Sharon Butala

Sharon3 Sharon Butala

What is your latest release and what genre is it? A novel: Wild Rose, published by Coteau Books

Quick description: Sophie is a young Quebecoise who comes west in 1884 to homestead with her new young husband Pierre in hopes of escaping a life she finds stifling and in search of freedom. But by the time their son is three Pierre has deserted leaving her destitute, with no one to turn to and with a child to raise. Determined to hang onto her dignity and her integrity and to save her child from a blighted life caused by her failure, she takes every ounce of her courage and intelligence and all her physical strength, and slowly makes her way, honourably, on her own in a mostly hostile and unforgiving environment, one that leaves no margin for mistakes. On this hard road she learns, finally, what it takes to be an independent, whole woman.


Brief biography:
Sharon Butala is the author of seventeen books. Wild Rose is her seventh novel, she has published three short story collections and seven works of nonfiction, the best known of which is probably the bestselling memoir The Perfection of the Morning (HarperCollins Canada, 1994). For more than thirty years she lived on a cattle ranch in southwest Saskatchewan but a year after her husband Peter’s 2007 death she moved to Calgary to be near her grandchildren and there she remains. She has won many prizes and awards for her work, including the Marian Engel Award and most recently, the Kloppenburg Award for Literary Achievement. She has been invested in the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and is an Officer in the Order of Canada.

Links to buy Sharon’s first name book:
It is obtainable from: Coteau Books (follow the links) or from your nearest independent bookstore, in Calgary: Shelf Life Books, Pages in Kensington or Owl’s Nest Books.

Sharon’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a novel set in the present whose protagonist, Gen, is sixty-five, facing retirement and struggling to finally remember, admit to, understand, and integrate a confusing and troubled past while also dealing with the lives of her grown daughters, AND a work of non-fiction with Simon and Schuster called so far, Taking On the Day about women and aging, which is a memoir to follow the story told in The Perfection of the Morning.

Readers might also be interested to know that there is a manuscript of the rest of Sophie’s life from Wild Rose on that might some day be published too.

Sharon’s reading recommendation:
I am currently reading several of the batch of fall novels and I think so far I have most enjoyed Dianne Warren’s Liberty Street (HarperCollins Publishers, 2015.)

Kim McCullough

I’m so pleased to be promoting Kim McCullough on Reading Recommendations, not only because she’s a writing pal I’ve known since we first met at the Fernie Writers’ Conference in 2009, or because she entered my Coffee Shop Author contest, or because I read parts of this novel during writing workshops and then the complete manuscript just before it was published – and always considered Clearwater to be brilliant and Kim a fine writer – but mainly because Kim McCullough was just named the Best Woman Writer at the High Plains BookFest Awards 2014 held in Billings, MT, over the weekend! Congratulations, Kim!

IMG_2679 Kim McCullough

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release is Clearwater. It is literary fiction.

Quick description: Claire Sullivan quickly settles into her new home at Clearwater Lake in northern Manitoba, and befriends Jeff Carson, a quiet mixed-race loner who lives with his parents in the other half of the Sullivans’ duplex. Together, the teens roam the wild, isolated beauty of the nearby lakeshore and forest, forging a deep friendship based on loyalty and trust.


Brief biography: I am a teacher and writer from Calgary, AB. My essay on post-partum depression was the 2014 winner of the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award, and has recently been published in Grain. My novel Clearwater has won for the High Plains Best Book by a Woman Writer Award. I completed my MFA in Creative Writing at UBC in May.

“High Plains BookFest winners announced” – article in The Billings Gazette


Links to buy Kim’s book:
Coteau Books
Amazon – eBook and paperback
Chapters/Indigo – paperback
Kobo – eBook

Kim’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
I have numerous projects on the go, including a prequel to Clearwater, some poetry and a few essays. I am doing a lot of teaching and mentoring right now, re-energizing and re-filling the writer’s well after finishing my MFA.

Kim’s reading recommendation:
One Hour in Paris by Karyn Freedman (published by Freehand Books) was a brilliant book. I also really enjoyed Wallflowers by Eliza Robertson.

Dave Margoshes – an update on a new novel


     Wiseman’s Wager

                                      a new novel by                                

      Dave Margoshes

              from Coteau Books, Regina, SK, Canada

Zan Wiseman: in his own words, a “failed novelist. You might say I made a success of failure, a whole career of it. I did lots of other things – to make a living, to keep alive, you do anything, whatever comes along, whatever you have to, teacher sometimes, bee-keeper sometimes, believe it or not, mostly as a machinist, a pretty good one, too. But they don’t count. Novelist, that’s the noun. Failed, that’s the adjective. And not just novelist either – failed husband, failed son, failed brother, failed friend, failed Communist … you name it, I failed at it. Failed, that’s the operative word.”

One thing Zan is good at, though, is spinning yarns, and through the pages of Wiseman’s Wager, Dave Margoshes’s new novel, he spins plenty of them: tales about his childhood and life, about his family and lovers, his adventures and misadventures. But is he misremembering things? Deliberately misrepresenting them? Merely crafting a better story? Or all of the above?

Dave Margoshes’ books include three novels, five volumes of poetry and seven collections of short fiction. He’s had stories and poems published in dozens of magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States (included six times in Best Canadian Stories), and had work broadcast on CBC. He was a finalist for the Journey Prize in 2009 and has won several awards, including the Stephen Leacock Prize for Poetry in 1996, the John V. Hicks Award for fiction in 2001 and the City of Regina Writing Award twice, in 2004 and 2010. His Bix’s Trumpet and Other Stories was Book of the Year at the Saskatchewan Book Awards and a finalist for the ReLit Award in 2007. His 2012 story collection, A Book of Great Worth, was one of Amazon.Ca’s Top Hundred Books of the Year.

You may purchase Dave’s book from:
Wiseman’s Wager is available from the author (davemargoshes (at), Coteau Books, Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, Kobo, iTunes, Nook and Independent bookstores across Canada.

Dave Margoshes was previously featured on Reading Recommendations on Aug. 7, 2014.

Jacqueline Guest – update on a new publication

Jacqueline Guest was first featured on Reading Recommendations on Dec. 16, 2013, and is here to tell us about a new novel being published by Coteau Books this spring, The Comic Book War.


From my publicist: I just heard from the Library Services Centre that their Kids’ Best Seller Committee chose Comic Book War for the Bestseller catalogue this season.

And here’s a pre-release Kirkus Review:

Author: Jacqueline Guest

Review Issue Date: April 1, 2014
Online Publish Date: March 17, 2014
Publisher:Coteau Books
Pages: 256
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
ISBN ( Paperback ): 978-1-55050-582-5
Category: Fiction

A teenager with three brothers fighting overseas in World War II concocts an elaborate coping mechanism that works to keep his anxieties down and his spirits up—until it doesn’t.

A small meteorite takes on talismanic properties for Robert when he suddenly begins to spot mysterious parallels between the exploits of his three favorite comic-book heroes and incidents reported in the letters he receives from his big brothers, who are off in Europe with the Canadian armed forces. Determined efforts to raise enough money to buy each new issue of each comic put him head to head with hard-bitten classmate Charlene. Their bitter rivalry slowly transforms into friendship and then something closer as they come to understand what is in many of the messages they are delivering to the people in town. Then one such telegram comes to Robert’s parents, and his certainties of the links between fiction and fact are shattered. Guest gives her tale a distinctly Canadian flavor with references to locally produced comics (the better known ones from the U.S. were not imported during the war) and by casting Robert and his family as Métis, a persecuted minority. But her young characters’ emotional challenges are not confined to a particular country or war.

Built around a timely (ever timely, unfortunately) theme, this wartime tale featuring young characters with complementary strengths and vulnerabilities shines in a sharply rendered setting. (historical notes) (Historical fiction. 11-14)

Radio Book Club interview with Jacqueline Guest

For more information and to order, go to Coteau Books

Jacqueline Guest

2012/04/21-- AUTHOR -- Jacqueline Guest - SHERYL HART Jacqueline Guest

What is your latest release and what
genre is it?

Outcasts of River Falls – YA novel

Quick description: Kathryn must save her aunt from the gallows, but to do this, she must outsmart her enemies, betray her friends, and unmask the one friend her outcast people have.


Brief biography:
Jacqueline Guest is an international award winning author of 17 novels for readers of all ages. She believes Reading Rocks!

Links to buy Jacqueline’s book:
Jacqueline’s Website
Coteau Books

Jacqueline’s promo links:
Jacqueline’s Website

What are you working on now?
The Comic Book War – When Robert finds a fallen meteorite, strange things begin to happen. His comic book superheroes seem to be guarding his brothers who are fighting overseas in WW2.

(This book has since been published! Here is an update Jacqueline provided us with for Reading Recommendations.)

Jacqueline’s reading recommendation:
The Giver by Lois Lowry