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!

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.

unspecified

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

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.

unspecified2

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

Linda Granfield – release of a new book

Linda Granfield has visited Reading Recommendations previously, here and here. She returns now to tell us about a new book on a little-known story from WWI.

www-scholastic-ca

The Vimy Oaks
by Linda Granfield, illustrated by Brian Deines
Published by Scholastic Canada
Genre: History, Ages 7-12

A soldier, a handful of acorns — and a hundred-year legacy of hope, remembrance and renewal.

“I am writing seated at the foot of a large oak,” wrote Leslie Miller in his diary in 1916, while war raged around him. Little could this Canadian soldier have imagined how future generations would come to enjoy the majestic oak trees he grew after his return to Canada.

Standing amidst the devastation of war, Leslie picked up a handful of acorns and mailed them home, where they were nurtured. This small but amazingly hopeful act continues to be felt just as powerfully today, one hundred years after the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The living legacy of Leslie Miller’s “Vimy Oaks” inspires hope as the world remembers and honours the soldiers who served in the First World War.

Également disponible en édition française

Where to purchase Linda’s book:
Scholastic Canada
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo

16463654_10154984030092486_9222471112483675628_o

Allan Hudson recommends Jason Lawson

jasonlawson-1 Book title and author: The Fix by Jason Lawson

What genre is it? Mystery/thriller

516ljmlm4xl

Quick description: Retired horse trainer Marshall Reid has seen more than his share of trouble. Years ago, after a battle with a mob boss who was fixing horse races, his daughter went missing. Now his granddaughter needs a kidney. Marshall is a perfect match, the problem is he’s only got one. Marshall decides to make the ultimate sacrifice, his life for hers. But before he can pull the trigger, his old mob adversary re-enters his life, with a secret to reveal. A secret that could save Marshall’s family, or destroy them all…

Why I recommend this book:
I enjoy Jason’s stories. There is always an interesting twist to them, they’re witty and I like his style of writing.

Links for people to buy it:
Amazon

10708715_333062263542378_3265859759989942335_o Guest reviewer’s latest title or project: My second novel in the Drake Alexander series is titled Wall of War and will soon be available for publication in the later spring/early summer of 2017. An international action/adventure story.

You may read more about Allan Hudson and his writing here. Allan is also a valued member of the Reading Recommendations Revisited as well as an All-Star Author!

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.

mcgoogan-kerouacs-ghost-cover-smashwords

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.

9780345810816

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