Craig McLay – update on a new novel

Craig McLay was first featured on Reading Recommendations almost exactly two years ago to the day, in Jan. 2015. He’s back now to tell us about a recently published novel.


Don’t Tell Me How It Ends
by Craig McLay
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Novel, Humour

The author of the hilarious and award-winning international bestsellers Village Books and The International Cinema Society returns with an uproarious tale of freshman film school mayhem!

Aspiring director Andrew MacLennan has just been accepted into one of the most prestigious film schools in the country. Most of what he’s going to learn – like the finer points of shooting an action scene with a projectile vomiting stuntman, what to do when you find one of your instructors passed out in the bathroom holding a gun, or how to handle an audition with a former adult movie actress who takes method acting to wildly inappropriate new levels – isn’t in the curriculum.

His crew is just as crazy. Edgar Wells is a James Bond-obsessed Englishman who is distressed to discover that the woman he’s dating may also be his second (or possibly third) cousin. Esteban Hernandez is a football-mad Mexican who was officially dead for four minutes after his attempt to jack in to the city power grid went spectacularly wrong. And then there’s Satyajit Bharati, an Indian expatriate who has no problem being in an arranged marriage so long as the private investigator hired by his rich fiancée doesn’t catch him in the act with any of his current girlfriends.

Andrew’s life is further complicated by his developing relationship with up-and-coming comedian Nira Curtis, whose inability to distinguish between her life and her stage act could spell trouble. Andrew is still coming to terms with the death of his brother in a car accident five years ago and isn’t quite ready to premiere his personal demons in front of a blockbuster audience.

Struggling to keep his production from going off the rails, Andrew begins to realize that whether it’s real life or a movie, having final cut is not always a good thing.

For more information about Craig and his books click on:
Craig’s Website

Books available to purchase:

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:

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!


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.

Lesley Crewe

Lesley CreweLesley Crewe

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Chloe Sparrow is Fiction

Quick description: Chloe  Sparrow  is  25  and  a  television  producer. She   somehow  becomes  involved  with  a  television  series  she  doesn’t  want  and  has  a   terrible  time  trying  to  adjust  to  The  Single  Guy.  Mayhem  ensues  with  her  Gramps   and  Aunt  Ollie,  while  her  best  friend  insists  she  find  a  man.  She’s  ready  to  kill   everyone.    

Chloe Sparrow

Brief biography:
Born in Montreal. Lives in Cape Breton. My eighth novel, Amazing Grace, will be published in September, 2015. I am one of the screenwriters for Relative Happiness, a movie based on my first novel. It’s risen to #2 at the box office for Canadian films, entering its fourth week commercially.  

Links to buy Lesley’s book:
Nimbus Publishing

Lesley’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
Nothing at the moment. Too busy with film adventures!
To see my characters come alive was a kick. It’s like my story was suddenly in 3-­D. The entire process has been a gigantic learning curve and I have great admiration for the film industry. Our collaboration has been a blast and I have traveled far and wide for the film in the last seven months. Having my movie shown in my own local theatre is something I’ll never forget.

Relative Happiness

Listing On IMDB
Trailer for Relative Happiness

Relative Happiness Movie Tie-In edition

Lesley’s reading recommendation:
Hyperbole  and  a  Half  by  Allie  Brosh

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:

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.


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.


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.

Intl Cinema Society_eBook_hires

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:

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…

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.


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.


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:

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.