Susan Calder

Susan Calder

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Ten Days in Summer, murder mystery

Quick description: While Calgary, Alberta, celebrates its 10-day Stampede festival, insurance adjuster Paula Savard investigates a suspicious building fire that caused the death of a hoarder.

Brief biography:
I am a Calgary writer, who grew up in Montreal. I have published two mystery novels, Deadly Fall (Touchwood Editions) and Ten Days in Summer (Books We Love Ltd.), books 1 & 2 of my series set in Calgary, Alberta. My short stories have won contests and been published in magazines and anthologies. I have taught fiction writing courses and workshops at the Alexandra Writers Centre Society. I’m a member of Crime Writers of Canada and serve on the board of Calgary’s When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers. When I’m not occupied with writing, you’ll likely find me travelling or hiking.

Links to buy Susan’s book:
You can purchase Ten Days in Summer online through:
Chapters/Indigo Books
Amazon
In Canada, you can also find the novel at your local bookstore, or place an order for it there.

Susan’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Facebook Page Ten Days in Summer
Linkedin

What are you working on now?
Book 3 of the Paula Savard Mystery Series. In the depths of a Calgary winter, Paula investigates a hit and run accident that killed a woman and seriously injured her husband.

Susan’s reading recommendation:
The Bloodline Artifacts: Extraterrestrial Connections by Howie Erickson. I am not a big reader of sci-fi adventure novels, so I was surprised by how much I was drawn into this book. Once I got used to the character and place shifts, I could follow the story easily. I found the characters sympathetic and interesting and loved the varied settings and the historical connection to the first Christian apostles. The story held my interest to the end and left me looking forward to the sequel when it is published. I recommend this book to readers, like me, who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code.

And here’s Susan with “books by two Susans” from July 2012 … Here’s what Susan had to say in her email then: I took the picture at the start of Stampede and was looking for a mix of Island and Calgary Stampede – hence the island shirt and straw cowboy hat, purchased in Mexico. As you had suggested, I included both of our books.

Thanks, Susan!

Stonehouse Publishing

Alberta-based Stonehouse Publishing began operations in 2016 and I promoted their first 5 publications here on Reading Recommendations shortly after a very successful company launch. I thought readers would be interested in hearing more about this new publisher and the direction they are taking their company, so I asked Netta Johnson to provide us with details.

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Stonehouse Publishing
Co-owners, Netta Johnson & Julie Yerex
Intern, Olivia Latta
Design team, Janet King and Anne Brown

Introducing Stonehouse Publishing History and Founding of Stonehouse Publishing

After years of being avid readers, writers, book collectors, and overall literary enthusiasts, friends and colleagues, Julie Yerex and Netta Johnson, took a brave plunge into the publishing world, founding Stonehouse Publishing. Netta brings to the house a work ethic unmatched, a passion for historical literature, and an unabashed entrepreneurial spirit. Julie adds to this with a background in copyediting, a taste for adventure, and a love for the written word that runs deep. Bolstered by the support offered to them from within the industry, and just a touch of naiveté, they have been humbled by the success of the launch of their first 5 titles, released in May 2016.

Stonehouse Publishing Mandate

Stonehouse Publishing is a small press publishing 3-5 titles per season, 5-8 titles per year, specializing in literary, trade, and historical fiction. The Stonehouse mandate is to increase the internationally-themed historical fiction published in Canada. Although historical fiction is the primary passion and focus of the Publishing house, Stonehouse is also committed to bringing budding new Canadian authors into the literary realm. Stonehouse Publishing’s final objective is to broaden the readership of some of the lesser-known classic authors, via their forthcoming Classics line, beginning with one classic title in the start of their second season.

First Year, First Titles, Upcoming Seasons

Stonehouse’s inaugural list is an eclectic selection of European-themed literature (the house’s special interest) and Alberta-themed literature from new authors. The first five Stonehouse books range from European-based fiction set in the 18th Century (Mary Green, League of the Star) to thrillers (Course Correction, Edge of Wild), rounded out by Kalyna, a historical novel dealing with Canada’s policy of interning Ukrainian settlers during the First World War. All 2016 books are authored within Alberta, reflecting both Stonehouse’s commitment to local literature and the inspiring degree of undiscovered talent located in our province. All books have been positively reviewed, and thus far, Mary Green and Kalyna have appeared on the weekly Bestsellers list in Edmonton and Calgary.

Looking ahead to their second season, Stonehouse will be augmenting the Stonehouse Originals list with Stonehouse Classics, designed to breathe new life into the range of classical works available in most bookstores. Spurred by a passion for historical fiction, contemporary and otherwise, Stonehouse is excited to place their favourite classical novels alongside classical sections already well-stocked with Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. The Stonehouse Classics imprint will begin with Evelina, by Fanny Burney. The Stonehouse Originals imprint will continue to release compelling original works, starting with Encountering Riel, by David Orr and Something Unremembered, by Della Dennis in February 2017. In August 2017, Stonehouse will publish two additional titles, including the already announced, Jesus on the Dashboard, by Lisa Murphy-Lamb August.

For more information about Stonehouse Publishing, please view their website.

Here are links to their authors’ promotions already featured on Reading Recommendations.

Pam Clark
N.R. Cruse
Melanie Kerr
Douglas Morrison
Danika Stone

Mary Smith – an update on a new book

Mary Smith was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March 2016. She’s back now to tell us of a non-fiction book, on which she collaborated with photographer Allan Devlin, that’s just been published.

Castle Douglas Through Time
by Mary Smith and Allan Devlin
Published by Amberley Publishing
Genre: Non-fiction, local history, photography

The market town of Castle Douglas, beside Carlingwark Loch in the southern Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway, is relatively new, though the area has been inhabited from prehistoric times and the Romans had a military base close by. In the fourteenth century, Archibald the Grim, the 3rd Earl of Douglas, built Threave Castle nearby.

The town came into being thanks to fertiliser found in the loch and wealth merchant William Douglas, who laid out the present town in 1792. Though his dream of creating a cotton industry failed, Castle Douglas became a flourishing market town. The opening of the rail line to Dumfries in 1859 improved the town’s connections.

Castle Douglas from Dunmuir Hill. The imposing spire of St George’s Free Church dominates the old picture of the town. Houses have been built along the old railway line and a green space, Burghfield Park, has been created.

Though the railway closed in 1965, the A75 trunk road ensured the town’s survival as a major stopping point for travellers. Today, it is a major tourist destination, with many visitors using it as a base for exploring this beautiful part of Scotland.

All these changes are recorded in this unique and fascinating series of new and old photographs, making this book essential reading for anyone interested in the history of Castle Douglas.

                                                                   Douglas Arms Hotel, King Street. The picture shows the many changes in transport over the years. The hotel was owned for 83 years by the Payne family who offered to send a bus to meet all trains. Charabanc outings to the countryside were popular.

 

 

Background to writing the text: Amberley Publishing approached me about four years ago to ask if I was interested in working on a book, Dumfries Through Time. Of course, I said yes. I teamed up with photographer Allan Devlin who is a stunning landscape photographer and together we began to search for the 90 old images needed. After it was published, Amberley asked if we’d be interested in another book and so we began to work on Castle Douglas Through Time. We both search for old images, Allan takes the photos of the places as they today and I do the research, write the introduction and captions for each pair of images. I loved doing the research but writing the captions is extremely frustrating as there is an 80-word limit. I find it almost impossible to tell the history of some of the images in 80 words!

Where to purchase copies:
The paperback edition of Castle Douglas Through Time is available on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon CA

Mary and Allan at the book’s launch party.
Photo credit: Keith Kirk

John W. Howell

john-howell-headshot John W. Howell

What is your latest release and what genre is it? I am re-releasing my first book My GRL due to my desire not to re-new my publisher’s contract. It is Thriller Fiction

Quick description: The first book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy where John J. Cannon, successful San Francisco lawyer, takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

my-grl-front

Brief biography:
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Links to buy John’s book:
Amazon Author Page
Print edition
Kindle edition

John’s promo links:
Blog: Fiction Favorites
Facebook
Twitter
Authors db
LinkedIn
Google +
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I am currently editing my next book titled Circumstances of Childhood and will be launching it in September of 2017. I have begun a yet unnamed thriller which will available in 2018.

John’s reading recommendation:
I have finished reading Letting Go Into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn Plano. The story of Gwen’s personal challenge is very uplifting.

Myrna Kostash

Myrna Kostash

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Seven Oaks Reader. Nonfiction.

Quick description: The Seven Oaks Reader, forworded by Heather Devine, offers a comprehensive retelling of one of Canada’s most controversial historical periods, the Fur Trade Wars, the Selkirk settlement and the explosive Battle of Seven Oaks in 1816. As in the companion volume, The Frog Lake Reader, Kostash incorporates period accounts and journals, histories, memoirs, songs and fictional retellings, from a wide range of sources, to weave a compelling historical narrative.

Brief biography:
Life-long Edmontonian, Myrna Kostash is a fulltime writer, author of the classic All of Baba’s Children, and of the award-winning The Frog Lake Reader and Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium. Her latest book is The Seven Oaks Reader (NeWest Press, 2016). Her essays, articles, and creative nonfiction have been widely anthologized. She is a recipient of the WGA’s Golden Pen Award and the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen award for a Life of Writing. She is a volunteer barista at the Carrot Community Arts Café.

Links to buy Myrna’s book:
NeWest Press
Ebooks: Amazon Kindle ; Apple ; Kobo ; Nook
Distributor: LitDistCo
Overdrive for Libraries

Myrna’s promo links:
Website
Facebook

What are you working on now?
A playscript for the Edmonton Fringe

Myrna’s reading recommendation:
Betsy Warland’s latest book, Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas (Caitlin Press, Vancouver)

Robin Summerfield – Winnipeg Cooks

Robin Summerfield

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Winnipeg Cooks: Signature Recipes from the City’s Top Chefs – cookbook

Quick description: In Winnipeg Cooks, thirty-four of the city’s finest chefs share stories and recipes from the front lines of an emerging culinary hot spot. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next meal, look no further. Featuring the stunning photography of Ian McCausland and seventy mouth-watering recipes, Winnipeg Cooks will leave you hungry for more.

Brief biography:
Robin is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in newspapers across Canada. She is a former features writer and columnist at the Calgary Herald, and editor of Ciao! magazine. She is food contributor to CBC and writer for Flavours magazine. Robin was also the writer and photographer behind pegcitygrub.com, a culinary tourism website for Tourism Winnipeg. Her stomach and palate have been frequently enlisted to judge culinary competitions.

At home in Winnipeg, she often freestyles in the kitchen, throwing in most any ingredient and leaving out little. This cooking approach has been met with moderate success. It has, however, given her an appreciation for the talent of chefs everywhere, including the remarkable crew assembled here. These days she cooks for a husband who will eat anything and a young son who eats pretty much nothing.

Links to buy Winnipeg Cooks:
Figure 1 Publishing
Amazon.ca / Chapters/Indigo.ca / independent bookstores

Robin’s promo links:
Figure 1 Publishing
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
I’m writing a pop-culture memoir about the death of my husband, and my life as a young widow and only parent. What’s a pop culture memoir? Before his death, my husband wrote a list of his favourite things inside a journal. So now I’m watching and reading, and listening to my husband’s favourite movies, TV shows, books, albums. And I’m travelling to his favourite places around the world.

It’s light and dark, and real and raw. And funny too, I hope.

Robin’s reading recommendation:
Nemo in Slumberland and The Spirit – Both are graphic novels. I am reading Nemo in Slumberland to my six year old son. The Spirit was my one of my husband’s favourite characters. We named our son after the author.

I am a big fan of long-form, creative non-fiction so I tend to read meaty magazine pieces. I love the New Yorker, and New York Times Magazine, for example. Macleans Magazine also does some amazing work. Recently, they published a story about Manitoba’s underground railway. It was incredible, compelling storytelling and journalism.

Other titles in this series from Figure 1 Publishing:
Calgary Cooks
Toronto Cooks
Montreal Cooks
Ottawa Cooks
Edmonton Cooks

Tina Faiz & Leanne Brown – Edmonton Cooks

Tina Faiz and Leanne Brown

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Edmonton Cooks – cookbook

Quick description: A sumptuous sampling of Edmonton’s thriving food scene from its top chefs and restaurants.

Brief biography:
Tina Faiz loves to ask questions and loves to eat. It’s no wonder this award-winning journalist’s insatiable curiosity (and appetite) helps her unearth stories about food as well as politics, design, art, and culture for newspapers and magazines across the country, including the Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, and Montreal Gazette, among others, and in a regular food column for CBC Radio. She’s Western Living Magazine’s former Edmonton Editor and regularly judges food competitions in the city. When she’s not writing, she is co-owner and strategist at Big Pixel Creative, helping clients use digital communications for social good.

Leanne Brown is a writer and avid home cook born and raised in Edmonton but currently living in New York City. She believes everyone deserves to eat good food every day and that cooking is the key. Most recently she wrote the award-winning, bestselling, Good and Cheap, a cookbook of appealing, beautiful food for very low incomes. She has been delighted by cooking and baking ever since she realized that they were the closest things we have to magic.

Links to buy Edmonton Cooks book:
Figure 1 Publishing
Amazon.ca / Chapters/Indigo.ca / and all major bookstores

Edmonton Cooks‘s promo links:
Figure 1 Publishing
Leanne’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

What are you working on now?
Leanne: My next book! It’s still a secret though.

Leanne’s reading recommendation:
Leanne: I just got back from vacation and read a bunch of random fantasy books, but before that I was loving Lindy West and her first wonderful book, Shrill.

Other titles in this series from Figure 1 Publishing:
Calgary Cooks
Toronto Cooks
Montreal Cooks
Ottawa Cooks
Winnipeg Cooks

Anne DesBrisay – Ottawa Cooks

unspecified1 Anne DesBrisay

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Ottawa Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Finest Chefs of Canada’s Capital Region – Cookbook

Quick description: Award-winning food writer Anne DesBrisay brings together recipes from forty-one of the Capital region’s most inspiring cooks. From fine restaurants, food trucks, and farmhouse kitchens, here are signature dishes, favourite staff meals, and traditional family recipes from one of the most interesting and diverse food cultures in the country. Beautifully photographed by Christian Lalonde, Ottawa Cooks showcases more than eighty delicious recipes—and the gifted chefs who create them.

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Brief biography: Anne DesBrisay is an award-winning food writer and the author of Capital Dining, the most trusted guidebook to the best places to eat in Ottawa. The region’s leading culinary voice for more than twenty years, she is the restaurant critic for Ottawa Magazine, a senior editor for Taste & Travel, and a judge for Ottawa Gold Medal Plates and the Canadian Culinary Championships. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Links to buy Ottawa Cooks:
Figure 1 Publishing
Amazon.ca / Chapters/Indigo / Restaurants featured in the book

Anne’s promo links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

What are you working on now?
Working on my regular food columns for Ottawa Magazine and Taste & Travel Magazine, on a cookbook project with a chef, and judging culinary competitions. Helped judge a terrific one last night – The Poor Chefs Competition, in support of Operation Come Home’s efforts to end homelessness in Ottawa. Each chef given $3.15 to work with, and three common items from the Food Bank. Remarkable results!

Anne’s reading recommendation:
Currently enjoying Olive Odyssey, Searching for the Secrets of The Fruit that Seduced the World, by Julie Angus.

Other titles in this series from Figure 1 Publishing:
Calgary Cooks
Toronto Cooks
Edmonton Cooks
Montreal Cooks
Winnipeg Cooks

Kimmy Beach – update on the release of a new book

Kimmy Beach was featured previously on Reading Recommendations in June 2014, and is back now to tell us about a new publication just released!

Nuala, A Fable
Robert Kroetsch Series
by Kimmy Beach
Published by The University of Alberta Press
Genre: Literary Fiction, Magical Realism

“Shh, my Nuala. I am with you. Today I shall teach you the newness of you.”

As the Engine breathes life into Nuala, her gaze falls on Teacher-Servant, the chosen one. He alone will be able to hear her thoughts and interpret her emotions. But soon Teacher-Servant starts to worry that Nuala will be able to give away her thoughts freely. Set in an atypical dystopian world, Nuala is startlingly original and inventive, echoing the work of Margaret Atwood, José Saramago, and Kazuo Ishiguro. Beach’s dark, fearless imagination has created a time and space that are at once remote and strange, but absorbing and deeply credible. Nuala leaves the reader with much to consider about the nature of love, possessiveness, jealousy, envy, and autonomy.

Where to purchase Kimmy’s Book:
The University of Alberta Press
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo
Independent Bookstores

Jonathan Cheung – Montreal Cooks

unspecified3 Jonathan Cheung

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Montreal Cooks: A Tasting Menu from the City’s Leading Chefs by Jonathan Cheung and Tays Spencer – cookbook

Quick description: Montreal has evolved into a city of unparalleled culinary excellence, arguably one of the finest culinary centres in the world. Montreal Cooks celebrates this excellence, presenting eighty recipes from forty of Montreal’s most talented and unique chefs. Written with the home cook in mind, this cookbook is designed to make recipes from fan-favorite restaurants achievable for everyone.

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Brief biography:
Jonathan Cheung is originally from Vancouver, BC, but currently calls Montreal home. He is the owner and chef of Appetite for Books, Montreal’s premier cookbook shop and cooking school. From a very young age, Jonathan was surrounded by food, whether it was hanging out in his grandmother’s kitchen or eating through a number of his family’s restaurants in Vancouver and Hong Kong. With more than fifteen years of professional cooking experience, Jonathan has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover, Eat St., and CTV Montreal, and in the Montreal Gazette and on local radio. He is also a regular presenter on Breakfast Television Montreal.

Links to buy Montreal Cooks:
Figure 1 Publishing
Amazon.ca / Chapters/Indigo / The restaurants featured in the book.

Jonathan’s promo links:
Appetite for Books
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

What are you working on now?
I am still running my bookstore, Appetite for Books, and teaching the cooking classes that we have. I have a couple of projects that are brewing but nothing to report officially. Once our plans are more confirmed we will for sure blast it out to bring our customers and readers into the loop.

Jonathan’s reading recommendation:
I cook from over a hundred different cookbooks a year. I have come across favorites for sure. It’s hard to name one book to recommend because I own a cookbook store, I am surrounded by shelves and shelves of cookbooks that are specialized in different cuisines that I reach for depending on what I am in the mood for that day, but if I really think about it the one that I tend to keep going back to repeatedly when I cook private dinners or am cooking for my family at home is Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, published in 2009 and it still rings true to today’s cooking trends. Fail-proof recipes that are packed with flavor and excellent go-to for seasonal cooking. It is also a great read and inspires me to always focus on using seasonal ingredients in all my meals. A book that definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Other titles in this series from Figure 1 Publishing:
Calgary Cooks
Toronto Cooks
Edmonton Cooks
Ottawa Cooks
Winnipeg Cooks