By Grace Oborne
For many authors, inspiration to write a novel, let alone many novels in a series, doesn’t always come easy. However, local resident, Deloris Packard, has taken her years of experience in the resort industry to new heights.
Packard recently completed her final book of her Cedar Grove Resort series. Although each novel has different plots, the series revolves around Debbie Delanie and her sisters and the $3 million Muskoka resort, the Cedar Grove Resort.
In her first book, The Inheritance, the book is centred on Debbie and her sisters, who become business partners to run the resort after their mother passes. The three sisters come together to figure out how to protect their inheritance, and endure the challenges to their bonds of sisterhood.
In Packard’s second book, The Nuptials, the Cedar Grove Resort has become the perfect location for weddings where many couples have come to celebrate. Now, a wedding at the resort will be one of the sister’s own wedding, but the family disapproves of the groom. The intrigue is derived from whether their bond will withstand this and whether this will lead to celebration or not.
Finally, in Packard’s last and most recent book in the series, The Sale, a thrilling plot introduces the stresses of whether the Delanie sisters will keep the resort. For one sister, the resort is home, while the other two sisters want to sell the resort.
“Their mother passed, and, in her will, she had suggested that they had to stay in this partnership for at least five years. Now, the five years is now up and two of the sisters want to sell the resort and get on with their own interests. They’re kind of at an impasse, whether they will or will not sell the resort. That’s the bones of the story,” Packard said.
The inspiration came from 30 years Packard has spent in the hospitality industry but also her journaling practice.
“My background is in the hospitality industry, and I worked 20 to 30 years. So, I’ve always enjoyed the fascination of a resort, the atmosphere of a resort is so much different than a hotel or a restaurant. With the resort, there’s a lot of behind the scenes … things that people don’t realize.”
Packard’s passion for journaling has made her a writer to some extent, throughout most of her life. For a long time, she’s wanted to take what she knows of the hospitality industry, from her journaling, to create a story.
“I also like to journal things and I like to write things down to keep track of them. I’ve worked in many resorts around the Haliburton area and I’ve always sort of had in the back of my mind that I wanted to write a book about that,” Packard said.
On Saturday, July 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Packard will be signing her books at the New To You Community Yard Sale at Haliburton’s A.J LaRue Arena.
Packard, who is a Harcourt resident, is excited about her Haliburton appearance because of her long history with Haliburton.
“I consider myself a local. I was born and raised in Harcourt, but I was born in Haliburton hospital, actually back when it was wasn’t even a hospital. It was the outpost centre. I also have a lot of family and friends that live in that in Haliburton and surrounding areas.”
When one purchases the novels, the creative art on the cover will be hard to miss. Packard has worked with a good friend of hers in creating a physical artistic vision for the plot of her novels.
“A really good friend of mine, Michelle Scott, drew the picture for me in the first place. Then, for the second and third books, we added the bride and groom and then we added the family standing at the front. She’s very talented.”
Many people love the trilogy series, driving Packard to continue writing. She will begin writing a new book that will take a different direction.
The response that Packard has received about her novels has been overwhelmingly positive. Packard has enjoyed writing for local residents of Haliburton County and will continue to do so.
“I’m very pleased that they’re being so well received. I don’t know what to say. I’m just glad that people like it. I mean, that’s the whole point. It’s just for entertainment.”
To buy The Cedar Grove Resort trilogy series, visit Packard’s website at