David A. Poulsen – a new teen/adult novel … and an unusual launch

I’ve known David Poulsen for more years than either of us would care to admit! I was his sales rep when he published his humorous adult novel, Don’t Fence Me In, with Red Deer College Press during the Dennis Johnson days … We both miraculously survived that time – life in the book biz was always sketchy for both authors and sales reps whenever DJ was involved … and David has since gone on to successfully write and publish many more books, both for adults and teens, as well as continue his career as a Professional Rodeo Announcer. He has been a guest on Reading Recommendations several times and is back now to tell us about his new novel and a special event organized to launch it.

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And Then The Sky Exploded
by David A. Poulsen
Published by Dundurn Press
Genre: Teen/Adult novel

When Christian learns his great-grandfather helped build the A-bombs dropped on Japan, he wants to make amends … somehow.

While attending the funeral of his great-grandfather, ninth-grader Christian Larkin learns that the man he loved and respected was a member of the Manhattan Project, the team that designed and created the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War.

On a school trip to Japan, Chris meets eighty-one-year-old Yuko, who was eleven when the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, horribly injuring her. Christian is determined to do something to make up for what his great-grandfather did. But after all this time, what can one teenager really do? His friends tell him it’s a stupid idea, that there’s nothing he can do. And maybe they’re right.

But maybe, just maybe … they’re wrong.

Where to Purchase:
Dundurn Press

From David:
Anybody can have a book launch in Toronto or Calgary but it’s not every day that Ponteix, Saskatchewan hosts a national book launch. I’m so excited that that is exactly what is happening in this cool town of 700 people. We’ll be launching my newest teen/young adult novel tomorrow evening (the 24th) in the high school gymnasium with a beef on a bun dinner at 5:30 pm and the reading/signing to follow.at 6:30 The community had gotten behind School Principal Chad Striker who has taken the lead in putting this together and even folks from neighbouring communities are planning to come–which is the way they do things in Saskatchewan (you may have heard of the Saskatchewan Roughriders)…so if even a tiny bit of that kind of community spirit is in play tomorrow night, it will be a wonderful evening. So if any of my Saskatchewan friends are near enough to pop by or even if you’ve never met me but would like to experience a book launch, rural Saskatchewan-style, stop by the Ponteix School tomorrow. Should be a very cool evening.

And … here’s what happened!

14859824_10210324401324303_8309112972153405390_o The National Book Launch of And Then the Sky Exploded in Ponteix, Saskatchewan on Monday night was not just a hugely successful literary event–it was one of the best “writer-days” of my life. Yes, we sold a whack of books but more importantly, I was overwhelmed by the friendship, the kindness and the generosity of the people of Ponteix and neighbouring communities. The tireless effort of Principal Chad Striker, the School Council and so many others in putting on the supper and launch/book signing is something I won’t ever forget. Ponteix, you will always have a special place in my heart. Now my tour of schools in amazing Saskatchewan continues. 14633540_10210324402084322_657186659943310621_o

David A. Poulsen – update on the re-release of a novel

David A. Poulsen has been featured on Reading Recommendations several times now: first in Feb. 2014 with a new novel; second in Oct. 2014 with an update on a new novel; third in Oct. 2015 when he recommended a new book by Ted Barris in Authors Recommending Authors. Now David is back to tell us the great news that one of his earlier-written novels that had gone out of print is being re-released by Dundurn Press. But we’ve also just received the terrific news that David was named Douglas Lake Cowboy of the Year! Congratulations, David!

Numbers cover

Numbers
by David A. Poulsen
Published by: Dundurn Press
Genre: YA Fiction

Just when Andy starts to feel like he finally belongs, can he stand up to the person he trusted the most?

Fifteen-year-old Andy Crockett wouldn’t call himself the luckiest kid on Earth. His brother got all the looks and all the smarts. And at school, he doesn’t fit with any of the groups — the goths, the athletes, or the brains. Even those misfits, The Six, aren’t exactly welcoming him.

But with a new school year starting, Andy thinks his luck may be changing. Parkerville isn’t the coolest school, but at least Mr. Retzlaff, his tenth-grade social studies teacher, is cool. His class is actually good from day one. Covering World War II, Hitler, and the Holocaust, Mr. R. urges students to question everything they see and hear. It’s the one class Andy wants to ace, if only to make Mr. R. proud. But before long, he starts to realize that Mr. R.’s version of history doesn’t quite match everyone else’s, and that succeeding in this class may cost more than he’s willing to pay.

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and actor who spends eighty to one hundred days each year as a visiting author in schools across Canada. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Old Man, which was short-listed for the Forest of Reading White Pine award, and Numbers which won the Sakura Medal in Japan. He lives in the foothills west of Claresholm, Alberta.

Dundurn Press lists where Numbers is available to be purchased in both print and eBook.
David also reports: It’s available at Barnes and Noble throughout the US and, of course, good bookstores across Canada–Chapters, McNally-Robinson and your independent booksellers. It’s available in book and ebook formats and can be found online–Chapters, Amazon etc.

 

David Poulsen Recommends Ted Barris

9781459732087
Fire Canoe: Prairie Steamboat Days Revisited
by Ted Barris

Genre: Canadian History

Barris chronicles the history of the vessels that traversed the waters of the western Canadian plains by bringing to life the voices of those on board and on shore whose lives revolved around those prairie steamboats.

ted_barrisWhy I recommend this book: Painstakingly researched and compellingly written by one of Canada’s most important historians.

David Poulsen’s review of Fire Canoe:
Fire Canoe: Prairie Steamboat Days
Review by David A. Poulsen

Fire Canoe—Another Barris Literary Treasure

Ted Barris’s recently released Fire Canoe (Dundurn, Toronto) confirms once again the writer’s position as one of Canada’s pre-eminent purveyors of our nation’s history. In the tradition of Pierre Burton (and others), Barris once again combines exhaustive research, compelling story-telling with his clear love of this country’s stories to create a thoroughly readable look at the largely forgotten story of the steamboats of the Canadian prairie waterways.

Fire Canoe—the name came from the First Nations people, some of whom were terrified at the noise and sight of the wondrous vessels while others were employed to pilot them through often tricky waters. The ships themselves were the very definition of multi-taskers and their stories leap off the pages of Barris’s book. The vessels played important roles in war (The Riel Rebellion), in transporting the goods needed for a growing west , in dredging for gold at river’s bottom and in providing fun, not only for those who toiled on the ships but those on shore as well. But perhaps, most of all, the steamboats were home to a cast of characters–rascals, builders, villains and heroes and Barris, as he does so well, has them leaping off the pages and into our hearts.

One of those characters, Jimmy Soles (his father had rafted his family over six hundred miles from Medicine Hat to Prince Albert) eventually became part of the crew of the Hudson Bay Company’s stern-wheeler, the Saskatchewan.
“We danced at every place we stopped downriver—The Pas, Cumberland, Chemahawin, Cedar Lake—if we were going to be there overnight, we had
a dance. . . . The Indians called them fiddle dances,” mused Soles, who called
at all the dances “especially if I knew I didn’t have to get up ’til about noon
the next day. . . . Oh those square-dances. . . . The first trip I made with the Saskatchewan, we had a dance at Cumberland and there was an Indian fellow
playin’ the fiddle. He had a fiddle alright, and a willow bent with horse hair on it.
And he only could play the one tune, ‘Little Brown Jug.’ We danced to that all night.”

Ted Barris has become one of the most important and gifted chroniclers of Canada’s often fascinating and sadly, just-as-often forgotten past. Barris is doing all he can to remedy that unfortunate reality, and Fire Canoe is another feather in his well-decorated cap.

Links to purchase Ted’s book:
Dundurn Press

DavidPoulsen Guest reviewer’s latest title or project: Serpents Rising, Dundurn, October, 2014

David A. Poulsen has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Feb. 2014 and Oct. 2014.

Ann Ireland

I have been a fan of Ann Ireland’s writing since she won the Seal First Novel Award in 1985. I enrolled in several online writing courses with Ann through the Chang School of Continuing Education and highly recommend her as a knowledgeable and supportive teacher. I’ve read all her novels and enjoy her writing immensely, so I’m pleased to now feature Ann Ireland on Reading Recommendations!

unnamed Ann Ireland

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Blue Guitar – Literary Fiction

Quick description: Musicians from all over the world gather in Montreal for an International competition. It’s make or break time. A lapse of memory, a broken fingernail, a shaky right hand can ruin years of preparation.

Blue Guitar

Brief biography:
I am Academic Coordinator of Writing Workshops department for Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. I teach on line writing courses there. Past president of PEN Canada. Award winning author of four novels. I also write feature articles/interviews for Canadian Art Magazine and I’m a mentor through the Canadian Senior Artists Network.

Links to buy Ann’s book:
Dundurn Books

Ann’s promo links:
Website

What are you working on now?
Finishing a novel: WHERE’S BOB?

Ann’s reading recommendation:
The Visiting Privilege: short story collection, 2015, by Joy Williams

J.P. McLean Recommends Elinor Florence

Bird's Eye View COVER IMAGEBird’s Eye View
by Elinor Florence

Genre: Historical Fiction

Bird’s Eye View is fact-based fiction about a young woman from Saskatchewan who joins the Royal Canadian Air Force and becomes an interpreter of aerial photographs. Stationed with hundreds of other intelligence officers at a converted mansion in England called RAF Medmenham, Rose Jolliffe spies on the enemy from the sky, watching the war unfold through her sterescope. Lonely and homesick, she keeps in touch with the home front through letters from her family and friends back home.

Elinor Florence with glassesWhy I recommend this book:
What I enjoy most about reading historical fiction is the glimpse into a by-gone era. It’s the small things that hold my attention — the slap of liver to a plate, the scratch of woolens, the damp of grey slush — and Bird’s Eye View offers many such insights. That Elinor Florence tells the story through a Canadian lens adds an interesting layer, as does her young protagonist, Rose Joliff, a farmer’s daughter who learns some painful personal and professional lessons during the war. The writing is superb, the setting and characterization are fascinating and the story will squeeze your heart.

Links for people to buy it:
Dundurn Press
Amazon

JPMcLean Author Photo #2 for SToyGuest reviewer’s latest title or project:
Penance, Book IV of The Gift Legacy

J.P. McLean has previously been featured twice on Reading Recommendations, first in January, 2014, and recently in Reading Recommendations Revisited.