‪The Blue Tattoo‬ — “It’s a big story that everyone should read.”

AJB Johnston’s review of #TheBlueTattoo in Atlantic Books Today:

“Steven Laffoley’s The Blue Tattoo (Pottersfield Press) is the first time this award-winning historian has turned to fiction. His focus is the Halifax Explosion.

“I asked him why he was drawn to the topic and with a novel of all things. He replied: ‘I think stories where characters face calamity, truly terrible events … provide readers a chance to explore their fear through narrative … Fiction allows for a deeper and more meaningful exploration of emotion.’
“With a number of books and films already out there on the Halifax Explosion, Laffoley seeks to tell a familiar story in a fresh

way. The arc of the novel rests on a love story between a woman and a man from widely separated social and economic classes. Their differing backgrounds allow the author to examine a wide range of topics, including the suffragette movement and how wars benefit or hurt people in different ways.

“Surprisingly, at least to me, there are stretches in The Blue Tattoo where the couple’s story is not front and centre. Instead, Laffoley offers other characters – some historical, some invented – whose stories convey the wider tale of how the devastation happened and how it killed, maimed, blinded and rendered homeless so many thousands. At times, some incidents read more like straight history than immersive fiction, but they communicate the context of the sweeping story the book presents.

“The Blue Tattoo ticks along at a brisk pace and keeps the reader’s interest all the way. It’s a big story that everyone should read. It deepens one’s appreciation for the parts of the city touched by the devastation of Dec. 6, 1917.”

The Blue Tattoo #1 on Bestseller List

The Blue Tattoo reaches the #1 spot on the Bestsellers List of Bookmark Halifax.


The Blue Tattoo – Steven Laffoley
The Children Act – Ian McEwan
Stone Mattress – Margaret Atwood
The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
Sweetland – Michael Crummey
Back of the Turtle – Thomas King
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good – Jan Karon
The Paying Guests – Sara Waters
All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris

The Organized Mind – Daniel Levitin
The Most Dangerous Book – Kevin Birmingham
If This Isn’t Nice, What is ? – Kurt Vonnegut
Hard Choices – Hilary Clinton
Tragedy in the Commons – Alison Loat
Tales from Beyond the Tap – Randy Bachman
Strange Glory – Charles Marsh
A Spy Among Friends – Ben MacIntyre
A Place in the Country – W.G. Sebald
My Age of Anxiety – Scott Stossel

What I learned About Politics – Graham Steele
Hiking Trails of Mainland Nova Scotia – Michael Hynes
Journeys Through Eastern Old-Growth Forests – Jamie Simpson
Quest of the Folk – Ian McKay
A Lucky Life – Richard B. Goldbloom
Day Trips From Nova Scotia – Jon Tattrie
Nova Scotia Souvenir Book – David Towler
Wildflowers of Nova Scotia – Todd Boland
The Town That Died – Michael J. Bird
Nova Scotia – Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Order The Blue Tattoo

Dear Readers, 


Order The Blue Tattoo by clicking on any one of the following:


Click here to order from Amazon.ca


Click here to order from Chapters.ca


Click here to order from Nimbus Publishing


In the Maritimes, copies will be sitting on the shelves of your local bookstore. And if you reside outside of the Maritimes, please ask your bookstore to order it through Nimbus Publishing above.




Steven Laffoley


The Blue Tattoo




The new novel from Steven Laffoley…

From award-winning author Steven Laffoley comes a compelling tale of love and loss, despair and hope, based on real people and real events, that brings to life one of the most extraordinary stories of our time — The Halifax Explosion.1917. The Great War has given rise to unprecedented prosperity to staid, Victorian Halifax. It has also given rise to an explosive desire for change. Medical student and daughter of a prominent Halifax family, Elizabeth Beckett dreams of bringing equality to woman in an age when men alone control the world of work and politics. She fights for suffrage to give women a voice in the politics of war. At the same times, sugar refinery worker Danny Cohen dreams of leaving Halifax and a deadly war machine that he sees as only serving the wealthy. He fights to make the money he needs to help himself escape. When their lives collide, their dreams and their views of the world are challenged by the promise of love. Yet their different views on the world prove too explosive. They are torn apart by the collision of their disparate dreams. Elizabeth returns to her suffrage movement for women. Danny escapes to Boston for a better life.However, when two ships collide in Halifax Harbour on December 6, 1917, and the greatest explosion the world had ever known is unleashed on the city, their eyes are opened to new truths. Elizabeth is swept up in the chaos that follows the Explosion and works courageously at a local hospital, overrun with the horribly injured, with dwindling medical supplies and worsening conditions, only to face a once-in-a-generation snowstorm that promises to take away whatever hope remains. Without fresh medical supplies, hundreds will soon die.

Meantime, desperate to return home, Danny hears of a medical relief train leaving Boston and conducted by Christopher H. Trueman, a man with with dark past, who promises to make Halifax in record time. Danny manages to make the train, only to face a snowstorm that stops the train in its tracks. Without action and personal sacrifice, the train may never make it.

Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters — from Boston mayor James Michael Curley to Group of Seven painter Arthur Lismer — The Blue Tattoo tells the sweeping story of the lives caught up in the unbelievable horror of The Halifax Explosion.

Click here to order your copy of “The Blue Tattoo”: http://www.amazon.ca/Blue-Tattoo-Novel-Steven-Laffoley/dp/1897426607/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402432416&sr=8-1&keywords=steven+laffoley