Hazel Hutchins

good hazel picture 2015 croppedHazel Hutchins

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Snap! is a picture book for ages 4 – 7, illustrted by Dušan Petričić and published by Annick Press

Quick description: Evan has a brand new set of crayons, perfect in every way, until…..the inevitable happens. But that’s when the delight of discovery truly begins to unfold.

snap from annick

Brief biography:
Hazel Hutchins has been writing picture books and novels for children for the last thirty years and continues to find inspiration in the interesting corners of everyday life. Her many awards include the Marilyn Baillie, R. Ross Annett and Shining Willow Young Readers Choice. Hazel is a popular presenter at schools, libraries and conferences.

Links to buy Hazel’s book:
Annick Press

Hazel’s promo links:
Hazel Hutchins’ Home Page

What are you working on now?
My latest, greatest, most-wonderful idea of course! A writer has to have that kind of enthusiasm for a story in order to put in the weeks, months, years of hard work needed to bring it to fruition. But I find I can’t talk about stories in progress or the energy fizzles out. For me, at least, stories need a great deal of time and a safe, quiet place in which to grow before they can become all they are meant to be.

Hazel’s reading recommendation:
Author Alex Brett has written two mysteries that combine murder, science and Canadian politics in a manner that immediately drew me into her stories and has left me wishing there were more. Both involve Ottawa investigator, Morgan O’Brien, who specializies in science fraud for the Canadian government but the books have different locals and different science themes … both of them totally intriguing and well researched.
Dead Water Creek (Dundurn, 2003) – salmon fisheries on the west coast of B. C.
Cold Dark Matter (Dundurn, 2005) – astronomy observatory atop the high peak of Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Lisa Bowes – update on a new book

Here’s Lisa Bowes, author of Lucy Tries Luge, published a year ago and featured on Reading Recommendations in Dec. 2013. Lisa is back to tell us about a new book in her Sports for Kids series of picture books.


Lucy Tries Short Track
written by Lisa Bowes, illustrated by James Hearne

After trying the sliding sport of Luge, Lucy is back for another speedy adventure—this time, she laces up her skates and tries short track speed skating!

It’s not as easy as it looks. When you skate really fast around tight turns, you just might crash!
But with her friends at her side, Lucy skims across the ice in a thrilling speed skating race.

LUCY MAINNeck and Neck




Claire crashes





Lucy Tries Short Track Olympia Full Cover

Lucy en patinage de vitesse French Full Cover

The book has already received some great promotion!
From Speed Skating Canada’s press release
And a short video clip from Global TV
A Radio Canada French Report – Lucy en Patinage de Vitesse
Video of Launch at Edinburgh School in Montreal West

Here’s where you may purchase Lucy Tries Short Track:
Independent Bookstores in Calgary – Owl’s Nest Books and Monkeyshines Children’s Books

Linda Granfield – new edition of “In Flanders Fields”!

Linda Granfield was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in March, 2014. She’s back now to tell us about the new edition of a book she originally published in 1995.


Linda Granfield is pleased to announce the release of a new, commemorative edition of In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae. This new edition comes at a particularly poignant time for Canadians as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War and as we look to the future, May 2015 will commemorate 100 years since In Flanders Fields was written.

During the First World War, Canadian physician Lt. Col. John McCrae wrote what was to become one of Canada’s best-known literary works after the death of his friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer. Author Linda Granfield incorporates interesting facts and details of daily life in the trenches with lines from McCrae’s cherished poem. Accompanied by the evocative artwork of Janet Wilson, this beautiful collaboration is a moving tribute to this emotional subject.

This new edition includes the original text, maps, and powerful paintings of the acclaimed, classic 1995 edition and also features a new introduction by noted historian Dr. Tim Cook of the Canadian War Museum, along with striking new cover art by Janet Wilson.

Linda Granfield is the author of thirty non-fiction books for young readers and adults; each title reflects her lifelong interest in history. She has received numerous awards for her books, which cover themes such as immi- gration, slavery, and war and remembrance and has written about the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and the war in Afghanistan. For more information please visit her website.

Janet Wilson is the award-winning author and illustrator of over fifty books for young people. Inspired by the philosophy of Gandhi, “To reach peace we must begin with the children,” her non-fiction books address vital global issues of social, indigenous, and environmental justice. Janet lives in Eden Mills, Ontario. For more information please visit her website.


Photo taken by Linda Granfield. The Tower of London commemorating the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. As Linda says, “One bloom per soldier. A sea of red. And still we fight one another.”

In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae is available in paperback and a limited edition hardcover.

Where you may purchase the book:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd.

Also available by Linda Granfield from Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd.


David Prosser

As well as being an author, David Prosser is also a blogger who promotes his fellow authors … and that is how I “met” him when he interviewed me on his barsetshirediaries blog site. I have since read his delightful My Barsetshire Diary, The Daily Events of the Gentry Recorded for Posterity and enjoyed it immensely. So it is with great pleasure that I now present to you David Prosser, Lord of the Manor of Bouldnor!

mike2newDavid Prosser

What is your latest release and what genre is it?
Tall Animal Tales for Toddlers and Up

Quick description: A book of silly animal related poems to hopefully provide a smile for reader and the child being read to.

Tall Tales

Brief biography:
Since retiring early on health grounds, I became the most social hermit in the world via the internet. Not easily able to communicate directly with people, a joke diary entry caused my wife and an internet editor friend to push me to write a book in the same vein. Life can begin at 60.


Links to buy David’s book:
Amazon Kindle
Amazon US – paperback
Amazon UK – paperback

Amazon’s Author page with links to all books

David’s promo links:
barsetshirediaries Website
Buthidars Website

What are you working on now?
Since my wife died only last year I’ve not been working on anything but the websites, a weekly Blog on one and trying to develop a movement for peace on the other.

David’s reading recommendation:
I’ve actually been re-reading some old Terry Brooks books. If you add in a Sue Grafton or a Harlan Coben you’re looking at a very happy man.

Shelley Arnusch

author-shelley-arnusch Shelley Arnusch

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Too Many Teddies, an illustrated children’s book, suitable for ages 2-7.

Quick description: Trixie is a little girl with too many teddies! There are so many that she can’t even sleep in her own bed anymore. Even though Trixie loves her stuffed toys, even she has to admit that things have gotten out of hand. With the help of her mom, she decides to give her teddy bears away to other kids (with the exception of her one special favourite bear). It’s not easy, but in the end her generous spirit is rewarded when she makes a bunch of new friends.


Brief biography:
I’m a magazine writer based in Calgary, Alberta, focusing mainly on lifestyle, adventure and the arts. Too Many Teddies is my first foray into the world of kid-lit.

Links to buy Shelley’s book:
Publisher’s Website
Chapters/Indigo – Hardcover
Amazon – eBook and Paperback
Indie Bookstores
Calgary – Owls Nest Books, Monkeyshines Childrens Books
Edmonton – Audreys Books
Whistler, BC – Armchair Books

Shelley’s promo links:
I’m on Twitter

What are you working on now?
I’m actually on maternity leave and working on raising my new baby girl! But the work I did leading up to my leave is currently out in Avenue Magazine, Calgary’s premier city magazine (avenuecalgary.com).

Shelley’s reading recommendation:
I just read North of Normal, a fascinating memoir by Canadian writer and former model, Cea Sunrise Person. It’s mostly about her upbringing in the Canadian wilderness by a counterculture family with pretty radical ideals. It would be a great read for anyone who enjoyed The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Sharon Clark

Image 2(1)Sharon Clark

What is your latest release and what genre is it? I have two new releases. Both are children’s picture books that teach science (math or nature) not by telling, but by showing in a story format. The first is titled: 9X Fun. The second is titled: The Honeybee That Learned to Dance.

Quick description: 9X Fun – This picture book will delight children of all ages but will be especially appealing for any child between the ages of 7 to 9. It features a clever little mouse that shows kids the ease of learning the 9X table. The colourful illustrations and playful cartooning will allow kids to see math from a new perspective. Math can be fun! Children will quickly learn the 9X table once they see which patterns unfold. “9X Fun” will help kids enjoy math as never before and encourage them to explore the beauty in this science.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 1.14.18 AM

The Honeybee That Learned to Dance – This picture book will delight children between the ages of 5 to 9. It is told in a unique story format from the perspective of Hummy, a honeybee. Children will learn some fascinating facts and behaviours of the honeybee as the story unfolds.

Hummy, is a honeybee that has finally grown big enough to take on the important duties of a forager. She doesn’t want to let the other bees down so she worries about many things. Will she be able to find pollen and nectar to bring back to the colony? What if she gets lost and can’t find her way back? And even if she manages to return to the hive with food, will she remember how to dance to tell the others where the food is located?

Hummy bravely overcomes her fears and surprises even herself by becoming a superb forager. Hummy will inspire every child to overcome fear of failure and encourage each of them to try new things. Just like Hummy, they will see how much they truly are capable of when they bravely test their abilities.

Honeybee cover

Brief biography:
Sharon Clark kept a journal after her only child Jeffery, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour at the age of 14 months. She chronicled not only the treatments that he endured, but also the agony, despair and isolation that a parent feels when going through such an ordeal. When he died two weeks before his second birthday, she felt compelled to write – not only as a means of therapy, but also so that other parents in similar situations might learn what to expect, what pitfalls to avoid and what she learned in the process. She also hoped to give friends and family members some insight as to what is and what is not helpful in such situations. Her writing culminated in her first non-fiction adult book Not Our Baby was published in 1984 by Detselig Enterprises, Calgary.

Subsequently, Sharon and her husband Archie, had three more children – all girls. Once the youngest entered grade one, Sharon decided that the time had come to pursue a passion that wouldn’t go away – to eventually work in cancer research. She obtained a degree in Cell, Microbial and Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary in 1998 and currently works in research there.

But during her undergraduate degree, Sharon studied many fascinating areas of science, including botany and zoology. She was blown away by the beauty and wonder of nature which eventually she experienced first-hand from her cabin in the mountains. She yearned to impart the sense of awe that she felt to her girls. But, to her dismay, many of the science books written for children were simply a collection of facts, and her children had no interest in them.

What a shame, she thought, that we can’t make science more fun for kids. So to this end, she has written three nature picture books for kids and one math book. She uses story formats for the nature books and a rhyming format for her math book. Two of these books, 9X Fun and The Honeybee That Learned to Dance, were published in April 2014.

Links to buy Sharon’s book:
9X Fun – Paperback
Amazon Canada, US, UK

The Honeybee That Learned to Dance – Paperback
Amazon Canada, US, UK

Sharon’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
Currently, Sharon is working on a research-based mystery novel, Timelag, where a researcher discovers a gene involved in aging and learns how to stop the aging process. A co-worker becomes an unwitting pawn in his research and it changes the course of her life and the direction of humanity. This book won second place in a Canadian writing contest (Coffee Shop Author Contest) in May, 2011. This year, it was entered in The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, which accepts 10,000 entries each year. Timelag succeeded in moving into the second round of 2,000 entries (400 entries in each of 5 categories), then on April 14th moved into the Quarter Finals. It succeeded in becoming one of the top 100 entries in the Mystery category. The book is still in development but is approximately 85% complete. (Free excerpt still available at Amazon.)

Sharon’s reading recommendation:
Jonathan Kellerman: Mystery

Janice Spina

author photoJanice Spina

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Lamby the Lonely Lamb – a children’s picture book

Quick description: Lamby is a different lamb because of his color. He is lonely and only wants to be accepted by the other lambs. Lamby learns a lesson when a little girl comes to the farm where Lamby lives.

Lamby Cover

Brief biography:
I am a wife, mother, grandmother, author of four children’s books, blogger, copy editor and believer in God and in helping others. I retired in 2010 from an administrative secretarial position in a school department and can now spend more time doing what I love – writing.

Links to buy Janice’s book:
This is my Amazon author page for all of my books.

Janice’s promo links:
PiA (Published Indie Authors)

What are you working on now?
My husband/illustrator is finishing up our fifth book about a polar bear. I am also editing my first novel for publication. There are four more children’s books to complete with illustrations and three more novels to edit.

Janice’s reading recommendation:
I love reading anything by Paul G. Day, Mike Wells and Richard C. Hale, and Peggy Edelheit. I can’t just pick one. There are so many wonderful authors out there. I support many fellow indie authors.

FBPhotoo fBooks

Marianne Jones

_CIP1125 Marianne Jones

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Great-Grandma’s Gifts is a children’s picture book

Quick description: It’s the story of a little girl named Arlene who began making clothes for her doll Maggie, grew up to become a mother who sewed for her children, and later became a grandma who created dolls and stuffed animals for her grandchildren from scraps. When her grandchildren grew up, she used her fabric scraps to make them beautiful quilts.


Brief biography:
I am a mother and grandmother, a retired teacher, and the writer of a children’s fantasy novel, The Land of Mogan and a collection of poetry, Here, on the Ground.

Links to buy Marianne’s book:
Amazon Wordwide – eBook, Hardcover, Paperback
Split Tree Publishing

Marianne’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
An as-told-to biography of Linda Stewardson, survivor of attempted murder, abuse, and over 50 suicide attempts, who has received the 2004 Courage to Come Back Award from the Center for Addiction and Canadian Mental Health Association.

Marianne’s reading recommendation:
The Beggar’s Garden by Michael Christie

N. Jane Quackenbush


N. Jane Quackenbush

My name is N. Jane Quackenbush.

My latest release is a children’s picture book, The Rocket Ship Bed Trip.

It is about a little boy, whose bed turns into a rocket ship and he goes on a journey throughout outer space, where he encounters many celestial bodies. Along for the ride is his stuffed bunny.


N.Jane Quackenbush is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University. Based on a fascination with outer space, one of her childhood dreams became the inspiration for this story. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her hard-working husband and two gorgeous boys, and still enjoys stargazing and the wonders of the universe.

Links to buy the book
Hidden Wolf Books
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Barnes & Noble

Connect with Jane

Right now I am working on a book called The Afternoon Moon. It is about a couple of friends playing outside when they notice that the moon is out even though it is not nighttime.

I am reading The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon and I also just started a new book called The Tenth Saint by D.J. Niko

Lisa Bowes – Lucy Tries Luge … an update

On Dec. 5, 2013, Reading Recommendations featured new author, Lisa Bowes and her recently released children’s picture book, Lucy Tries Luge.


Illustrator, James Hearne, and author, Lisa Bowes - Lucy Tries Luge

Illustrator, James Hearne, and author, Lisa Bowes – Lucy Tries Luge

Since that time, a great deal of news and promotion has been happening and Lisa is pleased to report on the further success of her book. Lucy Tries Luge is all about one of the lesser-known sports at the Olympics. The Olympics are currently being held in Sochi, so it seemed fitting to provide readers with an update of a few of the more newsworthy items, articles, videos and podcasts that Lisa has been involved in since the publication of her new book. Go, Lisa!

Here, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi reads Lucy Tries Luge as part of his Mayor Nenshi Reads series of podcasts promoting reading among the children of Calgary:

And here are some articles from media across Canada:

From Active for Life: ‘Lucy Tries Luge’ makes it easy for kids to connect to the Olympic sport by Stephanie Slate

From The Toronto Star: How to support a child’s interest in sliding sports by Lisa Evans

From The Guelph Mercury: Bowes’ kid-lit play already a winner

From The Surrey Leader: Having a laugh on the luge by Evan Seal

From The Weather Network: A video

Lucy is now on Facebook

And even a song has been written, performed and produced by Andrea Litzenberger! You can hear a sample of that here and purchase a copy!

And here’s a comment Lisa received from a Teacher/Librarian:
Hi Lisa, I received a copy of your book “Lucy Tries Luge” yesterday in my mailbox at school – I am a teacher Librarian in a K to 8 school in Guelph, ON. I took the book home last night and read it to my 4 yr old daughter for bed time and she LOVED the book (as did I)!!! What a great book for young children! Thank you! I was wondering, are you planning on writing more books about Lucy trying other winter, and summer sports?? I have been looking for books like this one to purchase for my library to introduce young students to different sports and to get them excited about the Olympics, this book will do just that!
Kei Fanjoy Teacher-Librarian – Mitchell Woods Public School

YES!! I know that Lisa plans to write and publish at least five more books in the Lucy Tries series!

Lucy Tries Luge has also made its way into a number school districts across Canada – Calgary, Toronto, Surrey, Vancouver – as well as being available to borrow from a number of library systems. The book is also now available to purchase in bookstores throughout Canada.

I do believe (as I have right from the beginning … ) that Lisa Bowes has a gold-medal winner in Lisa Tries Luge! Congratulations, Lisa!