Peter Learn

I met Peter Learn in Canmore, AB, back in March 2012 when we were both invited to be part of En Vino Novellus, an annual author promotion that pairs books with a wine selection. This ingenious celebration was organized by Jerry Auld, who has also previously been featured on Reading Recommendations. (And I was accompanied by another Canmore author and friend, Hazel Hutchins, who has also been featured on Reading Recommendations!)

Peter Learn

What is your latest release and what genre is it? I have two releases. The first is Hammer Time. It is a noir detective/black humour/farce. It’s the love child of Mickey Spillane and Stephen Leacock. The second is What Has Changed. Literary fiction/dark humour. Follow-up to Surrender.

Hammertime cover2Quick description: Hammer Time: Its hero is a height-challenged small town dick named Jack Hammer. His beloved Canmore is being torn apart. Is the problem the goddamned bunnies or is it the usual culprit – property developers? Hammer cobbles together a crew including his long-suffering assistant – Moira Pepperleigh, the brilliant Toronto heiress twins with an axe to grind – Bitsy and Stiffy, the town drunk – Timmy, Belle the hound, and the Dependables – a crime fighting crew of senior citizens. The story follows Hammer and his crew as they wander through small-town life tracking down the real villains.

What Has Changed jpegWhat Has Changed: Cam Dunker is back, reborn after his adventures in the circles of Hell. He’s somewhat changed. His wife is spending the summer as a performance artist in Paris. His grade 2 class is doing nothing but making little clay men, while his new kindergarten teacher, Joe the plumber, has begun a work-experience program for the little girls. In the background, the Rapture looms and, as Cam discovers, there is more to it than what Fran explained to him after they had been dating for a year.

Brief biography:
I currently live in Victoria, B.C. with my wife, Paula. Bertie Wooster and Augustus Finknottle, two wire-haired dachshunds, are my erstwhile companions. I have one published print novella, Surrender, and a number of short stories and essays in literary journals. What Has Changed and Hammer Time are recent Kindle releases.

Links to buy Peter’s book:
SurrenderQuattro Books
What Has ChangedAmazon
Hammer TimeAmazon

Peter’s promo links:
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a follow-up to Hammer Time, titled Hammer Two Times. Lurking in the background is a million page alternative reality opus titled Quebec whose redeeming feature is that it will never be completed.

Peter’s reading recommendation:
Arthur John Stewart: The Newpigin Chronicle
David Eso: Where the Nights Are Twice As Long
Susan Toy: That Last Summer

M T McGuire – an update on a new novel

M T McGuire was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in July 2014. She’s back now to update us on a new release!

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Escape From B-Movie Hell – First contact in films was never like this!

If you asked Andi Turbot whether she had anything in common with Flash Gordon she’d say no, emphatically. Saving the world is for dynamic, go-ahead, leaders of men and while it would be nice to see a woman getting involved for a change, she believes she could be the least well-equipped being in her galaxy for the job.

Then her best friend, Eric, reveals that he is an extraterrestrial. He’s not just any ET either. He’s Gamalian: seven-foot, lobster-shaped and covered in Marmite-scented goo. Just when Andi’s getting used to that he tells her about the Apocalypse and really ruins her day.

The human race will perish unless Eric’s Gamalian superiors step in. Abducted and trapped on an alien ship, Andi must convince the Gamalians her world is worth saving. Or escape from their clutches and save it herself.

The book is available on all major retail outlets you can find them from my website.

J.T. Lundy

Gauen 147 - Version 2 J.T. Lundy

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Saving Grapes, a romantic comedy, is being released today, May 5, 2015.

Quick description: Thirty-two-year-old Jason Barnes recently lost his job, and his heart. Now, thanks to a meddling ex-wife and a golf cart fiasco, he has just thirty days to pay a $60,000 fine or go to jail.

Jason was hoping his Aunt Clara would come to his rescue, but she unexpectedly dies, gifting her liquid assets to charity. She does, however, will Jason a picturesque French vineyard–and it’s worth millions. But there’s a catch! If Jason goes to jail, the vineyard will transfer to his unscrupulous stepbrother.

To raise the cash he needs, Jason travels to France with his knucklehead of a best friend to sell the vineyard. Cashing in will not be so simple, though. Formidable nuns farm the vineyard, and he needs their blessing to sell. To persuade the good sisters, Jason attempts a madcap series of dubious schemes, and while doing so falls for what he thinks is the perfect French woman. Amidst this melee of wine, women, nuns, and villains, Jason must unearth his true values in order to save more than just his soul.

Infused with J.T. Lundy’s deliciously skewed sense of humor, and full of flawed but irresistible characters, Saving Grapes is a rollicking, good-hearted Wodehousian comedy that speaks to the hapless romantic in all of us.

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Brief biography:
J.T. Lundy lives in Naperville, Illinois, where he writes novels and screenplays, and attempts to help his wife manage the chaos from raising three growing boys. He likes to read, write, travel, and eat good food. A graduate of Indiana University, he also holds an MFA from Spalding University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is the author of Happy Utopia Day, Joe McCarthy, a 2014 Thurber Prize for American Humor Semi-Finalist.

Links to buy J.T.’s book:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Powell’s
Books & Books
BookPeople
Booksamillion
The Book Cellar
City Lit Books
Google Play
iTunes/iBooks

J.T.’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up a sequel to my first novel, Happy Utopia Day, Joe McCarthy.

J.T.’s reading recommendation:
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Geoff Le Pard

SYCT 160514-59Geoff Le Pard

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. It’s an historic (1976) coming-of-age comedy

Quick description: Harry Spittle, nineteen, is home from university, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. He expects he will be bored rigid, but the appearance of old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopathic son, Claude, and predatory wife Monica changes that. As his parents’ marriage implodes, Harry’s problems mount; before he knows it he’s in debt up to his ears and dealing in drugs. Things go from bad to worse when he is stabbed. He needs money fast, but now his job is at risk, his sister is in trouble and he has discovered a family secret that could destroy all he holds dear. The only way out appears to require that Harry join forces with the local criminal mastermind. Can Harry survive to see out the summer? Can he save his family? Can he regain some credibility and self-respect? Most importantly will he finally get laid?

Dead flies POD cover

Brief biography:
Lawyer in City of London 1979 to 2008; solicitor with London Olympics 2009 to 2013; writer and odd jobs man since.

Links to buy Geoff’s book:
Amazon UK – eBook and paperback
Amazon – eBook and paperback

Geoff’s promo links:
Website
Twitter

What are you working on now?
A totally different book, God Bothering. It’s about the problems fathers can cause; the absentee father, the doting father and God the father. It is set in America, England and Nicaragua. It has two strong characters whose lives intertwine and unravel and involves the morality of using human embryos in genetic research, misuse of Government monies, corruption in high places as well as

Geoff’s reading recommendation:
Outside Inside by Anne Grange

Clem Martini

Martini_Clem_0592_largeClem Martini

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release, The Ancient Comedians And What They Have To Say To Contemporary Playwrights, is a non-fiction book that explores the evolution of comedic playwriting.

Quick description: The Ancient Comedians explores the strategies used by the innovators who navigated the terrain thousands of years ago and made their mark on the craft.

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Brief biography:
Professor Clem Martini is an award winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter with over thirty plays, and ten books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, including the Calgary Book Award-winning Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness and his most recent anthology, Martini With A Twist. His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright, and The Greek Playwright, are employed in universities and colleges across the country. He is currently the Chair of the Division of Drama in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.

 

Links to buy Clem’s book:
Playwrights Canada Press

Clem’s promo links:
University of Calgary, School of Creative and Performing Arts

What are you working on now?
I am working on a comic play about love and extinction.

Clem’s reading recommendation:
Pseudolus by Plautus

Craig McLay

I discovered Craig McLay’s writing through a free offer of his first novel, Village Books, which was about bookstore clerk – so I just had to read it! This novel was so well-written, and so funny, that I immediately contacted Craig and asked if he’d like to be featured here on Reading Recommendations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Craig McLay

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The International Cinema Society (contemporary / humorous fiction)

Quick description: The International Cinema Society is a movie club that is approaching its tenth anniversary just as its members’ lives are coming off the rails. The president is planning to flee the country, the VP is about to marry a woman with a collection of taxidermied superheroes, the treasurer is involved in what turns out to be an enormous Ponzi scheme, and the secretary just almost fell off the Bloor Viaduct. Unless they can get their respective acts together, this may be the beginning of the end of a beautiful membership.

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Brief biography:
I graduated from journalism at precisely the wrong time. Instead of following the rest of my classmates into a lucrative life of crime, I started writing books. I live in Guelph with my wife, two sons and a cat named after the greatest midfielder in the history of football.

Links to buy Craig’s book:
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Craig’s promo links:
Website

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m finishing up the final edit on Whitechapel, which will be coming out soon. (Watch this space!)

Craig’s reading recommendation:
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace. His adventures aboard The Nadir are worth the price of admission alone.

Andy Mulberry

Bulldog Andy Mulberry

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release is The Demonic Incident in Chinatown the second book in my Skycastle Series for middle grade-aged kids.

Quick description: Fast-paced, action-packed and funny, The Demonic Incident in Chinatown is the second in a series of middle grade books for fearless, adventure loving kids.

Skycastle 2 cover

Brief biography:
Andy Mulberry loves to write books filled with strange adventures, odd characters and mysterious circumstances. She lives in Southern California with her scowling teenager, a chubby blue cat-beast, an imaginary dog and one leaky roof.

Links to buy Andy’s book:
Amazon – eBook, paperback, audio

Andy’s promo links:
My blog – Something smells fishy here…
Twitter

What are you working on now?
The third book in my Skycastle Series, titled The Demonic Kraken Debacle in Hollywood.

Andy’s reading recommendation:
I enjoyed reading The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare, it reads a bit like Harry Potter, which is totally fine by me.

Kevin Brennan – new novel update

Kevin Brennan returns to tell us about his new novel, Occasional Soulmates. Kevin was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Mar. 2014.

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Occasional Soulmates
by Kevin Brennan

When the thirty-eight-year-old San Francisco doctor meets her new patient, a handsome British expat with the unlikely name of Dylan Cakebread (and an uncanny resemblance to Jude Law), she’s convinced it’s the start of her own relationship novel. He’s an architect, no less — always a key piece of her most indulgent fantasies — and the heroine of a relationship novel always gets her fantasy man, right? Though their shaky start raises red flags that her oldest girlfriend, Jules, is quick to point out, Sarah can’t help it. She falls hard for Dylan and it appears to be a two-way street. But maybe meeting your perfect mate in the exam room isn’t the best opening act. Sarah thinks she’s the cure for what ails him, but soon she learns the secret Dylan has been keeping from her. Now she has to choose between happiness and the illusion of it — if Dylan doesn’t take the choice out of her hands first. It’s starting to look like this isn’t her relationship novel at all: it’s his.

Here’s the Amazon ebook link and where to buy the paperback.

**Please note that I was a beta-reader of Occasional Soulmates and I highly recommend this novel – as well as the rest of Kevin Brennan’s books!

Madeleine Swann

author-picMadeleine Swann

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Filing Cabinet of Doom: 17 Bizarro Short Stories – Surreal comedy/dark fiction

Quick description: It’s a collection of short stories including a novella of the same name. Set in a black and white, soundless realm, three people journey to the Head Office of the Council to find out why a psychic from a travelling carnival claims the world is about to end.

filing-cabinet-of-doom-madeleine-swann

Brief biography: I have written for magazines including Bizarre and The Dark Side. I have stories in anthologies American Nightmare, Polluto Magazine (issue 10), The Strange Edge (website and magazine) and Bizarro Central, among others.

Links to buy Madeleine’s book:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Madeleine’s promo links:
Website
Twitter

What are you working on now?
A new collection of short stories and the second draft of a comedy/fantasy/odd/YA novel.

Madeleine’s reading recommendation:
How To Eat Fried Furries by Nicole Cushing.

Randy McCharles

Today’s Reading Recommendation is an author living in Calgary who I have known for several years. In fact, I met Randy McCharles at a talk I gave at the Calgary Public Library when he was the first person to buy a copy of my (very) recently released eBook! I wanted to give Randy an extra shout-out here at the beginning of his promotion because, as is typical of him, he has been very humble in answering my questions regarding his non-authorial accomplishments in the Calgary writing community. For instance, Randy conceived and has become the Grand Poobah of the extremely successful annual conference, When Words Collide, that dares to promote and celebrate authors, books and writing of ALL genres. This year’s conference takes place next weekend, Aug. 8-10, and it sold out in record time, long ago, so even if you happen to be in Calgary you won’t be able to attend unless you’ve already registered. However, keep this conference in mind for next year – it’s a good one, and is growing with every new year! Now, here’s Randy to tell you about the authorial side of his life!

Randy McCharles Randy McCharles

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Necromancer Candle – Contemporary Fantasy

Quick description: The Necromancer Candle is a collection of 3 contemporary fantasy novellas that combine mystery and humor. Everyday people face ancient evils while dealing with modern relationship troubles. Emotions run from horror to despair to anger to laughter. Enjoy the ride!

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Brief biography:
Randy McCharles is active in Calgary, Alberta’s writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the wickedly humorous variety. A multiple Aurora Award-winner (Canada’s most prestigious award for speculative fiction), Randy’s fiction can be found in various publications from Edge Press, CreateSpace, House of Anansi, Reality Skimming Press, and Year’s Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Randy’s 2014 titles include The Necromancer Candle (Edge Press) and Capone’s Chicago (CreateSpace). In addition to writing, Randy organizes events for readers and writers including the When Words Collide literary festival, A Taste of Local Authors reading series, and the Rocky Mountain Writers Retreat. Randy also teaches courses for writers at the Alexandra Writers Centre.

Capone's Chicago

Links to buy Randy’s book:
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy

Randy’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

What are you working on now?
I work on multiple projects at once. Much Ado About Macbeth is a contemporary fantasy in its final draft. When drama teacher Paul Samson decides to put on a High School production of Macbeth, he forgets that it isn’t just The Scottish Play, it is The Cursed Play. And Paul soon learns just how cursed. After grappling with his principal, the PTA, his family, and his students, he must contend with witches, ghosts, and skeletons from his past. The show is destined from the outset to end badly, but no matter how desperate or dangerous circumstances become, Paul cannot cancel the play. Theater has but one rule and one rule only: the show must go on.

In earlier stages is A Connecticut Gumshoe In King Arthur’s Court. Sam Sparrow was a bad cop and a worse private detective. But when he is miraculously whisked away from certain death at the hand of hoodlums, only to find himself working cases in King Arthur’s Court, it may just be the chance he needs to address his trust issues while at the same time proving himself worthy of his elusive idol, Sam Spade.

Randy’s reading recommendation:
I just finished Plague by C. C. Humphries, a brilliant historical mystery set in black plague London.

Randy McCharles was previously featured on Reading Recommendations, Jan. 23, 2014, as collaborating member of The Apocalyptic Four.