Writing Resources

Publishing Resources





Al Christie: Hollywood’s Forgotten Film Pioneerby Mark Kearney (with a foreword by Steve Massa)

            Al Christie made more than a 1,000 short comedy films and features in a 30-year directing/producing career in Hollywood. In his heyday, his work was considered on par with such comedy giants as Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, but until now he’s been mostly a footnote in Hollywood history. Christie made the first silent comedy films in 1911 in the then-little known town of Hollywood and continued his movie making well into the 1930s as talking films took over.

            Al Christie: Hollywood’s Forgotten Film Pioneer draws from interviews with silent film experts and family members, major archives in the U.S. and Canada, and dozens of newspaper and magazine articles to illustrate how he and his films were acclaimed in their time and his important role in the development of motion pictures.

               This biography celebrates Christie's life and work from his early days growing up in London, Ontario, Canada where he helped touring Vaudevillians hone their comic skills to his years in Hollywood behind the camera. With more than 60 photographs and a detailed filmography, this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in cinema history. Available at and

Published exclusively by BearManor Media.Contact Ben Ohmart at ben@bearmanormedia.comOr visit



The Burden of Guilt

by Richard K. Bercuson and E.W. Zrudlo

              A Nazi war criminal extradited to France from Canada. A soldier’s war memorabilia, including a rambling diary, photos, and a loose page torn from a German ledger book. A 1944 prison escape involving leaders of the French Resistance. A country terrified to learn the truth about collaboration during the war and what happened to its legendary hero.

              David Benson prepares to go to Paris to take on his first professional hockey coaching job. He carries with him the still vivid memories of his father who was killed in a traffic accident in France just weeks before. However, even before leaving, he is confronted with new information about his father’s death and the role he played while gathering evidence against the Nazi. As France wrestles with a looming war crimes trial, he seeks answers about his father’s mysterious death, who might have been responsible and why. This leads him to connect with people whose pasts are inexorably linked to the present and which put him and a young woman in harm’s way.

                Set mainly in Paris in 1980, The Burden of Guilt asks who the real heroes were during the Nazi occupation of France. Are there still secrets that need to be hidden and, if so, why?

Papeeback and ebook are now available on Amazon and the e-book also on Kobo.



Greg is the son of Bobbi's oldest niece, Valerie Russo Buchanan.

He has a son and a daughter, and lives with his family in the Atlanta area.

This textbook, an important contribution to the "green" movement, was co-written by Bobbi's great-grand-nephew.

GREGORY T. BUCHANAN, AIA, NCARB, CSI, LEED AP BD+C has spent his nearly thirty-year career endeavoring to advance the practice of architectural delivery through experience and leadership at top-ranked design firms. With advanced degrees in both Architecture and Civil Engineering, his pragmatic approach to problem solving enables him to develop and implement successful strategies and coach excellence in all facets of project delivery. Sharing his passion for process improvement, technology, and project delivery to a broader audience, Greg has presented his methodologies for a Lean Architecture at over a dozen regional and national industry events since 2013. Greg currently serves as Vice Chair for the BIMForum’s 2021 Lean taskforce.

Greg visited Bobbi in Ottawa when the "new" city hall was being built, and although private vehicles were not allowed on the site, Bobbi took a chance, using her media credentials, to drive through the gates and close enough for Greg to take many photos. He then used these and his experience and research for a paper for one of his courses at the University of Illinois. He obtained both engineering and architecture degrees there, which proved a great help when he designed many large buildings that required both disciplines.

This is just one of the several murder mysteries Sandra Comini has written, now being translated into German.

After retiring as an art history professor, Sandra decided to use her vast knowledge of art and music to create compelling stories featuring a clever sleuth whose background is very close to Sandra's own.

That means a great deal of her fascinating life and travels is described in the books, along with characters, both living and imagined, who contribute to the arc of the story.

Megan Crespi is a delightful protaganist, and her subjects often mirror artists and composers she has carefully researched, including Beethoven, Klimt, Kollowitz, Schiele, and Munch.

Find them at

Friesen Press:
Amazon & major bookstores

      As a boy, he played a priest saying Mass. Fast forward to the '70s-long hair and rock-n-roll-a time for enjoying a new freedom as a budding young journalist at the Vancouver Sun. But after a random, chance trip to Seattle to visit family at a rectory, his life changed in an instant.     Because when God calls, you answer.     Father Rick thrived in the Second Vatican Council Reformation. He helped build communities and opened minds and hearts through his humour, passion, and understanding. Eleven years passed, and Father Rick began to feel the familiar pull of change. Love finds a way. He could no longer deny his new calling-husband to Suzanne and Dad to an irascible Adam who would lead him to forever love.      Father Rick, Roamin' Catholic is an eye-opening memoir shining a light on faith, religion, and the little-known life of priests. There is joy and mischief in the stories Rick tells a niece in Toronto as they munch Easter eggs on Good Friday during the Covid pandemic. He writes about a Church's declining attendance and troubling issues, right beside miracles, good works, and good people.      My faith was now more Roamin' than Roman Catholic, a God bigger than any catechism taught me. Be who we are. Love who we love. A believer, still standing.

Bob Barclay's new book reflects his continued interest in both music and history.

In 1748 a mighty edifice rose in the Green Park in London’s west end, the launching pad for a grand firework to celebrate the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle and Britannia’s might! But what was King George II thinking when he decided to employ Frenchmen and Italians to undertake it? Did he believe the celebration of Peace meant peace between nations? And what of Mr. London Town, still smarting from a peace that was none to his liking and benefitting him not at all? Enter John Montagu, a highly capable and well-connected diplomat, courtier and statesman, to take on the task of realizing the His Majesty’s grand conceit. From the first spade in the ground to the shattering conclusion, here is the story from ten who witnessed and participated. And what a tortuous path the story takes.

Read a sample and watch videos:

Stories and poems have a way of transporting our minds to another place, making us feel something we have never felt, while informing and entertaining.

Ottawa Independent Writers selected twenty-nine member  submissions for Short Stories for a Long Year, and created a diverse offering to suit every literary taste.

As headline-grabbing events continue to unfold around us during this period of dynamic change, there has never been a better time to enjoy the power of words.

 Edited by Bob Barclay.

Produced by Ottawa Independent Writers.

Ottawa Independent Writers  has produced four anthologies in the past four years, which indicates how productive members of this organization are!

Twenty in Eighteen features twenty pieces of short fiction, ranging from history to futuristic speculation, from personal memoir to wry comedy. 

The twenty-four stories in the 2019 anthology range across the gamut of fiction and non-fiction, delving into speculation and introspection, exploring the future, the past and the present. Every taste is represented—wit and comedy, poignant moments and grand sweeps of imagination. 

Open either of these books, dip in, and see where the story takes you. Our authors offer their readers an enjoyable escape.

Both Twenty in Eighteen and A Two-four of Tales demonstrate the versatility and energy of their authors, and a deep appreciation of the talent that OIW boasts among its membership. There is something here for every literary taste.

Edited by Bob Barclay.

The 2020 anthology will be ready soon. It's called Short Stories for a Long Year.

It's still under embargo, but watch this space to hear about the dedication.

Available from Ottawa Independent Writers

We've featured this prize-winning poet's work before, when she as known as Sylvia Adams.  She is also an award-winning novelist, and her poems and short stories often win top honors in the annual Canadian Authors' Assocation (National Capital Region) contest.

Her latest volume of poetry has been praised by A. (Albert) F. Moritz, the author of more than 15 books of poetry, who received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Relit Award (for Night Street Repairs, named the best book of poetry published in Canada in 2005), an Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Moritz says: The sympathetic imagination, where it comes from and how it’s developed, is the underlying substance of Miller Adams’s stirring collection, Folding Laundry on Judgment Day.
She shares the vision of Czelaw Milosz’s old man who tends his tomatoes and murmurs, “There will be no other end of the world.” Of this loving kinship with each and all, Adams says, 
“She inherited it.// It should have a soft shell,/ birth morning echoes...” So she launches a beautiful book that takes us through lives and times, from love and its fulfillments and betrayals,
to duty and its labours, and to death. The shot silk skein flashes from gratitude and honour to fear to discouragement and back, and catches up the whole of a life, always realizing there is
something more, always something more...//Locking our doors will never stop the knocking.

Many of her books are on the website. 

                Adam Prashaw’s life was full of surprises, from the moment he was born. Assigned female at birth, and with parents who had been expecting a boy, he spent years living as “Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw”, before coming to terms with being a transgender man. Adam captured hearts with his humour, compassion and intensity. After a tragic accident cut his life short, he left a legacy of changed lives and a trove of social media posts documenting his life, relationships, transition and struggles with epilepsy, all with remarkable transparency and directness.

                In Soar, Adam, Soar, his father, a former priest, retells Adam’s story alongside his son’s own words. From early childhood through first coming out as a lesbian and then as a man, and his battles with epilepsy and refusal to give in, it chronicles Adam’s desire to define himself, his joyful spirit and his love of life which continues to conquer all.”

Tomson Highway described this book as Remarkable book, by a remarkable father

Rev. Cheri di Novo, former Ontario MPP, said This book makes decades of queer activism seem worthwhile.

Published by Dundurn Press.

           A simple-sounding request from his brother, the new king of Bernna, sends Dameron on what turns into a dangerous mission in the Lands south of the Great River. He needs his solider skills to survive encounters with treacherous priests, bandits, thugs and shapeshifters under the control of the Evil.
           After gaining important texts for his brother, Dameron heads for home with people he has saved from marauding gangs. Among them is Lady Burska, who is trained to fight with a sword. His group encounters Giants on a mission to warn their clans about the return of the Evil that is once again trying to destroy all who live in the Lands of the Great River.
           The Giants’ Elder realizes Dameron is the Champion of the Spirit and starts to prepare him for a battle with the Evil that will appear as a massive black cloud. Collaborating with brother Artorus and his cousin Yukul, Dameron plans to confront the Evil’s hordes who have besieged Compard, a walled city on the shores of the Great and Reddon Rivers. They hope that will draw the Evil into the open where Dameron can confront him using the power of the Spirit.
           He knows from the ancient Credo of the Champion that he must tap into the power of the Circle of the Chosen to gain the full strength of the Spirit when he faces the Evil. How to do that is a mystery he must solve.          

A collection of haunting legends, delightful yarns, and spine-tingling ghost stories from the author of Shipwrecks and Seafaring Tales of Prince Edward Island.

Swathed in mist, surrounded by the secretive sea, wind wailing like the lost souls of sailors around its shores, Prince Edward Island is the ideal setting for the strange and incredible, even the supernatural. Islanders have handed down, from one generation to the next, many legends and ghost stories of visiting spirits, buried pirate treasure, sea serpents, and ghostly apparitions.

Who dares to doubt the veracity of the sailors who met a phantom schooner, the fishermen who fled from a sea monster, or the countless Islanders who have dug for pirate gold, only to be terrified by something uncanny and to have abandoned their search?

Curl up on a dark night with this new second edition and find yourself transported to the magical and mysterious Prince Edward Island.

Julie Watson is a prolific author of books on cooking, money management, small business, and diabetes, although her speciality has always been regional history. She lives in Charlottetown.

Illustrated with stunning black and white photos by John C. Watson.

From Dundurn Press


    Detective Inspector Colin McDermott is assigned to learn the identity of a young woman who died in a London traffic accident and to notify her family. He discovers that she had two identities, one of which concealed a very private life, and that her death may very well have been intentional.
    The trail leads back to McDermott’s alma mater and he must determine if an old friend and mentor is her killer.
    Legacy has been highly praised as a multi-layered contemporary police procedural with well-drawn characters and a challenging puzzle at its heart.

"A riveting procedural...Napier layers his story with subplots...and suspense”
(Kirkus Reviews)

"Seamless and believable...Napier shows himself to be a compellingstory-teller.” (The Sherbrooke Record)

"We get a satisfying conclusion that we knew we should have predicted, if only we had paid closer attention...That is how the best mysteries are written, and Legacy is up there with the best.” (Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph)

Selected by the American Library Assocation for its crime book club.    Available from FriesenPress

Dr. Ian Prattis is an author, professor Emeritus, Zen Teacher, and poet, who is also an ambassador for peace and a spiritual warrior for planetary care.

Through his numerous public talks and retreats around the world, Ian encourages people to find their true nature, so that humanity and the world may be renewed.

This collection of poems features six thematically distinct parts, displaying a full spectrum of human emotions, capturing the shared aspects of our experience. Each poem reflects how deeply the author has travelled into his personal experience to process its meaning. His poetry is incisive and devoid of redundant imagery that might obscure the truth, both the poetic and human one.

Ian has published many books with Manor House Publishing. The cover design for Painting With Words, was created by his wife, Carolyn Hill.  

I've known Arthur Milner since the founding of the Great Canadian Theatre Company in 1975, when he was a graduate student at Carleton University. When the tiny organization moved into their first home, a renovated garage on Gladstone Avenue in Ottawa, Arthur's magnificent play, "Sandinista," set the standard for outstanding professional theatre. 

GCTC is now Ottawa’s largest professional, independent theatre. Arthur has served as its Artistic Director along the way, and has written many memorable and award-winning plays for that stage.

Arthur thinks that audiences were different in the 90s than they are today. 
"They had higher expectations. There was a bit of electricity in the air. There was a sense that we might be about to witness something important. These were left-wing, nationalist times in Canada, and Five Political Plays captures something of the spirit of the era."

Available online from Indigo.

Since he first heard a herald in the marketplace when he was ten years old, all Jacob Hintze has wanted to do is play the trumpet. Apprenticed to a German cavalry unit as a teenager, he is thrown into the horrors of the Thirty Years War. Employed as a courier and secret agent by his Duke, Jacob meets love, hatred, vengeance and betrayal as around him Europe tears itself to pieces. He plays his trumpet on the battlefield to send men to their deaths; he makes music in holy service to the glory of God. Jacob Hintze’s life story is a stirring struggle in which music, war, espionage and the love of a good woman wrestle for his soul on a backdrop of bloody conflict and fragile peace.

This is another great story from Bob Barclay, author of Death at the Podium,  Ask Me About My Bombshells, and many others.

Ordering information at Loose Cannon Press as well as from Amazon.

A charming memoir told in four parts: "An Army Childhood", learning what moving every two to three years across the globe means; "Turbulent Teens", where the moves continue, and life lessons come harder; "Married with Children", where the author begins family and career growth throughout an Air Force wife and Hockey Mom world, and finally "Alls Well that Ends Well", where a lifetime goal of settling in an adopted hometown is achieved. Each section in the book contains its own episodes, complete with wonderful illustrations. The book evokes the nostalgia of a time and lifestyle not experienced today, but that thousands of Canadian military "brats" lived.

Michele Sabad takes us on one army brat’s journey with stories about a childhood in Calgary, Germany, Labrador, and Saskatchewan; becoming a young Air Force wife and Hockey Mom in Edmonton, Kingston, Winnipeg, and Cold Lake; building a career in Information Technology; and finally, settling in a new culture and life in Ottawa and Aylmer, Quebec.

Available from

            “It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.”
            So begins A Spell of Murder: the first Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.
            Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power.
            And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working.     
            Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?    

This is another new series of cozy cat mysteries by Clea Simon, whose many books have been featured on this website HERE.

Published by Polis.

Melissa Yuan-Innes is a prolific author who also works as an Emergency Room physician.

Writing under her pen name, Melissa Yi, her latest medical crime novel features Dr. Hope Sze, who flies to Los Angeles to reunite with her soul mate, John Tucker.

She expects Botoxed blondes with Brazilian wax jobs, not terror at 35,000 feet in the air. Yet on their way home, with 1000 miles to go and nowhere to land, she and Dr. Tucker must strive to save one man’s life.

Hope and Tucker have no surgical equipment. No surgeon on board. And, as first year family medicine residents, almost no experience. But right this second, they’ll try anything.

Especially Hope, because minutes before, she might have accidentally helped to kill the man sprawled at her feet.

As Susan Taylor Meehan says, "Dr. Ian Prattis, Zen teacher, ecologist and peace activist, outlines the urgent challenge of climate change and the prevailing attitudes that have enabled it to threaten life on planet Earth. He writes movingly of his own journey towards enlightenment to illustrate his basic thesis: that we cannot heal our planet until we heal ourselves."

Koozma J. Tarasoff, Anthropologist, Peace Activist, Author and Photographer, says: "Ian Prattis' new book is an urgent call for action in our troubled world. Environmental pollution, wars, violence, greed, ego worship and crass materialism are issues that urgently need to be resolved for the health of our Planet Earth and its inhabitants. Indeed, we need to release our bad thoughts to the soil and become informed. This is a book for the new generation who also need to nurture a respectful relationship to Mother Earth."

Published by Manor HouseOur World Is Burning website.

Benoit Chartier was inspired by his two young boys to write his first children's book, illustrated by Juan B. Juan Oliver.

Ideal to read to toddlers, this is a fantasy about fighting fears (and plucking boogers).

Flintebetty Flonagan is just like any other little girl growing up in a strange world full of mythical creatures. That is, until the day she answers a wanted ad for a booger hunter's apprentice! That night, she will go on an adventure that will change her life!

The projected date of publication is early March 2019, but you can pre-order via the KickStarter campaign, where you can secure a copy of the book for $15, as well as see other options.

Meanwhile, Benoit's adult books are available from Trode Publications

Published by Renaissance
(best accessed via Firefox)
Also on Amazon

         The author poses the question, "Do we truly know who Shakespeare was? Could the plays and sonnets have been written by more than one person?"
          This historical mystery revolves around two possible candidates, Mary Sidney Herbert and her famous brother, Sir Philip Sidney, poet and courtier, in the court of Elizabeth I. Born in the same era as William Shakespeare, their lives were as real as his, and the three may even have met.
           Their story interweaves with the modern tale of Sarah and Janek, as they explore modern day London and the British countryside, searching for clues to prove Mary and Philip Sidney’s contributions to the works of Shakespeare, a thesis one of them very much believes in.
            They are not alone. Two unidentified “watchers” are following them, hoping to discourage their search or to steal whatever information they find. After many dangerous adventures, their quest leads them to Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight, where another mystery awaits them.

Simon & Schuster

Bobbi's cousin, Gwen Florio, grew up in a 250-year-old brick farmhouse on a wildlife refuge in Delaware and now lives in Montana. Currently the city editor for the Missoulian, Gwen has reported on the Columbine High School shooting and from conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. In 2013, Montana, her first novel in the Lola Wicks detective series, won the High Plains Book Award and the Pinckley Prize for debut crime fiction. Her latest novel, Silent Hearts, is set in Kabul,  Afghanistan, in 2001.

An American aid worker and her local interpreter form an unexpected friendship despite their utterly different life experiences and the ever-increasing violence that surrounds them, as people fling off years of repressive Taliban rule. This hopeful chaos brings together American aid worker Liv Stoellner and Farida Basra, an educated Pakistani woman still adjusting to her arranged marriage to Gul, the son of an Afghan strongman whose family spent years of exile in Pakistan before returning to Kabul.

Scroll down to find other books by Gwen, and go to her website for further titles and descriptions.

The Year of the Introvert is a seasonal daybook that takes introverts on a true adventure in introspection and self-care, 365 days of the year.

You’ll get daily morsels of wisdom to strengthen your relationships, develop confidence, and truly blossom in your own introverted way.

The book also has monthly gratitude moments, challenges, and “Fortune Cookies” to keep you motivated.

We featured Michaela's first book, The Irresistible Introvert, when it was published two years ago. Her website contains confidence-building tools and inspirational quotes. Go to

More at:

        This book contains striking images and insightful text that portray the beauties, history and culture of one of the most interesting, but lesser known and least exploited of the Greek islands. It includes some of the more than 350 ecclesiastic buildings on this island of less than 6,000 people, a tribute to the place of religion in its people’s lives.
        The reader is introduced to Skopelos’s culture and history with its numerous architectural and archaeological treasures, footprints left behind by Minoans, Mycenaeans, Romans, Venetians and Turks, who have all been there.
        Jesse Sisken is the author of The Minoan Gold Trilogy, novels set in Crete, Santorini and other Aegean islands from the 17th century B. C. to modern times.  His many photos of Greece are for sale from his website.     


Available from Amazon
and Barnes & Noble. 

      Thirty years ago a disparate group of Ottawa writers decided it was time to get together. The initiators of Ottawa Independent Writers represented the complete range of literature: novelists (in many genres), poets, speechwriters, historians, journalists, essayists and more.
      By 1990 OIW had hundreds of members, had organized a successful conference, and had published many newsletters and several anthologies.
      From the beginning, the OIW membership has always had this wide base, and this 30th anniversary anthology is evidence of the same spectrum. There continues to be a great deal of talent in OIW; some writers are beginners, others have years of writing experience, and some are starting to write after long experience in other fields.
      Every story, essay and poem in this anthology demonstrates the members’ craft and skill. We can heartily recommend them to you, and we know you are sure to find a few—or many—that speak to you.

WATCH for the next OIW anthology:

Coming in June:  Ottawa One Five O: in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary. SEE IT NOW on the Quick Reads page.

Pottersfield Press

Marjorie's website:

          Dynamic and lyrical, Year of the Horse shares the setbacks and triumphs of a 55-year-old horsewoman determined to put the pain of the past behind her, and to create the sunniest of futures with new, extraordinary horses in it.
          After a severe horseback riding accident in 2011, writer Marjorie Simmins finds herself unable to walk, or even turn over in bed. Two years later, partially healed, she surprises herself by making a bold decision: she will ride again, in a riding discipline that is new for her, and she will even compete in a show – her first in 42 years.
          Mentored by two riding coaches, Simmins' initially modest goals take fire. She is also welcomed by a whole new horse community across Nova Scotia. Their encouragement carries her back in memory to the vibrant horse community of Southlands, in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she first started riding.
          The Year of the Horse is about horses, healing and improbable dreams. It's for every person who's been really hurt – and has come back from that, different, and in some ways stronger. It's about daring to believe in the power of your own story.
           An award-winning essayist and journalist, Marjorie Simmins divides her time between Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Author of the popular memoir Coastal Lives, she teaches memoir writing across Canada. She shares her life with her husband, writer and filmmaker Silver Donald Cameron – and dreams of learning how to drive miniature horses. She plans to ride forever.

Available on Amazon, and
from Trode Publications.

One reviewers said "Benoit Chartier’s Red Nexus is as entertaining as some of the best action movies, and at the same time compels us to reflect on values we set on family, and raises disturbing questions about what could become of corporate allegiances, should we allow them to take control of us."

Another reviewer describes the book: 
       "Once part of the Tokyo elite, Wen Harkwell lost his status when his mother died, and now he's forced to labor in the depths of the city, far from the easy life of the Heights, struggling to support his thirteen-year-old brother Sammy. By day he toils in a factory and by night he digs for scrap in the infamous Heap under the city. One night Wen is drawn to an old book he finds and risks taking it home - a quick decision with devastating consequences.
        "Soon after, Sammy is kidnapped, and when Wen turns to a friend and coworker for help, the two find themselves embroiled in a secret high-tech operation that will stop at nothing to maintain their ciphered code. When Wen realizes that the same corporation connected to his mother's disappearance is behind the attack, he knows he must do whatever it takes to save his brother - even if it means working for the enemy."

Finalist in the Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award

This story of one Australian family from 1808 to 1998 is based on real people and some fiction to “fill in the gaps.” Many names were changed and other events deleted to respect  living family members. A history of Australia as it affected the family through the generations, it commemorates the supreme sacrifices they made during war and hardship. Called “A Stunning, Generation-Spanning Epic” one reviewer  says “Smith has managed to bring the microcosm of a fascinating and complicated family in line with the macrocosm of global history over the course of more than a century.”

In 1935, Ruth was in born to an unmarried Jewish mother in Germany. Fearing the Nazi persecution, Ruth was sent to England on the "kinder transport“ to be raised by a Church of England priest. He raised her both as a Christian and a Jew. Her faith  enabled her to build bridges between different groups, even at an early age. She grew up to become an engineer, became a giant in the largest construction company in the world, where she developed and implemented the unique social interaction system that would unite people from different backgrounds and beliefs.

Based on a special unit to create movies and newspaper articles designed to reassure the Australian public that their coastal cities were safe from invasion, this work blends fact and fiction in a tale showing the development of the unit, along with the romances and intrigues that developed. A loved one goes missing in action, folllowed by surprising events that include developments in Hollywood, Canberra North Queensland and war-torn south-east Asia.


Look for Smith's books on Amazon and at

   From Skyhorse Publishing

   Michaela Chung's website

On Amazon

From the review in Publishers' Weekly:
      Michaela Chung is a Life Coach who educates her fellow introverts on how to effectively use their innate strengths while making slight behavioral adjustments to achieve self-esteem and earn respect from others.
      On a mission to combat a perceived social “bias toward extroversion” where gregariousness is rewarded and the more withdrawn are unappreciated or ostracized, Chung celebrates the introvert’s natural magnetism, loyalty, intuition, and empathy.
      She covers coping skills for introverts to cultivate, such as creating time and space to retreat and recharge, and tips to “extend our social batteries” to get the most out of social activities without becoming overstimulated. For those struggling with emotional roadblocks, she suggests creative expression and clever mental tricks of personification.
      She also discusses some introversion-specific problems surrounding intimacy and how to overcome them. Exercises show readers how to “perform an energy audit,” identify their own goals and desires apart from societal norms, and project when speaking.
      With public interest in introversion currently on the upswing, this is a useful all-purpose guide, particularly for younger readers who have not had the life experience to develop these skills on their own.

        Although Laurie Gough was an intrepid traveller who had explored wild, far-off reaches of the globe, the journey she and her family took in their own home in their small Quebec village proved to be far more frightening, strange, and foreign than any land she had ever visited.
         It began when Gough’s son, shattered by his grandfather’s death, transformed from a bright, soccer-ball kicking ten-year-old into a near-stranger, falling into trances where his parents couldn’t reach him and performing ever-changing rituals of magical thinking designed to bring his grandpa back to life.
         Stolen Child examines a horrifying time in one family’s life, the lengths the parents went to to help their son, and how they won the battle against his all-consuming disorder.

Praise for this book has been extensive, including a feature article in The Ottawa Citizen, in the Sunday Times in the U.K., on CTV News, Publishers' Weekly, and Maclean's Magazine.

Go to and order from Amazon.



Published by Midnight Ink

Other books by Gwen Florio

When former foreign correspondent Lola Wicks heads to Wyoming for a Yellowstone vacation, she comes across a story that hits close to her past. One Wyoming soldier returning from Afghanistan commits suicide, two others spark a near-fatal brawl, and a woman is terrorized. Lola, accompanied by her young daughter, senses a story about whatever happened on the far side of the world that these troops have so disastrously brought home. But she soon realizes that getting the story must take second place to getting herself—and her little girl—out of Wyoming alive.

A gut-wrenching mystery/thriller that explores prejudice and the incredible stress on soldiers in a seemingly unending war with no clear goals.
          Kirkus Reviews

With the chops of a world-class journalist and an unsurpassed knowledge of the Rocky Mountain West, Gwen Florio weaves a compelling tapestry that combines family saga, social consciousness and human frailty, making Disgraced difficult to put down.
       Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix drama 

The fourth mystery novel in the 
Megan Crespi Mystery Series,

published by Sunstone Press

Also see:

        In the space of a little over a week three Edvard Munch paintings, including the iconic Scream, have been stolen from museums in Oslo and Stockholm.      Retired professor of art history Megan Crespi, on vacation in Scandinavia with her little Maltese dog Button and her old friend Lili Holm, is asked to help. In her capacity as a Munch specialist, she visits three possible suspects, all major collectors of Munch, and soon finds her life is in danger. Being kidnapped had not been in her plans.
        Who is responsible? The fanatical Norseliga clan, with its emphasis on Norwegian superiority? The beautiful cosmetics queen, Myrtl Kildahl, who hides her German roots, or the Swedish collector who denies he is the grandson of writer August Strindberg?
         Pursuit of the truth takes Megan from Copenhagen and Oslo, to Bergen and Trondheim, and finally to Stockholm and the myth-laden island of Runmarö. Megan’s dog adds an element that qualifies him as a detective second only to his mistress.

         Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Alessandra Comini was awarded Austria’s Grand Medal of Honor for her books on Viennese artists Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Her Egon Schiele’s Portraits was nominated for the National Book Award and her The Changing Image of Beethoven is used in classrooms around the country. Both books in new editions are now available from Sunstone Press.   Comini's travels, recorded in her memoir, In Passionate Pursuit, extend from Europe to Antarctica.

The Leaders & Legacies series
is published by Fireside.


     Although this book is aimed at the young adult market, Steve Pitt's engaging writing style is always enjoyed by adults as well.

     A teenage Pierre Trudeau learns he’s spending the summer in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, instead of with his friends in Montreal. As if that’s not bad enough, he’s forced to work with a know-it-all Dawson City boy named Pierre Berton who thinks Trudeau is a big city snob.

   But the pair of Pierres call a truce after their fathers’ gold camp is attacked by something vicious -- and maybe supernatural. After meeting a young indigenous girl named Henni, they soon learn about the terrible power of the Wendigo.

     Against the stunning backdrop of the land of the midnight sun, two future Canadian icons must find a way to defeat a blood-thirsty menace from another century.

This beautifully illustrated book describes a 16,000 km journey 
from Ottawa, Ontario, north to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories 
and west to Alaska. 

Each stage of the trip is prefaced by a map showing the route 
and the distance covered. 

With over 260 colour pictures, 16 maps and detailed descriptions 
of preparations and travel plans, this is a must-have for anyone contemplating a journey to the far reaches of Canada and the
northern United States.

Author Janet Barclay is part of Loose Cannon Press, who has
produced many quality books.

Points North and West is also available from Barnes & Noble.


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Linked by the theme of finding our voices, breaking free of constraints, and transformation, the stories in Voice Lessons look at what it means to move into a new way of being, or to reexamine our beliefs and internal stories.

A woman who can't resolve her relationship with her mother takes solace in the wilderness. A man leaves his corporate job impulsively, finding that the noise of ferry boats tugs open his heart. North Dakota hills call to a woman on a passenger train. A deaf woman wants to learn to sing. A moneyed couple's life falls apart when their acquisitions disappear. These and other stories explore what it means to listen to one's true voice, and act on it.

Go to: www.catherine­

Published by Pottersfield Press, available
by order from Nimbus Publishing  

Reviewer Chris Benjamin, Writer in Residence at Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, knows both writers in this bi-coastal love story, and praises this memoir of love found later in life as a deconstruction of their lives.

Marjorie Simmins, a west coast journalist and writing instructor, carried on a long-distance relationship with reknowned author, Silver Donald Cameron, for six month before they finally met. She chronicles the telephone calls, letters, and more than 800 emails that brought them together, despite a 22-year age difference.

The book includes memories of her father, of living in Ottawa as well as Vancouver, and the culture shock of moving to Nova Scotia.


From Burnstown Publishing
(formerly General Store Publishing)

Maggie is a World War I Canadian nurse serving in France, who falls in love with a soldier involved in the underground effort to end the war. 

The choices she makes—about her lover and his radical politics—lead to dramatic consequences both during the war and after, when they return home to the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike.

This is a gripping story, with realistic depictions of the "mash units" very close to the battlefields, as well as descriptions of the situation in wartime Britain, where soldiers and nurses enjoyed brief respite and were able to socialize.

Susan Taylor Meehan based this book on the life of her great-aunt, who frames the book. The second half gives the reader insight into life in Winnipeg after the war, when Maggie is swept up in the dramatic General Strike. 

Volume One of the Minoan Gold Trilogy

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I heard people screaming, Father. I had to go to them.

Cavanila's words echoed amidst the ruins of the 17th century B. C. E. earthquake on what is now the Greek island of Santorini (Thera). But what that 20-year old Minoan priestess would soon learn is that far more disastrous events were about to threaten her entire civilization, one of the most powerful and advanced in the ancient world. And what she could not have foreseen was how her commitment to her people's survival would challenge her inner strengths and force her to struggle through a series of increasingly more daring and portentous decisions the outcome of which would put her self-respect and well-being at risk, and change her life forever.

After a career in the biomedical sciences, Jesse Sisken has devoted his energies to the study of ancient Greece and the photography of modern-day Greek islands. This novel, Cavanila's Choices, is the first of a series set in those islands.

More about this book and the author at:

Available on Amazon.

    We are staring into the abyss: climate change, ecosystem and financial collapse, nuclear breakdown, terrorism and anarchy. Instead of being eaten up by the abyss “Awaken Spiritually” for that transforms everything. Our world has become an unpredictable beast. We fail to work with it intelligently. We must take back control of ourselves and this is a spiritual matter.
    This hero’s journey over four centuriesis like Indiana Jones meets the Buddha with a dash of Celestine Prophecy. It shines light on the darkest elements of the human condition, including the author's. Shamanic healing of childhood sexual abuse, guru training and near death experience in an Indian ashram has the author stumbling through the first part of life, then standing strong in his own sovereignty in the latter part. In India, Arizona, France and Canada’s wilderness, he goes to extraordinary lengths to transform four centuries of his karma.
     The author is a poet, founder of Friends for Peace, Spiritual Warrior for Planetary Care and Social Justice. In this book he navigates past and present life experiences from brutal raids on Indian settlements in 18th century Arizona, insane sea voyages off the Scottish Hebrides in the 20th century to surrender to The Muse in the 21st century.

Bob Barclay's new book is a thriller.

Gunpowder and cocaine make uncomfortable companions.

A love affair over the mortars and Roman candles is disrupted by the imaginative schemes of a biker gang boss. 

Julia, granddaughter of a commercial pyrotechnician, falls for Rocco, sixth generation scion of a competing firework company, only to discover that her innocent romantic partner has been drawn into a network of drug-traffickers through coercion and blackmail. 

Meanwhile, activists with a strange agenda are attempting to disrupt firework shows and are leading the police in frustrating circles. Sabotage, subterfuge, police raids, mix-ups and theft lead through an intricate gunpowder plot to an explosive thunderclap of a finale.

The book is available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Read about Bob and his other books on his website:


Alex Binkley's first venture into science fiction comes after a long career as a journalist.

Having barely avoided self-destruction, an ancient race has expanded to eight other worlds. While the Beings have explored Earth repeatedly with their flying saucers, they didn’t consider the primitive Terrans worth contacting. That changes when their worlds came under attack from a relentless, mysterious foe. The aliens offer to repair Earth’s ravaged environment in exchange for pilots and soldiers to fight their enemy. The First Earth Expeditionary Force battles in space and on the ground while trying to unravel a link between the enemy and the lost civilization of Atlantis. They’re also caught up in understanding the motives of robot-like creatures that serve the aliens and discovering the origin of centuries old ruins on several planets and a seemingly uninhabited community under a protective dome.

This book was published by Loose Cannon Press, a local small company owned by Bob Barclay. Go to:

Called part mystery, part fiction, and all truth by one reviewer, and a moving portrait of loss by another,
The Box in the Closet chronicles Margaret Singleton's search for her birth parents.

Singleton, an educator, family historian, author and photographer, found a box in a closet after her adoptive mother's death, and used those documents to find her roots.

The book is dedicated to Singleton's daughter, Christine, and includes some photographs.

A full review will be posted here soon.

Meanwhile, the book is available from Trafford


Born in Bristol, England, Anthony (Jo) Johansen grew up with the sea. His love of ships and sailing led him to a fascinating life in the British Merchant Navy. This book is filled with his adventures, as he lives through the Blitz, travels the world, encounters some unforgettable characters, and faces dangers, not the least of which is the dreaded “rogue wave.”

Sometimes we fear to try new things, but in Fair Wind and a Following Sea Johansen tells of all sorts of challenges that he sought out and met with courage, enthusiasm and an ironic sense of humour.  Following his adventures is an enjoyable read.

There are many serious moments as well, as one might expect in the life of a Master Mariner who would carry the grave responsibility of a large oceangoing ship.

This was a man who truly “followed his bliss.”

Compiled and edited by his wife, Joy Phillips Johansen. 

Published by General Store Publishing House.

ISBN 978-0-9867879-2-8
Loose Cannon Press
Available from AMAZON

The sudden collapse of a maestro in the middle of a popular classical symphony is a tragic affair. But when it happens again and yet again, with increasing violence, in orchestras around the world, fear spreads throughout the music community. Why are classical music maestros being targeted, and by whom?

Meanwhile, a university research scientist has uncovered strange results when monitoring experimental subjects playing music, and it appears that some sinister mechanism may be responsible for the deaths. An oboist with a small town orchestra, who carries a dark and painful secret, is recruited to assist with the research, and he and his violinist girlfriend become entangled in a mesh of fear and anguish

This musical science fiction love story weaves the daily workings of a symphony orchestra into the intricacies of scientific research, and culminates in a dramatic quest to prevent the deaths at the podium and to expose the truth.

284 pages, colour gloss cover, perfect bound

    Kindle edition available from Amazon.
    Also on Kobo,, and Smith's.

All is Bright: - A Yorkshire Lad's Christmas, is a collection of touching and humorous Christmas stories by award-winning author Dave Preston, who was born and raised in Old Malton, a small village in Yorkshire that provides the perfect setting for these stories.

Derek Bradley’s just like any other daft young lad growing up in the 1960s - unique. Through his brutally honest eyes and ears we recall what it's like to celebrate Christmas past in a small Yorkshire village.

It’s how Christmas used to be – real, fun, and real funny.
In frosty bedrooms, damp village halls, Santa's shabby grotto at the local CO-OP store... all is not calm, but it's certainly bright!

Includes traditional Yorskhire Christmas recipes.


This is a charming account of the life of William Whitehead,  from his childhood in the 30s, through three decades as a documentary film maker, and his 40-year relationship with Timothy Findley. Their partnership was both professional and personal, and Bill was the man at Tiff's side at every public appearance, as well as his travel companion and in many ways his collaborator. During their years at Stone Orchard, the farm they shared with many cats, Tiff wrote in longhand. Bill then transcribed each chapter into the computer and read it aloud to Tiff so they could discuss it. The book is full of delightful  anecdotes about many of their famous friends in the theatre and literary world. It also reveals a great deal about Tiff's personality and shows how crucial Bill was to keeping him stable and sober.  More on Terzo's blog about the connection between Tiff and Simon Teakettle.


5000 kilometers, 23 countries, 13 months

          The course of one’s life never unfolds quite as we imagine it would. While traveling to gain perspective on her life, Mony, a Lebanese-Canadian woman, feels called to walk an ancient path known as the Way of the Soul. She wavers, allowing her fears to drown out her heart’s yearning. Until 9/11.
          Fate orchestrates all the necessary preparations, including an unexpected companion named Alberto, an Andalusian mystic whose ideas would challenge every preconceived notion
          Their 13-month, 5000-kilometer odyssey across 13 countries would lead them physically to Jerusalem, but more importantly, to what was perhaps the intended destination all along: their true selves. 
          This remarkable true story reminds us that it’s never too late to listen to our hearts, that omens appear to guide us in our journeys, and that following both will lead us to realize our dreams and fulfill our destinies.

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Dinner at the Dog Pound, by Sylvia Adams, with illustrationg by Ben Chung, is a charming story for children featuring Wagstaff O’Gogg, a little mongrel dog. Wagstaff tires of eating his owner’s diet food and runs away. Taken to the City Pound, he discovers to his surprise that all stray dogs are treated to a daily banquet. Deciding to stay, he finds a wonderful, surprising new life. Order from the author, or from Trafford.

Sylvia is an award-winning poet and novelist, so check out her other books on her website. 

Colin Morton is another Ottawa award-winner. His newest book is The Hundred Cuts: Sitting Bull and the Major. You'll find links to his poetry, novels, essays and reviews on his website, including a CBC prize-winning series. 

Neven Humphrey lost his left eye to cancer soon after birth, and a few months later doctors diagnosed myopia in the right eye.  He lost almost all his sight in that eye, but surgery allowed him to gain distance vision, at the price of losing reading vision. Nevertheless, Neven started writing in 1990, but only seriously considered writing a book ten years later. His first novel, To Save a Wolf! was published in 2005, The Honourable Athletes (a book of short stories) in 2008, and More Honourable Athletes in 2010.  A third book in the series, Still More Honourable Athletes is in the works.  Contact him via Ottawa Independent Writers, or at