Kevin Brennan – update on a new collection of essays

Kevin Brennan has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations a number of times, as well as being an All-Star Author and on the list of
Reading Recommendations Revisited.

I don’t make any bones about it – Kevin Brennan is one of my very favourite authors writing today! So it’s always a pleasure to promote any new books he happens to publish, like this one right here …

In No Particular Order: A Memoir
by Kevin Brennan

It’s true that life is linear, but the living of it is all over the map. In this memoir-in-vignettes, novelist Kevin Brennan (Parts Unknown, Yesterday Road) examines his life the way memories occur in the wild: in no particular order. Whether it’s recalling high school humiliations, ups and downs in love and romance, or unique interactions with the human race at home and abroad, Brennan both entertains and moves the reader with moments of unexpected poignancy and full-tilt humor. In No Particular Order is a deconstructed memoir, like no other because it looks at life as it really is — a kaleidoscope of individual moments.

For more information about Kevin and his publications, as well as more about this new eBook, check out his blog, What the Hell.

Purchase a copy from:
Amazon

Eileen Bell – update on the third book in a series

Eileen Bell has been featured previously several times on Reading Recommendations, first in Jan. 2014 as part of The Apocalyptic Four, then with news about the first two books in her Marie Jenner Mystery series, here and here. She’s back now to tell us about the third book in this series, just being released.

Stalking the Dead
by E.C. Bell
Published by Tyche Books
Genre: Paranormal Mystery, 3rd in a series

Marie Jenner is going home.

When Marie’s slightly-more-than-boss, James Lavall, decides it is vital that he speak to her mother, face to face, about Marie and all her secrets, she follows him to Fort McMurray.

What Marie doesn’t realize is that her stalkery ex-boyfriend, Arnie Stillwell, has gone home, too. And he’s managed to get himself killed just about the time James rolled into town, making James “a person of interest” in the Stillwell murder investigation.

Marie’s going to have to figure out who really killed Arnie to get James off. She’s also going to have to figure out a safe way to move Arnie’s spirit on to the next plane of existence, because the last thing she needs is for him to go all stalkery on her now that he’s dead.

Murder can really put a kink in a Jenner family reunion.

Stalking the Dead is an entertaining mash up of a thrilling PI novel with a creepy ghost story set in the rough oil town of Fort McMurray. Genre-bending doesn’t get any better than this.”
Wayne Arthurson, Author of the Fall From Grace and other novels in the Leo Desroches crime series.

Where to purchase Eileen’s novel:
Ebook and Print:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Ebook only:
Kobo
Tyche Books

Mike Robbins – update on a timely essay

Mike Robbins has visited Reading Recommendations a couple of times previously, here and here. He’s back now to tell us about a very timely essay he has just published. (Mike also answered my recent call for book reviewers, for which I am extremely grateful!)

Such Little Accident: British Democracy and its Enemies
by Mike Robbins
Published by Third Rail
Genre: Non-Fiction Essay

“When the people shall have nothing more to eat,” said Rousseau, “they will eat the rich.” But the rich are rather good at getting the poor to eat each other instead. In this provocative novella-length essay, Mike Robbins looks at how the British electoral system, social media, bullying by business, and a growing gap between rich and poor have led to deep fissures in British society. These have been exploited by those with an agenda of their own. As a result, democracy is now fragile. To repair it, we must look hard at the way information cycles through our society, and how our opinions are formed.

Cover picture: J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16th October, 1834 (Detail)
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Where to purchase copies:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
(also available on the other Amazons)
Google Play
Barnes & Noble
Scribd
Kobo

Reading Recommendations … Spring Cleaning

Dear RR Authors,

Since Nov. 2013, I have been promoting all of you on this blog – more than 300 authors altogether! Some of you have reciprocated with promotion for me and other authors and for that I thank you wholeheartedly. This was, after all, part of the agreement when you committed to participation in this blog. Some of you have even become very good friends of mine, indeed!

It was time though to whittle down the lists somewhat, and I have now updated the two alphabetical lists of authors to around 150 or so names. (If I have published a promotion page for you on this blog that page will still remain active. It’s just the lists of authors where I’ve deleted names.) On these final lists, I kept anyone who has:
1) promoted me or their fellow authors
2) maintains contact with me through social media by sharing and commenting
3) anyone I know personally (i.e. have actually met in person)
4) anyone whose writing I’ve read and really enjoyed – regardless of any reciprocal promotion they may or may not have done for me and others.

For those of you who remain on the lists, please check your promotions and let me know if there’s an update in any of the information. Or, if you have a new publication you’d like to promote, please let me know about it. (I currently only have two updates queued for this next month.) I try to keep tabs on new publications, but I know I have missed many. I’ll very happy to give you further promotion on the blog, no matter when your “latest” was published.

And don’t forget about the review blog I publish! I will repost positive reviews you receive for any of your books on reading recommendations reviewed, but you need to let me know! This is further promotion I offer for anyone who has been promoted on Reading Recommendations. Just send me a link to the website or review where it appears online.

So check here, A-L, and here, M-Z, to see if you are still listed, and let me know how I may further promote you.

If you discover that your name has been dropped from the list and you’d like to be reinstated (because you have new information to add and/or you will be offering me and the blog some reciprocal promotion) then send me an email and let’s talk.

Either way, I’m always happy to hear from fellow authors!

All the best,
Susan

Some of your print books I have promoted on the blog …

This is just what’s at the trailer right now! I have many, many more at the house on Bequia, in my storage unit in Calgary, and on my eReaders!

Antony Millen

Antony Millen

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Chain – Young Adult dystopian

Quick description: The year is 2043. Empowered by the anti-encryption program, ICALL, and the world-wide wireless Blanket, the Global Domain reigns over all colocation centres with its Connectivist ideology, enforcing mandatory online activity for every eartizen and disabling attempts to secure privacy. The Domain’s slogans are: “Secrecy Threatens Security” and “Privacy Prevents Prosperity and Peace.”

From his death-bed in New Zealand, Fenton Ouvert commissions his sons, Topia and Lukan, to locate a flash drive containing the files of Jeremy Winterton, files stolen thirty years earlier from international surveillance agencies. A former investigative journalist, Ouvert hid the flash drive at the end of a chain of clue-bearers around the world. Contacted by the resistance movement known as Arachne, Ouvert believes the drive contains original plans for the ICALL program and thus, hope for a free world.

Travelling the globe, the Ouvert boys locate the links, but what will their journey reveal about their father and the effects of the Global Domain’s dominance? And what will their quest mean for the world when they reach the end of the chain?

Brief biography:
Antony Millen lives and writes in New Zealand, but is originally from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Since 2013, he has published three novels and seen short stories featured in literary journals and competitions. He blogs regularly at antonymillen.com.

Links to buy Antony’s book:
Amazon US
Amazon Canada

Antony’s promo links:
Website/Blog
Facebook
Twitter

What are you working on now?
I’m nearing the end of a draft for my fourth novel. It is also intended for young adults, but will not be as complex as The Chain. A simpler story about friendships, co-dependency, dreams and re-assessing our heroes.

Antony’s reading recommendation:
The North Water by Ian McGuire, longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker prize. A faster-paced Moby Dick in a sort of thrilling historical fiction way.

Sharon Butala – update on a new book

Sharon Butala was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2015. She’s back now to tell us about a new non-fiction book just being released.

Where I Live Now: A Journey through Love and Loss to Healing and Hope
by Sharon Butala
Published by Simon & Schuster Canada
Genre: Memoir

An intimate and uplifting book about finding renewal and hope through grief and loss.

“It was a terrible life; it was an enchanted life; it was a blessed life. And, of course, one day it ended.” — Sharon Butala

In the tradition of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End, and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal comes a revelatory new book from one of our beloved writers.

When Sharon Butala’s husband, Peter, died unexpectedly, she found herself with no place to call home. Torn by grief and loss, she fled the ranchlands of southwest Saskatchewan and moved to the city, leaving almost everything behind. A lifetime of possessions was reduced to a few boxes of books, clothes, and keepsakes. But a lifetime of experience went with her, and a limitless well of memory—of personal failures, of a marriage that everybody said would not last but did, of the unbreakable bonds of family.

Reinventing herself in an urban landscape was painful, and facing her new life as a widow tested her very being. Yet out of this hard-won new existence comes an astonishingly frank, compassionate and moving memoir that offers not only solace and hope but inspiration to those who endure profound loss.

Often called one of this country’s true visionaries, Sharon Butala shares her insights into the grieving process and reveals the small triumphs and funny moments that kept her going. Where I Live Now is profound in its understanding of the many homes women must build for themselves in a lifetime.

An Evening with Sharon Butala
Tuesday Apr 11 2017 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
McNally Robinson Booksellers

Where to purchase Sharon’s book:
Simon & Schuster Canada
Amazon Canada
Chapters Indigo
Independent bookstores across Canada
Amazon UK

News from Sharon:
I have been invited to be a keynote speaker at a small conference in Boise, Idaho whose theme is “Wallace Stegner and the Consciousness of Place.” It is hosted by the Idaho Humanities Council, will be held at the Boise State University July 16-21, and is for K-12 teachers. I’m invited because of my connection to Stegner and his family home in Eastend, Saskatchewan, a place about which he wrote Wolf Willow: A History, A Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier. As I too, have written about that world but from a purely Canadian perspective, we share a lot, but we also diverge because he went back to the United States to live out his long life, and because he was a man, and didn’t see the Western world quite as I do. I am truly looking forward to this adventure, and not least because years ago on a writing trip, I spent a night there and did a reading and thought I’d never seen a place in the US I thought prettier or more green or more peaceful. I have always wanted to see it again. And besides, once you begin to age you start to see that the small adventures are often much richer than the big ones, that tends to just knock you for a loop.

Merilyn Simonds

merilyn-simonds_hi-res Merilyn Simonds

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & the Lasting Impression of Books – Narrative nonfiction

Quick description: eReader in one hand, perfect-bound book in the other, author Merilyn Simonds asks herself: What is lost and what is gained as paper turns to pixel?

Gutenberg’s Fingerprint trolls the past, present and evolving future for an answer. Part memoir and part historical exploration, the book follows the production of her collection of flash fiction, The Paradise Project, as both a book-arts edition hand-typeset and hand-printed on Hugh Barclay’s antique press, and as a digital eBook designed by her son Erik. Her assumptions about writing and reading and the nature of creativity and change are toppled as she works alongside these two born-again Gutenbergs, one on either side of the digital divide.

A timely and fascinating exploration of the myths, inventions, and consequences of the current shift in how we read, Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is at its heart, the chronicle of one woman’s lifelong love affair with books.

gutenbergsfingerprint_cov

Brief biography:
Merilyn Simonds is the author of 17 books, including The Convict Lover, a Governor General’s Award finalist; and the novel, The Holding, selected a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her work is published internationally in eight countries. The Founding Artistic Director of Kingston WritersFest, she writes a biweekly books column in the Kingston Whig Standard and teaches creative writing, mentoring emerging writers across the continent. She divides her time between Kingston, Ontario, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Links to buy Merilyn’s book:
Buy this book at your local independent bookseller. Or order from:
Merilyn’s Website
ECW Press
Amazon

Merilyn’s promo links:
Website
Blog: Books Unpacked
Facebook
Twitter

From Quill & Quire: Personal Essay: Merilyn Simonds on digital technology and new immersive literary experiences

What are you working on now?
I have a novel, Refuge, coming out next year with ECW Press. I have just finished the first full draft of another novel, ~then~ , set in Mexico in 1994 in the early days of the Zapatista War and in 2016, shortly after the election of US President Trump.

Merilyn’s reading recommendation:
I am currently reading Mexican women writers. I just finished Here’s to You, Jesusa! by Elena Poniatowska, a brilliant example of “testimonial fiction,” a genre she created and perfected.

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.

stonehouselaunchparty-62

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

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.