Amy M. Reade – a new novel update

Amy M. Reade has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations in April 2015 and April 2016. She returns now to tell us about a new mystery novel.

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The House on Candlewick Lane
by Amy M. Reade
Published by Lyrical Underground
Genre: Fiction, Mystery/Suspense

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.

Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh—a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

Where to purchase Amy’s book:
Amy’s website

Ken McGoogan – update on a new edition of a previous novel

Ken McGoogan previously visited Reading Recommendations in Sept. 2016, and is back to tell us about a re-release of a novel he published in 1993 that is now available again in print and as an eBook.

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Kerouac’s Ghost
by Ken McGoogan
Published by Bev Editions
Genre: Literary Fiction

Frankie McCracken is still recovering from the Psychedelic Sixties when, while working as a fire lookout in the Canadian Rockies, he finds himself wrestling with a miracle-worker who claims to be the late Jack Kerouac, King of the Beats. This kaleidoscopic coming-of-age novel arrives in 2016 like a note in a bottle from a distant world.

Fiction writer Matt Cohen hailed this work as “an unrepentant blast from the past.” It juggles timelines and narrators, asserts that Kerouac was bigger than Beat, and celebrates his French Canadian roots. This long-awaited, revised digital edition is the definitive version of a favourite novel.

Reviews:
“An unrepentant blast from the past, a politically incorrect celebration of men as libidinous explorers of the physical and spiritual unknown.”
Matt Cohen

“Larger than life and crackling with energy . . . an exuberant celebration of the King Beat himself.”
Charles Mandel

“What I like best about Visions of Kerouac is the gentle voice of conscience underneath the adventure narrative, the writer who is not afraid to find his own heart and follow it amid a wilderness of souls who have lost their way . . . . McGoogan finds the trail to a new and saner life, both for himself and for those of us lucky enough to hear his words.”
Gerald Nicosia, author of Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac

From Ken McGoogan’s Blog

Where to purchase Ken’s book:
Smashwords
Amazon
KOBO

Gail Anderson Dargatz – a new novel

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has visited Reading Recommendations a few times, here, here and here. She’s back now to tell us about a new novel.

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The long-awaited new novel by the two-time Giller-shortlisted author is full of the qualities Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s fans love: it’s an intimate family saga rooted in the Thompson-Shuswap region of British Columbia, and saturated with the history of the place. A bold new story that bridges Native and white cultures across a bend in a river where the salmon run.

On one side of the river is a ranch once owned by Eugene Robertson, who came in the gold rush around 1860, and stayed on as a homesteader. On the other side is a Shuswap community that has its own tangled history with the river–and the whites. At the heart of the novel are Hannah and Brandon Robertson, teenagers who have been raised by their grandfather after they lost their mother. As the novel opens, the river is dying, its flow reduced to a trickle, and Hannah is carrying salmon past the choke point to the spawning grounds while her childhood best friend, Alex, leads a Native protest against the development further threatening the river. When drowning nearly claims the lives of both Hannah’s grandfather and her little brother, their world is thrown into chaos. Hannah, Alex, and most especially Brandon come to doubt their own reality as they are pulled deep into Brandon’s numinous visions, which summon the myths of Shuswap culture and tragic family stories of the past.

The novel hovers beautifully in the fluid boundary between past and present, between the ordinary world and the world of the spirit, all disordered by the human and environmental crises that have knit the white and Native worlds together in love, and hate, and tragedy for 150 years. Can Hannah and her brother, and Alex, find a way forward that will neither destroy the river nor themselves?

Article about Gail in The Toronto Star.

Where to purchase copies:
Penguin Random House Canada

Ron Smith

I was a sales rep for Ron Smith’s publishing company back in the day, and was shocked to learn recently that Ron had suffered from a massive stroke a few years ago. The good news is that I discovered this news when reading an announcement for this book Ron wrote about the experience and his recovery. So I’m now very pleased to be able to bring attention to readers around the world about this very important book by Ron Smith.

rons-photo Ron Smith

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke Non-fiction: Memoir

Quick description: “What is a stroke?” This is the question that plagues Ron Smith as he emerges from the carpet bombing of his brain. The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke is a first-person account of a massive ischemic stroke to the brain stem. Smith takes the reader inside the experience and shows how recuperation happens ― the challenges of communication, the barriers to treatment, the frustrations of being misunderstood and written-off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the power of continuing therapy, and the passionate will to live.

Full of arresting anecdote, enlivened by a vivid and vigorous style, the book tells of successes and failures and draws on the newest research in stroke treatment.

This is a necessary book for stroke survivors still dealing with the effects of their trauma and for care-givers, vital to the process of recuperation, who feel hampered and harried by concern and confusion. The book is a caring companion, offering support to people navigating the fear and bewilderment that accompanies a stroke. For medical professionals, the book offers insights into the workings of the brain, the power of the brain to heal, critiques of conventional limits imposed on therapy, and suggestions for ways to improve care.

More than an evocative memoir, more than a breathtaking journey out of stroke and back to a literary life, The Defiant Mind is a beautifully written love story; it is a glimpse inside the tender and fulfilling relationship between the author and his wife. Smith makes clear that defiance (with unconditional support) is the first step to making hope a reality.

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Brief biography:
Ron Smith the author and editor of several books. For close to forty years he taught at universities in Canada, Italy, the States and the UK. In 2002 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia and in 2005 he was the inaugural Fulbright Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University. In 2011 he was awarded the Gray Campbell Award for distinguished service to the BC publishing industry where he has played an essential role in the growth of literary, historical and public policy publishing. He now lives with his wife, Patricia Jean Smith, also a writer, in Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island.

Links to buy Ron’s book:
At most bookstores, on Amazon, or directly through the publisher, Ronsdale Press

Ron’s promo links:
Website
The Defiant Mind Journal
Ronsdale Press
The World Stroke Organization
CBC News article: ‘They’re little steps, but they all add up’: Stroke survivor sends a message of hope in new book
CBC Radio North by Northwest interview
CBC Radio On the Island interview
Vancouver Sun review (appearing also online at Montreal Gazette, Edmonton Journal, and other Postmedia publications)
BC BookWorld review

What are you working on now?
A new children’s book and a novel

Ron’s reading recommendation:
Anything and everything by John Berger. I particularly like A Fortunate Man and here is where we meet.

Steve Boseley

steve-face-bw-big Steve Boseley

What is your latest release and what genre is it? A Sinister Six: A collection of six darkly disturbing stories Genre – Horror / Dark fiction

Quick description: A Sinister Six is a collection of darkly disturbing stories, where the ordinary and mundane become extraordinary and fantastic.

Journey to the edges of reality and glimpse what lies just beyond our reach. Discover that nothing is quite what it seems, and explore the horrors that travel with us throughout our lives.

The characters within have been forced beyond the boundary of their reality and have encountered what lies beyond.

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Brief biography:
Steve writes horror and disturbing fiction that has appeared in many online horror publications, as well as in several horror anthologies. He has also had work published by Alfie Dog Fiction. His first novella, Die, Blossom, Bloom, was published in 2016, quickly followed by his first collection of short stories, A Sinister Six. Steve wants to connect with readers by writing about the ordinary and mundane, but making it extraordinary and fantastic, giving readers a glimpse of what lies just beyond the edges of their realities.

Links to buy Steve’s book:
Books2Read
Amazon

Steve’s promo links:
Website
Blog
Amazon
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest

What are you working on now?
My next book! It will be another collection of short stories, similar in style to the ones within A Sinister Six. No title yet. Some of the stories were completed in last year’s NaNoWriMo. They just need editing!

Steve’s reading recommendation:
Keeping with the theme of short stories, I’m currently reading (and enjoying) C.S. Boyack’s 2nd Experimental Notebook. I am also loving the short fiction of Algernon Blackwood.

Rick Bergh – update on Transitional Loss series

Rick Bergh has been a visitor to Reading Recommendations twice previously – once to promote a children’s book he has published with his wife, Erica, and again to promote the first book in his Transitional Loss series. He’s back now to tell us about the next two titles he’s recently published.

sample1-finding-anchors-book-cover Finding Anchors: How to Bring Stability to Your Life Following a Cancer Diagnosis
It’s raw, it’s real and it’s brave! If there is one book to give your family or friends following a cancer diagnosis, this is it. Rick Bergh shares the principles he has studied, taught and lived out for more than 30 years in this practical, inspiring and hopeful guide that will help anyone stabilize their life following a cancer diagnosis. Finding Anchors will teach you how to: • Reduce your anxiety • Tackle daily challenges • Move forward in confidence • Continue to live your life in a meaningful and new way Far beyond a collection of good ideas, this book lays out 17 tried-and-true principles from hundreds of people, including Rick’s own personal journey with his wife and four children. They courageously found ways to face their mom’s cancer diagnosis while inspiring friends and family to join them on this significant journey.

taking_notice Taking Notice: How a Cancer Journey Helps Magnify What’s Important in Life
It’s honest, it’s humble and it’s surprising. Discover the meaningful life you have always wanted. It took a cancer journey with his wife, Pam, to stop author, Rick Bergh, from living out his fast-paced lifestyle and to discover what was most important in his life. Forced to re-evaluate his priorities over a five-year period, Rick began to “Take Notice” of what was happening inside himself. The results changed his life forever. Taking Notice will teach you how to: • Open your eyes up to unexpected possibilities • Discover the simplicity of the present moment • Move yourself forward in a new direction • Find life when it seems the most difficult Different than most self-help or personal development books, Taking Notice invites its readers to wrestle with 17 unique challenges during the most difficult times of their lives. Entering into our “muck” with complete vulnerability and wrestling with deeper truths brings maximum growth opportunities and unexpected results. Rick Bergh is a grief and loss counsellor and ordained Lutheran minister. His life’s passion is to write, speak and provide practical resources that really work when people are forced to transition through loss.

looking-ahead-bookwidgetnew Looking Ahead: How Your Dying Impacts Those Around You
This practical and hopeful book is a distillation of 30 years of work and study in the area of death, dying and bereavement. Author Rick Bergh shares his professional and personal experience as one who has lived through the loss of his first wife along with his four children, and his work with hundreds of people in their last chapter of life.
Looking Ahead will:
• Show you how to invite others into your important remaining days on earth
• Help you identify your new purpose and meaning in unexpected ways
• Give you tools to engage loved ones in meaningful conversation
• Provide a framework that enables family to be key contributors in your unfolding story
Far beyond a book that prepares you and your family for your death, Looking Ahead offers its readers 17 tried-and-true principles to live fully in the present. It will inspire you to author your own story and engage your family and friends in your journey looking forward.

Where to purchase the Transitional Loss Series:
Rick Bergh’s Website

Here’s a link to a video posted of Rick’s “End of Life” seminar.

The Cochrane Eagle recently ran an article about Rick and his books: Rick Bergh reflects on purposeful living in face of dying

Robert Eggleton

roberteggleton Robert Eggleton

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Rarity from the Hollow is an adult literary novel, science fiction.

Quick description: Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage — an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It’s up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. A Children’s Story. For Adults.

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Brief biography:
Robert Eggleton has served as a children’s advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next — never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency.

Today, he is a recently retired children’s psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. The second edition of Rarity from the Hollow was released on November 3, 2016. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Links to buy Robert’s book:
Lulu
Amazon
Dog Horn Publishing

Robert’s promo links:
Website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
LinkedIn

What are you working on now?
The next full-length Lacy Dawn Adventure is Ivy, also within the speculative fiction genre. How far will a child go to save a parent from addiction? Stopping an alien invasion was merely a rest area on the side road of this almost forgotten town.

Robert’s reading recommendation:
For anybody experiencing serious medical concerns, or as a gift to a loved one who is, I recommend The Warrior Patient by Temple Williams. It’s an amazing book about the importance of assertiveness in our health care delivery system.

Lee D. Thompson

thompson Lee D. Thompson

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Mouth Human Must Die -literary fiction

Quick description: The book itself is a limited edition with Frog Hollow Press, who specialize in chapbooks, broadsheets – fine printing, if you will. Lovely design, great paper. The story – all 7500 words of it – is narrated by Lester, a man with a mental illness. It chronicles a few days of his life and his interactions with Dr. Shabazz, a psychologist, and Lara, a Slow Loris at the nearby zoo.

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Brief biography:
I’m from Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada) and have been publishing fiction for 18 years. I’m far too involved with literary things, from having run the provincial writers’ federation to organizing a reader series and editing a literary journal called Galleon. I’m also a freelance editor. And a songwriter/guitarist.

Here’s a review published in The Miramichi Reader.

Links to buy Lee’s book:
Frog Hollow Press

Lee’s promo links:
Blog “Indistractable”
Twitter
Galleon Journal
Editing Services

What are you working on now?
Mouth Human… is part of a story collection, four of which I’ve written, with another four to go. They are long stories, each involving, in its own way, a psychologist named Dr. Shabazz.

Lee’s reading recommendation:
Just finished a story collection by André Narbonne, Twelve Miles to Midnight. Excellent.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz – update on a new literacy learner novel

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has visited Reading Recommendations previously to promote two other books she published in the Orca Rapid Reads series, here and here. She’s back now to tell us about a new addition to this important series.

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Race Against Time: a Claire Abbott Mystery
by Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Published by Orca Books
Genre: Crime, Mystery

Small-town reporter Claire Abbott wakes from a nightmare, convinced a bomb will go off in the local school. And then, strangely enough, there really is a bomb scare. After the school is cleared by police and their sniffer dog, Claire is certain the threat isn’t over. People are behaving strangely. Claire believes a bomber will attack the school. But when? And who is the bomber? Claire must track down the culprit and stop him before the bomb goes off.

Race Against Time is the third novel in a series of mysteries featuring journalist and sleuth Claire Abbott.

Gail Anderson-Dargatz has also contributed to Carin Makuz‘s The Litter I see Project.

Where to purchase copies:
Orca Books

About RAPID READS

In our increasingly fast-paced world we believe there is a need for well-written, well-told books that can be read in one sitting. Rapid Reads are short books for adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

Darlene Foster – an update

Darlene Foster first visited Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014. She’s back now to tell us of the most recent addition to her Amanda series.

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Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
by Darlene Foster
Genre: Middle Grade fiction and travel, geography, culture

Amanda is on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. She is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Nuremberg, Germany. Not long after, a mischievous young boy attempts to take the instrument from her.

Amanda and Leah see some amazing sights as they explore Melk Abbey, the musical city of Vienna and the historical city of Budapest. Along the way, they meet a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, a kind violinist and the same nasty boy. While exploring the scary catacombs of St. Stephens Cathedral or wandering the cobblestone streets of Regensburg, can she keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy? Follow Amanda down the Danube as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes, but wonders who she can trust.

Amanda on the Danube is the 5th book in Darlene Foster’s series for Middle Grades.

You may be interested in reading a blog post Darlene wrote about promoting her book, Schools, Libraries and Bookshops – A Few of My Favourite Places.

Darlene was also a guest on Krysten Lindsay Hager‘s blog writing this post, ​How Writing This Book Kept Me Sane.

For more information and where to purchase all five books in the series, please visit Darlene’s blog.