Author A. Colin Wright (Canada)

A Colin WrightA. Colin Wright was born and raised in the county of Essex, England. After serving as a linguist in the British Royal Air Force, Wright attended Cambridge University where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. In 1964, he was appointed a professor of Russian at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He remained at Queen’s until his retirement in 1999 and still resides there today. Dr. Wright is married and has two grown sons.

In his fiction he is interested primarily in works dealing with the purpose and meaning of life. Thus he has a horror of post-modernism and simple, sentimental descriptions of everyday life, and has little interest in works dealing with specific problems. Religion in its broadest sense (but not that of specific churches or creeds) is obviously important to him. He tries above all to create a good story, with realistic characters who question established norms of behaviour, with particular reference to the sexual.

He acts and directs in the local theatre.

With a love of languages (he speaks English, French, German, Russian and Italian, with a smattering of Spanish and Scots Gaelic), he is adamant about correct grammar in his writing. This unfortunately also makes him highly critical of others!

He also loves travel and has led various groups for Craig Travel in Toronto to Russia, Ukraine, China, South Africa, Southern India, Alaska and the islands of the North Atlantic.

Theatrical Credits:
Directing: (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Ladies in Retirement (assistant director)
Shadowlands
The Importance of Being Ernest
The Night of the Iguana
The Freedom of the City
The Heiress

Acting:
The Troll King, Monsieur Ballon and two other roles, Peer Gynt
Malvolia, Twelfth Night
First Voice, Under Milk Wood
Rosenberg, Amadeus(Theatre 5 and Grand Theatre, Kingston)
Father Jack, Dancing at Lughnasa (Domino Theatre, Kingston)
Claude Amory, Black Coffee (Domino Theatre, Kingston)

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Improbable Celebrations by A. Colin Wright

Three one-act comedies

George’s Funeral: Everything goes wrong at a funeral, including the appearance of the corpse’s ghost.

Jennifer’s Wedding: Things go awry at a wedding rehearsal with the result that two different couples (one of the same sex) are eventually married.

Nora’s Anniversary: Nora and Laurence are about to go to an anniversary party with their son, his partner, and Laurence’s former secretary, when Nora’s previous husband, Alan, long believed dead, turns up.

Genre: Preforming Arts, Screenplay, Comedy

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A Berlin Of The Mind by A. Colin Wright

The novel is set largely during the last days and immediate post-war years of WWII, in the British and Soviet Zones (later German Democratic Republic) of Berlin. Hermine (whose name comes from a novel by Hermann Hesse, proscribed by the Nazis) marries an English academic, Duncan, who encourages her to write her own account. This relates to her complicated experience of (English) Michael, his brother Henry (Heinrich), her German father Wartmann and others. Falling in love with Henry, she heartily dislikes Michael, whose only desire is to seduce as many women as possible.

From the Preface: “If one looks at the events leading to World War Two and resulting from it, it is all too easy to condemn the Germans. How could a highly civilized people have turned to the doctrine of Fascism as dictated by a vicious racist and psychopath? All of this, though, leads to a more basic question: could I, had I been brought up in a different society, ever have behaved in a similar fashion?”

“Henry found himself dreaming: “Oh I’m clever, oh I’m great. I rule. Eurore shudders at my might. I the Fuhrer, the artist they rejected: fools like all rest. I the people, I the nation, I the leader. Cheering me, admiring, fearing me. . . A Berlin of the mind, split between East and West, two hemispheres, left and right, now with an irrevocable dividing wall and the greatest tension at the crossover from one side to another. A peaceful man, a dull man even … A house in the country, and if I had children there’d be… what is it? . . . 1.7 of them. And there were no signposts. That was the thing about wartime Britain too: so as not to assist the enemy should he invade across the divide all the signs were removed.”

From Chapter One, Hermine:” I was raised in a concentration camp, without which my whole story would have been different. North of Berlin, Ravensbrück was specifically for women and, of course, their children. You can visit the museum there today and see the memorial, which was set up by the Soviets when Berlin was part of East Germany, and part of my story too.”

Book Review: As the author says in the book description and I quote, “The novel is set largely during the last days and immediate post-war years of WWII, in the British and Soviet Zones (later German Democratic Republic) of Berlin.”

I found this part of the Author’s Preface most interesting: “A friend of mine once suggested that the period in question was comparable to the Trojan War in the minds of those who lived through it. But I simply do not believe that Germans are fundamentally worse than other people. There are, to my mind, arseholes in all countries: it all depends on historical conditions leading to particular societies. The British can be as bad as Germans, sometimes more so, with their neo-Nazis, soccer riots, etc. The U.S.A has its deep-seated racist attitudes and violent gun culture. Canadians by and large are fortunate, except for their country’s residential schools and relations with its indigenous peoples. And Israel, which suffered more than any country in the holocaust, is unforgivingly anti-Arab. All of this leads to all kinds of abuses, which I have no intention of listing here, for a little thought will reveal them. As for Russia, or the most extreme manifestations of Islam and other religions with their sects—one thinks too of Christianity with Catholicism and others—well, again their problems are evident.”

Prologue, 1945, sets the stage where in the next seven chapter tell the stories of Hermine (survived Ravensbrück), Dr. Michael Warner (the antagonist) and Henry Warner or (again) Heinrich Werner.

The Interlude states: “I learnt later that there were other players in that ultimate drama: Henry’s first wife, Estelle, amongst them.” Chapters Eight to Ten bring us back into Michael’s, Henry’s and Hermine’s life. The book concludes with Epilogue One: Michael and Epilogue Two: Hermine.

This is intense and satisfying reading for history buffs.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse A Berlin Of The Mind by A. Colin Wright as an intellectual read. As intense as this period of time so is the knowledge and passion with which the author writes. I have had the pleasure of reading the authors other book titled Veronica’s Papers. It is important to know his bio and I quote. This review was completed on May 28, 2017.

Genre: Fiction / Literary

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Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright

Gerald Clayton suffering from Amnesia, receives a package of papers from Veronica, a former clinical hypnotist. She tells him they accomplish his fantasy of gathering together, on the ship Marguerite, his past loves with the two of them present, but in disguise. In hopes of discovering his own past Gerald invites the passengers to share in a mystery by guessing what, or who, they all have in common.

Book Review: Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright has an amazing premise that makes the reader think about the likelihood and outcome of such an experiment in his or her own life.

Well-developed characters like Gerald Clayton, who finds himself in a nursing-home after losing his memory; his wife Elizabeth; and Veronica Castell (who has assembled papers documenting Gerald’s life along with other people from Gerald’s past) help the reader understand Gerald’s and Veronica’s thought processes.

The unlikely setting is a cruise ship named Marguerite. This ship is of British registry, sailing out of Southampton to a variety of destinations like the Azores and the Canary Islands. Passengers receive an invitation (Compliments of ‘Creative Travel’) awarding them a fully paid seven-day cruise for two that includes a special program geared to meet their individual needs and interests.

The intensity of the author’s style of writing is evident when he writes: “Humans are like individual atoms jostling in time and space in a constantly changing relationship, and every so often what we call chance brings together those who’ve met before so that we wonder whether there isn’t some further purpose. But what of the coincidences that fail to become evident? The odds against Janet’s being on the other side of that train were almost as great, but we’d never have known we were even close. How often have we been in such situations without knowing it? Only our ignorance prevents us from calling those coincidences and from seeing the basic oneness of life.”

Colin Wright causes the reader to think and question mortality with its limitations in relationship to moral and spiritual concerns. This passage is an example: “The tragedy is that Christianity could be so much more. Christ’s words, it seems to me, rarely limit people to a narrow morality. Rather it’s Saint Paul and those who followed, more concerned with establishing orthodoxy under the leadership of a politically powerful church-who brought a small-minded understanding to a vision that encompasses all people’s strivings. Christians simply couldn’t tolerate rivals: a pettiness repeated often enough since. Yet there’s no contradiction between the worship of pagan gods, say, and that of Christ, for the reality they represent is the same. Why couldn’t Christianity have had vision enough to see this?”

I, Theodocia McLean (Cold Coffee Press) endorses Veronica’s Papers by A. Colin Wright as a thoughtprovoking work of literature that raises the question of whether or not “creation, fantasy and truth are the same”. I purchased this book in a Kindle and this review was completed on October 31, 2015.

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A Cupboardful Of Shoes: And Other Stories by A. Colin Wright

“After a life dedicated to the study of languages, A. Colin Wright has distilled his life’s observations into this engaging collection of short stories, most of which have been previously published in literary journals. Now retired, his life’s adventures, which include serving in the British Air Force, attending Cambridge University, and being a professor of Russian, have inspired this collection.

“I’m a librarian and I kissed a film star once. I touched her nipples too. At least, I think I did.” So begins “Queen’s Grill.” Horatio Humphries, one of the unreliable narrators, strikes up a brief friendship with a movie star on a rough Atlantic crossing, but his “twin” brother doesn’t believe him. In “A Pregnant Woman with Parcels at Brock and Bagot,” an unnamed woman may or may not have an affair with a man she met at a party—depending on whether she can get by a woman in front of her. “Distantly from Gardens,” a variant on the theme of the “double” found often in Russian literature, presents a man with a split personality, inhabited by two narrators who are his past as well as his present. While other stories are told in either the first or third person, the subject here demands the use of the second.

The stories in A Cupboardful of Shoes explore subjects as wide-ranging as disappointed love, violence, and war, sometimes with an underlying religious theme, serving to illustrate Wright’s eclectic style and literary interests.”

The following stories make up the collection A. Colin Wright: A Cupboardful of Shoes, published in 2008. Those marked * may be viewed in their entirety at www.authorsden.com/acolinwright.”

A Pregnant Woman with Parcels at Brock and Bagot
A Cupboardful of Shoes
Night Train to Cologne
Only Fair
The Trouble with Saints
The Jump
Frank’s Girl
Queen’s Grill
Make Someone Happy
Wedding
Bethlehem
Sketches of Natasha
Distantly from Gardens
Ghost Stations
The Bells of Khatyn
Seven Minutes’ Silence
Unknown
The President Reminisces
The Comedy of Doctor Foster

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Mikhail Bulgakov: Life and Interpretations by A. Colin Wright

Non-fiction, Education, Reference

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Sardinian Silver- by A. Colin WrightSardinian Silver – by A. Colin Wright

To Arthur Fraser, a young Englishman, Sardinia in 1960 is perfect. It’s an island filled with Roman ruins, exotic scenery, local customs, and morally traditional values-he loves everything. To assimilate into the strange and belong to a society different from his own has always been his desire.

To Arthur Fraser, a young Englishman, Sardinia in 1960 is perfect. It’s an island filled with Roman ruins, exotic scenery, local customs, and morally traditional values-he loves everything. To assimilate into the strange and belong to a society different from his own has always been his desire.

Arthur arrives in the resort town of Alghero to work as a representative for a tourist company. His ambition is to find a Sard girl for himself. He is quickly thwarted, though, by the unorthodox beliefs of the inhabitants. Unmarried couples cannot meet without chaperones, and anyone with “”continental”” attitudes is immoral. Arthur quickly learns that dating is fraught with real dangers.

When Arthur finally falls in love with Anna, a Sard girl, he discovers that she lives in Rome and is no longer accepted at home. But she then falls in love with one of his best friends, and Arthur becomes irrationally obsessed. He incessantly schemes about winning back her affections, despite her efforts to dissuade him.

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What I Believe (But You Don't Have To) - by A. Colin WrightWhat I Believe: (But You Don’t Have To) by A. Colin Wright

A brief discussion of religious ideas from a non-traditional viewpoint that should be of interest
for all those questioning what life is all about.

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Professional Websites:
http://www.veronicaspapers.com/a-colin-wright
http://www.canadianauthors.org/national
http://www.sardiniansilver.com
http://www.cupboardfulofshoes.com

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Author Kim McDougall (Montreal, Québec-Canada)

Kim-Chatel-Kim-McDougall.jpg2Kim McDougall is an author, fiber artist and photographer with a BA in English Literature from Concordia University.

As co-founder of Castelane Inc, Kim has produced 400+ book trailer videos.

Kim writes for children under her married name, Kim Chatel. She has 6 children’s books in print, including the EPPIE Award-Winning, Rainbow Sheep.

Writing as Kim McDougall, her fiction crosses boundaries, from fantasy and romance into the literary. She draws from mythology, history and current events to build unique worlds and people them with characters she would love to know better. Sometimes, the bad guy steals the show.

Visit http://www.kimmcdougall.com to meet Kim’s unique characters. Beware. Some of them bite.

Featured Book: Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall

Hibernaculum-by-Kim-McDougallSafari business is booming. Inside the Dome, people feast, create, laze. Most are content in the self-contained ecosystem.

The builders of the Dome are long dead. Their great-great-grandchildren keep telling of the Wild alive, but stories have rotted to mystery, then to legend.

A few discontents walk the perimeter of the Dome gazing into the horizon. They know the wheat fields, forests and mountains are fake. They all know.

The false vista is a comfort except to those who burn to know what truly lies beyond. Those find tiny holes, gaps in waste control and ventilation. Their defection endangers everyone and the Grand Duke vows to plug the holes with the bodies of deserters.

Still the Wild calls.

Includes 2 bonus tales: Luminari and Barbegazi.

Book Review: Post-apocalyptic thrillers like ‘Hibernaculum’ are science fiction or horror that has evolved from a global catastrophe.

Author Kim McDougall uses her descriptive writing skills along with a vivid imagination to draw her readers into a new world order within a self-contained ecosystem under a Dome. The problem is, humans have never been content to stay in one place or be told they can’t explore outside their own known existence. In one respect life under the Dome is no different from villages, town and cities throughout history where stories are passed down from generation to generation. However, the stories from under the Dome have morphed into legends that bring out thrill seekers.

As with any boundaries; cracks, leaks, holes, tunnels and even lines can be stretched when there is great financial reward. Cross is an exceptional coyote within the Safari business because he promises the ultimate “Wild” adventure to enthusiasts like Alex and Mindy.

I am so careful not to spoil the story, when I include a quote to show the authors style. Here is the quote that I selected.

“Soon the trees thinned. They stood in a vast desert of crumbled stone. Humidity blew in from the South, bringing scents of growing things.

“What’s that stench?” asked Mindy. “Smells like rot.”

Alex unbuttoned his shirt collar and wiped his face with a clean hankie.

“That must be the Santa Ana.” He thumbed through several screens on a Touch, looking for the entry. “Here it is. Santa Ana: a hot wind that emerges from the sun- baked Great Basin between the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains and pours into California.” He stumbled over an old tire, buried in the dirt. “Are we near California?”

“We’re in the Wild,” said Cross. “It’s all the same.”

“I bet it’s the Santa Ana. Look there are the mountains.” He pointed to a mound in the distance with the sun setting behind. A herd of sure-footed grazers clambered over the craggy mound, their awkward bodies silhouetted against the fading sky.

“Look!” Mindy gasped. “Beasts! Are they dangerous?”

“Only if you’re made of grass,” said Cross.

They stopped to watch the sun set. Arms linked, Mindy put her head on Alex’s shoulder.”

This seems tame enough, right? Allow Cross to take you along with Alex and Mindy into the Wild. Somethings you encounter along the way might seem predictable given your intelligence, but I assure you that somethings are unforeseen and unimaginable.

As a bonus the author includes two more short stories titled Luminari: For the Vampire that has everything and Barbegazi: When the White Death calls, who will answer?

Theodocia McLean endorses Hibernaculum by Kim McDougall as a sci-fi thriller. Kim is a diverse author with seven available published books found on Amazon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on March 17, 2016.

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Author Liam Samolis (Canada)

Liam-SamolisWho am I? That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, not a cry for help, by the way…

I’ll unbend a little and tell you that I’m a middle-aged man living in Canada, and as I intimated, I’m actively engaged in getting a writing career off the ground. Yes, it’s taken me this long to finally start doing something that I feel very comfortable doing, and I’m also keen about preserving some of my privacy, too.

In essence, I’m an ordinary man with an ambition to write. I very much hope that you will join me as I embark on what I hope will be a glorious adventure.

Featured Book: Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis

Signs-of-a-Life-by-Liam-SamolisMuch like his beloved – and somewhat decrepit – cars, Liam Samolis (NOT his real name; that was changed in order to protect his wife and children from ridicule on the off chance some of their friends will read his work) is hurtling towards 50 with the brakes failing.

The painful loss of his father leads Liam to look back at his life as he contemplates the legacy he is leaving his own children; resulting in a hilarious, often self-deprecating, and ALWAYS brutally, side-splittingly, honest glimpse at the path that has led him to become the man that he is.

With stories about growing up as a painfully shy child in England, going to an all-boys’ school, and what can only be described as the most uproariously hysterical bar scene EVER written, Liam also recounts his days as a police officer, the births of his children, and saying goodbye to his father.

What began as a legacy to his children will send readers into peals of raucous laughter, likely leading them to tears and other unexpected bodily functions.

If you read one book this year, Signs of (a) Life should be it – nowhere else will you be so moved by a man simply living.

Book Review: OK, women, here it is!

Finally, a gut honest personal journal written by a man that hits the pages of Signs of (a) Life with both serious and laugh-out-loud stories.

To begin with, Liam speaks of issues that we can all relate to as we stand in front of a mirror and are surprised to see the older, graying image of someone we barely recognize staring back.

Liam states this right off the bat, “Warning: this book contains within it accounts of real conversations which may therefore occasionally include naughty words and rude phrases. I’ve even made up some words of my own. That’s the real world for you.”

Within the 502 pages and 61 topics this author presents his half century of life experiences in a relaxed, well thought out format that lets the readers empathize with him. His stories involve experiences not just a man, but as a boy. Very few men will bare their souls to share experiences of awkwardness while moving from childhood into manhood. Liam shares some of his experiences while attending a single-sex school for boys. He shares his discovery of girls, cars and various medical issues.

Some of the most interesting stories involve his experiences as a police officer in England. The most touching are his stories about the birth of his children. Liam dedicates this book to his children.

I invite you to come laugh and cry with Liam Samolis as we wait to see what happens in his next fifty years of living.

I leave you with this quote from Liam. “Like the vast majority of men; I feel. I enjoy (which, by the way, seems to be an ‘allowed’ emotion), I grieve, I feel sad, I feel hurt. I screw up. At times I am emotionally vulnerable. And there is nothing – to my mind – remotely un-masculine about any of that; feeling is part of living – an integral part. In fact for me, feeling is THE essential part of living. Feeling can never be wrong in principle (because it simply happens without conscious intention) – and neither can displaying or being honest about our emotions. Being overtaken by emotions in a situation where action is necessary could, of course, be problematic, but feeling and showing our feelings is essential in the long term for our personal health. I wonder how much happier many men could be if their emotions were not effectively under lock and key? Hey – that almost rhymes.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Signs of (a) Life by Liam Samolis as the honest account of a man living his life with all the human emotions that men typically try to avoid speaking about. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 18, 2015.

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor

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Author Gloria Antypowich (British Columbia-Canada)

Gloria AntypowichGloria Antypowich writes Contemporary Adult Fiction. In 2015 she published the Belanger Creek Ranch Series, a group of four books that can be read as standalone, but will enrich the readers experience if they are read in sequence. The series focuses on a group of people who have become as close as family because of the friendships they have created through their business relationships with the Belanger Creek Ranch.

Gloria grew up on a farm and most of her married life has been lived on a ranch. Human relationships fascinate her. Ideas for stories can be found everywhere; over-heard conversations in a public place, a couple fighting in a restaurant, a story in the news, even a chance remark in a conversation with a friend. She is enamored with the power of words and she loves to use them to paint images of characters that become so real, they feel like they could be your next door neighbor.

She does not believe that relationships are merrily “happy ever after.” Relationships require commitment, give and take, compromise and consideration for each other: in other words they take work! Each individual has their own ideas, beliefs and needs. Environment, upbringing and life experiences affect their personality and character. Nothing is simple or automatically agreeable.

Gloria is an avid reader of several different genres and listens to a wide selection of music. A good game of cards, sharing a laugh with a friend over a glass of wine and spending time with her family are a few of her favorite things to do. She loves to write and says her husband was her inspiration for the heroes in this series of books. He was a cowboy, a rancher–and a lover. Gloria lives with her husband, in the central interior of British Columbia, Canada. They are retired now, but they still have “chemistry”.

 The Second Time Around (Belanger Creek Ranch Book 1) - by Gloria AntypowichFeatured Book: The Second Time Around by Gloria Antypowich

Book One: Belanger Creek Ranch Series

Sparks fly when Frank Lamonte and Colt Thompson meet. There is an explosion of anger, based on misinformation and suspicion: but there is also an undeniable attraction. Thirty-six fateful hours set the stage for a lifetime of consequences.

Veterinarian, Frank Lamonte, comes to Belanger Creek Ranch to work as a ranch hand after her boss recognizes her growing symptoms of depression and insists she take a leave of absence. She is reeling from a series of emotional blows, the final one being a broken engagement. He tells her to leave town for a while and give her ravaged emotions a chance to heal, without constantly facing reminders of the past. She’s determined to get better quickly, and nothing will stand in her way.…that is, until she meets the owner of Belanger Creek Ranch. Her attraction to him could end her plans, even though she thinks otherwise.

After divorcing the cheating wife who destroyed his dreams, Colt Thompson has become a bitter and cynical man. Being vulnerable once broke his heart; allowing it to happen twice will never happen. He will make certain that he never falls in love again. When he finds Frank Lamonte at the ranch, he makes up his mind that she is a liar and a cheat. He will not let himself be attracted to her, even though the tension sizzles.

Will Frank and Colt open their hearts to true love? Or, will Colt do everything he can to protect his heart?

Will he wed Shauna Lee Holt, his “friends with benefits” woman; a woman he doesn’t love?

Will Frank take a risk and make him think again?

Will she settle back into the state of depression that resulted in her coming to Belanger Creek Ranch?

When Dr. Jason Winters DVM arbitrarily put her on leave of absence, he told her to deal with her emotional trauma. He promised that her job as a veterinarian at his clinic would be waiting, when she was mentally healthy.

Will she jeopardize all her opportunities?

Heartache lies ahead for these two intractable characters, and neither one of them will make wise choices along the way.

Book Review: It is refreshing to read a romance that not only satisfies the readers desire to read this genre, but also teaches an important life lesson.

‘The Second Time Around’ is the first book in the Belanger Creek Ranch series. Well-developed characters like veterinarian Frank Lamonte (Female), Dr. Jason Winters (DVM) and Colt Thompson(Owner of the Belanger Creek Ranch in Saskatchewan, Canada) to name a few, bring real life issues into normal life settings where the reader can relax and relate in one or more ways.

When courage comes before comfort to assist a friend, co-worker and employee to seek the help needed for a depressional episode, the main character can not only find help, relief, time and the environment to promote healing, she can overcome the root cause of her depression and help a man that comes into her life to live and love again.

Realistic, warm, touching and romantic with writing that draws the reader into the story. Author Gloria Antypwich brings her own experiences, environment and fascination with human nature to the table in her creative process.

In my reviews I always quote at least one passage to show the writer’s style and intent I am very careful not to spoil the story for you the reader. I quote from page 62.

“The Thunder Breeding Hills, she mused as she fanned herself with her hat, appreciating the movement of air as it wafted across her face. Native people had called the Cypress Hills that, because they thought they were the home and breeding ground of the storms. She lifted her face to the sky. The night was going to be spectacular. It was a good thing she wasn’t afraid of thunder and lightning, or being by herself.

When she stepped out of the tub an hour later, a loud clap of thunder shattered the night. Within seconds, rain sluiced down in a torrent. Frank dried off, wrapped a fresh towel sarong-fashion around her body, and then stepped back into the bedroom. Shaking her hair loose around her shoulders, she went to stand at the window. She smiled as she watched the welcome drops bounce on the cement walk below. Their pounding rhythm on the roof was almost exciting, and she was stirred by the sound of it as she ran her fingers through her heavy, damp hair. She turned to pick up the electric hair dryer and a styling brush and worked her hair until it floated around her shoulders like a soft, fragrant cloak. Fiery lights glinted off it like sparks borrowed from the lightning that pierced the evening sky.”

Theodocia McLean endorses The Second Time Around (Belanger Creek Ranch Book 1) by Gloria Antypowich as a Contemporary Adult Romance inspired by her husband (they are both retired) who is the love of her life. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on July 22, 2015.

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Author D. M McGowan (Northern British Columbia-Canada)

McGowan1Photo-Ning PhotoAuthor D. M. McGowan writes historical fiction about the settling and opening of Canada’s West. “The Great Liquor War” – 1998 – Daison Publishing / “Partners” – 2008 – Strategic Book Publishing / “Homesteader: Finding Sharon” – 2009 – Strategic Book Publishing.

Dave was born in Collingwood, Ont. and have lived in Owen Sound, Caledon, Heathcote, (in BC) Ft. St. John, Vancouver, (back to Ont.) Jarvis, Oshawa, Windsor, (Alb.) Calgary, Ft. Saskatchewan, (BC) Kelowna and Dawson Creek. He has been a cowboy, forest firefighter, heavy equipment operator, farmhand, gardener, road musician and businessman. He lives with his wife, Karen, and children and grandchildren in Northern British Columbia, where he works as a commercial driver.

Featured Book: The Making Of Jake McTavish

The-Making-of-Jake-McTavish-by-D.-M.-McGowanIn the west of the 1890s, Jake’s wife is raped and murdered, an image from which he attempts to escape and hide. When two thieves try to take what little he has left, Jake realizes he must face the past and solve his wife’s murder to truly escape the images in his head. But to find the killer, he discovers even more surprises .

Jake McTavish left his home in central Canada when he was in his early teens. After working ships on the Great Lakes, fishing Lake Winnipeg, feeding cattle south of Fort Garry, and shooting wolves on the prairies, he starts his own cattle operation in the foothills of the western mountains. Then he meets his life-long partner, Anna.

Jake and Anna were married three years when it all came crashing down. He came home to find his beautiful wife raped and murdered. In an attempt to escape the vision of his butchered wife and all that he lost, Jake runs deep into the mountains, where he spends three years trapping and panning gold.

When two outlaws attempt to rob him and leave him for dead, Jake finally comes out of the stupor he has lived in and begins to fight back. First he deals with the two thugs. Next he returns to his homestead to find his wife’s killer. Solving a murder after several years is no easy task, especially when it includes surprises he didn’t want to find.

After a variety of work experiences, D. M. McGowan has now returned to work as a commercial driver and lives near Mile “0” of the world-famous Alaska Highway. His books bring Canadian history to life. This is his fourth published book. Publisher’s website: http://sbprabooks.com/davidmmcgowan

Book Review: The Making of Jake McTavish by D. M. McGowan is an 1800’s western pioneering era saga that combines exceptional story telling with an historical tale told by Peace Country pioneer John Brown.

Well-developed characters and true to life settings with descriptive writing put the reader into the story. The main character Jake McTavish stands alone in his empty cabin with his thoughts that he voiced to his blue tick hound, “Maybe I’ll just have t’shoot somebody. That way the government will have t’ feed us ‘til they punch my ticket and bury me.”

Life had been especially hard since the murder of his wife. For the fourth year he must continue his Peace River trek in British Columbia (1898) to take the furs that he had collected by canoe down to Ft. St John. This is an important ritual as Jake trades bails of skins for cash to pay for supplies and to repair equipment heading into the new season. Times were hard enough without the ambush that knocked him out cold and took most of everything that he had in his camp.

Just 11 years ago “in the spring of 1887 Jake became a wealthy saddle tramp. He only had fourteen Canadian dollars, two U.S. dollars and eighty six cents, but he was rich in other goods. He had four horses, a fine, double rigged saddle, a short barrelled Colt pistol, a Colt Navy .36 and a Winchester rifle. He also had a serviceable pack saddle, bed roll, enough food to last a month and the pack covered with two tarps.”

By 1889 Jake had spent two years with the Cambridge Cattle Company and had accumulated some money. With a deep yearning for something more and the passing of the Canadian Homestead Act, Jake chose three hundred and twenty isolated acres in the foothills north of the Rocky Mountains. In the fall of 1891 with 15 yearlings to sell he met Anna Porenski. When she married him he no longer felt driven, because he had it all. Anna was raised on a farm, so ranch life came easy to her and she enjoyed gardening. The only thing missing are children for fate has refused to grant Jake and wife Anna a baby. To end such dreams Anna is murdered and the responding Mounted Policeman comes close to accusing Jake.”

Travel with Jake McTavish on a journey to find Anna’s killer or killers.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Making of Jake McTavish by D. M. McGowan for the author’s incredible story telling of Jake McTavish. I invite you to also read: The Great Liquor War, Homesteader: Finding Sharon and Partners. D. M. McGowan tells us that Cattle Business is coming soon. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on December 20, 2015.

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Genre: Historical Fiction, Western with a focus on Canada.

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Author Dave McGowan’s Books
Homesteader: Finding Sharon
Partners
The Great Liquor War

The Making Of Jake McTavish

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A Few Photos From Books

1861 Colt Navy made in 1863
Colt SAA Sheriff’s Model
Remington1875nickle
Horsehunters
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat
Three Longhorns
Phil Co

GROUP 2

Author Clayton Bye ( Kenora-Canada)

Clayton-Clifford-ByeClayton Bye is a writer, copywriter, editor and publisher.

He has authored 10 books, as many ghostwrites, hundreds of reviews and is the publisher of three award winning anthologies of short stories by other talented authors.

Featured Book: The Speed Of Dark by Clayton Clifford Bye and PDR Lindsay

The-Speed-of-Dark-by-Clayton-Clifford-Bye-and-Pdr-Lindsay27 strangely different and disturbing horror short stories by talented authors from around the world.

Book Review: Nineteen authors contributed twenty-seven short stories in this Horror Anthology, The Speed of Dark. Author Clayton Bye is editor and also the contributor of Retrovirus and The Speed of Dark within this collection. In the Introduction Clayton says it best when speaking about the Horror genre. He says, “A story that disturbs is like a deep sliver. It works its way slowly through your flesh, sometimes festering, sometimes not. But it’s there, it’s with you long after the story is done.”

The short story The Speed of Dark by Clayton Bye reminds me of Twilight Zone’s epic psychological horrors. The premise begins with two questions, “How does one outrun darkness?” and “What’s the speed of dark?” I invite you to read this short story and ask yourself, what secret dreams and silent screams inhabit your inner peace?

Enjoy each story as told by different voices, varied life experiences and individual writing style. Read the introductions from authors Casey Wolf, Clayton Bye, Cynthia B. Ainsworthe, Eduard Garçon, E.J. Ruek, Gerald Rice, James Secor, John B. Rosenman, Kenneth Weene, Leigh M. Lane, Lyn McConchi, Marion Webb-De Sisto, Mary Firmin, Megan Johns, Micki Peluso, Minna van der Pfaltz, Tim Fleming, Tonya Moore and Tony Richards before their short story begins.

This book was edited by CC Bye and PDR Lindsay with Cover Art by Zentao. I am most familiar with author Clayton Bye’s published works that include Bare Knuckle MBA: Everything You Need to Know About Running A Profitable Business; Getting Clear; How To Get What You Want From Life: Practical Techniques For Building The Future You’ve Always Wanted; The Sorcerer’s Key; The Contrary Canadian: A Collection; The Hundred: Actions That Make Dreams Come True; The It Can’t Be Done, No Way, You’ve Got To Be Kidding, Crazy Or Unbelievably Stupid To Try It, Handbook For Success; Technomage; What I Found In The Dark; Behind the Red Door and the anthologies: The Speed of Dark, Writers on The Wrong Side of the Road and Det Lupèe: The Impossible Cases. All of these books and books written by authors in this anthology can be purchased through Amazon.

Theodocia McLean endorses The Speed of Dark by Clayton Bye as a well written horror anthology by nineteen authors. The short stories will satisfy horror seekers far beyond camp-fire stories told on Halloween. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 31, 2015.

Genre: Horror

Clayton Bye’s Published Books
Bare Knuckle MBA: Everything You Need to Know About Running A Profitable Business
Getting Clear
How To Get What You Want From Life: Practical Techniques For Building The Future You’ve Always Wanted
Technomage
The Contrary Canadian: A Collection
The Hundred: Actions That Make Dreams Come True
The It Can’t Be Done, No Way, You’ve Got To Be Kidding, Crazy Or Unbelievably Stupid To Try It, Handbook For Success…
The Sorcerer’s Key
What I Found In The Dark
Behind the Red Door

Anthologies Published Through Clayton Bye’s Chase Enterprises Publishing
The Speed Of Dark
Writers On The Wrong Side Of The Road
Det. Lupee: The Impossible Cases

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Author Claudette Alexander (Toronto, Ontario-Canada)

Claudette Alexander.png2Claudette Alexander was born in St. Lucia and has been living in Toronto for the past 40 years. Retired, her past experiences involve work in accounting and union activists. She has been battling chronic kidney failure for 10 years and currently volunteers leading workshops on living healthy with chronic health conditions.

Her memoir ‘Sunrise From An Icy Heart’ is about her transformational journey into womanhood, her search for a special kind of love, the tears and joys of motherhood, and her fight to remain among the land of the living.

Featured Book: Sunrise From An Icy Heart by Claudette Alexander

Sunrise-From-An-Icy-Heart-by-Claudette-AlexanderDo you want to overcome betrayal, grief, and/or manage a chronic health condition, and find fulfilling love?

‘Sunrise From An Icy Heart’ will take you on a discovery of the human need to find a special kind of love, raise loving sons and rise above the strangling odds that face immigrants.

Alexander chronicles her transformational journey into womanhood from age 22 to 59. Her first love left her alone and pregnant. She searched for love but encountered stormy weather until her heart grew as frigid as the North American winters. It would take a special man to crack through her icy heart. After four failed relationships and two sons: Terence, as charming as a sunrise and Kriston, her sunshiny star, she struck gold with Malcolm whiles battling chronic kidney failure.

A story of survival and determination, from St. Lucia to Canada through a midst of rejections, abandonment and the power to smash through the fence of fear and fly. A sensual, amusing, and fun read that will stimulate your senses, make you laugh, cry and learn some essential life lessons. This book is intended for mature readers.

Book Review: ‘Sunrise From An Icy Heart’ by Claudette Alexander is a memoir. Keep in mind that Memoirs allow the reader to go back in time with the author to relive people, places and events.

Claudette’s memoir begins at age 22 and ends when she is 59. Her story comes from a single mother’s perspective giving us a glimpse into St Lucian customs.

Quote from her book: “A thousand buds of happiness exploded in me. A heat-wave engulfed me. I could feel my face ablaze. My smile was as calm and wide as the Caribbean Sea. Yes indeed, this was the moment I had waited for. My big elaborate wedding was happening with my soul mate, the man who knew how to love me. The man who knew how to marry me. The man who knew how to get the sunrise from my icy heart. There was a peace flowing from his heart into my heart.”

Theodocia McLean endorses Sunrise From An Icy Heart by Claudette Alexander as a wonderful Memoir. This review was completed in July 2014.

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