Audio CD

Much like music, poetry is meant to be heard aloud. We live in a culture where it is little valued, but I still treasure this small collection.     

Word Alive Press & Little Box Studios 2006  ISBN 978-189492-8670 $10.00

Hot Apple Cider

Best-Selling ALL-CANADAIAN Anthologies

More than 100,000 in print.

Best-Selling All Canadian Anthologies to which I have contributed.

     Hot Apple Cider       

That's Life Communications 2008  

ISBN 978-097849-6302       $10.00


A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider       

That's Life Communications 2011 

ISBN 978-097849-6319     $12.00


Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon       

That's Life Communications 2015  

ISBN 978-192769-2165       $15.00

 Chritstmas With Hot Apple Cider

That's Life Communications 2017

ISBN 978-192769-2417     $15.00

Having a place in the HOT APPLE CIDER collection is one of my great honours as an author. My part in each book is small, but I count it a great privilege. 

Each book is a unique collection of fiction , non-fiction and poetry from multiple Canadian Authors. Each book offers a wonderful mix, yet a somehow unified message of uplift and hope, but without suger-coating the very real struggles of life. 


Highly recommended, even if you never read my part in any of them. 


Greeting Cards, Poems, Plaques


Our Daughter, Author, Editor, Publisher

The Church in the Wildwood

From the back cover: "As fifteen-year-old Joseph Carver peels back the layers of a haunted past, he finds himself lost in the shadows of his mother's unorthodox religion; desperate to uncover the truth about his father's death and the sister he never met -- learning that sometimes, it is only through great loss that you can finally let go and begin to understand your own story."          

Deeply painful, especially in the early pages, yet somehow triumphant.    2017  ISBN 978-099212-5554  $17.00 

Available through us or local stores or directly from Author.

EVE UNDONE Creation Retold

A delightful and insightful novelette by Alanna Rusnak.  2016  ISBN 978-099212-5530

Blank Spaces -- a Quarterly Magazine

A celebration of Canadian talent, featuring the work of artists-writers, musicians, painters, photographers, designers, etc -- as a means of encouragement and collaboration.          

A Quarterly Magazine       Editor and Publisher Alanna Rusnak